My dad has always been a strict vegetarian (no meat, no fish, no eggs, no products that harm animals). My mum has always been a big meat eater. While my dad rarely gets ill, has no ongoing ailments, and is a fit and healthy middle-aged man, my mum has suffered with Crohn’s Disease for many years, as well as blood illnesses, immune system deficiencies, mild forms of cancer, and joint trouble. A few years ago my dad recommended that my mum stop eating meat for a while to see if it would help her bowel problems. She agreed. Since then she has never eaten meat and has never had a flare up of Crohn’s Disease, bowel problems or cancer.
I’m not a vegetarian myself. I like chicken curries, tuna mayo sandwiches, and the occasional fry-up. While mum and dad eat soya mince in their chilli and bolognese, I continue eating normal beef mince. So why write an article about the dangers of eating meat? Surely I’m a hypocrite? Well, although I’m not a vegetarian, I’ve definitely seen evidence that meat can cause all sorts of health problems. I’ve cut down my meat consumption to the barest minimum, and I’d strongly recommend you do the same. Here is some information I’ve collected on the dangers of eating meat:
What is so bad about meat?
- “For decades British and North American farmers have been feeding their beef and dairy cattle, which are of course herbivores, cheap protein supplements made from things which include sheep brains, spinal cords, and other animal parts. Sheep, as any farmer will testify, have for centuries carried scrapie–a fatal, degenerative brain disease, which is remarkably similar to Mad Cow Disease and CJD. It is feared that this disease can be transmitted to humans who eat meat from infected cattle. . . . . In addition, massive quantities of blood meal, bone meal and other animal byproducts find their way into food animal’s feed.” – Shepherd’s Rod
- Animals bred for meat are also given antibiotics, growth hormones, and an array of legal and illegal drugs. “The absorption of antibiotics through meat-eating results in antibiotic-resistant strains of pneumonia, childhood meningitis, gonorrhea, salmonella, and other serious illnesses.”
- “Chicken are fed more infected animal protein than cows–and are likely carriers of the disease (BSE)–they just don’t live long enough to exhibit symptoms. We must convince consumers that chicken is not a “health food,” but a reliable source of saturated fat, cholesterol, salmonella–and perhaps, ‘Mad Chicken Disease.'” – Alex Hershaft, Ph.D., Vegetarian Voice, Vol. 21, No. 4. (1996)
- “Despite new federal safety regulations, more than 100 million pounds of meat has been recalled since 1998 due to suspected bacterial contamination.” – Modern Meat: A PBS Frontline Documentary
- “Many people would never again touch a bite of meat if they were to witness the activities and filth in a slaughterhouse. Chicken slaughterhouses are notorious for their filth, hazardous practices, unsanitary conditions and the dirty meat they produce. Birds are processed at such fast speeds that quality is all but ignored.” – Assatashakur
- “Chickens are soaked in chlorine baths to remove slime and odor.”
- “Maggots and larvae breed in storage and transport tubs and boxes, on the floor, in equipment and packaging, and on the conveyor belt. Material can almost always be found on coolers, walls, floors and equipment, including excrement, blood, chicken parts, oil, grease, rust, paint, insecticides and rodent droppings, to name but a few.” – Tony Horwitz, Wall Street Journal
Are we naturally meat-eaters?
Human’s original diet was designed by our maker God. Surely the one who made our bowels would be the best authority on what we should eat. “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” – Genesis 1:29. Adam and Eve were permitted to eat from “every tree that is in the garden”, but never instructed to kill or eat animals.
Later in history, after the flood of Noah’s day, there was a long period where plants and trees wouldn’t be available for food (everything was under water). So for that reason Noah and his family were given permission to eat meat out of necessity. “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. ” – Genesis 9:3.
When it was no longer necessary for humans to eat meat, they continued anyway. God didn’t command them to stop, because he respected their free will. But this doesn’t mean he intended us to eat meat. In the first five books of the Bible God repeatedly warned against the consumption of certain animals that were unfit for human food, the eating of animal fat was forbidden, and he absolutely forbade any human to eat an animal that had not been drained completely of all its blood. Other than that, he didn’t impose his views on people who wanted to eat meat – just like today, people do exactly what they want to do. He gave us the information we need to be healthy and happy, but most people ignore it. That’s humans’ fault, not Gods.
(For more detailed studies of the Bible’s view on meat, as well as health information, visit this website)
What is a natural human diet? Take a look at this website.
Are vegetarians unhealthy?
Vegetarians are not weaker, skinnier, or more sick than meat-eaters. Protein is not something that humans get primarily from meat. In fact, the best and healthiest sources of protein include soya, nuts, tofu, dairy and fish. Many professional athletes turn vegetarian to reduce their body fat and improve their stamina.
- “Meat eaters are 9 times more likely to become obese than vegans are.” – John Robbins, The Food Revolution, Conari Press: Boston, 2001, p. 58
- “A vegetarian diet can prevent 97 percent of coronary occlusions (heart problems).” – Panthkhalsa
- A BUPA study shows that red meat increases the risk of bowel cancer.
If you’ve ever envied the looks or the figure of any of these celebs, then you might be surprised to know that they don’t eat any meat:
Alicia Silverstone: “Since I’ve gone vegetarian, my body has never felt better and my taste buds have been opened up to a whole new world. It’s one of the most rewarding choices I’ve ever made and I invite you to join me in living a healthy, cruelty-free lifestyle.” Indeed, studies show that a vegetarian diet promotes a healthy heart—and that helps stars maintain a youthful vigor and boundless stamina while on stage, in the studio, and on the field.”
Give up meat entirely?
It’s up to you. Most people already know the facts above. They don’t care. Most people know that sausages, meat pizza and burgers contain ground up animal eyes and bones, but they still buy the stuff. For those of you who are disturbed by the facts but are not prepared to go vegetarian, I’d suggest you just cut down a little. It has been suggested that a healthy person should eat “no more than two meat meals a week”. Reduce your meat consumption, and you will reduce your risk of many preventable diseases.
Just to add, I really admire vegetarians and I hope I haven’t offended them by not fully committing to vegetarianism myself. But every little helps, right? Keep up the good work!