Sunday, July 3, 2011

Antibiotics & Factory Farming--A bitter rant

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Antibiotics are a funny thing and recently I had an opportunity to get up-close and personal with them. You see, in the last few weeks my household has suffered from strep throat, a sinus infection, flu-like symptoms, and the good ol' common cold--this is summer right? Wait, let me check.....yep, 90 degrees and a thunderstorm's summer......but I digress.

While each of us suffered in our own special way we met with our local family physician on more than one occasion. The funny part is how quick and easy antibiotics are prescribed and no one so much as bats an eye. We walked in, the doc took one look at my daughter's throat (the instigator of all this or was it my husband? Who cares! I feel like crap.) and said, "Oh yeah, I'll get you fixed up with some antibiotics for that throat. Be back in just a few minutes." That was that. A nurse swabbed my daughter's throat for verification and Presto! antibiotics in hand and we are out the door. Same scenario for each of us. We walk in feeling like we came out the back side of a bean burrito eating fool and we walk out with a hand full of antibiotics and no one seems to care.

Moral of the story is: 'Tis better to treat our symptoms to minimize suffering but let the sick little piggies die a miserable unnecessary death.

Does anyone else have a problem with this moral? Because I feel like I'm all alone in questioning this one.

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 Why is it okay to treat ourselves with antibiotics when we are sick and suffering but it is a fowl misguided act to provide proper medical care to our livestock? I have seen so many fingers pointed at the pork industry because we use antibiotics on the pigs. Here is the kicker folks. We also raise ABF pigs--that is Antibiotic-Free pigs for all you laymen out there--and it is a sad, sad thing to see.

I remember this one group of pigs that came in and they were doing well until a few of them got sick. Nothing we could do so we segregated the sick ones to the sick pin and hoped for the best. But they are like kids in a daycare; when one gets sick, they all get sick. It was such a simple sickness, too. I believe they had nothing more than a cough but it has been some time and I have the memory of an Alzheimer's patient. It could have been easily cured, they could have been better in a matter of a few days. Instead, because they were ABF pigs our hands were tied.

We had to watch them slowly die of a curable illness. Let me tell you, nothing is more irritating, nauseating, and down right upsetting than watching a creature slowly and miserably die when you hold the cure in your hand but some group of people which have never farmed nor seen beyond city limits says it is more humane to refuse them antibiotics. Yeah, right!

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To all the animal rights groups and their supporters my point is this, next time you are feeling sick and miserable, remember, it is more humane to go without antibiotics. Next time you are feeling like a puddle of sweaty flesh and want to slip into the A/C, remember, it is more humane to suffer in the heat. Next time you are feeling like Jack Frost literally nipped your nose blum off your face, remember, it is more humane to freeze to death than to have heating. Finally, remember, it is more humane to go without proper vaccinations so when your child dies of measles, you did the right thing by not treating them. After all, we must treat people and animals equally so it was better your little one died because that is what happens to our pigs when we are forced to raise them antibiotic-free.

**Insert bitter sarcasm here**

Thanks Mercy For Animals. Thanks Humane Society of the United States. Thanks People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Thanks all you misguided fools that support these groups and the like. You have really helped bring awareness to the abuse of livestock. We farmers and ranchers should know better than to give our livestock heating in the winter, cool air in the summer, and proper medical treatment. What were we thinking!? Thank you. You have all helped a heap. When animals have friends like you, who needs natural predators in the wild?

I've had a rough few weeks....does it show?


  1. Hey Jo,

    My name is Jess and I work for the Ohio Pork Producers Council. I found your blog and have enjoyed reading your posts! It's encouraging to hear fellow ag person's positive take on the pork/hog industry! I loved this post and look forward to reading more of your blogs!


  2. Thanks Jess...Sometimes I get a little carried away but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    I LOVE!!! I played Pork or Dork and I ranked Top Boar...naturally. :o) What a great site. I'd love to talk to you more about the interactive aspect of porktastic.

  3. Jo,

    I'm glad you liked our site! We'll absolutely have to talk more! I'm glad you found Pork or Dork and certainly not surprised you ranked Top Boar! Lol. We actually hired a company to help us with the interacted portion of the site, so I might not be able to help with that a whole lot. We'll have to chat though... We seem to have very similar views and I'm sure I'll end up linking to some of your posts!