Nothing about the meat industry is natural, from the eating of the actual meat itself to the way we raise the animals we get our produce from. A lot of people’s excuse for not being vegetarian or vegan is that they think humans are meant to eat meat and always have. However, that is not the case as proven by science. Additionally, if more people were informed on the cruelty commonly seen within the industry, factory farming and agriculture would most likely see a significant fall in meat sale.
Eating meat is actually a recent revolution in human history as for most of our time on earth, humans spend their time in the middle of the food chain, living as hunter-gatherers. This meant we had mainly a plant-based diet and ate small animals that we could easily catch whilst also being hunted by other larger predators. Evidence for this is that in many ways our bodies are not adapted to eating meat as are the bodies of other carnivores in the animal kingdom. Our canine teeth are tiny in comparison, as well as our stomach acids being weaker than what is usual for other animals in breaking down flesh and destroying bacteria found in the meat. These are only a few examples of bodily functions that prove human nature as being herbivores.
Factory farming currently provides 43% of the world’s beef, and more than half the world’s pork and poultry. And although the vast majority of our bacon loving population may not want to think about it when enjoying their luck, methods of factory farming can be unbelievably cruel to animals. In many dairy farms, mothers are impregnated and separated from their child immediately after birth, which is obviously distressing and appalling treatment to both parties and causes an immense amount of emotional pain for the animals. The calf is taken away so all of the mother’s milk can be sold on for maximum economic profit, depriving the mother and child from natural upbringing. The calf is then kept in a pen barely big enough for its body, where it lives for the 4 months of its life before heading to the slaughter house. The first time the calf walks or interacts with other calves is on its way to get killed. This is so the calves’ muscles don’t grow too much, which makes for juicier meat meaning more sales. This type of dairy farming is just one example of how repulsive, barbaric and harrowing some factory farms can be.
Our leap to the top of the food chain and domestication of animals only a mere 10,000 years ago has led us to believe in control over our fellow animals and our action in manipulating them for our own unnecessary needs. The reduction of meat produce is unlikely on a large scale but with more widespread education, we can put an end to misconceptions about human nature regarding meat and even to the suffering of animals due to our own absurd culinary desires.