Solution Proposal Bw

I found this part of my paper to be particularly interesting:Finding the facts for my paper was the most interesting. I was able to educated myself more on the topic and really get an understanding of the crisis.

This part was surprisingly difficult: writing my paper was the most difficult and deciding what I wanted to talk about first and what to add and not add.

Next time I would do this differently: next time, I would not wait last minute to make some changes to my paper and start writing it the first week it was designed.

Then, spend a couple of minutes reflecting on your process in writing.

My process for this paper was getting all my facts and sources and then I made an outline for my paper and that is how i guided myself on writing my paper so I didn't loose track or talk about something twice.

It’s no secret that American’s diets consist mostly of meat. I would be lying if I said I didn’t love meat, I grew up eating meat almost every night for dinner whether it was steak, burgers, or hot dogs. Many Americans are focused on that meat tastes good, but don’t think about the other aspects which includes that meat is tremendously detrimental to the environment and just as importantly has serious health risks. Which is why it is important for Americans to be educated on how this has become a crisis, the effects of meat, and how switching to a vegetarian diet would be beneficial or at least, reduce their consumption of meat.

The environmental impact is a serious problem that Americans need to consider. There are many plantations or corporate farmers around America who are just looking at the money aspect of farming and don’t actually care or know about what farming does to the environment. Farm animals produce pollution from farmers using pesticides, fertilizers, manure, and feed. These pollutants are released into the air and fresh water, making them not fresh anymore. One in six people around the world does not have access to fresh water. Thousands of years ago, people could drink straight from the rivers, and today, we have to pay to drink water and buy it from companies who manufacture water in water bottles and jugs. Houses need reverse osmosis systems and water softeners to filter the water and make it safe to drink. The bottles we buy are made out of petroleum, which is detrimental to the environment. Another problem is that huge plantations produce so much manure that is impossible to keep it stored properly. One single dairy cow produces 120 pounds of manure per day, which is equal to 20-40 people (EPA). If you times that by 100,000 cows, that is 12,000,000 pounds of manure produced each day. Since there isn't enough storage and room to keep manure on the farm, plantations and corporate farmers use the manure as fertilizer, but don’t realize that it actually releases toxic gases including ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, phosphorus, and methane into the air and seeps into the ground and pollutes fresh water. “In the United States, livestock are responsible for 37% of pesticide use and a 3rd of the loads of nitrogen and phosphorus into fresh water resources” (EPA). Manure also seeps into lakes and ponds and kills thousands of fish and degrades coral reefs and coastal areas. “The ammonia that is in manure, is highly toxic to fish even at low levels; nitrogen and phosphorus cause algae blooms which block waterways and deplete oxygen that ends up killing fish and other aquatic organisms. Microorganisms from the manure can be found in the water supply that are called Cryptosporidium, which cause deaths in humans” (EPA). As manure decomposes, it releases gases and toxins that pollute the air and deplete the ozone layer. Humans are going to start noticing ice caps beginning to melt at rates faster than ever, rising sea levels, shifting weather patterns, drought, and spread of infectious diseases. Not only does manure pollute the air, but factory farms produce massive amounts of dust. A study in Texas found that "animal feedlots produce more than 7,000 tons of dust every year; more however, that dust contains active organisms including bacteria, mold, and fungi” (EPA). Not only is the air we breathe and water we drink a problem, but our land is being taken by these big factory farms, and soil is eroding.

More than two-thirds of all agriculture land is devoted for growing feed for livestock, while only 8% is used to grow food for direct human consumption. Meat consumption is increasing every year which means farmers need to find more land. More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest has been cleared to create cropland. The land being taken away is mostly tropical forests and that causes global warming. For example, “in Brazil, during the years of 2004-2005; more than 2.9 million acres of the Amazon forest was destroyed for crop season” (PETA). Soil erosion is supposed to be a natural phenomenon, but human activity is causing it to drastically speed up. Farmers cause soil erosion by planting crops every year and plowing the field which exposes the topsoil. That topsoil often blows away by wind, taking the nutrients with it. Every time a field gets plowed, it loses nutrients and eventually the land is unproductive. “Half of the topsoil on the planet has been lost in the last 150 years and not only is erosion the problem but farming also impacts the land by compaction, loss of soil structure, and soil salinity. Lastly, soil erosion increases pollution and sedimentation in streams and rivers, clogs waterways, and kills aquatic species” (EPA).

