an article I came across…

Reprinted from The New York Times, June 20, 1989
All figures from the 1980’s

World Hunger

Number of people worldwide who will die of starvation this year: 60 million
Number of people who could be adequately fed with the grain saved if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%: 60 million
Human beings in America: 243 million
Number of people who could be fed with grain and soybeans now eaten by U.S. livestock: 1.3 billion
Percentage of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by people: 20
Percentage of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 80
Percentage of oats grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 95
Percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 99
How frequently a child starves to death: every 2 seconds
Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on an acre: 20,000
Pounds of beef produced on an acre: 165
Percentage of U.S. farmland devoted to beef production: 56
Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce a pound of beef: 16


Cause of global warming: greenhouse effect
Primary cause of greenhouse effect: carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels
Fossil fuels needed to produce a meat-centered diet vs. a meat free diet: 50 times more.
Percentage of U.S. topsoil lost to date: 75
Percentage of U.S. topsoil loss directly related to livestock raising: 85
Number of acres of U.S. forest cleared for cropland to produce meat-centered diet: 260 million
Amount of meat U.S. imports annually from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama: 200 million pounds.
Average per capita meat consumption in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama: less than eaten by average U.S. house cat.
Area of tropical rainforest consumed in every quarter-pound hamburger: 55 sq ft.
Current rate of species extinction due to destruction of tropical rainforests for meat grazing and other uses: 1,000 per year.
Also cattle contribute to global warming by being one of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide and methane gases.


Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat meat 4 times a week vs. less than once a week: 4 times.
For women who eat eggs daily vs. less than once a week: 3 times
Increased risk of fatal ovarian cancer for women who eat eggs 3 or more times a week vs. less than once a week: 3 times.
Increased risk of fatal prostate cancer for men who eat meat daily vs. sparingly or not at all: 3.6 times.

Natural Resources

Use of more than half of all water used for all purposes in the U.S.: Livestock portion
Amount of water used in production of the average steer: sufficient to float a destroyer.
Gallons to produce a pound of wheat: 25
Gallons to produce a pound of meat: 2,500
Cost of common hamburger if water used by meat industry not subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer: $35 a pound.
Current cost of pound of protein from beefsteak if water was no longer subsidized: $89
Years the world’s known oil reserves would last if every human ate a meat-centered diet: 13
Years they would last if human beings no longer ate meat: 260.
Barrels of oil imported into the U.S. daily: 6.8 million.
Percentage of fossil fuel returned as food energy by most efficient factory farming of meat: 34.5
Percentage from least efficient plant food: 32.8
Percentage of raw materials consumed by U.S. to produce present meat-centered diet: 33


Number of U.S. medical schools: 125
Number requiring a course in nutrition: 30
Nutrition training received by average U.S. physician during four years in medical school: 25 hours
Most common cause of death in U.S.: heart attack
How frequently a heart attack kills in U.S.: every 45 seconds.
Average U.S. man’s risk of death from heart attack: 50%
Risk for average U.S. man who avoids the meat-centered diet: 15%
Meat industry claims you should not be concerned about your blood cholesterol if it is: “normal”
Your risk of dying of a disease caused by clogged arteries if your blood cholesterol is “normal”: 50%


Percentage of U.S. antibiotics fed to livestock: 55
Percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin in 1960: 13
Percentage resistant in 1988: 91
Response of European Economic Community to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: ban
Response of U.S. meat and pharmaceutical industries to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: full and complete support


Percentage of pesticide residues in the U.S. diet supplied by grains: 1
Percentage of pesticide residues in the U.S. diet supplied by fruits: 4
Percentage of pesticide residues in the U.S. diet supplied by dairy products: 23
Percentage of pesticide residues in the U.S. diet supplied by meat: 55
Pesticide contamination of breast milk from meat-eating mothers vs. non-meat eating: 35 times higher
What USDA tells us: meat is inspected
Percentage of slaughtered animals inspected for residues of toxins and chemicals including dioxin and DDT: less than 0.00004


