They are all examples of vegetarians.But why would Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein,or Gandhi decide to become vegetarians? These are some notoriously smart guys, but what did they know that would have compelled them to become vegetarians? I’m going to tell you here today.
Why Be a Vegetarian?Improving Your Health, Helping the Environment, and Ending Animals’ Suffering One Meal at a Time By: Sydney O’Rourke-Walker
• More than 910,000 people die annually of heart disease• More then 70 million Americans live with some sort of heart disease related condition• One of the major contributing factors to cardiovascular disease is a high cholesterol level in the blood• Plants contain no cholesterol
• Studies show that incidents of hormone- dependent cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer, are much lower in people that eat a vegetarian or semi-vegetarian diet
• A vegetarian diet is low in fat, high in fiber, low in protein and high in phytochemicals resulting in lower cancer rates, less diabetes, lower blood pressures, less coronary artery disease and fewer gallstones and kidney stones
“The beef industry has contributed tomore American deaths than all thewars of this century, all naturaldisasters, and all automobile accidentscombined. If beef is your idea of ‘realfood for real people’ you’d better livereal close to a real good hospital.” -Neal Barnard M.D. founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
• Factory Farming has become the answer to supply the high demand production of animals for food, this comes at great cost to our environment• http://www.peta.org/tv /videos/vegetarianism/292377256001.aspx
• The industrial agriculture production method causes water, soil, and air pollution; soil erosion; and unsustainable water consumption• It takes much more energy to produce animal- based foods than plant-based foods• Its takes 7kgs of grain to produce 1 kg of beef• That’s 8 burgers verses 49 loaves of bread• 66% of the United States grain production is used to feed livestock for the meat industry
• Food that is fed to animals on factory farms is grown over hundreds of acres of monocultures resulting in the overuse of pesticides and fertilizers that in turn pollute the soil and water• Cramped living conditions on factory farms leave grazing pastures barren with compacted soil that erodes heavily• It is estimated that it takes ‘100 times’ more water to produce beef than to produce the equivalent amounts of protein energy from grains• Modern farming practices contribute to 70% of the pollution in the nation’s rivers and streams
• The USDA estimated that the waste production from the U.S. meat industry at 1.4 billion tons• This is 130 times the nation’s volume of human waste
• In the name of big business factory farms perform unspeakable acts to animals by viewing them as business commodities• The animals live in poor unnatural conditions leading to much stress, illness, disease, and death• Factory farmers also rely on the overuse of antibiotics, that also leads to the rise of antibiotic resistance in humans
Pigs• Pigs are packed by the dozen into pens where they can’t lie down• Never get so see sunlight, mud, or fresh air• 65% of hogs have pneumonia-like lesions on their lungs created from the ammonium gas created from the pigs own poop• To help remove the poop easily the floors are made of concrete or wooden slats which will result in skeletal deformities of the legs and feet
• Pigs will get bored living in the conditions offered by factory farming and this will sometimes lead to tail biting• Instead of giving the pigs more space and stimulation they will remove the pigs tails and cut down their teeth• Without any form of anesthesia
Chickens• Are packed by the thousands into dark houses, a full-grown chicken has an average of 0.6 square feet of space• Due to hormones given to chickens to make them grow quick most can’t walk due to the fact their bones can’t catch up with the rapid growth• Heart and lung failure is common as well due to too small organs caused by the rapid growth• In the wild it takes 3 months for a chicken to fully mature, in a factory farm it takes 45 days
• Overcrowding in chickens will often cause aggressive behavior• This is easily solved by the painful process of debeaking• Many chickens die because they can no longer eat without their beak
• Chickens are hung up by their feet fully conscious, some slaughterhouses stun the birds by passing them through an electrified bath of water, however, often times the birds are not rendered unconscious by the shock and proceed, still hung by their feet, to have their necks cut by a mechanical blade.• If the bird is not sufficiently stunned, the blade may not actually kill it and the animal proceeds to the next stage in the process while still alive.• The birds are then submerged in boiling water to scald them and remove feathers.• It’s estimated that millions of chickens a year in the US are ultimately killed in the slaughterhouse by this last step, being boiled alive.
• Any male chickens born in a egg-producing factory farm will be simply thrown in the garbage, dead or alive
Cows• Most beef cattle spend the last few months of their lives at feedlots, crowded by the thousands into dirty, manure-laden holding pens. The air is thick with harmful bacteria and particulate matter, and the animals are at a constant risk for respiratory disease.• Feedlot cattle are routinely implanted with growth- promoting hormones, and they are fed unnaturally rich diets designed to fatten them quickly and cheaply.• Because cattle are biologically suited to eat a grass- based diet, their concentrated feedlot food contribute to metabolic disorders that are deadly.
• The veal calf has the hardest lives of all factory farm animals• When born the calf is immediately taken from it’s mother and chained in a dark cramped crate that renders it immobile, thus preventing the calf from creating any form of muscle• This lack of muscle formation insures the meat will be tender• The calf is then fed a totally liquid iron-deficient diet that causes constant diarrhea• The iron-deficient diet induces anemia, assuring the calf will develop the pale flesh that is prized at the market• At 16 weeks of age the calf is taken to slaughter, never having seen sunlight, walked on ground, or breathed fresh air
• 75% of dairy cattle are downed• This is the largest percentage in factory farming• Too sick or injured to walk dairy cattle are left in the stockyard to die• http://www.peta.org/tv /videos/graphic/69317830001.aspx
“If slaughterhouses hadglass walls, everyonewould be a vegetarian.” - Sir Paul McCartney
Meet your Meat• http://www.peta.org/tv /videos/celebrities-vegetarianism/87206203001. aspx
• Make one meal at a time vegetarian – Just one vegetarian meal a week will make a difference – Go for the organic or health-food option – Try soy-based meat substitutes or a vegetarian frozen dinner• There are even solutions for the diehard meat eaters – Make smarter meat choices – Choose meat from sustainable farms – Try farmer’s markets and health food stores that offer meat from small, local farms
Everyone needs to do their part and take responsibility for the conditions that exist in our nation.
Education is the key!Websites: • Meatrix.com • FarmSanctuary.com • Vrg.orgBooks: • Milk- The Deadly Poison by Robert Cohen • Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
“Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassionto embrace all living creatures and thewhole of nature and its beauty. Nothingwill benefit human health and increasechances of survival for life on earth asmuch as the evolution to a vegetariandiet.” -Albert Einstein
Article: Stop Eating Meat and Save the Planet?http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/25/business/energy-environment/25iht-green25.html