Friday, March 13, 2009

Choose Vegetarian

Choose Vegetarian


Life on the farm isn't what it used to be. The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes portrayed in children's books have been replaced by windowless sheds, tiny crates, wire cages, and other confinement systems integral to what is now known as "factory farming."

Today the majority of farmed animals are:

* confined to the point that they can barely move,
* denied veterinary care,
* mutilated without painkillers,
* and finally slaughtered -- often while fully conscious.

Fortunately, each one of us has the power to help end this suffering by simply choosing to eat vegetarian.

Choosing to go vegetarian is simply a matter of living according to the values so many of us hold dear, such as being fair and kind to others. Most people would never dream of cramming up to 11 egg-laying hens into a file drawer-sized cage, ripping the testicles out of a screaming baby piglet, or cutting the throat of a cow as she stares back at you with her big brown eyes. How then, as compassionate individuals, can we justify paying others to carry out these atrocities on our behalf?

The average vegetarian spares the lives of over 50 animals each year. That adds up to thousands during a lifetime. Every time we eat, we are making a powerful choice that has profound consequences on the lives of animals. At each meal, we make a decision between supporting cruelty or living compassionately.


Becoming vegetarian is one of the most important and effective actions you can take to ease the strain on our Earth’s limited resources, protect the planet from pollution, prevent global warming, and save countless species from extinction.

According to Dr. David Brubaker, PhD, at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for a Livable Future, “The way that we breed animals for food is a threat to the planet. It pollutes our environment while consuming huge amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides and drugs. The results are disastrous.”

As the Sierra Club put it in their 2002 report on animal factories, “environmental violations by the meat industry add up to a rap sheet longer than War and Peace.”


“Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein, as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals. Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than nonvegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.”

--American Dietetic Association, June 2003 position paper