April 2, 2013
Benefits of Vegetarianism
A vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat, poultry, and fish. Vegetarians eat mainly fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts. Many vegetarians eat eggs and/or dairy products but avoid hidden animal products such as beef and chicken stocks, lard, and gelatin.
People are vegetarians for many reasons, including concern for personal health and the environment, economic and world hunger concerns, compassion for animals, belief in nonviolence, food preferences, or spiritual reasons (Corliss 65). People may become vegetarians for one reason, and then later on adopt some of the other reasons as well. The cruel treatment of animals is often a major reason for people to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. Farm life is not what it used to be. Open pastures and typical barnyard life has been replaced by windowless sheds, tiny crates, wire cages, and other confinement systems integral to what is now known as "factory farming" (Friedrich 97). Today, farmed animals are confined in spaces so diminutive that they have no room to move at all. Chickens are kept in cages so tightly crammed that they cannot even move their wings. They are also given so many growth hormones, that they become 200% larger than biologically intended, and as a result, their legs break under the weight of their bodies (Corliss 44). Chickens’ beaks are seared off without any painkillers, and often times this leads to infection (Friedrich 65). Since they are denied any sort of veterinary care, they are simply tossed aside to die, since they are seen as useless.
Other animals suffer just as much, or more than chickens. Female cows, for example, are raised for dairy, as well as meat. Because of this, they are kept constantly pregnant, so they can produce milk. As soon as a cow gives birth, the calf is taken away from his or her mother, and sent to a factory to be raised as veal. As soon as the cow gives birth, she is once...