Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/letters/print/chi-0131vpclassroomvoicesbriefsjan31,0,544170.story

CLASSROOM VOICES LETTERS FROM SCHOOL CHILDREN

Classroom Voices

—Jennie Weer, Hammond, Ind.

January 31, 2009

No more meat

I'm 14 years old. On Oct. 23, 2008, I turned vegetarian. I was reading a magazine by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals when I read what cows and pigs go through at factory farms. They get whipped, sworn at and abused. Their teeth get pulled out while they're still alive and with no pain-killers.

Later that day, I was reading an article on the PETA Web site about chickens. Their beaks get cut off, taking skin with them. They are still alive, with no pain-killers.

That happens to them before they are thrown into grinders alive.

When you buy packaged chicken meat, you'll probably find feathers, even though the chickens are dipped into scalding-hot water alive to get the feathers off.

So you are eating a dirty animal that suffered.

Since October, I've been drinking soy milk, eating protein (nuts, especially!) and having meatless meals. I've never felt better!

I learned later that too much meat is bad for your heart and causes serious medical conditions.

I'd love to encourage everyone to think of animals this year—to be more healthy and cruelty-free.