Rendering animals

I and the SO recently read a piece in regards to animal rendering. I must admit my ignorance in the subject to a major degree.
I didn’t know that euthanized pets, road kill, and expired meats from stores were all thrown in together with the unused parts from slaughterhouses and boiled down. Then they use this stuuf for cosmetics, food products, and animal feed? So in essence, we’re eating nasty, vile stuff even though it’s been recycled. :eek:

Did everyone else know this? Is anyone else digusted? We’re transitioning to no meat in our home partly because of this.

It really, really turns my stomach.

I didn’t know that all of them were routinely rendered but I knew about the process in general. Jello and glue have to some from somewhere. I personally don’t see what difference it makes except a little on the positive to make a useful product out of something that would just rot otherwise. We aren’t talking about lampshades after all.

Seriously? I thought we loved and admired the noble native american was because he used all parts of the buffalo. What resourcefulness and lack of waste!

What would you prefer be done to the “nasty, vile stuff”? Once it’s all treated, it’s safe, from a bacterial standpoint.

I am not a fan of feeding animal based foodstuff to herbivores, I hasten to add. That’s how mad cow got it’s hoofhold, I believe. Just bad juju, that is. Meat eating cows just ain’t right. But why not throw some into the pig slop? Pig slop’s gotta come from somewhere.

I have no problem with you becoming veg, mind. I think for some people it’s a healthier diet, and I totally get the moral and spiritual reasons for being a vegetarian. I just don’t cotton to the “ew” factor in food choices. Millions of people would gladly fight wars and die for the chance to eat our roadkill, and we should just waste it? No, I don’t think so.

Ask a random Chinese or Vietnamese person what he or she thinks about cheese?

“That milk stuff that you folks like, squirted warm out of the underside of an animal, is gross enough. But not content with that, you let it go bad as well?”

I like cheese. I’ll continue to use stuff with “rendered” ingredients too.

Around here, euthanized pets and roadkill are routinely cremated (the guy that runs a local dead animal crematory has contacts with vets offices and also to pick up th eroad kill. He also cremated two dogs I lost last year. He can to my house to pick up Simon, and we talked a while. For special jobs where you want the ashes back, he’ll do that animal alone in the oven.) The ashes and bone fragments are sold to farms, I think. That doesn’t bother me. Most stores seem to learence out their meat wehen it gets near the sell-through date, but it wouldn’t bother me if it was used for collagen and the like - after all, I’d eat the stuff. Slaughterhouse odds & ends - better rendered than stuffed in a sausage. Previously they’d often feed some of that back to the livestock. I think that’s not done as much now because of the threat of BSE.


Out of curiosity, was this the article you were reading? It seems to obscure a lot of the non-food uses of rendered materials.

The issue with cutting out meat to avoid eating rendering products is that some of the remnants are used as crop fertiliser, so its gets into the food chain anyway. And the “stuff” is used for a long list of things that you would also need to avoid.

Seriously, euthanised pets are unlikely to end up in the food chain as the drugs used to kill them are toxic (why most food animals are shot). Most places seperate unsuitable waste and incinerate it. At least one company takes matter unsuitable for consumption to turn it into biofuels.

I was once in charge of euthanizing pets at a shelter, and yes, they and the roadkill did go to a rendering company. It was kind of nasty, cleaning out the big cooler every week. But we didn’t euthanize via injection at that time (it was an older system and way back when, and we used carbon monoxide, which would not be poisonous if it got back into the food chain.)

Animals that I’d previously put down while working for veterinarians (via injection) were not sent for rendering.

And yes, I still eat meat and use byproducts, after having been up close and personal with most of the process. I’ve never been through one of the rendering plants; I think that would be interesting. I agree with WhyNot - why not use the whole animal, and even things that might not be thought of as resources?

I have no problem with using products that consist of animal by-products as long as they aren’t endangered species.

I watched “Dirty Jobs” last night. They had an episode on the inner doings of a tannery. If that shit doesn’t gross the living daylights outta you, nothing will. They ended the episode with a gelatinous pile of fat scraps and chemicals that was enough to make me puke. The whole process is a wet, chemical-y, stinky, disgusting job. It was one of those things that you really don’t need to know about.

Just curious: will you also cease using lotions, makeup, soap, etc.? Or simply opt for specialized products?

Sure, there’s a qualitative difference between ingestion (as opposed to topical usage), but it’s something to ponder next time you get gussied up for a night out…

Actually, I will opt for specialized products. I don’t mind paying more for it. I don’t want roadkill in my makeup, that’s for sure.

No that wasn’t the articel. Actually, it was in a textbook for a class my SO is taking. They discussed it in class and he discussed it with me. I then looked up some more things online as well.

I understand that I may not be able to avoid every aspect that animal rendering touches in my life. But my goal is to cut out the biggest part and try and limit the rest the best I can.

But, for all of our foods, the materials are recycled organisms. To pick one example not at random - cow manure, considered one of the greenest fertilizers out there, is full of micro-organisms from the cow’s post-gastric intestinal fauna. And has the remains of the pre-gastric fauna, too.

How many cycles through other organisms does it have to be before you’ll decide something is clean enough? Obviously once isn’t enough - so how’s about worms eating a rotting body before being eaten by a chicken? Is that acceptable? Would it get better if I add another intermediary organism?

I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t go vegetarian. That’s completely your choice. There are even a number of moral arguments for it I find rather compelling. I just don’t understand the idea that ‘dead is icky and I have to avoid it,’ when that’s what we eat, even when it’s vegetables.

Nitpick: Those folks who think cheese is gross probably didn’t grow up in a Western culture much at all. Parents didn’t come over until their 30s, and my mother and I love Gruyere. I’ll eat almost any cheese down to semi-runny Camembert type cheeses. As long as it’s not Blue-type cheeses with active mold. shudder The flavor is narsty to me.

Yes, most folks that I know from that part of the world came over in their 20s and 30s, with culinary prejudices already formed. Their kids have different tastes though.

Wow this thread inspired me to want to learn more about rendering, and I found the following interesting sites: Wikipedia: Rendering, the National Renderers Association (NRA!) and their magazine… all you ever wanted to know about rendering!! :smiley:

And here’s a rendering company site that contains a lot of information about the products produced by rendering…