“The world is groaning under the mass-production of meat, there are food scandals symptoms of’

Doctor and writer Staff Henderickx outlines the scandal around Veviba in a wider framework. “In the past made shocking disasters provoked by the old system for large, systemic reform. On those turning points in history, all forces join in the struggle for a nature-, animal – and human-friendly life.”

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Today we speak of food and production, no longer of the slaughter of cows and pigs. Meat has become a product like any other. How did it come and what are the consequences?

The slaughterhouse of Beelzebub

From the beginning of the 20th century, rising meat production is spectacular. The question is not does the supply increase, in her quest to profitable markets creates the meat industry that high offer itself. Our story begins here.

In the beginning of the twentieth century, the aggressive colonization of the fertile plains in the usa and Australia, for a tree of the agriculture and animal husbandry. After the indians and the bison from North America, driven out or killed, hundreds of thousands of langhoornkoeien their place in. Cowboys guiding huge herds to the slaughterhouses in Chicago and Kansas City. Investors pumping money in this promising business. The business thrive and the sector is exploding. The bred cows are getting fatter and bigger. In 1906, describes Upton Sinclair in his book The Jungle the abuses in the meat packing factories of Chicago. An excerpt:

“It was like the smoke of the slaughterhouses from the hell of the earth. Twenty thousand koeienhoofden loeiden. Swarms of flying colored the sky black. The slaughterhouse of Beelzebub. (…) The products are sold worldwide to all countries and they supply food to not less than thirty million people! (…) Together with the floor sweepings end up dead rats in the mill. There are still some things that are in the sausages to be rotated with a toxic rat a piece of candy.”

The book stores like a bomb and in the same year the Pure Food and Drug Act voted, the first federal law that supervision provides the quality of food and medicines. Only after the recent dioxin crisis, Belgium will be a food startup.

Of livestock to meat production

But nothing can stop the rise of this unscrupulous industry. The stranglehold of the processing industry, the distribution and the grootwarenhuisketens is further increased so that almost only industrial farms to their requirements in terms of quantity, quality and price can meet. With a minimum investment and maximum profit will be tons of eggs, dairy products and meat is ‘produced’ in fabrieksboerderijen.


The world is groaning under the mass-production of meat and there are the constant food scandals symptoms of

That industrial meat production threatens not only our health but also the environment. The livestock industry is responsible for eighteen percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The gigantic stables cause up to half of the agricultural water pollution. Moreover, to succumb to a lot of natural areas by the expansion of the livestock and a lot of arable land worldwide cultivated for fodder.

The cattle buy a third of the world production of the grain, ninety percent of the soy production and thirty percent of the global fish catch … enough to the hunger problem in the world to solve. Cows and pigs are fattened in pens where they barely able to stand up. The beasts are slaughtered and processed to the conveyor by poorly paid workers. Animals and mensenleed take.

Mad cow disease, love non-profit

In the 1980s it is clear to what the extreme commercialization of livestock can lead to. In Britain, cows flour fed in which also the bodies of sick sheep and cows to be processed. That flour that contains prions, animal proteins. Hundreds of thousands of cows are sick: they stare, down their legs and die. Research brings to light that the animal prions, the cause of the hersenaantasting.

Millions of cows have been slaughtered, but in the meantime, many people have the flesh of diseased cows eaten. In 1993, dying of a British girl to the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The connection with mad cow disease can be demonstrated. But in the United States, each study excluded. In thirteen American states, it is even punishable to the quality of the American meat in question. So every effort, the Texas meat industry in 1998 filed a lawsuit against tv presenter Oprah Winfrey because she is in her talk show had confessed that they are not minced meat ate meat for fear of mad cow disease. Because there in the media clandestine filming of the abuses in the fabrieksboerderijen to appear, the undercover photographing or filming is prohibited.


Agree, people are omnivores, omnivores. But trop, c’est trop

The land of free speech? Today a visit to a quarter of the American population daily, a fast food restaurant and eat the average American is three hamburgers per week. In total give the Americans 110 billion dollars per year on fast food. But despite all those problems for humans and animals, the invisible hand of the economy of the meat production and consumption to increase.

Vetgemeste animals, vetgemeste people

In the fabrieksboerderijen are the animals selected to be quickly fattened up with an unnatural, high-calorie and high-protein diet. That raised animals contain three times more fat than the animals on the pasture and therefore supply of fat meat that people, in their turn, ‘vetmest’.. This contains the current western diet is high in omega 6 fatty acids and too little omega 3. The current ratio between omega 6 and omega 3 is 15/1. A ratio of 4/1 thanks to an adapted diet would be the cardiovascular mortality by seventy percent (!) do drop. A long time, we understood not why Eskimos that much greasy meat eating, low heart desease were. The reason was the high doses of omega-3 in natural fish and meat, their main menu.

Nevertheless you will get reaction to such revelations again and again to the fatalistic comment: “What can I possibly still eat?’ All health experts agree that we already have a huge step forward would be if we get our daily meat consumption to reduce. The current two – to three hundred grams per person per day to an average of ninety grams, for example.

Anyone a vegetarian?

The reasons for eating less meat are various. The manner in which the meat industry animals, with slaughter, the devastating ecological footprint of the meat industry, the high consumption of meat in rich countries, and the concern for the own health are the main reasons to make your own meat consumption to a minimum. British scientists calculated for the journal PNAS that the emissions from the production of food, with thirty to seventy percent will drop if everyone is vegetarian.

Each Belgian eats in his life, an estimated 1800 animals (an average of 891 chickens, 24 rabbits, 43 turkeys, 42 pigs, 7 sheep, 5 cattle, 789 fish, and a third of a horse). Each year, nibble all the Belgians together 247.5 million animals. Agree, people are omnivores, omnivores. But trop, c’est trop.

Why would you not even a little less meat to eat? Most studies have confirmed that vegetarians are healthier than meat-eaters. Probably thanks to a lower weight, lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Meat stands at the top of the food chain, and therefore, the chance is also greater that the more toxins it contains. An additional reason for many families to be aware of moving to a smaller consumption.

Such a decision will not be a turnaround in the agricultural production effect. But such a conception is, in any case, for your own health and that of your family, it is better for the welfare of the animals and you support the local farmers. In 2001 and sold to farmers in France and Japan, 25 per cent of their production directly to the consumer. With us is that much lower. Cooking costs money and high quality meat and good vegetables are more expensive. But you will save all by conserve food and expensive meat and fish consumption to a minimum.

Nevertheless, there is need for more than individual efforts. The analogy of the Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein, I would say: ‘No food change without system change.’ As the highway of the meat industry in the current rate even wider, the number of slaughtered animals in 2050, more than 120 billion. The shoulders of Mother Earth can not wear that.

The world is groaning under the mass production of meat. The ongoing food scandals are the symptoms of that debilitating disease. In the past made shocking disasters provoked by the old system for large, systemic reform. On those turning points in history all social and ecological forces join in the struggle for a nature-, animal – and human-friendly life.

Staff Henderickx, author of From mammoth to big mac, London, 20 march 2018

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