Vegetarianism (Photo credit: Marius!!)
By Bob Barney
One reason I most commonly hear from vegetarians for giving up meat is the conviction that other animals have a right to life as well as humans. Their sincere belief in preserving other life is like most liberal causes (and yes it is a liberal cause, whether you want to believe it or not) based on the lack of understanding just how food is produced, or for that matter, how anything is produced. We live in a ready made world, going to work from 9-5, and buying everything we need from some store, which purchased that item from hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. Most of us today don't have a clue what it takes to grow an apple, or wheat, corn and yes, beef! We don't know how our clothes are made, or where they are made and by what sort of forced labor. 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, once their beloved “nature” controls their destinies.
Nobody's hands are free from the blood of animals, not vegetarians or anyone else. Millions of animals are killed every year to prepare land for growing crops, "like corn, soybean, wheat and barley, the and the whole host of “organic” foods." The animals killed in many cases are mice and moles and rabbits and other creatures that are run over by tractors, or lose their habitat to make way for farming. These are the unintended victims of agriculture. Are their lives any less sacred than say, a goat? So one must honestly answer this: "What makes it OK to kill animals of the field so that we can eat veggies, but not 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, resulting in their deaths.
And for those vegetarians who consume dairy, eggs and wear clothes made of wool, are they honest about not killing animals? Nope... If you buy milk, cheese, eggs, or woolen shirts-- it may be true in theory that you aren't killing these animals for their “goods,” but the fact is in order to supply you with these products, you are! All modern farmers, trying to eek out a living providing cheap food aren’t 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! Never thought of that did you?
Here is a link to look at to 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. That 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 reliable sources 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. So 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 taking animals’ lives. They don’t take into account the amount of suffering the animal experiences. That 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 gases, breeding antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and requiring huge amounts of farmland just to feed the cattle. So there’s still 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: 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, doesn'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 that the iron found in spinach often comes from fertilizer, made up of, you guessed it BLOOD from cows.. This is an organic way to get iron back into depleted dirt!..
Seriously, it's about time we stop falling for the liberal lies that we were raised on. Both conservatives and liberals have been fed a bunch of lies. We need to start using the brain the God gave us to start thinking about why we do what we do...