3 Big Reasons to Stop Eating Meat
1. Meat Promotes Cancer
The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified processed meats as a Group 1, known human carcinogen. Other Group 1 carcinogens include asbestos, plutonium, cigarettes, and radiation. So bacon, hot dogs… and plutonium. If it seems like that should be concerning, it’s because it is. But wait, there’s more: Red meat is considered a Group 2A carcinogen, or a probable human carcinogen. It would seem, at least as far as the WHO is concerned, meat should be avoided.
For most of my adult life I didn’t give much thought to what I ate. Like so many others, food was at the center of my life. I ate a lot, and most of it wasn’t very healthy. I tried to pretend that it didn’t matter what I ate, but deep down I knew what I was doing to myself. Over the years I put on quite a bit of weight, and before I knew it I was tipping the scales at 300 pounds, had developed type 2 diabetes, and felt like a walking trash heap. How did I let that happen? How had it gotten that far out of control? The type 2 diabetes part was a wake-up call for me. I now believe there are certain unnecessary risks in life. I quit smoking cigarettes, for instance, because the evidence against smoking is overwhelming. Smoking kills. It’s not up for debate. Plus it made me feel like crap. Wouldn’t it make sense, then, to stop eating meat if it’s on the same list of dangerous substances as cigarettes, and it makes me feel like crap? Seems logical. I believe we’re reaching the point with meat, and animal products as a whole, where it’s no longer up for debate. Meat kills. It’s one of the leading causes of suffering on this planet.
If you’re like most people, you probably find it very hard to believe that meat is bad for you. You grew up eating it, and you’ve been told your entire life that you “need the protein”. Protein deficiency in the U.S., even among vegans and vegetarians, is pretty rare. It’s something that’s associated with malnutrition in general, not just lack of meat. Fiber deficiency, on the other hand, is a totally different story. Most Americans don’t get enough, and, instead of worrying so much about protein, should probably think about eating more fiber. Meat has zero fiber.
There is a lot of conflicting information out there. Much of it is intentionally designed to create doubt. The meat and junk food industries are big business, and they spend a lot of money promoting their products and funding questionable studies. In addition, and even more alarming, they design their foods to be addictive. They know how to avoid triggering your body’s natural satiety responses, and how to push the right buttons to keep you coming back for more. Scary stuff! As far as their misinformation campaigns are concerned, they don’t even need to prove their products are healthy. They just need to create doubt and keep you confused. That’s how they maintain the status quo. If you’re frustrated, and don’t know what to believe, you’re more likely to stick with the foods you’re used to. The ones you know and love. If you’re American, it’s called the Standard American Diet, or SAD. You may even use your confusion as justification, citing all that conflicting info. That’s mission accomplished for the food industry. Just ask yourself what an organization like the WHO would stand to gain by misrepresenting meat as a carcinogen. How would that benefit them? The meat industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and has a lot to gain by suppressing information and spreading misinformation. Like so many other things in this world, you just have to follow the money. I’m not completely ruling out a conspiracy in which “big kale” is secretly funding the WHO… but it’s highly unlikely.
2. Meat is a Risk Factor For Diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, there were 30.3 million Americans with diabetes as of 2015, and that number is climbing at a rate of 1.5 million new cases every year. Of that 30.3 million, only 1.25 million suffer from type 1 diabetes. The rest are type 2 diabetics. It was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2015, listed as the “underlying cause” on 79,535 death certificates. It was mentioned as a cause of death on 252,806 certificates. At this point, right now, nearly 1 in 10 American’s has diabetes, and the cost to our health care system is nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars annually. That’s insane! Especially considering it’s preventable. Even reversible.
According to the Adventist Health Studies, which looked at the links between diet, lifestyle, and disease, those who reported eating meat at least weekly were 29% more likely to have developed diabetes. That’s pretty significant, and, as someone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I find it to be extremely important information.
Reversing Diabetes with a Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet
It took me about 3 weeks to get my blood sugar down to a normal level after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and switching to a whole food, plant-based diet. Something the dietician at the diabetes clinic told me wasn’t possible. I didn’t count carbs. I didn’t avoid fruits, as some suggested. I did, however, cut out all animal products and all refined foods (including refined carbs like sugar and white bread). My blood sugar levels plummeted, and so did my weight. It’s now a year later, and my doctor called my blood sugar levels “dead normal” after the lab work I had done last week. As a matter of fact, he used the words ”phenomenal” and ”fantastic” several times when describing all of my blood work numbers. My numbers have improved significantly since going whole food, plant-based. I’ve never been healthier, and it only took a year to get where I am now.
If you’ve been diagnosed recently with type 2 diabetes, I suggest reading this book ASAP. This is where I started, and the information in the pages of this book helped me reverse type 2 diabetes. I was skeptical, but I was also scared. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a shot. And it worked! I was able to reverse type 2 diabetes by switching to a whole food, plant-based diet. I still have a hard time believing it.
3. Meat Concentrates Environmental Toxins
It’s generally understood that chemicals and heavy metals found in the environment have a deleterious effect on human health. It makes sense, then, that eating meat would magnify these effects. When you eat meat, you’re getting a concentrated dose of any environmental contaminants that have “bioaccumulated” in the animal you’re eating. Any chemicals or heavy metals found in the foods that livestock consume will be concentrated in the resulting meat, not to mention the steroids, hormones, and antibiotics purposely fed to these animals. There are implications for “organic” meats as well. For instance, if there’s a coal plant upwind from an “organic”, “grass-fed” cow farm the heavy metals and toxins from burning coal settle on the grass the cows are eating.
You make be thinking: “If I eat plant-based, won’t I face the same issue”? I believe you would, but to a much lesser degree. It takes approximately 15lbs of feed to produce 1 pound of beef, 5 pounds of feed per pound of chicken, and 6 pounds of feed per pound of pork. So for every ounce of beef you consume, that animal had to consume nearly 1 pound of feed. Hence the concentrated doses I mentioned above.
Global meat consumption tripled between 1971 and 2010, and is expected to double again by 2050. In that same period of time, adult obesity rates in the U.S. have more than doubled. The case against meat has never been stronger, and you should be very concerned about the negative impact it’s having on your health. Stop eating meat!