Want To Stop Global Warming? Become A Vegetarian.

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People become vegetarians for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it’s personal, religious or even political. But, whatever the reason, know this: one of the easiest ways to make a dramatic impact in this world is to start with what you eat. Don’t believe me? Read on.

Mercy For Animals, an amazing nonprofit organization that brings awareness of animal cruelty to the public and works to create a society where animals are treated with the respect and compassion they so rightly deserve, also speaks on the wider impact of eating plants. 
“Becoming vegetarian is one of the most important and effective actions you can take to help stop global warming, conserve natural resources, prevent water and air pollution, and save species from extinction. According to Dr. Brubaker, PhD at John Hopkins University’s Center for a Livable Future, ‘The way 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.'”
According to Livestock’s Long Shadow, raising animals for food causes more global warming than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. 
Eating meat wastes resources as well. Ecologist David Pimentel notes that “In terms of caloric content, the grain consumed by American livestock could feed 800 million people. Animal protein also demands tremendous expenditures of fossil-fuel energy – eight times as much for a comparable amount of plant protein.” 
The meat industry is a major cause of fresh water depletion. Facts:
  • Amount of U.S. grain fed to farm animals: 70%
  • Pounds of corn and soy required to produce just one pound of pork: nearly 7
  • Water needed to produce a pound of wheat: 14 gallons
  • Water needed to produce a pound of meat: 441 gallons
  • Of all water used for all purposes in the U.S., more than half goes to: livestock production
  • Threatened and endangered species imperiled by livestock grazing: 161
  • Amount of farmed animal manure produced in the U.S.: five tons of waste for every person
If this isn’t shocking enough, let’s talk about the conditions for transforming animals into food. According to Mercy For Animals’ The Vegetarian Starter Kit, “Life on Old MacDonald’s 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 The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes portrayed in children’s books have been replaced by windowless metal sheds, wire cages, gestation crates, and other confinement systems integral to what is now known as factory farming.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, are denied veterinary care, are mutilated without painkillers, and finally, mercilessly slaughtered. Every year approximately 26 billion cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys and fish, each a unique creature capable of experiencing happiness, joy, loneliness, and frustration, are killed to satisfy American’s appetite for animal flesh, milk, and eggs.”
Consider these facts. Look at the pictures. Understand that what we put into our mouths is a powerful choice, and as vegetarians, we’re not trying to push some kind of extreme lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle that is not only healthier than eating animals, it can save our environment, and spare living beings that are capable of mating and enjoying long, fulfilling lives. It’s compassionate and healthy – a winning combo.  
Pick up The Vegetarian Starter Kit. Visit MercyForAnimals.org. Do your research. If you want to eat meat, don’t just pick up something that is from a factory farm. And consider the alternatives. Read The China Study and Thrive. And study what it is you are eating. 
DID YOU KNOW? (from the The Vegetarian Starter Kit)

  • Chickens are inquisitive animals, who enjoy dust-bathing, making nests, roosting in trees and searching for food. Chickens form friendships and strong family ties. They love their young and mourn the loss of loved ones. Chickens are as smart as mammals. They show sophisticated social behavior. They can recognize more than 100 other chickens and remember them. They have more than 30 types of vocalizations. 
  • Pigs have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more than dogs and 3-year-olds. They can even learn to play simple video games. Pigs naturally live in groups, form friendships and express these through vocalizing, body language, and are particularly fond of playing and chasing each other (all activities they are denied once they are born and turned into food).
  • Cows are extremely gentle and affectionate animals, forming strong bonds, especially between mother and calf. Dr. Michael Kapler recalls, “The very saddest sound in all my memory happened at age 5 on my uncle’s dairy farm in Wisconsin. A cow had given birth to a beautiful male calf. On the second day after birth, my uncle took the calf from the mother and placed him in the veal pen in the barn – only ten yards away, in plain view of his mother. The mother cow could see her infant, smell him, hear him, but could not touch him, comfort him, or nurse him. The heartrending bellows that she poured forth – minute after minute, hour after hour, for five long days – were excruciating to listen to. They are the most poignant and painful auditory memories I carry in my brain.” 

But, we don’t think about animals frolicking or forming bonds as we are digging into a steak. If we didn’t eat meat, animals would run rampant and take over the earth, right? Wrong.
We don’t think about them being skinned alive, being tortured, being denied normal, everyday movement. We think that fish don’t feel pain, that salmon (oh, such a healthy fish!) aren’t dumped into water infused with carbon dioxide, making it painful for them to breathe. How the carbon dioxide paralyzes them, but most are still conscious when their gill arches are slit for bleeding. We don’t think about catfish being shocked with electricity, or how, if that current is too weak, they are conscious when their heads are cut off. No, no – we think about the omega 3s we are getting, and how it’s healthy for us. How we are craving burgers and chicken and bacon, and we will do anything to satiate that craving. 
The Power of One
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 8 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? Just to satisfy our hunger? (Hunger, in which we have turned into gluttony, as obesity rates rise and diseases run rampant – mostly from meat consumption.)
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 decide between supporting cruelty or living compassionately. 
So, take some time to think about living compassionately. Being a vegetarian is easy, healthier and saves time, lives, the environment and money. 
To learn more about Mercy For Animals, please visit their site at MercyForAnimals.org

Comments

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  • Just from looking at your photo of you & your boo...

    It looks like you're wearing nail polish - nail polish usually has oleic acid and/or guanine/pearl essence and/or turtle oil all animal ingredients (nail cream) - all acquired from animal extraction.

    It looks like you and your dude have on hair products - hair products have chitosan, casein, cysteine, and/or hydrolyzed animal protein - all various animal products from extraction.

    Looks like you're wearing eyeliner - eyeliner has loads of animal derived ingredients too many to mention here.

    Looks like your dude has some tanning cream - see arachidonic acid, found in liver of animals and gained through extraction procedures.

    Is that also a leather purse I see on the bottom right of the photo?

    And that's just based on your photo

    I'm not saying you're a hypocrite, I'm just saying most vegetarians are.

  • Gwill, while you seem perceptive, my husband and I are actually vegans and any makeup, clothing, etc. pretty much keeps to that lifestyle. My makeup is natural and mineral based (that's not eyeliner, it's eye shadow) - I actually don't wear hair products (natural oils go a long way). This picture was taken in Florida - and my husband is Mexican, so he has naturally dark skin. And no leather purse - I have vegan leather bags, actually.

    And while some vegetarians can be hypocrites (because to lead a complete animal-free lifestyle is tough), the choice to NOT eat meat is one step in the right direction. And it baffles me how people such as yourself get angry or spout off derogatory comments when these choices are compassionate and should be brought to the attention of others.

    If we went around hacking up children because we were hungry - I bet there would be an outrage. If animals taste good, imagine how most humans would taste? I mean, really - it's all the same when you think about it.

  • In reply to rbfrey7:

    A couple things:

    1. I wasn't being derogatory. I was being douchebagetory, but certainly not derogatory. Big difference.

    2. If your husband really is Mexican, then I take everything back. Viva Mexico! Viva las mujeres Mexicanas calientes!

  • In reply to rbfrey7:

    Gwill, I am laughing in a quiet coffee shop, and everyone is looking at me. Douchebagetory is my new favorite word. I will use it in at least 3 sentences today.

    And my husband really is Mexican! Doesn't look like it, but he is. :) If he wasn't and he used tanning cream, we would not be married. That's a deal breaker. Ha.

  • In reply to rbfrey7:

    I've been a vegetarian since 1992, but I wear nail polish and paint my face like a Jezebel. You don't have to answer to him.

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