Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cattle into Cannibals. The Real Issue with the Recent Case of Mad Cow Disease

By now, you are probably aware that a case of Mad Cow Disease was confirmed yesterday. The cow in question was discovered in California, and already it has set off a chain reaction of government pundits and food experts rushing in to say there isn’t a problem.

Well, yes and no. There have only been four cases of Mad Cow Disease ever found in the United States. However, what gets glossed over is how a common practice in conventional cattle management can contribute to the spread of this nasty disease. It’s one of the ugly truths that Big Dairy doesn’t want you to know about. If you’re squeamish, you may not want to read what I’m about to tell you.

It is common practice in the dairy industry to turn cattle into cannibals. That’s right, to turn a natural plant-eating animal into a cannibal. “Waste” product from slaughtered cows is routinely turned into “feed” that goes back to the livestock herd. In what I find to be the most appalling example, the blood from these slaughtered animals is sometimes dried and added back to the “replacer” milk for calves. You heard that right, young calves often drink blood.  And, it’s perfectly legal to allow this to happen, and it’s been going on for decades!

The following is taken directly from the FDA’s website. For those that don’t know “BSE” stands for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopath and is the scientific name for Mad Cow Disease. Here is the direct quote from the FDA website:

How was BSE spread?It is thought that BSE was spread via meat-and-bone meal fed to cattle. The practice of using this material as a source of protein in cattle feed has been common for several decades. In the late 1970s there was a change in the production (rendering) process used to make this meat and bone meal. One hypothesis has been that this change permitted the infectious agent of scrapie (a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, or TSE, of sheep) to survive the rendering process, and get transmitted to other animals, such as cows, that are fed meat-and-bone meal nutritional supplements. An inquiry by the British government has however, concluded that scrapie infected MBM was not the source of BSE nor was the change in the rendering practices responsible for survival of the BSE agent. Rather, this inquiry has stated that BSE may have originated spontaneously as a result of a genetic mutation and was amplified by the feeding of contaminated MBM to cattle

Please, please, please STOP supporting the producers who adhere to the practice of turning cattle into cannibals. Yes, the practice is unsafe, but more than that it’s inhumane.