An Animal Science Student Responds

Last week, Penn State’s newspaper ran this cartoon.

Understandably, the animal science students didn’t like it. And one student, Christie Molinaro, had her letter criticizing the cartoon published in the newspaper. It always surprises me how ineptly most pro-meat people argue their side, even those who’ve majored in animal science. Some excerpts from the letter.

This letter is in response to the editorial cartoon “Red Meat Chart” that was published on March 26. That comic was greatly unappreciated by many students in the College of Agriculture.

Too bad, so sad.

Cancer, just to touch on one of those segments, has no proven ties to red meat consumption. In November 2008, the World Cancer Research Fund released a study that concluded red meat was not a contributing factor to cancer.

I don’t know how anyone currently looking into red meat and cancer could possibly have missed this. Did she somehow not hear of this study, or is she deliberately ignoring it because the evidence is so damning?

Ironically enough, beef actually contains fats known as Conjugated Linoleic Acid which are reported to possess anti-carcinogenic properties. It would have been wise for the individual drawing that cartoon to actually include the honest facts about beef. Facts like beef is the number one source of protein, heme iron, vitamin B12 and zinc in the diet.

There’s obviously stuff in red meat that’s healthy. But study after study shows a connection between red meat consumption and various disease. And it’s dishonest to muddy the waters by only citing unimportant details.

If tomorrow’s animal science professionals want to effectively defend the meat industry, they’re going to have to do a whole lot better than this. Link.

Update: Molinaro won a $250 honorable mention prize in the 2007 “National Beef Ambassador” competition. (Thanks, Essie.) PDF Link


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