There are so many reasons why people are becoming vegetarian, vegan, or simply cutting down on meat consumption. Of course, the main way people reach this place is through their own conscious decision in their own time. Pressuring people to adopt a certain lifestyle has never gone well (throughout history), regardless of whether the intent was good or bad because we all want free will. Telling somebody you don’t agree with the way they live won’t encourage them to consider your point of view.
So why has there been a decrease in meat consumption as of late? Well, besides the ethical worries people have concerning the treatment of animals, many are realizing that you don’t have to give up meat to make a difference. Simply reducing and cutting down consumption of animals can help stop the mass manufacturing of this product which is simply bad for the environment. Moreover, consuming certain meats day in and out has proven to pose immense health risks. Simply cutting down can help stop an industry which has pushed meat production way out of control, and, concerning meats such as bacon, it can help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, or clogged arteries further down the line.
The Humane Society of the United States has been fighting for animal rights under Wayne Pacelle for years. They’ve been protesting the mistreatment of animals, but it took a long time for anybody to listen. It’s still a slow process, but it seems, whilst many care about animals, it was the emergence of other disadvantages to eating red meat, in particular, that truly started to sway public consensus against eating animals; or eating such a large quantity of animals, at least. Every year, the number of animals killed for meat consumption is decreasing in certain parts of the world, and this can be attributed to numerous factors.
Many Black Vegetarian Societies have been reporting increases in members, which McQuirter attributed to an active desire from many to change their lifestyle and live more healthily. It seems that many need some form of personal, selfish motivation to change their lifestyle. This is no cruel or evil thing, however, because it’s the root of all decisions we make. If somebody feels personally affected by the welfare of animals, they’re likely to cut down on meat consumption for that reason, but for others, it takes a personal threat to push them into that way of life.
The mass production of meat in the food industry is damaging to the environment because of the scale on which it operates. The ever-growing population of the world, the ever-increasing demand for meat, and the ever ‘improving’ methods of production have all led to a bloated industry, through which incredible amounts of pollution are released and massive swaths of land are decimated in favor of crops for animals, rather than people.
So, what’s the answer? Should we give up meat? Well, in an ideal world, yes. However, we’re lucky to live with the option of free choice. For many, simply choosing a different meal every now and then is enough to make a difference; both to their health and the world around them.
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