Jump to content

Speech I made in Public Speaking


chesty leroux
 Share

Recommended Posts

originally posted april 7, 2005

 

Hey everyone I did my speech this morning trying to persuade people to eat less meat in my public speaking class. It went over pretty well, I used some humor here and there and I think people were interested in what I had to say. According to a few peer evaluation forms ( 6 people evaluated) I did persuade people a little bit. At the bottom there is a spot for ranking how you felt about the topic before and after my argument. 1 being in total agreement with and 5 being totally opposed. I persuaded all of them by at least one point. I also got an A- for my grade. It may increase once he figures in the peer evaluation forms. Anyways here is the text of my speech let me know what you think.

 

 

Every two seconds on this planet, a child dies of starvation. Meanwhile, the average American consumes 246 pounds of meat a year. It hardly seems fair.

 

Many people may say, that’s just the way it is, there is nothing we can do to change it, but I am here to tell you, that by consuming less meat, we can make a difference.

 

According to John Robbins, in his controversial book : Diet for a New America, If Americans cut their meat consumption by only 10 percent, it would free over 12 million tons of grain annually for human consumption. That by itself would be enough to adequately feed every one of the 60 million human beings who will starve to death on the planet this year.

 

Before you shut me out, realize I am not asking you to become a vegetarian, or to be a militant vegan in pleather combat boots who throws blood filled water balloons at people, thats a different argument. (threw that in for humor as we live 20 min from PETA) I am simply asking you to cut back. It will not only be beneficial for the earth, but for your health as well.

 

According to the UK Vegan society, world livestock production exceeds 21 billion animals a year, more than 3 and a half times the human population . 2/3 of all agricultural land is used for the raising of livestock. 60% of the grain the US produces goes to feed livestock when it could be feeding people.

 

I’m sure many people are thinking, why is our job to feed these people, why can’t they feed themselves? In Developing countries, malnutrition is the leading cause of death for infants and children.

 

The American meat habit contributes directly to the problem. Again, Referencing diet for a new America, in Guatemala, 75% of children under 5 are malnourished. Yet every year Guatemala exports 40 million pounds of meat to the United States.

 

Costa Rica is another big exporter of beef to the United States. More and more of the Costa Rican land is being utilized for meat production, however the average Costa Rican Family, eats less meat than the average American housecat.

 

Animal Agriculture causes a great amount of pollution. First, everyone knows about cow gas contributing to the greenhouse affect. also Each year factory farms produce more than 350 million tons of manure. Thats alot of crap. The environmental protection agency states that hog, chicken, and cattle waste has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and also contaminated groundwater in 17 states. Virginia alone contributes 14 million pounds of animal waste.

 

In many regions of the world most water consumption is for the raising of livestock. In the US over half of the water goes towards meat production. On average, a pound of meat uses 2,500 gallons of water , as much as a typical family uses in a month.

 

 

Meat production also contributes to deforestation in the form of grazing lands. Rain forests are essential to the survival of the planet. They contain 80% of the Earths plants, even though they only cover 30% of the surface area. They provide us with valuable oxygen. Forests also purify and recycle our water.

 

They are quickly being depleted in developing countries to make room for cattle grazing, and unlike Northern Hemisphere forests where the nutrients are held in the soil, in rainforests, the plants and trees contain all the nutrients so once they are removed the land is virtually dead. So more trees are cut down for more land. It’s a vicious cycle. And all so Americans can overeat meat.

 

The Average American eats twice the USDA recommended amount of meat. Contrary to popular belief, meat isn’t that great for you. It is full of saturated fat and has no fiber and in studies is has been linked to cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease. And the people who market it to us know that.

 

There is an organization called “The Center for Consumer Freedom” which the meat industry participates in. They claim that any studies linking meat consumption to health problems are bogus, and they also say that any research that says Soda is bad for you and contributes to obesity is junk science. What kind of joke is that?

 

Some people will say that meat is an important part of the food pyramid. Unfortunately, the food pyramid, like everything else, is political. The animal agriculture industry is very powerful. Meanwhile, 33% of American kids are overweight, and 50% of young adults already have atherosclerotic damage which leads to heart attacks.

 

According to www.vegforlife.org in the beef we eat today there are over 258 different chemicals that are fed to the animals before it even gets to the super market. 48 of those are known to be carcinogenic. They are also pumped full of hormones and antibiotics which is leading to the formation of many antibiotic resistant bacteria.

 

On the other hand Plant foods are full of nutrients and fiber and most people do not eat enough. Not surprising considering the meat industry and junk food companies spend 34 billion dollars to get you to consume their products while the Dole 5 a day program only spends 2 million. Many scientific studies suggest that is you eat fewer animal foods and more plant foods, it will help protect you against gastrointestinal cancers. Also, consuming fiber in the form of plant foods can help protect you against colon cancer.

 

Studies have shown, that a low fat plant based diet can actually reverse blocked arteries and the risk of heart disease. Plant based foods are lower in fat than animal products, have no cholesterol, contain lots of fiber, nutrients, and vitamins. They also contain a lot of water, which most people do not get enough of anyways. From personal experience, they make you feel good when you eat them instead of weighed down.

