Celebrate the Facts!
Hollywood has made a cottage industry producing films and documentaries about genocides of humans, but the incredible destruction of life that occurs in the United States each year creates nary a twinge of attention. That juicy steak once was part of an animal who loved her family, contemplated her future, recalled her past, and died alone and in incredible pain. History will remember this generation of people for the pain it caused in its desire, not for food, but the food they preferred, but didn't need, only for their pleasure.
The killing fields in the United States continue to create and destroy billions of lives a year for our entertainment. The USDA predicted that meat consumption would be 225 pounds per person in 2020, the most consumed meat in recorded history.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the United States food industry slaughtered about 9.6 billion land animals in 2018:
Humans spend a lot of money and time pondering the possible existence of intelligent life in the universe. Largely disregarded is the intelligent life humans eat every day, and not because humans need the meat, but because they like the way it tastes. However, the unsettling fact is that those animals are conscious, have emotions, and can feel pain.
A conscious being has subjective experiences of the world and its own body. Humans are conscious beings, but we are not alone on this planet. In 2012, the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness crystalized a scientific consensus that humans are not the only conscious beings and that ‘non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, possess complex neurology complex enough to support conscious experiences.
Neuroscientists conclude that neural circuits supporting attentiveness, sleep, and decision making appear to have arisen in evolution as early as the invertebrate radiation, evident in insects and cephalopod mollusks such as the octopus. The field of animal consciousness faces difficulties because animals cannot articulate their thoughts in human language. A foundational argument is hobbling the development of this area of science as the criteria for consciousness, and its definition is still undefined.
The carnivore-diet set likes to maintain that humans are meat-eaters by design and later agricultural products such as wheat or corn are ‘unnatural,’ but there is a lot more to that story. Humans have short, soft fingernails and small 'canine' teeth, while pure carnivores have sharp claws and large canine teeth to devour animal flesh. Carnivores’ jaws move only up and down, requiring them to tear chunks of meat from their prey and swallow them whole. Humans, like herbivores, move their jaws vertically and horizontally, so they can grind plants with their flat molars.
Carnivorous animals tend to swallow their food in large chunks, relying on highly acidic stomach juices to break down flesh and kill the dangerous bacteria in it, while human stomach acids are much weaker in comparison. Carnivores have short intestinal tracts and colons, while humans have much longer intestinal tracts to absorb nutrients from plant matter.
The evolutionary argument for meat-eating is specious. More likely, humans evolved as scavengers with limited hunting in areas of seasonal food shortages such as cold climates.
Discussions about animals possessing a lower level of consciousness justify consumption as food begins to sound disturbingly like rationales used for historical genocides. And one wonders if right-to-life zealots have the same consideration for animals who have a demonstrable ability to perceive pain.
In the United States, 36.5 percent of adults are obese, and another 32.5 percent of American adults are overweight. So even if the carnivore-crowd advocates are correct that humans need to eat flesh, many more animals die every year than need to simply for human pleasure.
Marketing has many ways to spin matters to sell products. In this case, the ‘humanely raised’ tag on meat is laughable. Factories create animal lives, raise them ‘humanely,’ then slaughter them to make juicy hamburgers, savory steaks, and yummy chicken ‘fingers’ for overfed American consumers. Regardless, 99% of farmed animals in the United States live in factory farms.
Countering the argument that meat is necessary to sustain human health are avalanches of authoritative studies animal demonstrating flesh-free diets are healthy:
One of the most significant issues confronting people is an all-or-nothing approach to vegetarianism, but other strategies can prove helpful in reducing the cruelty defining our society. ‘Reducetarian’ is a movement where people are intentionally consuming less meat and reducing cruelty by:
The recent revelations of documented encounters with alien aircraft by the United States military compel examination of the perceptions of our civilization by alien intelligence. Would such possible intelligence condemn us for our creation and destruction of human life?
Michael Donnelly investigates societal concerns with an untribal approach - to limit the discussion to the facts derived from primary sources so the reader can make more informed decisions.