Why Should I Care?
The Obvious: Animal Production & Economic Resources
Public policy discussions often generate questions about land and wildlife preservation, conservation, finding land on which to build, and land that could be used for public parks; one would think land was incredibly scarce for Americans. However, 80% of agricultural land in the US serves no other purpose than to grow food to feed livestock animals, which are raised on different land.[i] To offer perspective—the rest of the world uses about 30% of the earth’s land surface for livestock.[ii]
Less developed countries constantly struggle to figure out where it will obtain fresh water for its population, as if it is also scarce. Nonetheless, livestock animals are the number one consumers of water.[iii] A United Nations study entitled “Livestock's Long Shadow” explains that 2.3 billion people struggle, on a daily basis, to obtain their needed amount of water. Of these 2.3 billion people, 1.7 billion live under water scarcity conditions.[iv]
The ecological problem of livestock is more than just a water problem. Meat usually requires multiple production stages that other food does not. For its production, meat requires the feed to be grown and brought onto diesels, transported, feed mills to be run and filled, workers at the factory farm, transportation of animals to the slaughterhouse, workers risking their lives and mental stability at the slaughterhouse, scrapping of undesired parts of the animal, transportation of meat to processing plants, workers to process meat at the plant, transportation of meat to the grocery store, and refrigeration or freezing of the meat in the store. At each of these stages, resources are used through labor, transportation, heating, cooling, etc. Every factor requires energy for its heat, just like every truck.
The cost of producing a living creature and destroying it is paramount to other productive efforts in the economy. For example, one pound of cow meat requires 2,400 gallons of water for its total production. One pound of whole wheat flour, on the other hand, only requires about 180 gallons of water.[v]
PollutionDanielle Nierenburg, an agricultural issues researcher at the World Watch Institute, and Gowri Koneswara have said that overwhelming evidence proves the meat and dairy industry has a more harsh effect than any other industry on the environment, and they include air and land transportation in their research of environmental damages.[vi] The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations wrote (2006), “[T]he livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport.”[vii] In the US, about 80% of ammonia emissions are livestock derived.[viii] A single dairy cow “emits 19.3 pounds of volatile organic compounds per year, making dairies the largest source of the smog-making gas, surpassing trucks and passenger cars.”[ix]
American livestock animals generate 87,000 pounds of excrement per second; that is roughly 130 times more than all Americans![x] Three trillion pounds of this excrement is used to fertilize crops, causing run-off of bacteria, drugs, and diseases into waterways.[xi] Agricultural runoff is the number one source of pollution in our waterways.[xii]
Agricultural runoff flows through our mighty, Mississippi River, straight down to the Gulf of Mexico, where it has made a “dead zone,” a place where most natural sea creatures can no longer survive, due to runoff and other pollution. A Princeton University study (2006) concluded that this dead zone could be reduced to “small or non-existent,” if the meat industry was curbed or halted altogether.[xiii]
Bob Torres spent an extensive amount of research and writing in The Political Economy of Animal Rights, in which he exhibits not only the factual and statistical horrors that occur in the cages of animals, but also on the factory floor for the workers in the factory farms. For readers more interested in investigating this topic, read Chapter 2: Chained Commodities of the book, specifically focusing on pages 45-56.
He easily demonstrates that the first industry in need of halting for workers' safety must be the meat industry. “Slaughterhouse work is routinely ranked among the most dangerous occupations, and illegal immigrants are over-represented among slaughterhouse workers.”[xiv] Torres offers multiple interviews with factory farm workers who have witnessed workers leaving maimed, with slit throats, and other shocking injuries that would only routinely occur in the meat industry.
The meat industry often intentionally plays off the insecurity of undocumented workers, knowing they cannot file a lawsuit, gain workers compensation, or be treated as humans on the issue.[xv] This, he compares to the similar lack of concern from the capitalist class for vivisection and animals tested in laboratories, where the oppressed can do absolutely nothing and never have their concerns acknowledged. Though alternative methods of accomplishing a task may exist—soy meat, or synthetic materials—a shareholder only seeks the cheapest method for her/him to increase profits. If that means disregarding lives, limbs, or psychological stability, they will, and they do.
