There’s a rising trend among fast food companies to advertise their meat as raised without antibiotics.
This change comes from concern by consumers about what antibiotics are doing to humans:
- When you eat an animal that’s been injected with antibiotics, the antibiotics enter your body, killing off some — but not all — of the bacteria in your body. The bacteria that does survives is super strong and antibiotic-resistant. If you ever do get sick, the medicine you’re given won’t have an effect on this super bacteria.
- If most people in the world are in this situation, you can imagine how one person’s sickness can spread really fast and oh snap, suddenly we have a pandemic.
And I don’t mean this fun board game.
I mean something like the flu pandemic that killed 3-5% of the world’s population.
Why do we give antibiotics to farm animals anyway?
- Farmers crowd animals together as much as they can to maximize the amount space they have. When you jam a bunch of animals closely together, especially when they’re all living in each other’s excrement AND they’re genetically the same, diseases can spread really quickly.
- They make animals grow faster, increasing the production rate of meat.
You can read more about this topic in the WHO antibiotic resistance fact sheet, but here are some particularly scary key insights from it:
Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health today. It can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.
A growing number of infections—such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhoea—are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.