Animals consume most of the global food supply, which is another problem. “Animals raised for food actually take more from the global food supply than they provide” (WFAS). “There are almost 7 billion humans on earth and almost one billion of them are malnourished. 80% of the global soybean crop and 50% of the corn crop are fed to livestock. That amount of crop could go to humans who are malnourished. Animals eat large quantities compared to how much they produce. It takes 13 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of meat. Livestock and farmers also need water. Nearly half of all the water used in the United States goes to raising animals for food. Farmers need water for the crops so the animals can eat, provide drinking water for the animals, and use water to clean the farms. Farms also use energy; it takes more than 11 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie of animal protein” (PETA). Lastly, livestock isn’t treated humanely. Many people think livestock get to roam around big, open pastures but that isn’t the case anymore. “The truth is, 80% of animals that humans consume actually come from concentrated animal feeding operations where the animals are maintained in confined spaces and quickly fattened through a high protein diet consisting of either corn or soy” PETA). Farms quickly fatten livestock and then slaughter them. Why is that a fair life for animals when we strictly raise them to eat them?

“Meat and poultry is the largest U.S. agriculture business; producing 92.6 billion pounds of meat in 2011. Americans diets consist heavily of red meat and consume the most meat than any other country. The average male consumes 6.9 ounces of meat per day and women consume 4.4 ounces per day. Humans are only supposed to consume 5.7 ounces of meat per day” (U.S. Meat Industry). Humans derive one-third of their daily protein from animal sources which is equivalent to a high of 273 pounds per person annually. By 2050 meat consumption is expected to double, to 465 million tons (Henning pg. 65). Even if Americans only had 5.7 ounces a day, there is still risk of diseases and illnesses. Red meat and processed red meat is full of saturated fat and cholesterol which is unhealthy for the heart and leads to a shorter lifespan. Processed red meat is considered hot dogs, bacon, and salami. When it is cooked at high temperatures, it produces carcinogens on the surface which is unhealthy for the body (Harding). Recently, a study was done by Dr. Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic who took a look at what was actually in red meat. He found lecithin in not only beef, but in egg yolk, liver, pork, and wheat germ. Lecithin when consumed turns into a compound called Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) which clogs the arteries” (Imus). Since TMAO clogs arteries, it then can cause heart attack, stroke, or death. If you consider yourself healthy, exercise daily, have normal cholesterol, eating meat puts you at risk and you may not even know it. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States” (Vegetarian Times). Another study done at John Hopkins University found arsenic in chicken with levels exceeding the natural amount. Arsenic is a chemical element found in a lot of products and can cause death if high amount is consume (Imus). Another study was conducted by Harvard researchers over a span of 28 years and tracking 121,000 adults. They found that people who ate 3 ounces of red meat every day were 13% more likely to die from heart disease or cancer before the study even ended compared to people who didn’t eat meat (Woolston). Meat also has iron, sodium, and nitrates; if too much is consumed, that increases the chances of heart attacks. Today, the numbers for obesity are getting higher and higher and it is due to the consumption of meat and other foods that are strictly fatty foods, and not consuming enough plant based foods. 64% of adults and 15% of children aged 6 to 19 are overweight and are at risk for developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes (Vegetarian Times). A study was done at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California on weight and found that “overweight people who followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet lost an average of 24 pounds in the first year and kept it off 5 years later” (Vegetarian Times). There has been numerous studies done by best researches on this topic and no good information has come from it, except that red meat is bad for the health.

Meat consumption has turned into a crisis because of the way people were taught in school, raised by their parents, and because hunting has become a very popular activity. Americans think of meat as a necessity, but in reality it is a luxury. Many have the picture that meat is a necessity because it has nutrients and fats that our body needs. But many don’t know that there are substitutes to getting the same nutrients. Meat is a luxury because we don’t need it to live, it tastes good, and is easy to get. Today, everyone goes to grade school and takes a health or nutrition class and learns about the food pyramid which is now called My Plate. On the My Plate, there is a group just for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. We are supposed to have 2 to 3 servings a day of that group. Kids were taught to eat meat because of the food pyramid. The pyramid doesn’t need to include meat from cows. It can include fish, chicken, nuts, and beans which all provide the same nutrients. We were also taught to eat meat because of the way our parents raised us. If your parents eat meat, then you will also end up eating meat. Parents teach their children that meat is good tasting and good for our body, but many may not know the risks involved. Americas were also taught that we are omnivores and that we function best eating both animals and plants (Authority Nutrition). When we are taught these things or read about them, then yes we are going to believe them. It is hard to believe the right thing when there is information going both ways on the internet. But what it comes down to is the facts and studies. Lastly, is the leisure activity, hunting. We have discovered that all animals have meat to offer, so that’s why hunting has become so popular. Hunting animals isn’t bad compared to raising cattle. But hunting only started because centuries ago, people needed to kill an animal so they didn’t starve to death. We don’t need to hunt to stay alive anymore. I don’t have an opinion on hunting. However, I do believe that the government should continue to regulate the limits on how many animals a person can kill in a season in order to maintain a healthy animal population. I do agree that Americans should be able to fish because it serves as a healthy alternative.

