The Case for a Plant-Based Diet

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There are countless reasons to stop the raising and slaughter of farmed animals for food, including health, environmental, and humanitarian concerns. My main reasons for not eating meat or dairy products are humanitarian, but in this paper, I will try to make the case for ceasing the raising of farmed animals for the sake of the environment and vulnerable people groups, in our own and in other countries, who raise animals or animal feed to satisfy Americans’ taste for animal flesh. Good!

People shrug and say that eating meat is “natural”, that humans have always done it, and that’s the way it is—and, evidently, that’s the way it should continue to be. Really? Isaac Bashevis Singer said, “People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times.” In fact, eating meat the way we now do it is not “natural” at all. According to Dr. Neil Barnard “[M]eat-eating probably began by scavenging—eating the leftovers that carnivores had left behind. However, our bodies have never adapted to it.” In talking about humans’ early diet, Barnard explains that we “had diets very much like other great apes, which is to say a largely plant-based diet …. To this day, meat-eaters have a higher incidence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other problems.” (The Power of Your Plate) Very good!

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Nature is cruel; industrializing that cruelty is wrong. ( 2018 U.S. Animal Kill Clock) “No other country raises and slaughters its food animals quite as intensively or brutally as we do. Were the walls of our meat industry to become transparent, literally or even figuratively, we would not long continue to raise, kill, and eat animals the way we do. Tail docking and sow crates and beak clipping would disappear overnight, and the days of slaughtering four hundred head of cattle an hour would promptly come to an end — for who could stand the sight?” (Pollan 333)

In 2014, in the U.S. alone, nine billion land animals were killed to produce meat, dairy, and eggs for human consumption. One million animals per hour were slaughtered. Globally, 70 billion were killed. The number of aquatic animals slaughtered annually is in the trillions. (https://awfw.org/factory-farms/; https://awfw.org/factory-farms/) No one wants to think about this stuff, let alone see it: “Perhaps in the back of our minds we already understand… that something terribly wrong is happening. Our sustenance now comes from misery. We know that if someone offers to show us a film on how our meat is produced, it will be a horror film. We perhaps know more than we care to admit,

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