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Eating Less Meat Can Feed The Hungry
Have you ever been so hungry that your stomach starts growling loudly? I am sure we all have. Imagine feeling that hungry, but 10 times worse. This is what people who are suffering from famine and hunger are feeling on a day-by-day basis. Hunger has become part of their life and they cannot do anything about it because they are so poor. We have all seen those commercials where they ask us to send a few cents each day to the poor children in the world who have nothing to eat, but what we do not know is that one of the main reasons that they are suffering is because of our meat eating habits.
Consuming less meat is something we can do that benefits everyone in the world. It can help cease the lack of food and hunger that 20 percent of the world is going through and at the same time it can help stop the diseases that has been plaguing the Third World countries.
Also, by eating less meat ourselves, we are creating a healthier diet. By eating less meat we can stop ourselves from being vulnerable to health diseases and conditions that only consuming meat can give us.
Every 24 hours, 35,000 human beings die as a result of hunger and starvation–24 every minute, 18 of whom are children under five years of age (Basic Facts About World Hunger). In America, famine is not an issue we need to worry about on a day-by-day basis; however, in Third World countries, thousands of people suffer from famine and the lack of nutrition each day.
Most people do not think twice about eating meat, but what they do not know is that by not eating meat or just eating less meat, they could decrease world hunger and famine tremendously. According to Food for Thought, every year several hundred million cattle, pigs, and sheep and 3 billion chickens are slaughtered to provide food for humans (Flachman 576). The amount of wheat and grains used to feed those animals being slaughtered to create meat for humans could be given to the people who are suffering from hunger daily.
Children suffer from two diseases specially related to malnutrition. One of diseases is Kwashiorkor. Kwashiorkor occurs when a childs diet may have enough calories but too little protein. A major symptom of the disease is edema, or swelling, of the abdomen (Revelle Chapter 9). The other disease is Marasmus, which involves a shortage of both protein and calories, occurs when infants less than 1 year old are fed over diluted formula from unsterile nursing bottles (Revelle Ch. 9). Both of these diseases can be stopped if the hungry have more to eat to balance out their nutrition, but they do not because the amount of food we use so much food to produce meat. If people were to cut down their meat eating habits then the food used to raise the farm animals can be used to feed the hungry instead. Everybody can play a part in stopping world hunger.
Eating less meat does not only help the millions of people who are hungry, but it also helps everybody. There is no nutritional need for humans to eat any animal products, all of our dietary needs, even as infants and children are best supplied by an animal-free diet (Dangers of Meat 1). In the prehistoric age, the main food sources for people were grains and fruits. It is widely known that vegetarianism helps stop most health problems for ones future. A vegetarian diet can prevent 97 percent of coronary occlusions (Dangers of Meat 1). All the sources we need for a healthy daily nutrition can be found outside of animals and with the nutritional content we need for our bodies, we also exclude the health risks of eating meat. It does not make any sense that we have to raise animals to produce food. By raising animals, we are feeding them a huge percentage of our grains, which can go directly to the hungry instead. If Americans reduced their meat consumption by only 10 percent, it would free 12 million tons of grain annually for human consumption. That alone would be enough to adequately feed each of the 60 million people who starve to death each year (Dangers of Meat 1).
We will live a happier and healthier life if we can sacrifice our meat eating habits. The benefits of not eating meat outweigh the sacrifice of savoring the taste of meat. The next time you decide to order a steak for dinner, think about how many lives can be saved, the benefits for your health, and the diseases caused by hunger it can stop just by choosing to not eating it.
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