By Jill Lawson for DietsInReview.com
To eat meat or not to eat meat, that is the question. And it is a question that plagues many health conscious or spiritually sensitive individuals. If you haven’t yet jumped ship from the meat-eating galley to the shores of a flesh-free diet, the following statements might push you over the edge in to a vegetarian diet.
You cannot kill your dinner.
Some of us may feel no remorse when eating a chicken sandwich, but ask us to kill the bird ourselves and we might be clucking a different tune. If killing an animal with your bare hands seems strange and wrong, perhaps you will wake up to your inner vegetarian. When you come face to face with the reality of what has to happen before you serve up a plate of low-fat chicken fajitas at your next dinner party, you might feel differently about it.
You care about the welfare of animals.
When meat comes packaged perfectly on a Styrofoam platter we have little reason to question its living conditions or the method used to bring it to the butcher.
Poultry raised for meat are kept in windowless compartments with up to 30,000 other chickens in such a small space they may never flap their wings or stand up once in their lives. Fighting due to overcrowding occurs often and many may suffer from the equivalent of bedsores like those that afflict our neglected bed ridden grandparents.
The smell of bacon may take on a different meaning after learning how mainstream America manages its mass production factory farms and ranches. For example, sows are kept in such tight and tethered spaces that they cannot even stretch their legs. When you remember what it feels like to go for days without exercise, you may rethink ordering that extra side of breakfast sausage.
You pay attention to what you put into your body.
Aside from the health risks of eating saturated fat, the adage, “you are what you eat” holds true in many cases. You may choose to eat organic bell peppers and strawberries because you know they won’t be laden with cancer-causing pesticides, but how much do you know about what is in the meat you are eating? Aside from an unnatural diet, animals may be fed these pesticides or antibiotics and hormones that can be stored in significant concentrations in their flesh, whether it is a burger, breast or chop.
You appreciate breathing clean air and drinking plentiful fresh water.
It is said that cattle produces methane gas and this type of gas is a major contributor to pollution and global warming. Oxygen producing trees and plants are being cut down due to the need for more grazing property. Fertilizers used to grow crops to feed livestock in addition to emissions from large chemical plants where these fertilizers are produced are poisoning the air.
It takes 25 gallons of water to produce one pound of wheat compared to the 2500 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat. Excrement from mass quantity farm animals ends up in our rivers and reservoirs.
Still want to eat meat?
If you are someone who willfully eats meat and has no desire to change, please at least be aware of these issues. Choosing homegrown, free range and organic poultry, pork or beef is paramount to your health and the health of the planet. You will not only be supporting your local community, you will be contributing to a sustainable lifestyle that encourages safe, humane and healthy farming and ranching practices for you, and the animals.