Globalized agriculture isn’t sustainable because it requires the death of too many animals, and commercializes meat to the point of obesity and heart disease. The average diet has been deteriorated through economic eating and grease. Even cancer finds cause in our consumption of pork, chicken, and beef.
Thoreau argued in Walden that the farmer gets fat on his meat-based diet, but insists it’s necessary to maintain the energy levels required to complete his laborious day… meanwhile, an ox pulls the farmer’s plow through every rock and root without a single misstep, powered only by grass and oat.
Being a carnivore, particularly a predator, comes with a certain level of physical exertion. Energy is expended in order to corner and kill the prey, adrenaline is dumped, and thus the meal is earned. Humans devour one species after another, one for each meal, and even use one animal as a topping for another, all while never leaving the house. More than 9 billion chickens are killed in a year in the US to satisfy an endless appetite for pennies on the dollar. Any drive-thru will have one meat option or another available for ninety nine cents, all day long. These animals are born into their parent’s shit, where they’ll continue to live until they’re killed, processed, and distributed to undeserving consumers looking for a cheap fill-up.
Being captive from birth to death creates high stress environments for most of these animals. The pressure, or sometimes boredom, breeds negative behaviors like depression or even cannibalism. Pigs and cows are known to eat each others tails, and crack their teeth from gnawing on their steel cages and corrals. The females are bred in boxes so small that they can’t even turn around. They’re bred for years before being slaughtered.
Agricultural isn’t the only form of animal exploitation within our civilizations. In the First World War, 8 million horses and mules were killed, alongside several million dogs and carrier pigeons. Many animals fall victim to oil spills and pollution, and corporations utilize them for product testing.
In a single year, more than 100 billion animals are killed across the globe. Some are exterminated at birth, like the male chicks that are ground up by the batch, alive. Tack on the piles of dead wild animals that line our streets and highways. The blood from our dinner runs deep