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Why Should I Become A Vegetarian?


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Why Should I Become A Vegetarian?

Beyond the many health reasons for becoming a vegetarian there are also ethical reasons to consider.  The image of the farmyard is not what it used to be. In order to keep up with the demand for meat in this country factory farming has become the norm. Factory faming is animals in cages with barely any room to move, confinement crates, forced insemination and taking babies from their mothers.

Ten billion animals are slaughtered every year, with nine billion of them being chickens.  Male chicks are discarded in bins because they do not lay eggs. This is where they are smothered and die. The female chicks, the hens, are debeaked before they are crammed into small cages with numerous other birds. This is where they will live until they are slaughtered. The smell of ammonia in the buildings where they are kept is so strong a mask is necessary to enter. Many chickens die every day due to the deplorable conditions and are discarded, often being used for pet food.

Pigs are kept in gestation crates where they can barely move. They are forced to feed their young this way.  The image of a gestation crate (sow stall) is disturbing. The crate is 7 feet by 2 feet and as the pigs grow larger they must lay on their stomachs unable to move. These female breeding pigs only live a few years, almost all of it in the crate; then they are slaughtered.

Dairy cows are like any other mammals; they must be pregnant in order to give milk. Dairy cows are kept pregnant through artificial insemination. Their calves are taken from then shortly after birth and either used for veal or raised for beef or dairy. Cows have a strong maternal instinct and this is one of the many cruel practices associated with factory farming. Dairy cows are slaughtered for meat after they become poor milk producers.

Veal production involves calves living in tiny stalls where they can barely turn around. In order to produce the pale meat that is associated with good veal the calves are made anemic and not allowed any physical activity. They are then slaughtered at 16 weeks.

These are just a few of the atrocities associated with raising animals for food. Even obtaining meat from a local farm doesn’t escape the fact innocent animals are being killed just so we can have a burger. It is ironic farm animals are vegetarian and by eating them and their products we bring upon ourselves many chronic diseases which could be avoided with a plant-based diet. 

There is a question in the animal activism world that sums it up best. Which do you pet? Which do you eat? Why? This is accompanied by a picture of a baby pig and a kitten touching noses.  Can you answer the question?

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