image

Should more people give up eating meat?

More people than ever are giving up meat and going vegetarian and vegan. 

Eating less meat or cutting out animal products altogether is a popular New Year’s resolution – and many people have challenged themselves to go 30 days without any animal products at all in January.

There are dozens of good reasons to give up eating meat, and in recent years those arguments have become more prominent.

While many people don’t take issue with eating meat in general, the reality of factory farming conditions and lack of animal welfare has turned many away from animal products or caused them to seriously cut back.

A diet filled with too much red meat in particular can be harmful and increase our risk of heart disease and cancers and raise cholesterol and blood pressure.

Recent studies have also forcefully warned of the dangers of nitrates in popular pork products like sausage, bacon and cured meats and their direct link to cancer.

Others are choosing to give up or reduce their intake of meat and fish due to the strain on the environment – overfishing is disrupting the balance of the ocean’s ecosystems, and scientists argue giving up eating meat will reduce our carbon footprint more than giving up driving.

On the other side of the argument, many people are firmly opposed to the rise in vegetarian and veganism and dismiss its rise than little more than a dieting fad.

A balanced diet is one that includes a range of proteins and nutrients gained by eating meat, and by including it in our diet we’re able to stay full, satisfied and healthy.

While supporting more humane farming methods is a positive step for both animal welfare and the environment, the cost can be prohibitive – not all families can afford to buy more expensive organic options for example, and many others argue that it’s never truly possible to be humane when killing and eating animals.

And the jobs provided through farming, fishing and animal agriculture in general are a vital part of our economy already under threat from other factors such as European regulation.

What do you think? Should more people give up eating meat? Are you vegetarian? Have you tried to cut out meat from your diet? Have we become very obsessed with fad diets?

Share your views at Speakers Corner. 

Should more people give up eating meat?

89 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

We'd love to hear your comments

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password
Cherish
17th May 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I dont think we should all give up meat entirely but cutting down to twice a week would help peoples health and global warming. It is a fact that intense farming of cattle, and the scale of it, is causing more to global warming than anything else, via the excrement and gases from the animals.
Birchy123
5th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Human beings are carnivores by nature, and I enjoy a nice steak or bacon sandwich as much as anyone. I don't think the evils of cruel factory farming methods, or medieval slaughter rituals, can be eradicated by more people being vegan.

It is up to our so-called leaders and law makers to address these issues and police them a lot more strictly, but somehow I doubt they will.
shrew1742
3rd Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Every week or month the so called experts come up with something else which is 'bad' for us. I have reached the ripe 'young age' of 76, I like to think that I am fairly fit for that age and my motto is 'everything in moderation'. As we pensioners age I am sure we all get a few extra little niggles, aches & pains, but it doesn't mean we are at death's door................... or does it !! wink, wink !!
Nellyliew
27th May 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Almost everyone I meet now is considering going vegetarian or vegan. I'm happy as I am and don't like being lectured to. Pass the gravy please.
Margaret Hart
15th Feb 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
It should be a matter of choice but nobody should eat much more meat or anything else.. Variety is the best choice + plenty of dark veg and fruit which is lowest in sugar.
Pwilly
9th Feb 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Makes me laugh when people say they are vegetarian, but eat fish. I don't eat bacon or minced beef, but you carry on, it's your business what you eat.
ArthurB4
8th Feb 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
We should be able to choose what we want to eat and a little of a good or bad for you is not going to be the end of the world.
Moderation is the word methinks!
Hattie
3rd Feb 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
People should eat what they want, people have been eating meat since time began.
People want to be vegetarian/vegan whatever fine, claim to be loving/caring for animals but not against bullying,frightening children of hard working human beings.
Not my kind of people.
Lionel
3rd Feb 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree Hattie. But I must say all these fad diets, and that's what veganism turns out to be, can only ever come about because we in the West have access to such an abundance of food. There's just so much choice and a great deal of it is in the ordinary person's price range.

I've said below, from a farmer's point of view, if so many more people went vegan it would have no impact whatsoever on the patterns of British farming. No, what meat is not bought in the UK is exported at a greater profit margin. I know that for fact, I was in farming for many years.

Yes, there is a great deal of hypocrisy in these times. I guess it comes from our society's values being celebrity led rather than common sense. Celebrities, it seems to me, are generally little people, ineffectual and without a right lot of brain who need to stay in the headlines just to keep the cash rolling in.

