Should We Eat Meat?
There is always that time in our life were we ask ourselves “Could I actually be a vegetarian, could I actually go without eating meat, milk, cheese and all those yummy foods?” Well most people say they couldn’t do it, and I’m right there with them! Why on earth would I deprive myself of meat and many other delicious foods on PURPOSE? It is truly instinctual to crave and want meat, so why would we force ourselves to do otherwise? Not eating meat is unnatural and that’s not all; it’s ethically immoral, unhealthy, and economically in the wrong. It’s as simple as “Listen to your body.” And not eating meat, well, that’s definitely the contrary of listening to your body. The problem is, everyone is always trying to rationalize food. When really, food is culture, habit, craving and identity. Do you ever stop to think about how the first people on earth decided that a cow roaming around looked like it was going to be dinner that evening, and that after they took that first bite of delicious meat they then experienced a craving their body had been screaming for all along. This fits right into your instinct. Historically, humans have been natural meat eaters. Why do you think meat tastes so good to us? It’s because our species has evolved to eat it. According to National Geographic, “We have an improved ability to process cholesterol and fat.” Ninety-eight percent of the world eats meat, and it tastes good to most of us because chemicals are released in our brain that tell our body it’s good. Switching to meat gave our ancestors an advantage. Researchers at the University of Southern California have found that when ancient humans began to consume meat 2.5 million years ago, they gained access to a new source of protein that helped produce larger brains and superior intelligence.
Where would we be if we hadn’t discovered the first steak? Now a big reason why most people become vegetarians is because they think it is healthier, and in a couple ways, it can be. But, overall it’s not. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! It wants meat. Humans are physiologically designed to eat meat. We need the protein, iron, and nutrients that only meat can provide. Without it, we face the risk of inadequate vitamin and mineral levels. As omnivores, our bodies are designed to process both meat and plant matter. According to TIME online, “a quarter-pound of meat stimulates almost twice as much gastric juices as does a quarter-pound of carbohydrates, and is correspondingly better for normal digestion.” We may not have teeth like a cat that can shear a deer, or an intestinal track that allows us to eat raw meat, but we have the single-chambered stomach common to carnivores and omnivores. Herbivores, on the other hand, have multiple stomach chambers. Humans find cellulose (the main component of plant tissue) totally indigestible, while we digest meat quickly and efficiently. People who choose not to eat meat do not reach their physical peak. UK Cohort hosted a study of 3,086 meat-eating women and 593 non-meat-eating women. The non-meat eaters had significantly lower levels of energy, protein, zinc, and fats than meat eaters. In the TV series “The Truth about Food,” professional athletes (both vegetarians and meat eaters) were studied as they changed their regular diet. The vegetarian athletes ate meat two times a day, while the meat-eating athletes consumed only carbs and vegetables. Colin Jackson, a former world-champion sprinter and hurdler, said that he felt “physically weaker” after not eating meat for a month. A great point was also made by a once but no longer vegetarian, Laura Fraser on the website Salon.com and also in the Practical Argument.
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“But the problem really isn’t meat, but too much meat” (688). Eating meat is what people are supposed to do. We as a species are smarter, healthier, stronger, and more developed since we began to eat meat. Why would you want to change that? I wonder if vegetarians think about how selfish it is to deny meat, and make everyone around them cater to their special wants and preferences. I imagine it makes a person quite anti-social due to their inconvenience. Not only is it socially correct, or easier to eat meat, meat production is a huge part of today’s economy. What if we were all vegetarians? Local farmers might get more money, but how would this effect you and America as we know it? It wouldn’t work. We need meat to survive. Eating meat makes the world function each and every day. Plants, and trees are what help us breathe, if suddenly everyone is eating plants then eventually we will not have anything to help us breathe. Because without trees and other plants, Earth would be uninhabitable. We need trees so that they can make the oxygen we breathe. So how do they do it? Trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen through a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis means “to put together with light.” The light is sunlight, shining on the tree, and the pieces being put together are carbon dioxide and water. When a tree has these three ingredients it uses the energy from the sunlight to combine the carbon from the carbon dioxide with the water to make a carbohydrate, or more simply, a sugar. The sugar is food for the tree, just as people eat sugar and carbohydrates. When the tree makes the carbohydrate, there is extra oxygen from the water, which luckily for us gets released into the air, giving us the oxygen we breathe. So while we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, a tree breathes in carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen.
So we in the long run, need to eat meat to survive. Now, some might argue that eating meat is actually ethically wrong, that it is healthier to be a vegetarian and that it would help the economy if there were more non-meat eaters. They might say that “We know what we see on undercover videos of factory farms and slaughterhouses is wrong.” BUT “There are those who will defend the system that allows occasional animal cruelty, but no one defends the cruelty itself.” The only good thing about eating meat, is a for sure low cholesterol levels, but then again, you can have a low cholesterol level if you aren’t eating too much meat. So as much as you argue, it’s proven that overall, it is better to eat meat, not only for you, but for the economy and even ethically. Humans are physiologically, mentally, and physically made to eat meat. If you are a vegetarian, I hope you think twice before trying to change a meat eater’s mind about their steak dinner. These are just the facts – believe them or not. Humans, in general, are omnivores, Fraser makes another great point that sums this all up “And we as humans, as it happens, are omnivores” (689).