Eco-Eating: Eating as if the Earth Matters (it does!)

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Eco - Eating

Eating  as  if  the  Earth  Matters

(it  does!)



 Eating meat threatens animal welfare, personal health,

societal safety, food security, biodiversity, and environmental sustainability.


The best way for us to personally protect the animals, our world, and our health every day is to

Go Veg ... that’s Eco-Eating!



“The most political act we do on a daily basis is to eat.”

Jules Pretty



“The human appetite for animal flesh

is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future

deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss,

social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease.”

Editors, World Watch, July/August 2004



The decision to eat veg (vegetarian or vegan) is one of the most vital ways

we can help save our health and our environment every day ...


Get  off  your  good  intentions

and  put  your  beliefs  into  action!



Consider the facts:


Table of Contents:

1. Rainforests

2. Global Warming

3. Fossil Fuels

4. Land

5. Water

6. Waste

7. Factory Farming & Slaughterhouses

8. Fish & Other Sea Animals

9. Health & Disease

10. Economics & Externalities

11. Hunger

12. Protein

13. Calcium

14. Fat, Cholesterol, & Fiber

15. Carbohydrates

16. Enzymes

17. Soy

18. Anti-Oxidants

19. Iron

20. Vitamin B12

21. Weight & Obesity

22. Strength

23. Physiology

24. Allergies

25. Organic Agriculture

26. Violence, Compassion, & Ethics

27. Animals, Intelligence, Emotions, & Rights

28. Vegetarians, Vegans, Flexitarians, & Others

29. Arguments Against Vegetarianism?

30. Making the Switch!

31. Bonus Quotes

32. Links, Links, Links!


                 • 1. Rainforests:                                            

Eating meat contributes to the destruction of rainforests, which are often called the “lungs of our planet” for the way they absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. What we breathe out (carbon dioxide), trees breathe in; what trees breathe out (oxygen), we breathe in. We reciprocally breathe each other into life and continued existence and we are actively destroying that life support. Rainforests are a major source of oxygen for the planet; their survival and our survival are closely linked. Rainforests also provide food, medicine, habitats, beauty, and natural treasures yet to be discovered.

Rainforests are home to about 90% of all plant and animal species on the planet, even though they only cover about 2% of the Earth's surface. The Amazon Rainforest alone holds about 20% of the world’s fresh water and emits about 20% of the world’s oxygen, possessing beauty and sequestering carbon. Every year, gigantic amounts of rainforest, including nearly 20,000 square miles [over 32,000 sq. km.] in the Amazon Rainforest, are lost to deforestation. Within the last 40 years alone, as much as 20% of the Amazon Rainforest has been cleared and 80% of that cleared Amazon land is currently used for grazing over 200 million cattle.

The deforestation of the Amazon has immediate and severe consequences for the life within it. In Brazil alone, there are approximately 460,000 indigenous people living in the Amazon, and 200,000 of these people’s lives are directly threatened by the deforestation of the Amazon the Brazilian government’s failure to protect their rights has left these peoples extremely vulnerable to the effects of deforestation. Beyond Brazil’s indigenous tribes, as many as 30 million people and 350 unique groups live within the Amazon and rely on its resources -- residents of the rainforest’s larger cities are not exempt from being dependent on its natural riches as well. These people’s lives are being jeopardized and their cultures threatened as a result of our “need” to destroy their home. The native Akuntsu tribe, which had inhabited the rainforests of Rondônia, have had their ancestral homes in the rainforest destroyed by deforestation, specifically to make room for cattle ranches. As of 2009, the Akuntsu population has dwindled to a total of 5 people. Within years, the genocide of this tribe, as well as many others such as the Awá, will be complete. The largest of native Amazonian tribes, the Guarani people, has been similarly diminished to 50,000 people. Over the past 100 years, much of their land has been replaced with cattle ranches like the Akuntsu people, the deforestation of their land has severely threatened their future.

In addition to the threat towards the Amazon’s people, the plant and wildlife species of the Amazon have been drastically endangered. Of the thousands of wildlife native to the Amazon, as many as 500 species are severely endangered, and from 36% to as much as 57% of Amazonian trees have been found to likely be qualified as globally endangered. Extinction due to habitat loss, namely deforestation, has been increasing rapidly, and it is projected that as much as 50% of all species may be headed toward extinction by the middle of the century.

Further, underwater “forests” of coral reefs and mangroves are being decimated by “rape-and-run” shrimp farming (exploiting and polluting coastal communities for 2 to 5 years before abandoning them, particularly in Asia and Latin America), commercial fishing, industrial shipping, and other meat and fish-related mega-activities. “About 70 percent of the world’s mangrove forests have disappeared in the last 40 years, due in part to the rise of shrimp aquaculture”, according to an article entitled “Cheap Shrimp, Funded by Human Trafficking and Environmental Destruction”. Thailand alone has lost a whopping 84% of its mangroves, and several other countries, such as Panama and Mexico, have lost similar percentages. Mangrove forests are “the rainforests of the sea” and their destruction has terrible eco-implications mangroves house and produce food for thousands of unique species; filter both fresh and saltwater; and stabilize shorelines against erosion. Several animals are being greatly threatened by the destruction of mangroves, including the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth, Bengal Tiger, and the Sambar Deer. Without the protection of mangroves, the benefits they provide will be lost and our environment, as well as the precious life that relies on their qualities, will suffer.

An estimated 80% of annual world deforestation is related to animal agriculture. While some Amazon rainforest in Brazil is also being cut down for soy fields, much of this (genetically modified) soy is being fed to animals being raised for meat as much as 85% of the world’s production of soy is used for animal feed. As a result of the needs of the beef industry, Brazil, home to a major portion of the Amazon, has risen to the challenge of becoming the largest beef producer in the world, yielding approximately 7 million metric tons of beef each year . The meat production-and-consumption cycle is essentially transforming the world’s precious and mega-biodiverse tropical rainforests into carbon dioxide and cholesterol, thereby increasing disasters on both the personal and planetary levels. “The world is consuming more animal protein than it needs and this is having a devastating effect on wildlife,” said Duncan Williamson, WWF food policy manager. “A staggering 60% of global biodiversity loss is down to the food we eat."

Some extremely deadly viral diseases — including Ebola, Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever, and AIDS — have been called the “revenge of the rainforest”, as they have erupted and spread via the building of roads into forests, paving the way for deforestation and the hunt for bushmeat, especially primates (e.g., chimps), and other amazing animals as well, increasingly threatening many of these animals with extinction. In stark contrast, about 90% of human diseases can be treated using medicines derived from nature many of these treatments, including those for leukemia, are derived from the rainforests, yet only about 1% of rainforest plant species have been tested for medicinal purposes. We are uprooting our potential miracle cures through the hamburgerization of our precious forests.

        Each vegetarian and vegan saves more than an acre (0.4 hectares) of trees every year by abstaining from the average 280 lbs (127 kg) of meat consumption per year, which helps to protect valuable ecosystems, save vanishing species, and maintain precious biodiversity. Your dietary choices make a substantial difference!


“In Central America, 40% of all the rainforests have been cleared or burned down in the last 40 years, mostly for cattle pasture to feed the export marketoften for U.S. beef burgers”.

World Rainforest Report


“In a nutshell, cattle ranchers are making mincemeat

out of Brazil’s Amazon rainforests.”

Center for International Forestry Research


“Raising cattle for beef not only damages the rainforests in Central and South America,

it also impacts the environment closer to home.”

Rainforest Action Network


Return to the Table of Contents


                 • 2. Global Warming:   

            Global warming is a mega-disaster. Climate change is overheating our planet to alarming levels with potentially catastrophic consequences. Evidence suggests that livestock raised for meat is responsible for 51% — a majority! — of greenhouse gases that lead to global warming, according to “Livestock and Global Warming” (pdf), (World Watch, Nov/Dec 2009).

Eating meat increases global warming, one of the most dangerous threats to our planet, at least according to reports by and for Greenpeace, Oxfam, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Pentagon, the World Bank, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the World Meteorological Organization, the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, and a vast number of other scientific, academic, and environmental organizations around the world, political economic analysts, and colleges and universities — and there are no reputable scientific, educational, or environmental organizations and very few peer-reviewed scientific papers that dispute global warming and that humans are causing and contributing to it.

            The Pentagon report, for example, states that climate change in the form of global warming “should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern”, higher even than terrorism, warning of riots and declaring that “future wars will be fought over the issue of survival rather than religion, ideology, or national honor”. The UK’s chief scientific advisor, Sir David King, agrees. “Extreme weather conditions in many parts of the world, including a record 10 typhoons in Japan and the first-ever hurricane in South America [in 2004], are being blamed on global warming”, states the BBC News, as is record hurricane levels, record temperatures, and melting polar ice caps and glaciers. Most of the hottest years on record have been in the last 20 years.

            Further, the world has seen a melting of the polar ice caps, glaciers, and permafrost with potentially disastrous consequences for people, animals, cities, islands, and other coastal communities, as well as arctic areas, which will lead to rising seas, suffering, death, extinction, and the forced dislocation and migration of people and animals. These extreme weather events and other eco-spasms have become more frequent and are projected to multiply with dire consequences for the world.

            Cow farms produce millions of tons of carbon dioxide and methane per year, the two major greenhouse gases which together account for over 90% of US greenhouse emissions, significantly contributing to global scorching (what is euphemistically called global warming). Methane is less abundant that carbon dioxide, and degrades much quicker, but is 23 times more potent. Nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas that accounts for about 6% of global warming, is about 300 times more potent that carbon dioxide. Nitrous oxide is emitted from manure and fertilizer. The effects of the livestock industry on our “warming globe” are strong, undeniable, and disastrous, and yet the place where we can have a major and relatively quick impact and do so on the individual level.

            You can easily reduce your carbon hoofprint and methane mouthprint by eschewing, not chewing, animals.

            Power production, passenger and other vehicles, international shipping, militarism (the U.S. military, for example, is the world’s biggest consumer of oil and the world’s largest polluter), and other major users of fossil fuels are also among the biggest contributors to global warming. Deforestation is a major contributor. Smoking is also a factor and is intimately related to deforestation. Global warming is already having grave effects on our planet and we need to take action as soon as possible. No violence, no war, no warming — we need to increase the peace!

            Meat eaters are contributing to global warming, which is “Another Inconvenient Truth”. It’s Another Inconvenient Truth that switching to a vegan diet can reduce greenhouse gas emissions even more than switching to a hybrid car. Scientific studies (including a major one by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO)) are piling up showing that what one drives, while quite important, is less significant than what one eats. The more narrowly-tailored 2006 UN FAO report concluded that the meat industry accounts for nearly one-fifth (18%) of global warming and is “one of the…most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”. That was an underestimate as it purposefully neglected various factors that go into production and emissions: the livestock industry is the leading cause of anthropogenic global warming and accounts for a majority (51%) of greenhouse gases.

Let’s fight global warming with our forks, knives, spoons, and chopsticks!

                                             meat —> heat

We need to eat lower on the food chain, which many people are doing, because it will safeguard our personal health as well as help protect life on Earth. Vegetarianism/veganism is a “global cooling cuisine” and is the ultimate “low carb(on) diet”. Vegetarians and vegans help keep the planet cool in more ways than one!  Be cool.


“There is a strong link between human diet and methane emissions from livestock.”

United Nations Environment Programme, Unit on Climate Change


“Belching, flatulent livestock emit 16% of the world’s annual production of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.”

State of the World 2004


“The animals we eat emit 21% of all the carbon dioxide that can be attributed to human activity.”

Alan Calverd, Physics World


“The single action that a person can take, an individual can take,

to reduce carbon emissions is vegetarianism…

There are many things that people can do to reduce their carbon emissions, but changing your light bulb and many of the things are much less effective than changing your diet,

because if you eat further down on the food chain rather than animals, which have produced many greenhouse gases, and used much energy in the process of growing that meat,

you can actually make a bigger contribution in that way than just about anything. So, that, in terms of individual action, is perhaps the best thing you can do.”

Dr. James Hansen, NASA Climatologist


“The entire meat cycle is very, very intensive, in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.

I would say go veg, be green and save our planet! ...

The single [biggest] action that a person can take to reduce carbon emissions is vegetarianism.”

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),

2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner along with Al Gore


Return to the Table of Contents


                 • 3. Fossil Fuels:                  


        Eating meat is largely intertwined with our dependence on non-renewable, heavily-polluting fossil fuels, including oil. Oil is an extremely dirty and environmentally-destructive endeavor at every stage, from drilling to shipping to refining to consuming; likewise with coal and gas.

        Producing a single pound (0.45 kg) of beef requires burning up to 40 times more fossil fuels than to produce one pound (0.45 kg) of soybeans. It requires approximately 78 calories of non-renewable fossil fuel for each calorie of protein obtained from factory-farmed beef, but only 2 calories of fossil fuel to produce a calorie of protein from soybeans. In addition to the gap between soybeans and meat, the gap between the energy input in agriculture and the resulting yield is concerning. Though the amount of fossil fuels poured into the agricultural industry has grown substantially since 1945, the consequent crops have grown 25% less than their fuel input, which is inefficient, wasteful, and dirty.

        In the United States, about 17% of all energy is used for food production. With such a high portion of our energy usage devoted to this industry, the sheer inefficiency of agriculture in its production-to-yield ratio is startling, and reflects the growing issue of our enormous fossil fuel use and contribution to “peak oil”. Peak oil refers to the peak in global oil production relative to oil demand and the resulting market, monetary, and other associated issues. Because oil is a finite resource, the price of oil will rise as we gradually run out. International economic issues are a byproduct of our reliance on oil, as countless markets and industries will have to adjust to the sharp rise in oil prices. By consuming more fuel-efficient foods such as vegetables and decreasing our consumption of meat, we can effectively slow the rate at which this energy consumption grows and encourage the social, cultural, and political changes we need to reduce our reliance on these non-renewable fuels.

           Vegetarianism/veganism is important because it helps reduce our dependence on oil and gas, and therefore also our dependence on oily authoritarian governments and imperialist wars, while keeping our environment cleaner and greener.


“Making a hamburger in the global economy consumes a huge amount of fossil fuels.”

“The Humble Hamburger”, World Watch, July/August 2004


Return to the Table of Contents


                 • 4. Land:                  

            Eating meat perpetuates the demand of an industry which takes land away from more productive purposes. Almost 1/2 of U.S. land is used to raise animals for food or for crops to feed these animals about 30% of land in the entire world is used solely for livestock.  As much as half of the world’s grain and about three-quarters of major crops in the U.S. (e.g., corn, wheat, soybeans, oats, alfalfa) is fed to animals destined for slaughter. Meanwhile, about one billion people chronically suffer from hunger and malnutrition and its debilitating effects tens of thousands of hungry people consequently die each day, one every few seconds, and millions of affluent people suffer from the ill effects of overeating and over-consumption, primarily of animal products.

           Further, the leading cause of species threat and extinction in the US and world, according to the GAO, is livestock grazing. We are prioritizing the raising and grazing of animals for the production of meat at the expense of nearly everything else.

           Vegetarians and vegans tread lightly, requiring only 1/6 acre (0.067 hectares) of land to feed themselves each year; omnivores, on the other hand, use 3 1/4 acres (1.315 hectares). Over the past 150 years, over half of the earth’s topsoil, the necessary top layer of biologically-rich soil that makes most plant life possible, has been lost through erosion; 85% of this soil loss was directly caused by the raising of animals for food. The production of every pound (.45 kg) of hamburger also produces the loss of 5 pounds (2 kg) of topsoil. This epidemical soil erosion is linked to increased pollution, flooding risks, and declines in fish populations. Topsoil is a non-renewable resource
it takes up to 500 years to produce a single inch of topsoil! With the rates at which we are currently losing soil, the UN projects there to be critically low and insufficient amounts of soil by the year 2050.

        With the lack of widespread organic farming a method recommended by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization our current livestock and agriculture industry will destroy itself and the precious life that relies on this soil, including ourselves. By reducing our consumption of meat, the rates of our destruction will be slowed, and the damage done by soil degradation may eventually become reversible.

            Vegetarianism and veganism show greater respect for our land by protecting and preserving its richness.


“We could support more people on Earth for a given area of land farmed

if we ate lower on the food chain.”

Patricia Muir, Ph.D., Oregon State University


“The United States is losing approximately 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) of cropland each year due to soil erosion.

