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Quotes About Beef
"If you step back and look at the data, the optimum amount of red meat you
eat should be zero."
"Usually, the first thing a country does in the course of economic development is to introduce a lot of livestock. Our data are showing that this is not a very smart move and the Chinese are listening. They are realizing that animal-based agriculture is not the way to go.... We are basically a vegetarian species and should be eating a wide variety of plant food and minimizing our intake of animal foods....
"Once people start introducing animal products into their diet, that's when
the mischief starts."
"The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the
wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If
beef is your idea of real food for real people, you'd better live real close to a real
"When we kill the animals to eat them, they end up killing us because their
flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human
"All red meat contains saturated fat. There is no such thing as truly lean
meat. Trimming away the edge ring of fat around a steak really does not lower the fat
content significantly. People who have red meat (trimmed or untrimmed) as a regular
feature of their diets suffer in far greater numbers from heart attacks and strokes."
"The thousands of people who have suffered food poisoning after eating beef will,
no doubt, appreciate that their beef was aesthetically acceptable, even though it made
them ill. Lovely to look at, dangerous to eat is not a standard that is likely to help
"As happened with tobacco, health warnings about meat eating are
multiplying, and awareness of the environmental effects of meat production is rising. Just
as cigarettes lost their allure, meat is losing its social cachet in some countries. Food
marketers in the United Kingdom estimate that 2 million people in that country are strict
vegetarians. More important, the number of people limiting meat in their diets is rising
rapidly. An estimated 6 million people in the United Kingdom dine on meatless meals most
of the time."
"An alien ecologist observing... Earth might conclude that cattle is the
dominant animal species in our biosphere."
"The impact of countless hooves and mouths over the years has done more to
alter the type of vegetation and land forms of the West than all the water projects, strip
mines, power plants, freeways, and subdivision developments combined."
"Most of the public lands in the West, and especially the Southwest, are
what you might call cow burnt. Almost anywhere and everywhere you go in the American West
you find hordes of [cows].... They are a pest and a plague. They pollute our springs and
streams and rivers. They infest our canyons, valleys, meadows, and forests. They graze off
the native bluestems and grama and bunch grasses, leaving behind jungles of prickly pear.
They trample down the native forbs and shrubs and cacti. They spread the exotic
cheatgrass, the Russian thistle, and the crested wheat grass. Weeds. Even when the cattle
are not physically present, you see the dung and the flies and the mud and the dust and
the general destruction. If you don't see it, you'll smell it. The whole American West
stinks of cattle."
"You can buy the land out there now for the same price as a couple of
bottles of beer per acre. When you've got half a million acres and 20,000 head of cattle,
you can leave the lousy place and go live in Paris, Hawaii, Switzerland, or anywhere you
"We got hooked on grain-fed meat just as we got hooked on gas
guzzling automobiles. Big cars made sense only when oil was cheap; grain-fed meat makes
sense only because the true costs of producing it are not counted."
"A reduction in beef and other meat consumption is the most potent single
act you can take to halt the destruction of our environment and preserve our natural
resources. Our choices do matter. What's healthiest for each of us personally is also
healthiest for the life support system of our precious, but wounded planet."
HUNGER AND POVERTY
"It seems disingenuous for the intellectual elite of the first world to
dwell on the subject of too many babies being born in the second- and third-world nations
while virtually ignoring the over-population of cattle and the realities of a food chain
that robs the poor of sustenance to feed the rich a steady diet of grain-fed meat."
"A meat-fed world now appears a chimera. World grain production
has grown more slowly than population since 1984, and farmers lack new methods for
repeating the gains of the green revolution. Supporting the world's current population of
5.4 billion people on an American-style diet would require two-and-a-half times as much
grain as the world's farmers produce for all purposes. A future world of 8 billion to 14
billion people eating the American ration of 220 grams of grain-fed meat a day can be
nothing but a flight of fancy."
"There can be no question that more hunger can be alleviated with a given
quantity of grain by completely eliminating animals [from the food production process].
About 2,000 pounds of concentrates [grains] must be supplied to livestock in order to
produce enough meat and other livestock products to support a person for a year, whereas
400 pounds of grain (corn, wheat, rice, soybeans, etc.) eaten directly will support a
person for a year. Thus, a given quantity of grain eaten directly will feed 5 times as
many people as it will if it is first fed to livestock and then is eaten indirectly by
humans in the form of livestock products...."
"Changing eating habits in the North is an important link in the chain of
events needed to create environmentally sustainable development that meets people's needs.
The Beyond Beef campaign is an important step in that direction."
"Suppose food were distributed equally. If everyone in the world ate as
Americans do, less than half the present world population could be fed on the record
harvests of 1985 and 1986. Of course, everyone doesn't have to eat like Americans. About a
third of the world grain harvest -- the staples of the human feeding base -- is fed to
animals to produce eggs, milk, and meat for American-style diets. Wouldn't feeding that
grain directly to people solve the problem? If everyone were willing to eat an essentially
vegetarian diet, that additional grain would allow perhaps a billion more people to be fed
with 1986 production."
"Family farmers are victims of public policy that gives preference to
feeding animals over feeding people. This has encouraged the cheap grain policy of this
nation and has made the Beef Cartel the biggest hog at the trough."
"In my opinion, one of the greatest animal-welfare problems is the physical
abuse of livestock during transportation.... Typical abuses I have witnessed with alarming
frequency are; hitting, beating, use of badly maintained trucks, jabbing of short objects
into animals, and deliberate cruelty."
"For most humans, especially for those in modern urban and
suburban communities, the most direct form of contact with nonhuman animals is at meal
time: we eat them.... The use and abuse of animals raised for food far exceeds, in sheer
numbers of animals affected, any other kind of mistreatment."
"The amount of meat lost each year through careless handling and brutality
would be enough to feed a million Americans for a year."
"I know, in my soul, that to eat a creature who is raised to be eaten, and
who never has a chance to be a real being, is unhealthy. It's like...you're just eating
misery. You're eating a bitter life."
"In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be
cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of
commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be
defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people."
"Yet saddest of all fates, surely, is to have lost that sense of the
holiness of life altogether; that we commit the blasphemy of bringing thousands of lives
to a cruel and terrifying death or of making those lives a living death -- and feel
"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is
concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity."