The Occupy Movement came about partly because we realized that we had given away too much power to government and industry that do not always have the best interest of the people in mind in their actions. Once power is given away, it can be very difficult to get back. That is why we have yet to see the one percent pay their fair share. There is one power, however, which we all have that hasn’t been taken away from us and that is what we put on our plates to nourish our bodies every day. Here is why it matters.
The largest receiver of farm subsidies in the U.S. is the corn industry. However, according to the U.S. Corn Growers Association, 80% of the corn grown is fed to cows, pigs and chickens. In fact, majority of the edible grains grown are fed to livestock, which if they were fed to people directly would feed over 800 million people. Taking these factors into account, the livestock industry is the largest receiver of government farm subsidies.
We are told that we need GMOs because they can be made pesticide and drought resistant to produce larger yields to feed a growing population. If we weren’t using the food we grow now to feed animals who return only a fraction of that food back with even lower nutritional value, we would have enough food to feed everyone without the need for GMOs.
Instead of subsidizing raising foods that promote heart disease, diabetes and cancer, why don’t we support those same farmers to grow vitamin, phytonutrient, and antioxidant producing foods that enhance life, fight diseases and increase longevity?
Animal agriculture is also responsible for a large portion of world’s environmental problems, emitting more greenhouse gases than all modes of transportation combined. As can be deduced from the food grown to feed animals, animal agriculture is a huge consumer of fossil fuels. The livestock industry is also responsible for the largest use of farm land and water as well being the largest polluter of these resources.
If one were to take a poll, almost everyone would condemn cruelty to animals, including farm animals. Yet, by US Dept of Agriculture’s own account, over 95% of all animal products that we consume daily come from factory farms; where sentient beings are intensively confined, suffer both physical and mental abuse before meeting a horrible death. Even so-called humanely raised animals are typically sent to the same inhumane slaughterhouses that also process factory-farmed animals.
There isn’t one good reason to give up eating animals, there are several. The details of each of the things listed above could fit volumes. I encourage you to do your own research, to empower yourself against the industries and the government beholden to them, that use our tax-dollars to exploit our land, water and living creatures capable of loving and feeling. Perhaps you will come to the same conclusion I came to 4 years ago.
Giving up eating animals is not about deprivation; it is about creating abundance, an abundance of resources, an abundance of food to feed the hungry, an abundance of health, for people and the planet, and an abundance of compassion. And when there is abundance, there is sharing, and sharing makes it a better world to live in, for us, them, our children and generations yet to come.
One of the easiest way to be a part of the Occupy Movement is by occupying your plate. You still have this power, so be powerful.