Number of animals killed for meat per hour in the U.S.: 500,000
Occupation with highest turnover rate in U.S.: slaughterhouse worker
Occupation with the highest rate of on-the-job injury in the U.S.: slaughterhouse worker
Cost to render animal unconscious with “captive bolt pistol” before slaughter: 1 cent
Reason given by meat industry for not using “captive bolt pistol”: too expensive.

yah its a kinda sad story…

Horrible, no? I have a sheet of similar stats somewhere… (roots around desk) Ah. Here they are. The numbers are staggaring. “The average Canadian will consume approximately: 12 cows, 20 hogs, 11 sheep/goats, 1438 chickens, 30 turkeys, 11275 eggs, 398 kg seafood, 538 kg butter/margarine”

But are you all vegetarian? If you are, do you still use the by-products?

I’m vegetarian, but I’m still guilty of using leather occasionally. Also, as I own cats I am responsible for using the inferior meats left over from human production to feed my animals pet food out of cans.

I am vegetarian since quite a long time (more than 10 years).Remember, I am 18.It was my own idea, my whole family does eat meat.
At first I only avoided meat, then I learned more and more about it, avoided also things like gelatine.I tried to get perfect at it.
Now, my attitude is slowly changing a bit.I can´t be perfect (or I am to lazy).I still don´t eat gelatine, and I still don´t buy leather, but it´s more for personal than ethical reasons.
One shouldn´t spent all his energy on getting perfect, just to happily consider oneself as some ethically better person.It´s more usefull to go for the bad concerns.
For example, I think that it is probably better to eat meat from a good farmer you trust, than eating vegetarian french fries (if they vegetarian, anyway) at McDonalds.
Perhaps not a great example, but I hope you get what I mean.


Yes I’m vegetarian (for about 10 years). I also don’t eat dairy though i’d be guilty of eating an otherwise healthy treat that had eggs if someone gave it to me. I always sub flaxseeds for eggs myself. And I know what you mean traumganger, I don’t trust food at any fast food place either.

abrickinthewall, this is a somewhat out of date article. . . don’t you think?
It’s also taken directly from the book: The Facts About Eating Animal Products…
by John Robbins, author of “Diet for a New America” and founder of Earthsave International.

This is a biased opinion from one man, and it seems to be used as a “holy grail” for some vegetarians.

As much as I hate statistics, I would like to add a few of my own. I hate how the article doesn’t address the exports of food that America provides.

Here are some current statistics:
Idaho is not just known for it’s potatoes, it’s the World’s largest producer of corn! The US is the world’s leading producer and exporter of corn, producing 36 percent of the world’s supply. One of every five rows of corn grown in the US is exported overseas.

The United States produces about 50 percent of the world’s soybeans. Leading soybean pro-ducing states include Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, and Missouri.

Today the United States is the world’s largest producer of wheat, but it wasn’t always so. Wheat did not become a major crop in America until after the French Revolution in the late 1700s.

I’m an omnivore. I really like soy and soyburgers though! :grin: I think it’s impossible for the whole human race to be vegetarian. I think vegetarianism can only exist in our modern grocery store times. Long ago during ice storms, snow, or unfriendly weather we needed a quick hunt to find food. Fishing is good for the soul. :content:

I have tried a few times to ‘go vegetarian’. It is so much hard work, especially when there is no-one else in your household willing to encourage you or to work with you in your quest. There are many books and websites showing you what to eat, what to avoid but putting in the effort and sticking to your choices is a lot more difficult than any of the resources teach you. It’s not only about eating vegetarian though, you should also be making sure you eat only whole foods and non-GM foods where possible.

I guess it’s all down to setting goals, small accomplishments at a time until you gradually progress towards a meat-free and animal product and by-product lifestyle.

Doreen Virtue has a handy little pocket sized book, ‘Eating in the Light’ explaining the facts and taking you through each step on your way to success. Maybe I’ll give it another go…I can’t imagine finding the heart to go fishing though.


