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?
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