The bottom line is that beef production is not planet friendly. We can sufficiently nourish our bodies without meat. Healthy plant-based foods contain plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals, without destroying the environment, injuring our health or hurting animals.
The current path we are on where the wealthiest countries in the world continue to eat the most amount of meat is unsustainable. The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change looked at how land-use practices have impacted the planet. Animal agriculture threatens the world’s ability to limit global temperature increase. The report also states that if the world’s population reduced their meat consumption, it could significantly boost the planet’s ability to fight climate change.
Free-range livestock need lots of space to graze, and that land is often space that used to be covered with forests. One of the chief reasons the Amazon rainforest is being clear cut is to provide grassland for livestock to feed.
The percentage of farms that actually produce “humanely-raised, organic meat” where animals roam free is very small. In addition to this, the average person cannot afford to go into a marketplace like Whole Foods and pay 60% more for the same cut of meat that is organic or “free-range.”
In regards to environmental impact, Rattan Lal, Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State University, states that the reduction of carbon dioxide “created by pasture feeding cows can’t completely compensate for the greenhouse gases in beef production.” The bottom line is that beef production is not planet friendly.
Labels can also be deceiving. For instance, many eggs that are labeled “free-range” are anything but cruelty-free. True, the hens are not in cages, but their short lives are spent inside a hot, putrid warehouse where they can barely move, never see the light of day, and are forced to lay in their own excrement.
Every animal, even those humanely raised, end up at the same processing plants and kill floors. The speed at which these animals are killed and processed results in 20% to 25% of them being dismembered while still conscious. This was documented in Gail Eisnitz’s book “Slaughterhouse,” where she spent over a year in these facilities interviewing the workers.
The theory that humans needed meat to evolve would mean that every meat-eating mammal would have evolved to our level of awareness and intelligence.
Even the leanest cuts of organic meat contain fat and artery-clogging cholesterol. Studies show that the populations of the world that are the healthiest into their later years and have the greatest longevity consume a mostly plant-based diet.
The meat industry continues to perpetuate the myth that meat supplies a better source of protein than plant-based sources. The amino acids that are the building blocks of protein are the same from both sources. Gorillas and cows get all the protein they need from plant-based sources.
There is a reason why many professional athletes like No. 1 ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic, NFL lineman David Carter, and quarterback Tom Brady eat a plant-based diet. They report less inflammation, reduced recovery time from injury, and increased endurance.
Every day, 3 million animals are killed in the U.S. Just like our beloved dogs and cats, these animals have the same intelligence, depth of emotion and more importantly, feel fear and pain. There is no solid moral argument for consuming animals.
We can sufficiently nourish our bodies without meat. Healthy plant-based foods contain plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals, without destroying the environment, injuring our health or hurting animals.
Written by John Cielukowski for www.floridatoday.com