Do your best to eat less meat.
If you can go the whole week without eating meat or any meat products, even better.
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
Hey, fellow earthlings!
First, we want to get something clear – we are not trying to convince you to stop eating meat, we really don’t. We know there are a lot of you out there who simply can’t imagine your lives without eating meat since we are one of those “meat lovers”. But we’ll make a sacrifice and do our best to bring our meat consumption to a bare minimum or maybe even turn into vegans eventually.
All we are suggesting is to try and eat LESS meat that you do now. If you already eat meat only once or twice per week or if you’re a vegetarian you can simply check this challenge of your list, but you’re still more than welcome to read the rest of the article, you might learn something new.
This week’s challenge is quite a big deal. After reading this article, you’ll see that by performing it you’ll do more than one good thing – you’ll help the environment and you’ll help yourself. Below we’ll explain how and why into details. We’ll also tell you the most common reason why do people eat meat in the first place.
Moreover, we’ll discuss a question that’s been often answered incorrectly, even by doctors and scientists – are humans supposed to eat meat?
Furthermore, we’ll provide you with some other useful information by answering some questions that are often encountered when talking about meat – how often should we eat meat, why should we eat less meat and is it healthy to eat meat every day.
Why do people eat meat?
The most common answer you’ll get when asking a meat lover: because it tastes great. If you love meat you sure know what we’re talking about. But this is not the only reason, there are many benefits that come with eating meat.
By eating meat our body gets numerous nutritional elements, such as proteins, minerals (particularly iron, zinc, and selenium) and vitamins (especially vitamin D, B1, B2, B6, and B12). Meat proteins also have a very high biological value.
Unfortunately, there are also some downsides to eating meat, more on that later on. Luckily there are ways to ingest those same nutrients without eating meat, but the problem is they typically don’t taste that good for an average earthling.
Are humans supposed to eat meat?
There are a lot of scientific articles out there saying humans are omnivores, but at the same time, there are also many scientific articles claiming we are herbivores. So what are we? Are humans supposed to eat meat in the first place? Well, if someone asked us that question before writing this article we’d have definitely answered that humans are omnivores – that’s what they told us in school. But after reading a few scientific articles, we are not sure anymore.
To make it a bit clearer for you here are typical representatives of omnivores: a bear, a pig, and a raccoon. What do you think, are there enough resemblances between humans and typical omnivores to make us one of them?
According to Dr. Williams C. Roberts from the National Institutes of Health and Baylor University (he is the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology and one of the most prominent cardiologists in the world with over 1,500 publications in peer-reviewed medical journals) we are herbivores. Typical omnivores retain many of the carnivores characteristics, which is not the case with humans.
He states characteristics that make us herbivores:
- we have hands (the appendages of carnivores are claws; those of herbivores are hands or hooves),
- 12 times body length intestinal tract (the intestinal tract of carnivores is approx. 3 times body length; that of herbivores is approx. 12 times body length),
- body cooling by sweating (body cooling of carnivores is done by panting; that of herbivores, by sweating),
- we drink by sipping (carnivores drink fluids by lapping; herbivores, by sipping),
- we don’t produce our own vitamin C (carnivores produce their own vitamin C, whereas herbivores obtain it from their diet),
- a smaller opening of the oral cavity compared to the head size (carnivores have a wide mouth in relation to the head size; herbivores a smaller one),
- mainly flat teeth (the teeth of carnivores are sharp; those of herbivores are mainly flat),
- jaw joint positioned above the level of the teeth (carnivores’ jaw joint is a hinge joint, very strong and stable, lying in the same plane as the teeth; herbivores have weaker and less stable jaw joints and it’s positioned above the teeth level),
- mobile lower jaw (the lower jaw of a carnivore doesn’t move forward, and there is very limited side-to-side motion, while herbivore’s lower jaw has more sideways motion and more lateral and complex motion for chewing plants),
- we chew food (carnivores mostly swallow the food without chewing; herbivores chew it first and mix it with saliva),
- we have enzymes in saliva (the saliva of carnivores doesn’t contain any enzymes for digestion; herbivores have saliva that contains digestive enzymes),
- smaller stomach (carnivores have a very large stomach volume – about 60-70% of their total G.I. tract volume; herbivores’ stomach volume is about 25% of G.I. tract), and
- our stomach pH is about 4 to 5 with food (carnivores secrete a lot more hydrochloric acid and have a stomach pH that is a lot more acidic – 1 or less; herbivores stomach pH is about 4 – 5).