It is estimated that 85% of this topsoil loss is directly related to raising livestock.

Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook


“Arable farming either continues to feed the world’s animals

or it continues to feed the world’s people. It cannot do both.”

George Monbiot, The Guardian


Return to the Table of Contents


                 • 5. Water:            

            Water is an absolutely essential resource. Eating meat wastes huge amounts of water, increasingly referred to as “blue gold”. In an effort to conserve increasingly scarce yet completely necessary water, you can install a water saver on your kitchen faucet, saving up to 6,000 gallons (23,000 liters) of water per year. Your savings will be lost, however, if you consume just one pound (0.45 kg) of California beef (which requires about 5,000 gallons (19,000 l) — and as much as 12,000 gallons (45,000 l) — of water per pound to produce).

A typical meat-based diet wastes a tremendous amount of water per person every day, hastening “peak water”, while vegetarian and vegan diets use only a moderate amount. The amount of water used to produce the meat from a single cow is enough to float a large ship. More than half of the water consumed in the U.S. irrigates land to grow feed for livestock. The Ogallala Aquifer beneath the Great Plains of the U.S. and one of the world’s largest stores of fresh groundwater took tens of millions of years to create and is being depleted (and polluted) in decades due to the livestock industry and the crops needed to feed it. It takes about 100 times the amount of water to produce beef as it does to produce wheat.

            The U.S. EPA estimates that about half of America’s surface streams and wells are contaminated by “agricultural pollutants”, including chemicals and feces. Due to the nitrates in manure, nitrates are too often found in drinking water. Oceans are also being heavily polluted, while coral reefs and other marine habitats destroyed.

            Eco-Eaters help protect and conserve this most precious resource.


“More than 4,000 gallons (15,000 liters) of water are needed

to produce a single day’s worth of food for the typical meat eater.

In comparison, an ovo-lacto vegetarian requires only 1,200 gallons (4,500 l) of water,

and a vegan needs a mere 300 gallons (1,135 l).”

Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook


“There is no other single action that is as effective at saving water as eating a plant-based diet.”

John  Robbins, The Food Revolution


Return to the Table of Contents


                 • 6. Waste:                                                                                           

            Eating meat is extremely wasteful, generating dangerous by-products. Each cow produces about 120 pounds (55 kg.) of wet manure every day. Every second, about 125 tons (127,000 kg) of waste are excreted by animals confined in the U.S. meat-industrial complex, creating “mountains of manure” and “open lagoons of liquefied manure”, toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, and other forms of hazardous waste. Livestock account for 2/3 of ammonia release in the U.S., contributing to acid rain and other eco-disasters. “In a single year in [the U.S.]”, says Michael Greger, M.D., “our industrialized animal agriculture’s intensive confinement system produces more than a billion tons of manure - as heavy as 10,000 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers”.  This does not include other waste, including bedding, food waste, medical waste, etc.

The production of meat is very wasteful and disgusting. We’re fouling our own nest. Vegetarians and vegans create less waste because the less meat you eat, the less mess you make.


“Giant livestock farms, which can house hundreds of thousands of pigs, chickens, or cows, produce vast amounts of waste.

In fact, in the U.S., these ‘factory farms’ generate more than 130 times the amount of waste that people do…

[and have] polluted more than 27,000 miles (44,000 km) of rivers and contaminated groundwater in dozens of states.”

Natural Resources Defense Council


“[Factory farms] produce large amounts of waste in small areas.

For example, a single dairy cow produces approximately 120 pounds (54.4 kg) of wet manure per day.

The waste produced per day by one dairy cow is equal to that of 20-40 people.”

Environmental Protection Agency


“At U.S. feedlots and factory farms, more than a trillion pounds of manure are deposited every year.

On that scale and at such concentrations, a perfectly natural substance can become a toxic one.”

Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation


Return to the Table of Contents


              • 7. Factory Farming & Slaughterhouses:                              

            Factory farming, or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), is the industrialization and mass production of raising animals for food. By treating animals as raw material, as commodified “things”, as objects merely for the sake of profit, without regard to the rights or welfare of the animals, workers, consumers, communities, or the environment, cruelty is inherent, disease is widespread, resources are depleted and wasted, workers are demoralized and injured, neighbors are sickened, and various aspects of the environment are seriously degraded. This industry is also notorious for racism, sexism, sexual harassment, and other serious workplace violations.

            Not only are slaughterhouses killing billions of non-human animals, but a slaughterhouse is one of the most dangerous places for human workers too, with very high rates of occupational injuries, including PTSD, and deaths; indeed, the highest of all factory jobs in the US, with about three times the rate of injuries in other occupations.

            Only 4 giant monopolistic corporations control about 80% of the beef market, slaughtering 35 million cows and bulls in the US each year, killing about 250 cattle per hour on bloody dis-assembly lines. Cows are branded, injected with hormones, transported long distances, crowded together, fed unnatural diets, stunned, hung upside down, bled out, and eviscerated, not always in that order. Given the weak state of U.S. law for farm animals, these animals do not even have to be dead before being skinned or cut into pieces.

            Dairy cows are forced to calve every year, being artificially inseminated and re-inseminated, putting enormous stress on the cows. Babies are immediately separated from their mothers: female calves are channeled into the dairy industry to replace their mothers; male calves are pushed into the meat industry, mostly for beef, though about a million male calves are quickly turned into veal. Dairy cows are fed unnaturally rich diets, are pumped with antibiotics (in some cases, everyday) and hormones (e.g., BGH), and are treated to other cruelties to further increase milk production to about a 1000% of what they would normally produce. About half the dairy cows in the US suffer from mastitis and many more from other illnesses and diseases. Instead of living to about 25 years, dairy cows are worn out after about 3 or 4 years, at which point they’re moved from milk production to meat production. The NOTmilk page has a wealth of information regarding the various problems with milk. “And with the cows—at least in these numbers—come a laundry-list of potential environmental hazards and nuisances”, according to John Gibler in terrain. “Nitrates and salts leach from cow manure to degrade the land and contaminate the groundwater.”

“Cows belch smog-forming [and greenhouse] gases during the rumination process and toxic ammonia rises into the air from manure lagoons. Millions of pounds (kilograms) of manure also attract flies and mosquitoes, escalating the danger of West Nile virus [and other communicable diseases]. And, to state the obvious, thousands of cows producing millions of pounds (kilograms) of poop tend to smell really bad.” If there were no cow industry, there would be no E. coli outbreaks; if there were no cow industry, there would be much less global warming.

            Approximately 100 million pigs—crowded, crated, mutilated—are raised for slaughter in the US every year for the production of hot dogs, pork, ham, bacon, salami, sausage, pepperoni, etc. A typical hog factory farm generates raw waste equivalent to a city of 12,000 people. According to Hog Farm Management, “What we are really trying to do is to modify the animal’s environment for maximum profit… Forget the pig is an animal. Treat him just like a machine in a factory.” Pigs are usually slaughtered at around six months young.                                                                   

            About 10 billion chickens, in addition to turkeys, ducks, geese, and other birds, are hatched in the US each year for their meat. Held in typically very crowded, cramped, hot, and unsanitary warehouses, the birds are de-beaked and otherwise mutilated without anesthesia or concern for the birds. Chickens that produce eggs are treated similarly. So-called “broiler” chickens are genetically engineered to swell to unnatural sizes in their mere 6 weeks of life. Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, says that “a typical chicken weighs five-and-a-half pounds [ 2 kg.] after only six weeks. Their growth rate is phenomenal and totally unnatural. It’s the equivalent of breeding a child who’d weigh 286 pounds by the age of six years”. Many of the chickens die of heart attacks even before they reach their typical slaughter age of six weeks. The accumulating litter and feces produced by so many chickens and other captive birds creates serious environmental problems. Mass-produced chicken is also a substantial public health threat: “If there were no poultry industry”, concludes Neal D. Barnard, M.D., “there would be no epidemics of bird flu”.

            Turkeys are genetically manipulated to grow oversized breasts, as well as to develop white meat, making them unable to stand, walk, or mate properly, if at all. About 99% of the approximately 300 million turkeys raised for Thanksgiving and other meals in the U.S. are the result of rape.

            To mass produce veal in the US, about a million calves (baby cows) are confined in very small compartments and are chained around the neck to prevent movement for their mere 18-20 weeks of life, designed to inhibit muscle growth for “tender” meat. To ensure the production of “white” meat, they are fed an all-liquid diet, deficient in iron and fiber, purposely inducing borderline anemia. These very young, innocent, and stressed baby animals are also pumped with drugs prior to being killed.

            Factory-farmed animals are unwilling captives, who have no choice, no defense, and no alternative options against their cruel and unusual punishment for which they committed no crime.

            Ultimately, though, it’s not factory farming that’s the problem; the problem is “animal farming”. While organic and free-range meat and eggs, for example, might be better in some ways, and might not in other ways, it is certainly not better in the most important ways. Free range is uncertified and voluntary, meaning in practice that many animals are deemed free range if they theoretically only have access to some outside area, even if it is impracticle, unnatural, and unused. When free range is practiced in actuality, it might be better for the animal while it is living, but it might be worse for the environment as free ranging necessitates a lot more land, and already so much land is dedicated to the meat industry. Further, even “organically” and “compassionately” raised animals are brutally and unnecessarily killed while they are young, simply to serve someone else’s selfish appetite. Animal advocates, such as Lee Hall, the legal director of Friends of Animals, call for “animal rights, untamed”.

            If factory farms are the meat-production assembly lines, slaughterhouses are the animal dis-assembly lines. Ignorance is not bliss, but sometimes the truth hurts. Vegetarians and vegans oppose cruelty with every meal and keep things more natural, more fair, and more sustainable.


“While inefficiently producing unhealthy food, contributing to heart disease and cancer,

factory farms leave a wake of toxic waste, disease, declining aquifers, global warming, obesity for the affluent and malnutrition for the excluded.”

Christopher Cook, Diet for a Dead Planet


“Animal factories are one more sign of the extent to which our technological capacities have advanced faster than our ethics.”

Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation and The Way We Eat


“Agribusiness factory farms subvert democracy and are some of the nation’s worst polluters… they also treat animals with unspeakable cruelty.”

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Return to the Table of Contents


              • 8. Fish & Other Sea Animals:                             

            “Seafood is simply a socially acceptable form of bush meat”, according to Paul Watson, a founder of Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. “We condemn Africans for hunting monkeys and mammalian and bird species from the jungle, yet the developed world thinks nothing of hauling in magnificent wild creatures like swordfish, tuna, halibut, shark, and salmon for our meals. The fact is that the global slaughter of marine wildlife is simply the largest massacre of wildlife on the planet.”

            Commercial fishing is causing the collapse of the world’s fisheries, having likely passed “peak fish”, destroying marine ecosystems, heavily polluting our oceans, and, along with climate change, contributing to “dead zones”. In effect, we are clear cutting our underwater rainforests, including the coral reefs and mangroves that support a rich array of biodiversity, as well as providing coastal protection, leading to the endangerment and extinction of many species employing “the factory trawler’s wet version of a scorched-earth policy” (Curtis White). To catch wild fish, entire schools of fish are netted along with turtles, dolphins, whales, sharks, seals, birds, and others as “by-catch”, or “collateral damage”, leaving a destructive and deadly wake. In fact, over 1/5 (about 22%) of fish caught by U.S. commercial operations is “by-catch” (fish that is caught, but discarded), topping more than a million tons per year.

            Aquaculture, or the factory farming of fish, is also massively eco-destructive, often leading to over-fishing of wild fish for feed, de-oxygenation of the water, disease amongst fish and other marine animals, and the (over)use of antibiotics, hormones, chemicals, and genetically-engineered additives.

            Further, underwater “forests” of coral reefs and mangroves are being decimated by “rape-and-run” shrimp farming (exploiting and polluting coastal communities for 2 to 5 years before abandoning them), commercial overfishing and trawling, inefficient industrial shipping, and other fish-related mega-activities with no regard for the natural world, whether underwater or above.

            Fish often contain mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium as well as toxic POPs, including PCBs, DDT, and dioxin, which can’t be removed from the fish and which bio-accumulate in consumers. “A major health hazard from eating fish flesh comes from humans causing polluted aquatic environments. Fish are repositories for the industrial and municipal wastes and the agricultural chemicals flushed into the world’s waters”, says Richard Schwartz, Ph.D. “Mercury, especially high in tuna and swordfish, can cause brain damage, especially in growing children. PCBs, dioxin, and pesticides (such as DDT) have been linked to cancers, nervous system disorders, fetal damage, and many other health problems. Removing fish from your meals eliminates half of all mercury exposure and reduces one’s intake of other toxins.” According to Dr. Steve Patch, co-director of the Environmental Quality Institute, University of North Carolina-Asheville, “We saw a direct relationship between people’s mercury levels and the amount of… fish people consumed”. Dioxin is one of the world’s most toxic chemicals and the EPA reports that about 95% of dioxin in humans comes from ingesting meat, dairy, and fish.

            While fish often are said to contain high levels of protein and healthy fats and fatty acids (especially for the fish!), this may not be the case for humans and, in any event, there are easy alternatives for these nutrients, including olives, walnuts, flax, hemp seeds, and certain other plant foods. Additionally, fish, as with other animals, contain saturated fat and cholesterol, which are unhealthy for human consumption. Further, fish do not contain any fiber, vitamins, anti-oxidants, or phytonutrients, all of which are exclusive to plant foods. A scientific review of studies about fish has shown that it is not necessarily a healthy food for humans. William Harris, M.D. determined that fish have seven times the protein that humans should intake and that fish protein contains high amounts of the amino acids methionine and cystine, which can lead to calcium depletion and can cause osteoporosis.

            It is understandable why some people go into denial, but it should be clear that fish — as with all other animals — have intelligence and feel pain, a phenomenon in animals needed for survival and success. Being caught on a hook is “like dentistry without novocaine, drilling into exposed nerves” (Dr. Tom Hopkins). Being pulled out of the water is like a person being held under water.

            Vegetarians and vegans protect fish, other marine animals, coral reefs, and the incredible oceans they live in.


“The fishing industry is following directly in the footsteps of the livestock industries,

feeding primarily the rich at the expense of the planet, the animals, and the poor.”

John Robbins, The Food Revolution


“Now that the shallow fisheries are in serious decline, trawl nets fitted with wheels and rollers are dragging across the bottom of the deep oceans,

removing everything of any size.”

Rachel’s Environment and Health Weekly


“Commercial fishing, aquaculture, and angling are environmentally catastrophic….

If you eat fish, you are supporting an industry that plunders our oceans with no regard for the horrible pain and suffering that fish and other marine animals endure

or for the diverse ocean ecosystem that is imperative to the survival of all underwater life.”


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              • 9. Health & Disease:                       

            Eating meat is dangerous for human health, our inner environments or “invironment”. Eating meat is associated with and may lead to heart disease and heart attacks (the #1 cause of death in the U.S.), cancer (e.g., colorectal, breast, prostate, lung, skin, stomach, and pancreas) (the #2 cause of death), stroke (the #3 cause of death), pulmonary diseases (the #4 cause of death), diabetes (type 2) (the #6 cause of death), Alzheimer’s (the #8 cause of death), certain kidney diseases (the #10 cause of death), high blood pressure (hypertension) (the #13 cause of death), obesity, asthma, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, aneurysms, rheumatoid arthritis, endometriosis, impotence, gallstones, gout, certain mental illnesses, Alzheimer’s, and other very serious ailments. About 2/3 of diseases in the U.S. are diet-related—according to the U.S. Surgeon General—and vegetarians and vegans are much less afflicted. Veg nutrition has proven to be safe and even superior, not deficient, compared to animal-based diets.

On average, vegetarians, and vegans even more so, live healthier and longer lives compared to those who eat meat, living 6 – 10 years longer, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “In America today”, Dr. Joel Fuhrman says, “about half of all Americans die of heart attacks and strokes. And about 30% of adults die of cancer as well. So these are diseases predominantly of nutritional extravagance and nutritional stupidity. … The diet to be healthy has to be mostly … fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds.” According to Jeremy Appleton, ND, CNS, “Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with cancer-fighting ingredients: antioxidants, flavonoids, fiber, and phytochemicals, special substances unique to plants.” He continues: “Eating meat… increases the risk of a variety of cancers….Women who eat red meat may have a higher risk of breast cancer… Worldwide, breast cancer risk in women seems to occur in direct proportion to the amount of total fat consumed in the diet. Similarly, the risk of prostate cancer appears to correlate with fat intake…. Ovarian cancer, lung cancer, and possibly uterine cancer are all more common when diets are high in saturated fats. Consumption of high amounts of saturated fat from meat and dairy products increases the risk of lung cancer, even among nonsmokers. Other preliminary research has found that ovarian cancer risk increases as dietary cholesterol increases.” In contrast, the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research unequivocally wrote in Food, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Cancer that “Vegetarian diets decrease the risk of cancer.” As Michael Pollan says, “The healthy food is in the produce section.”