I can see what you mean DreamAddict, when you say vegetarianism can only exist in modern times due to lack of other available foods because of ice and snow, but the difference there is that in those days animals were considered as part of the natural world and were only killed to satisfy human needs. These days they are somewhat exploited by humans to satisfy human desire. I find killing wild animals (in those circumatances) slightly more acceptable than giving them a poor life and then being slaughtered for some greasy lump of godknowswhat in a McDonalds.

I was vegetarian for 15 years of my life (since I was born), then I became vegan :tongue: That is even better than vegetarianism for the environment, especially in things like water consumption. Anyone else here vegan???

Hi foolish, nice to see a vegan around here.
Would like to ask you some questions

Are your parents vegetarian or vegan? Is your whole family vege or vegan?
And why are you vegan? I mean, I know how situation is for chickens in some mass egg production.However, I am interested in the reasons not to drink milk from some well-treated farmers cow.Or, let´s say you´d have your own cow, and treat it like one would do with his dog or cat.Would you drink that milk?
I know there is soy milk (which doesn´t taste bad IMO).Is there also soy cheese? If yes, how does it taste?

I think with cutting down on eggs I wouldn´t have any problems.Yoghurt and stuff I also don´t eat frequently, but not eating cheese sounds quite hard to me.


information overload
!! !! !! !!
!!! !!! !!! !!!
!!! !!! !!! !!!
brain core meltdown in ten
6 5432
core meltdown has finished memory erased iq:0
:confused:tupid: :panic: :crazy: :confused:tupid:

:neutral: Oh yeh, that was really mature.

Why not join in the discussion instead of posting strange messages?
Even though it’s in ‘Lucid Lounge’ this doesn’t mean the thread shouldn’t be taken seriously, karl.

Lol, I agree with Karl, lots of crazy figures and numbers, too much for brain on a dark night.

Hey traumgänger! Answers to your questions:

My parents are both vegan, my 3 little sisters are veggie. My parents were veggie before I was born. My Mum became vegan first, about a year before I did. My Dad stopped eating dairy produce at some point because it was messing with his asthma, and then became totally vegan gradually. I don’t know exactly why I became vegan, it just seemed like the most illogically logical thing to do. And yes, I thought cheese would be hard to give up, but once I set my mind to it, it didnt really make a lot of difference to me.

Reasons for not drinking milk… personally I dislike animals being exploited for human needs, which thinking about it means I don’t like horses being used as transport, for example.

This is not going to be the same for all milk production of course, but the general ideas are:

For a cow to produce milk properly, it needs to give birth. Obviously if a calf is there it’ll want the milk, so it is taken away and fed on other stuff that is not as nutritious. Male cows are used for beef, so by drinking milk, you are in a way benefiting the meat industry.

I know most people will have different views on this, but I really cannot be bothered to argue with you :tongue:

Oh yeah, you can get soya cheese, but it is horrible!!

The article is a bit out of date, so we’ll just have to assume that America is now producing and consuming more meat than it was 15 years ago. Statistics are not the ‘opinion of one man’, although that could be a fair description of his book. The issue of vegetarianism for many isn’t debatable by statistics, it’s a rationale. I only include the stats to raise awareness. The majority of modern meat farming methods make living things subjects of capitalism, a very ugly exploitation. Meat is also incredibly excessive, not being a source of any nutrient that isn’t available in any alternative way. I see meat as an addiction that is a fundamental deformity in our society.

I agree that vegetarianism is only practical in modern times, but this proves itself as a pragmatic human adaption. It is a vegetarians opinion that meat is no longer necessary when it requires mass destruction of the Earth and the life inhabiting it. The processes required to provide a meat centered diet for millions of people are utterly ridiculous.

It is understandable that those who are products of American society have a biased view and are inclined to defend a major facet of their culture. But it is my opinion that when the issue is examined without any prejudice, the American perspective is seen for what it truly is; selfish, ignorant, irrational, and destructive, among other things. The future of our planet is already looking grim, and the effects of meat in this day and age only make the outlook worse.

Your current statistics say nothing about meat, which is basically the entire issue here. America has the world’s largest economy, so it should only be expected that it has precedence in the global exchange. Your portrayal of American agricultural benevolence makes me think of something else; America’s restriction on hemp, the most useful plant resource on the planet.

