Don't Go Lean, Go Green

The Importance of a Vegetarian Diet by Ms. Doering

When people hear the word "vegetarian," most people automatically envision either an earth-loving hippie or a new age hipster complete with skinny jeans, a beanie, and a starbucks latte. These same people are the ones who are beckoned by a McDonald's sign to enjoy a juicy, ninety-nine cent, artery-clogging double cheeseburger. Those who give into those golden arches are injesting not only unnecessary meat, but unknowingly adding to the destruction of this planet; however, those "hippies" and "hipsters" who are scoffed at are one step closer to saving it.

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With a pair of golden arches off of every highway exit it is no wonder that the meat industry strives to maximize its output while of course, minimizing its cost. Since 1950 there has been a fifty percent increase in the demand for meat. To deal with America’s meat addiction while still making a buck in the process the meat industry has cut corners.

Every single slaughterhouse worker interviewed by Gail Eisnitz, chief investigator for the Humane farming association, admitted to abusing animals or neglecting to report those who did (Barnouin 69). Farm animals are no less intelligent then a man’s best friend, his dog. They are no less capable of feeling pain either, yet we violently shackle them upside down and listen to them screech. You can stop the horrendous lives these animals lead by simply picking a salad instead of a greasy pile of cow flesh.

A 2006 United Nations report summarized the devastation caused by the meat industry calling it “one of the most significant contributors to the most serious environment problems at every level from local to global” (“Meat and the Environment,” par. 1).
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