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39 Reasons I am not eating meat this Earth Day 2009

1. Water The High Plains Aquifer (which is an underground sponge-like waterway, 80% of which is called the Ogallala Aquifer), is one of the largest aquifers in the world, stretching across parts of eight Great Plain states, and underlying 225,000 square miles.

1. 92% of the water withdrawal from this aquifer is for food for hogs. In some areas the aquifer is running low. If it were completely drained it would take 6000 years to refill.

95% of Americans’ fresh water exists underground. Ground water is also the continent’s greatest reservoir of solar energy, as it remains at a constant of 53 degrees Farenheit, according to Dr. Jay Lehr, groundwater hydrologist and executive director of National Water Well Association.

2. Half the water in US is used for animal agriculture. Feedlot cows require 8-10 gallons per cow per day.

3. Raising animals for food requires more water than all of the uses of water combined.

4. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, factory farms pollute our waterways more than all industrial sources combined.

5. A typical pig factory farm generates raw waste equal to that of a city of 12,000 people.

6. In December 1977, the Senate Agricutural Committee released a report that stated that animals raised for food produce 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population, roughly 68,000 pounds per second, all without the benefit of waste treatment systems.

7. A Scripps Howard synopsis of the Senate report (April 24, 1998) stated: The raw waste is untreated and unsanitary, bubbling with chemical and disease-bearing organisms…It goes into the soil and into the water that many people will ultimately bathe in, wash their clothes with, and drink. It is poisoning rivers and killing fish and sickening people…catastrophic cases of pollution, sickness and death are occurring in areas where livestock operations are concentrated…Every place where the animal factories are located, neighbors have complained of falling sick.”

8. This excrement is also generally believed to be responsible for the “cell from hell,”a deadly microbe called pfiesteria.

Food for Animals

9. Most US cattle live a major portion of their lives, not on pasture land, but in feedlots where they are fed grains. It takes 16 pounds of grain to produce one pound of beef in this way.

10. For chicken and pig flesh the numbers are a little better but still tremendously wasteful. It takes 6 pounds of grain to produce a pound of factory farm pork, and 4 pounds of grain for a pound of chicken.

11. Livestock are fed more than 80% of US corn and soybeans, and more than 95% of the oats.

12. More than half the land in the United States is being used for animal agriculture.

13. In Central America, staple crop production has been replaced by cattle ranching, which now occupies 2/3 of the arable land.

14. In South America, fifty-five square feet of rainforest may be razed to produce just one quarter pound burger.

15. More than 260 million acres of US forest have been cleared to create cropland in order to produce our meat centered diet.

16. The meat industry is directly responsible for 85% of all soil erosion in the US, because so much grain is needed to feed animals being raised for food.

17. ***********The world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people***************

Food for People

18. In a world where 20,000 children are dying of hunger daily, modern US meat production in its present scale and methodology is an obscene waste of resources. John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America, says, “the fact is that there is enough food in the world for everyone. But tragically, much of the world’s food and land resources are tied up in producing beef and other livestock – food of the well-off – while millions of children and adults suffer from malnutrition and starvation.”

20. At least 700 million people world wide do not have enough to eat.

21. ******If American’s ate 10% less meat, enough grain would be available to feed 60 million peopple.


22. Many Americans are raised as children to love and care for their pets. Factory farm animals are also individuals with emotions. They can feel love, happiness, loneliness and fear, just as dogs and cats and people do. But animals raised in modern factory farms are forced to endure conditions of almost unimaginable cruelty and deprivation.

23. The purpose of the livestock farms is to produce the most meat, milk and eggs using the least amount of space, time and money. More than 25 billion animals are raised and killed every year in the US; many are skinned, dismembered and bleed to death while fully conscious.

24. Veal calves are kept in lonely isolation. Chickens are housed in cages so small they can never lift a single wing.


25. Because of the way the animals are raised, US meat is frequently contaminated with e.coli, salmonella, listeria, campylobacter, causing millions of food poisioning related illnesses each year.

26. Since the first official “mad cow” was discovered in Washington state, we have to question the possibility that contaminated beef could have already been consumed by millions of people. Researchers have traced recent outbreaks of mad cow disease to farmers’ cost-cutting practice of mixing bits of dead sheep’s neural tissue into the feed of cows, who are naturally herbivorous. When people eat the infected cattle, they develop the human version of mad cow disease – new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is fatal.

27. Some people wonder if the marked increase in Alzheimer-like conditions, could be in part attributable to undiagnosed mad cow disease.

28. Marion Nestle, chair of nutrition department at New York University, says “there is no question that largely vegetarian diets are as healthy as you can get. The evidence is so strong and overwhelming and produced over such a long period of time that it is no longer debatable.”

29. In the US and other industrialized nations, vegetarians live an average 7 years longer than meat eaters.

30. According to the American Dietetic Association, those eating balanced vegetarian diets have lower rates of Type II diabetes.

31. Cardiovascular disease claims more women’s lives than the next seven causes of death combined, nearly 500,000 a year. According to an Oxford vegetarian study in England, vegetarians have 30% less risk of heart disease than non-vegetarians. Those eating neither meat nor dairy had a 57% less risk than people eating a diet rich in animal fats.

32. Dean Ornish, M.D., has been able to reverse heart disease in more than 70% of patients who follow, among other things, a prescribed low fat vegetarian diet.

33. The American Heart Association’s recent studies support a major benefit to blood pressure from consuming vegetables, fruits and low fat dairy, as well as limiting salt and alcohol intake, and maintaining healthy body weight.

34. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study emphasizes fruits and vegetables and low fat dairy.

35. The American Cancer Insitute estimates that choosing a diet rich in veggies, fruits and legumes, and minimally processed starchy staple foods, combined with not smoking, could reduce cancer risk by 60-70%, saving over 375,000 Americans each year.

36. A population study conducted by Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health found that “animal fat was positively associated with the risk of colon cancer.”

37. The American Cancer Society’s web site states that “a diet mostly from animal sources” is a risk factor for colon and rectal ancer. Colon cancer is the 4th most common cancer, and is the 2nd largest cause of cancer deaths in US.

38. Women with fibroids and/or endometriosis are relived of the pain and heavy bleeding with in 3 months of adopting low fat high fiber vegetarian diets.

39. The average bone loss of 65 year old American vegetarian is 18%; average bone loss of 65 year old meat eating American is 35%.


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