Is eating meat wrong?
- In the last 50 years, the amount of meat that humans consume has tripled.
- Each year, approximately 50 billion chickens are killed for food.
- Legumes and nuts are among some of the best plant-based sources of protein available.
- The first vegetarian society in Western culture was formed in England in 1847.
- Some studies reveal that meat-eating was what enabled our ancestors’ brains to evolve and grow.
The world of today finds itself lacking any reasonable evidence that the consumption of meat is of value. The notion that it is nutritionally necessary or healthful is now obsolete. Some doctors now believe that plant-based diets could 'prevent 8 out of 10 leading causes of death,' based on the plethora of studies that link diets to lower rates of heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and obesity. Even the WHO classified meat products as 'carcinogenic.'
But! Eating meat makes you big and strong! Welllllll... Even if you haven't seen 'The Game Changers,' I don't think any of us would make that statement in the company of any of the growing list of elite vegan athletes. Among them; MMA fighters, weightlifters, bodybuilders, Venus Williams, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who previously denounced the lifestyle.
Polls say 'the most important issue' in the world today is environmental concerns. The toll of meat production is so vast that switching to a plant-based diet is being called 'the single biggest way' (~70%!) to reduce your footprint on the planet.
Further, many people are appalled by the abuse of animals in large-scale meat production, rightfully comparing it to a man-made hell. Is this the relationship that we want with our food?
Habit is all that remains. We have generations of traditions which include meat consumption, but if we are slow to evolve, COVID-19 may be forcing our hands, or rather our stomachs, with a meat shortage.
So, now we really have no reason to eat meat, and while bittersweet for some, it's the right way to go.
It is entirely incorrect to say that eating meat is inherently wrong. Humans are omnivorous by design, and the consumption of meat as an act in itself is natural. Therefore, as participating members in the food chain, we are entitled to eat meat if we so choose.
The choice to eat meat is not an evil one. Our human ancestors certainly chose to eat meat, as there is evidence of their carnivorous diets going back approximately two million years. What has changed in current times to make the act of eating meat morally wrong? Is a lion wrong for eating an antelope? Is a cat immoral for eating a mouse? Simply put - no. It's the same for humans--so long as the animal has a quick death. Meat-eating is a means to acquire in certain abundance nutrients such as iron and protein.
Perhaps to say that it is morally wrong to eat meat ignores the nuance of the issue; how animals are treated and the methods used to produce meat are more questionable than its actual consumption. If meat is ethically produced and animals are cared for as humanely as possible, surely the ethics around meat-eating become less vague. The drive for profit and the necessary evils of mass production are the real unethical problems. Vegetarian products also have ethical issues, to be sure, as items such as mass-produced soy are devastating to the environment.
The overconsumption and production of meat are questionable, but this is true of virtually all mass-produced food. Using responsibly-sourced meat to feed ourselves and our families cannot be considered anything other than natural.