I have no fear of goblins, witches, or evil clowns lurking around Halloween. What really scares me is the meat industry. This is the industry that deprives, mutilates, cages, then butchers billions of cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens — animals who feel joy, affection, sadness, and pain, as we do. An industry that exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages, and exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating market prices.
The industry that contributes more to our epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer than any other, then bullies health authorities to remove warnings from dietary guidelines.
An industry that sanctions world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals, instead of people and generates more water pollution than all other human activities, spews more greenhouse gases than all transportation, and destroys more wildlife habitats than all other industries.
These are the things that keep me up at night.
Fortunately, my local supermarket offers a rich selection of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses, and ice creams, as well as a colorful display of fresh fruit and veggies. It gives me hope and courage for my future. But I still fear for my friends and neighbors.