Animals have been enduring years of pain and suffering for the tastebuds of humans. People could argue that eating meat is part of the food “chain” but if so why does the process have to be so brutal? There is scientific evidence that shows that animal products cause health issues in humans and cause diseases. There are also very harmful environmental issues that are being magnified by “factory” farming and rainforest deforestation from smaller farms. If you do not care much for the welfare of the animals you must care for your health and the planet.
I was vegan for almost two years and my energy and weight was the best it had ever been. A vegan diet consists of only plants and completely cutting out meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and honey. This was difficult to adapt to, but once it became a habit it became easier. I found the right replacements for what I ate before, new recipes, and started to actually look at what I was putting into my body. My doctor told me that my blood pressure had decreased. I felt better physically and mentally after about a month. I recently gave up on the diet and went back to eating meat and other animal products. My reason for coming to a halt on this journey was my busy schedule. I would have to pack every meal or eat when I was out which was difficult because most food available had some sort or animal product. After going back I have gained weight, have less energy, and cholesterol levels have increased. I understand both the meat eater’s side and the vegan/vegetarian side.
The factory farming industry is ruthless on the treatment of their animals. Their goal as a business is to make as much money as possible. This results in cruel practices like animals remaining conscious when they’re dunked into scalding-hot water for the defeathering and hair removal tanks or while their bodies are being skinned or cut apart in order to speed up the production line. In, “A Change of Heart about Animals,” by Jeremy Rifkin, studies show that the animals living is compact cages,” crave affection and are easily depressed if isolated or denied playtime with each other.” Not only do these animals have strong emotions but they also are very smart. Jeremy Rifkin also showed research for a Gorilla named Koko. Koko, “was taught sign language and has mastered more than 1,000, signs and understands several thousand English words,” which shows that animals are more similar to us than we thought.
Animals should be given better treatment by humans because they have similar emotions to us. Would you treat your pet the same way countless animals are treated in the industry? Would you lock them in cages all day, feed them hormones, hurt them in order for them to do what you want, or eat them? These are questions to ask yourself because the only difference is we have a relationship with our pets. We desensitize ourselves and don’t usually think about the backstory of the food on our plate. If we are going to breed animals for our own agenda shouldn’t they be given a better life before they are slaughtered. The killing of the animal should be the worst the creature had to endure but it isn’t. These animals seem to be seen as property rather than creatures that we share the planet with. Yes, animals are not humans but they should still be treated with more respect.
It is a running debate if meat should be consumed by humans. Early humans ate meat in order to evolve because of the high amount of protein and energy. At the time hunting was needed in order to survive their difficult situation. In the article, “Why Meat, Fish, and Dairy Harm”, it states that meat is the cause of heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, breast cancer, and obesity. The reason for all these causes is the cholesterol, saturated fat, and hormones meat contains. Not only is meat unhealthy, but our bodies have a hard time digesting it and chewing it. Our intestines are not long enough for meat to pass through easily and out teeth are not able to cut through hard flesh. That is why tools have always been used by humans to kill animals. Our teeth and systems are more similar to monkeys and apes which consist of plants. If a person is worried about their protein consumption or their amount of B-12 intake, there are many other resources. Beans, nuts, and most vegetables carry both of these nutrients.
The space needed for livestock results in many trees needing to be cut down and emissions from the factories. A huge portion of the amazon being cut down was for cattle grazing. Along with deforestation the amount of water needed for one pound of beef is 1,799 gallons of water, not including the copious amounts of feed. The amount of food used to feed livestock could be going to starving children in third world countries. A vegetarian diet helps reduce the chance of a heart attack, can increase your lifespan up to 6 to 9 years longer, and helps consume less hormones and carbon monoxide.
You don’t have to stop eating meat, cold turkey. A good thing to do would be to consume less meat as much as possible and to vote with your dollar. Without the consumer the companies would not be able to survive. Try to consume less and to vote with your dollar. If we ignore the problem, the welfare of animals and the planet will keep going South.
Contributing Writer: Mia Komarnicki