From the McGill Daily:
This article gives a nice breakdown of the standard categories that vegetarian’s reasons for not eating meat usually fall into: health, environment, and animal cruelty.
The health issues related to eating red meat have long been known. E. coli and salmonella are in the news more and more often. The average meat eater probably doesn’t think about the link between MRSA and other bacteria-resistant infections, and meat consumption. The overuse of antibiotics in farm animals leads to stronger bacteria, to the point that known antibacterial drugs are useless in fighting off these infections. More and more people are getting sick from feces contamination on meat, as well: modern machines that tear apart the animals can spray the contents of the intestines onto the meat.
Factory farms are huge polluters, contributing more than 20% of the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions, and polluting waterways which leads to killing massive numbers of fish with animal excrement. Forests are clear cut to make way for farms or land to grow corn for livestock feed.
Nobody can deny that animals are abused in factory farms. Apparently there is a legal loophole allowing farms to participate in “common practices” without consequence, so if most other farms are abusing animals, it’s okay. Animals drop dead due to illness and injury, or are killed for being sick or too small. In addition, the article points out the psychological hardships and injuries inflicted upon workers.
Here are a few of the horrifying factoids from this article:
- 99% of the 10 billion animals slaughtered each year are factory farmed
- it’s estimated that the average American eats the equivalent of 21,000 ENTIRE animals in his lifetime
- the majority of antibiotics pumped into farm animals are banned in the EU
- the FDA reclassified feces from dangerous contaminant to “cosmetic blemish”
- nearly one-third of the planet’s surface is used for livestock