Before discussing eating humanely, there are other important factors to consider when buying animal products.

 

One of the biggest problems we face in our supermarkets is the use of misleading labels.

 

Animal products are often labeled with pictures of happy animals grazing in a beautiful field. Some labels actually even tell you that they have happy animals.

 

These tactics are used to convince you that the animal in the package lived a beautiful and stress-free life.

 

Many companies also use made-up phrases to get you to pay more for what is essentially factory farmed, low quality meat.

 

Here are some common examples of mislabeling:

 

  • Natural – This means that a product does not contain artificial color, preservatives or artificial ingredients. “Natural” has nothing to do with how the animal was raised. A product labeled as such could be treated with hormones, antibiotics and fed GMO feed.

 

  • Naturally Raised – This requires that the animal not be given antibiotics, hormones, or food containing animal by-products. There are no requirements regarding the care and welfare of the animal.
     

  • Raised Without Added Hormones – When you see this on a pork or poultry product, it is just a gimmick to get you to spend more money. Federal law prohibits the use of hormones on pigs and poultry.

 

  • Antibiotic-Free – This term is not approved by the USDA and means nothing. Products with this label could have been treated with antibiotics.

 

  • Vegetarian Fed – This claim simply means that the feed contained no animal by-products, and it was most likely made of GMO corn and grains. This label has no relevance to the welfare of the animal.

 

  • Sustainable – An investigation by the Animal Welfare Institute revealed that 80% of the companies investigated using this term were not in fact operating sustainably. “Sustainably farmed” is a claim that is not verified by the USDA.

Animals used for food, eating animals, ethics of eating meat, meatless Monday, factory farming
Animals used for food, eating animals, ethics of eating meat, meatless Monday, factory farming

It is very important to know before you buy animal products whether or not antibiotics and growth hormones were used, and if the animal was fed genetically modified feed.

 

Buying USDA organically certified products ensures that none of these methods were used.

 

According to the USDA’s website, organically certified products:

 

  • Preserve natural resources and biodiversity

  • Support animal health and welfare

  • Provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviors

  • Only use approved materials

  • Do not use genetically modified ingredients

  • Receive annual onsite inspections

  • Separate organic food from non-organic food
     

Unfortunately, the USDA’s claim that animal welfare is part of organic certification is not upheld or entirely true.

 

These animals are at least treated much better than factory farmed animals.

 

The good news is that for the most part, the other claims are true.

 

 

Animals used for food, eating animals, ethics of eating meat, meatless Monday, factory farming

Buying organic-certified will insure that the following ingredients are avoided:

 

  • Antibiotics

    In the US, around 29 million pounds of antibiotics are given to livestock; accounting for 80% percent of the total antibiotic use in the country. 

    Antibiotics are used to prevent the spread of disease, and to speed livestock growth. The problem with this high level of antibiotic use is that it creates resistant strains of bacteria.

    If we continue to use antibiotics on livestock, diseases that were once treatable will no longer have a cure.

    While organically certified animals are allowed antibiotics when they are sick, the use of antibiotics is minimal compared to the amount used on factory-farmed animals.

 

  • Growth Hormones

    Around 80 percent of all US feedlot cattle are injected with hormones.

    These hormones are used to promote higher milk production or unnaturally, fast-maturing animals for meat.

    Growth hormones have been given to cattle in the US for over 50 years, yet research on their affect on humans is almost non-existent. It is inconclusive whether or not growth hormones in meat and dairy can increase health risks.

    Growth hormones given to dairy cows cause udder infections that are treated with antibiotics. The use of growth hormones is a huge contributor to antibiotic resistance.

    Buying certified-organic animal products ensures that no growth hormones were used.    

 

Animals used for food, eating animals, ethics of eating meat, meatless Monday, factory farming

 

 

  • GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)

    A GMO is a plant or animal created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology. It merges the DNA of different species, creating something that would not occur in nature.

    Some examples of GMOs are

     

  • Salmon genetically modified to grow at twice the normal rate.

  • Goats injected with spider genes to produce milk proteins stronger than Kevlar.

  • Strawberries and tomatoes injected with fish genes to prevent them from freezing.

  • Rice crossed with actual human genes to be used in the development of pharmaceuticals (God is probably particularly displeased with this last one).

    The biggest concern when eating animal products is whether or not the animal was fed GMO feed

    A study of livestock fed Monsanto’s genetically modified corn and soy feed revealed severe stomach inflammation, brittle bones, liver abscesses, udder infections and self-cannibalizing.

    According to The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), “several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified foods."

    These health risks include:

 

  • Infertility

  • Lung damage

  • Cancer

  • Immune Impairment

  • Vitamin Deficient

  • Premature Aging

  • Damaged Insulin Regulation

  • Liver, Kidney, Heart and Spleen Dysfunction

  • Higher Rate of Mortality

    These studies are cause for concern, because some of the symptoms observed in these animals are prevalent health problems among humans today. 


    Just about everything that you eat, from an apple to crackers, is genetically modified (If it isn’t labeled organic or non-GMO).

    The USDA does not require that GMO products come with warning labels.


     

Buying organic animal products ensures that the animals were fed organic, non GMO diets.


When you eat animals that were given GMO feed you absorb the GMOs that the animal ate; the same way you absorb mercury from eating a fish with high mercury levels.

Whenever possible, always buy organic foods. This is really scary stuff and the effects of GMOs on humans are not yet understood.

 

It is also important to remember that GMO crops are treated with chemical pesticides and herbicides.

 

Monsanto's initially claimed that their Roundup herbicide was "environmental friendly" and biodegradable."

 

An article by Dr. Mercola explains that the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, has been found to cause and worsen the following chronic diseases and conditions:

 

  • Autism

  • Gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, colitis and Crohn's disease

  • Obesity

  • Allergies

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Depression

  • Cancer

  • Infertility

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • ALS

 

Glyphosate cannot be washed off, it is penetrated in the food that you eat. The only way to avoid eating it is by buying Organically certified foods.

 

In 2012 I went home to Arizona to bury my Mother when she lost her ten year battle with cancer.

 

When I opened her freezer, I found it full of frozen Lean Cuisine dinners. These products (even the ones that claim to be 100% all natural) are full of GMO ingredients.

 

While I am not claiming that Lean Cuisine gave my Mother cancer, I wholeheartedly believe that GMOs cause cancer, and a slew of other serious health problems and that they worsen pre-exisiting conditions.

 

From that point on, I made a choice to know exactly what I was eating.  

 

People like to defend the high-price of eating organic with the phrase, “cancer is expensive”, but I prefer to remind people that you can’t put a price on your health.

 

1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us that "our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.” We have a responsibility to ourselves and to The Lord to know what we are putting into our bodies.


For more information on GMOs check out:

http://www.nongmoproject.org/

Animals used for food, eating animals, ethics of eating meat, meatless Monday, factory farming
Animals used for food, eating animals, ethics of eating meat, meatless Monday, factory farming
Animals used for food, eating animals, ethics of eating meat, meatless Monday, factory farming
Animals used for food, eating animals, ethics of eating meat, meatless Monday, factory farming

Label Confusion and GMOs