by Jasmine Barnes
Many people believe that all vegetarians refuse to eat meat because they have a strong love for animals. While this is true for many, some have a different reason for choosing the vegetarian lifestyle. Monica Pucetti, a sophomore at UC Davis, chose to become a vegetarian because of her disgust for the meat industry.
After hearing her speak of this, I decided to cut back on my meat eating in hopes that I can convince others to do the same, which, in turn, should cause the meat industry to lose money and be forced to change their practices. This change of lifestyle could also save many lives in the long run.
The people of the meat industry pump all of their animals with antibiotics and hormones. They do this not to keep the animals from getting sick, but to make them get fatter faster. By doing so, bacteria encounter antibiotics more often than they did before. According to WebMD, this is causing bacteria to become antibiotic resistant which is causing humans to die from more bacterial infections.
The UK government chief medical officer, Sally Davies, believes that we must find stronger antibiotics quickly in order to fight this catastrophic threat, the spread of a bacterial disease which we can not take down with our current medications.
Unfortunately, there is no way to know if the meat you are buying has been pumped with antibiotics because the meat industry is not required to tell consumers whether or not they have. Even some organic meats have antibiotics in them so the safest way to protect yourself is to limit how much meat you consume or to buy directly from a farmer you can trust.
According to livestrong, on top of the antibiotics, other additives to animals are causing early puberty in girls which increases their chance of breast cancer, and an increased risk in prostate cancer. According to BBC, they can also increase chances of fatal cardiovascular disease and a higher cancer mortality rate. They suggest replacing meat with fish, beans, and nuts.
I am not saying that all people should become vegetarians. Our bodies were created in a way that prepared us to be meat eaters. We have teeth for shredding and chewing meat and we have the enzymes in our stomachs to digest meat.
I do, however, suggest picking one to two days a week where you will not consume any meat. For every seven people who take one day off, it is the equivalent of a new vegetarian. The less meat consumed by Americans can cause a radical change in the meat industry as well as in the bacterial world.
Contact Jasmine Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org