Saturday, October 22, 2011

Go Green, Go Vegetarian

Being a vegetarian myself, I understand the consequences that animals have to go through because of human needs. They end up sliced and chopped up on most of our plates at meal times. And sometimes I wonder if the human taste needs to be at the expense of other living beings.

And being vegetarian has advantages all around. It’s good for the environment. The earth benefits from humans not eating meat. So if you’re vegetarian, not only are you saving the animals but you’re also taking a big step towards environmental conservation!

According to PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – raising animals that will eventually be slaughtered for food requires enormous amounts of land, food, energy, and water. The byproducts play a huge role in the pollution of waterways and air.

Why does this happen?

The animals are using up a lot of natural resources! Animal agriculture is responsible for most of the consumption of water in the US. It takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef and only 180 gallons for one pound of whole wheat flour. The farm animals are injected with hormones and drugs, forcing them to grow larger and larger. In the process, they consume more food, more water, and take up more space. For example, when a pig is in its “finishing phase”, it weighs from 100 to 240 pounds, consuming more than 500 pounds of grain, corn and soybeans on its own.

Animals excrete waste products that add to greenhouse gas emissions! Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide contribute largely to global warming and are produced by many of the animals that are grown for mass animal agriculture. Factory farming is the “use of animals and the natural world merely as commodities to be exploited for profit,” according to Farm Sanctuary. Factory farms produce thousands of tons of dust that contains harmful organisms including bacteria, mold, and fungi, coming from the feces and feed of the animals. This dust accumulates in the air, adding to air pollution, but it also impacts human health. In a report by the California State Senate, it is shown that animal waste that emits toxic chemicals can be responsible for inflammatory, immune and neurochemical health issues in human beings.

Factory farming adds to the pollution of waterways through the dumping of manure (87,000 pounds of waste per second!)  in lakes and rivers, which can end up in drinking water. The excrement and fertilizer in the feed from the factory farms contains nitrogen that helps algae populations to thrive. The algae use all the oxygen in the water, hardly leaving any for other life forms.
These days, there are hundreds of vegetarian recipes that can be made and eaten without even thinking about meat. Help save animals from human cruelty and save the environment with one easy step – go green, go vegetarian

Visit PETA or Farm Sanctuary for more information on being vegetarian!

1 comment:

  1. Ramita posed the problem concisely and aptly the
    need for rethinking. Wish the awareness spreads
    in the younger generation as they will be the ones to face and deal the wrath of the earlier generations.