Letter: Eating Animals Contributes to Animal Cruelty

To the Editor, To continue the dialogue about eating “free-range” farm animals, I want to submit some thoughts about whether this is, in fact, humane enough.

As Farm Sanctuary (a farm animal sanctuary and farm animal rights and advocacy organization in upstate NY) puts it in their literature: “While it may be that ‘free-range’ farm animals experience less suffering than their factory counterparts, the fact is, meat consumption necessitates killing, and there is no such thing as ‘humane slaughter.’ Whenever people eat meat, they support unnecessary cruelty and death. Aside from the obvious conflict between compassion and slaughter, animals killed for meat are also subjected to transportation and handling stress on the way to slaughter and at the slaughterhouse itself. Therefore, even if animals are raised under the most “humane” conditions imaginable, handling, transporting and slaughtering involves cruelty.”

It is well known and documented that eating animal products contributes to the high incidence of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. When you put these facts together with the inherent cruelty of the practice, it makes sense to me to swear off meat and animal products altogether. Both the health and ethical/spiritual arguments are compelling to those of us who are open-minded. My family has eaten a plant-based diet for years now and we know that we have made the right decision for us.

For additional information on the connection between diet and health risks see the following sources:

Peace for all,
John Costello
On-line submission

Editor’s note: Please watch for the results of our investigative report on the free range meat industry in the Spirit of Change November/December 2003 “Animals Stories” issue.

Please send Letters to the Editor to: info@spiritofchange.org. Letters may be edited for clarity or length.