The United Nations says that animal agriculture contributes more to climate change then transportation. Using prime farmland to raise animals or grow their feed, increases food insecurity for the global poor, removes habitat from free-living animals and grass-fed systems are worse than conventional, because grass-fed animals use more land, grow more slowly, emit more greenhouse gasses and consume more water before finally being killed for meat. In fact 70% of the water in the western half of the United States is being used for animals or growing crops to feed to animals. During California’s drought, watering one’s private vegetable garden in some places was illegal, while it remained permissible to grow alfalfa, which is one of the thirstiest crops, and is grown only to feed animals, all over California – with much of it being shipped to China and to feed Midwestern “grass-fed” cows. Meanwhile an enormous body of science suggests meat, dairy and eggs are unnecessary for health and that populations consuming the most animal protein, have increased incidences of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, impotence, osteoporosis and many cancers.
Most people can see that animals have complex emotional capacities and suffer immensely from injury, loss of freedom, having their babies taken from them or sensing they are about to be killed – just like us. Most people agree it is wrong to cause harm to an animal for reasons other than our survival, yet here in America, it is not only unnecessary for us to exploit animals to live, doing so is now placing the human population at risk, via climate change, freshwater depletion, biodiversity loss, and the chronic diseases eating animals promotes.
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