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By Teresa Antequera Cerverón
Daniel, one of the Gabriele Foundation's Land of Peace animal caretakers, considers that this figure is still surprising, considering that the respondents have related the question to domestic animals. Well, although it is true that many people are friends with horses and love their dogs and cats, the truth is that there are millions of animal species that inhabit our planet, the same ones that receive little or no help or understanding from people, whether it is an animal injured on the road, those who are affected by the poisons scattered in the gardens, or those who end up on the plate. In these cases, as in many others, friendship with animals often ends.
If it is stated: «I eat meat, but I declare myself a friend of animals», it is after all a contradiction, since if I eat animal meat I am tacitly giving the order that animals be raised in intensive breeding farms with the consequent suffering caused, I am also giving the tacit order that someone kill them and dismember them.
And if in recent times some progress has been made in relation to the sacrifice of animals, this is due to the contribution of many animal protection organizations, which fight for the rights and lives of these. However, there are still many things that are unknown. There is a United Nations report according to which in Europe 75% of slaughter animals are killed while fully conscious. This report was published in 2011 at the request of Sweden, however this data was only published in the Swedish press. In fact, two-thirds of the animals killed consciously live their slaughter, in part due to cost savings, as anesthesia takes time and money. At other times the anesthesia is not done properly, then the animal wakes up when it is hanging from a hook and the slaughterer is about to cut its neck. Later, still conscious, he bleeds out.
There is no doubt that there are many well-informed people. In fact, the vegetarian movement began in the 19th century at the hands of small isolated associations, today it can be said that in Europe between 2 and 8% of Europeans are vegetarians. Which has been scientifically proven beneficial for health, as they live healthier. It is interesting to know that in Japan, a country in which vegetarian food was the majority in the past, there is currently a notable increase in the rate of carcinomas in the large intestine, due to the fact that the Japanese eat more and more meat. They now eat three times the fat and nine times more meat than 30 years ago.
A manifesto of the American Dietetic association, which is the largest dietetic society in the world, from time to time assesses vegetarian eating from the point of view of physiology and dietary medicine, and the data is very clear: Vegetarians have they have less risk of contracting coronary heart disease, their blood pressure is lower and they have better blood values, fewer cases of gout, fewer kidney diseases, and a lower risk of tumor diseases, especially stomach and intestinal cancer. There are also indications that a vegetarian diet has a preventive effect on dementia.