            Further, since over 70% (nearly ¾) of all antibiotics in the U.S. are given to livestock (plus immense amounts of chemicals, steroids, hormones, and other drugs), resistant bacteria are increasing at an alarming rate, creating untreatable superbugs, like MRSA, that kill tens of thousands of people per year, even more than AIDS. “There’s really a lot of good evidence”, according to Dr. Lee Riley, Professor of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease at U.C. Berkeley, “that a lot of the antibiotic resistance in humans is traceable to animal feed”.

            And don’t forget mad cow disease (also know as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, and in its human form as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, or vCJD), bird flu / avian influenza (H5N1), SARS, chronic wasting disease, foot and mouth, E. coli 0157:H7, salmonella, campylobacter, listeria, staphylococcus, clostridium, and other causes of food poisoning.

Chickens are fed arsenic and fish often contain mercury or other heavy metals or toxic chemicals, making these especially dangerous to consume with grave long-term effects. Dead pigs, horses, and poultry are often “rendered” for cattle and poultry feed, along with sawdust and old newspaper, in addition to grains, recalling the meatpacking abuses in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. Additionally, more and more meat is being treated with poisonous carbon monoxide (CO), in an effort to keep old meat that isn’t fresh looking red instead of turning brown, thereby masking possible spoilage. The meat industry’s response is that this poisonous gas is “safe” in small amounts and that “everyone knows not to eat stinky meat”.

The major pandemics of the last 100 years—notably the global flu outbreaks of 1918-19, 1957, and 1968, each of which killed millions of people, as well as other non-flu diseases—have had their origins in the raising of animals for the meat industry. The very real fear of a bird flu (especially H5N1) global pandemic may be a form of blowback, boomerang effect, or karma, as this very deadly disease is rooted in the livestock (especially poultry, but also pig) industry. The disease affects all sorts of birds, especially chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys, as well as various wild migratory birds, but also other animals, including pigs, tigers and humans. In each of the three 20th century pandemics, a bird flu virus swapped genes with a human flu virus, likely doing so in a pig, creating a strain that humans had never encountered, therefore spreading much more easily and with much less resistance. “If there were no poultry industry”, concludes Neal D. Barnard, M.D., “there would be no epidemics of bird flu”. And if there were no cow industry, there would be no E. coli outbreaks. The CDC reports that in the U.S., each year, 76 million people are sickened, 325,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 die simply due to something they ate.

            Other very deadly viral diseases—including Ebola, Marburg, and AIDS—have been called the “revenge of the rainforest”, as they have erupted and spread via the building of roads into forests, paving the way for deforestation and the hunt for bushmeat.

            Many reputable and mainstream health organizations—including the American Cancer Society, American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, American Institute for Cancer Research, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, National Heart Foundations (of various countries), Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Prevention, Union of Concerned Scientists, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and many others—all agree that a diet centered around fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can significantly reduce the incidence of the leading causes of disease and death. Likewise, many reputable and mainstream environmental organizations—Greenpeace, National Resources Defense Council, Rainforest Action Network, World Watch, and various others—all agree that a plant-based diet can significantly reduce various major forms of environmental destruction. There are, of course, also many health and environmental organizations outside the mainstream that also support these positions. Note that health professionals and health organizations never advise eating more meat, rather they suggest eating less or none at all. Meat makes us sick.

            In a study of communities, called “blue zones”, with a large number of centenarians (including Loma Linda, California; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; and Hunza Valley, Pakistan), a major commonality is plant-based eating habits (with little and often no meat). (Other commonalities that correlate with longevity include drinking lots of fluids, keeping physically and mentally active, and maintaining close social relationships.)

            Michael Greger, M.D., Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture for the Humane Society of the United States, states that “Billions of farm animals are overcrowded in stressful, unsanitary sheds, pens, cages and stalls; no wonder we are increasingly plagued with infectious food-borne diseases. Animal factories are a public health threat.

            The American Dietetic Association (ADA), the largest association of nutrition professions in the world, states that “well planned vegan and other types of vegetarian meals are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals. Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than nonvegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.” Additionally, “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” Dr. Benjamin Spock, in the final edition of his best-selling Baby and Child Care, writes that “Children who grow up getting their nutrition from plant foods rather than meats have a tremendous health advantage. They are less likely to develop weight problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer.”

            Vegetarianism and veganism is a form of preventive medicine and care, substantially reducing the incidence of acute and intensive care, medical errors (which kill 100,000 U.S. hospital patients per year, according to a study), excessive medical and social costs, and other problems associated with the medical delivery system and how it treats health and disease. Vegetarianism is not only better for your personal health, but it is also better for public health, animal health, worker health, and environmental health. What’s best for your health is best for the world and what’s best for the world is best for your health.

            The meat industry is unhealthy and unsafe. In general, vegetarians and vegans live longer and healthier lives. Further, vegetarianism/veganism is the “more intelligent” choice. Many people who stop eating meat and other animal products also report feeling physically, emotionally, and spiritually better.


“People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease…

People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored.”

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, The China Study


“Nearly 1.4 million Americans are disabled, then killed prematurely each year by heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases that have been linked conclusively with consumption of animal products.”

U.S. National Center for Health Statistics


 “Not only is mortality from coronary heart disease lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians, but vegetarian diets have also been successful in arresting coronary heart disease.

Scientific data suggest positive relationships between a vegetarian diet and reduced risk for…obesity, coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and some types of cancer.”

American Dietetic Association


“Since I’ve stopped eating animal products, my energy level has increased, my cholesterol level has decreased, and, most important, I have not had a breast cancer relapse in the 12 years since my mastectomy! I’m also proud to say that my food choices do not cause animal suffering or widespread environmental degradation.”

Elaine Slone, National Geographic, March 2006


“All new infectious diseases of human beings to emerge in the past 20 years have had an animal source.”

Lancet, 24 January 2004, 363(9405):257


“Anyone who brings raw ground beef into his or her kitchen today must regard it as a potential biohazard, one that may carry an extremely dangerous microbe, infectious at an extremely low dose.”

Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation


“The cost of a 99-cent hamburger doesn’t include the dialysis you may need years later.”

Eric Schlosser, “Cheap Food Nation”, author of Fast Food Nation


“Research has shown that the three leading causes of death in the United States—heart disease, cancer and stroke—are related to diet.

Current recommendations are to reduce the consumption of animal protein and saturated fat (which is abundant in meat) and cholesterol (found only in meat and other animal products).

A plant-based or vegetarian diet is one good way to reduce the risk of disease and promote health.

A well-balanced vegetarian diet tends to be low in fat, especially saturated fat, and cholesterol.

It is also rich in health-protecting nutrients, antioxidants and fiber.”

Jamie Adams, “Meatless Diet”
Nutrition Care Division, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii


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                 • 10. Economics & Externalities:   

Likewise, if people grow their own food in their gardens, no economic activity is registered, though factory farms contribute to economic growth and raise the GDP. The former activities are more sensible, more fulfilling, and more healthy; the latter are less healthy, more costly, more alienating, more wasteful, and damage the environment. Even creating and disposing of toxic waste increases the GDP.

Further, meat-based illnesses cost the U.S. tens of billions of dollars in additional health care costs, and even more in lost productivity and the depletion of the Earth’s natural capital.

Unfortunately, total (public) government subsidies to the (private) livestock industry are $38 billion annually, according to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Indirectly, much more is given. The hidden cost of feeding grain to livestock is staggering. Imagine if this money were instead invested in organic agriculture, nutritional education, health, and renewable energies.

“Livestock farming is massively subsidized with taxpayers money around the world — unlike vegetables and fruit”, Damian Carrington exposes. “That money could be used to support more sustainable foods such as beans and nuts instead, and to pay for other valuable services.” Carrington continues: “the evidence is crystal clear that consuming less meat and more plants is very good for both our health and the planet.”

Eating meat is highly inefficient. The price of meat would multiply if the ecological costs — including the use of non-renewable fossil fuels; emission of greenhouse gases and the increase of global warming; depletion of ancient groundwater and aquifers, rich topsoil, and the protective ozone layer; agro-chemical pollution of land and water; acid rain; deforestation; desertification; and species extinction; in addition to government subsidies — were included in the price tag. The price of meat would increase even further if we factored in health care costs, lost productivity, and corporate welfare, not to mention the suffering and death of thousands of workers and billions of animals. Meat is deceit and we pay the price.

            Using the present standard measures for economic or social health, as David Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World, says, “makes no more sense than taking the rapid expansion of one’s personal girth as an indicator of improved personal health. Applying such a standard to society’s economic priorities has led to a gross distortion of economic priorities and resource allocation that is helping to lead the world toward social and economic collapse.”

Further, according to Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation, “Both the meatpacking industry and the fast food industry [both of which are highly “centralized”, where “the top four meatpacking companies…control nearly 85%” of the beef market] have been major financial supporters of the Republican Party’s right wing”.

The meat industry is exceptionally costly, wasteful, inefficient, unfair, destructive, and regressive, while vegetarianism and veganism are environmentally and economically sustainable and socially progressive. The world — and all its inhabitants — cannot afford meat and the bloated livestock industry.

          There are so many inexpensive plant-based foods that can save your money, your health, innocent animals, and our environment. Although plant-based foods can be expensive — like any foods — they do not have to be. It is an unfortunate myth that eating a healthy, plant-based diet is expensive. Beans, lentils, rice, onions, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, oats, and other plant foods are some of the least expensive foods.

          Chef Darshana Thacker successfully fed herself in America a plant-based diet for only $1.50 per day for a 5-day experiment. Sarah Van Alt easily spent only $20 for a week for vegan food at Trader Joe’s. Some people eat vegan comfortably on $4 a day in the U.S. Those who switch from meat-based to plant-based eating save about $750 per year, according to the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, so plant-based eating is not only better for your health, better for animals, better for your spirit, and better for our environment, it is also better for your finances. Indeed, the British saved £6.7 billion ($8.75 billion) in 2019 by eating plant-based meals instead of meat-based ones.

On a structural level, Greg Beach reports that “Research demonstrated that a 10 percent price alteration to the highlighted foods, which include fruits, vegetables, nuts, red meat, sugary drinks, seeds, and whole grains, would result in 23,000 fewer deaths per year in the United States; a 30 percent alteration would result in 63,000 fewer deaths.” As we fight for better public policy to improve public health, we can save money and improve our personal and family health on the individual level.

Researchers at the University of Oxford conclude that if all Americans switched to vegetarianism, it would reduce health care costs by up to $223.6 billion each year. Worldwide, Lauren Cassani Davis writes that current meat consumption costs “the global economy up to $1.6 trillion” annually and a switch to plant-based diets is estimated that it would save over 8 million lives each year. The Oxford experts detailed that widespread vegetarianism/veganism would also cut environmental costs by over half a trillion dollars annually, due to meat and dairy’s role in exacerbating climate change, air and water pollution, soil erosion, deforestation, and species extinction. 

“Dietary shifts could produce savings of $700 billion to $1,000 billion [$1 trillion!] per year on healthcare, unpaid care, and lost working days, while the economic benefit of reduced greenhouse gas emissions could be as much as $570 billion”, according to the article, and possibly more. “A vegetarian world would be healthier, cooler, and richer”. It would also free up land and food to feed many more people around the world, while allowing for reforestation and rewilding of the land. In 2018, the British saved more than £2.8 billion (US$3.6 billion) in personal expenses simply by eating less meat. Savings would be even greater if the US, the EU, and other governments stopped subsidizing the meat, dairy, and egg industries.


“[Feeding grain to animals and then eating them is] highly inefficient, and an absurd use of resources.”

Vaclav Smil, Ph.D., University of Manitoba


“It’s not efficient to feed grains to animals and then to consume the livestock products.”

Dr. M.E. Ensminger


“The planet simply cannot sustain a population that increasingly feeds on animal protein.”

U.K. Sustainable Development Commission


“Beef has become a symbol of the extravagant, resource-consuming American who is destroying the global environment to live a life of luxury, while most of the rest of the world suffer…

strictly on a scientific basis, there can be no dispute that [grains] are used with more efficiency, and can provide for more people,

when they are eaten directly by people rather than being fed to swine or poultry to be converted to pork, chicken meat, or eggs for human consumption.”

Prof. Peter R. Cheeke


“Despite a fondness for free-market rhetoric, the country’s large food companies—ConAgra, Archer Daniels Midland, McDonald’s, Kraft—have benefited enormously from the absence of real competition. They receive, directly and indirectly, huge subsidies from the federal government. About half of the annual income earned by U.S. corn farmers now comes from government crop-support programs. Cheap corn is turned into cheap fats, oils, sweeteners, and animal feed. Nearly three-quarters of the corn grown in the United States is fed to livestock, providing taxpayer support for inexpensive hamburgers and chicken nuggets.”

Eric Schlosser, “Cheap Food Nation”, author of Fast Food Nation


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                 • 11. Hunger:                            

          Article 25 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes food as a human right. While millions of people annually die from over-consumption, particularly consumption of fat and cholesterol, millions of excluded people annually die from under-consumption, from starvation and hunger-related diseases. Although the world produces more than enough food to feed all its people, the inequality of wealth and power, along with the inefficiency of land use and food distribution, creates conditions that lead to scarcity, chronic hunger, malnutrition, starvation, environmental degradation, refugee crises, ethnic violence, and genocide.

            World hunger is neither necessary, nor automatic, nor inevitable. Vegetarianism and veganism create conditions that are more fair and just, more efficient and sustainable, thereby potentially allowing more people to be fed, rather than using land, grain, water, labor, energy, and other resources to produce food to be fed to animals that are later killed and fed to those people who can afford it. In the words of Chrissie Hynde, “Global hunger could be directly attributed to meat-eating.”

            In addition to being better for personal and public health as well as for the environment, vegetarianism/veganism is better for food security and the alleviation of world hunger. Food security, in turn, may help prevent the all-too-common instances of violence, war, and genocide.


“When those who have the money to enjoy meat-rich diets cause the market to redirect available supplies of grain away from the tables of people who cannot pay in order to feed livestock to provide meat to those who can, they contribute to the dynamics of hunger.”

John Cavanagh & Jerry Mander, eds., Alternatives to Economic Globalization


“Continual growth in meat output is dependent on feeding grains to animals,

creating competition for grain between affluent meat eaters and the world’s poor.”

Worldwatch Institute


“The fact is that there is enough food in the world for everyone.

But tragically, much of the world’s food and land resources are tied up in producing beef and other livestock---for for the well-off---

while millions of children and adults suffer from malnutrition and starvation….

The American fast-food diet and the meat-eating habits of the wealthy around the world support a world food system that diverts food resources from the hungry.”

Walden Bello, Ph.D., Focus on the Global South


“Most hunger deaths are due to chronic malnutrition caused by inequitable distribution and inefficient use of existing food resources.

At the same time, wasteful agricultural practices, such as the intensive livestock operations known as factory farming, are rapidly polluting and depleting the natural resources upon which all life depends. Trying to produce more food by these methods would lead only to more water pollution, more soil degradation, and, ultimately, more hunger....

We can feed the world while preserving the planet”

Global Hunger Alliance


“Environmentally sustainable solutions to world hunger can only emerge as people eat more plant foods and fewer animal products.”

John Robbins, The Food Revolution



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                 • 12. Protein:                                     

            Protein is necessary for the body, but many studies convincingly show that it’s easy to get enough. It is not necessary to combine certain foods to obtain protein, as was once erroneously thought. The protein myth is just that: a myth. Average Americans eat at least twice the protein recommended by the FDA, while vegetarians and vegans typically consume more reasonable and healthy amounts. Some people erroneously worry about the almost non-existent problem of protein deficiency in the U.S. Do you know anyone diagnosed with kwashiorkor (the disease associated with protein deficiency)? Yet consuming too much protein—excess—is common, dangerous, and is associated with cancer, kidney disease, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and infertility. According to the ADA, “Plant sources of protein alone can provide adequate amounts of the essential and nonessential amino acids. Conscious combining of these foods within a given meal…is unnecessary.”

