Thesedays, people beganto think that eating meat have negative effects on their life. Some countries such as Denmarkand Germany consider introducing meat-tax, which is the policy of imposing taxon meat to reduce its consumption (Carrington).
Also, China’s government announced the policy to cut the amount of meat citizens eat (Milman and Leavenworth). However, although such recognition is spread, people eat more and more meat, and the amount of the production has also been growing. Compared to fifty years ago, meet production increased by more than 4 times (Ritchie and Max). If people continue to eat a large amountof animal products, the influence for the world will be more serious. Some people may say that they have been eating meat since many years ago, so meat is necessary for their diet. However, considering health problems, the environment, and morality, people should eat less meat. People argue that meat contains a lot of nutrition, and eating variety of food is necessary for people to live.
Although, there are some nutritiouswhich vegetarians have to care about, scientists say that people can takealmost all nutrition from vegetables (Nutrition Overview). For instance, people can take minerals from potatoes, fats from nuts and avocado (Paula). Also, many people believe that meat provides rich protein, so meat is the best food to take the nutrition. Protein of animal products offers amino acids which people cannot make themselves, and that of plants does not include the same amount of the nutrition as meat (Brown).
However, scientists say that if people eat various kinds of plants which contain protein such as brown rice and lentils, they can take sufficient amino acids (Henry). Thus, replacing food such as beef, pork and fish with plant-based diet is possible. The reason why people should eat morevegetables is that meat-free eating is good for their health. As most people know, vegetables are low-calorie food, so they can prevent obesity. In addition, there are many other benefits of vegetable diet. For example, according to a study conducted on people who live in England and Scotland, the risk of heart disease of vegetarian was 32% lower than that of people who eat meat (Crowe et al.). Meat contains cholesterol and fat, so if peopledo not eat such products, they can prevent the disease.
Moreover, eatingvegetables has good influence to lower the blood pressure (Goodman). High bloodpressure is one of the causes of heart attack, so plant-based diet is effectivefor the disease prevention. Also, people who do not eatanimal products reduce the risk of cancer by 12% (Vegetarians Get LessCancer). A nutritionist named Lindsey Wohlford says that vegetables and grains provide phytochemicals, and the chemicals help the immune system to prevent cancer. Besides, preservatives are added when meat products such as sausages and bacon are processed, and the additives have bad influence on cancer (Blackburn).
Some argue that they cannot take vitamin B12 from plant-based diet, so these people think that they must eat meat. However, animals do not produce vitamin B12 themselves. The nutrition is produced by bacteria which is in soil and the intestines of animals. So, cows, pigs, and chickens take the vitamin from their feed. Farmers feed their livestock supplements of B12 because these animals are likelyto suffer from the lack of the nutrition (Rooke). As is mentioned above, eating meat is badfor people’s health, so taking supplements directly is a better way for people to get the vitamin. Furthermore, eating less meat is good forthe environment. One of serious problems is the water shortages.
Actually, livestock is closely related tothe issue because they need a lot of water. For example, in order to produce 1 kilogram of grain, between 0.4kL and 3kL of water is required, whereas more than 15kL of water is used for the same weight of beef (Falkenmark et al.). These days, the shortage of water becomes a serious problem. Many people in developed countriesdo not worry about water at the moment, but if people continue to use equal amount of the resources, two thirds of people in the world will suffer from the lack of water by 2050 (Water Scarcity). Some countries try to reusedrainage by using technology, but even if they could reuse water, more and more water is used as the world population increases. Therefore,people must reduce the water consumption to solve the lack of water.
People cansave water daily, but agriculture accounts for approximately 90% of all waterconsumption (The Role of Water). Animals themselves need a lot of water,and a large amount of plants is required to raise them (Solving the soyproblem). So, livestock industries have huge impact on watershortages. In addition to the water issue, livestockdestroys forests. Every year, large area of forests in Amazon were cut down (Butler). While many causes affected the deforestation, 65% to 70% of it was due to beef production (Archer).
