Not supporting big factory farms and animal cruelty is a reason all by itself to go meat-free. By not eating meat, we no longer support the big industrial giants that torment hundreds of thousands of animals everyday.
But there are a few other reasons to go meat-free.
Antibiotic resistance: The animals in these factory farms are kept in cramped, unsanitary and stressful living conditions. In order to keep them alive, agribusiness giants must use a large amount of antibiotics on the animals to prevent them from getting disease and infections. Many of these antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant bacteria are found in the air, groundwater and soil around farms and may contaminate not only the meat, but also other farms in the vicinity. Vegetable farms close by and people living nearby that use the same water supply will have these drugs in their tap water.
Public health dangers: Many outbreaks of E.coli and Salmonella have come directly from farm animal waste and other bacteria that contaminate the food and drinking water. Several studies have shown that people living near these farms suffer more health problems such as coughing, diarrhea, burning eyes, headaches, nausea, respiratory problems and more.
Toxic waste: Large amounts of animals kept in confined space is not healthy. These animals must produce waste; unfortunately this waste has nowhere to go. Animals generally produce 3 times the amount of waste than the entire US population. Trying to clean up this waste is almost impossible. The result is that the manure ends up contaminating our water supply and can also emit toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and methane.
Wasteful water: Statistics from the US Environmental Protection Agency show the water quality around CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) and areas of intensive crop cultivation are of great concern. Not only for problems of contamination, but also for problems of usage. For example, for a single pound of beef 26 times more the amount of water is needed compared to a pound of soy protein.
Greenhouse gases: Several elements contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases and play a huge role in the climate change. These include not only raising animals for the meat, egg and dairy industries, but also planting crops to feed those animals, deforestation, energy use and transportation of animals and animal products. Some studies show that these factors are responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions.by