#TheBeefPope

The exclusive control over a specific commodity has been illegal since the 19th century; however, now in the 21st century, large corporations have managed to cheat this regulation and take almost complete control over specific industries, specifically the meat industry. The ability for a small number of corporations to run an entire industry poses great threats to the consumers as the regulations the companies face are often minimal. Big businesses often lose sight of the people they are putting at harm as their main priority is their ability to maximize profit, at any cost. The majority of meat is produced and controlled by 2 or 3 different corporations, and although this is technically not a monopoly, the lack of different organizations increases their political control. In the meat industry, the way in which animals are slaughtered and produced, and in turn, the chemicals and harmful products that humans can consume is affected by the regulations that the government chooses to enforce on these large corporations.

Our knowledge of what is healthy for our bodies and what is not is continuing to change as more extensive and thorough research is done. One particular topic that has received a decent about of talk is meat and weather it is beneficial or overall harmful to consume. Roughly one out of six americans experience food borne sickness that results from inadequate food production or contamination. The large variety of diseases that humans can encounter after consuming meat products is nearly always due to the insufficient farming or production practices.

The vast majority of meat producers in the United States are represented by one of the three most powerful meat lobbying and trade organizations. This allows those large organizations a loud voice in politics, giving them the ability to loosen their regulations, but in turn can weaken the quality of meat. The regulations that have provided animals with the living conditions that farmers must meet is continuously scaling backwards, proving the animals with less and less humane conditions each year. Large quantities of animals are placed into extremely small living areas, a regulation that has been infringed on by the large meat production corporations each year. Farmers are permitted by the government to inject a series of hormones with the intended outcome that the mass of meat that the animal produces will be greatly increased and at a much quicker rate. These hormones pose threat to the animal itself as well as can harm the human consumer if not adequately butchered. This unnatural treatment not only can affect the health of the meat for the human who eats it, but it is also an injustice to the animal. There are a variety of illnesses that are proven to be associated with the ill production of meat, Mad Cow, E. coli, Salmonella, just to name a few.  In addition, many companies, such as Monsanto, have been sued for hiding the evidence which may prove that their products have indeed caused humans to develop infectious or cancerous diseases after consuming their meat products. Many of these meat companies attempt to justify the new trend of mass production with their claim that there is a higher demand for food with the human population growth accompanied with the climate change and how it is deferring the ability to properly produce food; however, these justifications appear false produced and act as a defense.

The majority of Americans are not provided with the complete and accurate knowledge of meats nutrients and substances, and its effects on the human body. Although some people place a greater desire than others to eat healthy and clean, it is nearly a universal hope that when consuming a food product, that it will seize to cause any direct harm. There are a variety of ways in which people attempt to protect the food that they eat. Some people take more precaution when and where they purchase their meat, some are particular in the way in which they wash their food, and for how long or how it is cooked, some only eat at higher recognized restaurants with the highest of health ratings, nonetheless, the variety of safety precautions one can take are endless. However, a more extreme approach seems to be growing in the United States in an attempt to avoid harmful meats, the vegetarian lifestyle. A vegetarian is someone, in essence, who does not eat meat. There are a variety of different dietary patterns that different vegetarians follow. Although not all vegetarians choose to be so simply for their lack of trust in the meat industry’s actions, it is certainly one of the primary reasons and appears to be why the meat-free lifestyle is so rapidly increasing.

I grew up always eating meat, without paying too close attention to where it came from or how it was produced or prepared. However, nearly two years ago, I encountered a parasite that had most likely entered my body through badly produced meat. I experienced a quite miserable few months due to this one encounter with meat that I had been unlucky with. Although it did not change my eating patterns too much, I certainly became more aware with what types of meat I consumed. Roughly a year after this incident, I began experiencing issues with my kidneys, infections and stones, to be more particular. Although not scientifically known as an animal borne illness, it was made apparent to me that I was more prone to the sickness and that eating some types of meat would not help to avoid the kidney stones and infections from reoccuring; so I was therefore told to try and limit my intake of most notably, red meats. Regardless of the traumatizing experience I had, I only made a very minimal change to my intake of a steak or piece of chicken at times. However, over time, as I began limiting my intake of these products, I soon realized how easy it would be for me to stop eating meat altogether — so i tried it. I have now been a vegetarian for roughly 6 months. Through researching the different views towards vegetarians, I have come to understand and appreciate both sides. Although I currently do not practice the meat- eating lifestyle, I understand others who do. My desire is not to stop people from eating meat, but to change the way in which it is done. It is important for people to understand the harmful diseases that are affecting more people each year and to recognize the need for the government to take a greater stand on how our meat is produced.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/politics/

http://www.health.state.mn.us/foodsafety/clean/xcontamination.html

http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/health-risks-meat-industry/

http://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/import/import_caf.html

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