Humans eating meat has always been a topic for debate, some people say its natural, healthy or normal while others say it’s not necessary because they live a healthy and normal life without consuming meat. The biggest question for this debate topic is always the one dealing with, “killing animals for consumption.” Our society has changed from the “hunter-gatherer” stand point of eating animals, to a society that kills animals for profit.
Most people don’t care to know what is going on behind the scenes when it comes to receiving their meat, so they don’t realize what it’s like for the “factory farmed animals.” If one were to learn what happens at a factory farm, the way the animals are raised and then slaughtered, they would probably turn their back to meat. Some people don’t understand how others can raise cows and pigs, and still eat meat while calling themselves animal lovers.
Maybe it’s because they haven’t made the connection with what they love is what they provide on the dinner table, or maybe it just doesn’t bother them, but there are some other things that people want you to think about before eating meat again. These things include, deforestation, water pollution, world hunger and air pollution, now here’s where they want you to pay attention and rethink your choice.
Deforestation has been a big concern for quite some time and it just continues to happen, but what will surprise you is that 80% of deforestation is caused by agriculture. Clearing of forest for soy and corn crops is equal to 260 million acres, which is what makes up most of that 80%. The smaller part of that percent is livestock grazing. The reason the soy and corn crops are such a big part is because that is what goes into the feed for the livestock so it’s in higher demand. Did you know that this isn’t just happening in the United States?
It’s also happening in Brazil, where 3 million acres of rainforest have been destroyed for the production of chicken feed. It may not seem like a lot, but it does affect many different things within those foresets. Over 100 different species are killed of every day because of this, this includes animal, insect and plant species. With this point, people are trying to inform others that these factory farms are causing destruction to the world and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to end anytime soon.
Not only are the factory farms causing deforestation, but they are also causing water pollution. In the agriculture factories there are storage pools that are used to hold animal waste and they are cleaned out or waste isn’t put somewhere else when the pools get too full. This is resulting in the waste to leak out of there storage containers and end up in nearby waterways and begin contamination them. These leaks cause something called “toxic algae blooms,” which cause dead zones, where huge numbers of fish are killed off.
Not only are the dead zones created, but when the animal waste contacts the waterways there is a high level of nitrates that is released. The high level of nitrates then gets into drinking water and causes blue baby syndrome and spontaneous abortions. It may not be intentional but these factory farms are causing many bacteria and disease outbreaks all over the United States because of their water pollution.
The third thing that people want meat eaters to rethink is the cause of world hunger. The world produces enough calories for 10-11 billion people, but yet there are roughly 850 million people who don’t receive enough calories everyday. How is that? Simple, many of the crop productions aren’t going to the people.
What? One would assume that’s where the food would go because that’s what we are told to believe, but no, they don’t go to the people. Most of the crop productions are used for livestock feed. The big statistic they want you to look at is, we could feed 1.4 billion hungry people by diverting the grain we feed to livestock to people.
The last thing they want you to realize is the cause of air pollution by the factory farms. The livestock production causes 14.5% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, which makes them the leader of air pollution. These gases come from the mixture of animal, deforestation and the factory farms themselves.
The 14.5% may not seem like a lot but look at it from the bigger numbers, 90 million tons of carbon dioxide are produced every year because of the fossil fuels used for fertilizers, transportation and operation of factory farms. In total, 37% of human- driven methane emissions come from the livestock industry. All these numbers seem to be increasing, which is a problem because it’s already affecting climate change and if the numbers increase so does the climate change issue.
These are only the top points that people want to be thought about before you go out and buy meat again, some people believe meat should not be eaten because of what goes on behind the scenes such as what it does to the environment. Then there are others that believe we should eat meat because it’s needed in our diets and if we didn’t eat meat then there would be a huge case of overpopulation.
The meat lovers believe we should eat meat because it’s a key part of our diets. Meat provides us the iron and protein that our bodies need. For example, vegetarians take iron supplements to account for the iron they aren’t getting from meat.
Most vegetarians get diagnosed at anemic because they aren’t getting the true iron from meat, now this isn’t the only reason or the only people that can get diagnosed as anemic, but statistics show that it is higher is this situation. Another reason meat is believed to be important is because all the nutrients from meat makes our bodies stronger, which is why non-meat eaters tend to be smaller boned and fragile.
Not only does meat make you physically stronger but also mentally, meat is the only natural source of the B12 vitamin which is a big help to brain development. Eating meat also helps keep blood sugar levels balanced by a high protein and low carbohydrate diet. There are so many positive aspects of our health that meat provides to us, why not take advantage of it.
The other big point from meat lovers is the possibility of overpopulation. If we stopped eating meat altogether, the numbers in species would spike like crazy. The life cycle itself is not enough to keep the population of these animals down to a reasonable number. In order to prevent mass overgrazing and a sustainable environment for other animals and humans, we have to continue to eat meat. Meat eaters have the most control over the population of agriculture animals so what we decide doesn’t only affect us as individuals but the world around us.
Overall, no one can make the decision for you, but you have to educate yourself enough on both sides to help you decide what you want for yourself. There are many pros and cons of this topic, but it would be a huge adjustment either way you go. Both sides of the topic are important, your health is important and so is what’s going on in the world. Now I hope there’s a better understanding of why this has been a debate for so long and i’m sure it still will be for a while, but the decision is up to you.