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Essential oils are ultimately just plant extracts—and those are used in countless cleaning and personal-care products, and are the main ingredient in some pest-control products and some over-the-counter medications.
They’re used in the food industry because of their preservative potency against food-borne pathogens—thanks to their antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Various oils have also been shown to effectively treat a wide range of common health issues such as nausea and migraines, and a rapidly growing body of research is finding that they are powerful enough to kill human cancer cells of the breast, colon, mouth, skin, and more.
As Cari Romm previously reported in The Atlantic, livestock consume up to 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S., and the amount actually jumped by 16 percent between 2009 and 2012, according to a recent FDA report. This rampant use of the drugs has led to “superbugs” that are becoming increasingly resistant to the antibiotics.
While the drugs are, of course, sometimes necessary to treat infections in livestock, the real reasons they’re overused are to speed up growth and to compensate for the cramped, unsanitary living conditions the animals endure. “an increasingly serious threat to global public health.
One of their studies, published in October 2014 in the journal Poultry Science, found that chickens who consumed feed with added oregano oil had a 59 percent lower mortality rate due to ascites, a common infection in poultry, than untreated chickens. Other research, from a 2011 issue of BMC Proceedings, showed that adding a combination of plant extracts—from oregano, cinnamon, and chili peppers—actually changed the gene expression of treated chickens.
On a side note if the public stopped eating animals there wouldn't be a need for any of this nonsense!