Vegan Vegetarian Diet – Moral Considerations the Meat Industry Prefers You Remain Clueless About
Alongside concern for our health, an equally compelling reason to choose a vegetarian lifestyle is the moral and ethical concern of killing another animal for food. Often, even those who become vegetarians solely for health reasons experience a growing responsibility to protect the planet’s animals and wildlife. The thought of killing animals and birds for “fun,” “sport,” or “recreation” is unsettling to vegetarians, many of whom are involved in conservation movements.
1. poultry: Recently, animal rights groups have turned their attention to “poultry factories” where chickens are raised solely for egg production. Typically, four birds are stuffed into battery cages that measure only 12″ x 18″. To prevent the birds from becoming hostile, their beaks are removed; otherwise they would peck each other to death. To even imagine what that might feel like, you need to know that the beak is made of tissue similar to the tissue and nerve endings in the nails of your fingers and toes.
They cannot stretch or flap their wings, and light is shined on them 22 hours a day to force them into constant feeding and egg production.
In the early 1950s, it took 14 to 16 weeks to bring a chicken to slaughter weight and it took 3.4 pounds of feed to produce one pound of chicken meat.
Today it takes just 7 weeks – half the time – to bring a chicken to slaughter weight and only 1.9 pounds of feed is needed to produce one pound of chicken meat.
The price of these so-called “improvements” is not only more excessive animal cruelty, but also an increased health risk for the consumer.
Infection risk. Studies have shown that overcrowding increases the risk of infection. Contaminated birds are difficult to identify because, when caged on a moving conveyor belt en route to slaughter, they rush past an inspector past the rat at 80 to 90 birds per minute. Chickens are routinely fed only limited-range antibiotics, which have been linked to a new strain of more potent organisms that have not only developed immunity to many drugs, but are also consumed by humans who eat these contaminated chickens. And just for cosmetic reasons, poultry farmers use a chemical dye called xanthophylls to give the meat a golden glow to make consumers believe it’s wholesome.
2. veal: An even more cruel form of torture was inflicted on veal calves to produce very white and particularly tender meat. They are housed in extremely cramped stalls where they cannot move or turn around; and they are fed a milky pap laced with hormones, antibiotics, and a variety of chemical additives. They are kept in windowless buildings lit only by low-wattage red bulbs that burn continuously to artificially whet their appetites; Their heads are in a holding slot with a continuous supply of food in front of them, and they can never turn or recline. Instead, they must sleep standing up for several weeks before being sent to slaughter.
The Political Implications of Vegetarianism
People know, and are usually resigned to, the undue influence of special interest groups in drafting laws designed to protect the health and welfare of citizens. As vegetarianism grows both in number and in influence, the meat and dairy industries put constant pressure on politicians to counteract this positive trend, going so far as to bully – called quacks in – under the guise of protecting the consumer from prejudice the natural food industry. While their efforts may seem commendable and altruistic, they are thinly disguised tricks to hinder or even halt progress towards vegetarianism. If you feel your decision-making rights are being violated, seek out and support organizations that support the inclination. A single person is not usually considered; however, there is strength in unity.
Social and Economic Impact
According to R. Buckminster Fuller — the internationally respected engineer, scientist, and architect — and other experts, our planet’s resources are sufficient to feed, clothe, and shelter every man, woman, and child if we use our resources properly .
Raising livestock requires much more land than raising crops. It takes 12-24 pounds of plant protein to create a single pound of meat protein. 70% of the grain harvested in the US is used to feed animals rather than humans, which is of course a wasteful and unnecessary waste. There is only one acre of cultivable land per person on earth; and the average American meat eater needs 1.6 acres per year to feed them, while a vegetarian needs less than half an acre. This inefficiency in meat production is reflected in inflated prices. Plant-based protein sources are cheaper than the cheapest meat, and sprouted grains and seeds offer an excellent source of protein at even greater savings.
Thanks to Cindy Soto