 

But what about protein? The American Fitness Professionals and Association, and the Gatorade Sports Science Association both maintain that when in comes to high quality protein, vegetable protein beats animal protein hands down. The average American consumes to much protein. An excess in protein consumption causes calcium to leach from bones which leads to osteoporosis.

 

People who eat a plant based are not weak and brittle as is often the stigma. Someone who eats a plant based diet can be big and strong, a perfect example is Robert Cheeke. He has eaten no animal products in 10 years and he is a competitive natural bodybuilder. Also there is Mike Mahler, he does workshops for mixed martial arts and he is also ripped. Carl Lewis, the winner of 9 Olympic gold medals for track and field eats a vegan diet.

 

What do they eat? A wide variety of plant based foods. Which brings me to, instead of meat, what can you eat? Lots of things. Fruit, vegetables, beans, nuts, tofu, and whole grains. things most Americans get enough of anyways. At any supermarket you can find soy based vegetarian products. Some of them are incredibly convincing. You can find vegetarian selections at many ethnic restaurants such as Mexican, Indian and Chinese and Not that I advocate fast food, but even Burger King has a veggie burger or you can always go to taco bell and get a bean burrito. There are also many easy vegetarian recipes to make such as meat free chili, beans and rice, and my personal favorite, peanut butter sandwiches. The internet has many resources for vegetarian recipes such as vegweb.com. The next time you eat a hamburger think about the fact that it took the amount of water you would use if you took 40 showers with a water saving shower head, produced 12 pounds of animal waste, and used 7 pounds of grain.

 

Any way you look at it, Eating less meat can only be beneficial to your body and the planet; so why not give it a try?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent speech.

 

I liked your approach. It's next to impossible to convince someone who has been brainwashed to think they need meat with every meal to give up meat completely. If you can get ten people to forego the meat just one day of the week and take smaller portions on the other days, you've actually done a lot more to protect the animals and the environment than if you convinced one person to give up meat entirely.

 

I'm taking public speaking this semester, too... and I've yet to do the persuasive speech... hmmm...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

It's next to impossible to convince someone who has been brainwashed to think they need meat with every meal to give up meat completely.

 

I disagree, and it depends on the someone. I was a die hard carnivore. So die hard, in fact, that I was comparable to a REAL carnivore like a lion or tiger. I could, and did, eat meat RAW (hence the comparison to "real carnvirousism").

 

I could have "carnivored" ANYBODY under the table.

 

Yet, when I was faced with the cold hard facts about the magnitude and exact nature of animal suffering for people's selfish and gluttonous desires (inlcuding my own at the time), there were no ifs ands or buts about it. meat was simply no longer an option. My conscience compelled that outcome.

 

I think that if somebody is a true animal lover, it would not be difficult at all for them to go at least vegetarian if they viewed documentaries like Meet your Meat, and saw the suffering, heard the squeels of pain and terror, etc. etc. Of course this depends on whether the amount of compassion contained within one's heart exceeds the amount of selfishness. I believe that most people have some of both (including myself). The question is, which is greater? One's selfish streak or one's compassion for innocent, defenseless and voiceless animals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

It's next to impossible to convince someone who has been brainwashed to think they need meat with every meal to give up meat completely.

 

I think that if somebody is a true animal lover, it would not be difficult at all for them to go at least vegetarian if they viewed documentaries like Meet your Meat, and saw the suffering, heard the squeels of pain and terror, etc. etc. Of course this depends on whether the amount of compassion contained within one's heart exceeds the amount of selfishness. I believe that most people have some of both (including myself).

 

 

The question is, which is greater? One's selfish streak or one's compassion for innocent, defenseless and voiceless animals.

 

The problem is most people really don't care and with most people the selfish streak always wins over their compassionate one.

 

Thanks for the comments everyone! Feel free to use this speech for whatever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

That was a wonderful speech, Chesty. The thing I liked best was the way you translated big numbers into more meaningful terms. I don't know about other people but when someone is talking to me and they quote a bunch of numbers, my mind kind of goes out of focus and I lose track of what they are saying. "21 billion animals" is hard to grasp, but "3 1/2 times the human population" is much easier and so has more impact. Percentages are good, too, and "the average Costa Rican Family, eats less meat than the average American housecat" really brings it all home. Good job, Chesty.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Excellent speech!

I like your approach and technique.

Not angry, not confrontative, but antcipating the objections of your audience and addressing them with facts and figures that you made understandable.

*I* would have given you an "A" (but you would have had to do it in French. )

 

Every once in a while, a Speech student will approach me because they are preparing a presentation on vegetariansm/veganism (somehow, I got a rep on campus! and I am so happy to give them as much info and encouragement as I can! I often wonder how many people might actually be influenced in a positive way (you know which way I mean) by those little speeches done for a grade in a college class.

 

Though, I must say, I witnessed the contrary. I attended a workshop on preparing rubrics for oral work, and one filmed example that was shown was a class that was to debate some animal rights topic (I forget which). The "pro animal" side was relying on emotion and was all over the place. the "anti? animal" side was more organized and, even though I didn't agree with them, I found them more convincing. It's often not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it that convinces people (I learned that when Reagan was running for his second term in office, LOL! He didn't say much, but he said it in such a convincing, fatherly way...his opponent had better ideas, but just didn't have the charisma to convince people.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...