            High protein diets—especially ones derived from animals, even certified organic, certified kosher, halal, local, or so-called “sustainable”, “humane”, or “free range” ones, including the ones pushed by the Atkins Empire, The Zone, South Beach, Lean Cuisine, Blood Types, and other diet industries—are excessive, unhealthy, unscientific, and unwise.


“If you wanted to find one diet to ruin your health, you couldn’t find one worse than Atkins”

James Anderson, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition


“It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein, as long as calorie intake is adequate. Strict protein combining is not necessary; it is more important to eat a varied diet throughout the day.”

Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D., “Protein in the Vegan Diet


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                 • 13. Calcium:                                             

            Calcium is the most common mineral in the body, found primarily in the bones and teeth. It’s not important how much calcium a person ingests, but rather how much a person retains. Animal protein (e.g., meat and dairy) leaches calcium from the bones (as does excessive salt)—contributing to osteoporosis— by acidifying the blood and causing the calcium to leach out and neutralize it, whereas less-concentrated plant-based proteins (e.g., tofu, soymilk, dark green vegetables) do not have this negative effect. Osteoporosis can be prevented or reversed.

        People who eat little or no meat and dairy and instead eat calcium-packed vegetables, fruits, and grains—as in much of Asia and Africa—have very low rates of osteoporosis, while populations that consume large quantities of calcium-rich dairy, as well as meat, have much higher rates of this bone-weakening disease. Countries where people consume the most dairy have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

Getting plenty of exercise, enough vitamins C and D, as well s magnesium, and avoiding smoke also helps to maintain strong bones. Additionally, it should be noted, horses, cows, elephants, gorillas, and other herbivorous animals easily get and retain enough calcium to maintain their strong bones.


“Because of heavy promotion by the American dairy industry, the public often believes that cow’s milk is the sole source of calcium.

However, other excellent sources of calcium exist so that vegans eating varied diets need not be concerned about getting adequate calcium.”

Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D., “Calcium in the Vegan Diet


“The more plant foods people eat (particularly fruits and vegetables), the stronger their bones and the fewer fractures they experience.

The more animal foods people eat, on the other hand, the weaker their bones and the more fractures they experience.”

John  Robbins, The Food Revolution


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                 • 14. Fat, Cholesterol, & Fiber:

            Eating fat—especially saturated fat and cholesterol (found only in animal products)—has been linked to higher rates of heart disease, cancer, and other grave diseases, possibly including Alzheimer’s. In sharp contrast, fiber is an important weapon in the body’s continuous fight to excrete fats and toxins, and fiber reduces the risk of cancer.

        Meat—and all other animal products, including fish—contains absolutely no fiber; but animal products do contain unhealthy saturated fats and cholesterol. As Dr. John McDougall states, after reviewing 50 years of research, “the lower the fat intake, the less the cancer and heart disease”. Cholesterol is found exclusively in animal products; fiber is found exclusively in plant-based products. The human body doesn’t need any extra cholesterol because it produces its own.

        In stark contrast, fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds—a veg diet—contain healthy and necessary fiber, along with important anti-oxidant vitamins and minerals, while they have no unhealthy and unnecessary cholesterol. Further, increased fiber can help reduce dangerous cholesterol levels, as well as providing other benefits against heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes (type 2), constipation, hemorrhoids, colitis, and diverticular disease.


“Heart healthy diets are low in saturated fat, low in cholesterol, low to moderate in fat, and high in fiber. A vegetarian diet can easily meet these guidelines.”

Vegetarian Resource Group, “Heart Healthy Diets: The Vegetarian Way”


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                 • 15. Carbohydrates:                                

          Most of our carbohydrates (sugars, starches, and fiber) come from plant foods and are converted to fuel for the body. The World Health Organization recommends that 55%-60% of calories should be derived from complex carbohydrates (typically from whole grains and some root vegetables). Consuming complex carbohydrates also ensures the consumption of fiber as well as important vitamins and minerals. Animal products contain no fiber and no complex carbohydrates.

            In addition to being dangerous for the environment, fad diets like Atkins, which avoid carbohydrates, are considered dangerous for people’s well-being by health organizations and responsible doctors and dieticians.


“The main stuff in high-fiber, complex carbs, which is indigestible by humans, is called cellulose.

High-fiber (high-cellulose) vegetable foods are the healthiest choices for human nutrition, and intake of these foods is associated with lowered incidences of hypertension, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, etc.”

Ron Kennedy, M.D.


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                 • 16. Enzymes:                                                            

            “Catalysts for chemical reactions in the body, enzymes are protein-based substances that bind with chemicals in the body, promoting and speeding the rate of biological reactions”, writes Elisabeth Hsu-LeBlanc. There are three major categories of digestive enzymes, each of which aid in the proper digestion of food; enzymes also stimulate the brain, provide energy for our cells, and repair tissue and organ damage. The three major enzyme categories are amylases (for carbohydrates), proteases (for proteins), and lipases (for fats). Eating meat, as well as overcooking and doing certain other things to foods, can create enzyme imbalances in the body. Eating more lightly cooked or raw plant-based foods maximizes enzyme power in your body.


“Processing foods — whether at home or at a plant —

can damage certain beneficial substances in foods.”

Roon Frost, editor of taste for life


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                 • 17. Soy:                                            

            Soy is a great substitution for meat and other animal products. Consuming soy—e.g., miso, soy beans (edamame), soy flour, soy “meat substitutes”, soy milk, soy nuts, soy yogurt, tempeh, tofu, TVP, etc.—provides all 9 essential amino acids as well as ample isoflavones, which have special protective properties against various forms of cancer, high cholesterol, and heart disease, and can help with kidney and bone health, the symptoms of menopause, and cognitive ability. Soy is an exceptionally healthy food.

Harvard’s School of Public Health concludes that “Soy is a unique food that is widely studied for its estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects on the body. Studies may seem to present conflicting conclusions about soy, but this is largely due to the wide variation in how soy is studied. Results of recent population studies suggest that soy has either a beneficial or neutral effect on various health conditions. Soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week, and is likely to provide health benefits — especially when eaten as an alternative to red and processed meat.” 

Soy has been consumed in Asia, originally in China, for thousands of years. Japan, with the highest life expectancy in the world, has the highest soy consumption per capita. 

“Because soy contains phytoestrogens, men may worry about including it in their diet”, write Melissa Groves and Rachael Link. “In a review of 15 studies in men, intake of soy foods, protein powders or isoflavone supplements up to 70 grams of soy protein and 240 mg of soy isoflavones per day did not affect free testosterone or total testosterone levels.”

            Soy also takes a lot less land (6-17 times), water (4.4-26 times), oil and other fossil fuels (6-20 times), biocides (6 times), and other resources to produce nutritious soy than it does to produce an equivalent amount of unhealthy and eco-destructive meat. Unfortunately, much of the soy crop is fed to animals raised for meat. Meat loses to soy in every category.


“Many soy products should be beneficial to cardiovascular and overall health because of their high content of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals—and low content of saturated fat.”

F.M. Sacks et al., “Soy Protein, Isoflavones, and Cardiovascular Health”, Circulation, 1/17/06


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                 • 18. Anti-Oxidants:                             

          Anti-oxidants and other beneficial nutrients—including isoflavones, flavonoids, phytonutrients, polyphenols, carotenoids, anthocyanidins, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, quercetin, resveratrol, beta-carotene, and vitamins C & E—protect against and may reverse the ill effects of oxidation and cell deterioration, which may cause age-related problems and diseases. All of these nutrients are found exclusively or primarily in various plant foods and not in animal products.

            For your best health, and to get the most anti-oxidants, skip the meat and

eat the rainbow of colors found in fruits and vegetables.


“The most practical step we can take to defend ourselves

against the ravages of oxidative stress is to eat more plants.”

Dr. Andrew Weil, Healthy Aging


“The amount of antioxidants that you maintain in your body

is directly proportional to how long you will live.”

Richard Cutler, MD, National Institutes of Health


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                • 19. Iron:

            According to Vegetarians in Paradise, “The U.S. RDA is 7-18 mg. An important mineral, iron supplies oxygen to the cells throughout the body and carries away carbon dioxide as waste. It also helps immune system function and assists our mental processing. Good sources of iron are found in all types of legumes but are especially high in soybeans, and products made of soybeans, such as firm tofu. Grains are high in iron with quinoa ranking highest. Raw kale, raw spinach, mushrooms, and baked potatoes are also healthy sources. Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of iron with pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, and pistachios leading in quantities. Meat substitutes made from soy are outstanding sources for iron. The iron content of blackstrap molasses is exceptionally high, making it an important source for this mineral. Iron is best absorbed when eaten along with foods containing Vitamin C. Most vegetables qualify, as do citrus fruits. A little squeeze of lemon juice will easily enhance iron absorption.


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                 • 20. Vitamin B12:


        Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is made by bacteria in soil and stored in the tissue of animals. “The requirement for vitamin B12 is very low [the US RDA is 2.4 mcg for most adults]. Non-animal sources include Red Star nutritional yeast T6635 [also Bob’s Red Mill nutritional yeast] also known as Vegetarian Support Formula (around 2 teaspoons supplies the adult RDA)…. Tempeh [and] miso are often labeled as having large amounts of vitamin B12. ... Other sources of vitamin B12 are fortified soymilk [and other plant milks], vitamin B12-fortified meat analogues/substitutes, and vitamin B12 supplements [as well as some breakfast cereals, fortified juices, and multivitamin tablets]. .... Vegetarians who are not vegan can also obtain vitamin B12 from dairy products and eggs”, or bee pollen, according to the Vegetarian Resource Group.

Interesting, as much as 90% of B12 supplements are fed to livestock.

You can also read John McDougall, M.D.’s detailed article on Vitamin B12.

Instead of eating animals that are supplemented with B12, people can supplement themselves and cut out the middle animal. In any event, B12 is important, but easy to get. According to John McDougall, M.D., “Almost all cases of vitamin B12 deficiency seen in patients today and in the past are due to diseases of the intestine, and are not due to a lack of B12 in their diet.” And healthy intestines begin and end with a healthy diet.

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                 • 21. Weight & Obesity:

          The FDA has recognized an “epidemic of obesity”, which has resulted in significant problems for individual health, economic productivity, societal health care costs, energy efficiency, and environmental resources.

            Studies have shown that, over the long run, the thinnest people on Earth tend to eat the most complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables), while the people who eat the most animal protein (and processed food) tend to be the heaviest. Additionally, food products containing high levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar, salt, additives, and calories contribute to weight gain and the likelihood of obesity, major factors related to physical and emotional health.

        According to the World Health Organization, about 2 billion adults are overweight with about 650 million of them being obese. The WHO states “Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.” The term “nutrition transition” has been applied to the widespread shift “from traditional diets high in cereal and fiber to more Western pattern diets high in sugars, fat, and animal-source food”.

            We don’t need the latest fad diets and yo-yo dieting, because they are ineffective at best and sometimes dangerous; rather, the ancient and proven plant-based way of life is always and readily available. With a vegetarian or vegan diet, you can “eat as much as you want and still lose weight”. Vegetarianism/veganism is the most effective diet and lifestyle for both health and weight loss.


“Being overweight or obese raises the risk of breast cancer in women after menopause, and it increases the risk of colon and rectal cancers in men and women.

Prostate cancer risk also increases as body weight increases.”

Dr. Jeremy Appleton, ND, CNS


“Without exception, a high-complex-carbohydrate, high-vegetable-protein diet is associated with low body mass. High-protein diets were associated with higher body weight.”

Prof. Linda Van Horn, Ph.D., MPH, RD, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association


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                 • 22. Strength:

            Some of the best athletes, as well as triathletes, including Olympic Gold Medal winner Carl Lewis, have been vegetarians or vegans. Many other successful athletes are also vegetarian. Interestingly, all infants start out with veg meals and thrive.

        There are many powerful and amazing animals—of past and present—that eat or have eaten veg diets, including the antelope, apatosaurus, bison, buffalo, bull, caribou, camel, cow, deer, donkey, elephant, elk, gazelle, giraffe, gnu, goat, hippo, horse, kangaroo, koala, kudu, llama, manatee, marine iguana, moose, okapi, orangutan, ox, panda, reindeer, rhino, sheep, stegosaurus, swan, tapir, triceratops, warthog, water buffalo, wild boar, zebra, zebu, and various others. Indeed, Milton Mills, M.D. reminds us that “the biggest, strongest land animals are all vegan”.

            “If eating muscle turned into body muscle”, according to John McDougall, M.D., “most men living in affluent societies would resemble bodybuilders without a noticeable potbelly—no point in arguing the obvious…. If the truth were known, real men would switch to real plant foods overnight. During a man’s reproductive years meat eating decreases ejaculate volume, lowers sperm count, shortens sperm life, and causes poor sperm motility, genetic damage, and infertility. Meat eaters are likely to become impotent because of damage caused to the artery system that supplies the penis with the blood that causes an erection. Erectile dysfunction is more often seen in men with elevated cholesterol levels and high levels of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol—both of which are related to habitual meat eating. Later in life men who follow a meat-centered diet face prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hypertrophy) and prostate cancer.”

            Additionally, many famous people are or have been vegetarian/vegan, along with millions of other people in the U.S. and around the world, with thousands more everyday. Our strength is growing!


“A lacto-ovo vegetarian diet can provide all the nutrients required for optimal health…

Many successful endurance athletes are vegetarians... Strength and power athletes almost invariably include meat in their diets,

although it is unclear whether the benefits of meat consumption for strength and power are real or imagined.”

Chris Forbes-Ewan, Defence Nutrition Research Centre, Effects of Vegetarian Diets on Performance in Strength Sports


Seeing how much the vegetarian diet has done for my performance, I feel like I struck gold.”

Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, LMHC, author of The Vegetarian Sports Nutrition Guide


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                 • 23. Physiology:

            Milton Mills, M.D. and other doctors, scientists, anthropologists, and historians have asserted that the original and early diet of human beings, our ancestors, was veg. Examining our teeth and colons, as well as claws, saliva, jaws, and intestines, for example, they have discerned that although we are capable of being omnivorous, we are built to be herbivores. This fact has been studied and known for centuries.

            Comparative anatomy strongly shows that human beings are much more similar to herbivorous animals — most notably our very closely-related monkeys, apes, gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, bonobos, et al. — than we are to carnivorous, or even omnivorous, ones. Although it is clear that we are capable of being omnivorous, humans have bodies that seem primarily suited to eating plants, just as early humans did, due to our: fascial muscles, jaw structure and motion, oral cavity, teeth, chewing, saliva, stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, kidneys, claws, perspiration, etc.

This might be a reason why fruit growing on a tree looks appealing to us, while roadkill does not.


“Early humans simply couldn’t eat meat.”

Donna Hart, Ph.D. & Robert Sussman, Ph.D., Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators, and Human Evolution


“Either nature failed us in the engineering of our anatomy, or we failed when we selected animals as a food source.”

Rex Bowlby, Plant Roots: 101 Reasons the Human Diet is Rooted Exclusively in Plants


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                 • 24. Allergies:

            “The eight major food allergens [dairy, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans] account for 90 percent of all documented food allergic reactions”, according to Robert E. Bracket, Ph.D., Director of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Allergies, like obesity, are essentially an epidemic of modernity”, according to Judith Newman in National Geographic (May 2006). “As countries become more industrialized, the percentage of population afflicted tends to grow higher.” Some people have suggested a “hygiene hypothesis”. While synthetics and chemicals, genetic engineering, urban landscaping and pollen, and diminished breast feeding of babies may be factors leading to allergies, diet is also a factor. Perhaps less serious than an allergy, many people experience “food intolerance”, or “food sensitivities”, e.g., discomfort from milk due to lactose intolerance, stomach upset, dizziness, ear infections, skins problems, redness, etc.


“Reduced fresh fruit and vegetable intake, more processed food, fewer antioxidants, and low intake of some minerals — these are all shown to be a risk.”