An unstable psyche is also a common result of the slaughterhouse and every workplace where workers are forced to regularly kill other sentient creatures. There are countless news stories about violent slaughterhouse confrontations, but even workers in animal shelters that kill animals suffer symptoms similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder. Debra White studied this characteristic and wrote:
Shelter workers who have to euthanize animals as a regular part of their jobs suffer a wide range of distressing reactions, including grief, anger, nightmares and depression, according to a study I conducted with a fellow social worker . . . . “I have a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of crying... I've had breakdowns in the euthanasia room because I feel so helpless.”[xvi]
Whether knee-deep in blood and guts at a slaughterhouse, shoving hooks up the anuses of hogs to drag them to the next location to be quickly sliced up on the factory line, or in a shelter, injecting a puppy to end her/his life, the emotional implication is stressful and not healthy for the human psyche.
Will the Market Save Us?
As markets would have it, despite ecological devastations, labor violations, and inhumane cruelty, the United Nations warns, “people are consuming more meat and dairy products every year. Global meat production is projected to more than double from 229 million tonnes in 1999/2001 to 465 million tonnes in 2050, while milk output is set to climb from 580 to 1043 million tonnes.”[xvii]
In 2010, United Nations Environmental Programme reported, "Animal products, both meat and dairy, in general require more resources and cause higher emissions than plant-based alternatives.”[xviii] The report repeatedly emphasizes the frighteningly high use of animal products, urging curbing or ending of animal production. “As the global population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes for diets rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable, says the report from United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management.”[xix] Unlike the ability to enhance public transportation and more energy-friendly avenues, meat is not as easily replaced by known innovations; also, meat production uniquely causes incomparable levels of workplace injuries and inhumane examples of cruelty to living creatures.
Although, factory farms are the location for most animal production in the US, moving back to small farms is not a solution. Even smal farms cause overgrazing, compaction, and erosion, and if not managed properly, can result desertification.
Quoted in The Guardian, Nobel Prize winning Chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, said “'In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it clearly is the most attractive opportunity,' said Pachauri. 'Give up meat for one day [a week] initially, and decrease it from there,' said the Indian economist, who is a vegetarian.”[xx]
England’s former adviser on the economics of climate change, Lord Stern of Bretford, wrote, “‘Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world's resources. A vegetarian diet is better,’ Stern said.” “I am 61 now and attitudes towards drinking and driving have changed radically since I was a student. People change their notion of what is responsible. They will increasingly ask about the carbon content of their food.”[xxi] Stern contends that meat eating will become passé and unacceptable, as people become increasingly concerned about the environment and climate change, and he probes an interesting generational shift.
Those who were raised decades ago have attached a stigma to soy alternatives and vegetarian meals (sometimes even with an arrogant machismo attitude[xxii] on behalf of humanity, proud of its callousness). However, vegetarianism has grown in popularity to each generation’s decreasing stigma of alternatives to meat. This offers an important avenue for strategy.
Taiwan has, by far, the strictest labeling restrictions on vegetarian food in the world. Vegetarians currently comprise about 10% of the Taiwanese population. Vegetarianism is more common than one may expect in Israel, and it is incredibly easy to adhere to a meat-free diet there. These are examples due to the cultural traditions of these countries, as is also case of India.
The Hindu states that about 40% of Indians are vegetarian.[xxiii] There is some dispute about the exact number, but it is generally pegged around 40%. (The ambiguity of data is largely due to the rural Adivasi population, who are often difficult to find and communicate with clearly, causing data to be difficult to gain among extremely rural, culturally traditional Indians.) India’s cultural tradition lends itself to a very low amount of meat consumption, as a country. Nonetheless, we can conclude that, despite globalization, meat is still not adopted more frequently, due to its high cost. Meat is being adopted as globalization occurs and Hinduism withers in importance to Indians. This increase in meat consumption in the Third World is somewhat common in less developed countries, as globalization or Westernization rapidly entrenches their culture and economy.