Meat is more perishable, takes longer to harvest, requires refrigeration, is transported over vast distances, and uses more resources than vegetarian foods. Fruit and most vegetables are easy to digest and don’t stay in your digestive system as long as meat does. Meat putrifies in your body, which means it creates toxic poisons. Digestive problems are often due to a heavy meat diet. Animals are higher on the food chain and thus concentrate toxins contained in the food they eat. One ounce of meat will usually contain far more chemicals than the equivalent amount of grain or legumes. Moreover, some animals are fed animal parts that already contain concentrated toxins.

meat and the environment

The quantity of waste produced by farm animals in the U.S. is more than 130 times greater than that produced by humans. Agricultural runoff has killed millions of fish, and is the main reason why 60% of America’s rivers and streams are “impaired”. In states with concentrated animal agriculture, the waterways have become rife with pfiesteria bacteria. In addition to killing fish, pfiesteria causes open sores, nausea, memory loss, fatigue and disorientation in humans. Even groundwater, which takes thousands of years to restore, is being contaminated. For example, the aquifer under the San Bernadino Dairy Preserve in southern California contains more nitrates and other pollutants than water coming from sewage treatment plants.

Cattle and beef production is a primary threat to the global environment. It is a major contributor to deforestation, soil erosion and desertification, water scarcity, water pollution, depletion of fossil fuels, global warming, and loss of biodiversity.

Cattle ranching is a primary cause of deforestation in Latin America. Since 1960, more than one quarter of all Central American forests have been razed to make pasture for cattle. Nearly 70 percent of deforested land in Panama and Costa Rica is now pasture. Some 40,000 square miles of Amazon forest were cleared for cattle ranching and other commercial development between 1966 and 1983. Brazil estimates that 38 percent of its rain forest was destroyed for cattle pasture. Just one quarter-pound hamburger imported from Latin America requires the clearing of 6 square yards of rain forest and the destruction of 165 pounds of living matter including 20 to 30 different plant species, 100 insect species, and dozens of bird, mammal, and reptile species.

Cattle degrade the land by stripping vegetation and compacting the earth. Each animal foraging on the open range eats 900 pounds of vegetation every month. Their powerful hoofs trample vegetation and crush the soil with an impact of 24 pounds per square inch. As much as 85 percent of U.S. western rangeland, nearly 685 million acres, is being degraded by overgrazing and other problems, according to a 1991 United Nations report. The study estimates that 430 million acres in the American West is suffering a 25 to 50 percent yield reduction, largely because of overgrazing. The United States has lost one third of its topsoil. An estimated six of the seven billion tons of eroded soil is directly attributable to grazing and unsustainable methods of producing feed crops for cattle and other livestock. Each pound of feedlot steak costs about 35 pounds of eroded American topsoil, according to the Worldwatch Institute.

Cattle produce nearly 1 billion tons of organic waste each year. The average feedlot steer produces more than 47 pounds of manure every twenty-four hours. Nearly 500,000 pounds of manure are produced daily on a standard 10,000- head feedlot. This is the rough equivalent of what a city of 110,000 would produce in human waste. There are 42,000 feedlots in 13 U.S. states. Organic waste from cattle and other livestock, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and agricultural salts and sediments are the primary non-point source of water pollution in the U.S.

Nearly half of the total amount of water used annually in the U. S. goes to grow feed and provide drinking water for cattle and other livestock. Producing a pound of grain-fed steak requires the use of hundreds of gallons of water. Producing a pound of beef protein often requires up to fifteen times more water than producing an equivalent amount of plant protein. U.S. fresh water reserves have declined precipitously as a result of excess water use for cattle and other livestock. U.S. water shortages, especially in the West, have now reached critical levels. Overdrafts now exceed replenishments by 25 percent. The great Ogallala aquifer, one of the world’s largest fresh water reserves, is already half depleted in Kansas, Texas, and New Mexico. In California, where 42 percent of irrigation water is used for feed or livestock production, water tables have dropped so low that in some areas the earth is sinking under the vacuum. Some U.S. reservoirs and aquifers are now at their lowest levels since the end of the last Ice Age.

