In an attempt to understand some of the issues raised in Beth Mendenhall’s “Vegetarianism: More than just a lifestyle,” I find it necessary to thoroughly examine her article and its inherent flaws.
First and foremost, most students appreciate that K-State is a land-grant college. By the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890, funds were allocated to states to establish institutions of higher learning in which agriculture, engineering and science were to be emphasized. Naturally, the agricultural basis on which K-State was founded in 1863 has carried into today, which leads many to question the validity of Mendenhall’s message.
According to the article, Mendenhall maintains that “eating meat is bad for the environment and human health and causes billions of animals to suffer needlessly.”
I feel it is pertinent to note that the consumption of meat will not result in the contamination of the water table. Furthermore, according to the Kansas Beef Council, protein-rich meat facilitates muscle metabolism, which plays an essential role in the prevention of osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes and many other conditions.
Also, the debilitating disease known as sarcopenia is caused by insufficient animal-based protein consumption. To add to that, there are 29 cuts of beef that meet or exceed the requirements for the government label “lean,” therefore negating Mendenhall’s claim that meat is bad for human health.
The claim that “eating meat causes billions of animals to suffer needlessly” has no standing in today’s agricultural society. Since the passing of the Horse Slaughter Ban, animal-rights activists have actually increased the incidence of animal cruelty. With nowhere for people to take their equine investments, they resort to turning their horses into the wild to suffer and starve to death.
“Slaughterhouses are a necessary evil,” said Idaho State Brand Commissioner Larry Hayhurst. “Euthanasia is far more preferable to mistreating a horse by releasing it into the wild.”
So, a big thanks to the animal-rights activism for precipitating the animal suffering they intend to prevent.
With that being said, I’d like to remind the vegetable lovers out there of K-State’s motto: “Rule by Obeying Nature’s Laws.” From a historical standpoint, it goes quite against nature’s laws not to eat meat. And one more thing … the front of my truck does not boast a K-State license plate that says “Eat Vegetables.”
– Kyla Reinhardt
Sophomore in family studies and human services