6 Reasons You Shouldn't Eat Meat
What doctors, reasearchers and governments are saying
- Meat consumption endangers our planet by creating greenhouse gasses and acid rain. According to a report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, “the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport”. The report also said that “It generates 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure.” Livestock is accountable for roughly 37% of the methane and 9% of the CO2 caused by human activity. Methane is 23 times more warming as CO2. Livestock also produces 64% of the world’s amonia, which contributes greatly to acid rain. 
- It contains carcinogens, which cause cancer. Meat contains HCA and PHA carcinogens, also found in smoke, charred food and car exhaust. According to Cancer.gov, in several research studies, “rodents fed a diet supplemented with HCAs developed tumors of the breast, colon, liver, skin, lung, prostate, and other organs. Rodents fed PAHs also developed cancers, including leukemia and tumors of the gastrointestinal tract and lungs. Researchers found that high consumption of well-done, fried, or barbecued meats was associated with increased risks of colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer.” In an English study, the diets of 6,115 vegetarians and 5,015 meat eaters who were monitored and compared for 12 years, researchers found that vegetarians had a 40% lower risk of cancer. Dr. William Castelli, of the Framingham Heart Study, also found that vegetarians outlive meat-eaters by 3 to 6 years.
- Meat is high in saturated fat. Saturated fat is mostly found in animal sources. It raises blood cholesterol, which can increase your risk of heart disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, meat is very high in saturated fat and should only be consumed in small portions or not at all.
- Meat increases the chance of colon cancer because meat is lacks in fiber. Because meat is so high in protein, it’s very hard to digest and push through the intestinal tract, which is why it stays in our intestines for a long time. While there, the carcinogens we discussed above harm the intestinal walls, increasing the risk of cancer.
- Meat is high in cholesterol, which leads to a heightened risk of heart problems. As animals, our bodies already create enough cholesterol, so it’s not necessary to get more of it by eating animals. Dark meat, even that of chicken and turkey, are higher in cholesterol, though white meat is also high in cholesterol. Veal, though leaner than most meat, is very high in cholesterol. Seafood is very high in cholesterol, especially shrimp and crab.
- It shortens your lifespan. According to the Mayo Clinic, the National Cancer Institute conducted a study where 500,000 were examined. Of those people, they found that those who ate 113 grams (4 ounces) of red meat or more daily were 30% more likely to have died during a 10-year period than were those who consumed less meat. Followers of plant-based diets consume more fiber, vitamins, nutrients, fewer calories, less fat, weigh less and have a lower risk of heart disease than meat-eaters.
By decreasing meat consumption we are not only helping our livelihood, but we’re helping our planet as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, a vegetarian diet or a “flexitarian” diet is healthier than a meat-based diet. A “flexitarian” diet is a term coined for people who eat mostly plant-based diets and only on occasion eat meat, poultry and/or fish.