Friday, November 06, 2009

Animal Rights Letter to the Editor

One of the ways that the Environmental Advocacy and Organizing Program helps students hone their persuasive writing is to encourage them to write lots of letters to the editor. Here's a letter to the editor on animal rights recently published in the Keene Sentinel. It was written by Wendy Stott, one of our second year students:

To the Editor:

Recently Kenny Crammer wrote to the editor about the horrific treatment that animals are forced to endure during their brief yet excruciating lives on factory farms. Mr. Crammer made the case for a vegan diet based on these facts. I would like to thank Mr. Crammer for his letter on behalf of the animals and also add to it by making the case that veganism is also better for your health and the environment.

I think most of us are aware that eating foods packed full of fats and cholesterol can clog up our arteries and lead to illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Those are good reasons to stay away from cheeseburgers and fried chicken but now there are new reasons to think twice about everything animal-based that you eat.

New research is being done by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at Cornell University and author of The China Study, what may be the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. Dr Campbell was raised on a dairy farm and originally set out to prove how nutritious dairy is for humans. However, his extensive research found exactly the opposite conclusions.

Among other things, Dr. Campbell discovered that what you eat during the promotion stage of cancer can have a huge impact on whether the cancer spreads or is reversed. “The nutrients from animal-based foods, especially the protein, promote the development of cancer whereas the nutrients from plant-based foods, especially the anti-oxidants, reverse the promotion stage.”

Dr. Campbell discovered that casein, which makes up 87% of milk protein, modifies enzyme activities, increasing cholesterol and enhancing atherogenesis, which is the early stage of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Campbell stated, “Our work showed that casein is the most relevant cancer promoter ever discovered.”

Animal agriculture is destroying our planet as well. The EPA has stated animal agriculture is the single largest non-point source water polluter in the nation. According to the Audubon Society, more than 1/3 of our fossil fuels and almost ½ of our water in the US is used for animal agriculture.

University of Chicago geophysicists Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin calculate that each American meat eater produces one and a half tons more greenhouse gasses every year than each vegan.

There is much more to learn on these topics and I encourage you to do further research. Here are a few websites to get started: GoVeg.com, vegan.org, massanimalrights.org.

And for the full article with information on Dr. Campbell’s findings: http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/142875/is_eating_a_plant-based_diet_a_cure_for_cancer/

Wendy Stott

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