/Meat madness

Meat madness

I never thought that being a vegetarian and starting a new waitressing job could be so demoralizing.

“So, is the Black and Bleu burger any good?” inquires the salivating, carnivorous customer. Well, I could lie, but I feel honesty will better construct our dining relationship, so I confess my juicy secret.  “I’ve never had it.  I’m a vegetarian.”

And so, the criticism, disbelief, and flabbergasted stares commence.

I think people often believe that vegetarians refrain from eating meat because of a keen respect for animals. Of course, factory agriculture, which churns out 99% of all meat in the U.S., is rapacious and absurdly inhumane, but there are countless other reasons to become vegetarian.

To start, factory farming is environmental idiocy at its finest. 72% of the grain produced in the U.S. is used to sustain livestock. Shockingly, 15 pounds of feed is needed to produce just one pound of meat. If we allotted that same grain to people, we could feed the entire planet.

Each year, the exhaust emitted from farming equipment necessary in producing the livestock’s feed, and the cloud of toxic chemicals from pesticides, make the meat industry a cancerous disease to Mother Earth.

And on a plot of land large enough to yield 50,000 pounds of tomatoes, 40,000 pounds of potatoes, or 30,000 pounds of carrots, a pitiful 250 pounds of meat is manufactured.

I say manufactured. Agriculture is an industry, and an industry’s objective is money. Not sustainability.  Not supplementing a healthy American diet.

As such, the meat industry is notorious for exploiting its workers, squashing unions, and refusing compensation to workers who suffer injury or chronic illnesses, both of which are by-products to the most dangerous factory job in America.

Nor will they compensate your medical bills.

However, non-meat eaters are less prone to cardiovascular disease, cancer, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and have stronger immune systems. With a nutritious diet, you could combat the $60-120 billion spent annually to treat food related disease and illness in America.

All considered it seems illogical to perpetuate this system of ignorance, that is, until you realize that pharmaceutical companies rake in billions from the shriveling health resulting from the Standard American Diet, and also through the antibiotics necessary to keep livestock “healthy.” An astounding 70% of antibiotics in the U.S. are ingested by your Black and Bleu burger, sir.

So, excuse me for being informed.

Alyssha Ginzel

Guest Columnist