Eating Meat Is Destroying Our Planet
When I became a vegetarian eight years ago it was not an ethical choice in anyway. I was a big meat eater and I loved it. I started doing a lot of yoga and the more and more I practiced the more I found my body started to reject meat. I started eating less and less and within about seven months I had eaten my last bite. I felt amazing, I had more energy, I didn't feel heavy like you do when you eat animal protein.
It took a while for me to understand the nutritional impact of becoming vegetarian, and I actually became so obsessed with making sure I had enough protein in my diet that I ate so many nuts and seeds I ended up putting on so much weight. I slowly realised that I actually did not need the amount of protein everyone goes on about.
Over the years I have read and become more aware and, I suppose, disgusted with what I have found out about the meat industry. Dairy farming was the fist industry I starting looking into, I saw this expose on the Cadburys chocolate dairy farm and how they treat the cows. If you can't watch it I will tell you... Dairy cows, unless organic, are fed hormones to make sure they continue to produce milk all year round.
They give birth, and depending on the farm, their calfs are ripped from their mothers side from two hours to two days after they have been born. A dairy farmer told me the other day 'they only cry for about four days and then they get over it'. Its heart breaking. After eleven months of producing milk, the cows have a one month rest where they are given antibiotics so their udders don't dry up and get infected.
These hormones are going directly into your milk, cheese, chocolate, ice-cream, yoghurt, all of which will have a direct impact on your health.
I then started learning about chicken farming when I watched Food Inc. If you eat chicken or eggs it is very important to choose free range and if you can organic.
50% of our eggs are battery farmed which means these are small cages, usually made of metal in modern systems, housing three to eight hens. The walls are made of either solid metal or mesh, and the floor is sloped wire mesh to allow the faeces to drop through and eggs to roll onto an egg-collecting conveyor belt. In any one shed, there may be several floors containing battery cages meaning that a single shed may contain many tens of thousands of hens. Light intensity is often kept low (e.g. 10 lux) to reduce feather pecking and vent pecking. They trim their beaks from one day old to stop them fighting with other birds.
I am afraid it just doesn't get any better, the more you look into it, it just gets more disturbing and horrific and turning a blind eye to it doesn't make it go away, it makes you apart of it. The world is consuming meat at such a high rate that farms cannot keep up - they are having to produce meat cheaply and fast which encourages poor quality.
Ask these 3 questions before you buy or eat a piece of meat:
1. How was it raised?
2. How was it killed?
3. Where did it come from?
If you feel that the answers are humane and sustainable to your beliefs on how animals should be looked after then buy and eat the meat. If the answer is no to 1 of those questions please don't eat it.
We will only make a difference in the world by following through with our decisions and making a stand. The industry will only react to what the consumer wants so if we want less then less will be produced.So get involved with Meat Free Monday and make a stand to what is humane and right for the planet. I certainly would like to leave this place in a beautiful state for my children.