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Maintenance – Are they really eating THAT?

I have been reading a book called MAD COWBOY by Howard F. Lyman.  He was the guy that was sued along with Oprah by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He has gone from Cowboy to Cattle Rancher to Vegetarian and he doesn’t mix words in his book.  He tells you straight-up what he thinks of meat.

“There are only two things wrong with meat: what we know for sure is in it, and all the other stuff that might be in it.”

I am not one of those people that has completely ruled out any food group completely.  Probably because I know there may be a time or a situation in my life where asking, “Are there eggs in this?” just might not flow with my overall desires for my life.  I am learning that I would much rather be defined by who I am (and how I make people feel) rather than by what I eat.

That said, there is something oddly refreshing about reading a no-nonsense, straight forward view on the meat we are consuming.  I thought I would share a blurb from the book:

“When a cow is slaughtered, about half of it by weight is not eaten by humans: the intestines and their contents, the head, hooves, and horns, as well as bones and blood.  These are dumped into giant grinders at rendering plants, as are the entire bodies of cows and other farm animals known to diseased.  Rendering is a $2.4-billion-a-year industry, processing forty billion ounds of dead animals a year.  Another staple of the render;s diet, in addition to farm animals, is euthanized pets – the six or seven million dogs and cats that are killed in animal shelters every year.  Added to the blend are the euthanized catch of animal control agencies, and roadkill.

When this gruesome mix is ground and steam-cooked, the lighter, fatty material floating to the top gets refined for use in such products as cosmetics, lubricants, soaps, candles, and into a brown powder – about a quarter of which consists of fecal material.  The powder is used as an additive to almost all pet food as well as to livestock feed.  Farmers call it ‘protein concentrates.’

In August of 1997, in response to the growing concern about Mad Cow disease, the FDA issued a new regulation that bans the feeding of ruminant protein (protein from cud-chewing animals) to ruminants; therefore, to the extent that the regulation is actually enforced, cattle are no longer quite the cannibals that we had made them into.  They are no longer eating solid parts of other cattle, or sheep, or goats.  They still munch, however, on ground-up dead horses, dogs, cats, pigs, chicken, and turkeys, as well as blood and fecal material of their own species and that of chickens.”

Okay, so I know that this is a bit graphic, but it certainly makes you stop and think.  I also highly suggest you watch the movie, “Food, Inc”. It is another eye-opener to where our food is coming from.  I get so angry when I find out truths that I never knew before.  Why didn’t I know?  Is there some sort of opposition keeping these truths from me?  I think my real desire is for people to just be informed of as much truth as possible and then they can do what they want with that information.  I wonder what would happen If we all just took one day to really think about where our food is coming from.  Would we make any changes?  I don’t know the answer to that, but my guess is that once we learned truth we couldn’t go back to pretending that we didn’t.

Source: WFM 1-10

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