Do animals feel anything when they are fed with marijuana waste?
It has not been studied yet whether pigs understand the difference, when they are fed hemp plants waste or some other type of food. However, animals in general tend to show a preference on a specific kind of food over another, and even do not like some types of feed at all.
Pigs are known to eat almost anything and it would be difficult to notice a significant change in their eating behavior when changing their feed. However, according to William von Schneidau, the butcher who applied this method on his pigs, it seems that marijuana refuse made them eat more and gain weight faster.
Cases where animals are fed cannabis
First of all, it should be stressed that humans who smoke cannabis only use the dried leaves and flowers of the plant and not the waste like the stems etc.
While the aforementioned pigs were not actually fed cannabis, but more precisely, hemp plants refuse, there is evidence on people giving their pets weed.
Dr. Kramer, a vet who is in favor of giving medical cannabis to animals for pain relief, has claimed that in the right doses, medical cannabis can make life more tolerable for sick pets, when no other method seems to be effective. He also points out that cannabis has an effect to animals with cannabinoid receptors, just like humans. These receptors exist in a number of animals, including pigs, so butcher William von Schneidau might have been aware of this fact before feeding his pigs with marijuana refuse.
Of course, there are extreme cases that should be strictly avoided and which lead to serious animal abuse, when pet owners literally get their dogs, cats etc. addicted to cannabis, even if they are in perfect health.
Does feeding pigs with marijuana impose a risk to public health?
The meat of pigs that are fed with marijuana refuse is aimed for public consumption. According to their owner, this meat is tastier and it also has a brighter color. This does not mean of course, that it is safe to consume it at the same time, at least until there is an official statement on that.
In that direction, there was a case in which feeding cows with hemp plants was banned because their milk was unfit for public consumption, due to its high level of toxic substance tetrahydrocannabinol. Hemp seeds, on the other hand, did not have such an effect.
Public concern with regards to the quality and safety standards of red meat has been raised, due to the horse meat scandal, and as result consumers buying pork meat will definitely want to be sure of the safety and quality of what they buy.
The case of alcohol in animal feed
Feeding animals with alcohol is another controversial case that can be compared to giving them hemp.
Although there is little scientific evidence on how domestic animals and livestock are affected by alcohol, there are plenty of accounts of personal experience in which domestic animals become drunk when they are given liquids or solid food containing alcohol.
On the other hand, alcohol that is naturally contained in some fruit is part of the regular diet of various wild animals. There is mixed personal and scientific evidence about whether those animals actually get drunk or not. Famous evolution scientist Darwin mentioned that wild animals like monkeys would not say no to alcohol, as they showed a strong attraction to it. Besides, in blog comments it was reported that the behavior of animals as diverse as cows and cockroaches is greatly influenced by alcohol.
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