Many people consume meat and are unaware of not only the inhumane treatment of the animal, but the great impact it is having on the environment and on ourselves as well. I wanted to make this more about spreading awareness, than being about my personal beliefs on how animals should be treated. I do though, want to give you all a better understanding of what I advocate and what I represent as a vegetarian. I have an immense passion for the well-being of animals, and I truly believe that every creature deserves a chance at life. Whether it be domestic or wild, mammal or amphibian, and regardless of it’s size, they all aspire to live a life where they are free… just like us. However, many may disagree with my viewpoints, especially since they go against society’s grand tradition, the consumption of flesh. Of course we all have stumbled upon undercover footage or documentaries about how livestock truly works, and it’s media like these that spark curiosity. How can we possibly end this genocide? Go Vegan. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, for many of us we may have families who refuse to support a vegan lifestyle, or others just can’t picture a life without eating meat or using other animal products. Everyone ‘feels bad’ but no one makes a change. So, before you think to yourself “Oh man, here goes Cat again with the preaching!”, just hear me out. I’m greatly aware that millions of people enjoy eating meat, so I at least would like to inform you about the lies you’re currently being told when shopping at the ‘poultry’ section. “Organic?” Not even close. The only way we will ever know about where our meat and dairy products come from, is not from the fake commercials, but from undercover footage of these horrendous facilities. Iowa happens to be the largest pork producers in the country, yet while every other states are creating new laws for more humane treatment in factory farms, they’re the only state that’s trying to conceal their bloody businesses rather than fix it. As stated in an article specifically about Pig factory farms on mercyforanimals.org, “Mother sows are confined to barren metal crates barely larger than their own bodies, and are unable to turn around or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives.” These heart-breaking confinements are just one of the many things wrong with their treatment. Pigs deserve a lot of room to move around and sleep, imagine having to live in a cage with barely enough room to move for the rest of your existence.
Tyson Foods, the largest meat producer, ended its contract with an Oklahoma farm after undercover footage of their workers abusing the pigs was released to the public. Administration took possession of every animal in the location, and fired every worker featured in the video. Such acts of violence included hitting, kicking, throwing, and striking of animals with wooden boards. Piglets also had their delicate skulls smashed into walls or floors in attempts of euthanizing them, when in many cases these babies would still be conscious for up to hours at a time, suffering a slow, and excrutiating death. Thankfully, Tyson handled this case immediately, but that doesn’t justify their mistake. Workers should be properly trained to handle these animals, as well as required supervision at all times, and that should include surveillance camera’s for the safety of the animals as well as the employees in case of an emergency. Not only is this form of treatment unnacceptable, but it goes way beyond that, which includes putting our health and sealife at high risks.
Although ethical reasons may not be sufficient enough to make you reconsider your actions, our oceans, it’s creatures, and our well-being is at stake. At many pig farms, you’ll find hundreds of lagoons filled with pure waste (shit). These lagoons release gases like ammonia into the air, that eventually gets back down to our lakes and deprives them of oxygen, killing thousands of fish and other species in the process. Millions of bacteria are also released into the air, many of which are resistant to human antibiotics. According to a Rolling Stone article (name is unavailable) Smithfields Farms spray hog waste into the air everyday, contaminating the residents who live nearby, leading them to gain symptoms such as bronchitis, asthma, heart palpitations, headaches, seizures, diarrhea, nosebleeds, and brain damage. This needs to come to an immediate end. Our people shouldn’t have to be living in such a filthy atmposphere, nor should our fishes die due to the lack of maintenance for lagoons which lead to the spills in the first place. Many may argue that sea life aren’t important and if they aren’t the ones being affected with such symptoms then why should they care?
Obviously, I don’ t support the consumption of animals but I am very mindful that people feel otherwise. Becoming a Vegetarian or Vegan may not be a favorable option, so that’s why there’s still ways you can make a difference. Don’t purchase meats for cheap! It’s a low price for a reason, none of the money goes towards properly maintaning the animals. Do your research and find brands that are dedicated to humanely raising animals. Look up labels like ‘grass fed’ and ‘pasture raised’ too! By making small changes like these, you’ll definitely feel better about what you’re consuming.
I care due to the fact that I have family and friends who don’t want to make such drastic lifestyle changes like transitioning into vegetarianism or veganism, so I want to provide more options since I know that they don’t want to contribute to more negative things since eating meat itself is already morally wrong and just unethical. I hope that this can create a change of heart in my readers and make them maintain a cleaner environment just by making few changes to their food options. I know being vegan/vegetarian isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay, but at least look into it and always keep an open mind.