March 5, 2012
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Imagine this: you sit down with your family at Fatburger and order, you guessed it: A hamburger. The waiter hands it over and you immediately sink your teeth into the perfectly cooked patty. What you don’t realize is that the cow your meal came from lived a long, but short, life of cruelty and abuse dying a gruesome death only for the benefit of your taste buds. For thousands of years, humans have been eating animals for a source of nutrients and vitamins, but there are some that avoid the unethical act of killing an innocent animal for food and have learned to get by eating alternative meals. Vegetarianism is a way of not only helping the animals, but your body as well.

Vegetarianism has been debated by many since the very beginning. It has been said that those who take on a vegetarian diet have a hard time getting the protein and nutrients they need, however with the right foods and a healthy amount of vegetables and fruits vegetarians can easily maintain a healthy diet. There are many alternatives for getting protein that don’t include the slaughtering of animals. Tofu is a great source of protein and is extremely healthy for you. Plus, soy products such as those made by Morning Star provide the consumer with foods that taste almost exactly like meat while at the same time getting the body the essential proteins that it needs needed. So, with options like these and many more, there is really no reason to be killing and eating animals.

Not only can a vegetarian diet help people maintain healthy diets, it has also been proven to be even healthier than a diet including meat. Recent discoveries have shown that eating meat increases ones’ chance of getting type Two Diabetes. In the same breath, vegetarians’ ability to absorb more calcium makes for healthier bones and therefore a healthier body. Completely vegetarian diets have also been proven to decrease the chances of getting Kidney and gallstones and are 40% less likely to develop cancer in the body. Though the diet is strict, it is very rewarding. The increased amounts of fruits and vegetables vegetarians eat, as opposed to meat-eaters, generally leads to a healthier body weight. So, in short, vegetarians tend to live longer than others.

You’re probably thinking, “So what? It’s not like it’s hurting anyone else.” Though that is an easy thing to assume, the reality is that it’s not just an unhealthy choice for yourself, but for people, animals, and the environment around you. By choosing to eat meat, you play a prime part in huge world problems such as world hunger, global warming, and the destroying of the environment and planet that we live on. 18% of greenhouse gases alone being emitted into the atmosphere are caused by the raising of animals for food. Coupled with that, the immense amount of cattle feed, which includes corn, grains, and other edible foods, used could be given to people who are starving rather than feeding it to animals that will just end up being eaten anyways. Meatpacking is said to be the most dangerous factory job in the United States, so if more people took on a vegetarian diet, there would be less workers being injured on the job.
And what about the animals? Many chickens live in overcrowded coops where diseases spread like wildfire and it is common to find the chickens that you will soon be eating walking all over feces and dead chickens. Both cows and chickens are slaughtered mercilessly after enduring a life of pain and hardship. Plus, let’s not forget about the fish. They feel pain as much as any cow, chicken, or even human. When a hook is pierced through the roof of their mouths, studies have shown that the fish feel excruciating pain. There is no reason that these animals should be subjected to such pain when there are healthier alternatives.
The pain these animals go through could easily be avoided with a few changes to everyone’s diets. The needless killing of animals for food must end, not just because the animals don’t deserve it, but because people deserve better. People should be fed before cattle, people should be able to live on an Earth that is not being consistently heated, people should be able to believe that their great grandchildren will be able to see a polar bear, and last of all, people should be able to say that they were able to make a difference in helping make the world a better place. Make the world a better place: put down the burger and pick up a carrot.

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