Beef: wild cows to mad cows, living animal to processed food A presentation by Christina Newman - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Beef: wild cows to mad cows, living animal to processed food A presentation by Christina Newman


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Title: Beef: wild cows to mad cows, living animal to processed food A presentation by Christina Newman

Beef wild cows to mad cows, living animal to
processed foodA presentation by Christina Newman
A History of Cattle
The Domestication Process
  • Cows were first domesticated as far back as the
    4th millennia, B.C.
  • Three steps
  • Feeding
  • Taming
  • Domestication creating a species dependent on
  • Five Stages of Domestication
  • Close Proximity with Free Breeding
  • Breeding in Captivity
  • Selective breeding for characteristics such as
    size and docility
  • Selective breeding for economic traits, such as
    coloring or the quality of meat and milk.
  • Extermination of wild counterparts.

The Ethics of Domestication
  • Frederick Zeuner, author of A History of
    Domesticated Animals suggests that
  • The very nature of Domestication is exploitive
  • We have taken independent animals and made them
    dependent on mankind
  • We have thus destroyed the very purpose of
  • We have commodified what does not belong to us.

A North American History
  • Christopher Columbus brought the first long horn
    cattle from Spain to North America in 1493.
  • Cattle migrated south to Mexico
  • Cattle driving became common during the Civil
  • The cattle industry was beneficial to purchasers
    of cattle, because the land in the west was
    unclaimed, and therefore free.
  • This gave jobs to cowboys, who drove cattle up
    North to their new owners.

Hazards of a Cattle Drive
  • Cowboys needed to be skilled horsemen.
  • Driving a herd of cattle from Texas to Wyoming or
    Colorado took many months, and sometimes up to
    two years.
  • Many cattle were lost during the drive
  • Stampedes, caused by cows being spooked, could
    kill up to twenty cows
  • Blizzards killed large percentages of herds.
  • Many cattle wandered away and got lost.
  • In the mid 1880s, many made a switch to
    transporting cattle by train.

Changes across the Land
  • The land in the west was once not owned. Cattle
    owners could use the land as they pleased.
  • The Homestead Act sectioned off the land and
    limited how much could be used per farmer.
  • Stockgrowers Associations became more common with
    privately owned land. For a fee, these
  • Protected farmers legal rights against thievery
  • Kept brand books
  • Provided help rounding up cattle

  • States were divided into Round-Up Districts
  • Two Round-Ups took place every year
  • Spring branded calves
  • Fall rounded up beeves for market
  • Foreman, Inspectors, Commissioners, and Cowboys
    were hired by the Stockgrowers Association
  • Rounded up cattle were sent in trains to

Meat Production
  • From the Field to Your Plate

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Where Have All the Cattle Gone?
  • Factory farming has largely replaced free range
  • In the name of efficiency, cows have been removed
    from their natural environments and natural
    diets, and are put into CAFOs so they can be
  • Faster!
  • Fatter!
  • Bigger!
  • Cheaper!

  • Once cows reach 400-800 pounds they are brought
    to feed lots.
  • Cows here gain 2 pounds every day
  • CAFOs can go through 1 million pounds of corn
    every day.
  • These cows consume 16 pounds of corn and soy feed
    for every pound of meat that we eat
  • One acre of corn used to feed these cows requires
    50 gallons of oil and 100 pounds of fertilizer.

An Unnatural Diet
  • To make cows grow even faster, grain has many
  • Hormones
  • Protein supplements
  • Extra fat
  • Veterinarians speculate that a cow could only
    survive about 5 months on this diet without
    having severe health problems. Fortunately for
    the cow, perhaps, we slaughter them first.

Other Negative Effects
  • Environmental
  • The manure from these CAFOs is so toxic that it
    cannot be used for manure.
  • Overuse of Antibiotics
  • Antibiotics should NOT be used to simply make
    cows stronger potentially incredibly dangerous
  • Loss of Small Cattle Farms
  • 84 of industry is controlled by 4 corporations

Butchers to Slaughter Halls
  • Butchers once killed animals on the streets
  • In the late 1700s, regulations were put in place
    to move slaughtering to distant locations
  • Making slaughterhouses invisible made it
    difficult to monitor conditions
  • Secret nature of the killings seemed to make
    people feel less guilt about eating animals.
  • Information on slaughterhouses became
    increasingly scarce.