As stated earlier, this problem has been debated for years now. An article I found on the internet from Authority Nutrition states that “we have been eating meat for a long time and blaming new health problems on old foods doesn’t make much sense and that unprocessed red meat is healthy for the body” (Authority Nutrition). Yes, unprocessed red meat is healthy in moderation but Americans mostly consume processed red meat and there are still environmental problems involved. An article in Readers Digest by Chris Woolston, "stated that in 2012, a report found that Americans who regularly eat lean beef get more protein, zinc, potassium, and vitamin B". Americans can eat other foods that give the same amount or even more amounts of vitamins. Also stated is that “humans are omnivores” (Authority Nutrition), as mentioned in the above paragraph. But from an article I found by Michael Bluejay from the Vegetarian Guide, he breaks down the anatomy of eating. In his article he states “we are most similar to other plant eaters and drastically different from omnivores” (Bluejay). Many people believe we are omnivores because we have canine teeth, but Michael says that is false. I have summed up the chart Bluejay has created and only pointed out the big things. But, if you want to see the whole chart, this is the website: In the chart you will find that herbivores and Humans have the same canines, molars and incisors; they are short and flattened. For an Omnivore, those three teeth types are long, sharp and pointed/curved. Omnivores need long, sharp and pointy teeth to kill their prey and eat their meat. Have you ever tried to eat a really tough piece of meat and found it really hard to chew? That is because human teeth aren’t capable of chewing up meat that is tough. We can only handle lean cuts of meat. That also brings me to the next point. In Bluejays chart, it states that humans and herbivores have to chew their food extensively and an omnivore chews their food whole. If a human eats a piece of steak, they are unable to swallow the piece whole. Humans have to chew it up into little pieces which can take some time. Human’s mouths were not created to be an omnivore; we are created to be herbivores.

Other opposing arguments are that meat is not degrading to the environment and meat isn’t bad for human health. People only debate that because they aren’t educated on what is actually happening to earth and the lives of others. Some people believe that animals are on this earth only for the purpose of providing food for Americans. They use the argument that animals only eat, sleep and poop anyways, so it isn’t humane. But it actually is inhumane. Which is why going vegetarian is the best option.

Vegetarian by definition from The Better Health Channel are people who don’t eat meat or seafood and may or may not eat eggs or dairy foods. There are three types of vegetarians: lacto-ovo vegetarians who don’t eat meat and seafood but consume dairy and plant foods, lacto-vegetarians who don’t eat meat, seafood or eggs but include some dairy, and lastly, vegans who only consume plant foods (BHC). People chose to go vegetarian or vegan because it is a healthier life style, for ethical, cultural or social reasons. But we are only going to focus on the health and environmental aspect of it. It’s no secret that the vegetarian diet is a big topic of debate for a lot of Americans. A vegetarian diet is appropriate for individuals of all ages. “If you switch from the average American diet to a vegetarian diet, you can add about 13 years to your life”, stated Michael F. Roizen, who is the author of “The Real Age Diet: Make Yourself Younger with What You Eat”. People may be scared to change to a different diet. Most of the time, they don’t know where to start and have no idea what to eat. The truth, it isn’t that hard! Every day, you need 5 to 12 servings of whole grains, 1 to 3 servings of legumes and soy, 3 to 4 servings of fruits, 6 to 9 servings of vegetables, 1 to 2 servings of nuts and seeds, 0 to 2 servings of vegetable oils and dairy, and 0 to 1 servings of eggs. There is a variety of different foods you can eat to get the right amount of servings every day. Women need 50g of protein a day and men need 66g, which can be met by eating almonds, eggs, pasta, and bread. Humans need the vitamin B12 in their diet as well. B12 only comes from animal products, so a vitamin B12 supplement is recommended. Vegans don’t consume any dairy, so if you are considering being a vegan, you can get calcium from leafy green vegetables, broccoli, tofu, almonds, soy milk, and fruit juices (LLU). Vegetarian diets are rich in n-6 fatty acids, but lack n-3 fatty acids. Foods that have n-3 fatty acids are flaxseed and walnuts. Earlier in this paragraph, it mentions that any age group can be a vegetarian; even if you are pregnant and through lactation. When pregnant, one just has to make sure to include enough B12, vitamin D, and iron. Toddlers can even be vegetarians. Toddlers don’t need meat to get their daily nutrition. There are plenty of other substitutes that are just as beneficial. Starting your children young will help them have a successful and healthy life when they grow up.

