The great diet debate is about far more than personal health

your say January 04, 2018 01:00

Re: “Global processed-food industry is the poison, not Western meat and dairy”, Have Your Say, yesterday.



Thank you to Robin Grant for an accurate appraisal of the woes we face in modern food selection. I agree with the writer that indeed sugar, in its many menacing forms, has crept up on societies around the world, whatever their economic status, and delivered a savage blow to our collective health.

But Robin seems to imply the reason that vegetarians and vegans don’t eat meat or animal products is simply health-related. I believe that many such as myself practice these lifestyles because we abhor the treatment of the sentient beings trapped in the horrendous meat-producing cycle used by food manufacturers. We care for the animals and how they’re treated – and not because of the quality of the produce. 

Animals have lives, families and feelings. As the dominant species on the planet we really should treat other animals better. We are destroying forests and jungles to make way for grazing pastures, we feed animals all sorts of drugs and chemicals to increase their “productivity” with zero regard for their health, house them in increasingly cramped spaces and slaughter them in horrible ways. These are some, but by no means all, of the reasons why I’m a vegetarian. 

On top of this we are stripping the seas of all life and potentially killing our oceans, an amazingly dangerous and seemingly disregarded situation for humans on this small planet.

The bottom line is that our increasing desire for meat, whether from land or sea, is having a disastrous effect on other species and on the planetary environment that sustains us. The urgently needed remedy is to reduce our consumption of meat and tighten regulations governing the use of land, seas and animals. 

Darren Blakeley