Meat Free for the Health of It

December 27, 2008 at 11:19 pm Leave a comment

A great deal of evidence exists linking the consumption of animal products to heart disease and certain forms of cancer. Other studies suggest that over-consuming animal products leads to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, gout, and kidney stones. In addition, animals raised on factory farms are routinely given hormones to accelerate their rate of growth, and antibiotics to protect their health when housed in less than sanitary environments.

Go Veg, Walk Lightly

Following a vegetarian lifestyle is a great way to help the planet. Today, people are becoming more aware of environmental issues. Earth Day celebrations, rain forest preservation, and global warming initiatives are becoming more widespread. But how does eating meat-free help the earth?

The environmental impact of a vegan diet is a fraction of the impact of the standard American diet (SAD), with its high consumption of animal products and processed foods. Going veg for the planet returns a lot of positive effects. Check out this list for a few of the biggies:

Feed the hungry. Animals are fed more than 80 percent of the corn and 95 percent of the oats grown in the United States. Each year, the U.S. livestock population consumes enough grain and soybeans to feed more than five times the U.S. human population. Less than half of the harvested agricultural acreage goes to feed people.

Preserve the rain forests. To support cattle grazing, Latin American countries are deliberately destroying their rain forests. These rain forests contain close to half of all the species on Earth and many medicinal plants. For each acre of forest land cleared for human purposes, 7 acres of forest is cleared for grazing livestock or growing livestock feed.

Pure and clean water. The factory farm industry causes a tremendous amount of groundwater pollution due to the chemicals, pesticides, and waste runoff inherent in its practices.

Efficient land use. The human population is increasing at a dramatic rate. How we use land to produce food is more of an issue as the human race proliferates. According to the USDA, 1 acre of land can produce 20,000 pounds of vegetables. This same amount of land can only produce 165 pounds of meat.

There are many more benefits, of course, including soil preservation, the rights of indigenous people, and promoting sustainable agriculture. Insuring the integrity of the plant kingdom as our sole food source is one of the greatest challenges humankind faces today.

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