Myths About Animals

  1. We’re Meant to Eat Animals
    “In “The Comparative Anatomy of Eating,” Milton Mills explains that human anatomy and physiology are much more akin to herbivores than omnivores or carnivores. Nevertheless, a defining feature of being human is that we are not reducible to our biology. As moral beings capable of choosing our way of life, it is worth questioning whether we are strictly “meant” to do anything.”
  2. Eating Locally Raised Animals is Sustainable
    “If a household buys only local food but regularly buys animal products, they are saving the greenhouse gas equivalent of about 1,000 miles of driving per year. However, if they eat vegan food for only 1 day a week with no regard for buying local they save the equivalent of 1,160 miles per year. […] With final transportation only accounting for 4 percent of total emissions, it is more resource efficient and sustainable to eat whole, organically grown plant foods grown 3,000 miles away than it is to eat animal foods grown by your neighbor.”
  3. Chickens Are Stupid
    “Chickens are incredibly intelligent and live complex social and emotional lives–despite the fact that, after marine animals, they are the most frequently killed animal for human consumption. They often outperform toddlers in representational and numerical abilities and can do basic arithmetic by keeping track of additions and subtractions in shuffling games. They can anticipate the future, delay gratification and exercise self-control. In one study, they chose to delay gratification for a larger food reward 90 percentof the time.”
  4. Dairy Cows Will Explode if We Don’t Milk Them
    “Expressions like ‘cows give milk’ and ‘cows need to be milked’ along with the array of dairy advertisements showing happy, willing cows are extremely deceiving. These claims overlook the basic requirement for all mammals to lactate: pregnancy and childbirth. Human consumption of dairy requires that we hijack this natural process through repeated artificial insemination and the subsequent separation of calf from mother so that we can take the milk for ourselves. […] According to the USDA, 97 percent of dairy calves are permanently taken from their mothers within 24 hours of birth.”
  5. Fish Don’t Feel Pain
    “The myth that fish don’t feel pain and don’t have a nervous systemis still alive and well despite the fact that research increasingly shows that their perception and cognition often matches and exceeds that of other vertebrates. This means that they can no longer be considered an ethical grey area. […] In all vertebrates, free nerve-endings register pain. Fish have an abundance of these nerve-endings and also produce pain-reducing substances like endorphins.”
  6. Leather is a Harmless By-Product
    “Leather is not a by-product of the slaughter industry. It is a co-product. The sale of animal skins makes up approximately half of the profits of all slaughter businesses that process cows. Factory farms could not be profitable without the sale of skins. By the pound, leather is the most profitable part of an animal. This means that cows are killed for their skin as much as they are killed for their meat.”

– Patti Nyman / One Green Planet 

Reckless Consumption Habits Endanger Animals

“It may seem like the simple act of buying a product as one individual has little impact on animals and ecosystems, but single acts practiced by many individuals accumulate into massive worldwide problems. […]

Raising cattle for beef is a leading cause of deforestation, soil erosion, water depletion, and wildlife endangerment.[…]

[T]he current state of our oceans means that all fishing is overfishing. […]

With so many plant-based alternatives to every traditional food, ingredient, supplement and cosmetic product, we can change our consumption habits to benefit endangered species and put a halt to the largest mass extinction event in 65 million years. Every individual act either contributes to the problem or is part of the solution.”

– Patti Nyman / One Green Planet 

Competing for Water: Meat or Life on Earth?

“It takes a staggering 2,500 gallons of water to produce just one 16-ounce steak. This is the amount of water that one person uses for six months of showers. The daily water use of an average American for household tasks is about 100 gallons, but eating just one hamburger increases water use by as many as 4,000 gallons.

According to a 2011 study published in the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, the average global water footprints of beef and chicken are 1,845 and 520 gallons per pound, respectively, while the water footprint of both potatoes and spinach is just 35 gallons per pound, and the nutritional powerhouse, the soybean, weighs in at 260.

What all of these figures establish is the excessive amount of water required to raise animals for food when compared to eating plants directly. With no need for animal products to live healthfully, a genuine effort to overcome water scarcity will include a global movement toward plant-based eating.”

– Patti Nyman / One Green Planet