FPS Should Go Vegetarian

Op-Ed by Yash Mehta

Yash Mehta, Op-Ed Contributor

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Imagine walking with your friends while treated with utmost care and respect by servants. You feel as if you are on cloud nine—until you make a jolting realization: you are being given this fancy treatment not for the benefit of you, but for that of others, who would gladly go to gruesome measures to eat dinner. You are waiting in line to be killed next. Just as you come to this conclusion, a bullet is shot in your head, terminating your existence.

This is the terrifying experience all animals in slaughterhouses must endure. The process of being murdered, sliced into edible chunks, sent to school cafeterias, and the resulting meat remains trouble-making in numerous ways. To avoid these issues, FPS cafeterias should serve vegetarian and vegan options only.

‘Where’s the beef?’ you might ask. It’s in the fact that school meat is unsafe for students. A study by “Consumer Reports” stated that 97 percent of raw chicken in the U.S. is contaminated with sickness-inducing bacteria. Contaminated animal flesh accounts for 70 percent of food poisoning, especially in school cafeterias, where cleanliness is not always observed. This poses a major risk to students.

Some argue that meat is a crucial source of protein that humans were meant to eat, claiming that chewing meat requires 39 percent less force. They don’t, however, consider our anatomy and physiology; the human digestive system is designed to break down plants. When meat passes through our intestines, it begins rotting due to their length. Externally too, one can observe our teeth, nails, and jaw motions matching to those of herbivores. In other words, as expert anthropologist Dr. Richard Leakey said, “You can’t tear flesh by hand, you can’t tear hide by hand. Our anterior teeth are not suited for tearing flesh or hide. We don’t have large canine teeth, and we wouldn’t have been able to deal with food sources that require those large canines.” As for protein, grains, legumes, lentils, and beans offer it in surplus.

Promoting a healthy, vegetarian diet even decreases chances of developing  disease. Meat, fish, and eggs all contain both saturated fat and cholesterol, which can cause heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. Additionally, meat lacks nutrients, such as fiber, that protect the body against cancer. Vegetarians have a 40 percent lower risk of acquiring cancer than those who consume meat according to large studies in Germany and England.

Vegetarian cafeterias can greatly reduce the detrimental effects slaughterhouses have on the environment. Producing a single pound of meat depletes 2,400 gallons of water. Conversely, producing the same amount of tofu, which uses a meager 244 gallons, greatly minimizes water wastage. Furthermore, Worldwatch Institute reports animal agriculture contributes to 51 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. To illustrate the inefficiency of meat production, it takes ten  pounds of grain to produce each pound of meat whereas consuming the grain directly avoids losing nine pounds of food, and it could diminish world hunger thereafter.

The insufferable death most livestock undergo is absolutely immoral. Next time you feed on non-vegetarian food, watch footage to understand what animals suffer through in slaughterhouses: a cruel upbringing and painful death as they are hanged, partially decapitated while being sawed up alive.

While a total reform in school cafeteria meals may shock students, there are plenty of vegetarian alternatives that provide similar tastes. We can not continue destroying the environment or tearing open and eating sentient creatures. Even if FPS cafeterias are not concerned about the devastating impact they are inflicting on animals and the environment, it is their duty ensure their students’ health and safety.

 

 

 

 

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