Speaking from my many years farming in North Yorkshire, there's more honesty and integrity in a Yorkshire coal miner (when we had mines there) than in any show biz people.
viking
31st Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I suspect that Downing Street could [ if there was no cowardice shown ], very softly tighten up the rules for animal slaughter in abattoirs in so much as the life span of a strung up animal, as the ritual slitting occurs, as opposed to the instantaneous death by the stun gun.
Sickening programmes taken from inside abattoirs on the television in the past, have shown the differences in time taken for death to take place. Perhaps making certain sections of society watch the performances would turn many of these people into vegetarians and foresake religious vows.

Pen ultimate paragraph from the above,- it's the same old mantra.
Lionel
3rd Feb 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Viking, stunning animals doesn't kill them but it does render then unconscious. Death must occur before consciousness returns.

Since there's no stunning in Halal there is much suffering for animals. I've visited slaughter houses many times during a farm working career and have seen first hand how it all works. Makes even me, a farm stockman, look at a piece of meat and wonder ...
viking
27th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
It is a shame that our masters will not ban completly Halal meat, and try to end the suffering of meat bearing animals. Stupid religious fads from way back do not have a place in modern society.
Unfortunately nowadays we eat Halal meat without being told or being offered an alternative.
Anyone from Downing Street listening ??..............no
jeanmark
30th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Like you I don't support Halal meat slaughter but is it a 'fad', which is defined as "an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived; a craze". As you have noted, it is a long held belief of a specific religion and from a religious perspective there are many who would agree that when relating to Christian held beliefs there is no longer a place in modern society for those either. I would argue from a humanitarian perspective, the practice should be reviewed and changed, but is Downing Street really in a position to interfere in a long standing religious practice even if they do feel it is unacceptable?
Lionel
3rd Feb 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Jeanmark, are we not here saying the dictum, when in Rome ... no longer applies in the UK? That coming to live here means one may do as one pleases without any regard to the traditional inhabitants of that country?

Halal may be a long held belief of a specific religion, but in terms it applies to Kosher too! The Levitical Code states just how animals are to be slaughtered, either for meat or sacrifice, and that's the third iteration of that law. The New Covenant doesn't, as far as I recall this evening, place strictures on methods of slaughter.

As far as you and I are concerned perhaps we won't see the full outcome of The New Enlightenment in which we now exist. But the end of that is already written, and I'm glad I won't be here, well I hope not!
DeniseC7
27th Jan 2018
-1
Thanks for voting!
I think we should try and eat more organic products. I know they are more expensive but if more people who can afford them brought them the price would come down. We should be more aware of the way our food is produced. To eat alot less meat and make sure what we eat is better quality. Would be better for us.
I also think all Halal meat, meat products ,restaurants and food chains selling useing Halal meat should be clearly stated. A terrible way for any poor animal to die.
lindz64
26th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
The question is "should more people give up eating meat?" and my question is "should more people mind their own business?" I love a Sunday roast and will continue having my Sunday roast, despite vegetarian family who are 'holier than thou !!
Lionel
27th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Well said, Lindz. I'm with you on this one.
Judith53
30th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
No meat means no cows in the field, no sheep, no lambing. I'm with princess Anne who reminded us that if horse meat were part of the U.K. Food chain horses would be much better treated. Beware you animal lovers, nobody loves cows and sheep more than a farmer, try talking to one!
Lionel
3rd Feb 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Judith, I worked for many years as a farm stockman. From experience I may say how right you are in saying no one loves his animals more than a farmer. But isn't it always livestock farmers and those who tend these animals the ones who get it in the neck?
grandmajess
26th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Moderation in all things seems the best way for me
Irene88
26th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I grow and eat a lot of fruit and veg. Even my dog likes cucumber, apples, carrots and sweet peppers. However, there is no way I going to stop eating meat. It's ahealthy balanced diet that is important.
londontown
26th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I live in London where there are many vegetarians due to religious reasons. I know of over 10 older people whose doctors told them that they need to start eating some meat, including red meat, because the vegetarian diet was not supplying them with the nutrients needed. We all know a diet high in vegetables is very healthy, but it seems that not everyone stays healthy without the nutritional value in meats.
Rodent
26th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
As long as you get the right amount of protein from other foods you can reduce meat consumption.
GarryF
26th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
If you study the human mouth and teeth you will discover that they are designed to consume both meat and vegetable matter. Proof in your own mouth that your body needs meat to function properly.
Darkstar
26th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Do people really think farmers would keep these animals as pets ?
buz
26th Jan 2018
-1
Thanks for voting!
Eating less meat can reduce intensive factory farming and help the planet -
Meat free one day a week or even better completely give it up!
what ever you do will make a difference try it and see.
Wilf
25th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Firstly I think that the latest idea of placing videos in all slaughterhouses is a very good idea so crulty can stop. I am sick of reading about cases of cruelty like the one reported this week in Sheffield. The government needs to stamp down abd jail offenders. I think we should still eat meat if we want to but having said that we as a family eat less and less. Also I have read cows are a major contributor to global warming with the methan expelled from them so best to turn fields over to arable farming as we all eat less red meat.
Lionel
25th Jan 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
Wilf, whilst I'm not a subscriber to global warming theories it must be said, anyone lighting up at the back of a flatulent bovine risks a fireball! Not nice.

Animal cruelty is not endemic in stock farming, for the reasons stated below. However, once the beasts arrive at the abattoir then anything is possible. I've not witnessed wilful cruelty in these places but the practice of halal killing is barbaric and quite inhumane. It can take the animal quite a time to lose consciousness, so they are semi conscious during the next phase of production. Better by far the British method of stunning first.

Almost all meat production the UK takes place in stalls or sheds. Sheep are the exception here. Stall fed cattle, pigs and poultry consume a large proportion of UK barley output. It's milled or rolled and fed in prodigious quantities. Cattle/dairy cattle also consume silage which is fermented grass or maize. Most of this is UK grown.

Brits eating less meat would have little impact on feedstuff production since farmers would sell into the very lucrative export market. I think it would have a greater effect on our meat imports, so there wouldn't be any significant change in our crop patterns.

So much land is left uncultivated due to EU interventions that if that were brought back under the plough we would have increased production for export as well. And since I'm on my hobby horse, if the Fenland, Somerset Levels, Vale of Evesham and Kent's Garden of England reverted to fruit and vegetable production we would be far less dependent on Spanish polytunnels in the High Sierra.
Wilf
25th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Very interesting Lionel and many thanks for that information. Interesting that we would still export meat and presumably annimals would have to go in trucks etc which is not good at all. I agree with you comments on home grown fruit rather than "plastic" fruits/tomatoes etc grown in hothouses abroad.
Lionel
25th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Much of our meat exports to Europe is carcasses, chilled down but not frozen. Neither pork nor beef freeze well but lamb that has been grass fed does freeze well, hence NZ lamb imports. Live animal exports continue but I understand the volume decreases year on year. This could be due to the restrictions imposed on shipping 'live' stock. I think the days when we ship 'live' stock by road to Europe are numbered, if only by the economics of the case.

We export a significant amount of animal carcasses to China, whose people demand a western standard of living. China is not yet geared up to meet the market demand for meat, their cuisine's being of a low meat nature.

I've known Fenland all my life and as a gardener appreciate greatly the rich peat soils which will grow just about anything. To see it now growing cereals grieves me, that so deep peat soil has the potential to feed us so well. The same is true of the other areas I mentioned.

We grow a lot of our food here in the garden and that for a reason. Shop bought stuff is of such poor quality. To taste a tomato my wife has grown in the polytunnel is a mind bending experience, potatoes that taste like potatoes should, that fry to separate crisp chips, or roast without a leathery skin. We have bramley and russet apple trees - unbelievable fruit. Oh, and a Morello cherry tree the fruit of which could blow your socks 'orff.

And, if I'm not making your mouth water already, I have an asparagus bed. The spears, lightly steamed, dipped in salted butter and served with our first early potatoes is a meal to remember. Followed by the last of our strawberries.
Wilf
25th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Again very interesting Lionel. yes my mouth is watering at the thought of your home grown produce! We have a few apple trees in our garden and some raspberries which are all delicious plus my wife grows new potatoes which as you say are so much better than the shops...quite nutty funnilly enough but wonderful.
Lionel
24th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I have the highest regard for people with a heightened conscience - there's so few acts of conscience around us today. Yet, as a well experienced farm stockman, there's a few things I feel I should point out to those who choose not to eat meat or animal products. Allow me to say this is a general post and not aimed at any shade of opinion.

