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Consequences of a meat orientated diet

Mass keeping of livestock

The huge quantities of meat being consumed today can only be produced by an industrialized "meat production". The mass keeping of livestock is a direct result of the high meat consumption.

Cruelty to animals

In order to produce meat as cheaply as possible, the so-called animals for slaughter are being kept under painful and unnatural conditions. Some of these "methods of torture" are: Standing boxes where pigs do not have the freedom to make even one step, boxes for calves where the calves are isolated from their fellow calves and where they don't even have enough room to turn around, transports of animals that last for hours or even days, most of the time without water and food, cow trainers (electrical wire located directly above the cow), cow barns and pens with openings for manure in the floors which make it very painful for cows and pigs to walk on because of their specific type of hoofs, etc.

Sick animals

This mass breeding of the meat industry keeps on causing new types of diseases which are not always harmless to human beings. One can hear of the mad-cow-disease more often as well as of the foot-and-mouth disease and other epidemic diseases in the industry of mass keeping of livestock. Nobody speaks of the psychic symptoms of sickness as e.g. constant biting into bars due to boredom because nobody believes in this having any effects on the quality of meat.

cages calf

Killing of creatures capable of feeling pain

Irrespective of how the animals are being kept: They are all killed to satisfy the human palate. Normally, the animals have to watch how their fellow animals are being killed (by bleeding to death) before it is their turn.

Human health

The stress of being slaughtered causes the animals to produce large quantities of different hormones (e.g. adrenalin). These are being consumed when eating meat and cause, together with other poisons added up over an animal's lifelong taking in of (non-biological) feed, several health problems. In addition, human organism, which is neither made to digest such large amounts of protein nor to take care of "purin"-acid contained in meat, is literally being polluted by the fast decaying meat. Consequences among others are: Gout, rheumatism, heart diseases as well as diseases of the circulation system, diabetes of old age. Even certain kinds of cancers are found more often in the bodies of meat eaters than in the ones of vegetarians.

Waste of taxes

The above mentioned illnesses caused by civilization where high meat consumption plays a significant role are also responsible for the big increase in health costs. To keep the unprofitable meat industry alive, it needs to be strongly supported by subsidies. This is the reason why Switzerland spends on average 85% of its agricultural subsidies on production of animal foodstuff. 77% of the revenue of the Swiss agriculture are being financed by the taxpayer.

Waste of foodstuff

The meat production wastes a lot of foodstuff. To produce one kilogram of meat, one needs 7 - 16 kg of grain or soya beans. When "transforming" grain into meat 90% of protein, 99% of carbohydrates and 100% of fibre are lost. Nevertheless, in Switzerland 57% of grain are being fed to animals for slaughter.

cages pics


The constantly rising need for fodder does not only cause less land to be available for cultivation of human foodstuff, but it also promotes monocultures. Besides, cultivation of fodder disregards ecological consequences. Biological feed for animals for slaughter is hardly known even though the pesticides used cause damages to the environment and the consumer's health in the end.

Over-acidification and over-fertilization of the soil

The livestock of Europe and the USA pollute the drinking water and the soil. Among other things, they are responsible for acid rain, dying of forests, over-fertilization of the soil and the oceans.

Climatic changes

An increasing part of the changes in climate caused by man is due to the mass keeping of livestock. Only the 1.3 billion cattle kept worldwide produce over 100 millions tons of methane gas yearly.

Solution to the problem

It is being tried again and again to at least tone down some of the above mentioned problem areas. However, these attempts failed because it was usually not tried to solve the problems at their roots. Naturally, it is easier to blame the keepers of livestock, the politicians or the industry, to organize demonstrations and to collect signatures. But all of this will remain ineffective and implausible as long as every single person is not starting with him-/herself to eliminate the cause. As, unfortunately, it cannot be expected that all human beings will be understanding of these correlations, at least the ones who are should not only reduce their meat consumption, but also set an example to the others by a total renunciation. This is only one step in order to get rid of the problems, but it is a very important one. And most of all: It can be done right away by everyone!

Further information

All facts listed in this paper are scientifically verified. We will gladly send you further information on any subject regarding vegetarianism. Your membership or donation will help us to keep spreading this information independently.

Last update of this page: 1.11.2005

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