Intensive animal agriculture uses a disproportionate amount of fossil fuels. Supplying the world with a typical American meat-based diet would deplete all world oil reserves in just a few years. It now takes the equivalent of a gallon of gasoline to produce a pound of grain-fed beef in the United States. The annual beef consumption of an average American family of four requires more than 260 gallons of fuel and releases 2.5 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, as much as the average car over a six month period.

Cattle and beef production is a significant factor in the emission of three of the four global warming gases – carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane. Much of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is directly attributable to beef production: burning forests to make way for cattle pasture and burning massive tracts of agricultural waste from cattle feed crops. When the fifty-five square feet of rain forest needed to produce one quarter-pound hamburger is burned for pasture, 500 pounds of CO2 is released into the atmosphere. CO2 is also generated by the fuel used in the highly mechanized agricultural production of feed crops for cattle and other livestock. With 70 percent of all U.S. grain production now used for livestock feed, the CO2 emitted as a direct result is significant. Petrochemical fertilizers used to produce feed crops for grain-fed cattle release nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas. Worldwide, the use of fertilizers has increased dramatically from 14 million tons in 1950 to 143 million tons in 1989. Nitrous oxide now accounts for 6 percent of the global warming effect. Cattle emit methane, another greenhouse gas, through belching and flatulation. Scientists estimate that more than 500 million tons of methane are released each year and that the world’s 1.3 billion cattle and other ruminant livestock emit approximately 60 million tons or 12 percent of the total from all sources. Methane is a serious problem because one methane molecule traps 25 times as much solar heat as a molecule of CO2.

U.S. cattle production has caused a significant loss of biodiversity on both public and private lands. More plant species in the U.S. have been eliminated or threatened by livestock grazing than by any other cause, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO). Riparian zones – the narrow strips of land that run alongside rivers and streams where most of the range flora and fauna are concentrated – have been the hardest hit by cattle grazing. More than 90 percent of the original riparian zones of Arizona and New Mexico are gone, according to the Arizona State Park Department. Colorado and Idaho have also been hard hit. The GAO reports that “poorly managed livestock grazing is the major cause of degraded riparian habitat on federal rangelands.”

The government has worked with ranchers to make cattle grazing the predominant use of Western public lands. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has long favored ranching over other uses. BLM sprays herbicides over large tracts of range eliminating vegetation eaten by wild animals and replacing it with monocultures of grasses favored by cattle.

Unable to compete with cattle for food, wild animals are disappearing from the ranges. Pronghorn have decreased from 15 million a century ago to less than 271,000 today. Bighorn sheep, once numbering over 2 million, are now less than 20,000. The elk population has plummeted from 2 million to less than 455,000.

Under pressure from ranchers, the U.S. government exterminates tens of thousands of predator and “nuisance” animals each year. In 1989, a partial list of animals killed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Damage Control Program included 86,502 coyotes, 7,158 foxes, 236 black bears, 1,220 bobcats, and 80 wolves. In 1988, 4.6 million birds, 9,000 beavers, 76,000 coyotes, 5,000 raccoons, 300 black bears, and 200 mountain lions, among others, were killed. Some 400 pet dogs and 100 cats were also inadvertently killed. Extermination methods used include poisoning, shooting, gassing, and burning animals in their dens.

The predator “control” program cost American taxpayers $29.4 million in 1990 – more than the amount of losses caused by wild animals. Tens of thousands of wild horses and burros have been rounded up by the federal government because ranchers claim they compete with their cattle for forage. The horses and burros are held in corrals, costing taxpayers millions of dollars per year. Many wild horses have ended up at slaughterhouses. For several years, cattle ranchers have blocked efforts to re-introduce the wolf, an endangered species, into the wild, as required by the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

treatment of animals

Modern breeding sows are treated like piglet making machines. Living a continuous cycle of impregnation and birth, the sows each have more than 20 piglets per year. After being impregnated, the sows are confined in small pens or metal gestation crates which are just 2 feet wide. At the end of their 4 month pregnancy, they are transferred to farrowing crates to give birth. The sows barely have room to stand up and lie down, and many suffer from sores on their shoulders. They are denied straw bedding and forced to stand and lie on hard floors. When asked about this, a pork industry representative wrote, “…straw is very expensive and there certainly would not be a supply of straw in the country to supply all the farrowing pens in the U.S.”

