I almost always write to you about a recipe, however this time I wanted to do something different and I was asked to write something about the importance of going vegan to save our beautiful, but very ill planet! I thought this was an excellent idea.
Although I must admit that I became vegetarian and then vegan for selfish reasons, I soon realized that it was also very altruistic!
(I must say that most numbers that I am presenting to you today date back to early 2000… so they have definitely gone up since!!!! I have sourced my information in many different places and since nothing is a straight forward quotation I do not have to state them. If you wish to read more about that subject, I can send you references, it will be my pleasure)
Any North American who eats meat for an average lifespan of 70 years will have eaten: 12 cows, 29 pigs, 2 sheep, 1 veal, 37 turkeys, 984 chickens and 910lb of fish and seafood. Now when I start thinking of meat as animals, there’s already a switch happening in me… doesn’t do the same to you?
Now each of these animals are born for our own consumption – we’ve objectified animals. They are no longer living beings but rather food products to us. Nonetheless, while they are living, they need to eat, drink and produce waste… just like any living being! Of course, we’ve almost always had farm animals, but there were not always that many people on the planet (and we were not eating so much) and we were not treating them like we do today – they use to be our friends.
The number of farm animals raised today for meat consumption by humans has quadrupled in the last 50 years. There are now 20 billion livestock in the US! In addition there are on average 150 billion land animals used for animal consumption each year on this planet! In a rich country like the US, an adult will eat 200kg of meat per year. In India, it is 3kg.
1kg of meat requires 10kg of vegetable protein (mainly soy). Therefore, there are 775 million tons of soy used for industrial farming instead of it being used to feed people. 1 acre of land can feed 150 vegans but only 2 meat eaters.
Now let’s look at water… one kg (2.2lb) of meat requires 43371L (11470 gallons) of water. Most vegetables will required on average 200 times less water for the same weight. These are huge numbers, but let’s say you take one shower a day that last on average about 7 minutes. You will, in a total of a year, have used up as much water for your shower as required to produce one kg of beef!!! And we’re trying to save water by taking shorter showers and closing the faucet while we’re brushing our teeth!
So it is clear that each animal we raise to kill and eat requires enormous amounts of food and water. With food being so rare in many countries and water quickly disappearing, isn’t it obvious that we are doing a good deed by going vegan? To our planet and fellow citizens!
Now if you’re still not convinced, what goes in has to come out, right? So animals have to produce waste! Did you know that all those animals that we are raising (in the US) to feed ourselves, actually dispose waste 130 times more than every human on the US territory? Did you know that those excrements are contaminated with antibiotics, arsenic, pesticides and many more chemicals? Do you know what happens to all that waste? Well, technically it is kept in a reservoir underground. However, there are many leaks in those reservoirs and that waste, along with all the chemicals it contains, enters our water – the water you give to your children.
Another issue with all those animals is that they are emitting methane, the single most responsible gas of global warming! It is 10 times worse than carbon dioxide, and as a result, eating meat is the second main factor responsible for global warming right after housing… and right before transportation! You may as well give up meat then your SUV. Even though the panel responsible to address climate change is far from recommending a vegetarian or vegan diet, it still recommends that you eat less meat to address global warming! It is believed that if all the US population would participate in “Meatless Mondays,” we could possibly end world hunger and save the planet. Is it that difficult to go meatless at least once a week?
Another issue with meat is that the cost to produce it in the US is slowly raising… therefore we get meat from outside the US. Where do you think meat can be produced in South America? On land that used to be the Amazonian Forest, and to “grow” meat for us, our nice South American neighbors are destroying the Amazonian Forest at a rate of 1 football field every second. It’s a win/win for us and them – we get meat cheaper, and they make money. However, what we are not thinking about it that this forest has 88% of all the land’s vegetables of this planet. Many species of animals and insects can only be found there and it also supplies most of the oxygen for the entire planet. What happens when it’s gone?
Now do you see what we’re contributing to when eating meat?
Destruction of the Amazonian forest
Pollution of land field
Pollution of water
We are destroying our planet.
Now maybe you do not care about your health or the planet, maybe you will care about other human beings. All the water and crops that are used to feed animals, so that we can raise them, kill them and then eat them, could be used to feed the poor – the starving kids. Don’t forget, 1 acre of land can feed 150 vegans but only 2 meat eaters. That being said, we could possibly have enough food to end world hunger!
Do you really want to be responsible for world hunger? Destruction of our planet? Global warming?
Do you not care about the Philippines, or Africa? They are having all those catastrophes in the Philippines recently because of global warming., which we are all responsible for when eating meat. And those Africans, starving to death because we would rather feed the animals then our fellow citizens. Do you not care about the extinction of endangered species? If we keep destroying their territory, how is going to get any better?
There is enough on this planet to produce food for all it’s living habitants. There is enough land so that we can all have a living space, whether we have 2 legs or 4. There is enough of everything for everyone, if only we were not so selfish!
And if your health doesn’t do it, the animals don’t do it, the environment doesn’t do it or the other suffering human beings don’t do it… ask yourself this one question:
Do you really think you are that much more important than anything else alive on this planet, that you have the right to survive at the cost of others suffering?
Life Happens: Living a Healthy Life Despite a Chronic Illness” is available here:
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