Have you ever thought of what happened before the packaged meat you buy hits the shelves? You also probably picture a farm, a place where the animals can graze and run free. However, 2 out of 3 farms are factory farms. Factory farms are a place where animals we eat, such as, chickens, cows, turkeys, ducks, geese, and pigs, live in “very stressful conditions”. By continuing to let these animals be tortured, we are doing more damage than you think.
According to Peta.org, these animals are kept in small jam-packed wired cages. They are so clustered in these cages that they can barely turn around or be comfortable. We are not only affecting the poor animals, we are affecting ourselves too. People who eat too much meat are more likely to get heart disease or kidney disease in their middle age years from the high levels of hormones that are injected into the animals at the factory farms. If this continues, more people will die from obesity, diseases, and they will have a lot more health issues in their old age. Not only are the animals fed drugs to fatten them, they gain so much weight that a lot of them die under their own weight before they even reach the slaughterhouse. So what was the point of the animals being tortured and die before they meet the slaughterhouse? We need to change the choices we make because if we don’t it’s only going to get worse for all of us.
Something a lot of people don’t pay attention to is their carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted due to the consumptions in fossil fuels. This is a bigger part of your diet than you think, it’s simply the healthier you eat, the less your carbon footprint is. For an example, someone who is a meat lover, carbon footprint is 3.3. However, a person with an average diet carbon footprint is 2.5. That’s a 0.6 difference, which may not seem like a lot but it will eventually. Another thing that people don’t realize is the massive amounts of fossil fuels that we are using for things such as transportation and energy. Fossil fuels aren’t something that can just be restored, fossil fuels took millions of years to produce. According to DoSomething.org, waste from mostly chicken and cattle has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. The pollution will only increase making animals, people, and the environment sick.
To start making a difference, in ELA we made a commitment to give something up that impacts the world. My commitment was not to eat meat and I chose this commitment because it connected to stuff we learned in other classes especially science. In science class we learned about the decrease of fossil fuels since most of it is used as energy. Energy being used for things like transporting these animals to very long distances that can take up to be an 8 hour drive. It’s not an efficient way to use our natural resources that we are losing. Also in ELA, we learned more about what it means to make a sacrifice from the documentary “No Impact Man”, which is based on a writer named Colin Beavan and his family. In the documentary, Colin and his family began to eat locally too including their meat which was a hard change but it was adjustable. The point of our commitment was to be more sustainable with the choices we make and thinking to ourselves is it worth it? In conclusion, factory farms are wrong and need to be stopped or we all will be in more danger than we already are in. Worldwide, about 70 billion farms animals are now reared for food each year.
About the Author:
Michelle is a student at Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School, New York. She has mastered both of her learning targets by following the rubric guidelines of her school. The first learning target, she evaluates the impact of her choices of the world, its causes on the environment, animals and the people, such as, the pollution due to waste and transportation. Also the tons of water being contaminated and the amount of health hazards as a result of it. She has also shown the causes and effects of the bad choices we make because we don’t think of what else is being affected. For the second learning target, she synthesized her learning from other classes to connect to her real world experiences, She has made multiple connections to her commitment and learnings from other classes.