How to Win an Argument With a Meat-Eater
1. THE HUNGER-ARGUMENT AGAINST MEAT-EATING
Much of the world's massive hunger problems could be solved by the reduction or elimination of meat-eating. The reasons: 1) live-stock pasture needs cut drastically into land which could otherwise be used to grow food; 2) vast quantities of food which cold feed humans is fed to livestock raised to produce meat.
* One hundred million people could be adequately fed using the land freed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by a mere 10%
* Eighty percent of the corn and 95% of the oats grown in the U.S. is eaten by livestock. The percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock is calculated by experts as 90%
* One acre of land can produce 40,000 pounds of potatoes, or 250 pounds of beef. Fifty-six percent of all U.S. farmland is devoted to beef production, and to produce each pound of beef requires, 16 pounds of edible grain and soybeans, which could be used to feed the hungry.
2. THE ENVIRONMENTAL ARGUMENT AGAINST MEAT-EATING
Many of the world's massive environmental problems could be solved by the reduction or elimination of meat-eating, including global warming, loss or topsoil, loss of rainforests and species extinction.
* Trees, and especially the old-growth forests, are essential to the survival of the planet. Their destruction is a major cause of global warming and top soil loss. Both of these effects lead to diminished food production. Meat-eating is the number one driving force for the destruction of these forests. Two hundred and sixty million acres of U.S. forestland has been cleared for cropland to produce the meat-centered diet. Fifty-five square feet of tropical rainforest is consumed to produce every quarter-pound of rainforest beef. An alarming 75% of all U.S. topsoil has been lost to date. Eighty-five percent of this loss is directly related to livestock raising.
* Another devastating result of deforestation is the loss of plant and animal species. Each year, 1,000 species are eliminated due to destruction of tropical rainforests for meat grazing and other uses. The rate is growing yearly.
* To keep up with U.S. consumption, 300 million pounds of meat are imported annually from Central and South America. This economic incentive impels these nations to cut down the forests to make more pastureland. In effect these countries are being drained of their resources to put meat on the table of Americans while 75% of all Central American children under the age of five are undernourished.
3. THE CANCER/CHOLESTEROL ARGUMENT AGAINST MEAT-EATING
Those who eat flesh are far more likely to contract cancer than those following a vegetarian diet.
* The risk of contracting breast cancer is 3.8 times greater for women who eat meat daily compared to less than once in a week.
* The risk of fatal ovarian cancer is three times greater for women who eat eggs 3 or more times a week as compared with less than once a week.
Meat-eaters ingest excessive amounts of cholesterol, making them dangerously susceptible to heart attacks.
* It is strange, but true that U.S. physicians are, as a rule, ill-educated in the single most important factor of health, namely diet and nutrition. Of the 125 medical schools in the U.S., only 30 require their students to take a course in nutrition. The average nutrition training received by the average U.S. physician during four years in school is only 2.5 hours. Thus doctors in the U.S. are ill-equipped to advise their patients in minimizing foods, such as meat, that contain excessive amounts of cholesterol and are known causes of heart attack.
4. THE NATURAL RESOURCES ARGUMENT AGAINST MEAT-EATING
The world's natural resources are being rapidly depleted as a result of meat-eating.
* More than half of all water used for all purposes in the U.S. is consumed in live-stock in production of the average cow is sufficient to float a destroyer (a large naval ship). While 25 gallons of water are needed to produce pound of wheat, 5,000 gallons are needed to produce a pound of California beef.
* Thirty-three percent of all raw materials (base products of farming, forestry and mining, including fossil fuels) consumed by the U.S. are devoted to the production of livestock, as compared with 2% to produce a complete vegetarian diet.
5. THE ANTIBIOTIC ARGUMENT AGAINST MEAT-EATING
Large amounts of antibiotics are being fed to livestock to control staphylococci (commonly called "staph infections"), which are becoming immune to these drugs at an alarming rate.
* The animals that are being raised for meat in the United States are diseased. The livestock industry attempts to control this disease by feeding the animals antibiotics. Huge quantities of drugs go for this purpose. (Of all antibiotics used in the U.S., 55% are fed to livestock.) But this is only partially effective because the bacteria that cause disease are becoming immune to the antibiotics. The response of the European Economic Community to the routine feeding of antibiotics to U.S. livestock was to ban the importation of U.S. meat.
6. THE PESTICIDE ARGUMENT AGAINST MEAT-EATING
Unknown to most meat-eaters, U.S. produced meat contains dangerously high quantities of deadly pesticides.
* That these chemicals are indeed ingested by the meat-eater is proven by the following facts: 1) ninety-nine percent of U.S. mother's milk contains significant levels of DDT; 2) in stark contrast, only 8% of U.S. vegetarian mother's milk containing significant levels of DDT.
7. THE ETHICAL ARGUMENT AGAINST MEAT-EATING
Many of those who have adopted a vegetarian diet have done so because of the ethical argument, either from reading about or personally experiencing what goes on daily at any one of the thousands of slaughterhouses in the U.S. and other countries, where animals suffer the cruel process of forced confinement, manipulation and violent death. Their pain and terror is beyond calculation.
* In the U.S. alone, 660,000 animals are killed for meat every hour in ghastly slaughterhouses. The average American consumes in a lifetime approximately 11 cattle, 3 lambs and sheep, 23 hogs, 45 turkeys, 1,100 chickens and 862 pounds of fish!