Meat carries numerous hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, pollutants, bacteria, and viruses into your body. We store all this in our body fat, so it continues to fester inside our body even after it’s been digested. When you stop eating meat, you stop eating extra hormones, prevent antibiotic overdose, avoid toxic pesticides, eliminate dangerous pollutants, and decrease exposure to scary viruses and bacteria.
The FDA and USDA allow factory farmers to use hormones to promote growth and milk production in their cattle. Two out of every three cattle raised for slaughter are treated with natural and synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone and other hormones linked to breast cancer and colon cancer in humans. These hormones cause a slew of problems and affect the entire food chain as they get passed on to humans that consume the animal product, the surrounding ecosystem including plants and fish soak up the hormones as well causing an imbalance in humans.
Due to the crowded nature of factory farms, livestock is literally standing in feet of its own fecal matter which is filled with bacteria and can cause widespread illness among the livestock. To combat this, factory farmers mix low dose antibiotics into the feed and water. 80% of all antibiotics in the US are sold to farmers for this purpose. Massive resistance to these antibiotics is a huge problem that could potentially extinct the human population (words for a different book). These are given to all livestock to prevent disease in these crowded and unsanitary conditions.
Factory farmers use toxic pesticides to ward off insects, kill weeds, and protect their financial investment. This is the same feed that is mixed with antibiotics and hormones to feed the livestock. We can usually wash most of this off our produce or not use it at all with organic produce, but animals absorb the pesticides in the food they eat, which ends up in your dinner.
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are environmental chemicals from industrial processes, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides that have soaked into the water supply and soil. These POPs accumulate and continue moving up the food chain to you. 89% of our POP intake comes from meat sources and dairy, including eggs and fish. Some POPs like dioxins, are Group 1 carcinogens, and cling to animal fats. Even low level exposure has been shown to increase the incidence of infertility, diabetes, learning disabilities, immune system suppression, and lung problems.
Finally, according to the USDA, 70% of foodborne illness in the US is from meat that is contaminated with bacteria like E.coli, listeria, and campylobacter. This is most likely due to these animals being fed food that is not meant to be digested in their intestines (grain versus grass). Due to poor slaughtering practices, intestinal contents (poop) splash across meat and contaminate it.
Aren’t you excited for all of the hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, pollutants, and bacteria that are on the plate of beef, chicken or pork waiting for your consumption?