Halloween zombies, witches, ghosts and goblins lurking about don’t scare me; what’s really frightening is the meat industry.

This is the industry that deprives, mutilates, cages, then butchers billions of cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens - animals who feel joy, affection, sadness, and pain, just like us…that exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages, and exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating market prices…

The industry that contributes more to our epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer than any other, then bullies health authorities to remove health warnings from dietary guidelines…

The industry that sanctions world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals, instead of people…

The industry that generates more water pollution than all other human activities, that spews more greenhouse gases than all transportation, that destroys more wildlife habitats than all other industries.

Fortunately, our local supermarkets offer a rich selection of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses, and ice creams, as well as a colorful display of fresh fruits and veggies. According to the meat industry publication Feedstuffs, sales of plant-based foods doubled from 2017 to 2018, jumping another 20% from 2018-19.

That’s what gives me my courage…and hope.

GABRIEL HAMEL

Greenville

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