Our government has made an official announcement. For the year 2009 we have used almost 29 million pounds of antibiotics in our animals. Most of these animals wind up as food. Therefore, my guess is that much of this antibiotic use has been run through our fellow Americans. Which by the way, my grandchildren are part of that group as well. For some, this seams to be of no consequence. The many reasons why this is a disgrace is obvious to anyone with a conscience. We have well over 1000 animals on the ranch. I used an antibiotic one time this year, and the animal died anyway. It was in the form of an injection. Most of the usage referred to in the government announcement was in the form of an ionophore. This is now a very common practice of feeding livestock an antibiotic in the solid form mixed in with their grain. This solidified antibiotic is referred to as an ionophore. Most all feed stores sell standard feeds with these ionophores. Years ago, before I became concerned about who was eating my meats, I used these ionophores by the ton.
The use of these harmful drugs in masses comes about because of the way we choose to manage our livestock operations. What I'm saying is we can stop this abusive, inconsiderate sloppy management practice of mass medication by simply improving our livestock management skills. When I was using those old methods I thought it was necessary and that it was OK because many other ranchers used ionophores as well. Using ionophores as a weight gain tool is unconscionable. Even if you don't have a concern about who eats your meats once they leave your farm, this use of mass feeding antibiotics reduces its effectiveness. This is because of resistance built up in the very bugs we fight. This makes it even more difficult for those of us on the ranch who use antibiotics only conservatively to have a high degree of success. I see this as a very selfish attitude. I hope it is more of a lack of education.