The Problem with Eating Meat
I do feel that spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
We tend to forget that the meat we eat at our dinner table was actually the body of an animal. That means that it was subject to the same things humans are subject to, like disease, pesticide poisoning, pollution and the effects of its own bodily wastes. When we consume an animal, we also consume those diseases, toxins and wastes. There are many diseases in hogs, sheep and cattle and over two dozen diseases in poultry that humans can directly contract. These include tuberculosis, influenza, samonellosis, undulant fever, and many more.
The large amount of disease prevalent in modern farm animals is due to the facts of over-breeding, inbreeding, stress and overpopulation that are common in modern “factory fanning.” The animals are fed excessive amounts of fats, drugs and chemical additives, which deteriorate their internal organs. Frequently, farmers slaughter their animals to prevent their death due to diseases such as mastises, foot-and-mouth disease, terminal fevers, tumors and tuberculosis. In fact, tumors are routinely cut away at the slaughterhouse or butcher shop from hogs, sheep, cattle and poultry, and the rest of the meat is then passed on to the consumer.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the diseases that eating animals can produce in man.
UNDULENT FEVER: Also known as Bang’s disease, Malta fever, and brucellosis, this is one of the most common diseases transmitted to man from animals. Its symptoms include headaches, fatigue, chills, perspiration, drastic weight loss, arthritis, stomach pains and cardiovascular degeneration. It can come and go, becoming a chronic problem, and is extremely difficult to diagnose.
TRICHINOSIS: Simply translated, this means worm-infected. It is most common in hogs, due to the fact that they are most commonly fed untreated garbage infested with the trichina larvae. This disease is common in northern Canada, with up to 90% of the population infected, and it is considered an epidemic in many parts of Alaska. In Washington, incidence is over 12%. The United States has over three times the average number of cases as the rest of the world. These parasites bury themselves in your bodily tissues and live for as long as you do.
TOXOPLASMOSIS: Another parasite disease, this is also carried in undercooked meats, like rare steaks. Although not usually serious in adults, it is extremely serious in unborn children and infants, causing many extremely severe birth defects.
SALMONELLOSIS: This virus comes from eating infected animals, particularly poultry and fish. This is the most common type of food poisoning. U.S. government inspectors have found salmonella in over 50% of the poultry sold in supermarkets. On the average, 38 million Americans are afflicted with salmonella poisoning each year. Its symptoms include cramps, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, muscle weakness, faintness and thirst. These symptoms can be quite acute, even resulting in death.
TOXINS IN FISH: Many people think they have a great way toward the achievement of a healthy and “meatless” diet by forgoing red meats and poultry, and concentrating mostly on a diet of seafood. Unfortunately, a steady diet of fish and marine life is extremely dangerous, as many fish produce chemical substances that are toxic and even fatal to humans. These reactions can range from allergies to convulsions and death.
Mussels, clams, and oysters enjoy a diet of marine invertebrates, some of which are extremely dangerous to man. Once we eat a contaminated shellfish, the toxin can cause respiratory paralysis within a quarter hour.
This does not take into account the industrial waste and sewage as well as other types of pollution that contaminate fish and cause disease. This problem covers the entire planet: pesticides have been found in fish in areas as remote as Antarctica. Many chemicals, such as arsenic and mercury, are not eliminated by the organisms that absorb them. Once you consume mercury or arsenic, you never lose them, and since as little as 70 milligrams of mercury are fatal to humans, a steady diet of fish is not too healthy.