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Gummy Bears, Chocolate Cake, and Feathers: A Day In The Life Of A Cow’s Diet

cows2Think cows’ unnatural agribusiness diets of corn, wheat, and soy are bad?  It gets worse.

Much, much worse, according to this paper by Randy D. Shaver, PhD of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I highly recommend you leaf through that paper.  Here are some highlights of permitted — and commonly used! — foods for cattle:

  • Blood Meal. “Blood meal is produced from clean, fresh animal blood, exclusive of all extraneous material such as hair, stomach belchings, and urine except in such traces as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing processes. Types of blood include conventional cooker dried, flash dried, and spray dried.”
  • Hydrolyzed Feather Meal. “Product resulting from the treatment under pressure of clean, undecomposed feathers from slaughtered poultry.”
  • Candy. “Candy products are available through a number of distributors and sometimes directly from smaller plants. They are often economical sources of nutrients, particularly fat. They may be high in sugar and(or) fat content. Milk chocolate and candy may contain 48% and 22% fat, respectively. They are sometimes fed in their wrappers. Candies, such as cull gummy bears, lemon drops or gum drops, are high in sugar content.”

Apparently, then, feathers and gum drops do have something in common — they are fed to our cows.  Gross.



  1. Taylor said on June 23rd, 2010

    I the 1990s my Dad was a Commodities Broker in Chicago and he told me he didn’t eat pork for a few years when he learned that one of his customers bought hundreds of pounds of butterfinger filling to feed the pigs because the filling was found to have too much GLASS in it for human consumption. Just astonishing!

  2. Andy Bellatti said on June 23rd, 2010

    I’m speechless!!!!

  3. karri said on August 20th, 2012

    How can one resist a nice mixture of Candy, Pasta and Peanut skins?

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