Billion of animals are raised and slaughtered each year for human consumption. In factory farms, animals are kept in extremely small spaces. But the animals undergo much more than being overcrowded. Chickens they have such little space to move around that they peck each other to death. To prevent this, their upper beaks are cut off. Pigs are stunned, their throats are cut and they’re left bleeding to death. As for cows, they are often dragged to the slaughter house or they die from lack of food and water.

In addition, animals are not only sprayed with pesticides but they are also fed antibiotics and hormones which, in turn, are passed on to the consumer. William Roberts says, “”When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.” Studies have shown that people who eat meat are twice as likely to die from heart disease and cancer. Meat consumption has been connected to many diseases such as hypertension, kidney disease and diabetes.

Finally, the animal farming industry is unsustainable. After 1-2 years, cows are usually slaughtered for their meat. Think of all the food, mostly grains might I add, that a cow would eat over the course of that period. Now imagine a slaughter house worker came and killed the cow, cut his body into pieces of meat and putting it all into another pile. Which pile do you think would feed more people, the one that used to be his body or the one that went into creating and nourishing it?

There’s enough plant-based food to feed the entire human population and yet there are enough hungry people on the planet to almost completely fill up two whole continents and about 2.5 million children die from starvation annually. In fact, half the world’s agricultural land is used for livestock farming. This is not only worse for the environment, but it is also less efficient for feeding people than actually growing food for people to eat. This is what makes factory farming so unsustainable.

Hopefully, you’ll make the same decisions that I have and become a vegetarian. Of course, you don’t have to become a vegetarian right away. You could start by reducing the amount of meat you eat each week or slowly eliminate certain meats from your diet, like red meat, then eventually, you’ll eventually stop eating meat altogether. In the end, it’s your choice if you want to follow the path that is the most sustainable, heathy, and compassionate.