In a US slaughterhouse a secret video was made by workers (not animal activists) and given to the Washington Post. The tape revealed conscious animals going down the processing line, and an incident where an electric prod was jammed into a steer’s mouth. According to the Post..”More than 20 signed affidavits alleging that the violations shown on the tape were commonplace and that supervisors are aware of them”. In one affidavit, a worker explained,..”I’ve seen thousands and thousands of cows go through the slaughter process alive…The cows can get seven minutes down the line and still be alive. I’ve been in the the side puller where they are still alive. All the hide is stripped out down the neck there.” And when workers who complain are listened to at all, they get fired. Another worker said..”I’ve never seen a (USDA) vet near the knocking pen. Nobody wants to come back there. See, I’m an ex-Marine. The blood and guts don’t bother me, it’s the inhumane treatment. There’s just so much of it.”
Have Humans Adapted to Eating Meat and Does it Even Matter?
It is a question I’ve answered many times on this blog, so I decided it deserved its own post.
From Huffington Post article, Shattering the Meat Myth:
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine President Dr. Neal Barnard says in his book, The Power of Your Plate, in which he explains that “early humans had diets very much like other great apes, which is to say a largely plant-based diet, drawing on foods we can pick with our hands. Research suggests that meat-eating probably began by scavenging—eating the leftovers that carnivores had left behind. However, our bodies have never adapted to it. To this day, meat-eaters have a higher incidence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other problems.”
There is no more authoritative source on anthropological issues than paleontologist Dr. Richard Leakey, who explains what anyone who has taken an introductory physiology course might have discerned intuitively—that humans are herbivores. Leakey notes that “[y]ou can’t tear flesh by hand, you can’t tear hide by hand…. We wouldn’t have been able to deal with food source that required those large canines” (although we have teeth that are called “canines,” they bear little resemblance to the canines of carnivores).
In fact, our hands are perfect for grabbing and picking fruits and vegetables. Similarly, like the intestines of other herbivores, ours are very long (carnivores have short intestines so they can quickly get rid of all that rotting flesh they eat). We don’t have sharp claws to seize and hold down prey. And most of us (hopefully) lack the instinct that would drive us to chase and then kill animals and devour their raw carcasses. Dr. Milton Mills builds on these points and offers dozens more in his essay, “A Comparative Anatomy of Eating.”
The point is this: Thousands of years ago when we were hunter-gatherers, we may have needed a bit of meat in our diets in times of scarcity, but we don’t need it now. Says Dr. William C. Roberts, editor of the American Journal of Cardiology, “Although we think we are, and we act as if we are, human beings are not natural carnivores. When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us, because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.”
If humans were “designed” to eat meat, why is it that most of our leading causes of death are directly linked to the ingestion of animal proteins (yes, even when it’s organic, boiled and skinless)? Why are vegans generally healthier and live longer lives? Doesn’t sound like our bodies have adapted too well to these products yet, if they’re still killing us. I’ve never heard of a lion with high cholesterol, after all.
Here’s a chart of our anatomy, compared to other animals:
Noting the similarities, I think it’s safe to conclude that we have indeed developed to be herbivores (specifically, frugivores).
But does any of our evolutionary background even matter in terms of modern-day veganism? I would say no. Since it is apparent that humans can thrive on a plant-based diet, it seems entirely irrelevant what we may have adapted to eating in the past.
So the question isn’t ‘is meat healthy’? (it isn’t) or ‘did our ancestors eat meat’? (they didn’t) or ‘do our bodies align with meat-eaters’? (they don’t). The question is ‘if we can live long, healthy lives without animal products (we can), why do we continue to exploit and abuse sentient, feeling beings?’ The answer is in the hands of carnists because I can’t see any way to justify it. Maybe they think “humane" meat is better, but if the whole process of breeding, enslaving, and killing animals is unnecessary (and actually, very unhealthy) how can we defend it at all?
Paranormal investigations can often be intrusive to the dead. Especially when they are having sexy time.
put this sticker on my ass
You can’t call yourself an avid environmentalist and be non-vegan:
- The consumption of animal products contributes to more than one-quarter of the water footprint of humanity
- More than 12,000 liters of water are used to produce 1 kilogram of beef while it’s only 850 liters per kilogram of wheat
- The leading source of deforestation is animal agriculture - up to 80% of all deforestation can be attributed to it
- The most prominent source of CO2 emissions - more than every type of transportation combined - is animal agriculture
- Dairy cattle, pigs, chickens and other farm animals play a huge role in severe land and water degradation
- It takes 16 lbs of grain to produce 1 lb of meat, with more than 70% of the grains and cereals grown in the U.S. going to feed animals
- Grass-fed, free-range beef is actually more damaging for the environment
- Over 85% of the world’s soybean crops are used for livestock rather than human consumption
- Giving up animal products is more environmentally efficient than basically any “eco-friendly” act you can think of
- Factory farms are destroying our air quality
- It takes about 14 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce one calorie of milk protein on a conventional farm. By comparison, it takes about 0.26 calories of fossil fuel to make a calorie of organic soybeans.
Take the United Nations’ advice and go vegan.
Boycotting things that are produced unethically is completely impossible in a capitalist society. Doing so is mostly an adorable waste of time that serves more to make the boycotter feel better about themselves, and superior to others. It does absolutely nothing to deal with the root sources of any problem.
It is not impossible to boycott unethically produced things. You can always buy fair trade sugar over unethically produced sugar. You can always stop buying something entirely if there is no ethical way to produce it(such as with meat).
Of course boycotting doesn’t deal with the root source of the problem, but you’re also not personally giving your financial support to the problem. This nihilistic type of attitude does far less to change anything than boycotting ever does.
Samurai Jack laying down the realness.
Stop supporting the exploitation of animals; go vegan.
If you’re ever appalled by a fictional account of this kind of exploitation, you really need to take a closer look at the way we treat animals on a massive scale every single day. Most of the time, reality will probably be more fucked up than the fiction.