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Jasmin Cabriales

Professor Rosenfeld

English 115

5 April 2017

Meat the enemy

Every year, over 50 billion of animals are killed for human use. There are many reasons

why some people choose to eliminate meat from their diet, but our very own consciences should

be one of them. Everyone can agree that most Americans eat an excessive amount of meat; the

USDA recommends two to four servings of meat and dairy per day; even though virtually all

nutritionists find this to be an exorbitant amount, the meat industry so dominates our thinking

that we often end up in a deluded mindset that tells us it is really not a meal without meat

(Stanescu 100). Not having meat in your plate isnt the end of this world, in fact there are other

diet alternatives in which people can turn to. Some examples include vegan (no animal products),

vegetarian (eat dairy and/or eggs but not meat) and pescatarian (eat fish as only meat source). As

many of these diet alternatives there are, people always seem to automatically criticize them

before trying them out themselves. Many people argue against eliminating meat from everyday

diet because they feel it is a norm and find it acceptable. However, meat is not ideal because it is

both harmful to animals and our environment. In terms of diet, meat puts people at risk of a

shorter life span/health issues.

Some may argue that a omnivore (meat eater) is the best type of diet to follow. Critics

point out that, meat is the best source of protein, which the body needs to function optimally.

Humans function best from eating both animals and plants. Supporters maintain the idea that

humans have been eating meat since the olden days, with a digestive system that is well-
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equipped to process fats, proteins and nutrients that are found in meat. If our ancestors ate meat,

then it is only right that we are meant to incorporate meat to our diets.

If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we would all be vegetarian (Paul, McCartney). The

way farm animals are being treated in todays world, is both inhumane and insensitive. People

treat farm animals and pets completely different when in reality both are animals with similar

characteristics. This is a cartoon of a dinner table conversation between pets and farm animals.

The farm animals are shocked at how the dog and cat are given great privileges, such as

protection from mistreatment. Police get involved and people are arrested. On the other hand,

animals raised for human consumption have been known to be killed inhumanely, injected with

numerous additives to make them bigger, and crowded into small areas. As badly as these farm

animals get mistreated there are no consequences. According to Sunaura Taylor, animals are

sentient, thinking, feeling beings, often with complex emotions, abilities, and relationships

(707). Many people view animals, especially farm animals, as creatures who are meant to be

killed and whom have no feelings what so ever but in fact, this is not the case and one specific

example is a pig. Jonathan Safran Foer states, pigs are every bit as intelligent and feeling, by

any sensible definition of words. They cant hop into the back of a Volvo, but they can fetch, run

and play, be mischievous and reciprocate affection (696). If people feel bad for killing a dog

then why not feel bad for a pig? They are both animals, with feelings and other similar

characteristics. As much as people love dogs, it is actually accepted and perfectly legal in 44

states to eat dog meat (Foer, 696). Dogs are seen as a mans best friend and the people who

eat dog meat have been heavily criticized by those people who eat cows, pigs, chicken, and other

farm animals. This is both ironic and judgmental in their part. Another example of a farm animal

with feelings would be a cow. A student working on her PhD at Northampton University
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discovered, cows have best friends and get

stressed when separated (McLennan). When

isolated from one another the cows heart rate

and cortisol levels were measured to see how

they dealt/coped with this separation

(McLennan). Cows are very social animals

which form bonds with others from the herd.

People need to realize that these farm animals

are indeed born with feelings and that the

mental satisfaction they get from eating meat is not worth taking away a life that cannot voice for

itself.

Humans arent the only ones who cause global warming and harm to our environment, in

fact humans arent even half of the problem. The essay, Humane Meat? No Such Thing by

Sunaura Taylor states, they cite growing evidence that animal agriculture is a major contributor

to environmental problems: A 2009 report from Worldwatch Institute estimated that livestock

production generates close to 51 percent of global greenhouse gases (708). The amount of water

being used to quench these farm animals thirst and to water the crops that feed these animals is

also contributing to todays drought. Many people are not aware that animal agriculture is a big

factor to todays drought. People simply assume that humans are the only ones responsible for

this drought and that itself is a problem. Animals arent just born and ready to be killed for

human consumption there is a process. Some of the greenhouse gases that are involved during

the process include carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxides. According to Nicolette Hahn

Niman, carbon dioxide makes up majority of agriculture-related greenhouse emissions. In


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American farming, most carbon dioxide emissions comes from fuel burned to operate vehicles

and equipment (700). There is a lot of machinery involved when it comes to slaughterhouses

and those gases that are released into the air is affecting our environment and polluting our air.

