By Alana Schachtel
The other day I was immersed in a fascinating conversation with my friend Sam. We were in our university dining hall looking at the meat and wondering where it came from. We were both pretty sure that it was from some factory with inhumane and grotesque conditions. Unfortunately America gets most of it's meat from said factories. There are many valid arguments that I have heard regarding why we shouldn't eat meat:
It is bad for the environment.
This is because in order to create mass farms we must strip the land of the ecosystems present on it. Chemicals are commonly used for sanitation purposes and this leaks into our water systems. I read that producing just one hamburger takes the amount of fossil fuels to drive a car 20 miles. More than one third of the fossil fuels used in the US are used to farm animals for consumption. (peta.org) There are tons of examples of how the meat industry is terrible on the environment, a typical pig factory produces the waste of a city of 12,000, more than 80% of the corn we grow is used to feed livestock, etc…
Native Foods uses this image courtesy of http://redgreenandblue.org/files/2011/12/cornfield.jpg.
It is bad for your health:
This is because what is generally fed to the animals that are mass produced: CORN. "Feeding cattle on corn fundamentally changes the meat they produce, greatly increasing levels of unhealthy Omega-6 fatty acids and decreasing levels of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. This change greatly impacts the healthiness of meat for human consumption." (http://www.globalaginvesting.com) "A corn diet," he writes, "wreaks havoc on their digestive system, making it necessary to feed them antibiotics to stave off illness and infection." (http://florida.sierraclub.org/northeast/education/beef.html) Again, the list goes on and on. There is the argument that we need protein, but, as Native foods has modeled, there are many vegan ways to get the protein we need.
It is inhumane:
The truth is, there is an immense amount of pain and stress that animals and factories have to endure. It is sad for any living creature to have to spend its life in terror and pain. This does not generally happen in nature, if we put an end to the inhumane meat factories that are so prevalent in the world, there would be a lot less suffering that our world's creatures would have to go through. Remember that even though we do not see and hear the pain the animals go through everyday, it is still their reality. It is a heartbreaking truth.