I am not scared of all the witches, zombies, and assorted goblins wandering about on Halloween. What really scares me is the meat industry.

This is the industry that:

* Mutilates, cages and butchers billions of cows, pigs and other sentient animals.

* Feeds carcasses of cats and dogs killed in pounds to chickens.

* Exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages.

* Exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating wholesale market prices.

* Punishes documentation of its abuses through unconstitutional "ag-gag" laws.

* Promotes world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals.

* Generates more greenhouse gases than any other human activity.

* Generates more water pollution than any other human activity.

* Creates a permanent "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico that dwarfs the BP oil spill.

* Creates deadly antibiotic-resistant pathogens by feeding antibiotics to animals.

* Creates epidemics of salmonella, listeria and other infectious diseases.

* Promotes mortality from diabetes, heart failure, stroke, cancer and other diseases.

Now, that's really scary. And this is why I am dropping animal products from my menu.

HECTOR BAGLEY

Harvard