||THE ANIMALS - Eating animal products supports cruelty to animals. More than 27 billion animals are killed for food every year in the United States. Animals on factory farms are treated with extreme cruelty and an intensely harsh disregard for life.
Chickens: Within days of birth, female chickens have their beaks seared off with a hot blade. They are then crammed into cages so small they cannot spread their wings and eventually become covered with excrement from cages above them. These chickens suffer lameness and bone disease. Males are discarded as trash; killed by suffocation, decapitation, gassing, or crushing.
Cows: Females become dairy cows and artificially inseminated shortly after their first birthdays. After giving birth, they lactate for 10 months, then they are re-inseminated, and the cycle starts again. When prodution rates decline, they are slaughtered. Male calves are torn from thier mothers and sold to veal farms within days of birth, where they are tethered to a stall, deprived of food and exercise, and slaughtered for meat.
Pigs: Mother pigs spend most of their lives in individual crates which are too small for them to turn around. After giving birth, the piglets are taken from their mothers. The sow is impregnated again and the cycle continues for three or four years before she too is slaughtered. The piglets are packed into pens. Farmers chop off their tails, castrate the males, and use pliers to break off the ends of their teeth—with no anesthetics.
All of these animals are pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, or both to make them grow quicker and to keep them alive through extremely horrible conditions including stress and disease that would kill them if they were not drugged. They spend their brief lives in crowded and ammonia-filled conditions, drugged, mutilated, and deprived of the most basic freedoms-sunlight, fresh air, grass beneath their feet. They are ultimately prodded and crammed onto trucks for a hellish ride to the slaughterhouse, often through extreme weather conditions and always without food or water. The animals are hung upside down and their throats are slit, often while they’re fully conscious. Some are even skinned and dismembered while still alive.
Animal Factories: Mechanized Madness
* A vegan saves 95 lives each year.
||THE ENVIRONMENT - Factory farms are destroying the environment. Raising animals for food requires more water than all other uses of water combined, causes more water pollution than any other activity, and is responsible for 85% of U.S. soil erosion.
Animal agriculture is an inefficient way of producing food. Feed for farm animals requires land, water, fertilizer, and other resources that could be used directly for producing human food. Every day, 840 million people around the world go hungry. 40% of the world's grain harvest is used to feed livestock. The world's cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people, more than the entire human population on Earth. A cow grazing on one acre of land produces enough meat to sustain a person two and a half months; soybeans grown on that same acre would nourish a person for seven years.
More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to grow crops to feed animals raised for meat. Tropical rain forests are also being destroyed to create grazing land for cattle.
Factory farms produce billions of pounds of manure a day, which ends up in lakes, rivers, and drinking water. It is poisoning rivers, killing fish and sickening people.
Whether it's excessive water use or contamination, excessive soil use or erosion, excessive resource use or air pollution, factory farms are steadily poisoning and depleting our water, land, and air.
Each vegetarian saves one acre of trees every year!
Meat, the Envronment, and the Water We Drink
Negative Effects Generated by the Meat Industry
||YOUR HEALTH - Eating animal products is harmful to human health. People who eat meat are at least 30 percent more likely to die of a heart attack, 40 percent more likely to get cancer, and at increased risk for many other diseases and illnesses, including stroke, obesity, appendicitis, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, and food poisoning. Additionally, meat contains accumulations of pesticides and other chemicals up to 14 times more concentrated than those found in plant foods.
Food-related illnesses strike more than 75 million people annually and kill more than 5,000. Farmed animals are fed 20 million pounds of antibiotics a year, which are retained in the flesh that people eat. Scientists believe that such involuntary consumption of these drugs by meat-eaters is giving rise to strains of bacteria against which antibiotics are ineffective when consumers become ill. Salmonella poisoning alone affects at least 40,000 people every year. Fish has been found to harbor levels of PCBs, residual industrial compounds that have caused cancer in animals and skin problems and liver damage in humans.
Cow’s milk is the number one cause of food allergies in infants and children. Millions of Americans are lactose-intolerant. Milk can be linked to juvenile diabetes, autism and schizophrenia. Other ailments include chronic ear infections, asthma, and skin conditions.
Nutritionists and physicians have learned that plant products are good sources of protein, iron, calcium, and vitamin D because they can be easily absorbed by the body and don’t contain artery-clogging fat. The American Dietetic Association states, “Well-planned vegan … diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence."
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