Why should we not eat animals?
People had learned in the primary years at school that there are three types of eaters in the animal kingdom. First type is the herbivore; these animals eat only plants. Second type is the carnivore; these animals only eat meat. Third type of eater is the omnivore or the animals that eat both plants and animals. Humans are categorised as omnivores because humans eat both plants and animals. However, some people think that eating animals is not right and there are also those who think that eating animals is necessary. It is important to see the different arguments about the topic in order to know both sides of the topic.
First argument is that humans should not eat animals because of the cruelty being done to the animals. According to goveg.com, fish, chicken, pigs, turkey, cows and cattle experience almost the same problem when it comes to treatment in the butchering plants. The animals are confined by the thousands in windowless cages and are bathing on their own wastes. These crammed animals sometimes die and get sick. Some are drugged so that the animals would grow faster and the tendency is that the internal organs of the animals do not keep up with their bodies. There are sources that show that jammed up animals are imperative because these businesses profit because of jamming up the animals before they are slaughtered. National Hog Farmer had explained to Goveg.com that the animals are jammed because “Crowding Pays”. Another reason for the packing of animals by the thousands is that according to Bernard Rollins, an expert in the egg industry, “chickens are cheap, cages are expensive.” Looking at statistical facts, from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the worldwide number of animals killed for food in the year 2000 was 45 Billion. This is quite a big number of animals and this only shows that mankind is not anymore concern about how many animals they killed for their food. Animal count above does not include the fishes killed for food.
Second argument is that eating meat causes degenerative diseases. Rawfoodexplained.com (2007) explains that a man’s body is not well adapted to digest fleshy foods. The processing of fleshy food results to toxaemia. This is the starting point of diseases like gout, arthritis, heart disease, cancer and many other degenerative diseases. Carnivores have a different structure from humans that is why the carnivores do not experience anything unlike the humans. The possible conditions of processing fleshy foods are excessive excretion of bile from the liver which gives stress to the liver. Another is the excessive release of uric acid which also gives problems to human kidneys. However, Murphy and Allen stated a different reason why humans must eat animals. According to the study, animal source foods are rich sources of vitamin A, vitamin B-12, riboflavin, calcium, iron and zinc. These nutrients play a part in preventing diseases such as anemia, poor growth, rickets, impaired cognitive performance and other disease related to deficiency of the nutrients enumerated above. The studied had also shown that the plants are not adequate sources of the nutrients because small amounts are present in them.
Third argument is that livestock is harmful for the environment. Christopher Matthews (2007), had reported that the livestock causes harm to the environment through the production of Carbon Dioxide Emissions and land and water degradation. United Nations Food and Agricuture Organization show that the livestock releases 9% of Carbon Dioxide that contributes to the greenhouse effect. The gas emitted from livestock waste does not only include Carbon Dioxide. The livestock wastes also emits 65% of Nitrous Oxide which according to Matthews has 296 times the Global Warming Potential of Carbon Dioxide. Another effect of livestock to the environment is that forests are cleared to produce acreage for the livestock. In Latin America, livestock is considered as a major driver of deforestation. There is a total of 70% of former forests in the Amazon that has been converted to grazing for the Animals. This does not only include the land but livestock also harms the water supply. The pollutants coming from the livestock that contaminates the water are animal wastes, fertilizers, hormones and other chemicals used for livestock. Even though the livestock industry is harmful to the environment, livestock is not at all bad in the financial side. Lawyer’s Environmental Action Team showed that livestock accounts for 25% of the agricultural sector which gives 50% of the GDP. From this proportion, 40% for beef, 30% for milk, 30% poultry and 30% small stock. This shows that livestock has contributed to the economy.
Fourth argument, eating animals increases cholesterol intake. In a study from the University of Illinois, it has been known that eating animal meat increases dietary cholesterol. This type of cholesterol comes and obtained from eating animals. Even though intake of dietary cholesterol does not have a large impact in the increase of cholesterol blood level, moderation is still important. Dietary Fat has a large impact in the blood cholesterol level. Dietary fat comes from the fat content that a person eats. Animals especially pork have a large animal fat content. According to the article, only 20 to 35 percent of the daily calories are recommended to come from fat. Fat can be harmful to the body, however, fat also have a good effect on the body. Fat contributes to the strength of a particular person. PPOnline had stated that Body Fat increases strength speed and stamina.
