These 17 facts about meat are going to make you reevaluate your entire life.
1. Animals at factory farms are confined to spaces so small they can’t turn around, lie down comfortably, or stretch their limbs.
2. The World Health Organization placed processed meats like bacon and hot dogs in the same category of cancer risk as asbestos and cigarettes.
3. Growing feed crops for livestock uses a whopping 56 percent of water in the United States.
4. The leading source of sodium in the adult American diet is chicken.
5. The meat industry emits more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation in the world combined.
6. People who eat seafood ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic each year.
7. Piglets who are deemed too sick or small are killed by being slammed headfirst onto concrete floors. This barbaric standard industry practice is called thumping.
8. In 2011, the USDA reported that 90 percent of defects discovered in chicken carcasses at slaughter plants involved "visible fecal contamination that was missed by company employees."
9. Chickens raised for meat have been bred to grow so quickly they frequently become immobilized under their own weight and endure chronic pain.
10. The Mayo Clinic found that long-term vegetarians live on average 3.6 years longer than their meat-eating counterparts.
11. The meat industry kills bears, coyotes, wolves, foxes, prairie dogs, and other wildlife so people can keep eating meat.
12. The USDA estimates that about 1 million birds a year are boiled alive.
13. The National Journal estimates that 20 percent of fish caught by commercial fisheries is "bycatch," or unwanted fish. Additionally, other animals like sea turtles, seals, whales, porpoises, dolphins, and sharks are trapped in huge trawling nets and often die.
14. A Royal Society Open Science study found that fish at factory farms suffer from severe depression and sometimes “drop out,” or float around lifelessly.
15. Dehorning, tail docking, debeaking, and castration are mutilations performed daily at factory farms without painkillers.
16. Most cows, pigs, and chickens at factory farms won't feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks and sent to slaughter.
17. Not a single federal law protects animals during their lives at factory farms, and the law that protects cows and pigs at the slaughterhouse—the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act—does not extend to birds or rabbits.
Unsettling, right? Fortunately, you can help spare about 30 farmed animals each year by switching to a compassionate vegan diet.
Get started by clicking here!