Reasons to go Vegetarian

51.
About a decade ago, the U.S. government began formulating updated rules for manure management on the nation's confined animal feeding operations. The rules, which now regulate only 40 percent of the nation's largest feedlots, have not only been ridiculously overdue in their implementation but have amounted to nothing more than permits to pollute as usual. And the vast majority of the nation's mostly moderate- sized livestock operations are simply urged to follow recommended guidelines voluntarily. In 2004, the EPA granted a sweetheart deal to 130 companies representing thousands of megafeedlots when it allowed them amnesty from the Clean Air Act in exchange for scientific monitoring. In 2009, the Obama administration declared that the so-called cow tax, which would regulate methane, was off the table.

52.
Animal agriculture routinely mutilates farmed animals for its own convenience and often simply out of tradition. Debeaking, branding, castration, ear notching, wing and comb removal, dehorning, teeth clipping, and tail and toe docking are ever-present tasks on today's farm and ranch. Laborers, not veterinarians, perform the surgeries, employing restraint, not anesthesia.

53.
Male chicks are a bothersome expense to the egg producer. Sexers must be hired to pick them out for diversion to expedient deaths. No law protects the baby birds as they are dumped in trash bins to die by crushing, suffocation, starvation, and exposure.

54.
Fish and shellfish farming, or aquaculture, is no less disruptive to the environment than taking fish from the wild. Shoreline pens replace mangroves, the habitats where wild fish would otherwise regenerate. Some farmed species will not breed in captivity, so fish farmers must steal juveniles, who never get a chance to reproduce, from the wild. There are numerous cases where farmed fish have escaped into the wild, corrupting the genetic purity of native species and spreading disease. Large-scale biomass fishing for fishmeal threatens vast ecosystems. Feed-to-flesh ratios soar in some farmed species to 25 to 1. Nitrogenous waste poisons the seabed floor below cages that hold fish in unnatural densities.

55.
Between 1980 and 2004, meat production in the developing world tripled, amounting to well over half of the world's output. Dense concentrations of corralled industrial livestock, which create vast quantities of manure, now skirt the edges of major cities in Asia and Latin America, causing severe environmental damage.

56.
People who eat a lot of fish are increasingly falling victim to the debilitating effects of mercury poisoning. Women, in particular, are putting their babies at risk for irreparable brain damage when they eat seafood high in mercury while pregnant, and even beforehand. According to the EPA, about 630,000 newborns in the United States every year—roughly 15 percent of all— may be exposed to dangerous levels of mercury in the womb.

57.
Hoof-and-mouth disease is rarely fatal for livestock, but it remains a death sentence just the same.When blisters form on hooves and lips, and growth slows because of fever, economics prescribe execution and incineration. In 2001, Great Britain responded to an outbreak by destroying nearly 6million mostly healthy cattle, sheep, and pigs at a cost of [U.S.]$9 billion—to save its export trade. There were actually only 2,030 known cases of the disease. The rest were exterminated to provide buffers to contain the outbreak.

58.
Some years ago a New York Times story featured an Ohio schoolteacher who discovered that a "swirling poison" invaded his home from a nearby hog farm and "robbed him of his memory, his balance, and his ability to work. It left him with mood swings, a stutter, and fistfuls of pills." His diagnosis: irreversible brain damage from hydrogen sulfide gas. But the source of the H2S was half a mile away. Only after visits to 14 different doctors was the cause of his symptoms determined. Surprisingly low levels of the gas will eat the brain over time. Neighbors of industrial hog farms will also experience diarrhea, nosebleeds, earaches, lung burns, chronic sinusitis, asthma, and corroded lungs.

59.
Genetic manipulation has createdmonsters as well as monstrous suffering for farmed animals. Cloning threatens to jack up the misery yet another notch. Its general use is probably a ways off, provided it becomes commercially viable at all. Meanwhile, as the scientists tinker, their cloned creations will suffer from premature deaths and deformities, and the resultant meat and milk are sure to enter the human food supply.

60.
Before 1981, E. coli O157:H7 poisoning didn't exist. Today, the deadly strain infects 80 percent of cattle on America's feedlots. You can blame a change in feed for this. To make the animals grow five times the rate they would on hay, feedlot operators foisted a corn-based diet onto the cattle and provided the perfect environment for O157:H7 to emerge. Now this terrible strain is regularly poisoning our raw vegetables and fruits via cross contamination.

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Reasons to go Vegetarian

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