Reasons To Become A Vegetarian!
I think this is the most important reason for becoming vegetarian. Due to the ever increasing demand for meat, industries are forced to use intensive animal farming techniques which involve large numbers of animals being raised on limited land. Confined, indoor, intensive livestock operations are often referred to as ‘factory farming’. Factory farming is hideous and cruel for all the animals involved. The animals in these ‘factory farms’ are kept in extremely cramped conditions, which in a lot of cases denies them basic movement as the cages they’re kept in are barely bigger than their bodies . Diseases spread easily from animal to animal and only huge amounts of medicines can keep them alive. They are forced to live in their own excrement and the animal’s injuries, needs and requirements are generally ignored. For instance pigs have a limited tolerance to high temperatures as they have no way of naturally cooling themselves, being in these cramped and hot conditions can lead the pigs to die from heat and stress. In some cases you hear of 6 or 7 hens being crammed into cages that would be barely big enough for 1. You wouldn’t keep your pets in these conditions would you? Yet when it comes to the animals you eat, you turn away. You don’t want to think of what you’re eating as previously feeling pain and generally living a miserable life.
Conservation of Fossil Fuels:
It’s not such an obvious reason but it’s important never the less! It has been estimated that one-third of fossil fuels used in the United States are used purely for animal agriculture. Huge amounts of energy go into growing the crops that feed the farm animals and then once the animals are slaughtered, huge amounts of fuel goes into transporting the meat all over the country to the processing plants and then eventually the supermarkets. Supposedly if every person in America replaced one chicken-based meal per week with one vegetarian one, it would be the equivalent of taking more than 5 million cars off the road! And it’s estimated that around 90 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions are generated annually by livestock production. Imagine how much we could reduce that amount if we all just ate less meat, or even better, give it up completely!
Save the Rainforest:
The rainforest is being cut down daily in order to either keep livestock or grow crops that will feed factory farmed animals. Greenpeace reported that 2.9 million acres of rainforest were destroyed in Brazil during 2004-2005 purely for these reasons. It is so inefficient to feed animals crops as it takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of animal flesh. Why not cut out the animals altogether and just eat the plants directly? It would save so much land if we did this and also the rare and beautiful animals that live in the rainforests would not die or have their homes destroyed for the sake of farming unnecessary livestock.
There is no nutrient necessary for optimal human functioning which cannot be obtained from eating plants. So really there is no reason not to take up vegetarianism, it helps the environment and it helps the animals!
If you are not willing to give vegetarianism a go then at least think about where your meat is coming from. It may cost a little extra, but you can buy grass-fed and organic meat. Not only can this ensure that the animal you’re eating would have had the best life possible before being killed, but it’s also better for your health as the meat wont contain any antibiotics or chemicals that factory farmed meat would contain!
Thanks for reading! :)