Irrespective of the cultural, religious, or political differences, it is evident that everybody has a favorite animal. Whether it is a goat, a dog, a horse, or a pig, it is clear that the connection that is created between the human and the animal is brought about by emotions one can develop towards these creatures. A critical question that everybody who loves animal should ask themselves is whether it is right or wrong for these animals to be killed for people to eat. The practice of eating animals started thousands of years ago when early man began their domestication. Early historical evidence of animal domestication in Mesopotamia indicated that people kept animals such as dogs for security purposes while others like cows were killed to obtain meat. Additionally, to quench their thirst, people also hunted wild animals. With technological advancements, such practices are no longer practiced. Now, animals are kept in big farms and provided with food; when they are fully grown, they are taken to the slaughterhouses where they are killed to obtain meat. There has been a controversy between the vegans and meat eaters, about which of these options is morality right. However, from an individual perspective, people should refrain from eating meat because it is morally wrong because of animal rights, there are other negative effects of meat consumptions that can lead to diseases and the death of an individual, and there are several environmental impacts that meat consumption has, while managing global crisis and maintaining religious beliefs.
People should refrain from eating meat because animals are often subjected to great amount of pain and suffering during slaughter. Although the animal protection agencies have tried to advocate merciful killings, many farms have not fully incorporated these techniques into their practices (Newkirk 1). For instance, the high demand for meat products has made meat processing and fast food companies focus mainly on the attainment of the product regardless of what the animal have to endure. It is a very common experience from the farms to see young chick’s beaks being cut off before the bird is placed with others in a cage. Additionally, chickens in large farms to dot have adequate space to move freely. This interferes with their development because their movement is restricted only to a specific place. The killing methods used for the animals such as pigs and bulls are also inhumane because some people use guns and shoot them in the head. Their side of the argument has always been that since animals lack intelligence and have small brains; thus, they do not suffer. The truth is that sentient animals have the ability to depict pleasure, and this can be shown by how cows and lamb enjoy pleasure just like humans. Animals with the ability to show pleasure and joy can equally feel pain; as a result, it would be inhumane to continue exposing them to great pain for the sake of obtaining meat.
People should avoid eating meat because it leads to diseases and other adverse health conditions. Research has shown that there some organisms of medical importance are found in the gastrointestinal tract of various domestic animals such as pigs (Wallace 101). Some of these microorganisms such as Staphylococcus and Vibrio cholerae can be easily passed from the animal organism to the human host, thus causing diseases. This case has mainly been witnessed whereby meat was not properly cooked or when the specific bacteria or microbial could not be killed at such temperatures. Moreover, cardiovascular conditions such as congestive heart failure and high blood pressure have been on the rise, and one of the factors that have contributed to this rise is the high intake of animal fats. Stored animal fats constitute the unsaturated hydrocarbons and they are referred to as low-density lipoprotein. When they are ingested, they are transported in the blood vessels. Some are often deposited in the lumen of the arteries, and after prolonged deposition, they can lead to health conditions such as atherosclerosis. This is a fatal condition because it hinders the effective flow of blood to the important body organs, for example, legs and the brain. Individuals with this condition are often obese and they suffer emotionally and socially. In this case, since one of the factors that have contributed to these circumstances includes the overconsumption of animal products, it is evident that to reverse the trend and save their lives, people need to refrain from eating animal products, especially red meats such as beef and pork.
Furthermore, people should not eat meat because of its negative environmental impacts. Farming practices related to the keeping of livestock have contributed to the serious environmental problems such as water pollution because animal wastes and fertilizers used in farms eventually find their way into the water bodies, contributing to eutrophication, antibiotic resistance, and other problems (McClelland 5). Additionally, in the pastoralist areas, the biggest land use is accounted to the farms because the animals have to be allowed to move from one place to another in search of pasture. Nomadic patterns have resulted in the loss of natural biodiversity because it causes deforestation, pollution, and climate change when trees and plants have been destroyed. Despite these effects, farmers and companies still carry out their practices because the demand from the meat eaters remains high. In the event of a sharp decline in the total demand for meat products, farmers would be discouraged from keeping animals, and as the result, less land would be secured for keeping animals. This means that vegetation and important plant cover will be saved. Consequently, cases of soil erosion would be reduced because the soil will be covered with grass and other vegetation. The long-term impact of the decreased use of lands for keeping animals is the greater biodiversity, and agricultural practices such as planting of cash crops would thrive.
