21 September 2008

heavy stuff about what we eat

I just read a great post from Think Simple Now about the health, ethical, and environmental implications of our animal-based diet (including dairy products).

When I became a vegetarian, my main motive was for health, but as I dug deeper into what was happening in animal agriculture, the truth was heart breaking. I was in distress after learning about it, and thinking about it still makes me sad.

About 10 billion land animals are killed each year for food in the US, according to the USDA; this includes 35 million cattle, 100 million pigs, 300 million turkeys, and 9.5 billion chickens. That is more than 1 million animals killed every hour. Animal agriculture is a $100 billion a year industry, with even more powerful lobbying interest than the oil and pharmaceutical lobbies (exposed by Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation).

At such a scale and with efforts to drive down cost, how do you think animals are treated? The answer: the most time efficient way possible to minimize cost. With that in mind, animals are skinned alive, limps ripped out of them, beaks or testicles chopped off without pain relief.

Read the whole story.