by learningtheflowers

Power Steer

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“Yet the factory metaphor obscures as much as it reveals about the creature that stood before me. For this steer was not a machine in a factory but an animal in a web of relationships that link him to certain other animals, plants and microbes, as well as to the earth. And one of those other animals is us. The unnaturally rich diet of corn that has compromised No. 534’s health is fattening his flesh in a way that in turn may compromise the health of the humans who will eat him. The antibiotics he’s consuming with his corn were at that very moment selecting, in his gut and wherever else in the environment they wind up, for bacteria that could someday infect us and resist the drugs we depend on. We inhabit the same microbial ecosystem as the animals we eat, and whatever happens to it also happens to us.”

“So much comes back to corn, this cheap feed that turns out in so many ways to be not cheap at all…[Its price] doesn’t take into account, for example, the cost to the public health of antibiotic resistance or food poisoning by E. coli or all the environmental costs associated with industrial corn.”

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