The Truth about Meat

February 16, 2010
By katys1992 BRONZE, Wexford, Pennsylvania
katys1992 BRONZE, Wexford, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Picture this: It is a Saturday night, and you are going out to dinner at your favorite restaurant with your family. You are expecting to have a fun time, some laughs, and good food. You get there, glance at the menu, and decide on a tenderloin steak. Sounds good right? But what are you really getting? With every serving of meat comes heart disease, high blood pressure, waste, contamination, cruelty, and murder. Still sound appetizing? Being a vegetarian is beneficial in many ways, not only to you but to the environment and innocent animals.
Do you want to die at an early age? Well, meat decreases a person’s life span by approximately fourteen years. You may wonder why. At factory farms, sick animals are given antibiotics and steroids in order to stay alive. Even after the animal has been killed, the drugs that were given to it are still in its system. These drugs are then transferred to the person eating the rotting flesh of the sickly animal. This clearly is not healthy especially if a person eats meat one to two times a day as does a normal person. Not only do the drugs given to the animal make meat unhealthy, but meat in general is just bad for us. Meat is known to cause obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, cancer, and weak kidneys. Reed Mangels, a nutrition advisor at the vegetarian resource group says, “Study after study has shown that a largely plant-based diet, along with lots of whole grains, is the best way to go.” You may have been brainwashed into thinking that without meat you will not be able to get enough nutrients and protein, but Mangels also deems this idea to be false. Plants and grains can provide a sufficient amount of nutrients and protein. This evidence shows how meat is detrimental to your health.
Not only is the extremely unhealthy aspect of meat unknown to most people, they also do not realize the wasteful nature of the meat industry and its impact on the environment. Large livestock farms produce approximately 500 million tons of waste each year. This amount is so great that it cannot all be disposed of properly, and it ends up contaminating water supplies. A study done by the Department of Agriculture and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed that this waste has contaminated about 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states. A study at the University of Chicago has shown that the global livestock industry generates more greenhouse gases than all those generated by the world’s transportation industry. Also, raising animals just for food is wasteful. Twenty pounds of grain can be used to feed a certain number of cows which only results in ten pounds of meat, but twenty pounds of grain could be used to make food that could feed 75 people. If we started being smarter about how we used our food, we could end a lot of world hunger. This evidence proves the wasteful nature of the meat industry.
Not only does meat have negative impacts on our health and the environment, but the ultimate reason to stop eating meat is because eating animals is morally offensive. Not only is it cruel to kill animals for food, but the way they are treated while waiting to be killed is just inhumane. A vast majority of meat comes from factory farms which pack a large amount of animals into a very small space. In these factory farms, animals are basically packed on top of each other, barely able to move. Hens can barely open their wings, and pigs and cows can hardly lie down. Would you treat your pets this way? Would you cram your beloved dog into a cage so small that he could barely move his legs? Could you watch him waiting for you with big, glistening eyes, begging you to let him out only to be greeted by painful and horrible death? Not only are the spacing conditions an issue at these farms, but the treatment of the animals is horrendous. The ends of chickens’ beaks are cut off to prevent them from pecking, and livestock are subject to third degree branding burns. In her book, Slaughter House, Gail Eisnitz interviewed dozens of slaughter house workers and discovered that almost every single one has admitted to abusing animals. There is currently a rule that say animals must be stunned before they are slaughtered, but sadly this does not always happen. Often mechanisms used to stun animals malfunction, and the animal heads down a “bleed rail”, which is a device used to transfer animals that have been hung by their necks, fully conscious. Next, to ensure the animal is dead, the worker slits the animal’s throat so that it will bleed to death. Unfortunately this too is sometimes not enough to fully kill the animal. At this point, there hangs a frantic struggling animal screaming at the top of its lungs begging someone to recue it; no one does. Eventually the screaming stops, the animal dies, and it ends up on your dinner table. Does any animal really deserve this kind of treatment especially when there are so many alternatives to eating meat? This mistreatment of animals is cruel and needs to stop immediately.
Some people say that since animals eat other animals we should do the same. They say that we are all a part of the food chain, and it is just a part of life to hunt and kill. This conception is not true because in order to kill animals, we rely on guns and weapons of different sorts. Animals use no weapons only their natural hunting abilities. Without weapons, do you think we would be able to catch and kill so many animals? Our speed, strength, nails, teeth, and jaws are just not made for killing or eating animals. Also, our saliva is alkaline salvia, which is not meant to break down animal flesh. Animals, however, have acidic saliva which is good for breaking down flesh.
So next time you go out to eat with your family, make an educated decision. Think about what you are actually eating before you eat it. Now you know the truth about meat; do not ignore it. Do not get something that has meat in it. Better than that, choose to become a vegetarian. Becoming a vegetarian is a lifetime commitment that will do nothing but benefit you in the future. Stand up for what is healthy, environmentally conscious, and morally gratifying: become a vegetarian.

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