[Inquirer.net - opinion]
I'M not as daring as those
sexy sirens wearing lettuce (and only lettuce) while advocating
vegetarianism. Nor am I as extreme as those dye-dousers preying on fur-clad
supermodels. You won'
t even see me hugging centuries-old trees in defiance
of chainsaw-lugging loggers.
But what I do, and have been espousing
for over a decade now, probably takes as much guts as those much-publicized
environmental stunts. That'
s because I, an average Filipino citizen making
ends meet on an average urban salary, have taken the dietary course less
Once and for all and for the record, I henceforth
convey this answer: I have become a vegetarian to help end the following:
1. Animal genocide, or the endless cycle of violence and pain inflicted
by humans upon millions, even billions, of cruelly treated livestock. Spend
just one minute inside a slaughterhouse during a killing spree, and try not
to flinch as you hear pigs crying in fear and pain. Try and look at a dying
s eyes, and it'
s impossible not to see terror in their final gasps for
breath. Pity the chickens: after being crammed mercilessly into wire mesh
transports, their beaks are cut off just before their throats are slit.
s factory farms, animals are crammed
by the thousands into filthy windowless sheds, wire cages, gestation crates,
and other confinement systems. These animals will never get to feel the
warmth of the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are
loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter,'
Bruce Friedrich writes in his '
Ten Reasons to go Vegetarian.'
2. Animal revenge. There is a reason
doctors ask us to go easy on meat when we'
re diagnosed with chronic
lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. When you gorge
yourself on animal products, there'
s no telling what chemical cocktails come
3. Poverty on a global scale. Yes, believe it or not, as
more humans eat more flesh, more humans will actually be the poorer for it.
Food experts have observed that the meat-eating habits of the wealthy around
the world support a world food system that diverts food resources from the
hungry. About one third of the world'
s total grain harvest is fed to cattle
and other livestock, while as many as a billion people suffer from chronic
hunger and malnutrition, according to Jeremy Rifkin in his book '
quoting data from the United States Department of Agriculture and the
Every time you eat a hamburger, you are having a
relationship with thousands of people you never met. Not just people at the
supermarket or fast food restaurant but possibly World Bank officials in
Washington DC, and peasants from Central and South America. And many of
these people are hungry. 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-food for the well-off,
while millions of children and adults suffer from malnutrition and