Meat eaters should reconsider their choices

Campus Times
September 14, 2001

by Tom Galaraga
Managing Editor

Together they march in step, clothed entirely in black, carrying with them the weapons of a modern war. Family crests portraying terrifying images of pain and suffering identify the army, while hand-tempered swords are laid down and replaced with pen and ink.

Using the streets as a battlefield, the soldiers strike out against that which they feel is a great injustice.

In this war, the salvation of countless lives is the primary objective, and the weapon of choice is their right to protest.

The battle for animal rights not only challenges issues of morality and ethics, but also poses the question of whether or not we as a species are indeed animals.

As a self-proclaimed animal rights activist and practitioner of a cruelty-free and vegan diet, I often find myself disgusted with way that the human species has assumed the role of conqueror of the Earth, and in doing so destroy that which is not ours to claim.

Without thought, consumers purchase meat and dairy products at wholesale prices, unaware of the real cost.

Payments made in the form of innocent lives being slaughtered, keep people from hunger, while their health suffers.

All too often I am witness to the insensitivity that drives modern day culture to view the world with tunnel vision. Throughout my time spent as a vegan, I've been asked many questions regarding my decisions. When I explained my choices, people for the most part seem to agree with my decisions, however they offer such poor excuses ranging from "meat tastes too good," to "I'm too lazy," to justify their own actions.

By maintaining a healthy vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, people reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and other chronic diseases and illnesses that cripple and kill 1.4 million people yearly.

Cruelty free diets are not only means to ensure a healthy lifestyle, but are also more humane ways of acting.

Grains, soybeans and other crops are being harvested at alarming rates, simply to feed cattle, which will be slaughtered. These crops can be harvested in a different manor and be used to help feed the world's starving people.

While people lay awake at night starving, America's pop-culture advocates the destruction of countless lives.

Without thought people buy into the destruction, merely because of their own laziness. It is the same people that I find wondering just why America has one of the highest rates of obesity and illness.

Rabbits are needlessly blinded by various chemicals to test the toxicity of make-up that has already been manufactured and sold to the public, in what is referred to as the Draize test. Cattle born into captivity are stripped away from their mothers within minutes of their birth. They are then thrown immediately into living quarters too small to allow movement, to prevent muscle tissue from hardening to make a softer more preferable "meat." When the time arrives, they are then administered an electrical shock through the anal cavity which renders them paralyzed while they are dissected into various portions, often times while still alive, and then sold to the meat market and prepared for consumption.

Someone once justified the consumption of meat by saying, "We (society) have been eating meat since the beginning of our existence."

While this is entirely true, one should also consider the fact that man has also been killing and raping each other since the beginning of our existence, and that does not exactly justify it, now does it?

Tom Galaraga, a senior journalism major, is managing editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by email at