The other day I started to reflect on the reasons I have chosen to live a vegetarian lifestyle for the last 3 years. What I have come to realize is that as each year goes by, my reasons evolve; each piece of knowledge propelling me from a deeper and more passionate place. My first year was purely health related; as I took my courses in nutrition and learned about the evolution of factory farming and became more aware of the contamination of our meats, with over use of antibiotics and low- grade, toxic feed, turning our bodies into a breeding ground for Cancers and other disease. The following years, I gained greater insight on the process of digestion and how or bodies actually don’t require animal proteins at all. The more I read, the more my heart sank as I learned about unethical farming practices, clear cutting of our rainforests, extinction of plant and animal species all in the name of eating meat and in astronomical amounts! With this knowledge, my decision to become vegetarian has never felt more right. A few days ago, after reading this particular chapter in my book, I felt compelled not only write this blog but to share with you important information you may not know…so that you too can make informed decisions that are in-line with your values.
As our population increases and our demands for food escalate, incidences of overcrowding, isolation, and brutality in food animals become commonplace. Subjected to surgeries, mutilations and amputations without anesthetics. Crowding and isolation rob these animals if the opportunity to engage in normal social behavior, often driving them insane. All animals are feeling, thinking creatures who deserve to be treated with respect and compassion. Most people treat their pets with love and kindness, many fail to recognize that “food” animals are just as intelligent as ” companion” animals and they feel pain every bit as much as pets or people do. It’s so easy to go to your local grocery store and buy a piece of meat, neatly packaged without thinking twice about how that animal was raised, the life it had or the torture it experienced before it’s death. Slaughtering laws are put in place but not followed for the sake of profits. (1. pg 5)
The animals aren’t the only ones who suffer, our planet is suffering too:
- Raising livestock in the U.S. consumes an estimated 50 % of ALL of the water consumption in the country (1. pg 6)
- Rain forests in Central America are being cleared for the purpose of raising cheap beef for American fast-food chains. It is estimated for every fast food burger made from rain-forest beef, fifty-five square feet of tropical rain forest is cleared. (1. Pg 7)
- Animal agriculture is a significant factor in global warming. 15-20% of all methane emissions (a large contributor to global warming) comes directly from raising farm animals. (1. Pg 8)
- Between 1990-1995, China’s grain consumption increased by 40 million tones. Of this total, 33 million tons was consumed by farm animals and 7 million tons for humans…meanwhile 1 in 6 people go hungry everyday. (1. Pg 8)
This blog is not intended to turn you into a vegetarian but is solely to educate you on the effects that meat-eating is having on our planet and the brutality that goes along with factory farming.
If you do choose to consume meat:
a) Reduce your consumption
b) Take the time to find a farm that raiseds, free-range animals, using humane farming practices…ensuring that the life they sacrifice is one worth living.
For yourself, the animals and the planet…
1) Becoming Vegetarian, The Essential Guide to a Healthy Vegetarian Diet, Visanto Melina, MS, RD & Brenda Davis, RD.
Delve deeper and watch these incredible and very informative documentaries: