The meat industry has created major issues for the population of the United States and the world altogether. Vegetarians live a much longer, enjoyable life as their antioxidant filled diets keep them mentally and physically healthy. Those that choose to consume animals are automatically put at a much higher risk of death from poor diet related illnesses. The American debt and famine levels continue to raise as mass amounts of money and grain are used in livestock raising. Switching to a vegetarian diet could ultimately save lives. Meat consumption is not only destroying the bodies of omnivores, but also ruining the environment. All of the Earth is being affected by livestock raising through chemical pollution and mass land wasting. America occupies a large portion of the contribution to pollution as the standard diet consists mainly of meat. America must convert to a vegetarian based society in order to save the population and the land it occupies. Changing to a meatless diet will decrease the amount of citizens that suffer from health problems created by saturated foods.
Vegetarians live much healthier lives because they are at low risk of developing fatal illnesses from their diet choices. Many of the top death causes in America are related to the large consumption of meat in the average person’s food selections. The number one killer is cardiovascular disease, or heart disease, which researchers blame the standard American diet for causing. Today, one in four meat-eating males will develop heart disease with around 50% of them actually dying from it (Knaresboro). About one in sixteen of meat-eating women get heart disease with less than 47% passing away (Knaresboro). Even children as young as age three raised on the standard american diet show signs of developing heart disease early in life (Knaresboro). If these people choose to go vegetarian, their chance of death from cardiovascular disease drops to 15% (Knaresboro). The second leading cause of death in America is cancer. Many forms such as breast, colon, prostate, and skin cancers are linked to meat consumption (Dworkin 90). A meatless diet reduces the risk of developing cancer up to 30% (Dworkin 90). This is because a vegetarian’s immune system is more efficient in killing off tumor cells from the abundance of antioxidants they eat everyday. The seventh top killer amongst Americans is diabetes, which is also linked to saturated meats. Excluding all forms of meat will cut the chance of developing type two diabetes in half from 34% to 16% (Knaresboro). Meat makes the body’s blood sugar levels spike rapidly which lowers the production of insulin.Without meat, the body will get more vegetables that regulate insulin production lowering the risk of diabetes. Obesity in America has skyrocketed throughout the past decade, especially due to fatty meat intake. Switching to vegetarianism reduces and nearly prevents obesity amongst those on the diet (Dworkin). Their diet is high in vegetable proteins and low in calories making weight gain difficult for the body. Vegetarians live about seven years longer than omnivores because their health risks are so low (Dworkin). The switch to a meatless diet is necessary to save the lives of many Americans that suffer from unhealthy food related illnesses. Not only are vegetarians healthier than omnivores, but they are also found to be much happier and positive.
Eating meat and other animal byproducts is linked to poor mental health. Many signs of mental illnesses and eating disorders are reduced or even prevented by decreasing the intake of meat. This is due to the omega-3 fatty acids found in meats, specifically seafood, that travel through the bloodstream. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid found in meat. DHA has been proven to create negative thoughts, even without the stimulation of sadness from a triggering event (“Vegetarian Diet Lightens Mood” 4). Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 fatty acid found in plant oils. ALA decreases depression and anxiety levels in the human brain (“Vegetarian Diet Lightens Mood” 4). Vegetarians have higher levels of ALA and lower levels of DHA being consumed in their diet that makes them happier. Those that consume the standard American diet have an increase in DHA and a decrease in ALA that produces disconsolate moods. Changing to a vegetarian diet improves mental health and aid in the treating of those with mental illnesses and eating disorders. The availability of necessary resources for one is crucial in the stability of their mental health. With the rise of meat consumption, the population of the country is being harmed from wasted resources.
Many national issues of concern in America are partially to blame for the meat industry. Unfortunately, the country is having a downfall in the population number as many are passing and few are reproducing. Multiple of those deaths are the product of the standard American diet, which is solely based off saturated meats. If the citizens of the United States changed to a vegetarian diet that consumed a vast amount of fruits and vegetables, around 360,000 lives could be saved per year (Whyte). National debt is a rising apprehension that continues to worsen. America spends about $120 billion annually to treat health problems such as heart disease and obesity caused by the ingestion of saturated meat (Dworkin 92). More than $258 billion would be saved a year from meat related processing and health issues if the whole country went vegetarian (Dworkin 92). With 327 million people living in America, a whopping 37 million experience hunger at least once a year (Whyte). Today, 72% of all grain grown in the country is fed to the animals raised to be slaughtered (Rodgers). It takes 15 pounds of grain to get one pound of meat (Engelhart). If that grain was given directly to the people, there would be enough food to feed not just the people of the United States, but the whole world. To raise one single animal, it takes three times their body weight in vegetables, fruits, and grains (Rodgers). So, it would take 1200 pounds of feed to raise a 400 pound cow. Then, after cutting out the bones, fat, and organs there would only be about 160 pounds of edible beef left (Rodgers). These animals will only produce about 13% of the amount of food it took to raise them (Rodgers). This is wasting tons of food that could be eaten by the people of America. Another national concern of climate change and irreversible damage to the environment is greatly caused by livestock raised for slaughter.