Numerous research studies conducted over the last 25 years have pointed to physical and psychological maladies experienced by sows in confinement. The unnatural flooring and lack of exercise causes obesity and crippling leg disorders, while the deprived environment results in neurotic coping behaviors such as bar biting, dog sitting, and “mourning”.
After giving birth and nursing their young for two to three weeks, the piglets are taken away to be fattened, and the sow is reimpregnated. Hog factories strive to keep their sows ‘100 % active’, as an article in Successful Farming explains, “Any sow that is not gestating, lactating or within seven days post weaning is non-active.” When the sow is no longer deemed a productive breeder, she is sent to slaughter.

In addition to experiencing overcrowded housing, sows and pigs are also experience crowding in transportation - despite the fact that this crowding causes suffering and deaths. As a hog industry expert writes, “Death losses during transport are too high - amounting to more than $8 million per year. But it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out why we load as many hogs on a truck as we do. It’s cheaper. So it becomes a moral issue. Is it right to overload a truck and save $.25 per head in the process, while the overcrowding contributes to the deaths of 80,000 hogs each year?”.

Prior to being hung upside down by their back legs and bled to death at the slaughterhouse, pigs are supposed to be ‘stunned’ and rendered unconscious. However, ‘stunning’ is terribly imprecise, and this results in conscious animals hanging upside down, kicking and struggling, while a slaughterhouse worker tries to ‘stick’ them in the neck with a knife. If the worker is unsuccessful, the pig will be carried to the next station on the slaughterhouse assemblyline, the scalding tank, where he/she will be boiled alive.

With genetic manipulation and intensive production technologies, it is common for modern dairy cows to produce 100 pounds of milk a day – ten times more than they would produce in nature. The cows’ bodies are under constant stress and they are at risk for numerous health problems.
Approximately half of the country’s dairy cows suffer from mastitis, a bacterial infection of their udders. This is such a common and costly ailment that a dairy industry group, the National Mastitis Council, was formed specifically to combat the disease. Other diseases, such as Bovine Leukemia Virus, Bovine Immunodeficiency Virus, and Johne’s disease (whose human counterpart is Crohn’s disease), are also rampant on modern dairies, but they are difficult to detect or have a long incubation period, and they commonly go unnoticed.

A cow eating a normal grass diet could not produce milk at the abnormal levels expected on modern dairies, and so today’s dairy cows must be given high energy feeds. The unnaturally rich diet causes metabolic disorders including ketosis, which can be fatal, and laminitis, which causes lameness.

Another dairy industry disease caused by intensive milk production is “Milk Fever”. This ailment is caused by calcium deficiency, and it occurs when milk secretion uses calcium faster than it can be replenished in the blood.

Although the dairy industry is familiar with the cows’ health problems and suffering associated with intensive milk production, it continues to subject cows to even worse abuses in the name of increased profit. Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH), a synthetic hormone, is now being injected into cows to get them to produce even more milk. Besides adversely affecting the cows’ health, BGH also increases birth defects in their calves.

At a standard beef slaughterhouse, 250 cattle are killed every hour. As the assembly line speeds up, workers are rushed, and it becomes increasingly difficult to treat animals with any semblance of humaneness. A Meat & Poultry article states, “Good handling is extremely difficult if equipment is ‘maxed out’ all the time. It is impossible to have a good attitude toward cattle if employees have to constantly overexert themselves, and thus transfer all that stress right down to the animals, just to keep up with the line.”