Harold Nelson, M.D.,

Professor of Medicine (allergy and immunology), National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver


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                 • 25. Organic Agriculture:

        Organic farming and agriculture, and the demand for organic food and other organic products (e.g., cotton), is growing rapidly. Organic products are grown without the use of synthetic chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, genetic engineering (GE) or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), toxic sludge, irradiation, etc. [About 90% of genetically-engineered products are made by Monsanto and about half are grown in the U.S.] “There’s increasing evidence that organic foods are beneficial not only for what they don’t have [toxic chemicals], but also for what they do [higher levels of healthy anti-oxidants]”, Claudia Hirsch reminds us. Unsurprisingly, the more organic food you eat, studies show, generally the less chemical pesticides are in your body.

The Environmental Working Group reports that “Whether organic or conventionally grown, fruits and vegetables are critical components of a healthy diet. However, many crops contain potentially harmful pesticides, even after washing, peeling or scrubbing”.

            George Monbiot reports that organic agriculture is more productive and can feed the world. Alan Greene, M.D., affirms that “Every little move towards organics is worthwhile.” The most effective ways to become more organic is to (1) “switch out foods you eat most often”, (2) “replace the worst offenders”, and (3) “shop locally, eat seasonally”. Also, encourage the stores, markets, and restaurants you shop at, and the organizations you belong to, to carry more organic products.

Further, organic agriculture is not only healthier for the soil generally, but organic methods also sequester more carbon dioxide in the soil, thereby being another way to help stem global warming.

Organic products are healthier for you, for farmers, for farms, for animals, and for our environment.


“Fruits and vegetables produced organically require one-third the petroleum expended for conventional produce. Besides avoiding synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that use fossil fuels and pollute our environment,

organic farming tends to create less greenhouse gas than conventional agriculture.

Organic methods also help protect soil, water, and biodiversity.”

Carol Ferguson, “Make Every Day Earth Day”


“Chemical agriculture pollutes our water, air, and earth, impairs the web of life in the soil, erodes biodiversity, and requires high levels of ‘inputs’ such as irrigation, the chemicals themselves, and fuel, and its products contain toxic residues…. Agricultural chemicals kill — and not only plants and insects and worms and birds and fungi and the vast universe of soil organisms; they kill people as well.”

Sandor Katz, author of The Revolution Won’t Be Microwaved


“When you buy organic, you help to promote biodiversity and cut down on the pesticides that pollute our soil, air, and water. You also support natural systems that will ensure the integrity of our farmlands for future generations… Organically grown foods simply taste better, and they are often higher in nutrients that their conventionally grown counterparts….

The best advice is to eat a variety of produce, wash it well, and buy organic whenever possible.”

Chef Claire Criscuolo, RN, “Why I Choose Organic


“Many pesticides used on conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are known to cause cancer.

Because these substances are poorly regulated, persistent, and poisonous, choose certified organic foods whenever possible.”

Dr. Jeremy Appleton, ND, CNS


Because the toxic effects of pesticides are worrisome, not well understood, or in some cases completely unstudied,

shoppers would be wise to minimize exposure to pesticides whenever possible.”

Environmental Working Group, FoodNews


“Bottom line, organic is better for all people and our planet.”

Anthony Zolezzi, author of Chemical-Free Kids


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                 • 26. Violence, Compassion, & Ethics:

            Do we know where and how our food is produced? Food is a matter of social justice. Eating meat contributes to cruelty, torture, rape, terror, violence, and murder — a violation of our ethics. Every year, billions of individual animals (millions per day!) are tortured and killed in a variety of horrible ways. Lambs are shackled and boxed to keep them “tender”, cows and pigs are crammed for “efficiency”, chickens are de-beaked to “protect” them, piglets have their teeth clipped for "safety", animals are branded, castrated, beaten, and hung upside-down by their limbs, entire schools of fish are netted along with turtles, dolphins, whales, sharks, seals, birds, and others (killing these creatures mercilessly and indiscriminately), animals are terrorized and slaughtered with their blood, guts, pus, saliva, sweat, vomit, tears, hair, mucus, bile, semen, urine, and feces being splattered everywhere, some left to suffer and die in piles of other dead and dying animals.

            Female animals are often impregnated by artificial insemination on “rape racks”, repeatedly forced to endure pain and then pregnancy, with their newborns separated from them shortly after birth. You are (as green or brown as) what you eat.

            The effects on the workers who torture and kill these innocent animals, as with soldiers and executioners, cannot be underestimated. Sociologists have studied the “brutalization effect”, whereby people increasingly feel free to commit violence when it seems legitimated. Further, slaughterhouses are also one of the most dangerous workplaces for humans: according to Eric Schlosser in Fast Food Nation, “at least 1/3 of meat packing workers are injured every year”. Human Rights Watch calls meatpacking “the most dangerous factory job in America”.

            We treat animals how we used to treat human slaves. What possible justification could there be for that?”, writes Prof. Gary Francione in “One Right For All”. Like racism and sexism, we engage in unfair and unjust species-ism when we treat (and eat) animals as means to our selfish ends, simply because we have the physical force and power to do so.

            If you eat meat, more animals are terrorized, tortured, killed, and disassembled to support your bloody habit. Meat begins with violence; meals don’t have to! What we eat affects our brains, bodies, consciousness, spirits, and emotions, as well as other animals and our Earth. The Standard American Diet is SAD. Be glad that you can choose veg meals!

            If we’re rightly outraged at the abuse of cats and dogs, horses and elephants, we should be likewise outraged at the daily abuse, suffering, and murder of farm animals for food. Would you eat your pet? If we could feel their pain, empathize with their suffering, or share their joy, we would lose our appetites — and perhaps more.

            Further, it has been shown that people who abuse animals often don’t end their cruelty there. People who stop eating (and otherwise abusing) animals release themselves from tremendous psychic, karmic, spiritual, and physical burdens, while releasing animals from cruel horrors and the Earth from further ecocide.

            Every action we take is a vote — an economic vote, a social vote, and a moral vote. Every time meat, poultry, or fish — and any other animal product — is purchased or consumed, it is a vote for that to continue, a vote for more innocent and defenseless animals to be commodified and killed, a vote for more trees to be cut down, a vote for more wilderness to be encroached upon, a vote for the overuse of chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, and fossil fuels, a vote for the poisoning of our air, land, and water, a vote for monoculturalism, a vote for the overconsumption of a few and the exclusion of the many, a vote for force and violence. We are responsible for the logical consequences of the actions we take. Any willing participation in the meat production-and-consumption deathcycle also implies responsibility for the consequences of that process.

            Meat-eaters, regardless of their beliefs and intentions, effectively vote for continuing death and environmental destruction; eco-eaters vote for life, for sustainability, for justice, and for the Earth. Every action inspires others to act. When we engage in a destructive act, we encourage more destruction; when we act positively, we encourage and increase positivity in ourselves and in the world. One inspires another inspires another. Hoe are we eating the Earth?

            Human beings have for too long acted with arrogance against other species and, in doing so, have abused our power, acting recklessly, selfishly, unfairly, and unjustly. The industrial production of meat is akin to bullying, physical and sexual assault, systematic torture, slavery, and genocide. Which side are you on?

Could eating animals also be considered a form of cannibalism? It is true that they are a different species, but cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and other mammals belong to the same class (mammalia) as humans and, further up the tree of life, chickens, turkeys, and fish belong to the same phylum (chordata) as humans. Depending on our level of analysis and our definition of the word, eating animals is a form of cannibalism. 

Meat has been described as a crime on our plate, a sin against nature, and a theft from the future. We know that killing living beings and destroying our environment is morally wrong, indeed dead wrong. We need to take the die out of our diets. The best way to protect all animals — whether livestock or wild — is to eat no animals.

            Vegetarianism/veganism is an excellent way of putting ethical, philosophical, ideological, and religious values into daily personal practice. Vegetarians and vegans save lives everyday!


“The average meat eater is responsible for the deaths of some 2,400 animals

during his or her lifetime.

Animals raised for food endure great suffering in their housing, transport, feeding and slaughter.”

Jim Motavalli, “So You’re an Environmentalist; Why Are You Still Eating Meat?”, E Magazine, Jan/Feb 2002


“I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do. …

I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom.

It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings.”

Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers


Now I can look at you in peace; I don’t eat you anymore.”
Franz Kafka, speaking to fish in an aquarium


“[Animals] were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.”

Alice Walker


“Humans - who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals –

have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain.

A sharp distinction between humans and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, wear them, eat them - without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret.”

Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors


“For as long as people massacre animals, they will kill each other.”



“The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.”

Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”


“The time will come when people such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of people.”

Leonardo da Vinci


“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute.”

Charles Darwin, Descent of Man


“A [person] can live and be healthy without killing animals for food;

therefore, if [s/]he eats meat,

[s/]he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite.

And to act so is immoral.”

Leo Tolstoy, On Civil Disobedience


“…he will be regarded as a benefactor of his race who shall teach man to confine himself to a more innocent and wholesome diet.

Whatever my own practice may be, I have no doubt it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals…”

Henry David Thoreau, “Higher Laws”, Walden


“People think of animals as if they were vegetables, and that is not right.

I encourage the Tibetan people and all people to move toward a vegetarian diet

that doesn’t cause suffering….

We must absolutely promote vegetarianism.”

14th Dalai Lama

“There is simply no spiritual defense in either the Western or Eastern religious traditions for eating meat.”

Rabbi Marc Gellman, “The First Hamburger”


“Historically, man [sic] has expanded the reach of his ethical calculations, as ignorance and want have receded, first beyond family and tribe, later beyond religion, race, and nation.

To bring other species more fully into the range of these decisions may seem unthinkable to moderate opinion now. One day… it may seem no more than what ‘civilized’ behavior requires.”

“What Humans Owe to Animals”, The Economist


“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Mohandas Gandhi



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                 • 27. Animals, Intelligence, Emotions, & Rights:

            The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness — signed by cognitive scientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists, and computational neuroscientists, in the presence of Stephen Hawking — proclaims “support for the idea that animals are conscious and aware to the degree that humans are”. The Declaration states: “The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors.”

            Animals have faces, families, fear, and other feelings, and are made of flesh and blood. Animals are important entities in their own right, individual living beings with moral and legal rights as well as physical and emotional feelings of pain and pleasure, intelligence and cognition, fear and excitement, stress and joy, altruism and love, and so on.

            Just as with pet cats and dogs, rats and birds, hamsters and horses, and other companion animals, farm animals such as cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, sheep, goats, ducks, geese, rabbits, and others, including wild animals, have real and complex emotional lives—including feelings of pleasure, love, grief, altruism, and a wide range of others.

            We also know that humans and other animals can develop strong emotional bonds with them and strong emotions in reaction to them. In the words of Demara Jeanty, “Animals have feelings too. Animals feel pain just like people do. Animal suffering is no different than human suffering.” Even the Animal Industry Foundation admits that “Animal behavior is as varied as human behavior.”

            Scientists, doctors, and psychologists such as Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall, Jeffrey Masson, Donald Griffin, Penny Patterson, Irene Pepperberg, as well as veterinarians, environmentalists, and others, have amply documented the intelligence and emotions of animals—as could millions of ordinary people with personal experience with animals. Peter Singer, Steven Wise, Catharine MacKinnon, Lee Hall, John Webster, and other lawyers, professors, philosophers, clergy, and ethicists have similarly argued and documented the rights of animals.

            According to John J. Pippin, M.D., “92 percent of drugs that test successfully for animals fail in humans”. Of the remaining 8%, according to the FDA, over half are later withdrawn or relabeled due to severe side effects. In a different but related sign of progress, 100 of the 125 accredited U.S. medical schools “rely solely on computer simulations and do not use any live animals for training”.

            Let’s end the oppression, exploitation, and the suffering. Instead, let’s start living together in peace.


“The reasons for legal intervention in favor of children

apply not less strongly to the case of those unfortunate slaves the animals.”

John Stuart Mill, philosopher


“Many times I’ve looked into a pig’s eye and convinced myself that inside that brain is a sentient being, who is looking back at me observing him wondering what he’s thinking about.”

Dick King-Smith, author


“Intellectually, human beings and animals may be different, but it’s pretty obvious that animals have a rich emotional life and that they feel joy and pain.

It’s easy to forget the connection between a hamburger and the cow it came from.”

Moby, musician


“When animals are no longer colonized and appropriated by us, we can reach out to our evolutionary cousins.

Perhaps then the ancient hope for a deeper emotional connection across the species barrier,

for closeness and participation in a realm of feelings now beyond our imagination, will be realized.”

Jeffrey Masson, psychologist


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                 • 28. Vegetarians, Vegans, Flexitarians, & Others:

            Vegetarians can eat fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and may or may not eat (non-meat) animal products, such as eggs, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and honey; vegetarians do not eat any meat, poultry, fish, or other animals. (The term vegetarian was coined at the first meeting of the Vegetarian Society in England in 1847. Contrary to a popular misconception, the word vegetarian was not chosen because a vegetarian diet includes vegetables as a major component; the term vegetarian is derived from the Latin word ‘vegetus’, which means lively or full of life.) This type of vegetarian is technically a lacto-ovo vegetarian, implying the inclusion of dairy and eggs (lacto-vegetarians will eat dairy, but not eggs; ovo-vegetarians will eat eggs, but not dairy).

            Vegans — pronounced VEE-gun, with an emphasis on the first syllable of the long “e”, or ē,  followed by a hard “g”, the word was coined by Donald Watson in 1944, when he formed the Vegan Society in England — go farther by only eating plant-derived foods, thereby avoiding all food (and often other products, such as leather, fur, feathers, silk, and even wool) that are derived from animals. The aim for vegans is to avoid all forms of exploitation of animals, whether for food or otherwise, as much as possible. The word vegan was derived from the word vegetarian by taking the first three letters (veg-) and the last two letters (-an) to show, as Watson explained, that “veganism starts with vegetarianism and carries it through to its logical conclusion”.

            Accidental vegetarians or involuntary vegetarians are those who don’t eat animals because it is too expensive, not available, or for some other external reason that prevents them from doing so.

            A macrobiotic diet consists mostly of whole grains, beans, sea and other vegetables, and certain other plant foods in balance; fruitarians (or fructarians) only eat the fruit of plants; rawists only eat raw food (or food not heated above 116 F / 46.7 C) and are often, but not always, vegan (anapsology takes raw even further); freegans only eat discarded or found food (freeganism is a combination of free and veganism); carnivores eat meat; and omnivores eat everything.

        “Flexitarians” are mostly vegetarian, but occasionally eat animals, especially fish though also other animals. Pescetarians are otherwise vegans or vegetarians who also eat fish; ostrovegans, or bivalvegans, are vegans who eat oysters, clams, scallops, and/or other bivalves because these animals do not have central nervous systems; similarly, pollotarians are otherwise vegetarians who eat chicken and, in Australia, kangatarians are otherwise vegetarians who eat kangaroos. There are insectarians, as well.

        Flexitarians (coined in the early 1990s) are generally more concerned with their own health than with animals or the environment.

            A “flexegan” (or “vegetegan”), sometimes called veganish, is one who is vegetarian and mostly vegan, but not exclusively, or one who is vegetarian and also avoids certain (non-meat) animal products (e.g., milk and eggs), but not others (e.g., cheese).

            Vegetarianism has a long, rich history. It has been consciously practiced in and around India, based on ahimsa (non-violence), for at least thousands of years, as well as in and around China and elsewhere. In Europe, vegetarians were often called Pythagoreans, as Pythagoras and his followers abstained from eating meat about 2,500 years ago in ancient Greece, such as Socrtates and Plato.


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                 • 29.  Arguments Against Vegetarianism? Not really. :

1.      Humans are more important than animals, therefore human beings should come first.

Reality: Tragically, there’s no shortage to suffering and it doesn’t seem to be running out anytime soon. Many of those who say we should tend to people before we take care of animals often use this as an excuse to avoid taking any action in the defense of life and justice. Additionally, trying to protect the lives of animals certainly doesn’t preclude us from trying to protect the lives of human beings. Indeed, vegetarians and vegans often do both.


2.      Some animals kill others for food, therefore it’s natural.

Reality: Although certain animals kill for food, others do not. In fact, there are more herbivorous (plant-eating) animals than there are carnivorous (meat-eating) ones. One of the important characteristics of humans is our consciousness and ability to make choices, rather than merely responding to instinct. Making positive, life-affirming choices is the essence of maturity, humanity, community, and civilization.


