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Concerns of Animal Feed Additive from Dr. Michael Fox

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  1. Ann*

    Must increase our profits. Must increase our profits.
    I would bet that this agribusiness is one of the largest employers of illegal alien laborers in the US and exploit them in addition to the animals.
    When China and Tyson Foods become the leaders in change, it must be really bad.

    1. Robin

      If it were not for the “illegal aliens” you would not have any food on your table nor wine to drink etc. Give thanks to those that do the hard jobs that most of us are not willing to do.

      1. Michelle

        What you posted has nothing to do with the article.

      2. Reader

        Here’s how we can tie the comments together. The motivation is about profit not quality or safety. When illegal aliens are employed then labor costs less for a company. That’s not fair to the worker. It’s not fair to the employment market. It’s very opportunistic to say that residents don’t want to do these kinds of jobs. But they do want to make a living wage. What happens is that residents (because they’re legal) get governmental support. Some people can make more on welfare than below minimum wage, especially when supporting children. Maybe these entities like Tyson and foreign markets ought to subscribe to fair market value, instead of cutting corners on their products and labor. It’s a matter of ethics and economics, and represents a large portion of the PFI’s mentality. Get it cheaper, do it cheaper, advertise a lot, and make more money!

        Not very fair, is it? That’s the point.

        1. Ann*

          Thanks Reader for applying logic instead of emotion to my comment and explaining more clearly how agribusiness is exploiting more than just the animal species in their greed for ever larger profits.

    2. Linda Leonard Hughes

      This is really bad! My husband and I are vegetarians and on a holiday we will eat turkey! Guess that will be stopped from now on! If all of our poultry and beef are pretty much contaminated with these chemicals and we home feed our Dogs, what do we feed them now? Tyson is not that easy to find anymore!! Where to we go from here? Susan, We need your input on this one???!!!! When is the Greed going to stop here in the USA? We are all sick and tired of it!! Susan— Please give us some tips on how to proceed?

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        I use Murray’s chicken and turkey – for all of us (people and pets). Murray’s are humanely raised and don’t contain all these additives. And they use electrolyzed water to rinse the birds instead of harsh chemicals. This company also has Non-GMO Project verified poultry (the birds are verified not to be fed GMO grains), but I can’t afford that (if you can, I encourage you to get that product). Unfortunately, it has come to we all have to investigate everything we eat. It’s time consuming and very often difficult to get answers. But…the alternative of not knowing could be costly. In some parts of the country there are co-ops you can join that provide meat and produce locally raised – you can know exactly where your food is coming from and know the farmers and their farming practices. I haven’t tried this – but I know many that do and they love it. There is no easy answer, sorry.

  2. Bethany Cortale

    Consumers can help ALL animals by simply not eating them and not demanding animal-based products like dairy and eggs. It’s quite disingenuous to say that we love animals when we continue to eat some of them. The pharmaceutical industry is bulking up animals in horrific ways to meet the demand for meat products. If consumers stopped demanding meat and dairy products, companies would find that doing “business as usual” is no longer lucrative or worth it. It’s really quite simple and basic economics: no demand, no supply. Further, there is no way to “sustainably” raise animals and “humane slaughter” doesn’t exist– it is a fallacy. If you believe animals matter morally, then don’t exploit them by condoning their being bred for consumption. The fact is that humans are natural herbivores and do very well on a plant-based diet. Which means that we torture and eat animals for mere pleasure and convenience, which makes our consumption of them that much more gratuitous and cruel.

    1. Reader

      Couple of things here, just to balance the discussion:

      First, no, humans nor dogs are “natural” herbivores. Hunting existed long before cultivated harvesting. Secondly, I eat minimal red meat, but the truth is, that for both species it contains REQUIRED key amino acids not sourced from alternatives.

      Thirdly, the key is to support humane animal treatment, periord. Animals are going to live and die. In between domesticated ones require support, and to that end, are a means of permission to do so. It’s human’s responsibility to follow natural food chain dependencies, and to stop waste! Before we talk about sustainability, let’s talk about efficiencies first. Is anybody aware of how much food is wasted in the United States, in the name of maintaining and inflating economies? In the olden days milk used to be dumped before surplus was allowed to dilute the marketplace and reduce prices! Milk used to be set at a fixed price. Supply & demand was controlled!!

      Fourthly, while the pharmaceutical industry puts profit above the welfare of its consumers, it is the corporate agri-business industry which dictates how to maximize profit. Bulking up animals & poultry has been a historical reality of the industry, and this newest method is just another (very alarming) extension of various practices.

      What people should support are local producers doing things correctly. And before we call out ordinary consumers doing the best they can only afford, or have access to, let’s remember that it has been the “Fast Food” industry which hyper propelled the meat and poultry companies into taking steps permitting mega-production. If you can, refer to FOOD, Inc. for even more awareness.

  3. Ellie

    Americans once depended on the local farm for their foods. I don’t know how many of you remember a few decades ago when family farms were going under all over the country but we now know that as families were losing the land that their ancestors had owned for over a hundred years big food companies were buying up all those farms. Now, for the most part, we buy our food from large chain grocery stores supplied by huge conglomerate meat and vegetable producers.
    Greed never gets satisfied so now they poison our foods in order to make greater profits AND the FDA, which was created to protect our food supply, helps them to do it.
    Do you hear about food additives in the news? Usually not, because big food companies are owned by corporations that also own many other companies and they are the ones that pay for the advertizing that runs media.

