We have been eating meat since we were children. Our parents fed us meat like it was normal food. Most of us consume meat every day.
Do we even think before we put meat into our mouths?
As I said, we have been raised to believe that eating meat is normal. But the fact is, meat is just a dead animal on a plate.
Is It Okay to Kill Animals?
We all love our pets, whether it is our dog, cat, or whatever. We love to play and spend time with them. The idea of not seeing them and spending time with them makes us feel sad, even for a single day. We mourn their deaths like we have lost a family member.
People call themselves animal-lovers because they love their pets. But the same people are eating the meat of other animals every day. They are responsible for the deaths of thousands of animals every day.
- Why is it right to kill one animal and not right to kill another?
- Why is it okay to eat certain animals only?
- How come we do not eat the meat of dogs, cats, and other pet animals?
- Why do chicken, cows, pigs, and fish have to suffer while dogs and cats enjoy human companionship?
Have you ever thought about this?
A few years ago, I heard that the police had arrested four people in Nuwakot for killing a cow. Why? Because cows are sacred in Nepal. We are not allowed to kill cows or consume their meat.
What about the killings that happen every single day in the slaughterhouses? How is a cow different from a buffalo, a goat, or a chicken?
All animals feel pain. Humans can talk and express how they feel. Animals can’t speak. But they, too, can express pain through emotions.
Meat is Business
People often do not realize that the meat industry is a business. The global meat industry is worth over $2 Trillion. The fancy packaging and all the ready-made meat are ways to make money.
Meat production has increased massively in the past few decades. In 2013, meat production was around 320 million tonnes. Eighty billion animals are slaughtered every year for meat.
Meat is produced like just another product. There is a supply chain for the meat too. Animals are raised, slaughtered, and transported from farm to fork. They are then prepared according to the need of the business for the consumers.
Meat-producing companies do not raise animals because they are fond of the animals. It is because they are making huge profits off of the animals. In Nepal, 13% of the agricultural contribution comes from the livestock sector. Animals like buffalos are brought from India and China and are traded to the local dealers. They are slaughtered and sold to the meat shops.
Meat is Destroying the Environment
The United Nations has said that the meat industry is one of the most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale, from local to global.
Animal agriculture is the reason for the emission of greenhouse gas. It takes a lot of water resources to produce crops for animals to eat.
A cow can drink up to 189 liters of water a day. It takes more than 9,000 liters of water to produce 0.5 Kg of beef. Other factors like animal wastes and the need for a huge land area for animal farming also cause pollution.
The consumption of beef creates 1,984 pounds of CO2e annually. Replacing beef consumption with plants would reduce this number by 96% (i.e., 73 pounds of CO2e).
Slaughtering innocent animals just so that you can enjoy a good meal does not make any sense. There are enough plant-based options that not only taste good but are far better for your health.
Eating meat is not something we chose ourselves. Our parents and society are responsible for it. But it is because they are also not aware of the harmful effects of consuming meat.
Next time you eat meat, think about the animal that was sacrificed for it.
A plant-based diet has many benefits. If you chose to shift from eating meat to eating plant-based, you would have a better life. Your physical and mental health will improve significantly.
We can change things for the better.
If we stop buying meat, there will be no meat production, no meat industry, and no killings. If we live a plant-based lifestyle, no animal will be slaughtered. We would save the environment and live a healthy life.
The Plant-Based Diet
Human beings need to consume a balanced diet—full of vitamins, proteins, and minerals. Meat is known to have proteins and vitamins that are essential for our body.
In recent years, many studies and researches have shown that meat is one of the major causes of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
People have switched to a plant-based diet—consuming foods that come from plants. This diet includes various fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, beans, seeds, and high-fiber nuts.
This diet has become popular because people have noticed its health benefits. Researchers and health practitioners also recommend this diet because of its benefits.
The Benefits of A Plant-Based Diet
Below are some of the benefits of ditching meat and consuming a plant-based diet.
1. It prevents heart diseases.
Heart disease is one of the fatal diseases in the world. Many people die because of it. The consumption of meat contributes to heart diseases because meat contains saturated fat.
Consuming a plant-based diet reduces cardiovascular diseases. Research has shown that a plant-based diet can help prevent heart diseases. Meat, dairy, and eggs contain high cholesterol and saturated fat. They are the major causes of heart disease.
2. It reduces the risk of cancer.
Cancer causes hundreds and thousands of deaths every year in the world. A plant-based diet can reduce the risk of cancer.
Nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber help prevent cancer. Eating whole-grain foods every day can reduce the risk of cancer by 21%. Adding foods like legumes and whole-grains to your diet can prevent cancer.
3. It prevents type 2 diabetes.
Most people confuse diabetes for a disease caused by eating a lot of sugar. It is not true. Factors like diet, age, high blood pressure, being overweight, and genetics are the causes of type 2 diabetes.
A plant-based diet can help prevent type 2 diabetes. Most people who consume a plant-based diet do not have excess weight. So they have a low chance of getting type 2 diabetes. Also, with a lower level of saturated fats and cholesterol in a plant-based diet, diabetes will be under control.
4. It helps lose weight.
Being overweight is a global problem. People suffer from diseases like cancer and diabetes because of this problem. Losing weight is not an easy job. People struggle a lot when it comes to weight loss.
A plant-based diet is a solution to this. Daily consumption of fruits and vegetables helps balance your weight. Comparatively, most meat-eaters are overweight than vegetarians or vegans. With regular exercise and a simple plant-based diet, weight loss should not be an issue.
Here’s a story of a girl who lost 75 pounds in 9 months by eating a plant-based diet: ‘When I Started Eating A Plant-Based Diet And Walking For Weight Loss, My Body Changed Almost Instantly’
5. It boosts the immune system.
The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals in plants help keep the cells healthy. The body maintains a balance so that the immune system can function at its best. Having a strong immune system helps prevent diseases caused by germs and microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.
A plant-based diet also prevents inflammation because of the phytochemicals and antioxidants. Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds is good for your health. You should consume less processed foods and animal-based foods. These contain high saturated fats and cholesterol.
Eating plant-based foods has many benefits. People think that a plant-based diet includes only a limited variety of food. But once you are on this diet, you will find that there are many varieties of plant-based foods that are tastier and healthier than meat-based foods.
If you want to improve your health, quit eating meat products and start eating plant-based foods. Along with that, exercise regularly. This is important. Physical and mental exercise is compulsory to improve your health.
Regular exercise and a plant-based diet are the two things you need to live a healthy life.
Your health is your responsibility. Do what is right for your health. Go plant-based.