Raw? Vegan? Vegetarian? Lacto-Ovo? Pescatarian? Mediterranean? There have been so many diets promoted in natural health circles in America over the last decades. It seems they all have various benefits. And the one thing most have in common is the avoidance of consuming of cows and pigs.
Red meat and pork have no known health benefits. The animals are treated brutally and killed in a gruesome bloodbath that is easy to ignore because so few have witnessed our fellow mammals’ slaughter. Those who are employed to do the dirty work get very low wages and often incur injuries because of the size and weight of the animals and the speed of the work. It is very difficult to watch. Even when Cargill, one of the largest meat processing companies in the nation, allowed Oprah Winfrey into a couple of sanitized areas of a processing plant, they did not allow her cameras to film a cow being killed. Out of sight means out of mind.
We are very fortunate that there are so many other things to eat! This meat can feel energizing because of all the adrenaline in the animal when it is killed, and there is iron in blood and flesh, but there is also iron in spinach, dried fruit, and lentils. There is a tradition of the hunt and the roast, and this holds a special allure and place in our hearts. However, when you realize that is far from how the animals get to our plates nowadays, the romanticized vision vanishes.
One hamburger can contain up to 100 different cows. The US kills 35 million cows a year, and 13,200 pigs an hour. That is a lot of bloodshed, death, and killing. What would our country be like if that stopped? Our cardiovascular health would improve, as would our regularity. Less suffering for the animals coincides with less suffering for humanity.
If you would like to see what really goes on behind the closed doors of the slaughterhouse, it is a great motivator for change, although very sad to watch:
These videos have a louder volume, so you may wish to mute (this also makes them more bearable to watch):
This was filmed at Agriprocessors which was the largest (Glatt) Kosher meat producer in the United States, and the only one authorized by Israel’s Orthodox Rabbinate to export beef to Israel, before it was shut down in 2008 by inspectors (best to mute):
Thank you for being willing to read this, and watching some of the videos. I know it is very difficult to consider this topic because for so long we have been removed from the reality of it and since we were children we were taught to eat a certain way. Make sure to be gentle with yourself and go slowly when making changes in eating habits. Perhaps begin with a “meatless Monday.”
This film describes the positive environmental impacts that forgoing meat just one day a week can make:
For a well done documentary about one man’s journey with this issue, watch this clip:
Another inspiring story with regards to getting back to a plant-based diet is that of Dave the trucker. He was dying when he decided he had to tackle this problem head on:
Even the Mayo Clinic recommends “meatless meals”:
Recent articles in the LA Times and the Huffington Post lend weight to this conclusion:
Because of all the droughts we have been having in the US, the cattle are starving, and the herds are shrinking:
Cows are very gentle creatures. There is no skill or chase in hunting them. They are docile pacifists who give their milk and eat grass. They hurt no one, and do not deserve this torture. Pigs frolic and forage, are as sociable and intelligent as dogs, and genetically are surprisingly similar to humans (more so than any other domesticated animal):
The slaughter house is like hell on earth. It is time for the madness to end. It does not have to be this way. Humans have freedom of choice, and when we know better, we do better. And when we learn, we care.
These items can function in place of meats in traditional American recipes when needed, they’re pretty tasty, and the most popular ones are available at supermarkets:
I had a great experience when I asked my supermarket to carry a natural product they did not already have, and they now stock it in the store – thank you Vons!
If you are taking medications or have had surgery, please consult your doctor before making any changes in your diet and only undertake such changes under her/his supervision and monitoring. This is because dietary changes can lessen the need for certain medications. Also, listen to your body – if you need red meat, eat it. If you can avoid it when possible, and still feel good, please do. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as medical advice.
New evidence has shown that a “hot spot” could cause sea levels on the eastern seaboard of the US to advance faster than the projected global average. This increase is attributed to a change in the North Atlantic current, which scientist say is warming and as a result slowing down.
The affected are stretches over 600 miles, from North Carolina all the way to northern Massachusetts. In a study conducted by the USGS, global sea levels have risen between 0.6 and one millimeter per year since 1990, but levels along this portion of the eastern seaboard have gone up 3.7 millimeters in some areas- four times the global average. You may be thinking that this is such a small rise, how could it possibly affect things? Over a few years, yes, the difference may be fairly negligible, but over several decades the change adds up. This rise happens not just at a quicker rate, but at a more rapid pace, like a car on a highway “jamming on the accelerator,” says the study’s lead author, Asbury Sallenger Jr., an oceanographer at USGS. He has observed sea levels since the 1950′s, and noticed a change beginning in 1990.
By the year 2100 global sea levels are anticipated to rise more than a meter, the added increase caused by this “hot spot” could add almost an extra foot of water on top of that. “Extreme water levels that happen during winter or tropical storms, perhaps once or twice a year, may happen more frequently as sea level rise is added to storm surge,” says Karen Doran, co-author of the USGS study. This will undoubtedly cause many large population centers below this new waterline more than a little trouble in the coming decades. The number of people living in New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia, just to name a few of the cities that will likely be affected—and their likely exit from the area before, during or after the floods—poses a real problem. Where are all of these people going to go? New York City alone has over 8 million people. That’s more than a serious traffic jam; it’s an exodus, a migration of mass proportions.
Regardless if you are for or against the argument that man has caused global warming, the simple fact is that the world as we know it is getting hotter. We cannot ignore the reality that sea levels and climate as a whole are going through a major transition-nor the fact that this is a part of normal Earth function. Our planet constantly ebbs and flows between warm and cool periods- and as a result wet and dry periods. More water is locked up in ice during the cooler periods, resulting in lower sea levels, while during warmer periods more water is in liquid form, causing sea levels to rise.
Whether we are speeding up the process, all of this is part of the Earth’s natural cycles. As a species we have even experienced it before- though this was thousands of years ago and little of our ancestor’s accounts of such phenomenon and how they dealt with them remain for us to study. But many cultures share in common a flood story of some type, where in the earth is inundated by massive floods that wipe much of the earth clean of life— or at the least dramatically change the landscape.
Are we in for another flood? Scientists think so, but not on the order of world-ending myths so common to many ancient cultures. No need to rush out to your local hardware store and start construction on an ark. That being said, many cities and countries might want to take some preventative measures.
Immediate or not, we need to start to think outside of the box as to how we will deal with climate change, and building over water is one alternative to trying to divert it. This may be one of many answers to increased sea levels that seemingly every scientist agrees are in our future, the time to argue over the existence of global warming has come and gone. The time to take action is now and the sooner we prepare, the less the effects will be felt by future generations.
By Will Inglis