Over the last few decades, farming has changed dramatically. Human labor has mostly been replaced by machinery, and few farms still raise more than one type of animal. Factory-farms, where animals are raised in tight spaces, given drugs, injected with hormones, and raised on nutritionally-barren feed loaded with pesticides and herbicides have become the norm.
No wonder chronic illness is so widespread today – we are just not eating the same quality of food that we used to. Our bodies cannot cope with the additional toxic stress, and cannot rebuild themselves without the sufficient quality and quantity of nutritional elements.
At this point, perhaps two thirds of the world’s 70-million farm animals live in unspeakable conditions. As reported by Raymond Francis book “Never Be Sick Again” (2002), cattle are typically so malnourished and sick they require drugs just to keep them alive, ninety percent of commercial chickens have cancer at the time of slaughter, and pigs are fed a diet of recycled waste, filled with toxins, and more that 80% have pneumonia at their time of slaughter. According to one study, 65 percent of all hogs tested had pneumonia-like lesions on their lungs.
The first mega-dairy was built in California in 1994. Now there are 1,620 dairy farms in that state alone housing a total of 1.75 million cattle. In these industrialized dairy farms, cows are kept in confined spaces, surrounded by their own faeces, and milked using industrial methods. A typical dairy can contain up to 10,000 cows, creating as much waste as the population of Miami, and this stuff is really toxic! It leaks and contaminates water supplies.
When we disconnect ourselves from the land and disregard the welfare of the animals we consume we harm ourselves. In the old days animals were raised in a way that was harmonious with the environment because their waste products could be used as fertilizer for crops. Since we have separated the cultivation of plant foods from the raising of livestock we have turned one sustainable solution into two separate problems. On one hand we produce hazardous waste that is difficult to dispose of safely, and at the same time we come to depend upon chemical fertilizers for crops. We are taking sixty or more essential minerals out of the soil when we farm, and replacing them with three!
It’s no wonder everyone is so sick when this is what we’re feeding ourselves. Even according to official sources, like The New England Journal of Medicine, that 70% of disease is lifestyle related! The reality is it’s probably a lot higher than that.
We are told that modern farming methods have made food cheaper and more widely available, but we are only looking at one side of ledger. Healthcare spending in the USA is reaching $4 trillion a year! Part of the reason for this may be that when people eat food that is devoid of the nutritional elements they just get hungry again as the body searches for satiation. This would explain why our average calorie consumption increased from 2,880 in 1961, to over 3,600 today. We spend less, as a percentage of our incomes, on food than our grandparents did – but we’re buying more of it.
We need to get back in harmony with nature or we’ll just keep getting fatter and sicker until we die. Get back to the land. It may seem that high quality, organic produce from independent growers and grass-fed animals carry a higher price tag, but in the long run will they may save our health. Besides, more than money is at stake. No one wants to die a slow and painful death from an ever growing cascade of chronic diseases. It’s easy to dismiss concerns for the welfare of animals and the environment as “hippy dippy” stuff, but in the final account, it’s proven to be a self-inflicted wound.