Animals always have been an important source of food for humans, but the inedible parts of animals have been important, too. These are by-products.
The Native Americans made use of every bit of the buffalo. After the meat was harvested, the hide, bones, hooves and horns were turned into things that were needed in everyday life. The hide was used to make the Native American's home. Robes, ceremonial items, clothing and a lot more - even children's toys - came from the buffalo by-products.
Likewise, the early pioneers relied on animals to make clothing, soap, needles and candles.
Believe it or not, by-products still are being made from animals in today's world. The inedible parts of ranch animals can be broken down into their basic components and recombined with other materials to make a wealth of things we use every day.
Take fats, for example. They're made of glycerol and fatty acids. When fats are broken down, the glycerol and fatty acids are available as raw materials. Glycerol is used in making antifreeze. Oleo margarine and chewing gum are fatty acid-based. And these are just two examples.
Proteins can be broken down, too. So can bones, connective tissue, horns and hooves.
Consider this scenario. It begins in the morning when families are getting ready for the new day. That means using soap, toothpaste, shaving cream, mouthwash and deodorant. It's likely that protein hair shampoo and conditioner, hair gel and hairspray will be used, too. So will cosmetics, perfume and hand cream. These products all are made from fat, fatty acid and proteins.
At breakfast, the jelly on toast was made by using a gelatin, perhaps a by-product of animal connective tissue. The same goes for yogurt. And if there's any toast leftover, it will be wrapped in cellophane. Yep, it's made using an animal by-product.
In winter, family members are likely to leave the house wearing a wool sweater, coat, mittens or hat. The wool is a by-product of sheep. Cowhide is used in making leather which becomes shoes, boots and gloves. Wallets, purses and briefcases sometimes are made from animal hides, too. Even the car upholstery may be made from a ranch animal.
To keep the car running, the owner will use auto lubricants, engine oil, high-performance greases and brake fluid. These are made from fats, fatty acids and proteins. Even a glue, made from protein, is used in building the auto body.
The car's tires contain stearic acid, a by-product that is necessary in making the rubber hold its shape. And even the asphalt the tires ride on contains a binding agent that comes from fat.
Some steel ball bearings contain bone charcoal, and the car polishes and waxes are made using fats and fatty acids.
At school, children use crayons (from fats and fatty acids), artist's brushes (from animal hair), and glues (collagen-based adhesives). During recess, they play with footballs and baseballs made from animal hides and other by-products.
In the evening, back at home, the family members may light candles (made from fats and fatty acids). For dinner, they likely will eat beef, pork or mutton (animal products) and enjoy a fruit salad made with marshmallows (containing gelatin). The ice cream dessert also is made with gelatin.
And that's not all. Piano keys, wallpaper and wallpaper paste, photographic film, dice, insulation, paints, sheet rock any many other products are made from ranch animal by-products.
Since cattle, sheep, and swine are similar to the organic structure of humans, our bodies will accept medications made with these animal components. Although some pharmaceuticals can be synthesized, many still are made from ranch animal by-products.
Some medicines made from beef by-products, for example, include: chymotrypsin, which promotes healing; collagen that is used in plastic surgery and to make nonstick bandages; cortisol; glucagon that treats low blood sugar; insulin; and heparin.
Sheep and swine by-products are also used in making medical products, too. Animal intestines are used in making surgical sutures, and swine heart valves have been used to replace those in humans.
The uses for ranch animal by-products are just too numerous to be included in one story!