“If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you can do. It’s staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty.” – Paul McCartney.
“Every year in the U.S., more than 27 billion animals are slaughtered for food. Raising animals on factory farms is cruel and ecologically devastating. Animals on factory farms are treated like meat, milk, and egg machines. Chickens have their sensitive beaks seared off with a hot blade, and male cattle and pigs are castrated without any painkillers. All farmed chickens, turkeys, and pigs spend their brief lives in dark and crowded warehouses, many of them so cramped that they can’t even turn around or spread a single wing. They are mired in their own waste, and the stench of ammonia fills the air. Animals raised for food are bred and drugged to grow as large as possible as quickly as possible—many are so heavy that they become crippled under their own weight and die within inches of their water supply. By switching to a vegetarian diet, you can save more than 100 animals a year from this misery.
Eating animals is bad for our health, leading directly to many diseases and illnesses, including heart attacks, strokes, cancer, diabetes, multiple allergies, food poisoning and obesity. Vegans are approximately one-ninth as likely to be obese as meat-eaters and have a cancer rate that is only 40 percent that of meat-eaters. The only two doctors in human history who have successfully reversed heart disease have included an exclusively vegetarian diet as a part of their programs.
More than half of the water used in the United States today goes to animal agriculture, and since farmed animals produce 130 times more excrement than the human population, the run-off from their waste is fouling our waterways. Animal excrement emits gases, such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, that poison the air around farms, as well as methane and nitrous oxide, which are major contributors to global warming. Forests are being bulldozed to make more room for factory farms and feed crops to feed farmed animals, and this destruction causes soil erosion and contributes to species extinction and habitat loss. Raising animals for food also requires massive amounts of food and raw materials: Farmed animals consume 70 percent of the corn, wheat, and other grains that we grow, and one-third of all the raw materials and fossil fuels used in the U.S. go to raising animals for food. In short, our country’s meat addiction is wrecking the earth.
“It’s the best natural source of iron and protein – but it has also been linked to cancer.”
“This is a controversial argument, but some experts have said that humans are in fact natural meat-eaters – and that to totally eliminate such a big food-group from our diets could be unhealthy. There is a theory that our guts contain bacteria that help us to digest meat, and that not to eat meat could mean that the bacteria are lying idle, so making it easier for diseases to flourish.
Red meat is a major source of protein, which is needed for muscle and organ health. The protein found in meat is “complete”, meaning that it contains all the amino acids that the body cannot make on its own. It is essential for the body’s repair and renewal as well as general health.
Red meat is an essential source of iron – lean beef has 2.7mg of iron per 100g – and is vital to good health, as well as preventing conditions such as anaemia. Up to a quarter of menstruating women are thought to be deficient in iron. Meat contains more iron than most foods, and it is more easily utilised by the body than from vegetable sources.
Australian scientists have found that people who ate a diet high in protein, based on lean red meat, as well as fruit and vegetables, lost 25 per cent more weight over a fixed period of time than those who ate a low protein, carbohydrate-rich diet that contained the same amount of calories and fat.
The scientists concluded that some people might be more successful in losing weight on a high-protein diet because they felt less hungry and could go without food for longer. Those on the high-protein diet also saw levels of their “bad” cholesterol drop.
Strangly enough, I couldn’t find many written pieces pro-meat.