Western diets are introduced through economic globalization. As more McDonald’s restaurants pop up, cheeseburgers may become more typical. Granted, many times Western corporations will market their products uniquely to a cultural demographic, but as part of the market, the catering is for profit. Despite the fact that Indians may collectively have a more ecologically sustainable dietary tradition, markets compel companies to destroy that tradition, because it makes them money, regardless of what environmental, labor, animal, or social damages the change may cause. In other words, as corporate globalization occurs, there tends to be a gradual change in less developed countries to adopt meat-eating.
Western countries have been domestically seeing the opposite. Recently, Ghent, Belgium instituted a “veggie day” of the week to encourage everyone to not eat meat.[xxiv] About 9% of both, Germans and Swiss are vegetarians; 6% of Englanders, 4% of Canadians, 3.2% of Americans.[xxv] These raw percentages are actually not all that different from many less developed countries today. In fact, vegetarianism may be lower in many highly developed countries, than in less developed countries today, but there is a lot of reason to believe this may change.
A pattern is apparent: food traditions are uprooted by Western imperialism, replaced by less healthy and environmentally unsustainable food, and less people eat meat. Over time, though, as the populace gains more literacy and more democratic characteristics, people tend to actively (re-)adopt vegetarianism, due to their concerns for animals, the environment, and health. At the beginning of the 20th century, almost no Westerners were vegetarians; the concept was virtually non-existent. Vegetarianism has been introduced to the American public in the past few decades, and now has about 3.2%.
So, how do we, as a planet, stop eating meat?
Strategizing: Animal Liberation & the Economy
The goal, though, is not to move back in time. We want to sustain the large population—well, curb it by encouraging sexual education and contraceptives—but we are not suggesting people must die! Industry has provided great avenues for us to produce unknown quantities before it, and we enjoy many of these tasty foods. We want to produce the goods for the world in a way that respects animals, humans, and the environment, and this will require economic planning.
· We want the economy to be efficient by using the least amount of resources necessary to maximize our production. This will require getting rid of animal production.
· We want the economy to be environmentally sustainable. This will require getting rid of animal production.
· We want to maximize the amount of land able to be used for wildlife preservation, as well as for parks and other future human constructions. We want to minimize the use of land, especially if alternative products can be just as easily produced in higher quantities on that land, or if an alternative use for the land could be just as socially valuable. This will require getting rid of animal production.
Meat and dairy would not be what the world would want to produce or consume, if it had the opportunity to plan the economy with a free flow of information.
Strategizing: Lifestyle vs. Institutional Change
If we seriously want to stop living creatures from being completely destroyed for human use, we need to strategize. Strategizing for animal liberation involves methods not usually included in social movements. Unlike overthrowing patriarchy, there is no oppressed force that can gain consciousness to participate in struggle. Animals do not have the cognitive capacity to fight for liberation. So, it is up to humans to convince other humans why animal liberation is a worthwhile cause tied to their own human interest. Such convincing involves education about brutality, the environment, and economic efficiency.
One start for animal liberation supporters is to go vegan or vegetarian. These diets (if done right) showcase their adherents as healthy, happy, sane, and easily able to get food. They, also, help strike up conversations with people about where our food comes from, what is in it, and the damage it inflicts.[xxvi]
Another beneficial avenue may involve meat-eaters who agree with the need to end meat production to support large social policies that advance this cause. For example, one might advocate for animal-friendly lunches at school, despite their inability to stop eating meat on their own. We will always need to reach large groups of people, potentially influencing many people through socialization, as compared to winning over each individual to make a choice and take up discipline to be a minority lifestyle and struggle with their diet everyday. The latter here individualizes the movement, and its supporting organizations have historically not supported inevitable tasks that animal liberation will require, like economic planning.
Moving forward with the strategy of institutionally proposing animal-friendly meals, it is important to note that young Americans tend to be introduced to soy alternatives a little more than previous generations were. If we look at the percentages of people who don’t eat meat in more developed countries, it has tended to increase in the past decades. This is due to the deterioration of the stigma that people attach to soy alternatives and vegetarianism in general. As new generations grow up around a little more soy and animal-free meals, the excuses for (and pride in) eating meat tend to wither over time.
