Meat is killing you and the planet

Zaria Howell | 7/7/2016, 1:27 p.m.
If I’ve somehow kept your attention, and you weren’t instantly put off by the title of this article, then just ...
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If I’ve somehow kept your attention, and you weren’t instantly put off by the title of this article, then just know that I’m not going to bombard with anger or spite because you eat meat. However, if you’re a fellow vegetarian, then just sit back and relax, or become further enlightened. Now, let’s get into it.

I used to love meat. In the Black community, food and meat specifically, is a part of the culture and language. So trust me when I say that there are, in fact, reasons to make you stop eating meat that are greater than the taste of your mother’s famous ribs or ox tails. It all started two years ago when I watched the documentary “Earthlings,” which outlines different ways that the meat industry is cruel and not beneficial to anyone (humans or animals).

The messages that were conveyed in the documentary were strong enough to make me stop eating red meat but didn’t strike a nerve that made me want to give meat up entirely. In fact, after a few months, I was back to eating hot dogs and hamburgers. However, three months ago, I watched the film “Cowspiracy,” and my outlook on meat, animals and meat agriculture was completely altered. I’m glad I watched these films, because otherwise, I wouldn’t be aware of how I’ve been poisoning my body all of these years, and contributing to an industry filled with deception and greed. However, for those of you who haven’t seen these films and have not yet seen the oh-so-bad side of consuming meat, please read on.

Meat is killing humans. Much of the meat that is sold in supermarkets is filled with hormones and chemicals that animals were forced to digest so they would grow at a quicker pace and be on your dinner table even quicker. Essentially, you are filling your body with “meat” that is not “meat” anymore, because it has been stuffed with unpronounceable ingredients. In fact, many of the animals that have been filled with these harmful ingredients have been genetically modified, and if you’re lucky the manufacturer of those meats has labeled the meat as being from GMOs. Even though it is against the law to falsify a label, many manufacturers still fail to label genetically modified meats as GMOs. This failure is not because they’re having a long day and forget to place the label on the meat. It’s because they don’t want consumers to become aware of the harmful things that they are consuming. If consumers become aware, they stop buying, and when they stop buying, manufacturers lose profits. What’s more important, not causing someone to lose a life or making a buck?

Animals are treated poorly at the hands of humans in animal agriculture. A combination of blood, urine, feces, dead animals, crowded pens and the sound of shrieking animals is a slaughterhouse. Animals are treated with no respect and neither is the well-being of the consumer. Pigs are kept in small pens that are overfilled with feces and urine, and often times, dead pigs that did not survive the chaos. Although this example is only one example of the horrors that pigs are forced to endure, other animals face similar realities. Imagine living among hundreds of other animals, without so much as a small space for you to move around or navigate, living among dead animals and your own feces, and enduring this condition as you anticipate the day that a worker slices your throat open and skins you alive.