3.      It’s my tradition, therefore I feel comfortable with it.

Reality: We have many traditions, both old and new, as individuals, families, and cultures. Although traditions may be important, it is also important to recognize that some traditions are destructive, all traditions were new at one point, and that traditions often change over time. Our traditions regarding hygiene, work, the role of women, and child rearing, to name just a few, have changed dramatically over recent generations. Slavery was a tradition, too.


4.      I don’t feel well when I don’t eat meat, therefore I need to eat meat to be healthy and happy.

Reality: Some people claim not to feel well when they don’t eat meat. Sometimes the detoxification process can be the cause of this, sometimes it could be related to physical habit, it could be psychological, or it could simply be an excuse. We know that eating animals is not necessary and, in fact, studies show that vegetarians and vegans tend to be healthier than their meat-eating counterparts. Many vegetarians and vegans also report feeling more energetic, more at peace, and happier overall.


5.      I can’t get enough protein without meat, therefore I need to eat meat.

Reality: Despite the conventional myths regarding protein, it is easy to get enough protein if you can get enough calories. Most people who are not desperately poor, and certainly most people in North America, Europe, East Asia, Australasia, and elsewhere, get more than enough calories and more than enough protein. In the U.S., for example, average Americans have about twice the FDA-recommended protein intake.

All vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, for example, have protein and most have sufficient protein. Even fruit has protein, albeit in small amounts. For most people, therefore, the problem isn’t too little protein (very few people have protein deficiency), but too much protein (very common), which is linked to a variety of health problems.


6.      The food pyramid includes meat, therefore it’s a good thing to eat.

Reality: The government food pyramid contains meat, but even there it suggests a sparing use. The government is influenced by our culture and traditions, as we are, but is also influenced by the powerful meat and dairy industries, which stand to profit by the continuation of the unhealthy status quo. As alternatives, there are vegetarian (no meat, poultry, or fish) and vegan (no animal products) food pyramids that are unbiased and  more accurate for your health.


7.      I like the taste of meat, therefore I keep eating it.

Reality: Simply trying to satisfy our individual tastes and desires, regardless of the impacts on others, has seemingly become a modern American (and increasingly global) ideal, but it is quite selfish. There are many possibilities that are open to us, even if they are legal, but that doesn’t necessarily make them right. Caring for and about others, while caring for and about ourselves, can lead to true and lasting satisfaction.


8.      Animals are lower than humans on the food chain, therefore animals are natural food for humans.

Reality: Especially for humans, neither the food chain itself nor the food choices we make are natural and unchangeable. As potential omnivores who were originally vegetarians, humans have choices in the foods we eat and there are no natural foods.

Indeed, what we eat is largely determined by our culture and consciousness. Psychologist Melanie Joy refers to the ideology of “carnism”, with its various defense mechanisms and unchallenged assumptions, which asserts that meat-eating is “natural”, “normal”, “necessary”, and (sometimes) “nice” for certain classified animals. Once we recognize carnism, and then step out of it, we are more mentally free to think and eat for ourselves.

9.      We’re stronger than animals, therefore we should use them for our benefit.

Reality: Although physical force may prevail, might does not make right. That’s a form of fascism. Simply having the power to accomplish a task in no way makes the means or the ends fair, just, or honorable ones.


10.  We have dominion over animals, therefore they are here for human pleasure.

Reality: It is not so much that we have dominion over animals, but that we share the Earth with them or, perhaps, have stewardship, companionship, guardianship, or trusteeship over them, implying co-habitation and responsibility. Animals are not here for us to abuse or exploit, but rather to take care of, to commune with, giving each other companionship, friendship, and pleasure in mutually satisfying and non-exploitative relationships.


11.  Modern humans evolved to eat meat, therefore we should continue to do so.

Reality: Early humans were the hunted, not the hunters, eating only plant-based foods. Avoiding predators, and also not being one, humans further developed their brains as well as their social and cultural techniques of socialization, cooperation, and innovation. Whether back then or now, our teeth, saliva, and intestines, for example, are not designed for meat consumption. Humans are natural herbivores with the capacity to be omnivores; we are certainly not carnivores. Only after the discovery of fire was meat eating even possible. While many people and cultures have incorporated meat into their diets, it is still not part of our physiology, biology, genetics, or origins to eat to meat.


12.  It’s always been this way, therefore it will always be this way.

Reality: Not only hasn’t it always been this way (quite the contrary), but it is not even completely this way now. People and cultures are variable and adaptable. Large numbers of people in India, for example, have been vegetarian for thousands of years. Although it is clearly possible for us to eat meat, it is also clearly not necessary. Additionally, it is unhealthy for people, animals, and the environment.


13.  If I don’t eat meat, someone else will, therefore I might as well.

Reality: If you eat meat, more animals are confined, terrorized, tortured, and killed to support your habit. If you don’t eat meat, you depress demand for that bloody industry. It’s as simple as that. Your actions do make a difference.


14.  If we don’t eat animals, we’ll be overrun with them, therefore we need to eat meat to keep their numbers in check.

This argument reverses the causal connection. There are a lot of certain animals because they are raised for meat and people eat them. If there were less demand for meat, there would be fewer cows, pigs, chickens, goats, and sheep. People don’t typically eat lions, tigers, rhinos, hippos, zebra, giraffe, elephants, gorillas, and other large mammals and we are certainly not over run with them; quite the contrary, many of these animals are severely threatened and endangered.


15.  If we didn’t eat animals, or if we let them, animals would eat us, so we should eat them first.

This fear-centered misreading of animals and evolution does not comport with history, science, and reality. We’ll never be the next meal of the herbivorous cows and pigs, for example.


16. Hitler was a vegetarian, so vegetarians have no moral standing.

Hitler was not a vegetarian. Hitler occasionally refrained from or decreased his consumption of meat when he was ill, but he normally ate various types of meats. Nazi Minister of Propaganda Goebbels spread the lie that Hitler was vegetarian as Nazi propaganda to make Hitler seem more ascetic and selfless. Rynn Berry has written the definitive book on the subject called Hitler: Neither Vegetarian Nor Animal Lover. Of course, even if Hitler had been vegetarian or vegan, it shouldn’t make any difference, just as it doesn’t make any difference whether or not Hitler loved his mother, drank water or wine, listened to and liked music, etc.

If we’re looking for famous vegetarians and vegans, though, we could name Socrates, Plato, Pythagoras, Seneca, Buddha, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, John Milton, Benjamin Franklin, Johnny Appleseed, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine of Siena, Sylvester Graham, Voltaire, George Bernard Shaw, Victor Hugo, Leo Tolstoy, Albert Schweitzer, Clara Barton, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, Susan B. Anthony, John Harvey Kellogg, H.G. Wells, Franz Kafka, Upton Sinclair, Thomas Edison, Vincent Van Gogh, Mohandas Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Dizzy Gillespie, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Joan Baez, Jerry Garcia, Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Coretta Scott King and Dexter Scott King, Rosa Parks, Bob Marley and Ziggy Marley, Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney, Princess Diana, the Dalai Lama, Alice Walker, Gloria Steinem, Benjamin Spock, John Rawls, Angela Davis, Fred Rogers, Carl Sagan, Leonard Nimoy and his character Mr. Spock, Jane Goodall, Thich Naht Hanh, Martina Navratilova, Carl Lewis, Ani DiFranco, Ellen DeGeneres, Natalie Portman, and many others.


17. It’s OK if the meat is kosher, halal, organic, free range, humane, natural, local, from a small family farm, or certified in some way.

Reality: Who is it OK for? It’s still not OK for personal health, still not OK for the slaughtered animals, still not OK for the environment. Kosher and halal standards presently only apply to the killing of the animals, not how those animals are raised and treated. Organic means no chemical inputs, but there’s no consideration regarding slaughter. Free range is often a myth, as it might only mean access to the outdoors; real free range, while giving animals more movement, also means the need for more land and the opportunity for more environmental degradation. Local and small farms, which also slaughter animals when they are young, are in the tiny minority, as 90-95% of meat in the U.S. is produced by factory farms. In any event, if many more people were to choose local or small-farm meat, then those small farms would necessarily have to grow or there would have to be a lot more meat farms. Neither of these possibilities would be desirable. Terms like humane and natural are completely unregulated and typically meaningless.


18. Animals don’t feel pain or suffer, therefore it doesn’t matter if they’re raised for food.

Reality: Many studies show that animals do feel and can suffer; many people’s personal experience with pets, such as cats and dogs, and other animals demonstrates this as well. Examinations of animal brains, nervous systems, nerve cells, and everyday behavior all evidence the possibility of pain. Further, it is increasingly clear that many animals experience various emotions, including emotional pain such as fear, anxiety, sorrow, grief, anguish, and terror, but also emotional pleasure.

19.  Agriculture also kills living beings, so it doesn’t matter what you eat or do.

Reality: Although it’s true that agriculture and other activities also kill living beings, it should be obvious that animal agriculture kills even more and does so purposely. Additionally, animal agriculture heavily relies on plant-based agriculture to feed the animals raised for meat. Clearly, it’s a matter of intensity, both qualitative and quantitative, and the goal for vegetarians and vegans should be to do what’s most healthy, most compassionate, and least destructive, causing the least possible damage to people, other animals, and our environment.


20.  I don’t want to eat “rabbit food”, I want to eat a lot of different things.

Reality: It is true that vegetarians and vegans don’t eat meat, but by not eating meat, we don’t eat a smaller variety of food. In fact, most vegetarians and vegans eat a wider variety of foods than most meat-eaters, tending to experiment with and enjoy all sorts of different fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans, including heirloom varieties and agricultural products from other countries and cultures.


21.  I just like to eat meat, therefore I don’t care about the consequences.

Reality: What can one say in the face of such crass selfishness? The great Jewish philosopher Hillel once asked: “If I am only for myself, what am I?” Honestly, not much.


22.  People will always eat meat. It will never change, so why bother?

Reality: Here is an analogy by Karl Seff, Ph.D. who asks “Is smoking like eating meat”: “There was a time when people who opposed smoking were viewed as antisocial and unreasonable. Then there was a time when they were viewed as technically correct but their cause was viewed as hopeless because nothing would ever change because smokers are addicts, young people fall into it, and the tobacco industry has the resources to protect itself fully. As of now lots of things have changed.

          There was once a time when vegetarians were viewed as odd and sickly. It was something that one would grow out of. Now we are viewed as technically correct, I find, and that we are respected, but our cause is viewed as having no chance of prevailing because people will never give up meat.”

          John McDougall, M.D. says that “Making meat eating a social disgrace in this generation, just as we did with cigarette smoking in the last generation, is a fundamental change that must take place in order to advance our society to the next level and ensure our personal survival.”


23.  Why shouldn’t I eat meat?

Reality: There are no rational reasons to eat meat, yet there are many rational reasons not to.

             Although there may be various self-serving rationalizations for eating other animals, there are no biological, genetic, moral, ethical, religious, philosophical, nutritional, or environmental reasons or benefits for humans to eat meat. Each and all of the arguments against vegetarianism are ultimately without merit and fail.


Return to the Table of Contents


                 • 30. Making the Switch!:

            Going vegetarian or vegan is the best move you can make for your personal health, your spiritual health, public health, animal health, and our collective environmental health.

        Now’s the time to make the switch! You’ll have the great satisfaction of better personal health, reducing your climate change footprint, saving rainforest, protecting animals, and having your diet better reflect your moral, philosophical, religious, spiritual, social, political, and environmental values. It feels good on so many levels!

            Try eliminating — or at least sharply reducing — your consumption of meat, poultry, and fish, as well as dairy and eggs, replacing them with more fresh vegetables, fruit, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and grains (preferably whole grains, such as whole wheat, brown rice, corn, oats, barley, and the less common amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur, kamut, millet, quinoa, red rice, rye, sorghum, spelt, sprouts, teff, triticale, wild rice, and others).

            Buying organic products is also better for your health, your nutrition, the animals, our environment, and the health and safety of farmers, workers, and others. Eating locally and seasonally grown food, with lower-energy inputs, tends to be likewise beneficial (though not always).

            If you’d like to incorporate more of these healthy foods into your meals without biting off more than you can chew, or without going “cold tofurkey”, try a more gradual approach by following these tactics:

            (1) Educate yourself, your family, and your friends on the many benefits of vegetarianism/veganism (get everyone involved!);

            (2) Think of the veg meals you already eat and keep rotating those in. Also, think of the meals you make or eat that could easily be vegetarianized/veganized. Keep expanding your repertoire;

(3) Make an additional vegetarian or vegan meal at least once or twice a week. Be creative. You’ll find lots of delicious recipes in cookbooks and on vegetarian/vegan web sites (see links below). As you adjust, gradually add more vegetarian and vegan dishes to your meals. If you’re vegetarian but not yet vegan, shift away from dairy and eggs; if you’re already vegan, shift more toward organics and locally-grown produce; if you do any of these, switch to more whole grains and less processed foods;

            (4) In place of meat products, try veg alternatives. For nearly every animal product, there is a vegetarian/vegan version. For some people, finding successful substitutions is the key. Test out some of the varieties and try different brands to suit your tastes. Visit your natural foods store and the health sections of your grocery stores to see what’s available. You’ll find much more than just veggie burgers and tofu dogs. Soy products, for example, are varied and versatile, including such products as miso, soybeans, soy flour, soymilk, soy nuts, soy yogurt, tempeh, tofu, TVP, vegetable-based cheese, as well as the many meat substitutes (there are also various non-soy possibilities);

            (5) If you continue to eat meat or fish, at least be sure it’s certified organic, local, and also served in much smaller portions. One adult serving of meat, if served at all, should be no larger than a deck of cards. De-emphasize the meat you serve by including it in dishes that also contain vegetables and whole grains. As time goes by, decrease the amount of meat you include and increase the use of vegetables, grains, and beans;

            (6) Start your own (organic) garden of fruits, vegetables, and/or herbs. People, including kids, are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they participate in growing them, and people are more likely to protect land if they have a stake in it;

            (7) Shop at natural foods stores and farmers’ markets and/or sign up to receive a weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share;

            (8) Subscribe to a vegetarian or vegan magazine, such as VegNews, Vegetarian Times, or Vegetarian Journal, go to or organize a vegetarian or vegan meetup or potluck, join a vegetarian e-mail listserv or social media group, and/or join a local or national vegetarian or vegan organization to keep up and learn more about the many benefits of vegetarianism/veganism, to stay inspired, to get great recipe ideas, to meet like-minded and compassionate people, to give and get support, and to feel more connected to a life-affirming community;

            (9) Get a partner or “study buddy”, as it’s easier to stick with something when you’re part of a group or team;

            (10) Eat out at veg restaurants; and

            (11) Congratulate yourself for making a healthy, sustainable, compassionate, and life-affirming choice and enjoy the new foods you eat and the new person you’re becoming.

            There’s no need to feel guilty about what you eat or don’t eat. Instead, there’s a vital need for more self and social responsibility, for all of us to move in a positive direction—for us as well as for the animals and our environment. Remember that switching to vegetarianism/veganism isn’t about sacrificing anything; it’s about joining with others to make positive choices aimed at improving our personal well-being, saving the lives of animals, and protecting our environment that we all share and depend upon.

Vegetarians and vegans live more sustainably and are therefore part of the solution, not the problem. Eating plants reconnects people to nature, grounds them in the Earth, roots us to what is meaningful and vital.

As Victoria Moran hopes, “a largely vegan world might not be heaven on Earth, [yet] it’s our best shot at life on Earth, and that is really enough.” 

Your meat eating made sense based on what you were shown and told, based on what your family and friends ate and fed you, based on what the government recommended and the society encouraged, and based on the misinformation we were all given about meat, health, nutrition, compassion, ecology, etc. But now, times are different and we know better, not simply because we have new facts, but also because we have a new understanding and new feelings.

Kicking the meat habit is the most effective way for us to save the Earth, save the animals, and save ourselves and our families. Eating the Earth does not have to mean destroying it, animals, and ourselves. Eating the Earth can mean eating what grows from our beautiful planet.

Let’s eat and thrive together!


“Meat-eating is now a looming problem for humankind.”

Editors, World Watch, July/August 2004


“If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat.

That’s the single most important thing you could do.”

