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Good reasons to shun meat now

Jane Velez-Mitchell wants us to stop eating meat to help reduce the abuse of animals Jane Velez-Mitchell United States Here’s a thought to chew on: America’s most intractable problems all
17 Mar 2014 08:15

Jane Velez-Mitchell wants us to stop eating meat to help reduce the abuse of animals

Jane Velez-Mitchell
United States
Here’s a thought to chew on: America’s most intractable problems all double back to our collective mistreatment of animals. Sounds crazy, right? Well, humor me for a minute.
Our own lives would improve if we started showing some basic decency to the 9 billion cows, calves, pigs, lambs, turkeys and chickens that are slaughtered a year in the United States. More than 99 per cent of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms, many unable to even turn around in small cages.
The latest Humane Society undercover investigation of a large veal calf slaughterhouse in New Jersey showed abuse too gruesome to display on television and resulted in the temporary shutdown of the facility by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
If all of this sounds hideous, it is. And here’s how it hurts us humans.
The obesity crisis: Two thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. The American Medical Association has declared obesity a chronic disease in an attempt to get a grip on what some label the 21st century plague. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that meat-eating kids who are overweight in kindergarten are often condemned to future obesity. The rise of obesity has paralleled the rise of fast food, laden with meat and dairy products: burgers and shakes.
The health care crisis: The myriad of serious health risks resulting from poor diet include high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and even sleep apnoea. Eating too much meat and dairy products, combined with excessive intake of sugars and starch, plays a big role in these medical issues. Cholesterol does not exist in vegetables. Vegetables do not clog arteries.
A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists says we could save 100,000 lives and $17 billion in health care costs from heart disease every year if Americans ate more fruits and vegetables.
Hunger: Every five seconds a child dies somewhere in the world of malnutrition or starvation. World hunger could be eliminated if all the produce fed to cows, chickens and pigs raised for human consumption was distributed directly to hungry humans.
Some of the smartest people in America, from Bill Clinton to Bill Gates, are starting to see the big picture. Clinton, after having quadruple bypass surgery and later stents to open his veins, publicly adopted a plant-based diet.
Now, it’s time for the rest of us to wake up and vote with our shopping carts.
n Jane Velez-Mitchell is a campaigner against killing of animals.
newsdesk@fijisun.com.fj



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