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Quotes About Beef

HEALTH

  "If you step back and look at the data, the optimum amount of red meat you eat should be zero."
     -- Walter Willett, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital, director of a study that found a close correlation between red meat consumption and colon cancer.

"Usually, the first thing a country does in the course of economic development is to introduce a lot of livestock. Our data are showing that this is not a very smart move and the Chinese are listening. They are realizing that animal-based agriculture is not the way to go.... We are basically a vegetarian species and should be eating a wide variety of plant food and minimizing our intake of animal foods....

  "Once people start introducing animal products into their diet, that's when the mischief starts."
    -- T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., of Cornell University, director of a study of 6,500 Chinese that found a close correlation between meat consumption and the incidence of heart disease and cancer.

  "The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of real food for real people, you'd better live real close to a real good hospital."
     -- Neal D. Barnard, M.D., President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, D.C.

  "When we kill the animals to eat them, they end up killing us because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings."
     -- William C. Roberts, M.D., editor of The American Journal of Cardiology

  "All red meat contains saturated fat. There is no such thing as truly lean meat. Trimming away the edge ring of fat around a steak really does not lower the fat content significantly. People who have red meat (trimmed or untrimmed) as a regular feature of their diets suffer in far greater numbers from heart attacks and strokes."
     -- Michael Klaper, M.D., Medical Director, EarthSave Foundation, Santa Cruz, California

"The thousands of people who have suffered food poisoning after eating beef will, no doubt, appreciate that their beef was aesthetically acceptable, even though it made them ill. Lovely to look at, dangerous to eat is not a standard that is likely to help beef sales."
     -- Carol Tucker Foreman, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture during the Carter administration, commenting on the inadequacy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Streamlined (Meat) Inspection System (SIS).

  "As happened with tobacco, health warnings about meat eating are multiplying, and awareness of the environmental effects of meat production is rising. Just as cigarettes lost their allure, meat is losing its social cachet in some countries. Food marketers in the United Kingdom estimate that 2 million people in that country are strict vegetarians. More important, the number of people limiting meat in their diets is rising rapidly. An estimated 6 million people in the United Kingdom dine on meatless meals most of the time."
     -- Alan B. Durning and Holly B. Brough, in Taking Stock: Animal Farming and the Environment, Worldwatch Institute, Washington, D.C., 1991

ENVIRONMENT

  "An alien ecologist observing... Earth might conclude that cattle is the dominant animal species in our biosphere."
     -- David Hamilton Wright, Ph.D., Emory University biologist

  "The impact of countless hooves and mouths over the years has done more to alter the type of vegetation and land forms of the West than all the water projects, strip mines, power plants, freeways, and subdivision developments combined."
     -- Philip Fradkin in Audubon, National Audubon Society, NY, NY

  "Most of the public lands in the West, and especially the Southwest, are what you might call cow burnt. Almost anywhere and everywhere you go in the American West you find hordes of [cows].... They are a pest and a plague. They pollute our springs and streams and rivers. They infest our canyons, valleys, meadows, and forests. They graze off the native bluestems and grama and bunch grasses, leaving behind jungles of prickly pear. They trample down the native forbs and shrubs and cacti. They spread the exotic cheatgrass, the Russian thistle, and the crested wheat grass. Weeds. Even when the cattle are not physically present, you see the dung and the flies and the mud and the dust and the general destruction. If you don't see it, you'll smell it. The whole American West stinks of cattle."
     -- The late Edward Abbey, conservationist and author, in a speech before cattlemen at the University of Montana in 1985

  "You can buy the land out there now for the same price as a couple of bottles of beer per acre. When you've got half a million acres and 20,000 head of cattle, you can leave the lousy place and go live in Paris, Hawaii, Switzerland, or anywhere you choose."
     -- American rancher who owns grazing land in the Amazon, describing the attitude of cattle colonists in the Brazilian rain forest

  "We got hooked on grain-fed meat just as we got hooked on gas guzzling automobiles. Big cars made sense only when oil was cheap; grain-fed meat makes sense only because the true costs of producing it are not counted."
     -- Frances Moore Lappe', in "Diet for a Small Planet"

  "A reduction in beef and other meat consumption is the most potent single act you can take to halt the destruction of our environment and preserve our natural resources. Our choices do matter. What's healthiest for each of us personally is also healthiest for the life support system of our precious, but wounded planet."
     -- John Robbins, author of "Diet for a New America", and President, EarthSave Foundation, Santa Cruz, California

HUNGER AND POVERTY

  "It seems disingenuous for the intellectual elite of the first world to dwell on the subject of too many babies being born in the second- and third-world nations while virtually ignoring the over-population of cattle and the realities of a food chain that robs the poor of sustenance to feed the rich a steady diet of grain-fed meat."
     -- Jeremy Rifkin, author of "Beyond Beef, The Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture", and President of the Greenhouse Crisis Foundation, Washington, D.C.

