This I Believe

Serena - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

On evolution charts, the human race is always at the top. Although humans are the most evolved species, with complex DNA, humans are not the fastest, not the strongest, and not the only intelligent form of life on earth. In fact, the only things humans do best at are damaging the planet with pollution and destruction of habitats, which results in the killing off their own species, as well as other species. What gives humans the right to kill what ever they want, whenever they want? Is it right for one species to be superior to all of the others? It is time to accept that humans are animals too.

In 7th grade, I was given an assignment to write a research paper about any subject that I was interested in. I had been thinking about becoming a vegetarian at the time and wanted to find out more about it. In that one week, I learned more devastating facts than I have in my whole lifetime.

Has anyone considered what happens before the meal is cooked and served? These are a few examples of the things I learned while researching for my report.

I learned of the horrible conditions in which animals are raised and of how they are knocked out in an assembly line and then skinned. Animals are not always knocked out successfully, so while they are skinned, they are still conscious. When people catch fish, other sea creatures are caught in the net as well, such as dolphins and sea turtles, and are not always freed back into the ocean. Sometimes they are left on deck to suffocate, along with the other helpless fish. Chickens have a different fate. Only female chickens can lay eggs, so sometimes males that are born are thrown into trashcans. The expense of having vast fields for the animals to roam in prevents most farms from providing free range. The animals are crammed in small cages; many die from suffocation before they are killed to be eaten. These small examples are just the tip of the iceberg behind the cruelty towards animals.

Ever since then, I have refused to eat meat, in spite of my mother’s complaints. I feel bad for refusing meals that people worked hard to cook, but I believe a life is more important than a hurt feeling. Every life has value, even the smallest organisms. Just because people are big and have the technology to kill, does not make a life any less valuable. It makes the human race seem cruel, taking advantage of something that should be considered as their equal. I know that I cannot change the world and stop everyone from eating meat, but I want to enlighten as many people as possible. The value of my life is to save another, which cannot save itself.