Eating Meat
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Sports and Health

Eating Meat

Fact and Fiction

WHAT IT IS

  • Meat-based or omnivorous diets are a lifestyle choice in which people consume meat and animal byproducts.

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Some people do not eat meat for personal and/or religious reasons. For example:

  • Cows are considered sacred in some religions, such as Hinduism.1

  • Muslim's refrain from eating pork because it is seen as impure.2

WHY IT MATTERS

 

Whether following a plant or meat-based diet, it is important to be aware of what you consume and how it affects your body. Eating meat has both positive and negative consequences that are often confused.

FACT

Benefits

There are many benefits to eating meat, including consuming vitamin B and protein, and strengthening muscle and bone.3

 

 

Poor conditions

Although companies advertise “free-range” animals, most intensive farms that breed animals in mass quantities keep them contained in tight spaces.4

 

This is called "factoring farming".5 Check out this interactive map to see where the densest areas of factoring farming are. 

 

There are no federal laws monitoring factory farm conditions. Laws are determined at a state level. Most states exclude farm animals from animal cruelty laws.6

 

 

 

Climate change

Factory farming contributes to environmental destruction, including air pollution, and is considered the 2nd largest contributor to CO2 pollution.7

 

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., the "animal agriculture sector" is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gases. 8 9

FICTION

Diseases! 

Stories of mad cow disease and salmonella frighten people away from consuming meat. The chance of contracting the disease is only about three in every eight million cases.11 12

 

 

Heart issues! Diabetes!

Several scientific studies have disproven the myth that eating red meat causes heart disease. Those who eat processed meat, however, are at strong risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. 13 14

 

 

Protein to survive!

While humans do require some natural protein for a healthy diet, Western civilizations (like America) consume twice as much protein as a human body requires.10

 

There are also additional protein sources. Meat does not have to be the only option.

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WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • The Humane Society has called for the U.S. government to promote plant-based diets.17
  • Meat institutions in the U.S. currently feed over 318 million.15

  • The U.S. consumed 30% more meat in 2011 than in 1961.16

 

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Check out the Humane Society for information on factory farming. Please note: there may be disturbing information or photographs.

  • Should there be a limit to how much meat one person can consume?

Key Vocabulary