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People should refrain from eating animals because it contradicts other religions. In countries such as India, the inhabitants hold vegetarianism as a critical practice because it does not apply any form of violence against animals (Pollan 107). Additionally, their culture states that non-vegetarian food can sometimes be detrimental to spiritual development. Other religions that share similar beliefs include Buddhism, and Buddhists are opposed to the practices that hurt animals. Additionally, other religions such as Islam forbid the consumption of some animals such as pigs, and causing unwanted pain is prohibited in both the Jewish and Islamic laws. In Christianity, some members such as the Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Church, and others have specific fasting days when it is prohibited for their members to consume meat. For an average person, all these rules can be very confusing. Therefore, one of the best alternatives is to avoid consuming meat and meat-related products completely. There have been cases whereby people have had cultural conflicts because of the differences in ideologies about animal handling techniques. In India, for instance, the site of a meat butchery is considered an offense. Moreover, animals are allowed to walk around the town freely, while in the United States, such a practice is prohibited, and animals are kept in farms. Consequently, the sites of butchery are normal in the cities. If an Indian comes to the United States, he or she may be shocked by how animals are treated. Therefore, to avoid cultural clashes and ensure that everyone is happy and at peace, it is important for people to refrain from eating meat.
Refraining from meat consumption can help manage the global hunger crisis. International organizations such as the World Health Organization and the United Nations state that the recent decades have witnessed a significant increase in hunger rates (Singer 89). While the same can be applied to the United States, it is important to note that some domestic animals are still fed with grains that could have been donated to the third world countries that are in need of food aid. If people were to stop taking so much meat, the demand would significant decrease, and less livestock will be raised. Food products could be set aside for poor people, which would play a critical role in managing hunger, ensuring food security that has been a major setback to global development, and the attainment of the American dream. In addition to this, it is evident that in some cases, considerable amounts of money have been set aside for the management and operations of major ranches in the country, and with the rates of rural to urban migration, some of these initiatives have always ended up in disasters such as death because of lack of finance and money. If people refrain from eating meat, such cases while be managed because money will be diverted to other functions such as the above-mentioned ones.
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Lastly, another reason why people ought to refrain from consuming meat is that animals also have rights. According to utilitarianism, before making any decision, it is always important to weigh the sufferings or pains caused by the animals and compared it to the human pleasure (Singer 89). It is evident that the amount of suffering that the animals experience outweighs the pleasure that human beings can generate. An example of this is seen in farms where chickens are usually given some types of medications so that they grow bigger and quicker than normal. The resultant impact of this is that these genetically engineered chickens now live for only a short duration of time. Consequently, cows also get their horns cut off so that they could not fight others while grazing (McClelland 3). Both of these events are very painful. In some cases, farmers have often branded their livestock with fire, causing third-degree burns that can be very critical and may threaten the animals’ lives. Based on this positive and negative impacts analysis, it is evident that people should refrain from eating meat because it is ethically wrong and means great deal of pain to the animals.
Over the years, different stands have been taken against the proposed euphemism against eating meat. Biblically, human beings were given dominion over all other creatures, and this meant that animals such as cows and goats were inferior to the human beings, so human were free to eat them. It would seem less lucrative for any average person to look for an expensive diet that would serve as an alternative to the one containing meat to fulfill his or her body’s need for proteins that can be locally found in animals. For these people, meat might be the easiest source of proteins in the diet. It can also be argued that people should be free to eat what they desire, especially if the source does not belong to one person. Imposing restrictions usually serves as a catalyst for people to disobey the law because they will be excited about the new guidelines. Such people have opposed and predicted all the outcomes, causing serious delays. They have refuted claims stating that animals have rights because animals have inferior brains. Additionally, when it comes to the non-meat products, ethical vegans even oppose the consumption of animal products such as milk (Singer 89). Such opposition is present even despite the fact that milk is essential food for small children. Milk is required for the strong bone formation and other uses.
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In conclusion, it is evident that people should refrain from eating meat because it has several negative effects and it is morally wrong. Consequently, other reasons that may discourage people from eating meat and meat-related products are that it will lead to the increased demand for meat; as the result, farmers will have reasons to keep more, which will eventually lead to environmental depletion. On the other hand, it will help in minimizing intercultural conflict as is seen between Indians, who have respect for such animals as cows, while in the United States, there is very little regard for domestic animals. The final reason why there is a need for people to refrain from consuming meat is that animals have been known to harbor dangerous microbial that when allowed to come into contact with human beings can result in serious health concerns. The implications of eating meat are that there will be increased disease rate and overall food insecurity. Effective measures need to be adopted to encourage more people to be vegetarians. Those opposed to these ideologies, on the other hand, claim that even if people become vegetarians, the impact of this action in terms of vegetation will still be minimal. They defend their stand by stating that since people are above other animals in the food chain and they have been given dominion over the rest of the creatures, all of them are created to ensure man’s survival and sustainability in the world and thus, allow them to reproduce further. Conclusively, based on the above discussion, it is still evident that the benefits of refraining from eating meat outweigh the positive sides of its consumption; thus, people should not eat meat.