Millions of people around the world believe that humans are meant to eat animal products. This is wrong. Research shows that we were meant to be plant-eaters. Meat-eaters are less healthy than plant-eaters and contribute to environmental damage.

Plant-based diets increase blood flow, improve muscle efficiency, reduce inflammation and provide a better source of protein. According to T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study: “Animal protein is one of the most toxic nutrients of all that can be considered. (AreHumansSupposedtoEatMeat?)” Meat clogs arteries and causes chronic diseases, certain cancers and cardiovascular ailments.

Secondly, eating animals has a serious impact on our world. Fish, meat and dairy farming use up 83% of Earth’s farmland. (GameChangers). Livestock consumes six times the amount of protein it produces. More than 70,000,000,000 animals are eaten yearly, so livestock needs room to live and space for growing its food. We’ve run out of space. 70% of forests that used to belong to the Amazon rainforest are now used for cattle grazing. Much of the rest is used for growing crops.

Another problem with livestock is their use and contamination of fresh water. 25% of Earth’s rivers don't reach the ocean now because of all the water given to livestock and used to water their crops. In the U.S., livestock produces 50 times more waste than American citizens. Air quality is also declining. Livestock is responsible for the same amount of emissions as all vehicles on Earth combined. In just the U.S., eating less meat would have an enormous impact. Agronomical emissions would reduce by 73%. We’d save 265,000 gallons of water per person yearly. We’d free 12,000,000 square miles of land that are used for livestock and their food (GameChangers).

Eating less meat would contribute to a healthier population, strengthen our ecosystem and provide the right sustenance. I know humans have been meat-eaters for a long time. But to quote Medical News Today, “just because something has been done for eons, it doesn't mean that we necessarily need to continue down the same path.”

KIELY SINDELAR

BLACKSBURG

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