As additional proof of humans being herbivores and not omnivores, Dr. Williams C. Roberts states atherosclerosis disease – narrowing of blood vessels due to plaques of cholesterol coating. The latter can occlude the blood flow that goes to our heart and brain, and it can cause heart attacks and strokes.
- Atherosclerosis affects us (carnivores and omnivores never develop atherosclerosis – they are designed to eat meat; atherosclerosis affects only herbivores).
After reading a bunch of articles and facing all those facts, we came to adopt the following conclusion: humans are omnivore from a behavioral standpoint, but biologically speaking – looking at our anatomy and physiology – we weren’t built to eat meat.
Moreover, scientists claim that it’s very important for a given animal to eat what it is physiologically and anatomically designed to eat, to improve the chances of survival and health. It is no different with humans.
Why should we eat less meat?
First of all, you should know, that meat production is one of the most polluting industries or even the most polluting one on the planet. If each of us can reduce meat consumption we will do ourselves and our descendants a big favor. Our atmosphere and our oceans are being greatly polluted due to animal agriculture, even enormous amounts of rainforests are being destroyed for us to eat meat.
Did you now that cows alone produce more greenhouse gasses than all forms of transportation combined? Cows produce methane, which is up to 100 times more destructive than CO2 that is produced by vehicles.
We use an enormous amount of food and water for animal agriculture just so we can eat meat and dairy products. While that same amount could quench people’s thirst and hunger many times over. Like that is not bad enough, that way we are also destroying our mother nature.
There are simply too many of us on our planet to live our lives that way, nature won’t be able to sustain it much longer – it’s not a matter of thousands not even hundreds of years – if we don’t make a significant life change, we’ll basically make the Earth unsuitable for human race to live on in less than 50 years.
From the environmental point of view, it’s no better if you switch to fish. We’ve been excessively robbing our oceans of its creatures and destroying its ecosystem. We’re over exploiting 3/4 of the world’s fisheries, moreover, there are many nontargeted fishes, whales, and dolphins killed in the process of fishing – so-called “by-kill”.
“We can not live on this planet with dead oceans. If our oceans die, we die.”
Here are some shocking numbers that will “blow your mind”:
- Raising livestock uses 34 trillion gallons (128 trillion liters) of water per year only in the US.
- 2,500 gallons (~ 9500 L) of water is used to produce one pound (0.45 kg) of beef.
- 91 % of the Amazon forest was destroyed due to raising livestock.
- 116,000 lbs (52 600 kg) of farm animal excrement is produced every second in the US alone.
- Largest environmental organizations don’t talk about this problem.
We think you get the picture – raising livestock is the leading polluting monster. It’s polluting our air and oceans. If that’s not enough of a reason to eat less meat than nothing is.
So, next time you see a vegetarian or a vegan thank him/her for doing something good for all of us. 😉
We really suggest you watch Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret – by many claimed to be one of the top documentary films on that topics. That is why everyone who’s into environmental stuff should watch it. If you prefer reading, there is also a book with the same title.
There are many saying this documentary is a scam trying to turn us into vegans, but it seems legit to us. We took some time to do some simple math and it all makes total sense. We also believe UN wouldn’t publish false numbers, while we all know that governments tend to deny a lot of stuff …
Since we are all usually more concerned about our health than the environment’s, here are some diseases and other health-related issues that are usually caused by excessive meat consumption:
- Atherosclerosis – “Cholesterol in our diet is only present in animal products, and we don’t need to consume any of it because our body already synthesizes all of the cholesterol that we need for all of our biologic needs. Animals that are not designed to eat meat, like herbivores including humans, do develop atherosclerosis. We do develop this problematic coating of cholesterol in our arteries, and we do it big time. Atherosclerosis is ubiquitous on a Western diet with animal products since very early in our lives.”
- Heart attacks.
Many doctors and scientist claim there is a much greater risk of getting cancer, especially in the human intestinal fluke if eating a lot of meat. Meat consumption also causes toxicity of our bodies, since there are high levels of toxic substances (pesticides) in meat, chicken and fish fat, which builds up in our bodies. Latter can basically cause any type of disease.
Of course, all meat products are not the same. The most problematic one is red meat, chicken and fish are a bit less heavy on your health.
Is it healthy to eat meat every day?
We guess you have learned the answer by reading the content so far, right? It is probably not too healthy to eat meat every day. Although, like usually, opinions are divided – some doctors claim it would be the best if we would all cut meat out of our diets completely, others state 1.1 lbs (500g) per week or 2.4 oz (70g) per day as a maximum quantity of meat for an adult.
