Meat is high in fat and protein and devoid of any fibre which causes a host of diseases.
Dr John McDougall says “animal foods burden us with three times more protein, fifteen times more fat, greater than 100 times more cholesterol, four times more methionine, and at least ten times more dietary acid. Furthermore, the toxic effects of these poisons are interactive. For example, excesses of protein, methionine, and dietary acids work together to destroy the bones. Excesses of dietary fat and cholesterol combine their deleterious effects to damage the arteries (atherosclerosis) and promote cancer.“
Meat has never been eaten in such high quantities as it has been today. Our ancestors – hunter, gatherers had to wait and watch for making a kill, many days would be just spent on fruits and berries. Killing would be only occasional affair.
The ethical angle
Animal farms nowadays confine animals in small enclosures, are given feed laced with hormones and pesticides, overfed and genetically modified to make them gain weight quickly. They are artificially bred in many cases. You only have to visit a poultry farm to see the horrifying conditions hens live in.
Animals feel pain and various other emotions throughout their confinement, when they see their brethren being killed or when they face separation from their children. These emotions get transferred to us causing mood swings.
Growing food for animals – aka animal agriculture is the biggest cause of deforestation and hence climate change. When we reduce our consumpotion of meat, forests come back, emissions of green house gases stabilize and the global warming can be reduced.
Our seas today have become a dumping ground for all chemicals..since everything ends up there. PCBs, doxins, plastics, toxic effluents, heavy metals. Sea food today is highly contaminated. Fish (and other sea food) are artificially bred in sea farms where millions of fish who otherwise swim freely in rivers and oceans are confined to small enclosures and suffer from suffocation and disease.
Hence it is better to reduce consumption of such food and gradually stop them over a period of time. These can be eaten only on special occasions along with healthier foods like a salad. Else, toxins which bio-accumulate, bio-magnify through the food chain eventually get into our tissues too. Studies show that ‘Animal products have 7 to 10 times(if not more) pesticides than plant products since harmful chemicals bio accumulate along the food chain.’
What are the substitutes?
Some commercial substitutes and some natural substitutes are available to satisfy the need of the chewy, structure of meat. Commercial alternatives are only advisable during the transition phase and should be replaced with natural foods.
Textured vegetable protein (TVP) or soya chunks, tofu, tempeh, seitan
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