Paul McCartney


“By making a simple change in the way you eat, you are taking part in a world changing campaign where what's good for you is also good for the planet"

Paul McCartney 


“Give vegetarianism a try… and you’ll get a spring in your step,

a glow in your cheeks, and a lighter, brighter you.”

Alicia Silverstone


You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Mohandas Gandhi


Vegetarians and vegans live more sustainably

and are therefore part of the solution, not the problem.


Kicking the meat habit is the most effective way for us to save the Earth, the animals, and ourselves.


For free information on becoming a vegetarian or vegan,

go to Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s Vegetarian Starter Kit

or to Mercy for Animals’ Vegetarian Starter Kit

or to Animal Protection Institute’s Vegetarian Starter Kit

or to Compassion Over Killing’s Vegetarian Starter Guide

or to FARM’s Veg Kit (also here)

or to PETA’s Vegetarian Starter Kit

or to the Guide for Veg Living

or to the Vegan Starter Pack

or to Vegan Outreach’s Guide to Compassionate Living

or to Animal Place’s Veggie Starter Kit for Teens

or take the VegPledge and receive a free booklet

or call  (toll-free)  1-866-MEAT-FREE

or call  (toll-free)  1-800-MEAT-OUT


(Feel free to order a few to compare and share with others.)


You  can  make  a  meaningful  choice  and  make  a  difference!


You’ll  be  doing  yourself,  the  animals,  and  our  planet  a Big  favor.



Return to the Table of Contents


                 • 31. Bonus Quotes:

“Vegetarianism is a simple idea — don’t eat animals — with an ancient pedigree.”

Gregory Dicum, New York Times, 18 November 2007


“The way that we breed animals for food is a threat to the planet

The results are disastrous.”

David Brubaker, Ph.D., Center for a Livable Future, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health


“Nothing will benefit health and increase the chances for survival

of life on Earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

Albert Einstein


What’s for dinner? Few questions are as environmentally fraught.

Bad choices can lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease for us, and pollution, loss of biodiversity, and climate change for our favorite planet.”

Paul Rauber, Editor, Sierra, November/December 2006


“If we continue to think of…the whole of the natural world as existing primarily to fulfill our immediate needs, we will pay a stupendous price for our ignorance.”

John Robbins, The Food Revolution


“If a [person] aspires toward a righteous life, [their] first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.”

Leo Tolstoy


“There’s no question that a vegetarian diet is much more sustainable for the land,
is much more sustainable for many of the people eating that way. …

If you eat, you're connected to this,

and you’ve got to think about it and do something about it.”

Eric Schlosser


“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them.

That’s the essence of inhumanity,”

George Bernard Shaw


“Eat lower on the food chain.”

50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth


“Modify your diet to include less meat.”

Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, p. 317


“Energy, healthcare, agriculture, climate change, global outbreaks like swine flu—what do all these topics have in common? Food.

That’s right, none of these issues can really be tackled without addressing some of the fundamental problems of the food system and the American diet.”

Amy Goodman, “Michael Pollan: ‘Don’t Buy Any Food You’ve Ever Seen Advertised’”


“There is still slavery in the world. There is still a valuing of human beings

according to their race or gender or culture or sexuality.

Part of the reason for this cutting off of empathy

is the anesthetizing of our senses to the suffering of animals.

Once we grow callous, we cannot feel fully for anyone not even for ourselves.”

Gloria Steinem


“When a human being kills an animal for food, he is neglecting his own hunger for justice.

Man prays for mercy, but is unwilling to extend it to others.”

Benjamin Franklin


“Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about.”

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” (November 1992),

signed by some 1700 scientists, including the majority of living Nobel laureates in the sciences


“I grew up in cattle country---that’s why I became a vegetarian.

Meat stinks. For the animals, the environment, and your health.”
K.D. Lang


Recognize meat for what it really is:

the antibiotic- and pesticide-laden corpse of a tortured animal.”

Ingrid Newkirk


“Most of mankind for most of human history has lived on vegetarian or near vegetarian diets.”

American Dietetic Association


“The domestication/enslavement of animals was the model and inspiration for human slavery…

the breeding of domesticated animals led to eugenic measures as compulsory sterilization, euthanasia killings, and genocide, and…

the industrialized slaughter of cattle, pigs, sheep, and other animals paved the way, at least indirectly, for the Final Solution.”

Charles Patterson, Ph.D., author of Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust


“Vegetarianism is simply letting compassion guide our choice of food.

May all that have life be released from suffering.”


“You have just dined and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Anyone who cares about global warming can start making a difference at every meal, simply by leaving meat off their plates.

Going vegetarian is by far the best thing a person can do today to stop rising sea levels, spreading disease, and extreme weather that threaten tomorrow.”

Noam Mohr, “A New Global Warming Strategy”

“Can you imagine ever, even once, taking [many] plates of spaghetti or [many] bowls of rice

and tossing them in the trash?

That’s what eating meat represents—it’s like throwing away [many portions] of food

for every [portion] you consume.

By definition, someone who does this is not an environmentalist.”

Bruce Friedrich, “Vegetarianism: The Only Diet for Human Rights & the Environment”


“Merely by ceasing to eat meat. Merely by practicing restraint. We have the power to end a painful industry.

We do not have to bear arms to end this evil. We do not have to contribute money. We do not have to sit in jail or go to meetings or demonstrations or engage in acts of civil disobedience...

here is an action every mortal can perform — surely it is not too difficult!”

Roberta Kalechofsky


“Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”

Thomas Edison


“I feel better, I have more energy on and off the set,

and I have the satisfaction of knowing that I’m doing something to help stop animal suffering.”

Maggie Q


Look into the heart of your religion’s teachings on compassion, and look into your own heart,

Put aside your old habits and selfish appetites, and be honest with yourself.

Animals are beings like us, sentient, conscious, and fully able to experience suffering and joy. They love life and fear death. And yet every year we murder them by the billions for food that we do not need to live long, healthy lives. Can we honestly call this holocaust anything but evil?

There is no way that people of faith can be true to the deepest values of their religion and still eat animal products.”

Norm Phelps, founding member of the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians


“Nothing says more about someone than their diet.

The food we choose and the way we prepare it defines who we are and how we choose to live on this planet.”

Tyghe Trimble


“At the individual level, it seems pretty clear that the No. 1 thing that can be done is to eat less meat and dairy.”

Roni Neff, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health


“I am vegan because I cannot justify saying I believe in the values of social justice, human rights and caring for the environment and continue to participate in something that is a core representation of exploitation and pain in the world.”

Rabbi Boris Dolin, Coordinator of


“The ever-increasing cattle population is wreaking havoc on the Earth’s ecosystems, destroying habitats on six continents.

Cattle-raising is a primary factor in the destruction of the world’s remaining tropical rain forests. Millions of acres of ancient forests in Central and South America are being felled and cleared to make room for pastureland to graze cattle. Cattle herding is responsible for much of the spreading desertification in the sub-Sahara of Africa and the western range land of the United States and Australia. The overgrazing of semiarid and arid lands has left parched and barren deserts on four continents. Organic runoff from feedlots is now a major source of organic pollution in our nation's ground water. Cattle are also a major cause of global warming... cattle production and beef consumption now rank among the gravest threats to the future well being of the Earth and its human population.”

Jeremy Rifkin, Beyond Beef


“To me, animal rights, humanitarian and environmental issues are all interconnected.”

Daryl Hannah


“The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century,

all the natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined.”

Dr. Neal Barnard, Executive Director, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)

“Vegetarians have the best diet. They have the lowest rate of coronary disease of any group in the country. They have a fraction of our heart attack rate and they have only 40 percent of our cancer rate.”

William Castelli, MD, Director, Framingham Heart Study

“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...”

Dr. William Roberts, editor-in-chief, American Journal of Cardiology


“I often pass a farm with cows grazing in the field and I think to myself how terrible it is that human beings grow other animals just to kill them and eat them….
I wouldn’t be surprised if we came to a time in 50 or 100 years when civilized people everywhere refused to eat animals.”
Andy Rooney
“The single most important measure that can be taken in the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
is to stop eating beef.”
Jairam Ramesh, India’s Environment Minister


“I can see entering into a discussion with someone about, say, the environmental damage caused by cows. Between the methane they release daily, the erosion they promote just by walking around and the streams they befoul, they really are a hazard.

What good have they ever done for us? The United States shouldn’t have cows.”

Jon Carroll


“Animals are my friends and I don’t eat my friends.”

George Bernard Shaw


“This is my protest against the conduct of the world. To be a vegetarian is to disagree—to disagree with the course of things today.

Starvation, world hunger, cruelty, waste, wars—we must make a statement against these things.

Vegetarianism is my statement and I think it’s a strong one.”

Isaac Bashevis Singer


“If you caught your kid raising cats in tiny boxes, forcing them to live in their own feces without clean air or sunlight,

pulling their teeth and claws out with pliers to keep them from hurting each other,

then skinning them alive to make collars to sell to their friends, you’d rush him to a psychiatrist.

But you support that very behavior every time you buy meat, eggs, dairy or fur.”

Dan Piraro


“The process of gradual blocking of the coronary arteries begins not in adulthood but in childhood... and the main cause of this arteriosclerosis is the steadily increasing amount of fat in the American diet, particularly saturated animal fats such as those found in meat, chicken, milk and cheeses.”

Dr. Benjamin Spock, author, child expert

“I don’t understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs for the rest of their lives.”

Dr. Dean Ornish, Reversing Heart Disease


“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute.”

Charles Darwin


“I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights.

That is the way of a whole human being.”

President Abraham Lincoln


“The old mantra ‘You are what you eat’ has taken a new turn:

Today we know that what we eat also shapes our landscape, more so than any other human activity in history.

A diet of corn-fed beef is a vote for a world dominated by genetically-engineered grain, factory feedlots, and toxic, nitrate-laden streams.”

Gary Paul Nabhan


I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if [society] moves toward vegetarianism and protection of animal rights. In fact, what we’ve seen over the years…

is a widening of the moral realm, bringing in broader and broader domains of individuals who are regarded as moral agents.”

Noam Chomsky


“Meat production causes more environmental harm than other food production.”

Michael Brower, Ph.D. and Warren Leon, Ph.D.


“Behind virtually every great environmental complaint there’s milk and meat.”

Lee Hall, J.D.


“There is a direct relationship between eating meat and the environment. Quite simply, you can’t be a meat-eating environmentalist. Sorry folks.”

Andrea Gordon, “If You Recycle, Why Are You Eating Meat?”, American Jurist


“You can’t be an environmentalist unless you care about how much meat you eat.”
Mark Bittman, Food Matters
The choice thoughtful people face is not between helping humans or helping other animals. 
One can do both.
People do not need to eat animals in order to help the homeless, for example,
any more than they need to use cosmetics that have been tested on animals in order to help children.”
Tom Regan
“You want to change the world?
Get out the pots and pans, sling that canvas bag over your shoulder 
and head out to the farmers market to get some real grub.”
Lynn Peemoeller


“You know, going vegetarian is a very useful, highly effective environmental step.”

Umbra Fisk, Grist


“One of the quickest ways we can lower our collective greenhouse gas emissions is to eat less meat.”

Tracy Fernandez Rysavy, “Eat Less Meat, Cool the Planet”


The burning of gasoline and the raising of cattle are two of the most planet-scorching actions that we take.”

Rabbi Arthur Waskow


“Refusing meat [is] the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.”

Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook


“The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous;

it is indissolubly connected with the fate of [humanity].”

Emile Zola


“If you really want to live a happy life, cut the animal products from your diet.”

Russell Simmons, Hip-Hop Pioneer


“Americans would benefit from a change in diet.”

President Barack Obama


The livestock sector is “one of the two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)


“Don’t eat meat, ride a bicycle, and be a frugal shopper.”

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner


Vegetarianism is literally about life and death — for each of us individually and for all of us together. Eating animals simultaneously contributes to: the suffering and death of animals; the ill-health, disease, and early death of people; the unsustainable overuse of oil, water, land, topsoil, grain, labor, and other vital resources; environmental destruction, including deforestation, species extinction, mono-cropping, and global warming; the legitimacy of force and violence; the exploitation of workers; the mis-allocation of capital, skills, land, and other assets; vast inefficiencies in the economy; tremendous waste; massive inequalities in the world; the continuation of world hunger and mass starvation; the transmission and spread of dangerous diseases; and moral failure in so-called civilized societies.

Vegetarianism is an antidote to all of these unnecessary tragedies.

It’s as simple as this: Delete meat.

Dan Brook, Ph.D.


“How we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used.”

Wendell Berry, What Are People For?


“One reason to eat responsibly is to live free.”

Wendell Berry


“Give people a salad, they eat for a meal;

teach people about vegetarianism and they eat for a healthy lifetime.”

John Robbins & Dan Brook


Eat smart, eat healthy, eat responsibly, eat environmentally, eat compassionately, eat joyfully…

because our lives depend upon it.

That’s Eco-Eating!



Return to the Table of Contents


32. Links, Links, Links!:

Further information can be found on (and off) the web.

Here are some suggested web links. Please feel free to explore and share!


A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World (one-hour film)


A Well-Fed World


Abbie’s Vegetarian Recipes


The Abolitionist (magazine)


Action for Animals


Action for


Action for Animals Network




Addict-O-Matic Vegan


Addict-O-Matic Vegetarian




All Veggie Links


AllRance VJgJtarRenne


American Dietetic Association on Vegetarian Nutrition


American Vegan


American Vegetarian Party


An Animal-Friendly Life


Angel’s Health Food Institute


Animal Concerns


Animal Earth Human (blog)


Animal Liberation Zines


Animal Protection and Rescue League


Animal Rights: Abolitionist Approach


Animal Rights Africa


Animal Liberation (Australia)


Animal Liberation Front


Animal People (news)


Animal Place – Sanctuary and Education Center


Animal Protection Institute


Animal Visuals


Animal Writings




AnimalRighter - blog


Animals & Society Institute


Animals Asia Foundation (English, Chinese / 中文, German, Italian, French, Spanish)


Animals Voice


Anonymous for Animal Rights


Another Inconvenient Truth


Another Inconvenient Truth: Meat is a Global Warming Issue, E Magazine




Are You Taking Global Warming Personally?


Ashi’s Vegetarian Recipes


Asian Animal Protection Network


Asian Vegetarian Union


Associazione Vegetariana Italiana


Atkins Facts / Atkins Exposed


Australian Vegetarian Union


Baby Animalz


Baha’i & Vegetarianism


Bay Area Vegetarians


BBC Vegetarian and Vegan


Being a Vegetarian


Biblical Vegetarianism




Black Vegetarians


Blossoming Lotus


Boston Vegetarian Society


Brenda David, RD


Buddhism & Vegetarianism


Buddhist Vegetarianism (Wikipedia)


Building Bone Vitality


Cao Dai & Vegetarianism


Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.


Cancer Project


Carnism Awareness & Action Network


Carol J. Adams


Catholic Concern for Animals


Catholic Vegetarian Society


Center for Informed Food Choices


Cesar Chavez (3-min video)


Cesar Chávez and Comprehensive Rightsby Dan Brook on ZNet


Cesar Chavez PSA (30-second video)


Chicken Industry


Children & Vegetarianism


The China Study (book by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.)


China Veggie


Choose Veg


Christianity & Vegetarianism


Christian Vegetarian Association


Christian Vegetarianism (Wikipedia)


Circle of Life Foundation (Julia Butterfly Hill)


Compassion In Action Club


Compassion Over Killing – Vegetarian Recipes


Compassion Over Killing 30-second videos


Compassionate Cooks


Conservative Veggie


Controlling Cholesterol & Beating Heart Disease


Cook Veg


Cow ‘emissions’ more damaging to planet than CO2 from Cars


Cowspiracy (documentary)

Cut Global Warming by Becoming Vegetarian


Dairy Info


Dansk Vegetarforening (DVF) - Danish Vegetarian Society (Vanløse)




Dean Ornish, M.D.’s Lifestyle Program


Delicious TV


Devour the Earth (also in Deutsch, Français, Italiano, Español, Czech, Croatian, & Hungarian)


dh love life (Daryl Hannah’s v-blog)


Diet, Energy, and Global Warming


Diet for a New America (book & video)


Digging Through the Dirt - blog


Disease Proof (Dr. Joel Fuhrman)


Dissection Alternatives


Down On the Factory Farm (Woodstock FAS)


E Magazine: The Case Against Meat


Earthlings (95-min film) (Spanish / Español)




EarthSave Report: A New Global Warming Strategy


Eat Kind


Eat Less Meat


Eat Veg


Eating for the Environment


Eating Less Meat And Junk Food Could Cut Fossil Energy Fuel Use Almost In Half


Eco-Eating: Eating as if the Earth Matters (this page!)