Overall Britain exports about 40% of it's high quality meat and imports more of lesser quality from Europe, mainly pork and poultry. South American beef products also flood our market. Result? Net profit. We import New Zealand Lamb which is very high quality grass fed meat, but sold cheaper than home produced.

The less meat consumed in UK the more for export at higher profit margins. Farmers will love vegans. Therefore it's not a case of fewer animals raised because a few people go vegan. No, if anything more animals bred and slaughtered into a lucrative export market.

As far as claims of animal cruelty are concerned, after years as a stock man, I would refute most. The point here is, if a stockman is cruel to his animals it shows in meat quality of the carcass as the farmer is financially penalised. Also, managing livestock which one has been cruel to is made infinitely more difficult. As an example, I was just 10 stones yet managed a 1 ton Charolais breeding bull I'd reared from a calf. He could easily have killed me had we not been as friendly and respectful as we could be.

If becoming a vegan is a matter of conscience, I applaud you for that care and concern. But please don't take that giant leap thinking anything in farming is going to change. No, you will give livestock farmers a licence to make more money.
jeanmark
24th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Lionel
24th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Thank you Jeanmark. As with your so many days in nursing, my farming opinions are born of experience, sometimes painful experience.
Wilf
25th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Well said Lionel and animals need to be treated with care and compassion
Alicia
24th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes, a vegetarian diet is healthier as red meat contains carcinogens and tastes vile anyway. Leave the animals in the fields where they belong.
Lionel
24th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Alicia, I wouldn't disagree with you about vegetarianism being healthier than meat eating. Indeed, I was a vegetarian for two years in my late teens. I stopped because that diet required me to constantly eat to supply the energy output I needed then.

As a now confirmed carnivore and long time farm stockman I may only say, if you function well as a vegetarian then my blessing is yours.

What shortly after my teens became a career working with farm stock couldn't be maintained as a vegetarian. Even now, for reasons it's not necessary to write here, my energy output is tremendous and I can't exist on vegetarian food. Maybe when I'm even older, and more infirm, I'll go back to it.
Lionel
24th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
PS, I just tried to give you a green thumb but it's not working. I'll try later because you deserve it.
jeanmark
24th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
But surely Alicia, poultry is classed as white meat and fish being fish is not classed as red meat either. Many things over the years have been suggested as having the potential of being carcinogenic, even some vegetables that have not been grown organically. I have known many vegetarians who have developed cancer and many meat eaters who have not. If an individual chooses to be vegetarian or vegan, that is their choice, but hopefully it is not because they believe they will stay healthier as a result.
Yodama
23rd Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I do wish "they " and "them" would stop trying to engineer our habits just for their Social Engineering experimental purposes!

Going from one extreme, carnivore to herbivore may not be a good thing for the body.
The structure of our hands and jaws and the intestinal tract suggest humans are designed for an omnivore diet.

Back in time we were opportunistic feeders, eating what we could find in order to survive. Today we have choices and for some, a greater desire to prevent the slaughter of animals for our tables.
Overindulgence in either meat or vegetables/herbs is an unhealthy balance.

I am an omnivore and eat some of everything, meat, dairy and vegetation.
If there is no meat available, I will eat herbs or whatever I can find to stay alive. Until then, give me my lamb chop with peas and potatoes.
kentrix39
23rd Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Meat is a very valuable part of a diet. The vitamins and minerals alone make it a extremely essential component of any meal at least twice a week.
The way things are presented these days by so-called independent monitors are in the main paid for by organisations who want a favourable outcome in their favour.
As with organic, no different than ordinary farmed food just more of it lost to disease and pests.
Lionel
24th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
As a former farm worker and now gardener I agree with you views on organic.

As far as reports about dangerous eating habits are concerned, and a lot more besides, the best way is to ignore them. It's only about money, not our welfare.
Wilf
25th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree with you comments on organic and think we should have a lot more of it. I suppose the only problem is it tends to be more expensive
Marley444
23rd Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I think what we choose to eat or not eat is a personal choice, and I don't think anyone should dictate to us about our eating habits. I don't trust what I read in the papers and hear on the news, as it constantly changes and is frequently contradicted. I am all for a healthy balanced diet with a little bit of everything in moderation.

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!