Before you bite into that next hamburger you just obtained, think for a second on just how that

hamburger came to be. From the time that burger was out grazing in the field, to when it was getting

shipped to the slaughterhouse now its in your mouth, down the old esaphageus, and out the other end.

But there is a lot more to it than just eating it. People on an average purchase 73 pounds of beef a year.

Only one other country consumes more beef than the Untied States and that is Argentina, go figure. If

you have ever wondered how that hamburger came to be I will explain how beef is processed.

The definition of beef is meat obtained from mature cattle. From the start of a beef cow's life

they are being raised to eat. The calves are allowed to graze for the first 8 months. It is the only freedom

that they get to enjoy. After those 8 months are over with they are sent to a feed lot. A feed lot is an area

fenced in with a huge feeding trough. Over thousands of cattle are sent to one feed lot. Once they are

there their life is pretty much over with. Their day consists of eating and sleeping. It seems ideal to the

cow at the time, but they have no idea what is to come.

At the feed lot cows are sent here for one purpose, to reach the desired weight the cowboys want.

Many of the feed lots inject their cows with growth hormones. These growth hormones are designed to

make the heifers gain weight. In addition to giving the cows hormones, they are also fed a special diet

which adds pounds to them. They are: feed soybeans, corn, and other grains that help put on the meat.

Once the cows reach the ideal weight of 1,000 pounds, they are sent to the slauterhouse.

This is the part that always makes me think of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". When a van load of

people decide to pick up a hitch hiker, it just so happens he works at a slaughterhouse. The hitch hiker

is covered in blood and is just mentally insane. I always picture crazy people working at a slaugterhouse,

because they have to be crazy to kill cows all day. The cows are corralled into an area where they are

whacked with a pressure hammer. The pressure hammer is used to stun them. Once they have been

stunned they are hooked by the rear hoof and hung in the air upside down. The crazy cow slaugterer slits

the heifer's throat and drains the blood.

Once the cow has been drained, it is sent on down the line. The carcass is then gutted liver,

heart, intestines are removed and cut down the centre of the backbone with power saws(Rifkin 94). After


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the insides have been taken out, the rest of the meat is wrapped and refrigerated for 24 hours. Meat

cutters take out the bones and cut 4off excess fat. The meat is then graded into two catagories; quality

grade and yield grade. Quality grade tells us the tenderness and flavor. Yield grade shows the amount of

beef on a cow that is marketable. After it is graded it is cut into the choice selections that are sent to your

grocery store.

So when you are eating that next delicious hamburger or taking a bite out of a nice piece of

sirloin steak, remember what that piece of meat has been through. From the time it was once free and

roaming around in a field, to when it was being beaten with a big ol' hammer. Beef doesn't just appear

out of nowhere, it goes through a process just like any other thing.