I am vegan. I do not eat meat of any kind, including fish and chicken, and I avoid as much as possible all food containing animal products. That includes dairy, eggs, honey, lanolin, and other hidden sources. I am training myself to recognize animal substances with very strange sounding, chemical-like names that show up on labels but no one really knows what they are. Good chance even the product producers don't know.
With that in mind, I want to share with you a segment from a great publication called Guide to Veg Living from Farm Sanctuary (contact info below), the nation's leading farm animal protection organization since 1986.
From page 9 of the pamphlet:
- American factory farms produce nearly 788,000 tons of manure per day.
- Manure from these operations contains multiple pollutants, such as heavy metals, antibiotics, pathogens, and nitrogen and phosphorous.
- Through lagoon leaks or spills and run-off from saturated fields, contaminants enter into the environment and threaten water quality across the country.
- Often finding its way into the groundwater supply, manure can cause nitrate levels in drinking water to rise to dangerous levels.
- By robbing water of oxygen and killing off aquatic life, nitrogen and phosphorous found in manure can also harm river and stream ecosystems. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the run-off from factory farms pollutes our waterways more than all other industrial sources combined.
- Agricultural run-off introduces disease-causing pathogens, including parasites, bacteria, viruses, into surface waters often used as drinking water sources for humans and animals. (My note: Don't think water in plastic bottles will save you. Most of that water is actually tap water. Plus, the plastic leaches into the water, creating its own set of challenges in your body and the bodies of those you love, both animal and human.)
If the fact that factory farm animals are the most mistreated creatures in America, perhaps the world, doesn't move you, maybe you and your kids having to drink foul, muddy, infected water will. Giving up factory-produced meat and dairy is a good way for you to help in saving our water, our air, our world.
It's your choice, of course. I'm hoping you'll join us in this movement to stop the pollution, the cruelty, the destruction.
Contact Farm Sanctuary at www.farmsanctuary.org or call 607-583-2225 for more information on you can be an asset to global health.