My Turn

Opinion: What if we were all vegans?

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Some of you reading this this article have a dog or a cat laying on your lap. You love animals: well maybe not all animals. Most of you just finished eating a hamburger or turkey sandwich. How can you say you love animals, if you eat them? Do you know what they go through to become your lunch or dinner? Please read on.

Industrial farms are similar to Nazi concentration camps. The majority of the meat you eat comes from these torture facilities. These animals are crammed into small spaces and fed high concentrations of grains. Why? Meat tastes better and is easier to chew if it contains high levels of fat. The fear and pain animals experience in these cramped spaces is bad enough. But it is nothing compared to the fear and pain they experience in a slaughter house.

All these animals go through hell when it is slaughter time. I will focus on the end time for beef cows for brevity sake. They are herded into a tunnel with a conveyor belt for a floor. At the end of the tunnel hooks are inserted into their hocks and their throats are cut. Why? They must be kept alive until they bleed out in order to ensure better quality meat. Are you self-proclaimed animal lovers ready to eat steak for dinner tonight?

Even if you don’t care about animal torture, try to wrap your mind around this. These industrial farms are helping the fossil fuel industry destroy the ozone by adding an enormous amount to the carbon footprint. Ozone protects us from lethal UV rays. The ozone is a thin protective layer in the upper atmosphere that is disappearing rapidly as you read this article. When it is gone so is life on this planet.

All animals produce carbon gases. Plants (especially trees) absorb these gases and release oxygen into the air. It is imperative that this carbon dioxide -oxygen cycle remains balanced or life forms cannot continue to exist. Meanwhile, industrial farms are cutting down the rain forests in order to grow crops for livestock. This reckless behavior together with fossil fuel emissions is rapidly reducing necessary oxygen levels. After all, most of the oxygen produced on this planet is produced in rain forests.

If that doesn’t disturb you; try this on and see how it fits. Monsanto is producing GMO crops that are resistant to insect sprays. These genetically modified plants absorb these deadly chemicals and continue to thrive. We eat these poison plants and/or the animals that eat them. In short, we are being poisoned by industrial agriculture. It is not necessary to poison food to protect it from insects. Insects can be controlled by growing plants the insects prefer next to the plants intended for humans.

Do you love your grandchildren? They will die a slow and painful death as the world ends because of pollution and ozone depletion, if we don’t stop Big Industry now. Becoming a vegan is a big step in the right direction along with converting to 100 percent renewable energy. I know it sounds like I am attacking the meat eaters. I am 72 years old and I just became a vegan. I have contributed to this nightmare most of my life. I finally admitted to my self that my grandchildren won’t survive if we don’t stop poisoning them and the planet they live on. We must come together and design a plan to save the planet now. The first step is to become vegans and support local organic community gardens.

Bigley is a resident of Taos and a member of the Green Party.

Comments

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barley donahue

Thanks for your input. I agree.

Barley Donahue LEAF Taos Vegan Society

Friday, September 1 | Report this
Karen Orr

Powerful column, Joe. Thanks so much

Saturday, September 2 | Report this
Mike Lewinski

There are several factual errors here.

Animal agriculture isn't destroying the ozone layer. If anything methane emissions from livestock are causing the opposite problem of contributing to ground-level ozone production which harms human health as a component of smog.

The ozone layer was threatened by certain chemicals used as refrigerants like chlorofluorocarbons, but since they were phased out of manufacturing we see evidence that the ozone hole is recovering.

The tropical rain forests provide about 28% of the atmospheric free oxygen we breathe. The majority comes from the oceans kelp and plankton. However, there is so much oxygen that it is unlikely we are in any danger of running out. The real threat is climate change from greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and methane from gas drilling and agriculture.

Improper composting can also contribute substantial quantities of greenhouse gases. Organic agriculture shouldn't be presumed carbon-neutral. It really depends on the farm.

Sunday, September 3 | Report this
Miguelanjel Ortiz

Let's take the phantasmagorically indefinite ethical debate of animal slaughter out of the equation all together & shift the conversation to the McDonaldization of India & other Kosher keeping regions where fast food is corrupting the eating practices and conjuring up a catastrophic demand for meat that is predicted to become likened to that if our own in the U.S.

The issues raised in this article are merely stepping stones under the umbrella of just how much this could disrupt our daily life's assuming that McDonalds & other restaurants will continue in desperate pursuit of the all mighty dollar while we self deprecate in our own greed and ultimate self-Implosion. The sixth great extinction came from Agriculture & unfortunately animals will AlWAYS DIE at the expense of our profound population & growing appetite Vegan or otherwise. At least this is something that affects us all because McDonalds itself should not be paid for this act of ultimate @*&#^!ing recklessness. As if A billion billions is needed as opposed to whatever their GDP reads.

[Animal slaughtering is culturally subjective. Who is anyone to judge a practice of which our ancestors relied upon to get us here to judge them for it in the first place? Real non-condescending question?]

Monday, September 4 | Report this