To The Reader's Forum:
Looking through my calendar of national observances, it appears that October is turning into "food month," beginning with World Vegetarian Day and World Day for Farm Animals on October 1st and 2nd, continuing with National School Lunch Week on October 14th-18th and World Food Day on October 16th, and culminating with Food Day on October 24th.
World Day for Farm Animals Day (www.WFAD.org), on October 2nd, is perhaps the most dramatic of these. It celebrates the lives, exposes the abuses, and memorializes the slaughter of billions of sentient animals raised for food. Recent undercover investigations showed male baby chicks suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground to death, pigs clobbered with metal pipes, and cows skinned and dismembered while still conscious.
Moreover, a recent Harvard study of more than 120,000 people confirmed once again that meat consumption raises mortality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Animal agriculture accounts for more water pollution than all other human activities. A 2011 United Nations report recommends eating less meat to reduce greenhouse gases.
The good news is that our meat consumption has been dropping by nearly 4% annually! Entering "live vegan" in a search engine brings lots of useful transition tips.