  4. Catherine Toth

    Our pets are carnivores, regardless of our personal choices. I must disagree with the strict vegetarian argument for humans as well, our bodies indicate that we are meant to be omnivores. We have characteristics of both carnivores and herbivores as this article indicates: .

    However, the premise of boycotting big agribusiness is still valid, both as human eaters and for our pets. Supporting local farmers who use sustainable farming practices, including feeding their animals what they were meant to eat could send a very powerful message. I do admit that to do so would be expensive in the beginning. My Thanksgiving turkey (about 20lbs) was almost $100. He is certified organic and only ate what a turkey is supposed to eat and lived out in the sun and grazed freely. Once more people start buying local organic, the prices should come down. My dogs are feed Honest Kitchen Preference as a base (organic dehydrated veggies) and then we rotate which meat we add, pork, beef or water buffalo. All grass fed and finished, from the same farmers we buy human food from.

    BUT, and this is a big one, I only have one kid and two dogs. I freely admit, with a bigger family this would quickly become a very expensive choice. One I shouldn’t have to be searching out and making…agribusiness should not be able to ruin our food supply. Unfortunately, until that time comes, I will buy through my farmers co-op and pay the prices they ask, because I have no other choice.

  5. Pat P.

    The fact that humans have the capability of eating a meat or plant diet, does not mean that they MUST eat meat. There are plenty of very healthy vegetarians and vegans–those that eat a variety of healthy foods and obtain sufficient calories throughout the course of the day.

    The fact is the more our population increases, the more demand for meat, the more ruthless Big Agra will be to satisfy that demand, with the help of Big Pharma, no matter what the cost to animals is. In addition, there is a lot of propaganda that asserts the need for humans to eat more and more protein–colluding with the USDA and FDA–at the same time denigrating those who refuse to eat animals. It is all about the money and greed.

    As for cats–they are obligate carnivores, and, therefore, need meat. Yet, their needs are not what is driving the demand for meat. Cat foods don’t, normally, have enough animal protein in them (except for some sold by raw food companies) and, certainly, not high quality ingredients. Even the plant protein is often just waste products and fillers.

    Only a lower demand for meat and public protest of poor quality, added toxins and horrific treatment of animals will change the course we are taking. Honest education is sorely lacking in how farm animals are treated. Unfortunately, many people don’t care to know, and even then, it wouldn’t make much difference to them–unless they knew how these drugs and cruelty affected them, personally.

    In addition, there is not enough emphasis on the importance of good nutrition, either from medical doctors or veterinary ones. I have had a great deal of experience with both. My vet, who claims to specialize in nutrition, knows very little about it. Her idea of good foods are the so-called pharmaceutical brands, like Royal Canin, Hills, Purina. She doesn’t even know what’s in them but makes a good profit, anyway. I have been looking for a good vet who really does know about nutrition and have had little success.

    1. Barbara

      Hello, Pat P., I understand your frustration with your veterinarian’s narrow view of animal nutrition and suggest you look for a holistic veterinarian. One place to start would be the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association — Their site offers a search option, “Find a Veterinarian.” You may select from various treatment modalities (such as acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy), but do not need to — just search using your location. I know it can be difficult to find holistic vets unless you’re near a large city; I drive over an hour to my holistic vet but it is well worth the trouble. She saved the lives of two of my dogs, through nutrition changes, identifying their food allergies, and with the support of Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and homeopathy. She was able to reverse the adverse effects of antibiotics and steroids and poor nutritional advice from my previous veterinarians, who were essentially killing my dogs. As for the cost of holistic veterinary care, I would say that it is a bargain when compared with western medicine. In fact, it has saved me thousands of dollars I would otherwise have spent on regular veterinary “care” and medicines. Best wishes to you!

  6. Cheri Fun Fellinger

    If China doesn’t want ractopamine-fed meats from the US tell them fine, as long as they stop sending us poison chicken! They don’t mention accepting drug laden horse meat from the US that is known to be toxic and highly dangerous to humans who ingest it.

    In the Chinese article that Michael Fox points us toward about ractopamine-fed pigs from the US, the Chinese author of the article describes Michael Fox as “a veterinarian and animal-rights activist”. If Mr. Fox truly is an animal-rights activist he would have the additional motive of wanting every country to stop breeding livestock altogether.

    I hope sometime soon we are able to get back to our nature and become self-sufficient, able to produce our own fish, meats and vegetables for ourselves, our extended family and our PETS. At least to barter what is needed from a neighbor. To make life simple again. I have the picture in my mind. Now to take it happen for me!

    1. Peter

      A person who advocates for reasonable treatment of animals is an “animal welfare advocate,” not an “animal rights activist.”

      The latter term is that used by hunting advocacy organizations, agribusiness conglomerates, and even government agencies to marginalize and ridicule those who draw attention to the issues.

      1. Cheri Fun Fellinger

        Thanks for schoolin’ it Peter. What would we call someone who acts out as MORE than an advocate? Not and activist but a? Need the input on what to call the dangerous ones that cause mayhem.

  7. Gitta

    As usual, it is not health concerns (of the consumer) that is pushing change. It is the threat of dwindling markets. Just as is the case with GMO grains. If the international market refuses drug tainted and genetically modified US goods – all of a sudden a seemingly impossible change can take place. If the FDA, if the government would have wanted those same changes in order to protect the consumer – there would have been industry outcry. We would have been bombarded with gazillion excuses why that was not possible. As usual, if the market threatens the profit, change can and does happen very quickly. Reason to be thankful to those countries, whether we like them or not.

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