I Am a Vegetarian
By Seema, age 14, California
I would like to start off by saying that I am not trying to impose my views on anyone. I am not trying to force everyone to become a vegetarian. I just want to get the word out that animals are tremendously mistreated and explain the facts about vegetarianism.
Did you know that 10 billion land animals and 10 billion sea animals are killed every year in the United States for food? Did you know 300 million laying hens and 250 million turkeys are murdered for the sole purpose of eating? I strongly believe in vegetarianism, not only for the sake of animals, but also to save our environment. The animal industry is not only killing our animals but also our environment. Not only is nearly half the water and eighty percent of agricultural land in the U.S. used to raise animals, but U.S. animals are fed more than seventy percent of the wheat, corn, and other grains we grow. Meat is taking a huge toll on our supply of fuel and other non-renewable sources.
Animals are tremendously mistreated and tortured at many of the slaughterhouses. In a PETA investigative video about the slaughterhouses of a KFC supplier, workers were shown throwing the chickens against walls, stepping on them, and brutally murdering them by hanging them upside down, slitting their throats while they were conscious, then feathering them by putting them in scorching hot water while most were still alive. And there is your popcorn chicken ...
Pigs are just as mistreated as chickens. As piglets they are taken away from their parents and have their tails and teeth ripped out without any pain relief. Then for the rest of their lives they're confined to filthy small cages where workers sometimes abuse them.
There is no right reason for killing animals. We love our pets; we treat them with compassion, so why not treat all animals with compassion? Animals feel pain just as we do. They want to live just like we do, so why kill them? There is no answer that can be justified.
People will say that humans are animals, therefore instinctively we eat other animals. But we are far from that primitive stage. We are in the 21st century and have other options instead of murdering animals. We have hundreds of products that can substitute for meat with just as much protein, for example, cheese and tofu.
Vegetarians are generally healthier people. The death rate from chronic disease is about half of the general population. Vegetarians also live one-and-a-half to two years longer. There is a lower risk for heart disease and cancer. Vegetarians tend to be thinner than non-vegetarians. Obesity in vegetarians is exactly half of non-vegetarians, since they intake less animal fat and instead more vegetables and fiber.
We see animals being killed every day. We see dead animals every day on our dinner plates. But we can make a difference. By becoming a vegetarian we save our planet and our animals. Meat is truly murder.