(Bihar Times):If you think animals are killed for their meat , think again. Their bones are used in so many everyday items that you are probably using or eating a bone in almost everything – and in most cases it is not labeled so you have no idea. Here is an online advertisement by an Indian company “We manufacture Crushed bones from sun dried jungle bones, Degreased crushed bones from slaughtered healthy animal bones, Bone Tallow, Bone Grist, Bone Fluff, Bone Meal, Bone Powder, Bone Dust, Horns Meal, Raw Crushed Hooves. We use fresh bovine bones meant for export to different countries across the globe for production of pharmaceutical and edible grade Gelatin.”
Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which we use animal bone
Rendering plants turn animal bone into bone meal. This is mixed into the feed at poultries , piggeries and even for cattle. It also goes into pet food as “ protein” . In the US it is called “ Protein enhanced meat” – bone meal mixed with slabs of other dead animals and is still fed to vegetarian cows. Since all animal bone is mixed together , this is a form of animal cannibalism which is as rare and unnatural in nature as human cannibalism and with terrible health consequences such as Mad Cow Disease.
Until March 1996, virtually nobody in the scientific community believed
that BSE ( a form of Mad Cow Disease) could be transmitted to people. The one exception was a Dr. Gadjusek, an epidemiologist at the U.S. National Institutes of Health who won a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his studies of the disease in the aborigines of New Guinea. Dr. Gadjusek discovered that the disease named Kuru (after the New Guinea word for "shakes") is spread because people in New Guinea routinely ate their dead as a form of love . During an interview Dr Gadjusek asked the speaker if he ever used bonemeal on his roses. The speaker said, "Yes, I do" . "Then I recommend you stop doing that," responded Dr Gadjusek. It turns out that among the 30 current victims of the disease under study in Europe, several were rose growers routinely applying bonemeal to their roses. The problem lies in what happens when you dump part of a bag of bonemeal into a plant. Some of the dust blows back into your face. It may be possible to introduce into your lungs the agent that causes the fatal disease by inhaling dust mites from the ground-up bones of animals that were infected with BSE. The British Royal Horticultural Society recommended recently that bonemeal appliers wear a facemask.
Then comes gelatin - a translucent, colourless, nearly tasteless solid substance, extracted from bone which is used as a gelling agent in food, pharmaceutical, photography and cosmetic manufacturing. About 300,000 tons are produced per year . The material used in gelatin according to Wikipedia is 27% bones, 28% cattle hides and 44% pigskin. To even meat eating consumers , this might represent a religious hurdle since it includes both cow and pig parts. But meat eaters rarely look at labels.
Gelatin goes into jelly, soups, biscuits, soft and sticky candies like fruit gums and marshmallows, ice cream , jams, some yoghurts, cream cheese and margarine, aspic and capsules. It is used in fat-reduced foods to simulate the feel of fat and add bulk without adding calories. It is used in any soft drinks with beta carotene to create a yellow colour. Gelatin is used for the clarification of vinegar and juices like apple juice. Isinglass, gelatin from the swim bladders of fish, is still in use as a refining agent for wine and beer. (Vegetarians can use gelatin substitutes like agar, carrageenan, pectin, konnyaku or hypromellose. )
Colour gels, as the name suggests, are made from gelatin. Certain professional lighting equipment uses these color gels to change the beam color. All photographic film paper use gelatin to hold silver halide crystals in an emulsion. Gelatin is used in match heads and sandpaper and even in agarbattis/incense sticks used for prayers. It smoothes glossy printing papers as in playing cards and maintains the wrinkles in crêpe paper. Blocks of ballistic gelatin are a standardized medium for testing firearms and ammunition. In laboratories, gelatin is employed as a culture medium.
Cosmetics like lipsticks, mascara and skin oils contain a variant of gelatin under the name hydrolyzed collagen. Gel is used for hair styling. In fact gelatin has for decades been touted as a beauty aid in that it is supposed to be a good source of protein said to strengthen nails and hair. There is actually no scientific evidence to support such an assertion which was invented by an advertising campaign by Knox in the 1890s. To the contrary, gelatin is one of the few foods that cause a net loss of protein if eaten exclusively. In the 1970s, several people died of malnutrition while on popular gelatin diets. 
Besides, since gelatin is produced from dead animals it can transmit disease. In America, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has since 1997 been monitoring the potential risk of transmitting animal diseases, especially bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) through gelatin.
Glue too is made from animal bones reduced to collagen by boiling. Bone China considered fine expensive crockery actually consists of 60% bone and 40% clay. Imagine sitting down to a ‘shudh’ vegetarian meal served in plates made out of animal bones.
The organic basis of bone, the part obtained after the bone is crushed and its mineral matter dissolved in dilute acids is known as Ossein. This is turned into a compound that is used in the treatment of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, bone and cartilage defects and fractures.
Fertilizer, pigments and polishing aids are well known users of bone. Even filtering agents and deodorizers sometimes contain bone. Organic manure does not simply mean cowdung. Commercially it means bone powder . Bone Grist is the industrial raw material for Bone Charcoal which is used for refining sugar. Even fire fighting foam uses steamed bone meal as a raw material for fire fighting foam !
Everyday we think of some new and hideous way in which to exploit animals. For instance, a patent has been applied for to manufacture a cleaning agent made of used cooking oil mixed with crushed animal bones for cleaning guns of soot and carbon after firing.
It is not the meat that keeps the slaughterhouses in business. It is your demand for completely useless items made from the skin and bone of these poor animals. If you rationalise your desires, you might let the rest of the earth beings survive.
To join the animal welfare movement contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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