The Effects Antibiotics Have on Human Health

The indoctrination of indulging in a diet that consists of a high amount of animal foods (milk, chicken, eggs, etc.) has been emphasized heavily throughout American culture. However, what if I told you that these animal foods are doing more harm to your body than good? Animals that are brought to slaughterhouses are malnourished and often injected with antibiotics that can be harmful to the human body. These antibiotics are used to make animals grow faster (often times even growing too large for their legs to support their own bodies) and keep them alive in the harsh conditions in which they endure. Disregarding the fact that this process is completely immoral, why would anyone want to eat these animals after being educated on the conditions that they are forced to live in and how they are injected with harmful antibiotics that can cause serious health issues?

 

Meat is becoming more and more unhealthy and a large population of people are becoming sick from it. Could it be because of these harmful chemicals that are injected into these animals? In particular, individuals who are not used to eating animal products will have a more severe reaction to indulging in these foods. According to consumersunion.org, Food protein-induced entercolitis syndrome (FPIES) is “a severe gastrointestinal reaction that occurs two to six hours after consuming milk, soy, certain grains, and other solid foods.” It is said that this symptom often occurs with young infants who have not eaten this type of food before. Cow milk is a prime example. Many infants have an allergic reaction to cow’s milk, especially in the first three years of their life. There is a solid case that this is no coincidence. If a human being has a negative reaction to a particular food in thousands of different cases, don’t you think that is saying something?

So you might be thinking, “what does the consumption of cow milk by infants have to do with my health risks?” To answer that question, the Center for Disease Control has conveniently stated, “Antibiotic resistant- bacteria now affects 2 million Americans each year and results in 23,000 deaths.” The CDC estimates that by 2050 antibiotic resistant-bacteria will have killed 10 million people worldwide.” Let this information sink in. Bacteria that are supposedly “killed off” by antibiotics are capable of adapting to these injections. So not only are antibiotics causing animals to grow into an obese size at an alarming rate, they are not even solving a problem that they are actually intended for in the first place: killing harmful bacteria.

Just in case this information has not convinced you of the problem at hand, there was a study that was conducted by a group of scientists in Australia. After conducting extensive research, the group found that “giving antibiotics to children prevents the normal growth and development of ‘good’ bacteria found in the digestive tract (the gut.)” It was also said that this “good” bacteria was crucial for maintaining a healthy digestive system and overall health. Basically, it has been discovered that antibiotics are killing off good bacteria and not preventing harmful bacteria from being present like it should. What kind of sense does that make? Overall, it is safe to say that injecting antibiotics into animals is harmful for all involved: the animals themselves, the conscience of the scientists injecting the animals, as well as the consumers who are eating the animals.

As tragic as this information is, there is still time for change. If you follow a standard American diet and have been considering changing the way you eat, it is never too late to do so. A good place to start would be to cut out dairy products. It might be hard to do this, considering that milk-based products have been advertised as a crucial part of one’s everyday diet. Despite this difficulty, it is necessary due to the health risks that it can cause. As that becomes routine, start cutting an animal product out of your diet in intervals. Every week, choose an animal food to eliminate until your diet is completely plant-based. Setting goals like this is crucial to developing a healthy way of living. Progressively moving to a healthy vegan lifestyle will lead to many positive changes in your life.

Sources

Cox, David. “Superbugs Are on Track to Kill 10 Million People by 2050 If Things Don’t Change-Fast.” Quartz, Quartz, 12 Apr. 2016, qz.com/657514/superbugs-could-kill-10-million-people-by-2050-if-a-lot-of-things-dont-change-fast/.

“Food Allergy.” ACAAI Public Website, acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergy.

Merab, Elizabeth. “CHILD HEALTH: Use of Antibiotics Linked Autoimmune Diseases.” Daily Nation, Daily Nation, 24 Apr. 2017, www.nation.co.ke/health/Use-of-antibiotics-linked-autoimmune-diseases/3476990-3902250-4aym81/index.html.

“The Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animals Threatens Public Health.” Consumers Union, 7 May 2013, consumersunion.org/news/the-overuse-of-antibiotics-in-food-animals-threatens-public-health-2/.

Walsh, F. (2014). Superbugs to kill ‘more than cancer’ by 2050. BBC. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30416844

By Andrew Ivory, Ramapo College Intern to Karen Ranzi, M.A.

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