EcoMermaid: Where Saving the Planet is Fun!


Economic Vegetarianism (Wikipedia)


Egg Industry


El Vegetariano


Engine2 Fire Station


Engineers and Scientists for Animal Rights


Environmental Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet and Lifestyle


Environmental Benefits of Vegetarianism (Wikipedia)


Environmental Vegetarianism (Wikipedia)


Episcopalians & Vegetarianism


Esperanto & Vegetarianism (Tutmonda Esperantista Vegetarana Asocio)


Ethics of Vegetarianism (Wikipedia)


ethnic vegan


European Vegetarian and Animal News Agency (EVANA)


European Vegetarian Union (EVU) (in various languages)


Factory Farming


Famous Vegetarians




Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM)


Farm Sanctuary


Farm Sanctuary 30-second videos


Farmed Animal Net


Feminists for Animal Rights


Feminist-Vegetarian Connection


Fight Global Warming by Going Vegetarian


Fishing Hurts


Five Food Choices for a Healthy Planet


Food Fight! Vegan Grocery


“Food for a Change” by Steve Karian on ZNet


Food for Life Global (Hare Krishna food relief)


Food for Thought---and Action


Food is Power


Food Not Bombs


Food Studies Institute (Dr. Antonia Demas)


Forks Over Knives (documentary)

Friends of Animals - Vegetarianism Program


“From Cradle to Grave” by Colleen Patrick Goudreau on CommonDreams


Fruit Tree Planting Foundation


Fun Vegetarians


Gail Davis




Gay and Lesbian Vegetarians – Northern California


Gay/Straight Animal Rights Alliance


Gentle Thanksgiving


Gentle World


Global Benefits of Eating Less Meat(pdf)


Global “Meat Free” Petitions


Global Warming Isn’t Kosher


Go Veg


go veg be green


Go Vegan Radio


Go Veggie


God’s Creatures Ministry


Goin’ Veg (pdf zine)


Google Images vegan


Google Images vegetarian


Google News vegan


Google News vegetarian


Google vegan


Google vegetarian


Google Video vegan


Google Video vegetarian


Gran Fraternidad Universal


Gratitude Gourmet (Fun Vegetarian Lifestyle)


Green Earth Travel – Vegetarian Travel Specialist


Green Festival


Green Pages




Greenpeace: On Your Plate


Guide to Vegetarian Eating (Humane Society of the US)


H2O Podcast – Vegan-Vegetarian Solutions for a Sustainable Environment


Happy Cow Vegetarian Restaurant Listings


Hare Krishna & Vegetarianism


Health, Environmental, and Animal Benefits of Eating More Plant Foods and Less Animal Foods


Healthy Eating for Life


Healthy Chef Alex


Healthy School Lunches


Helping Animals


Herbivore Awareness Project


Herbivore Clothing & Magazine


Hinduism & Vegetarianism


HIPPO (Help International Plant Protein Organization) – Food with a Purpose


Hong Kong Vegan Society (Chinese / 中文, Japanese / 日本語, English, French / FranHais)


How Green Is Your Diet?(Common Ground)


How to Successfully Become a Vegetarian (free e-book by Rudy Hadisentosa)


Human Food and Animal Feed (from Worldwatch Institute Paper 103)


Humane Eating


Humane Education & Vegetarianism


Humane Kosher


Humane Myth


Humane Society of the United States


Humane Society University


In a Vegetarian Kitchen (Nava Atlas)


In Defense of Animals


Indian Vegan Society


Indian Vegetarian Congress


Indonesian Vegan Society


Institute for Nutrition Education and Research (Michael Klaper, M.D.)


Institute for Plant Based Nutrition


International Fund for Animal Welfare


International Institute for Humane Education


International Society for Animal Rights


International Vegetarian Club of Beijing (Chinese / 中文 & English)


International Vegetarian Union (IVU) (Chinese / 中文)


International Vegetarian Union (IVU) (English)


International Vegetarian Union (IVU) (French / FranHais)


International Vegetarian Union (IVU) (German / Deutsch)


International Vegetarian Union (IVU) (Hebrew / ;*9"3)


International Vegetarian Union (IVU) (Japanese / 日本語)


International Vegetarian Union (IVU) (Russian)


International Vegetarian Union (IVU) (Spanish / EspaZol)


International Vegetarian Union (IVU) (Thai)


Irish Vegetarian


Islam & Animals


Islam & Animal Rights


Islam & Vegetarianism


Jainism & Vegetarianism


Japan Vegetarian Society (Japanese / English)


Japanese Society for Vegetarian Research


Jen’s Vegan Page


Jews for Animal Rights


Judaism & Animals


Judaism & Vegetarianism – Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA)


Just Eat Veggies!


Kathy Freston (and also here)


Keluarga Vegetarian Maitreya Indonesia


Kid  Bean (vegan baby and other products)


Killer Cow Emissions (LA Times Editorial)


Lantern Books


Lettuce Ladies (and Broccoli Boys)


LGBQT Vegetarian Page


LGBT Compassion


Liberation for Our Brother & Sister Animals (LOBSA)


“Livestock and Climate Change”, World Watch, Nov/Dec 2009 (pdf)


Livestock is Responsible for 51% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Chinese / 中文, Español, Portuguěs)


Livestock’s Role in Climate Change and Air Pollution (ch. 3)


Living Vegetarian


Logical Environmental Reasoning for a Vegetarian Lifestyle


LOVE – Living Opposed to Violence and Exploitation


Mad Cowboy (Howard Lyman)


Maharishi University of Management


Making a Difference for Animals (MADFA)


Making the Transition


“Making Your School Cafeteria Vegetarian-Friendly”


Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition


Mayo Clinic: Vegetarian Diet: A Starter’s Guide to a Plant-Based Diet


McDougall Wellness Center (John McDougall, M.D.)


Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M. (author, activist, professor, coach)


Meat and the Environment


Meat Eating and Global Warming (excellent collection of articles)


Meat Facts (blog)


Meat Free Zone


Meat is a Global Warming Issueby Dan Brook on AlterNet


Meat Is Murder on the Environment


Meat the Facts


Meatless Mondays


Meat-Eaters Aiding Global Warming?


Meat’s Not Green (info, video, app, custom labels)


Meet Your Meat – Mechanized Madness


Mercy for Animals


Metamorphosis – Poems to Inspire Transformation


Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society


Milk Gone Wild


Moral Vegetarianism


Mundo Vegetariano


Negotiation is Over!


New York Times - Vegetarian Articles


New Zealand Vegetarian Society


No Eggs


Not Milk


North American Vegetarian Society




Nutrition Information on Vegetarianism


Nutrition MD


Organic Athlete


Pangea Vegan Products


PB&J Campaign


PETA en Español


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)






Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)


Pirates of the Carob Bean


Plan My Dish


“Plants for Supper? 10 Reasons to Eat More Like a Vegetarian” (CSPI)


Please Don’t Eat the Animals (Jennifer Horsman & Jaime Flowers)


Pleasurable Kingdom (book by Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D.)


Pledge Veg


Pregnancy & Vegetarianism


Public Lands Without Livestock


Quaker Concern for Animals


Quit Meat Campaign


Quiz for World Vegetarian Day 2007


Rainbow Grocery (worker-owned cooperative vegetarian supermarket)


Rave Diet & Lifestyle




Responsible Policies for Animals


Restaurant Vegetarian Starter Kit


“Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler” (NY Times article)


Rockin’ Veg


Russian Veg World


Ruth Heidrich, Ph.D.


San Francisco Vegetarian Society




Satya Magazine


Save Animals From Exploitation (SAFE)


Savvy Vegetarian


Schweizerische Vereinigung fhr Vegetarismus


Sea Shepherd Conservation Society


Secret Society of Vegans


Seventh-Day Adventist Dietetic Association


SHARK: Showing Animals Respect & Kindness


“Shattering the Meat Myth: Humans Are Natural Vegetarians” (Kathy Freston)


Should I Become a Vegetarian?


Sierra Club: Factory Farms


Sikhism & Vegetarianism


Six Arguments For a Greener Diet (book by Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D. and CSPI)


Slaughterhouse Cam


Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira


Societatea Vegetarienilor din Rom>nia


Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV)


Society for the Advancement of Animal Wellbeing


Soul Mates Unlimited (specializing in personal veg matchmaking)


South African Vegan Society






SPEAK: Supporting & Promoting Ethics for the Animal Kingdom


Spoon Revolution


Stop Global Warming


Straight Edge / Punk & Vegetarianism (sXe)




Supreme Master Television


Susan’s Vegetarian Bookmarks


Sustainable Table


Switch Your Lunch, Save the Planet


Taking Stock: Animal Farming and the Environment (World Watch)


Talking Pig Video (5 min.)


Teens & Vegetarianism


Teen Resources


Ten Commandments Regarding Animals


Ten Reasons to Be a Vegetarian


The Cheeseburger Footprint


The Food Revolution (book by John Robbins)


The Future of Food (feature-length film)


The Half @st Vegetarian


The Meatrix & The Meatrix 2 (short videos)


The Scientific Basis of Vegetarianism (William Harris, M.D.)


The SUV in the Pantry


The Theosophical Order of Service


The Vegan Chef (Beverly Bennett)


The Vegan Monologues by Brian Conroy (mp3 comedy)


The Vegetarian Channel


The Vegetarian Mitzvah


The Vegetarian Site


The Veggie Table – Vegetarian Recipes and Info


Tibetans for a Vegetarian Society (T4VS)


Tibetan Volunteers for Animals


Tips for Non-Vegetarian Restaurants


Tofu and Tempeh Recipes (All Recipes)


Toronto Vegetarian Association


Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center


Tribe of Heart: The Witness & Peaceable Kingdom (films)


Try Veg


UN FAO: Which causes more greenhouse gas emissions, rearing cattle or driving cars?


Una Dieta Vegetariana


Union Vegetariana Argentina


Union Vegetariana Espanola


United Poultry Concerns


USDA Vegetarian Nutrition Resource List


U.S. Soyfoods Directory


V-dog – complete vegetarian dog food


Vasu Murti, The Politics of Vegetarianism


Veg Advantage (free service for food-service professionals)


Veg Blog


Veg Blog Search


Veg Classifieds


Veg Climate Alliance


Vegan Dad (blog)


Veg For Life


Veg Sex Shop


Veg Spirit


Veg Video


Veg Voyages


Veg World


Vegan (William Safire’s On Language)




Vegan Action


Vegan Basics


Vegan Blog: The (Eco) Logical Weblog


Vegan Buddies


Vegan Cats (for cats & dogs!)


Vegan Essentials


Vegan Food Pyramid


Vegan Fitness


Vegan Freak


Vegan Freaks: tofu-powered blogging


Vegan Gal


Vegan Health


Vegan Homeschooling


The Vegan Ideal (blog)


Vegan Lunch Box (blog)


Vegan MD (Michael Greger, M.D.)


Vegan Meetups


Vegan Menu (blog)


Vegan Muscle Power


Vegan Outreach (also in Chinese / 中文)


Vegan Peace


Vegan Pirates International


Vegan Recipes (All Recipes)


Vegan Society


Vegan Society of Ghana


Vegan / Vegetarian / Animal Rights Page


Vegan Village


Vegan Vixens


Vegan Wikia


Vegan Wikia: Environment


Veganica – Online Gallery for Veg Artists


Veganism (The Free Dictionary)


Veganism (Wikipedia)


Veganism in a Nutshell


Vegans in Europe (blog)


Vegans of Color




Veganz: The Vegan Society of New Zealand


VegBay – an auction for the green community


VegBlogs – veg*n blog posts from around the web


VegCast – The Vegetarian Podcast


VegCooking – recipes, products, restaurants, and much more!


VegDining – Vegetarian Restaurants Around the World


VegE-NewsNews & Views from a Vegetarian Perspective




Vegetarian 101


Vegetarian and Vegan Guide to the Internet


Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition


Vegetarian Baby & Child (online magazine)


Vegetarians Basics 101


Vegetarian Beans and Legumes Recipes (All Recipes)


Vegetarian Centre of Thailand


Vegetarian Channel


Vegetarian Cuisine (Wikipedia)


Vegetarian Dogs


Vegetarian Economy & Green Agriculture (VEGA)


Vegetarian Egypt


Vegetarian Food Pyramid


Vegetarian Friends (Quaker)


Vegetarian Home (search portal)


Vegetarian Journal (magazine)


Vegetarian Meetups


Vegetarian Moscow


Vegetarian Museum


Vegetarian Nutrition Resource List (USDA)


Vegetarian Organic Life (blog)


Vegetarian Pets


Vegetarian Phrases in Other Languages (translations)


Vegetarian Pregnancy (book)


Vegetarian Quotations and Poetry


Vegetarian Recipes (All Recipes)


Vegetarian Recipes from Around the World (in English & other languages)


Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG)


Vegetarian Resource Group Recipes


Vegetarian Societies & Vegetarian Organizations in North America


Vegetarian Society (UK) & Vegetarian Society Info Sheets


Vegetarian Society (Singapore)


Vegetarian Society of Hawaii


Vegetarian Society of Ireland


Vegetarian Stuff


Vegetarian Teen (magazine)


Vegetarian Times (magazine)


Vegetarian Union of North America


Vegetarian USA – Vegetarian Travel Guide


Vegetarian Vacations


Vegetarian Video Lectures (various)


Vegetarian Women


Vegetarian Youth Network


Vegetarianism (The Free Dictionary)


Vegetarianism (Wikipedia)


Vegetarianism and Religion


“Vegetarianism as Feminism” (Naama Harel)


Vegetarianism at All Experts


Vegetarianism by Roger J. Wendell


Vegetarianism and Buddhism by Rev. Heng Sure (mp3 lecture)


Vegetarianism in a Nutshell


Vegetarians in Paradise


Vegetarier-Bund Deutschlands


Vegfam – Feeding the Hungry Without Exploiting Animals


VegFamily (magazine)


VegGuide (veg restaurant listings)


Vegi-Info Belgique


Veggie Boards (online forums)


Veggie Challenge


Veggie Connection


Veggie Date


Veggie Lawyers


Veggie Life (magazine)


Veggie Love


Veggie Malaysia


Veggie Mommy Diary (Chinese /中文 with some English)


Veggie Pride Manifesto (in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, German, Polish, Kurdish, & others)


Veggie Romance


Veggie Roommate


Veggie Sports Association


Veggie123 (free e-book)




VeggieConnections – veg personals, networking, and dating










VeggieGoGo (online forums)


VeggieHeadOnline (webzine)














Veggie Pregnancy




VegGuide – restaurant and shopping guide








VegNews (magazine)

















“Virtues of Vegan Nutrition…and the Risks”


Viva! USA


“The Warming Globe and Us” by Dan Brook and Richard Schwartz on Dissident Voice


Wake Up America with Tina Volpe (internet radio)


William Harris, M.D. (The Scientific Basis of Vegetarianism)


World Animal Net


World of Tofu


World Society for the Protection of Animals


World Vegan Day


World Vegetarian Day


The World’s Healthiest Foods


Worldwatch: Global Meat Consumption Has Far-Ranging Environmental Impacts


Worldwatch: Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry


Young Indian Vegetarians


Your Vegetarian Pregnancy (book)


YouTube vegan


YouTube vegetarian


ZNet’s Animal Rights Resources


5 Good Reasons to Eat Your Dog (6 ½ min. video)


10 Simple Ways to Advocate for Animals


20 Questions About Vegetarianism


50 Reasons Why I’m A Vegetarian


51 Percent


101 Cookbooks (blog)


101 Reasons Why I’m a Vegetarian (Pamela Rice)


10,000+ Links


Return to the Table of Contents


Please link, mirror, send, forward, post, blog,

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! Thank You !


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(100% of donations go to further education & outreach.)


Please send all other comments, concerns, contributions, and constructive criticism,

as well as any requests, bequests, e-quests, eco-quests, or spiritual quests to:


Dan Brook


All requests for interviews of or for lectures by Dan Brook

can also be scheduled through this e-address.

Research assistance by Adrienne Leddy is greatly appreciated.




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