There are many reasons not to eat meat, but it’s likely that most people don’t consider avoiding the consumption of arsenic as one of them. But as it turns out, arsenic is regularly feed to chickens and sometimes also to turkeys and pigs. The poultry industry commonly uses additives with arsenic in them to induce weight gain and create the appearance of a healthy color in chicken meat. And it should be noted that if U.S. poultry producers need to create the appearance of a healthy color, then the chickens are likely not healthy to begin with – and feeding them arsenic is only going to make the situation worse.
Arsenic is a known poisonous compound. It’s perhaps best known for being the murder weapon of choice among the noble classes from the Roman times to the mid-nineteenth century. At low levels, the consumption of arsenic mimics many chronic diseases, so it’s likely you won’t know that it’s this poison affecting you. At high levels, arsenic is well known to kill.
Medical professionals are commonly under the illusion that our bodies can simply detoxify all of the poisons that most people regularly consume – and that these poisons don’t cause the diseases that most of the population suffer from. But, let’s be honest. Our body’s ability to detoxify us, however powerful, isn’t even close to able to remove all of the chemicals that most people regularly take in. Unfortunately, chickens aren’t born with the ability to detoxify arsenic either – which is why you consume arsenic in their flesh.
If the chicken you’re eating is eating arsenic – you’re eating arsenic too. 2004 and 2005 studies confirmed this when they looked at the arsenic levels of raw supermarket and fast food chicken. Arsenic was regularly found. Organic chickens were also tested and were found to contain considerably lower or undetectable levels of arsenic. Unlike conventionally raised chickens, it’s not legal to feed organically raised chickens arsenic.
Long term exposure to small amounts of arsenic can cause cancer and nerve damage. Arsenic has also been found to contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and a decline in mental functioning. Regularly consuming animals that have been eating arsenic may take a few years off your life, but how would you know that when you’re lying on your deathbed? Most people don’t. They simply see the disease – but remain unaware of the common poisons that cause the disease.