Prior to being hung up by their back legs and bled to death, cattle are supposed to be rendered unconscious. This ‘stunning’ is usually done by a mechanical blow to the head. The procedure is terribly imprecise, and inadequate stunning is inevitable. The result of poor stunning is conscious animals hanging upside down, kicking and struggling, while a slaughterhouse worker makes another attempt to render them unconscious. Eventually, the animals will be “stuck” in the throat with a knife, and blood will gush from their bodies whether or not they are unconscious.

Birds have their beaks cut off to prevent them from peaking each other. They are packed into large rooms to maximize the their density per square feet or into cages barely larger than their bodies. These animals hardly ever or never see the light of day.

Today’s meat chickens have been genetically altered to grow twice as fast, and twice as large as their ancestors. Pushed beyond their biological limits, hundreds of millions of chickens die every year before reaching slaughter weight at 6 weeks of age. An industry journal explains “broilers [chickens] now grow so rapidly that the heart and lungs are not developed well enough to support the remainder of the body, resulting in congestive heart failure and tremendous death losses.” Modern meat type chickens also experience crippling leg disorders, as their legs are not capable of supporting their abnormally heavy bodies. Confined in unhealthy factory farms, the birds also succumb to heat prostration, infectious disease, and cancer.

Like meat type chickens, commercial turkeys also suffer from genetic manipulation. In addition to having been altered to grow fast and large, commercial turkeys have been anatomically manipulated to have large breasts to meet consumer demand for breast meat. As a result, turkeys cannot mount and reproduce naturally, and so their sole means of reproduction is artificial insemination. Like meat chickens, turkeys are susceptible to heart disease, and their legs have difficulty supporting their overweight bodies. An industry journal laments “…turkeys have been bred to grow faster and heavier but their skeletons haven’t kept pace, which causes ‘cowboy legs’. Commonly, the turkeys have problems standing and fall and are trampled on or seek refuge under feeders, leading to bruises and downgradings as well as culled or killed birds.”

Chickens and turkeys are taken to the slaughterhouse in crates stacked on the back of trucks. The birds are either pulled from the crates, or the crates are lifted off the truck, often with a crane or forklift, and then the birds are dumped onto a conveyor belt. As the birds are unloaded, some fall onto the ground instead of landing on the assemblyline conveyor belt. Slaughterhouse workers intent upon ‘processing’ thousands of birds every hour, don’t have the time nor the inclination to pick up individuals who fall through the cracks. Sometimes the birds die after being crushed by machinery or vehicles operating near the unloading area, while in other cases, they may die of starvation or exposure after days without receiving their basic needs.

Once inside the slaughterhouse, fully conscious birds are hung by their feet from metal shackles on a moving rail. The first station on most poultry slaughterhouse assemblylines is the stunning tank, where the birds’ heads are submerged in an electrified bath of water. Although poultry is specifically excluded from the Humane Slaughter Act which requires stunning, the practice is common because it immobilizes the birds and expedites assemblyline killing.

Stunning procedures are not monitored, and they are often inadequate. Poultry slaughterhouses commonly set the electrical current lower than what is required to render the birds unconscious because of concerns that too much electricity would damage the carcass and diminish its value. The result is that birds are immobilized but are still capable of feeling pain, or they emerge from the stunning tank still conscious.

After passing through the stunning tank, the birds’ throats are slashed, usually by a mechanical blade, and blood begins rushing out of their bodies. Inevitably, the blade misses some birds who then proceed to the next station on the assembly line, the scalding tank. Here they are submerged in boiling hot water. Birds missed by the killing blade are boiled alive. This occurs so commonly, affecting millions of birds every year, that the industry has a term for these birds. They are called “redskins”.

The meat, poultry, dairy and egg industries employ technological short cuts - such as drugs, hormones, and other chemicals - to maximize production. Under these conditions, virulent pathogens which are resistant to antibiotics are emerging. Millions of Americans are infected and thousands die every year from contaminated animal products. Peculiar new diseases have been amplified by aberrant agribusiness practices. For example, “Mad Cow Disease”, a fatal dementia affecting cattle, was distributed throughout Britain when dead cows were fed to living cows. When people ate cows with “Mad Cow Disease”, they got Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a fatal dementia which afflicts humans.

