When we eat animal products, we participate in the confinement, social deprivation, mutilation, reproductive manipulation, indignity and premature death of those who, like us, value their lives and fear death; those who have rich emotional lives and, when allowed to, strong familial bonds; those who have done nothing at all to harm us. When we eat animal products, we are also asking other people to control every aspect of the lives of animals, and to bear the traumatic burden of taking the lives of the innocent. When we eat animal products we participate in a method of producing food that consumes several times more water, energy, fertilizer, and land than our planet can sustain; that takes resources that could be used to grow crops in quantities capable of feeding all the hungry people in the world many times over; and that is responsible for more than half of all global warming impact. When we choose to eat animal products -- whether it be based on taste, tradition, or social norms -- we become part of an unfolding tragedy that is now being called the sixth great extinction in our planet's history. The loss of biodiversity is so severe that by the end of this century, it is estimated that more than half of all plant and animal species are expected to be gone!
Imagine, several decades from now, looking back on this tragic loss, seeing our earth so devastated, so reduced in beauty, diversity and joy. Imagine absorbing the reality of billions of lives ruined, and millions of species lost forever. Then imagine what we would be willing to do to reverse the horrendous damage, to restore what had been lost. Anything. We would do anything it took. Many of us would likely give our lives if doing so would restore the earth. Just as most of us, were we faced with a diagnosis of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or any other diet-related disease, would, with the wisdom of hindsight, be willing to do almost anything to turn back the clock and make different choices. Why then not use our foresight and take seriously the power our actions have to create the future? Why not make the choices now that will help create the future we all desire, a future of joy, plenty and peace?
Scientific studies show that human beings do not need to eat animal products in order to be healthy and, in fact, that we have a better chance of living a long life in good health by eating a well-balanced, animal-free diet.
Once we comprehend the devastating impact animal agriculture is having on our planet as a whole, can we continue on as we have? Once we recognize what it means to be brought into existence for the sole purpose of being someone else's property, what it means to be controlled and arbitrarily killed at the whim of another, what it means to starve to death because others have chosen a diet that wastes precious resources, can we not open ourselves to changing our habits? Each time we choose not to consume animal products, each time we choose instead an animal-free meal, we become more aligned with our own values for justice, compassion and sustainability, and we do what best serves the well-being and happiness of all who dwell upon the earth, now and in the future.
Adopting an animal-free diet is the Peaceable Practice that is both the easiest to carry out and that offers the greatest benefit to the greatest number of beings, including ourselves.
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