Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
29 September 1999 Issue

By [email protected]

October 1 is World Vegetarian Day, and October is Vegetarian Awareness Month. If you are not a vegetarian yet, please take this time to consider the many reasons to adopt a meatless diet.

Of course there are the health reasons. Everyone knows by now that a vegetarian diet reduces the risks of heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer and other diseases. Here's something else to consider, if we all invested in preventative medicine by choosing a vegetarian diet there would be less need for animal medical research.

The environmental reasons for vegetarianism are what motivate me the most. Every year millions of animals are killed because they are a threat to or a competitor with livestock. Wolves, coyotes, buffalo, prairie dogs, bears, birds of prey even protected and endangered animals are killed to make more profits for the meat industry. We have cut down three-fifths of the rainforests of the world to make more cow pastures and more land to grow crops for cows and in doing so have lost countless species that once lived there. We have disrupted the web of life.

We have overfished the seas, driving many species to extinction. The manure from factory farms has become the largest factor in water pollution of our country's fresh water streams, surpassing chemical discharges from industry. And that manure has flowed to the oceans, where it kills fish along our seacoasts. It also contributes to the death of the coral reefs, the rainforests of the ocean, where 75% of the ocean's species live.

You can't be an environmentalist and eat meat.

Nine billion animals suffer and are killed each year for food in our country alone. This number does not include the fish and other creatures we pull from the oceans. Of those nine billion farm animals eight billion are chickens. I have known people who thought that eating fish and chicken was somehow more compassionate than eating cows. They believed that cows were able to suffer more, I suppose. So they wind up eating hundreds of small animals instead of one large one. Where is the logic in that?

Nine billion animals...more than the total of all the dogs and cats that are euthanized, the lab animals destroyed and the animals killed for fur combined. Can you be concerned about the welfare of animals and eat meat?

We don't have to be a part of this waste, this pollution, this suffering. It is easy to choose a vegetarian diet and it makes all the difference in the world.

Join us in celebrating life, World Vegetarian Day, October 1.

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