  "A meat-fed world now appears a chimera. World grain production has grown more slowly than population since 1984, and farmers lack new methods for repeating the gains of the green revolution. Supporting the world's current population of 5.4 billion people on an American-style diet would require two-and-a-half times as much grain as the world's farmers produce for all purposes. A future world of 8 billion to 14 billion people eating the American ration of 220 grams of grain-fed meat a day can be nothing but a flight of fancy."
     -- Alan B. Durning and Holly Brough, Worldwatch Institute, Washington, D.C.

  "There can be no question that more hunger can be alleviated with a given quantity of grain by completely eliminating animals [from the food production process]. About 2,000 pounds of concentrates [grains] must be supplied to livestock in order to produce enough meat and other livestock products to support a person for a year, whereas 400 pounds of grain (corn, wheat, rice, soybeans, etc.) eaten directly will support a person for a year. Thus, a given quantity of grain eaten directly will feed 5 times as many people as it will if it is first fed to livestock and then is eaten indirectly by humans in the form of livestock products...."
     -- M. E. Ensminger, Ph.D., internationally recognized animal agriculture specialist, former Department of Animal Science Chairman at Washington State University, currently President of Consultants-Agriservices, Clovis, California

  "Changing eating habits in the North is an important link in the chain of events needed to create environmentally sustainable development that meets people's needs. The Beyond Beef campaign is an important step in that direction."
     -- Dr. Walden Bello, Executive Director, Food First/The Institute for Food and Development Policy, San Francisco, California

  "Suppose food were distributed equally. If everyone in the world ate as Americans do, less than half the present world population could be fed on the record harvests of 1985 and 1986. Of course, everyone doesn't have to eat like Americans. About a third of the world grain harvest -- the staples of the human feeding base -- is fed to animals to produce eggs, milk, and meat for American-style diets. Wouldn't feeding that grain directly to people solve the problem? If everyone were willing to eat an essentially vegetarian diet, that additional grain would allow perhaps a billion more people to be fed with 1986 production."
     -- Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich, authors of "The Population Explosion", 1990

  "Family farmers are victims of public policy that gives preference to feeding animals over feeding people. This has encouraged the cheap grain policy of this nation and has made the Beef Cartel the biggest hog at the trough."
     -- Howard Lyman, Executive Director, Beyond Beef campaign, former senior lobbyist for the National Farmers Union

ANIMAL SUFFERING

  "In my opinion, one of the greatest animal-welfare problems is the physical abuse of livestock during transportation.... Typical abuses I have witnessed with alarming frequency are; hitting, beating, use of badly maintained trucks, jabbing of short objects into animals, and deliberate cruelty."
    -- Temple Grandin, Ph.D., internationally recognized livestock handling consultant and board member of the meat industry's Livestock Conservation Institute

  "For most humans, especially for those in modern urban and suburban communities, the most direct form of contact with nonhuman animals is at meal time: we eat them.... The use and abuse of animals raised for food far exceeds, in sheer numbers of animals affected, any other kind of mistreatment."
     -- Peter Singer, author of "Animal Liberation", and professor of philosophy at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

  "The amount of meat lost each year through careless handling and brutality would be enough to feed a million Americans for a year."
     -- John McFarlane, Executive Director, The Council for Livestock Protection, a meat industry organization

  "I know, in my soul, that to eat a creature who is raised to be eaten, and who never has a chance to be a real being, is unhealthy. It's like...you're just eating misery. You're eating a bitter life."
     -- Alice Walker, author and poet

  "In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people."
     -- Ruth Harrison, author of "Animal Machines"

   "Yet saddest of all fates, surely, is to have lost that sense of the holiness of life altogether; that we commit the blasphemy of bringing thousands of lives to a cruel and terrifying death or of making those lives a living death -- and feel nothing."
     -- The Right Reverend John Austin Baker, Bishop of Salisbury, England, commenting on the cruelty of modern animal agriculture

  "You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity."
     -- Ralph Waldo Emerson in "Fate"

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