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Animal Welfare Speech

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Opening: Today, I would like to discuss some of the global issues surrounding animal welfare, relayed from digital news sources. Across the world, animals are being subjected to mistreatment, abuse, and exploitation for human gain. It is a heart-wrenching topic, but it is one that needs attention in order to change. The majority of us have worn wool, leather, and fur and eaten meat. However, we don’t usually consider the impact of these actions on our bodies, the environment, and the animals involved. This would mean recognizing the activities that are being propagated across the world, and using this awareness to make ethical choices and to promote proper treatment. Issue: Used for food First, I would like to muse on several of the facts about animals being used for food. Facts:

• There are several reasons why people are cutting meat out of their lives. Because I am both an omnivore and an animal rights advocate, I have come to face the conflicting issue of my own eating habits. But here is what I have had to consider in order to gradually be eliminating my meat consumption. • CRUELTY: More than 16 billion animals who are killed for food every year in the U.S. have little legal protection from cruelty. They are neglected, mutilated, genetically manipulated, & put on drug regimens that cause chronic pain and crippling. They are transported through all weather extremes, and killed in gruesome and violent ways. For example, dairy farm workers cut off cow’s tails to make milking easier, burn off their horns, strike them with poles, and inject them with hormones that painfully inflame their udders. • If you wouldn’t eat a dog or cat, for example, why eat a pig or a cow? Dogs and pigs have the same capacity to feel pain, but there is prejudice based on species that allows us to think of one animal as a companion and the other as dinner.

Most people don’t know that pigs are very similar to “man’s best friend”. Pigs are friendly, loyal, and very intelligent—they are even considered to be smarter than 3-year-old children. • HEALTH: With research, I have found that reducing or eliminating consumption of meat is one of the best ways to ensure a lifetime of good health and proper treatment of animals. Saturated fat, cholesterol, and contaminants that are found in meat, eggs, and dairy products can cause weight problems, heart failure, depression and impotence. In a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, they found that for each single 3oz serving of red meat, roughly the size of a deck of cards, increases your risk of dying from heart disease by 19.5% and from cancer by 13%. • So recently I have been trying to eat vegetarian foods and found that I love spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, and juicing fruit.

• ENVIRONMENT: America’s meat addiction also causes negative environmental effects like poisoning and depleting our drinking water, arable land, and clean air. More than half the water used in the U.S. goes to animal agriculture, and since farmed animals produce 130 times more excrement than the human population does, the runoff from their waste greatly pollutes our waterways. • WORLD HUNGER: Not only does raising animals for food use limited resources and produce waste, it also takes food from hungry people. Raising animals for food is extremely inefficient. For every pound of food that they eat, only a fraction of the calories are returned in the form of edible flesh. If we stopped intensively breeding farmed animals and grew crops to feed humans instead, we could easily feed every human on the planet with healthy and affordable vegetarian foods. Issue: Used for clothing Next, I would like to inform you of what is going on in the clothing industry involving animals. Facts:

• Whether it came from an animal on a fur farm or one who was trapped in the wild, every fur coat, trinket, and bit of trim caused an animal to suffer, and most likely has taken away a life. • Eighty-five percent of the fur industry’s skins come from animals who were captive on fur factory farms. Animals on fur farms spend their entire lives confined to cramped, filthy wire cages. They use the cheapest and cruelest killing methods available, including suffocation, electrocution, gas, and poison. • The coldhearted and cruel down feather industry often plucks geese alive in order to get their down— the soft layer of feathers closest to a bird’s skin, used in clothing, pillows, and comforters. Their plucking often causes extreme pain and distress. Many of these birds, paralyzed with fear and suffering can even die as a result of the procedure. • These kinds of activities occur because fur farms in the U.S. are the only sector of animal agriculture unregulated by the federal government. Analysis:

Every day animals continue to suffer and lose their lives in atrocious ways. They are abused for food, clothing, entertainment, and experimentation; yet they cannot control nor have justified any of these horrible actions. An animal’s capacity for suffering is a fundamental characteristic that gives them the right to equal consideration for respectable treatment. They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness, and motherly love to the same degrees that humans do. We should feel morally obligated to take this into account when considering interfering with their lives for our personal gain. If you believe that every creature with a consciousness has a right to live free from pain and suffering, then you should take these issues to heart. Personally, I am still working to eliminate animal products from my diet and my wardrobe, but now that I know about the consequences of my actions, my future choices will be made with these issues in mind.

Conclusion: Furthermore, Cruelty-free products are becoming widely available and each of us can make a major difference by choosing which practices, eating habits, and companies we support. We should also encourage our friends and family to be just as aware. Let’s use our voice to advocate for animals since they cannot use theirs. It can be as easy as signing a petition, reposting a comment, or even wearing a pin. I respectfully request your consideration to join me in incorporating animal welfare into daily life choices, because each of us has the ability to end animal cruelty, become healthier individuals, and help save our beautiful environment.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_effects_of_meat_production http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/13/health/la-he-red-meat-20120313 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/health/research/red-meat-linked-to-cancer-and-heart-disease.html?_r=1 http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669389/infographic-red-meat-is-killing-us http://www.peta.org/about/why-peta/why-animal-rights.aspx

http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/default2.aspx http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/fur.aspx http://www.peta.org/issues/companion-animals/default2.aspx http://www.peta.org/issues/Companion-Animals/Cruel-Practices.aspx
http://www.peta.org/issues/Companion-Animals/overpopulation.aspx http://www.peta.org/features/nine-shocking-fur-facts.aspx

http://www.peta.org/features/top-10-reasons-not-to-wear-fur-photo-list.aspx http://features.peta.org/never-be-silent/
http://features.peta.org/never-be-silent/WhyAnimalRights.aspx https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2061 http://www.peta.org/features/top-five-shocking-animal-experimentation-facts.aspx http://www.peta.org/features/15-reasons-not-to-eat-bacon.aspx http://www.peta.org/features/ask-your-doctor-about-meat.aspx https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2061 http://www.peta.org/issues/companion-animals/breeders.aspx

http://www.peta.org/features/inside-the-australian-wool-industry.aspx https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=4051 http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2012/03/22/seal-slaughter-starts-but-revenge-is-tweet.aspx http://www.peta.org/features/circuses-hurt-animals.aspx


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