July 22, 2011
Standing Up for Animals, One Bite at a Time
By making better food choices, we all have the power to create a more humane society
Everywhere I travel in the world, I find people embracing vegetarian foods for their health, for the sake of the planet, and out of concern for animals. For example, environmentalists in Brazil are promoting Meatless Mondays to fight climate change and deforestation, animal protection advocates in Vietnam and China are working to reduce animal suffering by promoting plant-based foods, and public health groups throughout the United States are encouraging Americans to reduce their meat consumption.
These shifts in food choices offer a beacon of hope for animals. In 2012 alone, more than 72 billion land animals were raised for food worldwide. Egg-laying hens, pregnant sows, and other farm animals are frequently raised in small cages, crates, or other crowded and barren environments. Cages and crates severely impair the animals’ welfare, leaving them unable to move freely, engage in many important natural behaviors, and in many cases, to even fully extend their limbs. Each one of these animals is an individual with his or her own personality, the capacity to experience joy -- and most importantly, the capacity to suffer. But industrial animal agriculture treats animals like mere units on a production line, with little regard for their suffering.
Fortunately, each of us can make a difference for these animals—every time we sit down to eat. Through better food choices, we all have the power to create a more humane society. HSI’s Guide to Meat-Free Meals is designed to help you make those better choices—choices that are healthy, enjoyable, and easy to implement.
Thank you for exploring HSI’s Guide to Meat-Free Meals, and thank you for standing up for animals.
- Chetana Mirle, director, HSI Farm Animals