The United States meat industry
Meat industry in the United States has been a booming venture, this is mostly associated with the fact that individuals are able to appreciate it as well as for the obvious reason; ranching is one of the widely practiced American cultures. A considerable part of the American population value livestock and this significantly explains why the Americans have come up with an industry that focuses on provision of meat in the region. In the recent times, meat has become one of the main food stuffs in the region especially because it is readily available and its cost is reasonable as compared to previous years. Meat is not only beneficial to individuals’ bodies but it also contributes significantly to the national economy as well. This paper discusses the pros and cons of meat production.
Meat consumption plays a very important role in human bodies because it is known to provide essential nutrients that could have been hard to find in other types of foodstuffs. This is supported by the fact that meat is a major source for zinc, magnesium, iron, selenium and B vitamins among others. These are very valuable nutrients which provide the body with the required energy. Other than this, meat is a source of calories as well as essential nutrients to human body such as the proteins.
Proteins play a key role in helping to repair body tissues in addition to helping in general growth of the body. This is accomplished by the fact that meat consists of nine amino acids that the body requires (O’Leary, Patrick, 12). In addition to the above, these vitamins provided by meat are crucial in maintaining perfect health of the nerve and the circulatory system. Therefore, the United States meat industry is of great benefit to most individuals.
Meat industry has enhanced business in the region by providing farmers with the opportunity to sell some of their livestock to meat processing companies and in exchange, they are assured of good returns for their investment and hard work. This is happening because of the creation of a favorable market which is also contributing to economic development of the country as well. In meat processing businesses, job opportunities are also created as the industry expands due to the increased meat demand and livestock supply in the region. Available data shows that, in the year 2010, an estimated 487, 600 employees were employed in the processing and packing sectors earning competitive salaries.
Job creations are one of the main factors that have improved the economy of The United States of America in comparison to places where this industry is not very well established (Vatri, 7). Additionally, beef industry has proved to be one of the sectors with highest revenue returns; It is able to provide $49 billion annually which goes a long way in benefiting majority of the American citizens.
According to the “Meat Industry Profile” the country’s meat industry has taken a crucial role in feeding the world with meat. The profile indicates that, the industry is able to distribute billions of tones of meat especially beef to a number of countries. There are some countries which depend on the US for meat, and they provide excellent markets for the country, such countries include; Japan, Canada and Mexico.
This is very helpful to several countries which are not able to establish such industries thereby enabling them to enjoy the benefit of meat consumption the same way as the countries which are able to process their own. On the same note, the US, is able to boost its economy which translates to improved lifestyle for its citizens. In addition these countries are able to benefit from the US especially if livestock keeping is not commonly practices or it is expensive (O’Leary, Patrick, 15).
Despite the fact that meat is associated with many benefits, there are several disadvantages that are associated with it. One of the negative elements of meat production is that it is considered to be cruel to the animals and it has endangered their lives over a very long period of time. Secondly, the meat industry has been on several occasions linked with purchase of these livestock at very low prices especially from some of the poor farmers thereby denying them the right returns for their investment.
The industry players sell these meat products at very high prices, meaning that it is not accessible to poor households (Sutton, 611). This is despite the fact that, these households can not afford other supplemental food stuffs that have the same nutritional value as meat and those available are also very expensive. It is a practice that is inhuman because it denies these poor families the required nutrients for their bodies.
There is major health problems associated with meat consumption. One of the disadvantages of beef is that it is known to contain a chemical knows as dioxin which is toxic in the human body specifically if this type of meat is taken over a long period of time. Dioxin is has been confirmed to cause some health problems such as; cancer, chronic diseases, health complications in the immune systems and blood and nerve disorders among others.
Secondly, livestock keeping is requires a considerable amount of time in rearing and caring for the animals. They need to be maintained in the best way possible. This has been proved to be an expensive practice especially in terms of the drugs required during dosing or for treatment. Thirdly, beef production in the recent times has been characterized as one of the social justice issues hence complicating its production the United States (Oppenheimer, Gerald and Daniel 60).
Cows are in most cases branded so that the farmers and ranchers can easily recognize their cattle. This procedure is agonizing for the cattle, just as it can be to a human being. Cattle that are ‘Downed’ which is a phrase used by cattle ranchers for cattle that are very tired, traumatized, or injured that they unable to stand, are normally beaten to compel to stand up again, and pulled to the slaughter house. This definitely subjects them to even more pain.
The cruelty towards animals happens every day even though it is isolated. Even in countries like the United States, companies disregard laws most of the time in terms of how animals should be treated.
Based on the above discussion, meat production has proved to be an essential practice because it is beneficial to the whole world. The reasons behind this are because it is very important to the social and economic sectors in the United States. Apart from this, many people have been able to benefit from the vitamins (zinc, magnesium, iron, selenium and B) and amino acids (valine, phenylalanine, threonine, leucine, isoleucine, tryptophan, methionine, lysine, and histidine) that are found in meat hence being immune to some deficiency diseases. Again, energy production in the body has improved greatly and people are able to lead a healthy life for they have energy to perform their duties well and in a fast manner.
The meat industry in America has also benefited the farmers by creating market for their products and serving them well. This has been known to encourage cordial relations and creation of respect among the citizens in the country. Conversely meat production has been known to be very expensive and great losses can be incurred easily. For example, if all the animals are infected with a certain major infection, they are likely to die especially if they are not offered the best treatment at the right time. Apart from this, there are major health issues that have risen from meat intake and some of them have even led to death of many people. All the same, meat production benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Therefore, meat production is a very essential practice to the United States and the world as well.
“Meat Industry Profile: United States.” Meat Industry Profile: United States (2009): 1. Business Source Complete. Web. 30 Aug. 2014.
O’Leary, Patrick. “Neoliberal Employer Industrial Relations Strategies In The Us And Australian Meat Industries.” Employment Relations Record 13.2 (2013): 2-15. Business Source Complete. Web. 30 Aug. 2014.
Oppenheimer, Gerald M., and I. Daniel Benrubi. “Mcgovern’s Senate Select Committee On Nutrition And Human Needs Versus The MEAT INDUSTRY On The DIET–HEART QUESTION (1976-1977).” American Journal Of Public Health 104.1 (2014): 59-69. Professional Development Collection. Web. 30 Aug. 2014.
Sutton, Kelsea Kenzy. “The Beef With Big Meat: Meatpacking And Antitrust In America’s Heartland.” South Dakota Law Review 3 (2013): 611. General OneFile. Web. 30 Aug. 2014.
Vatri, John. “The United States Of Associations.” Independent Processor 7.4 (2014): 7. Business Source Complete. Web. 30 Aug. 2014.