The War On Meat
I don’t think it will catch anyone by surprise to say that there’s a war on meat.
Now, why the war is going on is another thing altogether. There are many theories, and those who have explored this topic are likely to have their own thoughts on why this is happening.
But, all I want to do in this article is show you that yes this is happening, and secondly, I want to show you why it’s a problem and how you can help.
The fact of the matter is meat is an important part of a healthy diet for most people.
When quality meat is consumed in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and other healthy dietary choices, most people do well.
Heck, some people just eat meat alone and feel the best doing so. (see my article on the carnivore diet).
But, there are people, and corporations, who would prefer you never eat meat again.
Sadly, if they get their way, not only will it fundamentally alter our economy, but in my opinion, it will cause human health to crater.
How Do We Know There’s a War on Meat?
When I say “war” I know many of you are thinking of tanks and bombs and guns.
When it comes to human health, and healthcare in general, there are a few different kinds of wars going on (like the wars of informed consent, and medical freedom)
The war on meat is ideological.
But, people on both sides are fighting for survival.
On the side of meat, ranchers, and farmers are fighting to put food on their tables (and other people’s tables), while participating in a generations-old way of life.
And even though the practices of animal husbandry have changed (admittedly many for the worse), they are serving a need that billions of people have.
On the other hand, people are fighting to eliminate the meat industry as they claim it is ruining the planet. They cite the meat industry as one of the leading contributors to carbon emissions and leading to climate change.
This is the #1 reason that the meat industry is under attack. To help protect the earth from climate change.
It is the stated goal of several organizations and thought leaders to reduce if not eliminate your ability to eat meat to help save the planet. These would include the World Economic Forum, large corporations, leaders in healthcare, Bill Gates and other billionaires, and more
I could undoubtedly unpack the science of climate change, while some of you would disagree with my position, others would support it.
I’m not going to do that here.
Instead, I want to make three points.
One, there are forms of farming meat that not only have zero negative impact on the climate, they are actually a net positive (see my article on regenerative farming).
Second, agriculture is not a leading contributor to climate change. According to the EPA, agriculture accounts for just 11% of the total amount of greenhouse gasses emitted every year. Source. And even if it were higher, as some people contend, my point above stands.
Third, many of the non-meat sources of food that make up what we eat, from vegetable-based crops to industrial-processing of vegetarian products, are the most impactful forms of greenhouse gas emitters. So it’s not meat that’s the problem.
Ever seen a factory that makes your oat milk? You’d be shocked at how unnatural it is (and I’m saying this as an advocate of oat milk).
Yes, the modern form of conventional farming, including meat processing is bad for the planet, but it is not meat that’s the problem. It’s the way the animals are being raised, and it’s the way the meat is processed that is the problem.
To attack meat as the source of the problem and ignore what is really the problem (modern industrial farming) is to throw the baby out with the bath water.
And that’s the thing about attacking meat.
Meat by itself isn’t unhealthy, especially when it’s combined with healthy lifestyle choices.
But, the plant-based alternatives touted by the “meat haters” are anything but healthy.
The Alternatives Are Not Much Better
I will admit that it is possible to do a plant-based diet well but it is time-consuming and requires a concerted effort.
The key to a healthy, plant-based diet is to eat primarily non-starchy veggies with healthy oils, nuts, and legumes. However, even with this, there may be problems.
First, let’s look at meat alternatives. I’m sure many of you have seen the popular, meat alternatives that are floating around out there.
Tofurkey, Beyond Burgers, Jackfruit Jerky.
There’s a long list that continues to grow.
And as much as I hate to say it, many of these health foods aren’t all that healthy.
Meat substitutes made of soy have a few problems. One is that they’re incredibly damaging to the environment. And two is that soy can negatively affect your hormones.
Many of the burger alternatives are filled with one of the unhealthiest classes of food products on the planet, and that would be seed oils.
I’ve written about the dangers of seed oils, and many of the plant-based burgers out there use a substantial amount of seed oil in their production (in addition to other additives and questionable ingredients).
I see the pivot to plant-based meat alternatives as being problematic for many, many people.
Just take a look at the number of food allergies out there and there is an exceedingly high number of allergies to plant-based products (wheat, corn, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, etc.) compared to how many people react negatively to meat.
Claiming that everyone should be avoiding meat is misleading and bad advice.
The Most Important Thing You Can Do
If you value choice and want to have the option to eat meat, the most important thing you can do is value where you shop.
Support local farmers or farmers nationwide who are committed to regenerative and sustainable farming practices.
No matter your opinion on climate change, this is the #1 way to ensure the meat you eat is incredibly healthy as well as good for the planet.
You can vote with your dollar, and you should.
You should also investigate who’s pulling the strings in all of this. I think you’ll find that many of the people who want to limit your medical freedom are also interested in telling you what to eat.
I rarely, if ever, get into political debate. But when I consider how effective food can be as medicine, and how there are groups of people (and companies) working to strip you of your choice to access what may be recommended by your doctor or health coach, then I think it’s time to sound off.