Another argument why animals should not be eaten is because of the spreading disease that has been discovered lately by modern medicine. Diseases such as the foot and mouth disease, the mad cow disease and the bird flu disease are fatal. Mad Cow Disease according to Dr. Niel Constantine is a fatal neurological disease that is caused by prion protein. Prion diseases have been known to cause Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD), which occurs spontaneously in 1 in 1 million persons but can also be passed on genetically. He had also stated that the mad cow disease came from the sheeps and cows. The discovery of the said disease had happened in the mid 80’s. Another disease that came from animals that is irreversible is the Bird Flu. According to the website Bird Flu Facts, the author of the website had stated that the facts had shown that the avian flu causes death to humans. Its effect on humans is that the person infected would develop acute respiratory diseases and eventually death. However, Peter Singer and Karen Dawn had shown in their article that not being able to eat meat may cause the body malnutrition and protein deficiency.
As a summary, both arguments have a positive and a negative note. By not eating animals, people would be able to stay healthy because they would be able to prevent degenerative disease from animal food. This means that being able to stay on a vegetarian diet might be able to increases the chances of human beings to live longer because the cause of degenerative disease is avoided. This is a very important note to think about. Another is that animal livestock causes harm to the environment. Eventhough the industry contributes a large sum in the GDP, people must think about the survival of the present generation and the next generation that would be born. Being able to stop the degradation of the environment might be able to help save our home mother earth. On a positive note, economy would be really affected but money goes by and it can be earned by other means however, if the environment is destroyed, it would take millions of years to restore the destroyed part of the environment. Thinking about the animal abuse and cruelty being experienced in farms, it is not right to treat animals in crammed cages and then just to be eaten. Looking at what God had said in the Bible, animals were given to man to be taken care of. This is another reason why animals must not be treated inhumanely. Most people would think that they do not like to eat double dead animals however, by buying animals in stores, people are doing the same thing. People are still eating double dead animals and the only difference is that the animals are put inside a freezer. Another reason for not eating animals is because of the diseases that had been discovered recently. The avian flu and the mad cow disease are fatal to the humans. Anyone who consumes meat of infected animals tend to have disease such as acute pulmonary disorder for the avian flu and neurotic disease for the mad cow. Eventually, the infected human also die because of the virus from the infected animals There are many more other reasons why humans should not eat animals but the author of this paper thinks that the reasons stated above are enough to convince other people not to eat animals.
FARM USA, (2000), Animals Killed for Food in the United States in 2000 (millions), Retrieved last November 27, 2007 from United Poultry Concerns Inc. Website: http://www.upc-online.org/slaughter/2000slaughter_stats.html
Murphy, Suzanne and Allen, Lindsay (November 2003), Nutritional Importance of Animal Source Foods, Retrieved last November 25, 2007 from The American Society for Nutritional Sciences. Website: http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/133/11/3932S?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=vegetarians&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT
Raw Food Explained, (2007), Flesh Foods Cause Degenerative Disease, Retrieved last November 25, 3007 from Rawfoodexplained.com. Website: http://www.rawfoodexplained.com/why-we-should-not-eat-meat/flesh-foods-cause-degenerative-disease.html
Matthews, Cristopher, (2006), Livestock a major threat to environment: Remedies Urgently Needed from FAO Newsroom. Retrieved last November 25, 2007 from FAO Organization Website: http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html
Lawyer’s Environmental Action Team (2007), Agricultural and Livestock: Overall Contribution to Economy from Lawyer’s Environmental Action Team. Retrieved last November 24, 2007 from Lawyer’s Environmental Action Team Website: http://www.leat.or.tz/publications/env.handbook/4.1.a.contribution.php
University of Illinois (2007), Dietary Factors that increase Blood Cholesterol. Retrieved last November 24, 2007 from University of Illinois Extension. Website: http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/diabetes2/subsection.cfm?SubSectionID=45
PPOnline, (2007) Body Fat and Running performance. Retrieved last November 24, 3007 from PPOnline.co.uk. Website: http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/body-fat-and-running-performance
Singer, Peter and Dawn, Karen (2004). When Slaughter Makes Sense. Retrieved las t November 29, 2007 from Newsday. Website: http://www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/20040208.htm
Constantine, Niel (2007). Making Sense of Mad Cow Disease. Retrieved last December 1, 2007 from University of Maryland Medical Center. Website: http://www.umm.edu/features/madcow.htm
Bird Flu Facts (2006) Bird Flu Facts. Retreved last December 3, 2007 from Bird Flu Facts. Website: http://www.bird-flu-facts.org/