BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Despite the FDA trying to remedy the problem it looks like antibiotic abuse in animals is increasing and it can be dangerous both for them and for us.
Most of us like animals and most of us want to see them safe and protected. Furthermore, many of us are meat-eaters, which means that if we happen to eat meat from a sick animal, we might get sick as well.
We all know antibiotics are used to treat infections. However, we also know that in large quantities, this type of drugs could be harmful. They can either harm our stomach or liver or negatively influence our immune system.
What do antibiotics have to do with animals? It seems that the same drugs we take when we are sick are also given to cows or sheep or other livestock, and not because they’re sick. Healthy animals are given these pills in order to make them grow faster.
Farmers are using this ‘technique’ partly because most farms are overcrowded, so they need to clear up some space and partly because they want to make more money, faster.
What happens when the antibiotic-filled meat reaches and is processed by our bodies is that in time, we become immune to antibiotics. This could be a great problem because if we get sick, antibiotics won’t help us anymore.
On the other hand, farmers argue that giving antibiotics to animals is a necessity that comes from the wish to keep animals healthy and not spread any diseases and also meet consumer demands.
However, antibiotic use is way too high. To give an idea about how much antibiotics animals are being fed, we’ll tell you that in 2011, almost 30 million pounds of antibiotics were sold for animal use, compared to only 7.7 million sold for human use.
Going back to humans, as antibiotics are pretty much the only means of getting rid of an infection, once we become immune to them, there’s not much we can do to treat ourselves.
But, we can prevent ingesting too much antibiotics from meat by choosing to consume animal products that have the “USDA Organic” label. This means the product was not made using any drugs to stimulate the animal’s growth.
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