[MSU State News - opinion]
Do you know what you're eating?
Imagine living a life in which you are constantly pumped full of drugs
and in total darkness and isolation from the outside world. No, I'm
not talking about President George W. Bush; I'm talking about the
billions of animals slaughtered every year in cruel factory farms,
where crude mutilation, brutal beatings and being scalded alive are
Today's livestock production is not the nostalgic "mom and pop" farms
we typically imagine. Family-owned farms where animals roam in
pastures comprise less than 2 percent of total livestock output. The
rest are what are commonly referred to as "factory farms" -- corporate
processing facilities where animals are treated as products instead of
living creatures capable of suffering. Animals are treated in such a
way as to ensure profitability, with no regard for their well-being as
The protein in meat so dogmatically worshipped, especially by
bodybuilders, is just as accessible and in many other ways when
derived from meatless substances, such as beans, nuts, lentils and
whole grains. At 155 pounds, I am not a big guy, but my personal
record on the bench press is 240 pounds, all without dairy, eggs or
meat. That's nothing when compared with vegan bodybuilders like Mike
Mahler, but it's still proof that vegetarians are just as capable, if
not more capable athletes.
Call yourself an environmentalist? If you really want to be resource
conscious, consider that 80 percent of all agricultural land and just
less than half of all water procured in the United States is used to
feed livestock, not humans. The vast majority of the caloric energy
put into animals for feeding is lost simply by the animal living its
life, no matter how cramped and immobile it may be. It would be
tremendously more efficient to simply eat cultivated plants.
Perhaps the best part about being vegan or vegetarian is that it has
never been easier. There are vegan products for everything you could
possibly imagine -- from black-bean burgers to soy ice cream -- all of
which are a lot healthier than their traditional counterparts.
It's impossible to live your life without causing any pain at all --
just ask an MSU parking enforcer. But for your health, for the
environment and for the animals, try taking meat off your plate. For
everything you want to know about being vegetarian and to see how sexy
it is to be one, visit linkwww.goveg.com.
Drew Winter is an MSU journalism and English junior. He is running for
"Sexiest Vegetarian" at www.goveg.com.
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.