Chew on this: reasons to go vegetarian

Ethically, morally, for your health… there are many reasons to stop eating meat.

Because heart disease begins in childhood
Meat has no fibre and is laden with fat and cholesterol, which is why the late Dr. Benjamin Spock, in the final edition of his book Baby & Child Care, recommended against feeding children any kind of meat.

Because eating meat makes you fat
Only 2 percent of vegetarians are obese, which is about one-ninth the figure for meat-eaters.

Because you shouldn’t have to lie to your kids about the food you eat
Children would be horrified to learn about the cruelty and violence involved in turning chickens, pigs, and other animals into nuggets and other “foods.”

Because meat is filthy and contains toxins
Animals accumulate dangerous chemicals in their flesh and fat, including dioxins, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, and even the most toxic form of arsenic.

Because you wouldn’t eat your dog
Most people are horrified that some cultures eat dogs or whales, but these animals suffer no more than animals commonly consumed in the West. The difference is only cultural, not moral.

Because it’s violence that you can stop
You may feel powerless to stop war or other violence, but you can choose not to support slaughterhouses.

Because no one should have to kill for a living
Slaughterhouse workers have among the highest rates of injury and illness in the country, and working in a slaughterhouse would dull anyone’s sense of compassion.

Because it takes a small person to kill a defenseless animal… and an even smaller person to eat one
If you’re eating meat, you are paying others to commit acts so cruel that if committed against dogs or cats, they would warrant cruelty charges.

Because no animal deserves to die for your taste buds
A human being’s desire for a momentary taste of flesh is not as important as another animal’s desire not to be tortured and violently killed.

Because the grain could be used to feed hungry people
If the massive quantities of grain, soy, and corn now fed to factory-farmed animals were freed up, there would be plenty of food for the world’s starving people.

Because more than half of all water is used to raise animals for food
A totally vegetarian diet requires 300 gallons of water per day, while a meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day.

Because eating fish doesn’t make you a vegetarian
Fish have the same ability to respond to pain that birds and mammals have.

Because you can’t eat meat and call yourself an environmentalist
Funneling crops and water through animals rather than using those resources directly is our country’s top way of wasting water and polluting. Factory farms demand more water than all other users combined and produce much more waste than our entire human population.

Because they’re defenseless
Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer called speciesism the “most extreme” form of racism because animals are the least able to defend themselves and the easiest to victimize.

Because when animals feel pain, they scream, too
Animals feel pain in the same way and to the same degree that we humans do.

Because they feel fear
Their hair stands on end, they urinate on themselves, and they shake, just as we do when frightened out of our minds with the prospect of being hurt or killed.

Because no matter how you slice it, it’s still flesh
Other animals are made of flesh, bone, and blood, just as we are, so “meat” is just a euphemism for a decomposing corpse used as food.

Because commerce is no excuse for murder
The chicken, pork, and other animal mass-murdering industries are huge, but it’s time for them to go the way of the slave trade (which also had strong economic incentives).

Because even prisons aren’t this crowded
Animals on factory farms are crammed into so little space that many of them are unable to do anything natural to them for their entire lives.

Because everyone wants to be free
We know that it’s true of birds let out of a cage and of dogs taken to the park, and it’s equally true of farmed animals: they desire freedom, just as we do.

Because might doesn’t make right
In our moral development, we’ve reached the point where it’s time to recognize that other species deserve consideration, just as we finally recognized that slavery was wrong, that women deserved the vote, and that children should not be abused as a method of child rearing.