Saturday marked the 28th annual observance of World Farm Animals Day, dedicated to exposing and mourning the suffering and death of 58 billion land animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses.
There have been undercover investigations showing male chicks suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground to death, their female counterparts crammed together in tiny wire-mesh cages, pigs clobbered by metal pipes and killed by hanging, and assorted farm animals skinned and dismembered at the slaughterhouse while still conscious.
Studies have linked consumption of animal products with elevated risks for heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic killer diseases. A 2007 United Nations report blames meat production for 18 percent of greenhouse gases, and the animal waste "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico is actually larger than the BP oil spill.
We're certainly much more aware of the devastating impacts of animal agriculture - on animals, the earth, and humans - than we were 28 years ago. Let's acknowledge all the suffering, disease, and destruction connected with animal agriculture and adopt a plant-based diet; it would do a world of good.