Billion of animals are raised and slaughtered each year for human consumption. In factory farms, animals are kept in extremely small spaces. But the animals endure much more than being overcrowded. Chickens they have such little space to move around that they peck each other to death. To prevent this, their upper beaks are cut off. Pigs are stunned, their throats are cut and they’re left bleeding to death. As for cows, they are often dragged to the slaughter house or they die from lack of food and water.
Not to mention, animals are sprayed with pesticides and fed antibiotics and hormones which in turn are passed on to the consumer. Quoted by William Roberts, “When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.” Studies show that meat-eaters are twice as likely to die from heart disease and 60% are likely to die from cancer compared to vegetarians. Meat consumption has been linked to many diseases including hypertension, kidney disease and diabetes.
Finally, the animal farming industry is illogical and unsustainable. Imagine all the food (mostly grains might I add) that a cow would eat over the course of one to two years, which is the average age of most cows when they are slaughtered for their meat. Now imagine if you were to somehow able to pile all of that food in front of you. This massive mountain of food that has sustained the cow for years; giving him energy, allowing his bones and muscles to grow, allowing his cells to regenerate, his heart to beat and his lungs to breathe. Now imagine a slaughter house worker came and killed that cow, cutting his body into pieces of meat and putting it all into another pile. Which of these piles do you think would feed more people? The pile that used to be his body or the larger pile of food that went into creating and nourishing it? There’s enough plant-based food to feed the entire human population, yet there are enough hungry people on the planet to almost completely fill up two whole continents and about 2.5 million children die from starvation annually. Half the world’s agricultural land is sued for livestock farming, which is less efficient for feeding people – and worse for the environment – than producing grains, fruits and vegetables for direct human consumption. This is what makes the animal faming industry so illogical and unsustainable.
Hopefully, I have made you more aware of the matters of vegetarianism and I also hope that you’ll make the right moral and health decisions as I have. You don’t have to become a vegetarian overnight. Slowly eliminate certain meats from your diet, like red meat, and eventually you’ll stop eating meat altogether. In the end, it is your choice whether you want to choose the path that is the most compassionate, healthy and sustainable.