The 19th century was the birth date to one of the largest most sickening industries to ever know existence in the world, and that industry, built upon the pain and suffering of animals and the environmental degradation of our earth, is known as large scale factory farming. Although long before corporations raised the walls and started the grinders for their slaughterhouses a philosophical question existed, the question of whether or not it is ethical to eat meat. Today in 2015 with more than 10 million animals sent to the slaughter last year that brings us to the harsh reality of what the agricultural-industrial complex means for us. Eating meat, and the meat industry itself is not only destroying the earth and its natural resources, but also helps perpetuate a system of desensitization to the brutal death and horrid living conditions of millions of animals.
The meat industry, and its current production method of factory farming, is currently leading in carbon emission and is one the largest contributors to the ever increasing threat of climate change. John Vidal in “10 Ways Vegetarianism Can Help Save The Planet” helps us crunch the numbers to determine just how large this problem is. According to Vidal, when we account for all aspects that the meat industry encompasses, such as transportation, animal crops, pumping water, refrigeration, heating, and many other factors, the total amount of emission towards climate change is upwards of 50%. When we compare these emissions with that of other industries such as vegetables, the difference is astronomical. According to sources such as www.vegetableclimate.com, emissions from the vegetable industry are under 1%. A startling point that Vidal makes is that it w...
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...a. Now these areas must rely more heavily on livestock and imported goods. These truths only further reinforce that wealthy people really have no excuses for still consuming meat, and that we must be careful with the concept of meat ethics, for it lies on a slippery slope to classism.
The ugly truth about the meat industry is one that many in their daily lives try to ignore, and with that, we only see the problem swell in size. Efforts to reform the meat industry, while commendable, simply cannot accomplish what one person can do with a fork. Realistically if we don’t start using our forks to help end this problem soon, not only will more animals suffer, but so will humans. Climate change and the morbid plight of domesticated livestock are real threats to not only our civilizations, but our humanity as well. Today, meat may be king, but it is certainly not ethical.
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