Despite repeated warnings from consumer advocates, the USDA’s meat inspection system remains grossly inadequate, less than one percent are inspected. and consumers are now being told to “expect” animal products to be tainted

More than 95 percent of all feedlot- raised cattle in the United States are currently receiving growth-promoting hormones and other pharmaceuticals, residues of which may be present in finished cuts of beef. In order to speed weight gain, feedlot managers administer growth-stimulating hormones and feed additives. Anabolic steroids, in the form of small time-release pellets, are implanted in the animals’ ears. The hormones slowly seep into the bloodstream, increasing hormone levels by two to five times. Cattle are given estradiol, testosterone, and progesterone.

Veal calves are sometimes kept alive by antibiotics when they have an illness that should kill the animal to save them from the suffering they endure in lethal conditions.

abrickinthewall, this is way too large of a reply to hold someone’s attention. You have posted 3 very large replies in less than 5 minutes. How about taking only a few points at a time, and give people time to reply.

You have copy/paste everyone of your words on this thread from either a book, article, or directly from the link you provided. We could read the sources ourselves, and I did. I was bored to read this all over again here on the thread. :neutral:

Well as I said when I explained myself in the first post, vegetarianism is a rationale, and not something to be debated. My intentions are only for awareness. If you want something to reply to, how about the first post?

The link I provided is to photographs and video of factory farming, the same website where a lot of the information came from. I wanted to include the information here so that people with attention spans dont have to go searching around for it. If it makes you bored dont read it, I didn’t post it for your entertainment.

Lots of people seem to be concerned with animal rights, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But what about vegetable rights? What about plant rights?! You people who don’t eat meat: how many heads of lettuce do you shamelessly decapitate each week? How many carrots do you rip up from the ground, taking them from their roots? How many beets do you mercilessly butcher? How many ears of corn do you rip from the stalk? How many plants must die to satisfy your insatiable hunger for these poor, innocent greens whose only crime was to freshen the air and produce oxygen for you to breathe. Will the killing ever end?

It’s a sick, sick world.

:happy: Exactly Sage!
The same can be said about Veggies.

I dunno if I agree with this. Veggies are very perishable. The veggies from our garden need to be consumed very quickly before they spoil, or we have to refrigerate them and that doesn’t help much. Canning them takes much time and resources.

In grocery stores the biggest “refrigerated” section is the fruit and veggies, and these also require water to be sprayed frequently. It also the only food that is handled by customer hands, . . seems kinda unsanitary. :neutral:

We once had chickens for our own eggs. Now we purchase milk and eggs from local places. We even have a local meat market. I can’t get a local Banana or Kiwi. Most fruits and veggies are quickly transported from a world away and requires refrigeration.

Fruits and veggies are also known carriers of poisonous insects such as spiders. Especially Bananas!
Did you know that there are hundreds of species of bananas! and the most consumed species is also the most disease prone. In Europe and America the “Dwarf Cavendish” banana is the banana. However, outbreaks of pests, fungi or diseases are frequent, and can quickly wipe out a banana plantation. A frequent waste of resources.

Pesticides are also a very big problem for when it comes to fruits and veggies. If the pesticides don’t get washed off into our drinking water, then small traces can still be found on the plant when purchased. Does anyone actually remove the Wax from apples before they eat it? :neutral:

abrickinthewall, I understand and agree with the website that you copied here. I think all forms of life should be treated ethically and not as a form of financial value.

I think the point is hard to get across when most vegetarians preach “don’t eat any meat” instead of “don’t mistreat meat.” Boycotting all meat is impossible and hasn’t helped. It would be nice if the resources could be tunneled into a more realistic cause.
I once thought vegetarians didn’t eat meat for their health. Then I learned that the lifestyle usually progresses into a type of religion. Some vegans go and preach how sinful and evil the meat-eaters are, and how we should be stopped.

The truth is it’s the corporations that turn the market into an ethical hell, and not the meat-eater/purchaser. For example; It’s the diamond hunters that murder for the product, and not the bride/groom. (Can you imagine telling people to not buy diamonds!?)