The problem with using antibiotics on farm animals, and humans too, is that is weakens the immune system as it adapts to relying on the antibiotics of solve all bacterial infections. Another consequence is the bacteria itself which can evolve to survive certian antibiotics.
In the case of animals, an issue become apparent on the farm when researchers estimated at 20 tons worth of antibiotics made in the United States go to animals. That’s an astounding amount of medicine, most of which the animal may not need and is being prescribed to protect the high yield.
There are studies being conduced that may associate food-borne illnesses with high amounts of antibiotics and most physicians feel that if we continue the high doses in animals it may produce an immunity for everyone else.
I agree with everything in the comprehensive post above, and just want to add that aside from the potential health problems for the farm animals, including reduced immunity to serious pathogens, requiring ever stronger antibiotics, many people simple do not want any chemicals added into their food. People already have such a high exposure to pollutants of all kinds and as our rates of certain cancers and other diseases rise (at a faster pace than just increased population numbers would explain,) many people want to lessen their exposure to things that wouldn’t occur naturally in their day-to-day environment, which includes their food. So eating fruits, vegetables and herb that aren’t treated with pesticides, animals that are not treated with antibiotics or growth hormones and that are allowed to eat the foods they evolved to eat and just generally reducing our exposure to synthetic or un-nautrally occuring elements is one way to do that.
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