If you can’t cut out meat entirely, then try to eliminate it one or two days a week. There is a movement called Meat Free Monday and their slogan is how one day a week can make a difference in the world (MFM). From multiple studies, data shows that cutting back on meat is the best and quickest option to saving the plant and humans health. Kathy Preston from Planet Save did a study on how going vegetarian for one day would impact the U.S. Her findings were that “100 billion gallons of water, 1.5 billion pounds of crops fed to livestock, 70 million gallons of gas, 3 million acres of land, and 33 tons of antibiotics would all be saved with one day of not eating meat. More however, Americans would prevent 3 million tons of soil erosion, 70 million in economic damages, 4.5 million tons of animal excrement, and 7 tons of ammonia emissions” (Preston). Another way to cut down on meat is try to first eliminate processed red meats like bologna, hot dogs, sausages, bacon, and lunch meats. Try eliminating them a couple days a week and when it gets easier, then try to eliminate it all together. Once you have eliminated processed red meats, eliminate red meats. Substitute red meat for fish, poultry, or veggie burgers. Another solution is to cut down on processed meat and red meat and eat unprocessed meat. Has it ever crossed your mind why some religions don’t eat meat or that Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays? Judaism, Islam, Hindu, and Buddhists don’t eat meat or limit consumption. Judaism can only have food that is kosher, “meaning it is fit or permitted” (BHC). In order for it to be kosher, the animals that provide meat must be slaughter correctly and they also can’t eat pork or shellfish. For Islam, “all foods are allowed except for those considered harmful which include pork, alcohol, and any products that contain emulsifiers made from animal fats (margarines). People who practice Hinduism do not eat meat from animals or any food that has involved the taking of life” (BHC). Lastly, people who practice Buddhism are mostly vegetarian. They don’t believe in harming or killing animals (BHC). After looking at these four religions, they mostly don’t eat meat because it is inhumane, and pigs are considered gross because they eat their own feces and bathe in it.

Although other options also help the environment and health, I still believe going vegetarian is the best solution. From the numbers I have found in the above paragraph, one day makes a big difference. If we could put a complete stop to all gas emissions, stop the use of gas supply on our cars, we could save the land, build houses and would have a lot more crops and food for Americans to eat. Our air isn’t completely clean, but if we all became vegetarians, the air would be and feel very clean to breathe. Don’t you want to breathe clean air? Going vegetarian isn’t an easy task for everyone. But over time and with education, it can be done. But also, the government needs to put a stop to meat production. Don’t forget, if we completely stopped meat production, people wouldn’t have to worry about getting heart disease, toxins, and the lifespan of humans would increase. Lastly, going vegetarian for just one day a week or even if people don’t eat meat a couple days a week, remember, it helps but does not solve the problem. It is just slightly decreasing the problem. It will make the problem last for many more years.

Going vegetarian doesn’t seem to be the answer for some people. I mentioned in the vegetarian paragraph above about a well planned diet. Well, according to Kristin Kirkpatrick from Huffington Post, most people fail at making a well planned vegetarian diet and that eliminating meat from the diet isn’t so easy. It is actually very tricky. Also, Huffington Post says many vegetarians get their information from unreliable sources and that many vegetarians have vitamin deficiencies. People who have tried a vegetarian diet or who knows someone that is a vegetarian, say the vegetarian diet is boring. They state that it looks the same every day and because you are eating a plant based diet, you are never full (Kirkpatrick). The problem with these counterarguments is only that people are not educated. For people who are publishing books, cookbooks and, teaching classes, they are taken advantage of us humans indicating a quick fix by their advertisements and signs.

If the world goes vegetarian, then we would have more land for our drastically increasing population, more food to eat for all families; whether rich or poor, the air would be cleaner, and we wouldn’t have to deal with being inhumane to animals. Even if we cut back our meat consumption, it would make a big difference. The environmental impact and health risks are a big problem and are only getting worse. So, take the next steps to making our environment and your health better by going vegetarian or reducing the amount of meat you eat.


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