So, an obvious solution is to get animal-friendly alternatives in schools. Instituting a “veggie day,” like Belgium, in an American school may sound odd, but not absurd; most Catholic communities only served (some still do) meat-free or fish meals on Fridays in schools. This reform reintroduces the issue to the public and de-stigmatizes youth, and it is not outlandish.
These alternatives can actually be produced with more economic efficiency, than meat is today; but this necessary change will require planning. In other words, with planning, parents could be won over on the notion of costs (if they still exist) for children's lunches, health, and lessons in ethics. This is not a lifestyle strategy; it focuses entirely on institutions changing behavior, not the liberal assumption that individuals can construct society by individual activity.
“It isn’t about you. Despite popular belief, veganism isn’t about you. Sure, it is about what you eat and wear and how you live, but it isn’t only something that you do for yourself. …The problem, though, comes when people think of veganism as some kind of inhuman, god-like sacrifice they’re making on behalf of animals. Publicly playing the martyr who has so valiantly sacrificed the so-called “dietary pleasures” cheese, dairy, eggs, and all the rest just makes you look like a self-centered asshole — plus, you become a real downer to be around.” -Bob Torres [xxvii]
Strategizing: Non-Meat Animal Production
Many pet owners already support spaying and neutering animals right now, due to the overpopulation of pets. Puppy mills and other breeding firms breed species that are already over-abundant, in selective ways that will decadently cost extravagant money, despite damage to the animals involved and the millions of nearly identical animals without a home who will die. Even of those bred by companies, many are killed after they grow old, if they are not sold on the market, because puppies typically sell better than fully grown dogs. Excluding the richest crust of our society, puppy mills are generally unpopular institutions in our society.
The other side of this problem is shelters—there are not enough (or not big enough) “no-kill shelters”. Although increasingly common, no-kill shelters are not the standard “dog pound” to which strays are taken. No-kill shelters are typically non-profit agencies that take in animals from kill shelters (the pound), to prevent them from dying; however, they cannot save nearly enough to keep all animals, let alone those bred for profit.
Supporting no-kill shelters and closing all puppy mills are worthwhile reforms to propose in relation to family animal friends, both of which already receive astonishing support. The majority of Americans are probably already in a state of consciousness on this single issue to support these reforms.
But, won’t changes like these cause extinction of livestock species?
Maybe, but probably not. Livestock animals have been selectively bred by humans. These species are currently sustained by social creations; they would not be able to easily obtain their food in quantities to live, if humans were not nanny-feeding them. Because of their lack of reliance on the natural ecosystem (and the rest of the ecosystem’s lack of reliance on them), their removal would not devastate the ecosystem. Contrary to devastation, we have demonstrated that a decrease in the number of animals not involved in the natural ecosystem and their waste would probably help the global ecosystem. Nonetheless, if some people became so bothered by the potential of cow extinction, those people should be welcomed to adopt or otherwise provde human care for the animals.
Why not just join PETA or another animal rights group?
