Photo by Zoe Kanz & Abby Mandel
Views on Vegetarians
Vegetarians and vegans are starting to become a lot more common throughout middle school and high school. Vegans are people who do not eat or use animal products, and vegetarians are people who do not eat meat. It’s more than a dieting method for most people; the livestock industry became a main reason for the change in their life. Seventh grader, Avery Brelsford, shared her life as a vegetarian.
“I think that being vegan or vegetarian is a good idea,” Brelsford said. “The more people stop eating meat, the less animals have to die.”
Livestock are domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and resources such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool. Poultry farming is the process of raising domesticated birds such as chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese for the purpose of farming meat or eggs for food.
“I know a lot about CAFOs, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation,” Brelsford said. “Animals have to live in very small cages where they barely have room to move. The animals have to live there their whole life until they are killed for meat.”
A CAFO is a house that contains anywhere from hundreds to millions of animals. The quantity of urine and feces from even the smallest CAFO is equivalent to the urine and feces produced by 16,000 humans.
“I feel bad for the animals in CAFOs,” Brelsford said “ I think the animals should be in a bigger cage and should live in a cleaner area.”
Not only is the vegetarian lifestyle more environmentally friendly, but it can reduce your risk factor for certain diseases. It can also have positive effects on your appearance, and potentially increase your lifespan. Devin Parente explained how long he has been a vegetarian for.
“I’ve been vegetarian my whole life,” Parente said. “I have grown up not eating meat.”
On the other hand, Ravi Thangirala has been vegetarian since he was 4 years old.
“My mom has always wanted us to be vegetarian.” Thangirala said. “I agree with the vegetarian lifestyle, and I am used to it.”
Some vegetarians and vegans don’t pay attention to how animals are treated and choose that lifestyle just for dieting purposes.
“I don’t honestly pay attention to the livestock industry,” Parente said. “I just know they raise animals to kill them.”
Parente and Thangirala both say they haven’t thought about ever going back to eating meat and don’t plan on it.
“I would never go back to eating meat,” Brelsford said. “I don’t like how animals are treated.”