Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Monday, November 23, 2009

Animals as Raw Material

I came across this article in USA Today entitled "Waste not, want not: Companies find uses for leftover animal parts."
From plastics made from feather protein to diesel fuel made from fat to organic fertilizer made from poultry litter, the USA's top meat producers are developing new uses and markets for the animal parts that humans won't eat, says Tom Cook, president of the National Renderers Association in Alexandria, Va.

For years, those parts have ended up in cosmetics, soap, pet food and animal feed. Now, meat companies are putting more resources into sustainability programs, says Paul Rutledge of the American Meat Institute's sustainability committee.

At Clemson University, such products are being tested at the South Carolina school's Animal Co-Products Research & Education Center, says center Director Annel Greene.

Greene says there are a number of uses for the leftover materials that have yet to be discovered. "It's fascinating to see everything that can be done," Greene says.

I suppose most people will think this is great. What an efficient use of every bit of raw material possible. And all to help save the planet.

But that's the problem...these are not raw materials. These are living beings. To me, they are not some input that gets "rendered" and used to the utmost degree. And I don't care about the term "sustainability." I don't care if dead animal fat is being used for biodiesel (a terrible, wasteful fuel anyway....but that's another story) or plastic, etc. It's all about profiting from death.

Let's change the subject a little bit. What about all the dead humans taking up space in cemeteries? That's useless material...isn't there some use we could put them to as well? Once you're dead, you're dead. Can't that carcass become a raw material too? It's pretty gruesome when you apply the thought to dead humans, but not so much to dead animals....they're both dead though right?


Bea Elliott said...

Here the industry is trying to compensate with 1% of a "cure" - while they continue with 99% of a problem... It just becomes more vile stuff to try to avoid...

Zucchini Breath said...

that's what I was going to say, Bea. They are patting themselves on the back for attempting to solve a problem that they are causing.

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