Meat is not Green
I never thought I would become a vegetarian, though, when I slowly started such behaviours it didn’t seem so far off any more. Even during the last few months of not buy much meat I never thought I would become a vegan... but here I am... thinking.
I am not a Vegan.
I don’t think I will ever become a vegan. I have always felt so blessed to not have food allergies, and be able to accept food from people, and have no reason to be picky. I value my ability to eat everything, so I still don’t want to be picky.
That being said I have a beef with the meat industry. If you know me at all, you probably realize that I do not care very much about animals, though I think I should, and I don’t like the thought of animal cruelty. However, even if there were no animals hurt or killed in the meat industry I still have this against them: they harm the environment and oppress the poor.
God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, is whom I follow. He made a wonderful world, allowed us to live in it and asked us to care for it. Respect for God involves respecting his creation. As I look into the meat industries environmental effects, the statistics I find are repulsive. Animals poop a lot, and when their waste, ends up in water system, this is just not a happy situation. The United Nations has labelled the meat industry as one of the most environmentally destructive forces both globally and locally. It produces more greenhouse gases than all cars, truck, ships and planes combined.
“According to Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than a half-million cars off U.S. roads."
Not only is meat industry responsible for a large portion of pollution, it also carelessly uses resources. It takes 16 pounds of grain to create 1 pound of meat. The rain forest is being cut down, not only to provide a place for cow to be farmed, but to grow food for them. About 80% of agricultural land in the U.S. is used in some way for animal production. The world’s cattle alone consume more calories than is needed for 8.7billion people, which is more than this world’s population. It takes 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat; this seems like a lot (and I don’t even know how big a gallon is) until it is compared with the 2500 gallons of water required to produce a pound of meat; in fact, if the water used in the meat industry was not subsidized, it would cost 35 dollars per pound of hamburger meat. Over half of the utilized water in America is used to produce feed for livestock and provide them with water. I cannot justify supporting an industry that is blatantly devastating the world God created and continue to claim that I follow him.
There is something more important to me than all the trees in this world. On the sixth day of creation God created people in his image, and he saw that his creation was very good. Throughout the scriptures God commands us to care for the poor, and Jesus came to preach the good news to the impoverished. As a follower of Christ I have been called to care for the poor, look after the needy and love. Developing countries that are dying of starvation, are exporting their grain to feed cows.
“Human beings who could be fed by the grain and soybeans eaten by U.S. livestock: 1,300,000,000Number of people who will starve to death this year: 60,000,000
Number of people who could be adequately fed by the grain saved if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%: 60,000,000”
Just not eating meat will not get that food to the world’s poor, but it is standing up against something that is wrong, and reducing my carbon footprint, as I fight for justice.
The first change is to change myself. I have decided against supporting the world’s meat industry in any way. This, sadly includes giving up purchasing milk and eggs. If someone has barbequed me a steak, I am going to eat it rather than let it go to waste, but I am going to try my best to do nothing that will support the meat industry. If I get offered milk, and I know I have other options and that my consumption will cause the other person to need to get more milk sooner, then I sure hope I do not accept it. This will be hard, real hard, but if it is wrong, then it is wrong and I want nothing to do with it.
"It now seems plain that [a vegan diet] is the only ethical response to what is arguably the world's most urgent social justice issue." –The Guardian
My facts are from:
Deep vegetarianism: http://books.google.ca/books?id=Z0s3X_vh1_EC&pg=PA95&lpg=PA95&dq=meat+industry+injustice&source=web&ots=8mA-QcLh45&sig=JlaFHyzceBYBcpN6bSa5WzKCh7M&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result#PPA100,M1
Animal Liberation Front: http://www.animalliberationfront.com/
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.