Antibiotics like tetracycline have been fed to livestock animals for decades in order to make them gain up to three percent more weight than normal. It is unknown why this works exactly, but some believe that the introduction of antibiotics in livestock food kills certain intestinal flora and contributes to overall nutrient absorption — not only do farmed animals grow faster, they require less food.
Antibiotics are also commonly administered to livestock to prevent E. coli and other bacterial infections that spread easily on industrial livestock farms.
Antibiotics given to livestock also have many negative side effects. It is well known that many types of bacteria develop resistances to antibiotics. This is why some doctors are so hesitant to over-prescribe antibiotics to the general public. The same can be applied to livestock, only this time the drug resistant bacteria have a direct path to humans through meat consumption. This is one of the reasons why you always cook your meat insetad of eating it raw. For more information, please find the link below.
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