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has historically supported privately owned firms that destroy animals on a mass scale, in an attempt to applaud a small change. PETA is willing to collaborate with the capitalist class, but we cannot do that if we seek to socially plan the economy. The capitalist class will never allow us to socialize production and democratically plan the economy. We cannot work with the capitalist class if we are working to dismantle capitalism. Bob Torres exemplifies PETA’s awarding of Temple Grandin for innovating a device at AgriProcessors (largest glatt kosher slaughterhouse in the world) that would save the company money when stunning animals to induce mal seizures. [xxviii] (Grandin was, also, applauded for her work on developing more cost-effective methods of simultaneously electrocuting a sheep’s heart and head.) Today, these “innovations” are used in slaughterhouses around the world to decrease the stress to animals before being slaughtered. Bob Torres explains:
If PETA is genuinely interested in abolishing all animal exploitation, and if they see the slaughter of animals as a moral wrong, it is seriously worth wondering why they would give an award to a slaughterhouse systems designer who delights in instructing people how to induce grand mal seizures in the very animals PETA have pledged to care about. In short, why is a group like PETA giving awards to people who design slaughterhouses to be more efficient engines of mass killing?[xxix]
Organizations that offer such minor reforms may sometimes build momentum for our movement or allow animals to survive slightly less torture, but these reforms do not leave animals in a better position to fight for their liberation. Unlike full employment is for workers, larger cages for factory farm animals will not offer a larger opportunity for animals to realize their liberation. In fact, it has historically resulted in the opposite, with private companies offering the illusion of change and even marketing themselves as animal-friendly for more "humanely" destroying living creatures. Again, Bob Torres follows up on calling these organizations out with explaining why they fail:
Most contemporary animal activism, however, seems to miss this point entirely, and in place of the clarity of reason, mainstream organizations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals make…bargains with industry that condemn animals to maintain their status as property and commodities of a bloody capitalist machine.[xxx]
Among these, other major problems with PETA are their rampant hyperbole and nonsense in demonstrations—dressing up like chickens, yelling constantly, throwing paint—and their sexist flares that sexually objectify women in a cheap attempt to get men to pay attention to an ad of theirs. We can strategize, but should not bargain our feminist or socialist principles.
The Animal Liberation Front, while courageous in their efforts, usually frightens people we will need to have on our side, if we want a meat-free planet. In fact, adventurous and illegal organizations, like ALF, tend to attract those in society most conditioned to admire adventurism; ALF and illegal anarchist organizations tend to be predominated by young men, raised in the tradition of identifying with heroes. Ending animal liberation does not need more male heroes, but it does need education and fewer stigmas. (This is not to understate the ending of short-term pain ALF relieves for animals through its actions.)
What about post-vegetarianism? Isn’t it honorable and good for the ecosystem to kill animals ourselves, the way nature did it?
Writers like Sandor Katz and Derrick Jensen often put forth the notion that killing animals more “naturally” is more honorable than killing them in factory farms. For this reason, they say, it is okay to hunt animals for food and eat animals on small, free-range farms.
· From a logical standpoint, the equation is absurd. There is nothing “natural” about a shotgun. Nature allows animals to die, often from disease, which would probably not be safe to eat.
· From an ethical standpoint, the reasoning is absurd. Nobody’s family would appreciate her/his body being slaughtered and eaten, simply because s/he previously grazed in an open field, instead of sitting in a factory. It makes no sense to think animals would project honor upon some of their species, simply because they died after living for awhile in an open field. Killing animals for human gain when we do not have to is what has led us to the outrageous meat industry of today, when we could just as easily have a healthier, more humane, environmentally sustainable, and more efficient food production in other ways. While hunter-gatherer societies may have needed to kill for food, we do not have to do this today; in fact, we could more easily produce food without bloodshed. Similar to the way humans outgrew a cave and now build houses, humans have outgrown meat, and we should grow and cook alternatives..
· From an efficiency standpoint, small farms are impractical. Factory farms are the natural development of innovative meat production.
Completely destroying animals, while feigning a better relationship, is the ethical and logical conclusion that Katz, Jensen, and post-vegetarians offer.
Their ecological argument may seem correct at first, until we remember that most meat today is removed from what would have been its natural environment. The only real components of the ecosystem today that would be affected by livestock would be fertilizing crops, resource use, and pollution; we don’t want to increase the latter two. Fertilization, however, can be obtained through rotating crops with fields in which animals roam, which could be done more easily if the economy was not forcing such high corn feed production for the raising of livestock.
Their ecological argument, also, applies to hunting. As some animals are hunted less, it disrupts the ecosystem’s equilibrium, causing the hunted animal’s prey to decrease. However, these levels eventually reach a new equilibrium. If extinction is a genuine concern, public policy protections could be put in place to protect wildlife diversity. The fact is that this equilibrium in nature goes in and out of whack as part of the ecosystem; a temporary disequilibrium in the ecosystem is not the end of the world.
Why are so many vegan alternatives expensive?
Some alternatives are expensive; some are not. Most vegan imitations of meats and cheeses are usually more expensive than cheap versions of similar products obtained from animals. There are a few reasons for this.
