Last time, we presented the first part of Peary Rader’s warning against tissue-building steroids, as it appeared in the November-December 1962 issue of Iron Man. Here is the rest of the article, in which Rader turned his attention to the efforts of the livestock industry to maximize muscular development in cattle. This excerpt highlights the value of good nutrition for muscle growth in humans, and makes mention of the nutritional work of Irvin Johnson, who would later be known as Rheo H. Blair.
As some of you may be aware, the livestock industry is seemingly far ahead of us humans when it comes to research in tissue building. Millions of dollars are being spent to find new methods for adding pounds of muscle to a steer almost overnight, and because of this research they can practically double the weight gain of cattle and other livestock over what it was only a very few years ago. Since I live in one of the greatest livestock areas in the world, I’m exposed to much of this work and take a great interest in what is going on and find it most enlightening to listen in on discussions of cattlemen as they talk of the methods they use to stimulate greater growth in their cattle. I have never met a group of men who know more about proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, as well as all the known drugs used for stimulating tissue growth. Stilbestrol is one of the drugs widely used for this purpose and some amazing things were accomplished with it. Recently our government has forbidden its use in many instances–especially in chickens, because of the dangers to humans who eat the meat it is used on. Still, it is being used in many areas, even on chickens, in spite of this government order, we are told.
We note that many cattlemen have turned from the use of this drug to special feeds. We reach a point in livestock feeding now, where it is a little difficult to say whether they are using food supplements or drugs. At least the elements most effective are mixed in the feeds. They could be classified as chemical compounds in many instances but since they do not require a prescription we probably would not call them drugs and to date they have not been found to cause disease in humans or any unfavorable reaction in those eating the meat. As you know, we do not approve either the many chemicals used on livestock or those used in the preservation and preparation of foods, for while it may have been found that small amounts do not cause trouble, the accumulated quantities over a period of years that the body may contain may cause trouble. Many of our research organizations are greatly concerned with this possible problem in human health.
Aside from the chemicals in livestock feeding, I’m sure that we could learn much about better human feeding by turning to some of the research results of the livestock industry. You would be surprised at the research done by these cattlemen and ranchers under almost laboratory conditions–in fact some of them do maintain simple to elaborate laboratories and work in cooperation with state and national agencies. Thus we find many thousands of experiments being carried on in the science of muscle building of the cow as compared to a very few crude attempts at research in muscle building of a man.
Before closing we might mention that a few years ago Irvin Johnson conducted work of a nutritional nature far advanced of anything done by others, in which he was able to work what seemed miracles in muscle building without exercise but with nutrition alone.
Yes, we can put two pounds or so a day of muscle on a cow but it often takes a month or two months to put that much on a man and while the cow does nothing but stand around and eat, the man will work himself almost to exhaustion. I have watched ranchers and cattle feeders sit down to a meal of anything their appetite demands, usually the most atrocious food, that has been processed to death, filled with deadly chemicals and cooked until most of the food elements are destroyed, and eat this junk and think nothing of it. Yet they will keep their cattle in a pen so they can control their feed to the exact pound, the exact kind with a certain specified amount of vitamins, protein, minerals prepared in a certain manner under controlled conditions. Yes, they use the most scientific feeding possible, developed over a period of years and at an expense of millions of dollars of tax money, then they sit down to their own food with no thought whatever of correct nutrition. Isn’t it a strange world?