Four Things That Would Happen if Everyone Stopped Eating Meat

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Find out in what ways it would help humans and animals

In last days of January, May and September, various activist and non-governmental organizations like "Meat Abolition" are organizing forums and disscussions in order to raise the awareness of, according to them and some experts, harmful impacts of meat-based diet. Mimi Bekhechi from the PETA specified five ways in which shift in world diet would affect lives of humans and animals for the Independent.

The world's hungry would no longer be hungry

Yes, your beef or pork may be locally grown, but what about the animals' feed? Vegetarians and vegans aren't gobbling up all the grains and soybeans - cattle are. A staggering 97 per cent of the world's soya crop is fed to livestock.

It would take 40 million tons of food to eliminate the most extreme cases of world hunger, yet nearly 20 times that amount of grain is fed to farmed animals every year in order to produce meat. In a world where an estimated 850 million people do not have enough to eat, it is criminally wasteful to feed perfectly edible food to animals on farms in order to produce a burger rather than feeding it directly to people, especially when you consider that it takes roughly six pounds of grain to produce one pound of pork.

There would more land available for our growing population

Countries around the globe are bulldozing huge swathes of land in order to make room for more factory farms to house all the additional chickens, cows and other animals as well as for the huge quantities of crops needed to feed them.

But, when you eat a plant-based food, considerably less land is needed. Vegfam, a charity which funds sustainable plant-food projects, estimates that a 10-acre farm can support 60 people by growing soybeans, 24 people by growing wheat or 10 people by growing maize, but only two by raising cattle.

Dutch scientists predict that 2.7 billion hectares of land currently used for cattle grazing would be freed up by global vegetarianism, along with 100 million hectares of land currently used to grow crops for livestock.

Billions of animals would avoid a lifetime of suffering

On many industrial farms, animals are kept in cramped conditions and will never raise families, forage for food or do anything else that is natural and important to them. Most won't even get to feel the warmth of the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto lorries headed for the abattoir.

The risk of dangerous antibiotic resistance would reduce

Factory-farmed animals are disease-ridden as a result of being crammed by the thousands into filthy sheds, which are a breeding ground for new strains of dangerous bacteria and viruses. Pigs, chickens and other animals on factory farms are fed a steady diet of drugs to keep them alive in these unsanitary, stressful conditions, increasing the chance that drug-resistant superbugs will develop.

A senior officer with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization called the intensive industrial farming of livestock an "opportunity for emerging disease", while the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared that "much of antibiotic use in animals is unnecessary and inappropriate and makes everyone less safe".

Published on: February 2016


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