Antibiotics were previously used to treat ailments in humans but the latest advancements in medicine has shifted their use to focus on animals especially poultry and livestock. They are employed to induce the cows to eat more thus add mass body faster. However antibiotics can be used to treat ailing cows by injecting them or by giving them orally.
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This means that beef cattle mature faster than usual and thus the beef market is flooded which causes the cost of beef to go down. This trend favors the farmers but the long term use of these drugs can cause problems to humans. This is because the cows mature faster and the residues of antibiotics are least likely to have been exhausted by the time they reach the slaughter house.
These residues bring the same results for humans and that’s why there are so many people in America who are obese compared to other countries that don’t use chemicals to induce growth of animals. People from other continents such as Africa argue that fast food joints in America serve beef and chicken in big portions which causes people to eat more junk food. But the issue here is not about junk food but the nutritional value of beef.
When people eat such beef they add weight which makes them prone to diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. Additionally when these antibiotics are given to animals they may transfer deadly bacteria to humans during their consumption. These bacteria are perceived to be very strong hence they can not be treated with the usual antibiotics. That’s why medical experts are against the use of antibiotics in animals.
Farmers are being blamed for the emergence of these bacteria because they are thought to have used these antibiotics for the wrong purpose. Initially antibiotics were used to treat diseases in animals but nowadays farmers are giving this medicine to their farm animals even when they are not sick because their aim is to sell cows within the shortest period possible.
Farmers on the other hand value these medicines because if the growth of beef cattle was slow they would incur more losses because they would spend more money to buy food for their animals thus inputs would be more than the expected outputs. They also argue that more animals would die because of diseases due to overcrowding hence antibiotics improves cattle’s immunity system.
In fact most people are going for organic foods because they don’t have any chemical compounds. Most general practitioners are advising their patients to avoid red meat because it has large volumes of cholesterol.
Some countries have declared the use of antibiotics in livestock illegal and reports from such states including Europe imply that the existence of drug resistant bacteria has reduced. Although farmers may win this battle they are bound to lose in the future because more people are avoiding beef and are going for alternative sources of protein such as fish and beans.
Most consumers are not well informed when purchasing beef products because most people have this perception that the huge an animal is the healthier it is which is very wrong. This attitude is not applied in this industry alone but also when people are buying vegetables. They go for the bigger ones because they assume they are the most nutritious but what they don’t know is that they have been induced by chemicals because the producers know that consumers judge products by their size.