Save the planet and ditch meat

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION&COMMENTARY -

THE EDI­TOR, Sir: MORE AND more peo­ple are re­al­is­ing that they can save an­i­mals, im­prove their health, and com­bat cli­mate change sim­ply by ditch­ing meat.

Stud­ies show that peo­ple who eat plant-based meals tend to be leaner and less likely to suf­fer from heart disease, di­a­betes, or can­cer than their meat-eat­ing coun­ter­parts, and a World­watch In­sti­tute re­port in­di­cates that at least 51 per cent of global green­house-gas emis­sions are caused by an­i­mal agri­cul­ture.

And then there’s the most com­pelling rea­son of all for swap­ping beef burg­ers for veg­gie burg­ers: stop­ping the hor­rific suf­fer­ing in­volved in get­ting ev­ery piece of an­i­mal flesh to the ta­ble. An­i­mals raised for food live in mis­ery and en­dure ex­treme de­pri­va­tion be­fore fi­nally be­ing loaded on to lor­ries and sent off to abat­toirs, where their throats will be slit. When you con­sider what we know of pigs, cows, chick­ens, and other an­i­mals — that they have dis­tinct per­son­al­i­ties and a will to live — it’s im­pos­si­ble to jus­tify killing them for a burger.

As more hu­mans see these an­i­mals for the won­der­ful in­di­vid­u­als they are, the in­creas­ing num­ber of those who will no longer feast on their flesh makes sense. If you’re not yet one of them, World Veg­e­tar­ian Day (Oc­to­ber 1) is the per­fect time for you to give it a go. Do it for an­i­mals, do it for the planet, or do it for your­self. But what­ever your rea­son, just do it. JENNIFER WHITE jen­ Lon­don, Eng­land

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