Walk away from meat

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, October 10, 2018

If we all can shift to a plant-based diet, we will not only improve our personal health, but we will play a great role in improving the quality of our environment.

With the environmental damage from the hurricane-flooded hog manure lagoons in our state, we need to examine the deeper causes of our vulnerability to this devastation. If we look carefully we might determine that we need more regulations against hog farms, but if we look even deeper, we might see that the demand for meat and animal products fuels the profit motivated recklessness of these large-scale farms. 

Since Hurricane Florence, the news headlines have been inundated with images of drowned farm animals and flooded manure lagoons.

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Animal farming is not what it used to be. We grew up with wholesome visions of farms. We sing about Old MacDonald and imagine a guy in overalls, with happy animal grazing and roaming.

The current reality is that our meat and dairy comes from huge factory farms, with crowded and cruel conditions, pollution from manure, antibiotic and hormone injections, e-coli outbreaks, sickness, recalls and further waste. Factory farms exist because of profit, and profit exists because of the demand.  

The great news is that there are tremendous documentaries to support and inspire us as we shift to a plant-based diet, which provide a spring board of inspiration for weight loss and greater health.  

Flooded manure lagoons and beef recalls provide clear evidence that factory farming is unhealthy. While increasing regulations and zoning of these farms is a good first step, ultimately, we need to look at the demand for meat and animal products.  

The damage from Hurricane Florence has provided us with a painful lesson. We can be proactive in our learning by exploring plant-based alternatives to meat.

Making this shift is a win-win for both personal and environmental health.

Katharine Janes, Tryon