We provided you with more than enough information, now it’s up to you to decide what you’ll do with it. 😉 It seems that a person doesn’t stand a chance to be a good earthling if he/she doesn’t reduce meat, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy products consumption to a bare minimum. Apparently, one can do the most for the environment that way.
humans are more likely to be herbivores;
by eating less meat we could solve most environmental issues;
eating less meat is good for your health;
find some delicious meatless recipes here.
Have a fabulous, possibly meatless week. 😉
With love and care,
your Good Earthlings
8 thoughts on “Challenge #9: Why do people eat meat?”
I stopped eating red meat a long time ago, however I still eat a bit of chicken and fish. I don’t miss not even a little. I think the reason most people eat it is because they were conditioned at an early age to like it. It’s appalling the way animals are kept in cages and given hormones for our benefit. I’m on your bus for sure. Thanks for posting this!
You’re more than welcome, Jackie. And thank you for doing something good for our planet. Keep it up. 🙂
Love, Good Earthlings
very interesting article on people eating meat, I do eat meat at least a few times per week. My diet consists mainly of vegetables and fruits, nuts and legumes but I do need meat a few times per week to feel my best.
I only eat grass fed meat, I have seen such a dramatic difference in grass fed meat. Much leaner meat then grain fed, so maybe grain is making us fat as well? Very tender when done, much easier on my digestive system so i stick to grass fed or go without meat now.
Good article with interesting facts and questions
First, let us thank you for taking your time and reading our article.
We’re sure that the food animals eat affects the way their meat tastes, but when considering the environment, it makes no difference, whether they are fed with grass or grain.
So do your best to eat less meat, at least this week. 😉
Warm regards, Good Earthlings
Wow….. I read the list of the herbivore vs carnivore characteristics and I have to say I never looked at it like that – you’ve opened my eyes. I don’t eat a lot of meat – I can go without it quite happily, but you’re right, certain meats are just too tasty. But then I also find a nice portobello mushroom with cheese and red onions ‘too tasty’….. 😀 A lot of vegetarian food is these days. Well you’ve given me food for thought if you’ll excuse the pun!! Nice post, very insightful, thank you 🙂 Great post 🙂
You’re more than welcome. It was a lot of new info for us too, when doing a research for this article. There’s just to many information they don’t teach us in schools, but they should. Stay in touch.
Warm regards, Good Earthlings
First of all, I love your website url 😛
There are many reasons for someone to be a vegetarian, or vegan, but there are many reasons for someone to not be one.
I want to try and switch to a vegetarian diet for a while now but I am facing some problems.
First of all I don’t know anything about it. I don’t know how to cook a vegetarian meal. I am currently working out and there is no way in changing my diet without knowing what to eat in order to fill the nutritional needs of my body.
I have seen many people trying to convert their diet and ultimately failing because they did not know what and how to eat. They became weak and depressed until they snapped and grabbed a raw stake eating it in a corner while loathing themselves ( I am being dramatic here ) 😛
My point is that research is needed. If I am about to do something like this, I will do it correctly and stick to it.!
Currently, time is my enemy. Although, I know that eventually I will become a vegetarian.
Thank you for the great article and I will follow your website for future references.
Hi, there. Let me just tell you that I total understand you. It is not easy switching to vegetarian or even vegan diet. It was easier for my wife since she doesn’t work out as much as I do. For me reducing my protein intake was something a wasn’t acceptable. Since most of my proteins came from meat or dairy proteins, I had to come up with a way to replace those; on average I ate 500 g+ of meat every day, mostly chicken or turkey, but still too much according to the “Be a Good Earthling” policy.
I haven’t been able to stop eating meat completely (remember: our challenge wasn’t to give up meat completely right away, but to do our best to reduce its consumption), but I’ve reduced my meat intake to about 60 – 80 g per day on average. Which is pretty good progress if you ask me. To replace my proteins, I’ve increased nuts (any kind is great) intake. Those are really good for you in the evening. They are rich on proteins and healthy oils. In the morning you can go for a whole grain bread with a lot of peanut butter and during the day you can eat whole grain pasta or rice, which also have quite a lot of proteins.
If you work out a lot you should also consider getting a protein supplements, but be careful with those since many contain a lot of sugar and other chemical stuff that can do more damage that good for your body. Like you said, it really does take some time to figure out your new diet but it can be easily done in a week or two.
Stay in touch.