Animal Stress Results in Meat Causing Disease

Click to go to our Home Page

Irwin H. Putzkoff, PhD, MD Schmuckintush professor of nutritional physiology Cho Byung-Ho, and Oh Jin-Hwan Laboratory Assistants

NOTE - This article is focused on stress-induced hormone and cortisoid production.

Stress, fear and pain when animals are being slaughtered or waiting to be slaughtered results in several disease processes in the humans which eat the meat. Most notable are cardiac problems, impotency and general fatigue. These adverse effects are most directly associated with consumption of dog meat.

Experiments including laboratory dogs slaughtered in stressful conditions result in impotence of rats fed with the dog's meat. These results correlate with studies of humans in St. Georges, Utah.

Studies made of domestic farm animals (cattle, pigs and poultry), and of laboratory animals (dogs and rats) show in all cases elevated levels of steroid hormones, generally associated with adrenocortical secretions. Primary substances include adrenalin, cortisone-like secretions, and steroids which stimulate fear pheromone production. All of these are known to result in poor health and poor vitality. This study confirms this link in food consumed by humans.


Preliminary Study

Laboratory dogs in particular are implicated in increased adverse effects of fear during slaughter. A group of laboratory rats which were fed the dogs' meat ceased to reproduce after a period as short as two weeks. The male rats in particular ceased to be attracted to female rats in estrus, and there was a small reduction in physical size of the sexual organs.

A control group of rats, fed on dogs' meat where the dogs were slaughtered without realizing fear maintained a healthy reproduction rate nearly consistent with that expected from a prescribed laboratory diet.


These substances, remain in the meat and are transmitted to the humans. Humans are particularly susceptible to their effects. This is thought to be genetic, in that humans evolved from herbevoiric animals who supplemented their diet from incidental sources of meat. The human digestive tract is well-adapted to consumption of meat, but the higher metabolic functions are unable to handle meat as efficiently.

It is thought that the domestication of cattle is an adaptation to this limitation. Ancient humans would obtain a substantial amount of their meat supply from domestic animals, which were generally calm on slaughter until unconscious from loss of blood.

Modern slaughter techniques which cause fear in animals defeat this mechanism. This results in animals whose meat has unnaturally high amounts of hormones.

This is apparent in the United States, where it was noted that girls were entering puberty at abnormally early ages, and that teenage boys were starting to develop small breasts. It is also thought that approximately 50% of impotence not attributed to other causes (e.g., diabetes or use of antihypertensive drugs) is caused by the high hormone content in meat.

It was originally thought that this was the result of growth hormones being used in the meat, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has strict limits on the use of such hormones prior to slaughter. Since these levels are easily tested, farmers are reluctant to run the risk of using hormones prior to slaughter. It would therefore be expected that the impotency effects and abnormal teenage development patterns would decrease instead of increase.

Human Studies of Subjects in St. Georges, Utah

Recent studies of 642 teenagers (289 girls and 353 boys) at Utah Freedom Hospital, in St. Georges, Utah, showed a continued marked increase in early onset of menses of girls (68% under age 10, as opposed to an historical rate of 32% under age 10), and increased incidence of breast development in teenage boys. (Fully 48% had breast development 200% beyond the norm, and 89% had a notable increase in breast development.)

It is difficult to quantitize the effects of such hormones on male impotency, partly because of a reluctance of patients to comment on such occurrence and partly because of a lack of a solid baseline. Nevertheless, it is noted that there is a continued increase in unexplained impotency, while there is a decrease in impotency from specific medical causes. This change in ratio far exceeds the changes which would result from improved health, because the particular diseases (e.g., diabetes) do not show a proportional decrease. Therefore, it is clear that there is a dramatic increase in impotency.


Fear in animals during slaughter causes dramatic reduction of vitality and sexual potency in humans who eat the meat. Fortunately, humans have evolved to mainly eat animals which can be slaughtered with a minimum of stress. Consumption of emotional animals such as dogs is limited to a few primative societies. Therefore it is unlikely that dramatic reductions in health occurs as a result of slaughtering techniques.

The main exception is dog meat, which contains hormones which cause inpotency when the meat is eaten. Stress when the animal is slaughtered increases these hormones dramatically, but even without stress, dog meat causes some depression in reproductive activity.

This does not necessarily mean that the meat is per se unhealthy. There is a possibility that less sexual activity promotes health. While eating dog's meat would cause an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, the decreased sexual appetite can reduce incidences of AIDS in those primitive societies which still eat dog meat.

While we do see a definite increase in harmful health effects, in the United States these effects are minimal and do not warrant a change in our habits of consumption of herbivor farm animals.


This article is provided by Jean Chemour, who translated it into HTML but did not participate in the research. Emails relayed to Jean Chemour and Dr. Putzkoff courtesy of Jean Chemour e-mail:, whose efforts in web maintenance are gratefully acknowleged as he would say. (Email relayed, so it may take a day or so.) Dr. Irwin H. Putzkoff does not have email, but you are cordially welcome to write to Jean. If you are doing research, the references should actually be pretty much on point.