Home Go to Animals & Pets
Making a Difference Three Times a Day
by Geron Countess
Editor's Note from Karen Stabley, Co-Editor of Arts & Art Therapy: I am stepping outside of my category to share this article. Geron, the author and my young friend, is passionate about animal rights. In this article, she makes a very compelling argument for becoming a vegetarian.
Do you want to help save animals, the earth, and improve your health? Then please consider becoming a vegetarian. Albert Einstein said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” Every day, you are given at least three chances to make a difference: breakfast, lunch and dinner. After this you will no longer be able to say, “I am just one person. What can I do?” At every meal you can speak for the animals and protect their natural rights to life. At each meal you have an opportunity to maximize the earth’s resources so that the world’s hungry can eat. At each and every meal, you choose what goes into your body which means choices regarding your own health. What choice will you make when you have dinner tonight?
When you are choosing your entree for dinner this evening, consider the source of your food. Can you look into the eyes of the animal that was sacrificed and really justify the end of his life for your full belly? Leonardo Da Vinci said, “We live by the death of others: we are burial places! I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look on the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.” Is there really any other way to look at meat? We believe in the natural rights of man. Our country was built on this belief. Can we really believe that we are the only ones with this natural right? Do animals really have no rights to life and the pursuit of happiness?
Now let us imagine that you have justified the killing of animals and have found a way to ease your conscience so that you are still considering a big, juicy steak for dinner. If that is the case, then I must appeal to your intellect about the use of our limited resources here on our planet Earth. Dr. M.E. Ensminger, internationally recognized animal agriculture specialist and former Department of Animal Science Chairman at Washington State University, said, “About 2,000 pounds of grains must be supplied to livestock in order to produce enough meat and other livestock products to support a person for a year, whereas 400 pounds of grain eaten directly will support a person for a year. Thus, a given quantity of grain eaten directly will feed 5 times as many people as it will if it is eaten indirectly by humans in the form of livestock products.” Doesn’t this seem like a move in the right direction towards ending world hunger? Wouldn’t you enjoy your food more if you knew that 5 more people could eat at each meal because of the choices you were making? How would you feel if you convinced 5 of your friends to become vegetarians? Now 30 more people could eat at every meal because of the choices you were making. It starts to really get exciting when you consider what would happen if your friends’ friends started making non-animal choices and their friends‘ friends....
Possibly I haven’t really touched your heart yet. Perhaps you can justify the mistreatment of animals, and world hunger seems a little too remote to really matter to you personally. Maybe to reach you, you need facts about something much more personal. If that is the case, let us consider your health. John Phillips in the September issue of Healthy Lifestyles magazine said, “A diet centered on plenty of vegetables and greens, nuts, seeds and Omega-3 fats will be ideal for the majority of individuals.” The Mayo Clinic staff is quoted as saying, “A well-planned vegetarian diet is a healthy way to meet your nutritional needs.” How many times have you read that the best defense against cancer and most ailments is a diversity of fruits and vegetables? The meat our ancestors ate was not from animals packed together in inhumane living conditions, pumped full of antibiotics to keep them alive. The meat our ancestors ate came from cows that ate grass and wandered in meadows, from chickens that saw sunshine and could move, and turkeys who were able to stand up on their own. How can the meat from animals that live such wretched and unhealthy lives possibly be good for you?
If I still haven’t moved you, then go ahead and eat your meat dinner tonight, and every night. Some day if you have children I wonder if it will be difficult to look them in the eye and say, “I had so many opportunities to make a difference, but it didn't matter to me. Here is the Earth I give you.”
Please "Add a Comment" at the bottom of this page or blog in our Forum here.
Please do not use apostrophes in your comments.
About the Author
Geron Countess is a high school student and an aspiring makeup artist. She plays the violin, piano, harp and studies voice. She has acted in plays and musicals that include Our Town, Strange Bedfellows, Mulan and Alice in Wonderland. She is in her school chorus and a member of the Model United Nations team. At home, she makes jewelry, pottery, paints, draws and cooks. Geron received the Music and Theater Award for her Middle School last year. She won a silver Scholastic writing award for an essay about being a vegetarian and received honorable mentions for six original poems.