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3 reasons why antibiotic use in animals could be harmful

Aug 29, 2014 | Animal welfare, Grass-fed meat, Organic meat

There are now more concerns than ever about the effects of eating meat laced with antibiotics – here are some reasons to consider switching to organic!

Arcadian angus steers

Conventional farms often rely on the use of antibiotics to encourage their animals to grow more quickly. However, there are several dangers of these chemicals – yet another case for choosing natural, organic lamb and beef!

Here are three reasons to avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics.

1. The growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria could be dangerous

The risks of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are increasing and the American Medical Association (AMA) is now calling for federal action to ban antibiotic use in food animals for growth purposes.

The more these medications are used, the more quickly resistance will happen, David Wallinga, a physician on the Keep Antibiotics Working steering committee told the Food Safety News on June 30.

“As much as 70 percent of the use in agriculture is unnecessary or overuse”
~ David Wallinga, physician, Keep Antibiotics Working steering committee

This means antibiotics may not work effectively anymore on both humans and animals, so once-treatable diseases cannot be cured any more.

“The AMA policy is a reflection of the increasing level of crisis that these doctors feel, but there’s still a disconnect in the general public at how serious a problem it is,” he added.

2. Antibiotics are not good for animal welfare

Not only is the use of antibiotics in food animals dangerous for their health, but it does not create a healthy environment for cattle.

Animals raised with a constantly low dose of antibiotics are often kept in close quarters and fed an unnatural diet.

Compare this to grass-fed beef production, where the animals are left to roam free grazing and foraging on open land.

These animals are healthier, which in turn creates more nutritious meat.

3. Antibiotic use has been linked to obesity

A nine-year study by France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research published in the international science journal nature found antibiotic use in livestock is linked to obesity.

This is because these antibiotics kill microorganisms in animals’ – and humans’ – guts.

Overall, obese people have a lower microbial diversity in their digestive tracts, and may be at higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

“Even lean people who are poor in bacterial species have a higher risk of developing these pathologies,” study author Dr S Dusko Ehrlich told NPR on August 28, 2013.

However, switching to a healthier diet and reducing the amount of antibiotics consumed may help you to grow healthier flora in your gut, making you much healthier overall.

Arcadian organic meat could be a great resource to include in your meal plans, free from unnecessary antibiotics.