Ordering, producing, and transporting commodities is always cheaper when done in bulk, but current soy alternatives to meat are not produced at the same economies of scale as the meat industry currently does. High prices can be partially due to a stabilized low level of demand, which is a result of the soy alternatives being marketed to a niche of society; this niche, in particular, has stereotypically more money than most people, too, driving that niche market's prices even higher. The small size of the production facilities and the prices of their circulating capital (materials that may fluctuate in value, like soy beans) are effected by the low capacity for production. (This high price may seem the opposite of a low demand in markets, but not if the commodity’s demand has reached equilibrium, with all other factors equal; in such a case, prices for that good have never dropped in the first place.)
Another major factor contributing to prices relates to the market’s (albeit unhealthy) influence on the state through subsidies to farmers. For example, the United States Department of Agriculture issues subsidies for dairy farmers—usually the richest—to produce more dairy at lower prices, drowning the market in milk, while Kraft Foods, Inc. still makes insane profits.[xxxi] The last fifteen years have seen cheese inserted and layered onto foods in new ways—stuffed crust and seven-layer cheese pizzas are classic examples—because companies have seen cheese as a cheap add-on that will sell. But, 3X extra cheese is the last thing Americans need in their diets! So, while the Food and Drug Administration urges Americans to stop consuming so much cheese, due to its high levels of fat and cholesterol, the USDA will continue subsidizing its production.[xxxii]
The quantity and scarcity of resources to produce vegan alternatives shows no reason why they should be more expensive than their animal comparatives. What price differences appear today are more the fault of uneven development in the market and private influence on the state, not the result of labor or the ecosystem.
[i] Marlow Vesterby and Kenneth S. Krupa, “Major Uses of Land in the United States, 1997,” Statistical Bulletin No. 973, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1997.
[ii] “Livestock a major threat to environment,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, November 29, 2006, <http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html>.
[iii] Theo van Kempen, “Whole Farm Water Use,” North Carolina State University Swine Extension, Jul. 2003. Also, see Rick Grant, “Water Quality and Requirements for Dairy Cattle,” NebGuide, Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1996.
[iv] United Nations. “Livestock's Long Shadow” – Envirnmental Issues and Options. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 126, 2006.
[v] Marcia Kreith, “Water Inputs in California Food Production,” Water Education Foundation 27 Sept. 1991.
[vi] See Arvanitoyannis, Ioannis, and Demetrois Ladas. "Meat Waste Treatment Methods and Potential Uses." International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 43.3 (2008): 543-559, March 2010, 578. They reference Danielle Nierenburg and Gowri Koneswaran’s “Global Farm Animal Production and Global Warming: Impacting and Mitigating Climate Change.”
[vii] “Livestock a major threat to environment,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, November 29, 2006, <http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html>.
[viii] State of North Carolina, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, “Review of Emission Factors and Methodologies to Estimate Ammonia Emissions From Animal Waste Handling,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Apr. 2002.
[ix] Jennifer M. Fitzenberger, “Dairies Gear Up for Fight Over Air,” Fresno Bee, August 2, 2005.
[x] Ed Ayres, “Will We Still Eat Meat?” Time 8 Nov. 1999.
Also, see U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, “Animal Waste Pollution in America: An Emerging National Problem,” Dec. 1997.
[xi] Amy Ellis Nutt, “In Soil, Water, Food, Air,” Star-Ledger 8 Dec. 2003.
[xii] Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
[xiii] Simon D. Donner, “Surf or Turf: A Shift From Feed to Food Cultivation Could Reduce Nutrient Flux to the Gulf of Mexico,” Global Environmental Change 17 (2007): 105-113.
[xiv] Bob Torres and Jenna Torres, Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World, Version 2.0, Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2010, 45. Torres cites the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Industry Injury and Illness Data 2005, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics <http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshsum.htm> (30 August 2007).
[xv] While Torres discusses this, another example of labor violations and abuse of immigrant statuses was in a Human Rights Watch report, described by Steven Greenhouse, “Human Rights Group Criticizes Meat Packing Industry” New York Times (January 25, 2005) <http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/25/national/25cnd-meat.html?_r=1>.
