A Word about Animals PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Animals have always been an essential part of a balanced sustainable web of life.

 

 

"What are human beings without animals?  If all the animals ceased to exist, human beings would die of a great loneliness of the spirit."
Chief Seattle to the American President, 1855

In cultures that live in balance with the earth’s life community, the treatment of animals is just a natural extension of their respect for all life.  Animals are and will be around for as long as we humans are.  Even organic farmers who do not own animals must obtain manure, the essential fertilizer, from other farms.  So, animals are an essential link in the sustainability of life on earth.  Should we eat them, then?  There are certain individuals, usually very slender, energetic, imaginative, creative and enthusiastic, who may need some animal protein to ground themselves and support their dietary needs.  Animal foods may also be helpful as temporary measure to overcome certain dietary deficiencies and for dietary transitions.  Good quality dairy products, free-range eggs, bone broth and lean white meats in small quantities usually suffice even for these needs.

 

However, the average North American currently consumes almost twice their own weight of meat every year, about 5 to 6 servings daily.   The production of this excessive amount of animal flesh requires vast fertile areas to grow grain for feed and huge amounts of fresh water.  The end result is toxification of our planet with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the exhaustion of our precious water supply and pollution of our drinking water with dangerous nitrates.  While it may not be necessary or practical for everyone to become a vegetarian or vegan, every bit of reduction in meat consumption has immediate environmental, social and health benefits.
 
Moreover, by vegetarian food choices, we choose compassion over cruelty, stewardship over destruction.  Conventionally raised animals are confined in cages, crates, pens and industrial buildings and many can’t see the light of day, stretch or turn around for most of their lives.  They are dragged, prodded and mutilated on the way to slaughter.  Fish and seafood are scraped from the ocean floor with huge trowels and many are discarded as useless “by-catch”,  injured and helpless.  Our huge appetite for beef burgers has spearheaded the blind destruction of virgin forests around the globe.  However, every time we choose to replace the urge to conquer and kill with the desire to help and love, we summon the whole universe to help us restore the beauty and resources needed to secure a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.  We can make the world a better place, with every bite we eat!