When people see cows roaming around a field, they usually think of a farm animals that gives us milk and may eventually end up on your plates,

When people see cows roaming around a field, they usually think of a farm animals that gives us milk and may eventually end up on your plates, unless they're vegans or vegetarians. Then they probably think, What a beautiful animal. The point is, people most commonly associate cows with food, but cow by-products are actually used in a wide variety of places. Over 34 million cows are killed each year in slaughterhouses, but only 51 percent of their bodies are used for food because consumers only eat select cuts of meat. But if we know one thing about the animal agriculture industry, it is that they are always looking for a way to turn a profit, so many of these leftovers, which include hooves, skin, bones, and glands that are used in other ways.

Rendering plants take in these animal parts, as well as entire animals that cannot be eaten by people, and separates them into fats and proteins for many of the unexpected uses you are about to discover.


Prepare yourself: The places where unidentified cow parts crop up may surprise and shock you. They might make you worry that its impossible to avoid products made from cows, but never fear. After reading these facts, you will be prepared to make informed decisions like a cow-product-avoiding-superhero (okay, maybe the official name is up for debate), or at the very least a well-informed consumer.

1. Sports are Overflowing With Cow By-Products
Leather is used to make a variety of sports equipment. Its estimated that 20 footballs can be made out of one cowhide; every year the National Football League manufactures around 700,000 footballs. That means around 35,000 cowhides are used annually just for this single sport. Keep in mind that leather is also used to make baseballs, baseball gloves, and basketballs. While you were likely aware that these sports require leather, you might be shocked to learn that cow intestines are utilized for natural gut strings in tennis racquets; it takes about four cows guts to make one racquet.

2. Cows Can Put Out Fires  At Least Their Hooves Can
Keratin, a protein extracted from cow hooves, is used to create a specialized fire extinguishing foam. This extra strong protein helps to bind foam together to put out hotter, higher intensity fires. Keratin fire extinguishing foam is commonly used in airports to stifle fires caused by jet fuel.

3. There Might be Cow Bone Hiding in Your Chocolate Chip Cookies
Processed white sugar is decolorized using a filter that is often created using bone char from cows, sometimes referred to as natural charcoal. Bone char effectively works to strip away any impurities from sugar and leave pure white crystals behind.


4. Gelatin is in More Than Just Jello
You're probably familiar with the fact that gelatin is made from rendered cow bones and skin. This product is commonly found in Jello, marshmallows, and other gummy candies, but what you may not know is that gelatin can also be found in film. This means both photography and movies are likely to require animal products unless you go digital! Hey, knowing this is a great excuse to go buy that new digital camera you've been dreaming about.

5. Cars are Brimming With Cow By-Products
Car tires are made using stearic acid, a cow by-product, but thats not where it ends. Many cars, of course, have leather seats, but they also use glue created from beef protein in car bodies and hydraulic brake fluid is actually made from cow fat. Anyone up to walk to work tomorrow?


6. Cows Parts Create Explosives
If you thought that industrialized animal agriculture was destructive enough, just consider the fact that glycerin, which is derived from cow fat, is used in dynamite.

7. Many Medications Contain Cow By-Products
Cattle Empire proudly boasts: More than 100 individual drugs performing such important and varied functions as helping to make childbirth safer, settling an upset stomach, preventing blood clots in the circulatory system, controlling anemia, relieving some symptoms of hay fever and asthma, and helping babies digest milk include beef by-products.

Insulin, for example, is produced using cow pancreas, additionally, gelatin capsules are commonly used for a variety of medications.

8. Check Your Personal Care Products for Hidden Cow Parts
Fats, fatty acids and protein meals from cows are used in a wide variety of everyday household items, including in candles, cosmetic, crayons, perfume, mouthwash, toothpaste, shaving cream, soap and deodorants. Stearic acid derived from cow fat is the most common culprit in these items. An easy way to avoid these products is to look for a cruelty-free label that indicates the product is not made with any animal ingredients.

9. The Roads are Paved With Cow By-Products
Most asphalt contains a beef-based fat that acts as a binding agent. Yes, your car tires are derived from cow by-products and the roads you drive on are too. More than anything, these facts drive home (excuse the pun!) just how much we rely on cows and cow-based products in our society.

10. Cow-Hair Paint Brushes
Paint brushes that are labeled as camel hair brushes are not really made from camel at all (not that this would really make them any better). Actually, these brushes are composed of the fine hairs from cows ears and tails.

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