sister-initiate Hui-Ming Toh, Auckland, New Zealand
(Originally in English)
you ever open your fridge, pull out twenty plates
of pasta and chuck them into the bin, and then, eat
only one plate of food? How about leveling fifty-five
square feet of rainforest for one lunch or dumping
two-thousand-five-hundred gallons of water down the
drain? Of course you wouldn't. However, just eating
half a kilo of meat will cause this. Eating meat will
cause inefficient use and destruction to our resources
and environment, cause immense animal suffering, and
have detrimental effects on our health. So, if roasting
a dog to complement your mashed potato disturbs you,
then why roast any other gentle animal?
Circle Four Farms, a Utah-based pork producer,
hosts a three-million gallon waste lagoon. When
lagoons like this spill into rivers and lakes
as happened in North Carolina in 1995, the result
can be environmentally catastrophic.
UN report has identified that “cows not cars,
are the top threat to our environment.” It gives
evidence that the world's rapidly growing herds of
cattle is the greatest threat to the climate, forests
and wildlife. Farmed animals produce one-hundred-and-thirty
times more excrement than the entire human population
of the United States and this concentrated slop ends
up polluting water, destroying top soil and contaminating
our air. Furthermore, their bodily gas and manure
emit more than one third of methane, which warms the
world twenty times faster than carbon dioxide. Meat-eaters
are responsible for the production of one hundred
percent of these wastes which is about eighty-six-thousand
pounds per second. But, by giving up animal products,
you will be responsible for none of these.
Moreover, our taste for meat is taking a toll on our
supply of non-renewable resources. A staggering two-thousand-five-hundred
gallons of water is needed for the production of each
pound of beef, but, in contrast, it takes only twenty-nine
gallons to produce a pound of tomatoes and a hundred-and-thirty-nine
gallons for a pound of whole wheat bread. Half the
water, eighty percent of agricultural land in the
United States, almost all the soy bean harvest and
over half of the world's grain is used to raise animals
for food. While we are doing this, one billion people
are suffering from hunger and malnutrition and twenty-four-thousand
children die every day alongside fields of grain destined
for the West's livestock. However, world starvation
would be eliminated if our scarce resources were utilized
efficiently by converting land to raising crops for
Somalian famine victims line up for food handouts.
Producing a pound of beef requires 4.8 pounds
of grain, and critics of our modern agricultural
system say that the spread of meat-based diets
aggravates world hunger.
Are you aware that one-hundred-and-thirty million
animals are murdered annually in New Zealand? Most
animals are raised on factory farms, the system which
strives to maximize output at minimum costs. As a
result, the animals suffer immense pain mentally and
physically every second of their lives. They are crammed
into filthy windowless confinement systems and will
never raise their families, rummage in the soil or
do anything that is natural to them. They won't even
feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until
the day they are loaded onto trucks, destined for
slaughter. Over ninety million animals in New Zealand
suffer these conditions and many remain conscious
as their throats are cut, then, left to bleed to death.
Another cruel practice farmers often carry out is
the deprivation of food from birds for fourteen days
in order to shock their bodies into laying more eggs
for human consumption. And, because male chicks are
useless in the meat industry, each year a hundred
million of them are ground up alive or tossed into
bags to suffocate. What's more, at the slaughter house,
the chickens throats are cut, and they are immersed
in scalding hot water to remove their feathers while
many are still alive.
nowadays, to mark cows for identification, ranchers
push hot fire irons into their flesh as they bellow
in pain. Consequently, third degree burns occur and
male calves' testicles are ripped from their scrotums
all without pain relief. To add to their suffering,
the land which cattle graze on has air saturated with
chemicals and these fumes cause chronic respiratory
problems, therefore making breathing painful.
used for their milk are repeatedly impregnated and
their babies taken away so that humans can drink the
milk intended for the calves. They are hooked up to
machines several times daily and using genetic manipulation,
powerful hormones, and intensive milking, they are
forced to produce ten times more milk as they naturally
would. This contributes to the immensely painful inflammation
of their udder which up to fifty percent of dairy
cows suffer from.
Animals on today's factory farms have no legal protection
from cruelty that would be illegal if it were inflicted
on household pets: neglect, mutilation, genetic manipulation,
and drug programs that cause chronic pain and crippling
and, violent slaughter. Robert Louis Stevenson, a
novelist and poet said, “We consume the carcasses
of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs
with our own.” Yet, farmed animals are no less
intelligent or capable of feeling pain than are the
dogs and cats we cherish as companions.
This is demonstrated by the frequent reports of cows
leaping over a six-foot fence to escape a slaughterhouse,
walking seven miles to be reunited with a calf and
swimming across a river to freedom. Pigs, too, are
insightful animals as discovered by Dr. Donald Broom,
scientific advisor to the British government - “[Pigs]
have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated.
Even more so than dogs and certainly three-year-olds.”
The most important step you can take to save our planet
and diminish both human and animal suffering is to
go vegetarian. A meat free diet rich in complex carbohydrates,
protein, fiber, omega-three, vitamins and minerals
provides optimal nutrition, forming the foundation
for dietary habits that support a lifetime of good
health. Compelling evidence can be found in the book
“The China Study” by Professor T. Colin
Campbell which says, “in the next ten years,
one of the things you're bound to hear is that animal
protein is one of the most toxic nutrients of all…risk
for disease goes up dramatically when even a little
animal protein is added to the diet.” Studies
have shown that vegetarian kids have higher IQs than
their classmates and vegetarians live, on average,
six to ten years longer than meat-eaters. In addition
to this, they are fifty percent less likely to develop
heart disease and cancer, plus, meat eaters are nine
times more likely to be obese than vegans are. Vegetarian
foods provide us with all the nutrients we need, minus
the saturated fat, cholesterol, and contaminants.
Conversely, many argue that plants are alive too.
This is true, but plants have only ten percent consciousness
while animals have consciousness equivalent to humans.
Since plants cannot locomote, the sensation of experiencing
pain would be superfluous. Thus, plants differ completely
physiologically from mammals. If you cut a branch
or leaves off a tree, it will flourish and grow more.
On the other hand, animals do not desire regular pruning.
Can you cut off a leg from a cow and expect it to
grow four more legs?
Raising animals for food is wreaking havoc on Earth.
The environment, resources and our health are deteriorating
and although most of us do not actively condone killing,
humans have developed the habit, supported by society,
of eating meat without any real awareness of what
is being done to the animals we eat. It is said that,
“one visit to a slaughterhouse will make you
a vegetarian for life. Because it is us who created
their screams of pain and fear.” So, if you
ever decide to roast a gentle animal again…remember
you are consuming the flesh of one equivalent to your
much loved pets. But, the only difference is that
this animal was tortured.
are many shocking pictures on the following websites:
find global maps on livestock's environmental impact
through following link :
- the green lungs
of the Earth
|Burning the rainforests
a natural ecosystem
|This scorched and barren
is the cost of just a few hamburgers!
The author is a 17-year-old student in her final year
of secondary school. The article was an internal assessment
for which she was awarded the top grade of excellence.
this page to Friends