Because of crowding, stress-inducing conditions, and unnatural diets that often occur in the conventional meat and dairy industries, antibiotics are needed to fend off disease. In addition to antibiotics, animals are also given growth hormones— to stimulate year-round high production of milk, for instance. It is estimated that as much as 80-90% of all antibiotics given to humans and animals are not fully digested or broken down and eventually pass through the body and enter the environment intact through wastewater and runoff. When bacteria in the environment interact with these antibiotics, they may transform into more resistant strains that pose a greater risk to both animals and humans. By choosing hormone-free and antibiotic-free meat and dairy products, you can help keep the environment clean and healthy.

Note: Foods that carry the “USDA-certified organic” label cannot come from animals given any artificial hormones.