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What’s your beef?
Of all the lifestyle changes we can make, why not make one which will not only benefit you but also other people, animals, the environment, in other words our whole planet.
Often seen as extreme, going vegetarian or vegan is the one thing you can do which really makes a difference. How though? How can becoming plant-based and cruelty-free make a difference.
Animals are sentient beings, they feel emotions just as we do. They feel pain, frustration and fear. They also feel comfort, contentment and love. We have been raised to love our cats, dogs, birds etc. but have been conditioned to accept cows, pigs, chickens, rabbits etc. as food. What is the difference really? The truth is there is no difference. The production of meat and dairy exploit these sentient beings and inflict nothing but pain and fear on them.
Paul McCartney once said, ‘If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian’.
We all know that the consumption of red meat and animal fats is directly linked to heart disease, different types of cancer and other life-threatening conditions. Going plant-based drastically reduces, if not eliminates, the incidence of these diseases.
In addition, keeping farm animals healthy is not easy. The conditions in which they are kept promote the spread of disease so animals are injected with antibiotics and other medicines which inevitably end up in our plates to be consumed by us.
Farming is a business and the production of animals for food has been sped up by giving animals growth hormones for a quicker turnover. These too end up being consumed by us with negative consequences to our health.
Intensive farming needs a lot of land and water. In order to do this, we are reducing natural habitats and driving other species to extinction.
Intensive farming generates immense amounts of C02, therefore, is one of the world’s greatest pollutants which contribute to the exacerbation of climate change.
So, if you become vegetarian or vegan you stop contributing to animal cruelty, your health benefits from a cleaner diet and our environment will continue to thrive.
Many are not sure about this and worry about not having enough protein or key vitamins such a B12 or Omega 3. There’s nothing to worry about though, it is all a question of education. It is foolish to believe that an animal is defined by one chemical. Learn how plants can provide you with all the sustenance you need for a healthy, cruel-free life. And it is so easy to do. There are many campaigns you can subscribe to which offer you an amazing amount of information and support. Veganuary, www.uk.veganuary.com is probably one of the better-known international campaigns. Malta is doing its bit too. This week is the Meat-Free Week Challenge, www.maltameatfreeweek.com
During these campaigns you can sign up and pledge your support to going meat-free. The aim is to encourage as many people as possible to try it and see that it is not so hard after all and the little sacrifice you make is well-worth it for yourself, your loved ones and our planet.
If you give up meat for a weak you roughly save the lives of 7.5 animals, 31.2285 litres of water, 68.25 kg of CO2 and 21 m2 of forest. Just imagine what you could save in a month or a year and imagine the impact when the number of people who choose to go meat-free doubles or triples.
Remember, nature doesn’t need people, but people need nature. In a world where you can be anything, be kind.
Focus on Fluency
- What’s your beef? Informal, used to ask someone what the problem is or why they are upset
- Vegetarian (noun) a person who does not eat meat or fish
- Vegan (noun) a person who does not eat or use any food or products which come from animals
- Plant-based (adjective) a diet which is primarily or completely mad up of vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts, seeds, wholegrains, oils and pulses
- Cruelty-free (adjective) used to describe products which are made without harming or exploiting animals
- Sentient (adjective) the ability to feel and experience emotions
- Slaughterhouse (noun) a place where animals are killed for food
- Life-threatening (adjective) something which can cause death
- Incidence (noun) the rate or frequency at which something happens
- Promote (verb) encourage, make possible
- Consequences (noun) something which happens as a result of something else, often used in negative contexts
- Turnover (noun) in business, the amount of money a company makes
- Intensive farming (noun) farming of crops and animals with high levels of production per cubic unit of land
- Extinction (noun) coming to an end/ dying out, often used for species of animals
- Pollutants (noun) harmful substances which contaminate and harm water, air, land etc.
- Exacerbation (noun) the process of making a bad situation or problem worse
- Immense (adjective) extremely large especially in scale or degree
- Sustenance (noun) food and drink which provides nutrition and is a source of health and strength
- Campaign (noun) an organised course of action to achieve success in a goal or objective
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