Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 23 - Antibiotics

Antibiotics the "Miracle" Drug

Antibiotic resistance is an emerging threat that has accelerated in recent decades. The rise of the so-called "superbug" has struck fear in the heart of anyone who understands the consequences of over prescribed antibiotics.

Physicians, veterinarians, patients and their families all know the danger: 
Overuse antibiotics at the public's peril.

Still, that hasn't stopped the animal agriculture industry from feeding chickens, cattle, and pigs their daily dose of antibiotics. Aimed at promoting growth and preventing disease, the use of antibiotics in farm animals has been the magic formula to animal agriculture. Animals grow bigger and faster keeping them healthy enough to reap the benefits. For a farmer, it’s simple: Animals cost less when we pump them full of antibiotics to prevent diseases.
1. Up to 70% of U.S. antibiotics go to animals raised on industrial farms that aren’t sick, to offset crowding and poor sanitation. The practice promotes the development of deadly strains of drug-resistant bacteria that can spread to humans.
2. Food-borne bacteria are more dangerous because they are harder to treat and may require multiple antibiotic treatments, longer hospital stays and other treatments before finally being eliminated.
3. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cost the U.S. health care system an estimated $4 billion to $5 billion per year.
4. Each year 300,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths are caused by food contaminated by dangerous pathogens and bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli, which are increasingly becoming antibiotic resistant.
On the way to eating vegan, I stopped supporting the industrial farms and bought local pastured meat. Animals that were raised with compassion and without antibiotics or growth hormones. Every time you shop, purchase, and put food into your mouth you have a choice and a voice. 

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