Farmers burn rainforests to make space to grow cows and export lowprice beef to other countries. The condition of these land is not good, and thearea becomes desert within a few years after forests are cut down.So, farmers continue to burn more trees to find new grassland (Why Are They BeingDestroyed). Deforestationitself is serious problem but it is also one of the causes of global warming.
Themain cause of the climate change is CO2, so if people cut down many forests toraise animals, the deforestation can increase the amount of CO2. Also, ruminants such as cows and sheep release methane and the gas is similar substance to carbon dioxide; however, methane has 23 times as serious influence on the environment as CO2 (Are Cows the Cause of Global Warming?). Animals living around the world account for 15.5% of all greenhouse gas emission caused by people, and the amount of releaseis larger than that of transportation (Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions). Thesedays, electronic vehiclesare improved, and measures for transportation have been taken. However, such preventiveaction is not adopted to livestock industry. Researchers found that if seaweedsare given to animals, the feed can reduce the methane emission of cows.
Nevertheless,the measure has many obstacles regards animals’ health and the supply of thefeed (Study:Seaweed in Cow Feed). So, theattempt is not practical. Also, even if the methane problem is solved, animalsstill eat a lot of grains and they use massive amount of water. Therefore, toreduce meat consumption and the number of livestock are important for theenvironment. Some will point out that if all people change their eating behavior, the environment may be improved and the habit is good forhealth, but farmers will lose their job. Declining of livestock industry will be expected and farmers may sufferfrom the low income.
However, theytreat livestock badly and cause suffer to animals. For instance, chicken live 8 years in the natural world but those which are raised in farms are killed 7 weeks after their birth. The reason is that farmers breed them to grow quickly to make more money. Also, farmers force dairy cattle to produce 4 more gallons of milk per day than those in nature do. When these cattle give birth, farmers immediately separate the babies from their mothers.
The calves are fed artificial milk, and people buy cattle’s milk for their babies (Have We Been Lied To?). People may say that animals are not thesame value as human, so they might argue that treating animals badly isinevitable. However, people put value on certain animals and they acknowledgethe importance of them. Majority of people do not eat dogs, and treat them asmembers of their family. Also, many people criticize the countries which have dogeating habit.
Some of them even claimed boycott against Pyeongchang Olympics ifthe government do not prohibit citizens from eating dogs (McCurry). Nonetheless, they do not criticize livestock industry. Dogs cows, pigsand many other animals have emotion, and they feel pain. So, people shouldtreat them equally and livestock industry is morally wrong.
People say that some of livestock are raised humanely, so if they buythese products they do not violate animal rights. However, even if these animals are treatedwell, they are eventually killed for food. Originally, animals are supposed tolive in nature. However, all livestock is killed by people for food, whether ornot farmers grow animals humanely. As is mentioned, people can take sufficientnutrition from vegetables, so killing animals is not necessary. Moreover, thereis no clear definition for the word “humanely” and many animals are abused evenif the labels of these products show that they were raised humanely (Capps). People may say that when farmers produce vegetables, they kill insectsand take more lives. However, cows eat a lot of grains to grow, so when people raiselivestock, they kill more creature than when people grow plants.
Nowadays,people use animals in various ways such as fashion, entertainment andexperiments. Many think that there are many other ways to prevent animals fromsuffering. However, agriculture account for more than 99% of people’s animalexploitation (Animal Agriculture). Thus, people should take some action toreduce meat consumption. For these reasons above, meat causes serious disease, and reducing theconsumption brings benefit to the environmental problems such as watershortage, deforestation and global warming.
Besides, many people are lesslikely to care about the life of livestock, so the judgment is against morality.At first, people may feel uncomfortable changing their eating habit, but they do not have to stop eating meat in one night. Rather thanforced to quit the habit, they are encouraged to eat less meat than they eat today. These days, more peoplecare about current situation of meat consumption. As a result, plant-basedalternatives are improved, and the number of these products is estimated to increasequickly (Sentenac). So, people can try to take action easily compared with the past. Replacing meat with plant-based diet step by step will make positive impact on people’s health, the environment, and animals’ life.