America must change to a vegetarian nation in order to save the Earth from the horrors of the meat industry. All of the environment, from the waterways to the grassy land is behind affected one way or another in the livestock raising process. Currently, it takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef when it takes just 25 gallons to produce one pound of wheat (Engelhart). That’s a ratio of 100 pounds of grain to one pound of meat. Not only is this wasteful, but it also contributes to water pollution. Around 60% of American waterways are polluted with nitrates, a chemical, from pesticides and manure used for the raising of livestock (Engelhart). The pollution of waterways is detrimental to the fish population. Eleven out of the fifteen major fishing grounds in America has been reduced by more than half of its fish from the chemicals in the water (Dworkin 92). Precious land is being wasted and demolished through deforestry to provide areas for businesses involved in the meat industry. Livestock raising, processing, and packaging companies take up about a quarter of the planet’s dry land (Engelhart). These businesses are contributing to a considerable percentage of the world’s air pollution. Each year, the factory farms of the nation create about two billion tons of manure that release methane and carbon dioxide gas (Dworkin 91). Trees and other plants are responsible for converting carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, back into oxygen. The deforestation occurring to free land for livestock raising is ruining the Earth’s air quality for good. Without the trees, carbon dioxide will continue to be released into the atmosphere with absolutely no means of stopping this atrocity. As more greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide are produced, climate change continues to worsen. About 26% of worldwide greenhouse gases are from livestock purposes with 18% from raising and 6% from deforestry (Engelhart). That’s far more than 14% emitted by all transportation combined (Engelhart). Climate change would be greatly reduced through the abolishing of livestock purposes. If the United States turns to vegetarianism, the country’s land destruction would be stopped as the environment continues to improve.
It is argued that it may be worse for the environment to be vegetarian than to be an omnivore. This is because there is a concern that much more land would have to be cleared in order to grow crops for all of the population than to just continue with livestock raising (Wallis). However, there would be no need to destroy more land than what has been cleared for livestock. In fact, the amount of land containing animals raised for slaughter could be reduced if America converted to vegetarianism (Whyte). The use of livestock for raising is not only harmful to the planet, it is also inefficient for food production and a waste of land. One acre of land could grow between 30,000 pounds to 50,000 pounds of vegetables (Whyte). In comparison, it takes one acre of land to raise only 250 pounds of meat (Whyte). The use of that wasted land for the growth of vegetables would be much more efficient. Food would be even more abundant and affordable for the citizens of America. Then, it is argued whether or not animals would be pushed out of their environments or even killed with the use of land for crops (Wallis). There would be no need to remove animals from their environments as no more land would be occupied. Since the amount of land used by farms would be reduced, animals could be given back land for their habitats. The amount of animals killed would be lowered as America removes the farms in which they are slaughtered on a daily basis. No animals would face death through deforestry because a portion of land will be freed and restored of all human destruction. Protecting animal populations and is important in the conservation of the planet. Therefore, converting to a vegetarian nation would be much more beneficial to the people and other creatures that dwell in their surroundings .
America must change to vegetarianism to promote high quality health for the citizens and the environment they live in. A meatless diet reduces the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Avoiding these illnesses makes vegetarians live up to seven years longer than the average omnivore. Mental health is significantly improved when one chooses to cut out meat from the gaining of alpha-linolenic acid found in plant oils and the lowering docosahexaenoic acid levels from meats. The meat industry contributes to multiple national concerns. Switching to a meatless diet could save lives from those suffering of meat related diseases and reduce national debt from the elimination of treating these health concerns. Hunger would be prevented as crop growth produces more food efficiently. The Earth is slowly being destroyed from the raising of livestock. A quarter of its dry land is being occupied by factory farms that produce greenhouse gases. Over half of America’s waterways are filled with chemicals from livestock raising that have wiped out a majority of the fish population. Switching from animal farms to crop gardens would decrease the amount of land used in food production. It would save the lives of many animals forced to be slaughtered by abolishing factory farms and requiring no additional destruction of habitats. America’s conversion to a vegetarian nation must occur in order to prevent the continuous decline of the population’s health and restore the quality of the Earth’s natural resources.