Article continued from the main page.. . . . as overgrazing becomes the norm in much of the world, rangelands are being pushed beyond their limits.
Seven kilograms of grain are required to produce 1 kilogram of beef; the conversion is 4-to-1 for pork and 2-to-1 for poultry. Each kilogram of meat represents several kilograms of grain that could be consumed directly by humans, not to mention the water and farmland required to grow the grain. To put this in uncomplicated terms, the beef in a Big Mac represents enough wheat to produce five loaves of bread.
Huge amounts of food - not to mention the water and farmland required to grow the food - can be freed up by modest reduction in meat production. For example, if the 670 million tons of the world's grain that is fed to livestock were reduced by 10 percent, the resulting grain could feed 225 million people or to keep up with growth in the human population over the next three years.
If each American reduced his or her meat consumption by just 5 percent, roughly equivalent to eating one less dish of meat each week, enough grain would be saved to feed 25 million people - the number estimated to go hungry in the United States each day.
The massive waste produced by livestock threaten waterways worldwide. In the United States, where 130 times more animal manure is produced than human waste - 5 tons for every U.S. citizen - animal waste is the principal source of water pollution. And livestock farms are getting larger throughout the world. Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin's recent bill to reform livestock waste management estimates that one 50,000-acre hog farm under construction in Utah will produce more waste than the city of Los Angeles.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the world's livestock herds are the largest source of human-induced emissions of methane - a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.
For those concerned about our environment, reducing meat consumption is as fundamental as reducing car use or being a conscientious recycler.
Although many people ask how vegans get the nutrients they need or attempt to prove that animal products are essential, a vegan diet is actually healthier than the alternative. Read more about the essential nutrients vegan receive in a later section.
Dieting by eating less is the most common form of weight loss in the United States. However, it is not the healthiest. This method can cause anorexia and other malnutrition disorders. But to lose weight you don't have to eat less. You can eat as much as you like of the right foods and not gain weight. Food itself is not what causing weight gain. Animals products contain extremely high amounts of fat that vegetables don't have. By not eating high-fat foods you will lose weight, even if you continue to eat a lot.
Another major certain for many people is cholesterol. Too much cholesterol can clod your arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes. The good news is only animal products contain cholesterol. Humans naturally also have small amounts of cholesterol. By not eating animal products, your cholesterol level will remain low, limited to the amount already in your body.
High blood pressure levels will also drop considerably, with just a few weeks of eating the right foods.
Often doctors give patients medications to "solve" their medical needs. All these medications are is drugs. The natural state for the healthy human body in a drug-free state. Medications generally make you feel better but not really improve the situation. Healthy foods will allow you to become less dependant on medications.
People who eat high on the food chain, consuming large amounts of meat, dairy products and eggs, are plagued by chronic lifestyle diseases, ranging from cardiovascular deterioration to many types of cancer. A rich body of medical literature links the high quantities of cholesterol, saturated fat and protein found in meat-rich diets to the incidence of these diseases throughout the world.
Although surgery can fix some problems, it is often only a temporary solution. It is often the patient's diet that caused the problem, so continuing to eat the same, could bring the problem back. Becoming a vegan is a permanent change, that can greatly reduce or eliminate this unnecessary and expensive surgery an unhealthy diet can cause.
For those concerned about their health, reducing the consumption of animal foods is as essential as quitting smoking or regular exercise.
Treatment of Animals
Most of the industries' animals are kept in extremely small confinement. Chickens live their entire lives in a small cage. Cows leave their fenced enclosures only to be slaughtered. Dairy cows may never be released.
Another very important part of animal treatment is properly feeding the livestock. Not all cattle are feed with the expensive grain mentioned in the environmental reasons to become vegan.
Not only is it very cruel to feed animals this, but do you want to eat the animals that have been eating this? Obviously this creates many health concerns as well. Unfortunately, the health officials are doing relatively little to stop them. Most claim that it's okay if properly handled. This includes stacking the manure for four to eight weeks while the sun generated heat supposedly kills the bacteria and toxins. Most farmers, however, don't follow these procedures. And remember, bacteria or not - it's still manure.
So what can you do about all this? Become vegan. Abstaining from the consumption of animals products discourages the industry and shows your support for proper animal treatment. You should also consider participating in clubs or groups, such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
Although most Christians do not tend to be vegan, biblical basis for veganism exists, right from the very first book. In Genesis 1:29 "...God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Here is also the original definition for meat. Meat is simply the food one eats. However, this verse never mentions God giving us animals to eat. Only the seeds and trees which grow in the ground, are to be meat. There are also other verses, including I Corinthians 6:19-20, Romans 12:1, III John 2, and I Corinthians 10:31 that all support veganism and healthy eating.
|Back to top|
|Copyright © 1998 Thinkquest Team 20922. All rights reserved.|