Once upon a time, being a vegetarian and/or a vegan was considered shameful and embarrassing in places, which had a culture of eating meat of all kinds. But now over years, the trend has been reversed; meat lovers are being shamed and abused more and more for their food eating habits, even though many of them publicly proclaim to love animals.
Isn’t it contradictory? How can you love something, something which you kill and eat? This is the major point of the attacks against meat-eaters.I believe that it is not at all hypocritical to be a meat eater and an animal lover. Yes these two seemingly contrarian characteristics can exist in a person. It does not mean that the person should be judged or condemned for it.
Firstly, eating meat as part of diet is not a wrong thing to do. In sufficient and necessary amounts, meat is good for health as it provides essential nutrients. So it is not wrong to have a meat preference. In fact, a healthy diet would incorporate components from both plants and animal components. So just going about haranguing about the superior qualities of a vegetarian diet as compared to a non vegetarian is not going to work as both has its advantages. For instance, some of the advantages of being a meat eater are as follows:
- Unprocessed and unrefined meat is healthy and nutritious. A 100 gm section of meat is believed to be rich in vitamins such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin B3,B6, Iron, Zinc and Selenium and other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B12 cannot be obtained from a purely vegetarian diet and those who do not take this Vit B12 may suffer from vitamin deficiencies. Unprocessed and unrefined meat is also filled with healthy fats and omega acids. Besides these, there are also many important antioxidants and energy reserve molecules which are obtained from meat such as creatine, carnosine and DHA. These nutrients protect the body from possible degeneration and mental decay.
- In addition, our teeth and our digestive systems have been designed to cope with vegetarian as well as non vegetarian food i.e. both plant and animal food.This is unlike what vegetarian propagandists have been propagating for a long time. We don’t have the ability to digest cellulose, unlike ruminants like herbivores who are naturally suited for vegetarian food. In addition, it has been shown that historically meat eating habit was a behaviour of humans from as long as 1.5 million years ago. http://authoritynutrition.com/7-evidence-based-health-reasons-to-eat-meat/
- Another reason which was used by the anti-meat eating agencies to fight this habit was the belief that meat eating provided excess saturated fats, consumption of which, promoted the increase in ailments such as heart attacks. Recent research has overthrown this view. It has been shown that saturated fats are as necessary as other nutrients for health and it cannot be shown that giving you saturated fats would reduce or mitigate the chances of these ailments from occuring. There has been no association found between the consumption of saturated fats and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and heart disease. Only if you eat processed meat, is there a risk of having these diseases.
- Meat is an excellent source of animal protein. Protein is required for our body, for its health and maintenance. They are the workhorses of the cells, are involved in cellular transport, function as enzymes and hormones and basically are essential for cellular activity. It is required for the formation of enzymes and as well as in various structural roles around the cell. protein deficiency can cause severe diseases such as kwashiorkor and marasmus. Consumption of animal protein can lead to increase in the muscle mass of the body.They also help to maintain the balance of hormones, bone health etc as well as in blood health by providing components required for formation of blood.
- Being a meat eater, does not necessarily mean that one supports the cruel practices involved in the slaughtering of many animals including both oceanic and land species. Many meat eaters actually support kinder ways of putting animals to death and oppose unnecessary abuse, cruel and malicious wanton cruelty to animals. One must remember that at the end of the day, the operation of the food chain does require some or the other organisms to be inevitably consumed. So supporting an act of cruelty like killing an animal for its skin, for its fur, its organs, horns and tusks for spurious medicinal purposed, is completely different from eating animals exclusively domesticated for their milk, meat and eggs.
- In addition, development of advanced technology in animal husbandry and farming practices have ensured that animals are sacrificed in a more humane fashion. In addition, the meat from animals from farmlands and pastures are much better in quality and the practices there are more kinder as compared to that practiced in refined meat factories.
- We need to be more tolerant and acceptable about differences in perception towards eating animals. For e.g. dogs are eaten in Korea, whereas they are loved as pets in the western countries. At the same time cows are worshipped in India, whereas they are slaughtered for beef in many Islamic and western countries. So it is very difficult to put a general ban or imposition on animal eating across the globe when there is a diversity of people and practices as far as food eating habits are concerned. Eating meat, can be balanced in proportion to the environment, for. e.g. by controlling your own intake of meat, you can help save the environment without losing out on your own interests. Balance is essential.
Hence it is definitely not a kind of hypocrisy to be a meat eater and an animal lover.
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