My hat goes off to the Pew organization for utilizing a special holiday, Mother’s Day, to push its unscientific agenda.1 I must comment on super Moms as I am married to one! My wife homeschools 8 children, runs two businesses, cares for 3 aged parents and puts up with me. Also, we raise two or three “natural” pigs a year.
What I can assure you is that Mom will use antibiotics when any of her babies need it! People forget that farming is like running a maternity center and/or a nursery. Animals get sick just like kids. Therefore we need to be prudent in our antibiotic use. This is my message to veterinarians and mothers.
Preventive use of antibiotics can be prudent. After the second child in our house is diagnosed with “strep throat” the doctor will leave an open prescription for whoever in the house may need it, thus saving another doctor visit; reducing our health care costs. The same is done on the farm. If the veterinarian can anticipate the disease outbreak, they may prescribe medicine for the entire group. This prescription can reduce the total amount of product used on the farm and reduce the number of dead and suffering animals.
Of course, most Moms are also concerned about the safety of food for their “flock”. I hope they understand that healthy animals are an important means to deliver safer meat. In fact a report came out last week highlighting the inextricable link between animal health and meat safety.2
Some might argue if animals and my multiple kids, for that matter, were not raised in such high concentration, they would not need antibiotics. That is just not true. I bet if you asked only Moms who had never used antibiotics to attend the “protest” it would have been a thin crowd.
2Council of Agrictultural Science and Technology. 2012. The Direct Relationship between Animal Health and Food Safety Outcomes.