A Change in Imagery
The Disassembly Line
  • Stunned at the door by a Knocker
  • Hung upside down by chains
  • Bled by the Sticker who slits its throat
  • Flayed
  • Eviscerated and gutted
  • Sawed in half
  • Weighed.
  • The Line is Never Stopped.

Stunning Cows Too Dead
  • If the cow is not knocked out properly, it
    affects the whole line.
  • Reports have been made that at many slaughter
    halls, cows are not knocked out properly before
    entering the halls.
  • Live cows can kick and injure workers or run
    through the halls causing chaos. Many cows are
    still conscious while being skinned.
  • Officials claim that stunning the cows with any
    higher a voltage will kill them too dead.

USDA Approved?
  • The SIS (Streamlined Inspection System) method
    gives no power to USDA inspectors.
  • Inspectors who have attempted to stop the line
    have been reprimanded, reassigned, physically
    attacked by plant employees and then disciplined
    for being in fights, had performance appraisals
    lowered, been placed under criminal
    investigation, fired, or been subject to other
    forms of retaliation that were necessary to
    neutralize them
  • -Tom Devine of the
  • Government Accountability Project

Infected Meat
  • One percent (at the very least) of cows are
    infected with E. coli 0157H7
  • This means that in the average slaughter house,
    every hour, at 3 to 4 infected cows are
  • One burger can contain meat from up to hundreds
    of cows.
  • One speck of feces can contaminate 32,000
  • One speck of feces can contain millions of
    microbes of E. coli 0157H7
  • One to ten microbes of E. coli 0157H7 can kill a
  • Quality control workers overlook entire smears of
    feces on meat
  • About 20 of the stomachs gutted from a cow spill
    into the meat

Disanimalizing and Deskilling
  • A butcher once used skill to flower the meat,
    making it aesthetically pleasing for the
  • This disanimalization still takes place, but
    the focus is on taking away animal
  • A profession once reserved for craftsmen has
    become a dangerous factory job that exploits
    unskilled laborers.
  • Many workers are illegal aliens, and have no
    legal rights. Injuries of these workers go
  • Even without these unreported cases, one third of
    slaughterhouse workers are injured at some point.

Distribution of Beef
  • Much of the meat travels to other locations for
    further processing, to be put in frozen dinners,
    or mixed with other ingredients.
  • McDonalds is the number one purchaser of beef in
  • One in three children eat fast food every day
  • Fast food is a large part of our culture
  • The health of the nation comes second to the
    profiting of large corporations.

Beef in Supermarkets
  • Despite the fact that only one third of one
    percent of meat in industrial slaughterhouses is
    actually inspected, 100 comes away with a USDA
    stamp of approval.
  • There is no law that requires special labeling
    for cloned cows, or cows that are fed genetically
    modified food or hormones.
  • Much meat in supermarkets is barely recognizable.
  • Do you know whats in bologna?

The Greasy Centerpiece on our Plate
  • While meat used to supplement a meal, Americans
    have a diet centered around meat.
  • Americans are taught that we need our protein,
    and are scared to develop a protein deficiency or
  • 1 portion of ground beef 263.7 calories, 22
    grams fat
  • 1 portion of red kidney beans 108.8 calories,
    0.4 grams fat

Only the Wealthy can Afford to Eat like Peasants
  • Free range and organic meat, which was once
    common, is now too expensive for many consumers.
  • Making the most healthy meat more expensive is a
    form of classism.

E. coli 0157H7
  • E. coli 0157 is a bacteria that eats away at the
  • In the intestines it only causes cramping and
    diarrhea, but in the bloodstream it becomes a
    deadly disease, Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
  • HUS kills 5 of children affected by it.
  • This death is excruciatingly painful, and can
    last days or weeks.

Sustainable Alternatives
  • It Doesnt Have to Be This Way

Polyface Farms
  • Joe Salatin is a grass farmer
  • Raises cows, sheep, pigs, among other animals on
    a grass diet
  • Only sells locally
  • Rotational Grazing keeps the grass fertilized and
  • Hundreds of species of grass flourish on his

A Community Based Industry
  • Every step of the system can be made healthier by
    keeping the industry local
  • Raising cattle
  • Less infections with natural diet.
  • No need for pesticides or fertilizers for their
  • Slaughter houses
  • More accountability if workers know who will eat
    the meat
  • Quality matters, not just profit

Power to the People
  • Consumers do have power, and vote with their
  • Vote for local meat!
  • Publicize ethical issues surrounding the meat
    industry, and people will be more likely to act.
  • The real power of the American consumer has not
    yet been unleashed.
  • Eric Schlosser
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