November 28, 2004


Animal Place, a sanctuary and educational organization, reports a study by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization finding that more than 50 billion animals (not counting fish and other aquatic animals) were killed for food in 2003. In the U.S., the slaughter of animals for food represents 98% of all animals killed, including by euthanasia in pounds and shelters, hunting, trapping and farming for fur, research, testing, etc. Worldwide, 46.5 billion chickens and turkeys are killed, 9.8 billion of them in the U.S., where they are specifically not covered by the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.

In all but the most extreme situations, this is a choice we make. We do not need to kill other animals to thrive ourselves. Yet we do. That is a morally indefensible choice. We ought to have the self-respect (or call it an eye for the karmic scales of justice) to expect better of ourselves.