I know what you’re all thinking after reading the title of this article: “Agh, yet another righteous herbivore trying to push their outrageous views on us.” I chose to write this article not to force my opinions on you or to bombard you with all this controversial information, but to share with you another side of the story that you may not always hear when asking vegetarians: “So, why the heck would you choose to become a vegetarian?”

When asking people these questions, you usually get a response along the lines of: “Because I don’t like meat,” “For ethical reasons,” or sometimes, “I’ve just never eaten meat because my parents didn’t feed it to me as a child.” But when you hear these responses, do you ever wonder why this person doesn’t acquire a taste for meat, or what actually goes on in the animal industry for people to be so against eating an entire food group?

Animals and Slavery:

According to The Free Dictionary, slavery refers to a condition in which individuals are owned by others, who control where they live and at what they work. Does this mean that slavery, the owning and control of another, is only exclusive to the human race? Do cows not count as slaves? What about chickens, pigs, fish? Are these animals considered free? If humans are animals, why are we free but others aren’t?

The place where animals get killed is literally called a ‘slaughterhouse’ – a house of slaughter. Yet, we believe animal slaughtering is humane.  Is it really humane to put animals under extreme psychological and physical abuse, to torture, and to murder?  It seems that people who think it is justifiable have an image that cows get a belly rub and a pat on the back before they “volunteer themselves” to die for the sake of someone getting a meal on their plate.

70 billion animals are born annually worldwide for animal agriculture. More than 6 million animals die for food every hour, and why? For three main reasons: tradition, taste, and convenience.

I appreciate that we have different interests. We enjoy different things, come from different nationalities and religions; it’s what makes us unique. If there is one thing that we EMISers have in common, it’s that we all want to make peace.  If innocent humans should not die, then the same thing should apply to animals, providing peace to our planetary companions. Animals are not our property, they are not stupid, and just like us, they can think and feel.

For the person who says they don’t eat meat because they never ate it as a child: This person grew up with the ability to make his/her own decision as to whether they want to be responsible for killing animals. As children, animals amazed us. We protected them, played with them, and if they were hurt, we would feel their pain. As we got older, we were taught to view animals differently. We were we taught to be so cruel and lifeless in regards to killing animals.

For the person who says that they don’t like meat, it’s because our bodies aren’t designed to digest it. We aren’t built as omnivores, and that’s the reason we suffer from heart diseases such as clotted arteries and atherosclerosis (Hi biology kids). Diseases don’t come from eating carrots, avocados, and bananas. According to biologists and anthropologists,studying human anatomy and evolution, humans are built as herbivores. We lack not only the physical but also instinctive characteristics of carnivores.

When vegetarians talk about their substitutes of the same meat meal, meat eaters scrunch up their noses in disgust.But what about meat? Meat is made up of tendons, blood, flesh, and muscle: does this sound appealing to anyone? Maybe it is so ‘delicious’ to consume meat (of all kinds) including animal flesh, eggs ( a hen’s period), milk (aka a secretion loaded with pus), and honey (bee’s vomit), but for some reason, I just can’t see it.

Here are some statistics, taken from the movie ‘Cowspiracy’, just to give you a glimpse into the damage animal consumption causes to our environment:

Greenhouse gases:

Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.x

Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

Water:

Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually.

2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef.

Land:

Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.  

Waste:

A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.

Oceans:

–  3/4 of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted.

I am not saying meat eaters are bad people. All I want is for people to be more aware that the leading cause of a lot of the problems in this world are due to animal consumption. If we are really trying to change the world, then before trying to see what everyone else is doing wrong, we need to look at our own contributions towards harming it.

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. – Mahatma Gandhi

Written by: Maya Shina

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