Every year in the U. S alone, more than 8 billion
animals are slaughtered.
That's more than 250 animals dying a second.
Vegetarianism is a popular choice today. Vegetarians avoid
meat, fish and poultry. Those who include dairy products and
eggs in their diet are called lacto-ovo vegetarians. Those who
eat no meat nor animal by-products are called vegan. More and
more youths and adults are choosing to go vegetarian a variety
Vegetarians have lower cholesterol levels and a lower chance
of developing heart disease than meat eaters. Cholesterol is
found in only animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs. Vegans
consume a diet that is cholesterol free.
A vegetarian diet helps prevent cancer. Vegetarian diets help
protect against cancer because they are lower in fat and higher
in fiber than other diets. Studies of vegetarians show that
their death rates from cancer are half that of the general population.
Breast cancer rates are dramatically lower in countries where
diets are plant-based. When people of these countries adopt more
western meat eating diets, the breast cancer rates soar. More
directly than any other dietary factor, meat eating is closely
linked to colon cancer. Vegetarians consume more beta-carotene
that helps combat lung cancer. The natural sugars in dairy are
linked to ovarian cancer. Vegans consume little to no of these
Some factors are not understood by doctors. For example researchers
are not sure why vegetarians have more of a certain type of white
blood cells, "natural killer cells" that attack and
destroy cancerous cells.
Vegetarians are less likely to form gall stones and kidney
stones. It is also uncommon for a vegetarian to develop osteoporosis
because they eat little or no animal protein. Consuming a lot
of animal protein encourages the loss of calcium from bones.
Replacing animal proteins with plant ones reduces the amount
of calcium lost.
Another lure of vegetarianism is that it is cruelty-free.
Many people do not want to think that food has a face. Animals
are our friends, we should love them. Instead we kill and eat
them. If you knew how the cow that your burger was from was cruelly
abused, as is very common in farms raising for food, would you
still be able to eat it? Cows are beaten unnecessarily. Then
they are slaughtered, while alive, without sedatives or pain
killers. Pigs cruelly kicked and hit with iron prods. Chickens
have their beaks seared off with hot irons at birth. This practice
routinely removes their tongues and part of their faces. This
is done because the hens so that the hens will not peck at and
fight with each other. They are confined in groups to living
spaces too small for a single hen. Up to six chickens are kept
in these two-by-two cages.