From Green Zabiha:
Cows: Cows are fed grass, right? You would be correct in thinking that, after all they were created to eat mainly grass, but in modern factory farming that is not a viable (read: profitable) option. So no grass, instead they are fed grain, which their body has a difficult time digesting, so much so that many are in a perpetual state of disease which is why we need to pump antibiotics into them to keep them alive. If that was all it’d be bad enough, but that is just the beginning.
Grain isn’t exactly cheap, and in an effort to find ways to feed animals more calories cheaply, Factory farms turned to protein rendering. Rendering takes meat scraps and waste products (carcasses, bones, fat, entrails, organs etc.) and through a process ‘renders’ it into liquefied edible protein.
So, back to our cows. The government allows cow feed to include
- cow fat (!)
- blood (!)
- poultry and
- horse to name a few things
Chicken: When I asked the Controlling Officer what the restrictions were on chicken feed, he chuckled and said ‘I don’t know of any real restrictions for poultry feed’. You can feed them ground up chicken, pork, beef, whatever. He mentioned in his State ‘we have large poultry processor and their chicken waste goes to rendering plant and most goes back to the processer for feeding the chickens’. So in the case of cows, we’ve turned a ruminate (grass feeder) into a meat eater, and the chicken into a cannibal (though the cow does get to eat cow fat). He did mentioned there were ‘only’ 9 or 10 drugs that can be given to poultry used for meat, and 3 for egg producing hens. And there is supposed to be a drug ‘withdrawal’ period, the poultry should be off the drugs for a time before going to slaughter. Who knows if that happens, probably hard to even detect or enforce.
Alhamdulilah, we’re blessed here in the twin cities to have Holy Land Grocery that sells meat that is vegetarian fed. It isn’t organic and probably still comes from a quasi factory farm, but at least it isn’t pork fed.