It’s no secret that the world is distressed. Our food supply has been taken over by frankenfoods, the dollar continues to lose value, millions of people are killed as governments fight for power and resources, our oceans continue to be trashed on a daily basis (let’s not forget Fukushima is still dumping radioactive materials into the Pacific Ocean). It’s easy to become depressed and have a sense of helplessness when one realizes the vast number of problems in the world today. It’s true: there are a lot of things that we as invididuals have no control over. I can’t just call up Obama and ask him to stop killing little brown children, please, and thank you.
However, what we do have control over is how we spend our money and what we put in our bodies. Three times a day (maybe more), you can make the choice to better the world or to worsen it. Meat and it’s industry play a huge role in many social and environmental problems that we face. Animal agriculture is responsible for 51% of global greenhouse gases (including methane and nitrous oxide). Check out this infographic on what is takes to produce just one quater-pounder.
Besides using a vast amount of our precious resources, animal agriculture is responsible for a massive amount of toxic run-off. There are vast regions of the country where all life has died out because of the toxic run-off from the factory farms. The conditions in the factory farms are so horrible, that the animals would not survive long enough to make it to slaughter. For this reason, 80% of antibiotics produced in the United States are used in the meat and dairy industry. What comes in must come out, so the animal waste run-off is laden with antibiotics, hormones, and pesticide residues.
However, these antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides don’t all just pass through the animal’s body. They are ingrained in the muscle fibers of the animal and then are integrated into the person consuming it’s meat. Even if the meat were completely organic, meat is difficult for the digestive system to break down and can have many undesirable effects in the body. It is acidic and contributes to bone degradation and joint inflammation. There is no fiber in meat, so it needs help in order to pass through our 26 feet of intestines. Colon cancer is common in people who eat a meat-heavy diet.
So considering the amount of energy required for meat production, the problems inherent in meat consumption, and the level of suffering that accompanies the entire process, is this really what we as conscious humans want to be putting into our bodies? Is it any surprise that the countries with the highest rates of meat consumption also have the highest rates of heat disease and osteoporosis? The idea of karma, or reap what you sow, is perfectly demonstrated in the process of consuming flesh. The animals on factory farms are subjected to a miserable existence. The cruelty that takes place at these “farms” is almost unfathomable. Even animals who are raised more humanely still are sent to the same slaughter houses. On an energetic level, when one consumes animal products, one is putting pain, death, and torture, into their bodies. As the planetary consciousness rises, we should aspire to raise our own individual consiousness- a task that is hindered by the consumption of flesh based products.
There is so much pain and suffering in the world. With each bite of food, you can make the choice to continue to propagate this suffering and destruction, or you can choose to support a loving, sustainable way of life. The food we eat, the products we buy, and the clothes we wear are some of the few things that we actually do have control over. Since you are making this choice on a daily basis, choosing to live consciously and cruelty-free really can make a huge impact. Based on average meat consumption rates, it is estimated that each vegan saves 198 animals each year!
Also, a vegan diet is delicious. Once you decide not to make meat the center of your plate, you discover the thousands of plant foods you had previously overlooked. My meals as a vegan are so much more varied and exciting than they ever were on a meat centric diet.
So please, for your self, for the animals, and for the planet, consider switching to a plant based diet. Even if you can’t make the full transition right away, try to incorporate more plant based meals into your diet. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how tasty and satisfying vegan meals can be. Some of my favorite recipe blogs are:
Additionally, onegreenplanet.com has some awesome tips for transitioning to veganism along with hundreds of recipies.
Most importantly, remember to love each other and your self. Don’t ever forget your value as a conscious individual imbued with free-will. Your choices can and do span far and wide.
– Space Panther