How many animals are killed annually for their meat? A million? One hundred million? Sadly, these numbers aren’t anywhere near the reality. Every year, we slaughter over seventy billion animals for their meat alone, another fifty million for fur. This killing is causing great harm to our bodies, animal population, and the environment.
Consumption of meat is harmful to the human body. Harvard health researchers have found, “a link between meat consumption and an increased kidney cancer risk” (“Food”.) Eating meat has been linked to other cancers, too. Susan G. Komen researchers have found a link to breast cancer, too. Sadly, cancer isn’t the only disease that eating meat can cause. When a human consumes meat, there is a set of reactions carried out by microbes in the gut. These reactions are, “triggered by carnitine, a nutrient found in meat” (“New Study Links L-carnitine in Red Meat to Heart Disease.”) These reactions cause a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries, which leads to heart disease. This cholesterol obstruction can cause chest pains and, if an artery is totally blocked off, heart attacks. And, even worse, we aren’t the only ones affected by our greed.
It isn’t hidden knowledge that animals have to be killed for their meat, but livestock aren’t the only animals affected. In 2011, Endangered Species International realised that, “of the 44,838 species assessed worldwide… 905 are extinct and 16,928 are listed as threatened to be extinct” (“Total Number of Extinct Species.”) Some of these species include the Quagga, Caribbean Monk Seal, Tasmanian Tiger, and the Bubal Hartebeest. These species, and many more, had been around for millions of years, and went extinct no earlier than 1883 (Huffington Post.) Also, the conditions that factory farm animals are atrocious, and unhealthy. According to PETA, animals are, “given so little space they can’t even turn around or lie down… Antibiotics are used to make them grow faster and stay alive in the cruel conditions… [and] have been genetically manipulated to grow larger” (Factory Farming: Misery for Animals.) When we ingest these antibiotics, we too begin to fatten up, and it’s as if we are taking drugs not prescribed, which is dangerous. And, if you believe that the damage stops here, you are far from right.
Nature is our home, we belong to it. Sadly, in our mere 140,000 years on Earth, we have
destroyed our home. According to the Rainforest Action Network, we, annually, cut down, “3
billion to six billion trees” (“How Many Trees Are Cut down Every Year?”) The cutting down of
these trees causes extinction and increase in greenhouse gasses, which is harmful to the planet.
Also, the consumption of water is a big danger for the planet. The Huffington Post said that, “beef requires the most water, at 1,847 gallons per pound” "This Is How Much Water It Takes To Make Your Favorite Foods.”) This water could be used in much better places, like feeding and watering the starving people in Africa.
In conclusion, eating meat is causing our health, the animal population, and the environment to deteriorate. But, not all hope is lost, if we all adopt a vegan lifestyle, we can alter, or even reverse these catastrophic changes. Please consider looking into a vegan lifestyle, and saving our planet
Boehrer, Katherine. "This Is How Much Water It Takes To Make Your Favorite Foods." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.
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"Factory Farming: Misery for Animals." PETA. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.
"Food." Food. Animal Equality, n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
Gerken, James. "11 Animals That Are Now Extinct ... And It's Our Fault." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.
"High Blood Cholesterol: What You Need To Know." - NHLBI, NIH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
"How Many Trees Are Cut down Every Year?" Rainforest Action Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.
"Livestock and Climate Change." Livestock and Climate Change. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016."New Study Links L-carnitine in Red Meat to Heart Disease." Harvard Health Blog RSS. N.p., 17 Apr. 2013. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
"Researchers Find New Link Between Red Meat and Heart Disease - Health Essentials from
"Total Number of Extinct Species." Endangered Species International. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.
"The Water Footprint of Food." GRACE Communications Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.