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In America and other parts of the world, eating meat is engraved in our culture. Antibiotics in animal feed is a topic most people hate to challenge because it would require such a huge behavioral change in their diet. I mean, let’s face it: Meat is delicious, easy to cook, and contains essential vitamins and nutrients that are good for us (when consumed in moderation, that is).

However, most factory farmed animals are given antibiotics. In fact, According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 80% of all antibiotics produced are given to factory farmed animals. Why, you might ask? There’s a couple of reasons: 

  1. If you’ve ever watched a peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) video in your lifetime, you know it’s because of their awful living conditions engulfed by bacteria. Factory farmed animals are squished in cages, side-by-side, and rarely ever get to see the light of day. That’s only a small tidbit of what those animals have to endure on a daily basis.
  2.  It helps them grow faster and more importantly, fatter. Quite profitable characteristics in the eyes of a farmer. Antibiotics in the meat industry keep corporations like Tyson and Purdue selling cheap meat. Good for your wallet, but bad for your health!

So we now know why antibiotics are being fed to animals. But what exactly are the consequences to doing so? They are essentially creating antibiotic resistant bacteria. 

Humans and animals alike have a set of microbes in our gut. Some good and some bad. When we don’t need to take antibiotics, but do anyway, this eliminates all microbes. 

Even the ones we want! If there happens to be a microbe in our gut that is resistant because of mutated DNA, it is able to continue thriving, reproducing, and eventually spread to other guts. Check out this video about antibiotic resistant microbes from the perspective of a factory farmed pig

 

How does one avoid this mess? If you asked me, I’d say quit eating meat… cold turkey. Eating meat is not a necessity and as of lately has been causing more harm than good (to both animals and humans). Another option is to buy meat that hasn’t been treated with antibiotics. Urge local grocery stores and restaurants to obtain this type of meat and be knowledgable about where it’s coming from.

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