Vegetarianism (Photo credit: Marius!!)
By Bob Barney
I have found that vegetarians give one common reason for giving up meat and that is the conviction that animals have the right to life just as we humans do. Even though they have a sincere belief in preserving animal life, most do not realize that this belief is based on a liberal cause. Unfortunately, this is a cause based on a lack of understanding of how food is produced or for that matter, how anything is produced. We cannot deny it, we live in a ready-made world. We go to work from 9-5 and we buy everything we need from a store that offers products with origins from hundreds if not thousands of miles away. Most of us today have no clue as to what it takes to grow an apple, or to grow wheat or corn and yes, to even grow beef! We don't know how or where our clothes are made and by what sort of forced labor entity as we are blissfully ignorant of the world around us. You see, one must be ignorant of reality in order to be a liberal. You will never find a liberal on a deserted island or living amongst natives in some wilderness setting. Liberals don't live very long in such environments once their beloved “nature” takes control of their destinies.
Being a vegetarian means that you are not responsible for the killing of any animal, right?
The Plain Truth is that not one single souls' hand is free from the blood of animals and that includes vegetarians! Did you know that millions of animals are killed every year to prepare the land for growing some of the very crops that are the staples of a vegetarian diet? Soybean, corn, and barley just to name a few as well as a whole host of 'organic' foods. The animals killed in many cases are mice, moles, rabbits and more. They lose their habitat and are run over by the very tractors that make a way for farming. They may be unintended victims of agriculture, but they are still victims in the end. Are their lives any less sacred than say, a goat? Here is an honest question that deserves an honest answer, "What makes it acceptable to kill the animals of the field so that we can eat veggies but makes it not acceptable to kill venison, fish, chickens or cows?" The cold hard facts are that any disruption of the land whether it be to farm or to build homes and malls, reduces the amount of land left for other animals and results in their untimely demise.
Any vegetarian that consumes dairy, eggs and wears woolen garments may think that they aren't contributing to the slaughtering of animals for their goods and that may be true in theory, but the fact is, they are! All modern farmers trying to eke out a living providing cheap food are not just going to let their animals die of old age; they kill them at whatever point the farm considers to be the most profit-maximizing. For dairy cows, that’s usually at age 3-5, out of a natural 20–25-year lifespan. For egg-laying hens, it’s usually after one or two laying cycles. And since the males of the laying species are useless to the egg farmer, they’re killed right after they hatch; these are the cold hard facts.
English: Dairy heifers The milking dairy cows are in for the winter now, but as the weather is fair the heifers (young females) are still outside. When they reach 350 / 400kg in weight they will put in calf and 9 months later will begin their life as a dairy cow. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A vegetarian diet must kill far fewer animals than an omnivore diet, right?
Not always! Here is an example: Eggs. While you only need to kill one single cow to get about 450 pounds (405,000 calories) worth of meat, you’d need to kill about 20 chickens to get enough eggs to match that number of calories. So, if you’re a vegetarian who eats a lot of omelets, you’re likely responsible for more animal deaths than someone who chows down on burgers and steaks but doesn’t like eggs! I bet you never thought of that, did you?
Here is a link for you to look at and find some more information:
I’ve scrounged up data on the typical amount of meat, eggs, and dairy that we get out of a modern farm animal and combined it with data on the calorie counts of those foods. Doing this has allowed me to calculate the number of calories of food that we get out of each type of animal, or more to the point, the “lives-per-calorie” statistic for each food. The results are below, with the foods ordered from “kills the fewest animals per calorie” to “kills the most animals per calorie.” All numbers are approximate, of course, but they’re from as recent and as reliable a source as I could find. (Detailed citations are at the end of this post).
The yield for a laying hen over its lifetime is actually about 550 eggs, but I’ve divided it by two because approximately one male chick is killed for each laying hen.
The lives-per-calories cost of eggs is so many times higher than that of beef that even a small amount of eggs outweighs the life cost of a larger amount of beef. Let’s say you’re a vegetarian and you go out to lunch with your omnivorous friend, where he orders a burger, and you order an egg-salad sandwich. The two eggs in your sandwich are only 150 calories, compared to the 300 calories in his beef patty, but the eggs cost almost 9 times as much life as the beef.
Deutsch: Palette mit Hühnereiern auf dem Wochenmarkt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Of course, as I said earlier, these calculations are only concerned with the question of the taking of animals’ lives and they are not taking into account the amount of suffering the animals unfortunately experience. Such a statistic would change the calculations somewhat, but I suspect the overall verdict would remain similar if you were looking at suffering-per-calorie – or, if anything, things would look even grimmer for egg-lovers. Laying hens arguably lead some of the most miserable lives out of all livestock, spending all their time crammed into cages with less space than half a piece of paper, having their beaks cut off, and being starved to induce molting. (Although the male chicks would count less if you’re looking at suffering-per-calorie, since their lives are so short.)
These calculations also don’t take into account impact on the environment. Raising beef is pretty clearly the worst industry in terms of things like producing greenhouse gasses, breeding antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and requiring huge amounts of farmland just to feed the cattle. Right there may be a good case for choosing eggs over beef in the sense of minimizing your environmental impact, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’d be making a tradeoff of killing more animals to hurt the environment less.
According to the USDA, the average dairy cow produced 21,000 lbs. of milk last year, and according to several sources, the average dairy cow is culled from the herd after about 3 years, so I multiplied 21,000*3 to get the average amount of milk produced over the lifetime of a dairy cow. It takes about 1 gallon of milk to produce 1 lb of cheese, and there are about 8.5 lbs. of milk per gallon, so I divided 63,000 lbs by 8.5 to get the 7,400 lbs. of cheese figure.
The figures on beef and pork come from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture~
The average number of eggs per laying hen per year comes from the USDA, and I multiplied by two because that’s the most common figure I found for the number of laying cycles. The average weight of a broiler chicken I got from the USDA’s annual Poultry Slaughter publication.
And by the way, don't harmful insects have the same right to life as humans? Are most vegetarians willing to eat apples with worms in them and if they are, what do they do with that live worm when they find it?
And if insect lives are as valuable as a human, how about bacteria. Bacteria is animal life. In order for vegetarians to digest their wholesome organic grains and grasses, trillions, of bacteria get killed in the process! So, you better stop taking those pro-biotics, because you are brutally slaughtering animal life.
One last point
Iron. Most are unaware, (especially vegetarians that focus on plant eating), that the iron found in spinach often comes from the fertilizer made up of, you guessed it ~ BLOOD from cows. This is an organic way to get the iron back in to depleted dirt!
Seriously, it's about time we stop falling for the liberal lies we were raised on. Both conservatives and liberals have been fed a bunch of them and we need to start using the brain God gave us and start thinking about why we do what we do!