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Animals are People, Too This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


      "Animalsare people, too" is a common phrase used by animal lovers, but whatdoes it really mean? To some, it means animals have the same rights aspeople. Sometimes it just means that animals have rights. To somevegetarians, or at least me, it means that animals are not here for ouruse. They deserve to be alive and well. I believe we do not have theright to take that away, though we do. The number of animals slaughteredevery year for human consumption exceeds five billion in the UnitedStates alone. The conditions in which they are kept are completelyinadequate. Piglets are crammed in dark, prison-like pens and are inconstant pain from ruptured stomachs, diseases, wounds and infections.Chickens are fed antibiotics daily to prevent sickness and crammed insheds where they suffer broken bones and deformity. Farm animals are notthe only ones affected; in the past few years, over-hunting has puthundreds of species on the endangered list.

With problems likeglobal warming, deforestation and water pollution, it is more importantthan ever to be environmentally responsible. Meat production is the mostwasteful way of supplying food. In the Midwest and eastern sections ofNorth America, it takes two to three acres to raise one cow. In thesouthwestern U.S., and in Canada's prairie provinces, it can take 50acres. That land could be used to grow an enormous amount of vegetablesand grains which provide all the vitamins people need. Another goodreason to grow vegetables is that they are beneficial to the soil. Whena harvest is over, plants decay, making the land more fertile for thenext season. Ani-mals do just the opposite. In fact, cattle farming isone of the prime causes of deforestation. Many acres of tropicalrainforests are burned every year to make room for livestock. The cattletake the place of trees and, because the soil is so thin, it is trampledto dust in no time, killing a great number of exotic animals bydestroying their habitats.

We all care about animals. We are allconcerned about the environment. So why are vegetarians still aminority? People tend to think that making this change will jeopardizetheir health and they don't want to go to the trouble of learning how tocook meatless meals. In truth, vegetarians have less risk of heartdisease and cancer than meat-eaters. As for easy meal ideas, you can buyveggie burgers at almost any supermarket and tofu is another greatalternative (taking on the flavor of what you cook it with). Considergoing veggie; animals are depending on you.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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