As promised, some thoughts and musings on vegetarianism. The pros, the cons, the merits and the fallacies. I am going to warn you all though, this isn’t so much an outlined, cited article as it is my off-the-cuff stream of consciousness. As a matter of fact, as recently outlined in Roger’s latest blog post, I used my Dragon Naturally Speaking software (which with a little practice, is awesome!) to write the majority of this blog while driving to CP the other day. This is going to be a series, with just part 1 today.
Also, today is the last day you can get Mike Boyle’s Functional Strength Coach 3 with all of the sweet free bonuses he included only as an introductory special, check it out HERE. OK enough stalling, onto the good stuff!
Many people choose to become vegetarians, not based on a dislike for meat or animal products but because we read about the cruel and unusual treatment of our domesticated farm animals. Animals today are not raised on small family farms with wide open pastures, allowed to graze and move along as they please. Instead, they are fed and raised in what are called CAFOs, concentrated agricultural feeding operations. Not farms, concentrated feeding operations. Doesn’t that term alone turn you off?
These CAFO’s are exactly as they sound; huge vast swatches of a ruined, brown, muddy mess of a farm. They are dominated by these huge corrugated metal sheds, where animals are raised and fed in incredibly close quarters. They are force-fed corn, have their tails removed (pigs, to prevent them from biting them off each other due to the close quarters) their beaks mutilated (chickens, to prevent them from pecking each other to death due to the close quarters, see a trend?) and generally treated just well enough to provide food for us. The feeding of corn, which I have discussed here before, creates an incredibly acidic environment, especially in cows, leading to bacterial infections, and then the overuse of antibiotics. Unfortunately these antibiotics find their way into our bodies from the meat and the runoff into our waterways, and eventually help to create more antibiotic-resistant pathogens, like MRSA.
These animals are not allowed to their normal diet. They are denied fresh air and exercise. Personal space is sacrificed to maximize efficiency. Cows, pigs and chickens grow so fast with the force-feeding of corn, it is mind boggling. Cows that graze take a few years to reach slaughter size, cows fed tons of corn and grain turn 8 pounds of corn into 1 pound of mass, and are ready for slaughter within 2 years, usually much less. Chickens are incredibly efficient eating machines. They convert 2 pounds of corn into 1 pound of mass, and grow so quickly that their spindly legs can not support their mass and often break. Basically our food production is a race to see how fast we can grow our animals by slamming corn down their throat. How quickly we can get that meat from birth to a consumer’s mouth. Not to mention the growth hormone’s given in huge amounts to these animals.
This is why many vegetarians choose to no longer consume meat, because current food production methods treat animals as a commodity, not as an animal. Making animals into a commodity makes complete sense from a capitalist and pure business-based standpoint; but from an animal welfare, animal health, and therefore human health standpoint, it is utterly destructive to all. This is one of the absolute worst things ever conceived in our time, and it is just killing us slowly.
With all that info, it makes sense why people choose to not consume meat or animal products, and I didn’t even get into the correlational data linking meat and dairy to some cancers! I didn’t get into it because it is highly suspect data, and it is based on the consumption of the aforementioned conventional meat and dairy production, not pastured grass-fed meat and dairy, which is a whole different animal. Also, if you are a vegetarian due to the books Skinny Bitch or Skinny Bastard, you should read more books. Those books suck, and are pure propaganda, with very little hard evidence mixed in with some, and I stress some, actually correct info. If you want information on our food production and how this problem could be solved, check out the incredible, accurate and mesmerizing Omnivore’s Dilemma. Which I reviewed HERE.
OK, that covers Part 1. In Part 2 I will get into why even with all that stuff I just covered, and all the data showing the tremendous health benefits of consuming large amounts of plant foods, why I still choose to be an omnivore, and why I think you should to. I will also cover, if you do choose to be a vegetarian, how to do it properly. Have a great weekend folks and a Happy Halloween!
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