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One Step for Animals

One Step for Animals

Monday marks the start of a new year and with it, all types of resolutions aimed at healthier and happier lives.

It's a perfect time to consider dropping meat and dairy from your diet, or at least cutting back.

While most people start this process by dropping red meat and pork, One Step for Animals makes a great argument for starting by getting chicken off your plates.

"Today, chickens are the most abused animals, in terms of their treatment and in terms of the numbers," according to an insightful two-and-a-half minute video created by the group.

The group says it takes more than 200 chickens to provide the same amount of food as one cow and chicken consumption is on the rise. So refraining from eating chickens would obviously have the biggest impact on reducing animal suffering.

The numbers are truly staggering.

Of the nine billion farm animals raised and killed for food each year in this country, 88 percent are chickens, according to The Humane League's aptly named 88 percent campaign.

I have been a vegetarian for nearly 30 years and a vegan for the last several years, but I did not quite grasp how many more chickens are dying for food until just recently. (The figures for fish are just as staggering.)

Like others, when I think of farm animals and their suffering, I most often envision cows and pigs. They are furry and cute after all, and are fellow mammals.

Chickens, like other birds, are as foreign to most of us as dinosaurs. Not many of us have had much interaction with them and those who have as part of the backyard farming trend, are often under educated and ill prepared.

One Step for Animals offers tips on how to easily replace chicken in your diet with plant-based alternatives. Visit the group's website to learn more about the whys, whats and hows to making a New Year's resolution that will have the biggest impact on your life and on the animals you love.

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Porter/LaPorte county reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.