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We millennials are often described as lazy, entitled and unwilling to leave our parents’ homes. But this isn’t the truth, nor is it what I’m here to discuss. We need to talk about what we’re eating and how it affects the world, our health and the countless animals at factory farms.

We’re not only the world’s largest generation; we’re the largest generation of self-identified vegetarians and vegans. Concerned about health, the environment and animal welfare, nearly 12 percent of us avoid animal products.

While it’s great that so many of us care, it’s important that we all understand the negative impact that eating meat, dairy and eggs has on the world.

Let’s start with the environment. It’s clear that killing animals for food is killing our planet. Consider this: Raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined. Simply by avoiding animal products, we can cut our carbon footprints in half.

Animal agriculture isn’t only a leading cause of climate change; it’s also a leading source of water pollution. And it’s a huge drain on natural resources—for example, a pound of beef requires 13 percent more fossil fuel and 15 times more water to produce than a pound of soy. If you say you care about the environment, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and eat a plant-based diet.

Millennials are the age group most likely to be uninsured, so it’s important we discuss the negative health effects of consuming animal products. Study after study has shown that one of the best ways to improve your health is to adopt a vegan diet. In fact, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that compared to shorter-term vegetarians, people on a vegetarian diet for more than 17 years enjoyed a 3.6-year increase in life expectancy. Just think about all you could do with that extra time.

But surely the most important reason we millennials need to start caring about what we eat is because it directly affects the lives of billions of farmed animals. Cows, pigs and chickens raised and killed for food are just as smart and sensitive as the dogs and cats we adore at home. But at factory farms, they’re subjected to extreme confinement, brutal mutilations and bloody, violent deaths.

See for yourself:

Fortunately, we have the power to stop this. We can help the planet, animals and ourselves simply by adopting a vegan diet. And I know what you’re thinking—yes, you can still enjoy brunch.

So what do you say, fellow millennials? Let’s be the generation that puts an end to this cruel and unnecessary industry and makes the world a kinder place for all.

This article was originally published at AlterNet.
By Joe Loria, communications and content manager at Mercy For Animals
Read the original article.

RIP Young Friend

R.I.P. Young FriendSource: TKK

This post is to say a final farewell to a friend, not an especially close friend, but a friend just the same. Her name was Sally.

Sally had a rather tumultuous life. When she was only 10 months her mother was killed by a hit and run driver. Left to die on the side of the road. I can only imagine her Mothers physical pain, but I cannot imagine the feeling of helplessness, the pain she must have felt for her daughter, as she lay watching and waiting to die.

Years later lightning struck my friend once again as Sally was hit by a vehicle whilst crossing a road and was left with severe bruising a few cuts but, luckily, nothing broken.

As time went by Sally, now a single Mum, struggled to provide for her little one. Of course the Government threw some money her way on occasion but for the most part she was left to her own devices.

During one particular period of hardship she became – let’s say an “opportunistic forager”. Forced by her circumstance to take whatever advantage came her way. Sally “came across” some carrots and figured that they looked and smelt perfectly fine so why not utilise this “gift”. But after eating just part of one she began feeling ill.

It turned out that the carrots were poisoned.

For days, as friends and her son looked on, the poison wreaked havoc on her body. She was all hunched up appearing non-alert, limbs shaking and an unsteady balance. On occasion exuding a small amount of white froth from her mouth. The tissue damage on her unborn foetus was too great and she miscarried. Death was at her door but she was a fighter and managed to pull through.

Last year whilst visiting a park with her son she was set upon by a dog that was off the leash and out of control by it’s owner. She managed to get away but was left with facial cuts and, naturally, a fear of dogs.

And finally in a tragic case of possible “mistaken identity” or just outright ignorance, Sally was shot and killed by an unknown offender. The authorities are not willing to look into the matter any further as there are apparently “no leads” and that they “…do not have the resources to continue with the investigation”

Now I know there are a lot of people that would agree that the Government hands out so many mixed messages on situations such as this and that perhaps she put herself into some of these situations, but surely even people with the coldest of hearts must think this is too much for anyone to have had to put up with and it was certainly no way to have died.

I hope her son has a better life and I, for one, will be trying to ensure his future is not as bleak.

Sally was an Eastern Grey Kangaroo. The carrots were laced with 1080(sodium monofluroacetate) bait[1]. It is a cruel and indiscriminate poison used to “remove” unwanted populations of animals. Banned in most countries, 1080 poison is still used liberally throughout Australia to control so-called “pest” species, and reduce “browsing damage” caused by native animals on private land. 1080 poison is a slow killer. When ingested (usually through baited food) the animal suffers a prolonged and horrific death. Herbivores take the longest to die – up to 44hrs before finally succumbing to the final effects of the poison. The speed of death is dependent on the rate of the animals metabolism.
Eastern Grey kangaroos are protected animals and it is an offence to injure or kill them.[2]
The shot that killed her could have come from anyone with a gun, her body was left where it fell. The New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage will not investigate shootings of Kangaroos despite their protected status. In most cases they will not even take a report.
Although Sally’s story is fiction the different experiences in her story are ones that Kangaroos face each and every day. I encourage everyone to read up on the destructive nature of 1080 bait[3] and find a local campaign to Ban 1080 Bait

[1] 1080 Bait – https://www.wlpa.org/1080_poison.htm
[2] Eastern Grey kangaroos are protected animals. – https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/animals/Livingwithkangaroos.htm
[3] 1080 Bait More Information – https://animal-lib.org.au/campaigns/culling-and-pest-control/feral-animals-2