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On Why be Vegetarian- Non religious Reasons

From: K. Srinivasan (srini_at_ireq.ca)
Date: Mon Sep 23 1996 - 08:21:57 PDT

From: "SAIRAM,ASHWIN M,MR" <BUFG@MUSICB.MCGILL.CA>
Subject: a couple of questions
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 1996 03:47:52 EDT

Secondly, as a university student with many local friends and
acquaintances, I consider it an important duty of mine to try and promot
vegetarianism amongst them. I am able to defend my point of view fairly
easily with plausible arguments. It is with my Hindu friends that I run
into problems trying to convince.

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Here is an old posting I captured few years ago.

Article: 9922 of rec.food.veg
From: ded@kps.se (David Edwards /DP)
Newsgroups: rec.food.veg
>From The New York Times, Tuesday, June 20, 1989
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Human beings in America: 243 million.

Number of people who could be fed with grain and soybeans now eaten byU.S. livestock: 1.3 billion.

Percentage of corn grown in U.S. eaten by people: 20%

Percentage of corn grown in U.S. eaten by livestock: 80%

Percentage of oats grown in U.S. eaten by livestock: 95%

Percentage of protein waste by cycling grain through livestock: 99%

Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on an acre: 20,000

Pounds of beef produced on an acre: 165.

Percentage of U.S. farmland devoted to beef production: 56%

Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce a pound of beef: 16.
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Cause of global warming: greenhouse effect.

Primary cause of greenhouse effect: carbon dioxide emissions from fossilfuels.
  Fossil fuels needed to produce a meat-centered diet vs. a meat-free  diet: 50 times more.

Percentage of U.S. topsoil lost to date: 75%

Percentage of U.S. topsoil loss directly related to livestock raising: 85%

Number of acres of U.S. forest cleared for cropland to produce  meat-centered diet: 260 million.

Amount of meat U.S. imports annually from Costa Rica, El Salvador,Guatemala, Honduras and Panama: 200 million pounds.

Average per capita meat consumption in Costa Rica, El Salvador,Guatemala, Honduras and Panama: less than eaten by average U.S housecat.

Area of tropical rainforest consumed in every quarter-pound hamburger: 55 sq. ft.

Current rate of species extinction due to destruction of tropical rainforests for meat grazing and other uses: 1000 per year.
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Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat meat 4 times a week vs. less than once a week: 4 times more.

For women who eat eggs daily vs. less than once a week: 3 times more.

Increased risk of fatal ovarian cancer for women who eat eggs 3 or more times a week vs. less than once a week: 3 times more.

Increased risk of fatal prostate cancer for men who eat meat daily vs. sparingly or not at all: 3.6 times more.
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Use of more than half of all water used for all purposes in the U.S: livestock portion.

Amount of water used in production of the average steer: sufficient to float a destroyer.

Gallons to produce a pound of wheat: 25

Gallons to produce a pound of meat: 2,500

Cost of common hamburger if water used by meat industry was not subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer: $35 a pound.

Current cost of pound of protein from beefsteak, if water was no longer subsidized: $89

Years the world's known oil reserves would last if every human ate a meat-centered diet: 13

Years they would last if human beings no longer ate meat: 260

Barrels of oil imported into U.S. daily: 6.8 million.

Percentage of fossil fuel returned as food energy by most efficient factory farming of meat: 34.5%

Percentage returned from least efficient plant food: 32.8%

Percentage of raw materials consumed by U.S. to produce meat-centered diet: 33%
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Number of U.S. medical schools: 125

Number requiring a course in nutrition: 30

Nutrition received by average U.S. physician during four years in medical school: 25 hours.

Most common cause of death in U.S: heart attack.

How frequently heart attack kills in U.S: every 45 seconds.

Average U.S. man's risk of death from heart attack: 50%

Risk for average U.S. man who avoids the meat-centered diet: 15%

Meat industry claims you should not be concerned about your blood cholesterol if it is: "normal"

Your risk of dying of a disease caused by clogged arteries if your blood cholesterol is "normal": over 50%
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Percentage of U.S. antibiotics fed to livestock: 55%

Percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin in 1960: 13%

Percentage resistant in 1988: 91%

Response of European Economic Community to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: ban.

Response of U.S. meat and pharmaceutical industries to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: full and complete support.
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Percentage of pesticide residues in the U.S. diet supplied by grains: 1%

Percentage of pesticide residues in the U.S. diet supplied by fruits: 4%

Percentage of pesticide residues in the U.S. diet supplied by dairy products: 23%

Percentage of pesticide residues in the U.S. diet supplied by meat: 55%

Pesticide contamination of breast milk from meat-eating mothers vs. non-meat eating mothers: 35 times higher.

What USDA tells us: meat is inspected.

Percentage of slaughtered animals inspected for residues of toxic chemicals including dioxin and DDT: less than 0.00004%
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Number of animals killed for meat per hour in U.S: 500,000

Occupation with highest turnover rate in U.S: slaughterhouse worker.

Occupation with highest rate of on-the-job injury in U.S: slaughterhouse worker.

Cost to render animal unconscious with "captive bolt pistol" before
slaughter: 1 cent.

Reason given by meat industry for not using "captive bolt pistol": too expensive.
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Athlete to win Ironman Triathlon more than twice: Dave Scott (6 time winner)

Food choices of Dave Scott: Vegetarian

Largest meat-eater that ever lived: Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Last sighting of Tyrannosaurus Rex: 100,000,000 B.C.

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David Edwards