When we try to propagate vegetarianism, The questions that first come to the non-vegetarian reader's mind are ,
1. YOU are a vegetarian, it is YOUR choice. but MY food is MY choice, why should I change my food habits?
2. I don't ask you to change your food habits, do I? Then why do you (vegetarians) pester me to change mine ?
Let us try looking for some answers.
1.We are not trying to change just YOUR life / lifestyle / eating habits. What we are trying to do is, to save / improve the lives of billions of animals who undergo horrible pain / torture / fear / anxiety / and murder, because the demand for nonvegetarian food requires them to live (and die) in a living hell, usually called a factory farm. Each plate of non vegetarian food increases this demand.
2. Living Conditions in factory farms are horrific.
Imagine living one's whole life in a 1.5x1.5 ' space - because of course we - the average human - can stand upright in that much space - can't we ? But we can't stand all our life - can we ? Because our feet need rest, we need to sit, to walk, to lie down, and to sleep. We need all this because we are human.
But - being a human also means being humane.
And humane is supposed to understand the pain of not just oneself, but also other living creatures. Now let us take a peep into a factory farm, where, let us remember, animals are being grown to be killed and give meat, not as domestics or pets, but just as meat. So who cares if their feet ache ? Look at some pictures here, and if you wish to see more such pictures, please click on these pictures, which contain the links to google image pages showing other (harsher) images, which I do not wish to share here.
|pigs factory farm|
Now, If we can't stand 24-7-365, how can we call ourselves human and still eat factory farmed meat when these intelligent and feeling animals do it for preparing our dishes? Pigs, cows, fish, chicken, all are high intellect animals, who feel pain, who feel fear, and who get tired. They deserve better than this. If we question that we don't want factory farming but we do want to eat meat, then let us ask ourselves, - WHERE should that much meat come from without factory farming ? Enough to feed billions of people per day ? Please Remember, More than 25 billion animals are killed by the meat industry per year. The average meat-eater is responsible for the abuse and death of about 90 animals per year.
3. Cruelty :
Yes, most of us are not cruel to animals around us. We do not hit or abuse them, we don't like to inflict pain, and we get angry when someone else does it in our knowledge. Then how is the animal on a meat farm different ? Does it not deserve similar compassion ?
I do not like injections, least of all the injections which are not good for my health. But animals on factory farms are routinely injected with growth hormones to make them fatter and bigger fast, so as to get more meat. Their bones etc need calcium, but they are fed fattening (unhealthy and unbalanced) food, because we DON"T want bones to eat, we want fat, so they live in an unhealthy body, in constant pain, due to unbalanced and unnatural growth to be supported 24 hours a day on weak boned legs.
I wouldn't like to live surrounded by my own waste with open sewers, but the animals have to, because THEIR comfort does not matter - after all they are going to be killed soon.
I wouldn't like to stand in a queue seeing myself inch closer to the head of the queue, where people in front of me are being painfully and cruelly slaughtered / killed, I would probably be so full of fear and anxiety that I would die of a heart attack first, but this is what my plate of meat comes from, this fear is imbibed in my food if I eat meat.
I wouldn't like to be manhandled / pushed / herded etc with no compassion whatsoever, but this is what the animal providing the plate of meat before me on the table has endured to be served in my plate.
The farms are so unhealthy and filthy, that all the animals would die of infection - but they "live" on because they are fed high doses of antibiotics routinely to make them survive. But I would nOT like to eat / feed antibiotics continuously to my family or pets.
In some farms, cattle are fed "renders" - dead and grounded up cows. To induce and increase egg production, chicken are kept in tight cages and kept awake under bright light 24 hours a day.
4. Climate Conservation
Excess land is wasted in growing food for this unnaturally induced population of meat giving animals. We know that the primary producers of food are plants. and the bio pyramid shows that every next level consumer population wise is 10% (one tenth) of the provider. Thus, if we eat vegetarian instead of nonvegetarian, the land resource availability would be enhanced 10 times. One acre of land can grow 20,000 pounds of potatoes, OR less than 165 pounds of edible cow flesh - which one is better for feeding the starving human populations??
Rainforests are cut down to make room to raise cattle. Two-thirds of Central America’s rainforests have been destroyed, to raise cattle whose meat is use in hamburgers. Every second, one football field of rainforest is destroyed in order to produce 257 hamburgers.
Vegetarian diet reduces pollution. To grow grains to feed cattle, Factory farms are sprayed with herbicides and pesticides . These chemicals destroy soil. They leak into the ground and nearby streams and rivers. Toxic chemicals are often found in fish in many parts of the world’s lakes, rivers, and oceans.
Moreover, a lot of toxins due to synthetic enhancers would be saved, thus bringing down the global warming.
A vegetarian diet reduces the production of carbon dioxide (CO2). An average car produces 3 kg of CO2 a day while the effort to clear rainforest to produce beef for one hamburger produces 75 kg of CO2. Eating one pound of hamburger does the same damage regarding global warming, as driving a car for three weeks!
Enormous energy is put into growing grains to feed cattle. Up to 5000 gallons of water for is required to raise one pound of beef.