By now, I have already written some blog entries that mentioned the “horrible effects of meat consumption”. But what are these horrible effects? What are the general reasons for veganism?
If you haven’t dealt with this topic so much, maybe you’re asking yourself these questions. That’s why I want to introduce in each of the following blog entries one of the main reasons that speak against meat, egg and milk consumption, and for a vegan life style.
Worldwide meat consumption is definitely too high. Logically, the greatest sufferers because of it are the animals. In the US, 10 billion land animals are slaughtered each year plus 10 billion fish and other sea animals, 19 011 animals per minute, 317 animals per second.*
It is simply impossible to provide the animals with a painless life and death when dealing with slaughter on such a huge scale. On this earth there is not enough space for these animals. Only about 2 percent of the meat consumption in Germany is organic meat. Much more than this is not possible with the enormous level of meat consumption! That is why there are factory farms. The factory farms in which the poor chickens, pigs and cows are penned up, forced to stand in their own shit, unable to move, unable to lie down and never able to see daylight. The animals are often sick and therefore pumped full of antibiotics. Organic meat production is not better because it is forbidden to treat the animals with medication. Sometimes they’re so sick that they have to suffer even more than in regular factory farms. Other excruciating practices like castration, branding and dehorning also take place – no matter, if organic or not.
If the animals don’t die beforehand, they end up in the slaughter house. Here they are killed by the second. How can you pay attention to making sure each animal is killed painlessly when they get sliced open on a conveyor belt within a second? There is no time to check if the animals are actually numb while their skin is being pulled off, their bowel being cut out and they are tossed in boiling water. Actually, the number of animals that are fully conscious while they are processed is estimated to be around a few thousand per day. It isn’t by far only a few animals that this happens to!
The milk and egg production is not at all better. The way the animals are kept is terrible, and at the end of the day, they all end up in the slaughterhouse – that is, if they don’t perish beforehand. Millions of male chicks are gassed or shredded, simply because they are no use in egg production. The same thing happens with milk production. The dairy cows have to be forcefully made pregnant, in order to give a lot of milk. Their babies are taken away from their mothers upon birth (a truly traumatizing experience for the mother cow!). The male calves end up in the slaughterhouse and the female ones suffer the same destiny as every other milk cow.
Simply by looking at the number of fish consumed, one should be able to realize the extreme effect of fish consumption. In fish production there are farms where the fish suffer bad conditions like every other factory farm, along with the fishing. Regarding the latter, the animals are able to live in freedom, but they also have to die a painful death. They are mostly not killed, but rather suffocated by being taken out from the water. Since the oceans are becoming completely fished out, most of the fish species are endangered. Additionally, other animals end up in the huge fishing nets such as sea lions, seals, dolphins, sting rays, etc. that are injured or simply die there.
For me, this was all unimaginable when I found out. The extent was only clear when I saw it with my own eyes. If you cannot imagine this nightmare, if you don’t believe me, I recommend you watch some documentaries.** Sometimes you have to see it to believe it. This is really the truth, and it is horrible. And when it is so horrible to watch, to read, why support it then? Why eat animals?
If you eat animals, you might think: “But all this doesn’t speak against meat consumption per se, but only against the horrible conditions.” I can understand reactions like this. They are normal and I have felt the same way. But I beg you, think further! As I explained, organic farming is also horrible for the animals. Forget the hypothetical cases: “if, if, if.” Imagine how many people there are on this earth. How much meat they eat and how many animals this consumption requires. Even if there are singular farms where the animals are well, isn’t it obvious that in the long term this can’t be realistic? It is not possible, in the slightest, that every person should only eat meat from animals that have had a nice life. Definitely not if they keep eating the same amount of meat. Where would all the animals fit?
In the end it comes down to one question: Do you find it horrible when animals have to suffer?
If so, do you want to be part of that? Or would you rather make a stand against it, have nothing to do with it and simply stop eating animals?
*Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M.
** eg: „Meet your meat – Peta“
or Earthlings (but be careful, don’t watch it by yourself! And stop, if it is too much for you!)