Written by PETA
Creekstone Farms, a large U.S. distributor of beef, is recalling 14,000 pounds of meat because of possible E. coli contamination. An inspector found bacteria in the beef, prompting the USDA to warn of a "reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death." Where the infected beef ended up isn't clear, since it could have been repackaged for individual sale and sold under different brand names.
E. coli can cause vomiting, stomach cramps, internal bleeding, and kidney failure. Yum! And a recent study shows that animals raised for food carry highly drug-resistant forms of E. coli because of farms' overuse of antibiotics. The E. coli then gets passed on to humans who eat the animals' flesh. It gives new meaning to the term "Big Mac attack," doesn't it?
Want to avoid E. coli–infected burgers? Why not give veggie burgers a try? Unless you're a fan of kidney failure, and then, by all means ...
Written by Michelle Sherrow
If the heartbreaking pictures of animals suffering on factory farms and in slaughterhouses bring you down (and if they don't, you need to worry), you'll be pleased to learn that scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina are developing a way to give die-hard carnivores an animal-friendly meat fix. With the help of a grant from PETA, the scientists are working on growing "cultured" meat in their laboratory, relying on techniques similar to those they are using in their research on growing human organs for transplant patients.
The list of benefits of bioengineered in vitro meat goes on and on. It is far less likely to be contaminated with bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and campylobacter, which are widespread on factory farms. Scientists can control how much fat is added to the meat, which could help people lower their risk for heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. The production of cultured meat wouldn't generate the tons of animal waste that factory farms do or contribute to climate change and massive water and air pollution. And, of course, if cultured meat became widely available, millions of animals every year would be spared from being scalded, skinned, or hacked apart or having their throats cut open while they are still conscious and struggling.Meat produced safely in a clean, controlled environment could someday make dead animal flesh look about as progressive as The Flintstones.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
A meat processing plant in British Columbia found itself in deep doo-doo after a whistleblower let it slip that the company had covered up test results that found dangerous E. coli in a product sample. E. coli resides in animals' intestinal tracts and ends up in meat when—and there's no nice way to put this—their guts are ripped open during slaughter and their feces spill out onto their flesh, contaminating it.
The company's response was, well, crappy. Instead of wiping up its mess, it decided instead to a) call the whistleblower a stoolie, b) make its consumers responsible for cooking the poop-tainted meat enough to kill the pathogens, and c) drop its federal license, since provincial regulations don't require it to test for E. coli.
I can't decide which new slogan the company should adopt, "Quality is job number two" or "Manure—it's what's for dinner!"
In the U.S., there's a movement afoot to bring food safety procedures flush with current needs, but anyone who tells you that meat is safe to eat is full of … well, you know. Or as PETA's Dan Mathews put it, "Chances are good that unless you choose vegetarian, you're eating the 'poo poo platter.'"
Written by Jeff Mackey
An organic beef producer is recalling more than 34,000 pounds of ground beef after finding E. coli bacteria in its facilities. E. coli can cause dehydration, anemia, kidney failure, and even death.
Many consumers don't realize that animals on organic farms may be forced to endure the same crowded, filthy conditions as animals on typical factory farms. Because of these conditions and the fact that organic farmers avoid using antibiotics, organically raised animals can harbor even more bacteria than animals who are drugged. See PETA's factsheet for more on the myths surrounding organic and free-range farms.
We all know that Thanksgiving is murder on turkeys, but it turns out it can be murder on turkey-eaters too. With a little more than a week to go before the biggest turkey-dismembering day of the year, a Texas-based meat company is recalling 2,600 pounds of cooked turkey meat because of fears that it is contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. While listeria may not be as "sexy" as E.coli (bloody diarrhea, kidney failure!), it's still a nasty little bug that can cause fever, headaches, and nausea and can even be fatal to people with compromised immune systems, such as infants, elderly people, and AIDS and cancer patients.
Think you're safe if you buy a raw or frozen turkey? Sorry, turkey carcasses are often contaminated with salmonella (USDA inspection reports reveal that an average of one out of eight turkeys is infected), as well as campylobacter, which is the second-leading cause of reported food-related illnesses.
But wait, there's more! Turkey wings and legs contain even more fat and cholesterol than many cuts of beef. A turkey leg contains more than 700 milligrams of cholesterol and more than 1,600 calories—40 percent of which are derived from fat.
But all is not lost. A Thanksgiving feast without the dead bird is still a feast—just a less potentially lethal one. Need some turkey-friendly ideas? Take a gander at the tempting recipes in the Living section of PETA.org.
Written by Alisa Mullins
According to The Mirror, Eminem refused to sit next to Lady Gaga at MTV's Video Music Awards because her decomposing flesh dress stank. A source relates, "Marshall said he didn't want to be sat next to a pile of raw meat all night. He said it smelled pretty bad." Good call, Eminem. According to Dr. Shawki Ibrahim, the chief scientific advisor for Grow Green Industries, Gaga's flesh frock was a health hazard, since it could potentially spread E. coli bacteria, which lives in animals' intestinal tracts and feces and frequently contaminates dead animal flesh. Hmm … yet another good reason not to wear or eat animals! We are hoping Lady Gaga reconsiders.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.