PETA has a new infographic that’s causing a stir amongst animal advocates. Here is the graphic:
And here are the sources that PETA used:
Eating Animals Info
All information included in The Truth About Eating Animals was obtained from the following sources. To find out more about how eating animals affects the animals themselves, the environment, and your health, we recommend the following list of resources:
Environmental Defense Fund: “Fighting Global Warming With Food” Marcia Kreith, “Water Inputs in California Food Production,” Water Education Foundation, 27 Sept. 1991. John Lang, Scripps Howard News Service, “U.S. Staggers Under Weight of Waste From Farm Animals,” The Grand Rapids Press, 26 Apr. 1998.
American Meat Institute, “The United States Meat Industry at a Glance“ U.S. Department of Agriculture, “U.S. Soybean Industry: Background Statistics and Information“ Water Education Foundation, “Water Inputs in California Food Production“
Salmonella and E. coli
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Salmonella Serotype Enteritidis” David White et al., “The Isolation of Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella From Retail Ground Meats,” The New England Journal of Medicine 345:1147-54, 18 Oct. 2001. U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Agricultural Library
Somatic Cells (Pus)
Hoard’s Dairyman, “Somatic Cells Continue to Rise“, 25 Apr. 2001.
American Heart Association: “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics”
Kerry K. Saunders, The Vegan Diet as Chronic Disease Prevention, Lantern Books, 2003.
A few of these statistics are a bit controversial. For example, Erik Marcus of vegan.com wrote:
“The water claim is bogus. The feed conversion claim is deceptively worded. I analyzed both these topics in exhaustive detail in Meat Market five years ago. It’s simply inexcusable for an organization with PETA’s substantial resources to churn out this kind of crap [...]”
I’m not sure that Marcus realizes what PETA does. PETA is an animal advocacy group that focuses on marketing a pro-animal message to young people. PETA is NOT a news agency or a co-op of university professors. PETA is in the business of persuasion. PETA knows that the target audience for an “infographic” is not the same audience that is so inherently skeptical and rational that they’ll read countless books and reports on a subject before finally coming to a decision about it.
It’s silly, really. Marcus is angry that PETA didn’t spend more time on fact checking, although I’m sure that he is well-aware of how inept real news media is at actual fact checking and I’m sure the citations PETA provided are more than sufficient for most people. The statistics are good enough. For whomever they’re not good enough, that person will do the research and learn more horifying details about animal agriculture to be better persuaded to make major personal dietary changes that benefit animals, the planet, and their own health.
Maybe Marcus never heard the expression that “perfect is the enemy of good.” Or maybe it’s just cool to hate on PETA. Whatever the reason, how’s about we all stop trying to hold each other to impossibly high standards and start accepting the good that each and every animal advocate does?