[xvi] Debra White, “It’s A Dog’s Life,” Psychology Today, Nov/Dec 1998, page 10. Also, see Chapter 6: The Man with the Scar (61-77), of Gail Eisnitz’s Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry (New York: Prometheus Books), 2007. Although Eisnitz focuses on a number of examples of slaughterhouse workers with violently psychopathic and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, this chapter hones in on an archetypal case of a young man who became a violent bruiser during his time at the slaughterhouse, then, after quitting, went back to being a normal guy again.
[xvii] “Livestock a major threat to environment,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, November 29, 2006, <http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html>.
[xviii] “Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Consumption and Production: Priority Products and Materials,” 81, <http://www.unep.org/resourcepanel/documents/pdf/PriorityProductsAndMaterials_Report_Full.pdf>.
[xix] Felicity Carus, “UN urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet,” The Guardian June 2, 2010, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/02/un-report-meat-free-diet>.
[xx] Quoted in Juliette Jowit, The Guardian, September 7, 2008, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/07/food.foodanddrink>.
[xxi] David Batty and David Adam, “Vegetarian diet is better for the planet, says Lord Stern,” The Guardian, October 26, 2009,<http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/oct/26/palm-oil-initiative-carbon-emissions>.
[xxii] Men fearing vegetarianism as a threat to their ability to dominate is not simply an accusation. Vegetarians in the US, in 1992, were 68% female and 32% male. See Joanne McCallister Smart, “The gender gap: if you're a vegetarian, odds are you're a woman. Why?” Vegetarian Times, February 1995, <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0820/is_n210/ai_16019829>.
[xxiii] The Hindu, August 14, 2006, <http://www.hinduonnet.com/2006/08/14/stories/2006081403771200.htm>.
“An analysis of consumption data originating from National Sample Survey (NSS) shows that 42 percent of households are vegetarian, in that they never eat fish, meat or eggs. The remaining 58 percent of households are less strict vegetarians or non-vegetarians. Over time there has been a slow shift from strict vegetarianism to less strict vegetarianism.” (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, “Project on Livestock Industrialization, Trade and Social-Health-Environment…,” 2.3 Growth and Concentration in India, <http://www.fao.org/WAIRDOCS/LEAD/X6170E/x6170e09.htm#fn6>.)
“Many Indians are vegetarian by tradition; moreover, many can only afford a vegetarian diet. Meat may be regularly consumed by less than 30 percent of the Indian population, due to its higher cost and a predominance of vegetarianism and Hinduism.” (Foreign Agricultural Service-United States Department of Agriculture, “Passage to India,” 8, <http://www.fas.usda.gov/htp/highlights/2001/india.pdf>.)
[xxiv] Chris Mason, “Belgian City Plans ‘Veggie’ Days,” BBC News, May 12, 2009, <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8046970.stm>.
[xxv] European Vegetarian Union, Veggie Resources, How Many Veggies, <http://www.euroveg.eu/lang/en/info/howmany.php>.
[xxvi] For advice on being vegan, see Bob Torres and Jenna Torres, Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World, Version 2.0, Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2010.
[xxvii] Bob Torres and Jenna Torres, Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World, Version 2.0, Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2010, 42.
[xxviii] Bob Torres, Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights, Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2007, 91-92.
[xxix] Ibid., 92.
[xxx] Ibid., 93.
[xxxi] Environmental Working Group, “United States Subsidy Concentrations 1995-2009,” <http://farm.ewg.org/progdetail.php?fips=00000&progcode=total&page=conc>.
[xxxii] Steve Bemis, "FDA and USDA: Cheese is Serious!" Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, November 22, 2010, <http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/cheese-is-serious-bemis.htm>.
Also, see “U.S. Pushes Cheese — And Warns Against It,” All Things Considered, National Public Radio (Radio), November 8, 2010, <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131168900>, and Michael Moss, November 6, 2010, “While Warning About Fat, U.S. Pushes Cheese Sales,” The New York Times, <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131168900>.