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October 28th, 2009
11:20 AM ET

Eating animals is making us sick

Jonathan Safran Foer
Special to CNN

Like most people, I'd given some thought to what meat actually is, but until I became a father and faced the prospect of having to make food choices on someone else's behalf, there was no urgency to get to the bottom of things.

I'm a novelist and never had it in mind to write nonfiction. Frankly, I doubt I'll ever do it again. But the subject of animal agriculture, at this moment, is something no one should ignore. As a writer, putting words on the page is how I pay attention.

If the way we raise animals for food isn't the most important problem in the world right now, it's arguably the No. 1 cause of global warming: The United Nations reports the livestock business generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined.

It's the No. 1 cause of animal suffering, a decisive factor in the creation of zoonotic diseases like bird and swine flu, and the list goes on. It is the problem with the most deafening silence surrounding it.

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Filed under: Energy • Environmental issues • Ethics • H1N1
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Joanne P

    If the vegan's can give the recipe for the delicious substitutes for chicken, turkey and beef, I would gladly change my meat-eating ways for the good of the environment. I simply cannot find these recipes.

    October 28, 2009 at 12:22 pm |