(NaturalNews) A recent investigation into industrialized agriculture feeding practices has revealed some disturbing information of which many may not be aware. Commercial animal husbandry practices often involve feeding livestock mass amounts of animal waste, including chicken litter, which contains chicken feces, bedding, feathers, and other unknown residue.
Long before the days of industrialized agriculture, leftover table scraps and produce unfit to be sold were the type of waste products farmers fed to cows and other livestock, in addition to the grasses and other natural food they already ate. The waste of old was edible, nutritious and suitable for animals.
What passes for waste feed today is a far cry from what it once was, containing all sorts of inedible and often dangerous waste material. Besides the obvious vileness of feeding cows chicken excrement, chicken litter contains other dangerous materials like toxic heavy metals, antibiotics, the flesh and bones of dead cattle and even nails and small shards of glass.
According to the Consumers Union, the materials present in the chicken litter commonly fed to cows is responsible for helping to spread mad cow and other related human neurological diseases. It also encourages the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and exposes cattle to environmental and bacterial toxins.
Chicken litter works great as a soil fertilizer because it adds nitrogen, nutrients and other organic matter to soil. It has long been common practice to recycle it on nearby land.
However, today's massive chicken
factories produce a glut of litter that these factory farms do not know what to do with. Their solution has been to sell it to cattle feedlots, where cows consume up to two million tons of it every year.
Chicken litter is not the only disgusting waste product being fed to cows that millions of Americans end up eating as beef
. Feedlot operators are also feeding leftover waste products from corn-ethanol production. Such byproducts contain antibiotic residues and are implicated in prompting the proliferation of the E. coli virus.
The biodiesel industry has also jumped onboard, pedaling its primary waste
product, glycerin, to feedlots. Glycerin is typically refined and purified for use in cosmetics, but the kind sold to feedlots has not been purified. To put it more simply, commercial beef cows are being fed a crude waste product from biodiesel production.
Industrial meat production has become a horrific nightmare of epic proportions. The conscious public will do itself a favor and seek out wholesome, nutritious, pasture-raised and grass-fed meat from animals that are treated humanely.
Sources for this story include:http://www.grist.org/article/2010-02-16-more...