Stitch and Click

Welcome to my life (or at least the interesting bits, which probably relate to photography or knitting)

Location: Canada

Monday, November 27, 2006

Yet another reason to be vegetarian

Red Meat link to breast cancers
Of course the meat industry types are quick to play down the risk, or to acknowledge that feeding growth hormones to animals has any impact. This study was done in the US and, as the BBC points out, animals in the US are treated with growth hormones which are not allowed in the UK/Europe. It'd be interesting to see a similar longitudinal study done in Europe to see if the lack of growth hormones has any effect. Of course, what's the chance that the American beef/meat industry would be willing to lose a few cents profit for the sake of their consumers' health?


Anonymous Danielle said...

I thought the same thing when I read this article. One thing I have noticed over the last near-fifteen years of my teaching career is the early age at which many girls are experiencing the physical signs of puberty. Early breast development, early periods. One student of mine a few years ago got her second grade. I always wonder...well, I don't really wonder...I really do believe...that this is a direct result of the amount of meat/dairy products children consume, and the hormone levels in these products. Same as the increases I've seen over the years in students with allergies. Could the antibiotics fed to animals have something to do with that? As a physician and a vegan, I'd love to know what your thoughts are on these two topics!

2/12/06 4:22 p.m.  
Blogger Lisa said...

I've read that even in countries with less animal consumption and/or more strict rules about chemical use puberty has an earlier onset than in the past, and that it's being attributed to better nutrition (i.e. having enough to eat to grow faster, and for bodies to be "ready" for childbearing, etc). I wouldn't be surprised, though, if the hormone use in the US (which I believe has fewer restrictions than other areas such as Europe or Canada) has various nasty effects that we'll hear about in another decade or two.

As to allergies, one explanation that I've heard is that our environments are too sanitary - the components of our immune systems that "get confused" and cause allergic reactions are normally involved in fighting parasitic infections, and since most of us don't have intestinal parasites (or other parasite exposure) our immune systems get confused/bored/whatever. I have heard that kids who grow up with pets and/or more older siblings (and thus are exposed to more colds, etc) are less likely to have more severe allergies later in life.

13/12/06 7:17 p.m.  

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