Next, the second largest greenhouse gas would be methane. Niman also exclaims that, in animal

farming, much of the methane comes from lagoons of liquefied manure at industrial facilities

(701). Lastly, according to Niman, livestock farming plays a role in nitrous oxide emissions,

which make up 5 percent of this countrys total greenhouse gases. More than three-quarters of

farmings nitrous oxide emissions result from manmade fertilizers (701). If people care for the

environment then this would be taken into consideration. Animal agriculture is a big factor when

it comes to our environment being harmed. In order to conserve it, and stop it from getting even

more ruined then action is required and these inhumane slaughter homes should come to a halt.

Eating meat equals a shorter life span and produces health concerns in humans. Meats

have been linked to many negative things such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Additionally, meats are known to contain high levels of saturated fat that can raise cholesterol.

An article titled Food and Chemical Toxicology by Luis D. Boada states, epidemiologic

studies have linked consumption of red and processed meat with obesity, type 2 diabetes,

cardiovascular diseases, and cancers. Given the fact that studies have been made about red meat

and articles such as this one that state the consequences of eating meat, is only proof and further

acknowledgement as to why people should consider cutting down on their meat consumption or

even eliminating meat from their diet altogether. In todays world, people are clueless in what

they are really putting inside their bodies. Consumers have the right to know what is in their

food, but since a lot of meat contain chemicals, hormones and GMOs, markets dont put that on

their labels. They hide it so people can keep buying. Peoples health isnt something that these
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markets think about. According to a article called 8 Reasons Meat is Bad For You (Yes Even

Chicken) by Rachel Krantz exclaims, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 70% of

food poisoning is caused by contaminated animal flesh. Foodborne diseases, such as E.coli,

Salmonella, and Campylobacter, can cause an estimated 76 million illnesses, 325,000

hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. These insane numbers should make

every person consider other diet plans. Eating meat is not the only answer and it is not the only

source of protein that people can receive. The main reason why people eat meat in the first place

besides their own mental satisfaction is because they feel that this is the only way to receive their

protein or at least most of it. Almonds, pistachios, cashews, oats, Greek yogurt, broccoli, quinoa,

lentils, Ezekiel bread, pumpkin seeds, brussel sprouts, peanuts and many other things are high in

protein. Meat isnt the only way to go when it comes to protein but not to many people are

educated or know that. Everyone should be concerned about their own health and life span and

by getting educated or taking the time to read what other options there might be besides meat, it

can really change many lives and return health among plenty of people.

In todays world, the average American eats 88.3kg of meat of year, which in pounds is

194.688 (Bytes). That is a whole human! People feel it is the right thing to include meat in all

meals but even if meat isnt included it will still be a meal. Having meat in a plate is more of a

satisfaction factor. People have become accustomed to meat and mentally cant accept a plate

without it since it is considered the protein portion of their diet. I would argue, however, that

meat is not ideal to everyday diet because there are many consequences that come with it; one

most importantly is we are hurting animals and the environment. In addition, people are at risk of

a shorter life span/health issues. A huge percentage of people worry about having meat in their

meals when animals have to worry about their existence itself. When a omnivore meets a
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vegetarian, the omnivore suddenly has a degree in nutrition. Lets make it a world where a

vegetarian, vegan and/or pescatarian isnt shamed over their meal choices.
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Works Cited

Boada, Luis D., and Octavio Luzardo. "Food and Chemical Toxicology." The Impact of Red and

Processed Meat Consumption on Cancer and Other Health Outcomes: Epidemiological

Evidences 92 (2016): 236-44. Ebsco. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.

Bytes, Belly. Meat Food Facts. Belly Bytes . N.p.,n.d Web. 18 Mar. 2017.

Krantz, Rachel. 8 Reasons Meat Is Bad For You (Yes, Even Chicken). Bustle. Bustle, 15 May

2016. Web. 08 Apr.2017.

Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell. Practical Argument: A Text and Anthology.

Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2014. Print.

Side Note: (Practical Argument: A Text and Anthology- 3 articles)


- Let Them Eat Dog (696)
- The Carnivores Dilemma (699)
- Humane Meat? No Such Thing (707)

Reporter, Daily Mail. Heifer so Lonely: How Cows Have Best Friends and Get Stressed When

They Are Separated. Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 05 July 2011.

Web. 03 May 2017.

Stanescu, Vasile. Why Loving Animals Is Not Enough: A Response to Kathy Rudy,

Locavorism, and the Marketing of Humane Meat. Journal of American

Culture 36.2(n.d.): 100-110. Academic Search Premier [EBSCO]. Web. 9 Apr. 2017.