Studies show that during the last 50 years, this rate has increased from 50 million tons to more than 200 million tons. Consumption of meat is linked to various health problems. It is claimed that, refraining from eating meat is beneficial for health, in several ways.
Apart from the pros and cons of meat consumption, some studies focus on other aspects, like environmental factors and cruelty to animals. It has also been suggested, that human anatomy is not designed for meat consumption.
Human Anatomy and Meat Consumption
It has been claimed by some experts, that humans are not adapted for meat consumption. There are various factors that support this contention. They include the absence of claws and sharp front teeth in humans, as compared to meat-eating animals. It is said that, the human hands are adapted for picking or plucking fruits and vegetables.
Even the flat molars in humans facilitate grinding, as in herbivorous animals. It is also stated that the process of digestion in meat-eating animals differ from that of humans and other herbivores. While humans and herbivores have salivary glands that help in pre-digesting fruits and grains, these glands are absent in carnivorous animals.
Another argument in this regard is that, hydrochloric acid in the stomach of meat-eating animals is much stronger than that of the humans. This enables those animals to digest meat. Even the length of their colon is less (3 times of body length), as compared to that of humans (12 times of body length).
This facilitates rapid expulsion of meat from the digestive system, as this food item decays quickly. In humans, regular consumption of meat may lead to damage of the colon wall; thereby causing health problems, like colon cancer.
It is also contended that the nutrients in meat are destroyed through cooking, whereas carnivorous animals get the nutrients, as they eat raw meat. It has been suggested that in some cases, cooking may lead to formation of toxins, that can be harmful for humans.
Is meat good for you? Consumption of meat, especially red meat, may cause various health problems. Regular meat consumption has been linked to high cholesterol levels, heart diseases, and cancer. Studies show that vegetarians have a low risk of cancer and heart diseases, as compared to their counterparts.
It has also been suggested that those who regularly consume meat, have high protein levels; that may lead to calcium loss from the bones. Thus, meat consumption is also linked to osteoporosis. This can also lead to kidney stones and gallstones.
Another cause of concern is the diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animals, through consumption of meat. So, refraining from meat consumption may lower the risk of such health problems.
As far as the environmental aspects are concerned, it is said that the waste produced by farm animals is one of the main causes of soil and groundwater pollution. Apart from that, raising farm animals contributes to inefficient use of water, energy, and agricultural foods.
Given all, animals in most of these farms are subjected to inhumane treatment. So, if you think that these contentions are solid enough for you to refrain from meat consumption, you may go ahead.