Cows | Teen Ink


October 30, 2007
By Anonymous

You’ve never met your mother or your father, you don’t know if you have siblings or not, but you probably do. Maybe the one in the tiny cage next to you is your brother, you’ll probably never know. You don’t really know where you are; you’ve always been there, trapped in small cages, not able to move. Standing, there’s no rest. Now you’re being taken somewhere, but you’re not sure where, but perhaps it will be better than the live you’ve lived. You’ve been hurt your whole life, burned with hot metals rods, parts of your body torn off, and impregnated with unwanted young. But of course, you don’t go to a better place, it’s only worst, it always is. You’re being hosted up and hung by your ankles and wrists from the ceiling, the blood is rushing towards your head. From your upside-down position you can see a large man wearing an apron covered in blood. He comes towards you…
No, you aren’t trapped in a horror movie; you are simply, a cow. You were raised for beef, born to die. Generations of your family were this way, and likely, generations of those unwanted children you were forced to have will too. Later on the day of your murder, your remains will be packaged, labeled, and sent to a supermarket. Even later, you’ll be eaten.
Chickens and other birds are more commonly called “boilers.” They are raised in small sheds which house around ten thousand other chicken, usually the cause of outbreaks of illnesses. When they reach the age of one week, they are fed drugs which make them grow large and causes the majority of these poor birds collapse under their own weight and/or die from starvation for lack of ability to move. Many also have heart attacks because the drugs given to them affect their organs. When shipped to the slaughterhouse, they are tossed in bags to suffocate or crammed in cages. They are then shackled and emerged in boiling hot water to remove their feathers. Lastly, their necks are snapped.
Pigs live in cages their whole lives, standing on dirty slabs of concrete, not able to turn around. They are taken away from their mother’s before they are a month old, their tails are cut off, their ears clipped, and teeth sawed off. Sows (female pigs) are forced to have piglets and, when they give birth, are promptly impregnated again. When the sows finally die from exhaustion or become too old, they are shipped to the slaughterhouse. When it is time for the slaughterhouse, the pigs are taken in large, crammed trucks and many die from heat stroke and illnesses.
Believe it or not the animals that are eaten are incredibly smart and intelligent animals. Most people dismiss all animals, especially pigs, as stupid, dumb, unable to think and feel, but they are wrong. Pigs especially are extremely intelligent and, according to research (, the majority of pigs could beat the average primate on a PlayStation (if they had fingers, of course). Chickens are able to talk to their young while the chicks are still inside of the eggs. Chickens often greatly worry about each other’s pain and suffering and create a way to comfort one another. Cows are, as some say, extremely alike to humans. They have multi-personalities and different characteristics. But maybe most importantly, animals can feel pain and suffering and they know when they are going to die.
Okay, so the poor animals get hurt, we got it. But are there any other reasons to become vegetarian? If you’re concerned about the environment, being vegetarian is something to think about. Would you throw away sixteen plates of pasta randomly, or pour 2,500 gallons of water down the drain? Of course not, that would be wasteful. Well guess what? When you eat meat you waste thousands of important resources and parts of the environment. In the U.S. 70 percent of the grain, corn, and the grains that are grown are used to fatten animals up who are eaten. Meat animals produce for than 130 times the amount of manure than humans, which causes pollution, as there is no sewer system for animal waste. It destroys the earth and makes the soil unusable. On average, 86,000 pounds of manure a second makes the grounds unworkable ( The many meat eaters are responsible for the ruin of the environment.
The last reason to become a vegetarian may seem like a reason your mother would stop eating meat, but it is applicable for all ages. Becoming a vegetarian is so much healthier for you. Eating no meat reduces the chance of heart disease, cancer, and high cholesterol. In addition, vegetarians tend to live six to ten years longer than the average meat eater. Studies have shown that vegetarian children grow taller, have higher IQs, are not usually overweight, and when they grow up have a lower chance of having a fatal illness. Eating soy instead of meat gives you the right amount of protein that you need, despite what you may have heard. There is a slight chance that If you become a vegetarian you suffer from vitamin deficiency, but if you take vitamin pills in the morning, as many vegetarians do, then you are most likely going to be healthy. Overall, being vegetarian is really good for you.
I would be a vegetarian, is the response I usually receive. But the meat tastes so good. But perhaps for just one day, you might not eat meat and instead think about the animals that suffer, the environment that gets ruined, and your health that may go down the drain. Perhaps, you can just take a moment and wonder if the meat really does taste that good.

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