January 27, 2008

I was just reading this article and was interested to learn that even rodeo bulls are being shot up with steroids these days so they are tougher and meaner and longer lasting.

This might be kind of naive and even stupid, but why is the steroids issue such a big deal in sports, whether human or animal? Especially with an animal that is drugged already for other reasons? And one running agourn causing havoc, shouldn't we want it to be mas fuerte?

I think drugging the bulls is probably not a good thing to be doing--because it's not natural, man-- but then neither is giving them antibiotics and hormones just to keep them healthy. And we eat these things rather than just watch dudes fall off of them. We shoot up the cattle we eat with huge doses of antibiotics and hormones so they can be strong enough to live life before death, and this is applauded:

Here is a new story about it. These types of articles come out periodically, they always make you want to stop eating all beef, or at least raise it yourself. I did become much more careful about what kind of groundbeef I bought after reading Fast Food Nation a few years back (origin of the striking 1000+ diseased cows per burger stat). No wonder the Koreans want to keep out US factory beef.

Given the fact that nine out of 10 U.S. calves are treated with hormonal growth promoters, you can assume that most of the beef in your supermarket contains hormone residues. The FDA has approved five hormone implant growth promoters for cattle. Three of them — estradiol, progesterone and testosterone — are naturally occurring hormones that are identical to those found in humans. Zeranol and trenbolone acetate are synthetic hormones that mimic natural ones. In addition, melengestrol acetate is approved as a feed additive. Some implants contain a mix of these various substances.

Many consumers and advocacy groups are calling for a ban on these growth-promoting implants. They point to research showing that even trace amounts can promote tumor growth. At the Ohio State University, cancer researchers mixed human breast cancer cells with trace amounts of Zeranol, one of the five hormones used in U.S. cattle. Zeranol caused a significant spurt in tumor growth, even at levels 30 times lower than levels the FDA maintains are safe.

(yes, it is an older article but is is still going on)

Many cattle are fed the same muscle-building androgens�usually testosterone surrogates�that some athletes consume. Other animals receive estrogens, the primary female sex hormones, or progestins, semiandrogenic agents that shut down a female's estrus cycle. Progestins fuel meat-building by freeing up resources that would have gone into the reproductive cycle.

While federal law prohibits people from self-medicating with most steroids, administering these drugs to U.S. cattle is not only permissible but de rigueur.

So far, almost all concern about this practice has focused on whether trace residues of these hormones in the meat have human-health consequences. But there's another way that these powerful agents can find their way into people and other animals. A substantial portion of the hormones literally passes through the cattle into their feces and ends up in the environment, where it can get into other food and drinking water.

Some scientists say that it's time to better manage livestock's hormone-laced waste stream, which has flowed unabated in North America for decades.

So, I have you convinced that we should allow the drugging of bulls in rodeos.

Why not pro athletes in all fields? Who cares, really, what happens to them? Better, faster, meaner, stronger, these are all good things on the screens of the world. (I just checked and, sure enough, there are others making the same case. These cranks, this film, etc.)

My feeling is the anti-steroid movement is the same as the critics movement to professionalize college sports. Control freaks. They don't get it. Isn't it all about the spectacle? Or at least, the spectacle and Mammon? Plus the Hometown Pride? Let's ramp em all up a bit and bring freedom along for the ride.

My understanding is that even with steorids, you still have to put the time in at the gym to be huge anyway, right? (Me, I was cut from solid steel to look this way...)

I realize they are bad for you and make these guys into bald girly men eventually, but isn't that their damn problem? Boxing makes people into droolers, pro football destroys peoples central nervous systems just from tackling. Golf brings incontinence. No drugs necessary. Have you forgotten that Christopher Reeve had to smile through a straw because of a horse? Wouldn't it be better to let athletes become superheros under a doctor's careful care?

Undismayed advocates making steroids legal so we can all be amazed how intensely weird and probably violent pros from rodeo bulls to athletes will get when all hopped up on drugs.

No comments: