For masukomi, and Void_Ptr and anyone else who is interested, the following paragraphs are quoted verbatim from a song. I am a hard core carnivore myself, so it is not with any emotional attachment that I node this. I can not verify the validity of this band's statements or the sources it uses. I just like the band because its songs stir people up. I would suggest buying this CD just for the humor of it, because Consolidated has these open mics after their shows and records some the outcomes on their albums.
The driving force behind the destruction of the tropical rain forests is the American meat habit. The rain forests are cleared then planted with grass for grazing livestock to create hamburgers for fast food restaurants. More than half of all the water used in the United States is used for raising animals for food. 25 gallons of water is needed to produce a pound of wheat. 2,500 gallons of water is needed to produce a pound of meat. Dependence on foreign oil is one of the principle reasons for US intervention in the Persian Gulf. The length of time the world's oil reserves would last if all human beings ate a meat based diet would be approximately 13 years. The length of time the world's oil reserves would last if all human beings ate a plant based diet would be approximately 260 years.
Feedlots and slaughterhouses are both major polluters of rivers and streams, filling them with poisonous residues and animal wastes. 250,000 pounds of animal excrement is produced every second in the US and there are no sewage systems to treat the wastes. In 1989, over 40% of the world's grain harvest was fed to animals going to slaughter. If the same grain were fed directly to human beings, there would be more than enough grain to feed the entire world. Over 20 million people will die as a result of malnutrition this year. In the third world, private and government money has gone to developing cash crops for export while food production for the poor majority is neglected. 80% of the corn grown in the US is fed to animals raised for food rather than going to hungry people.
On a purely vegetarian diet the world can support a population many times its present size. On a meat based diet the current world population could not be sustained. Cattle ranching has always competed with wildlife. Coyotes and wolves would not be shot and poisoned by ranchers if people did not eat steaks and lamb chops. Destroying the rainforests to raise cattle is causing millions of birds, monkeys, snakes and other species to lose their homes and lives. In the US this year alone:
37 ½ million cattle
85 ½ million pigs
5 ½ million sheep
242 million turkeys
4 billion, 147 million chickens
will be murdered for the taste of their flesh.
Pain, frustration, stress, fear, abuse, neglect, and deprivation are realities in the raising of animals in today's factory farms. Animals are artificially inseminated, fed growth hormones, overcrowded, chained and caged. Raising livestock for profit is a competitive business. Being humane means cost will go up. These animals are kicked, prodded, electroshocked, dragged, and finally transported to their deaths.
A vegetarian diet promotes superior health, endurance, and longevity. Animal products have 3 nutritional disadvantages. They contain too much protein, too much fat, and no fiber. Do not believe the protein myth. It was based on a study by the meat and dairy industries to rats, animals who need 1000 times more protein in their diet than humans.
From the song Meat Kills by Consolidated from the 1991 album titled Friendly Fascism. Facts and statistics taken from "Diet for a New America" by John Robbins, Still Point Publishing