Pro's and Con's of Eating Meat

grazing animals

More grasses means more grazing animals, and more dead grazing animals means more meat - Marta Zaraska



Indeed ! Scientists have no lucidity about the origins and evolution of human meat-eating, but few sturdy theories give us perception on emergence of meat as omnivorous diet.

Ever since in years gone by due to earth's hot transposition our distant human ancestors collectively known as hominins were subsisting mostly on fruits, leaves, seeds, flowers, bark and tubers.

As the temperature jumped up this result into deforestation which forced early humans to perceive new sources of energy by hunting animals but hominin ancestors were not competent hunters yet,but likely scavenged the meat from fallen carcasses were actively eating meat on a regular basis. By pre-processing meat with tools originally designed to dig tubers and crack open nuts, our ancestors made animal flesh easier to chew and digest.


The word meat comes from the old english word mete, which referred to food. This term is related to mad in Danish, mat in Swedish and Norwegian, and matur in Icelandic and Faroese, which also mean 'food'.

Meat products belong to one of the six paramount food groups i.e poultry, pork, red meat, game and fish which dispenses body with prerequisite nutrients, minerals and vitamins in order for it to remain healthy.

It is largely composed of water, protein, and fat. It is edible raw, but is ordinarily eaten after it has been cooked and seasoned or processed in a variety of ways. Unprocessed meat will spoil or rot within hours or days as a result of infection with and decomposition by bacteria and fungi.

Furthermore it is identified as most dominant in economy and culture notwithstanding its mass production and consumption has been determined to pose risks for human health and the environment. Also many religions have rules about which meat may or may not be eaten. Besides, even vegetarians and vegans abstain from eating meat because of concerns about the ethics of eating meat, environmental effects of meat production or nutritional effects of consumption.

Different Types Of Meat

1. Red meat

This comes from mammals and contains more of the iron-rich protein myoglobin in its tissue than white meat. Examples include: beef (cattle), pork (pigs and hogs), lamb, veal (calves) and goat etc. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and various other nutrients that can have profound effects on health

2. White meat

This is generally lighter in color than red meat and comes from birds . Examples include: chicken, turkey, duck, goose and wild birds, such as quail and pheasant. The advantage of white meat is less fat or myoglobin, but red meat is higher in certain vitamins and have a higher protein count.

3. Processed meat

Processed meat has been divided into fresh processed meat, and cured and smoked processed meat and modified through salting, curing, smoking, drying, or other processes to preserve it or enhance flavor. Examples include: hot dogs, sausage and bacon etc. Ground beef is the most widely recognized example of a fresh processed meat product

Amazing Health Facts About Meat

1. Meat is a complete, high-quality protein containing all of the essential amino acids.

2. Consuming meat may help you manage, and even lose, weight.

3. Some companies package beef in a carbon monoxide atmosphere to keep the meat looking pink or “fresh” up to one full year. This only affects the color though; the meat still spoils normally

4. McDonald’s cooked their fries in 93% beef fat (tallow) until 1990, when they switched to vegetable oil.

5. A survey conducted by Smithfield showed that 65% of Americans would support bacon as their “national food.

6. The leading source of sodium in the adult American diet is chicken.

7. The Mayo Clinic found that long-term vegetarians live on average 3.6 years longer than their meat-eating counterparts.

Common Myths About Eating Meat

a. A meat-free diet lacks protein

b. Lack of meat will cause iron-deficiency

c. White meat is healthier than red meat.

d. It’s best to buy chicken and pork that’s labeled hormone-free

e. Vegans need supplements for nutrition

f. A vegan diet will make you lose muscle

Science of Meat

Meat is mostly the muscle tissue of an animal which are made up of bundles of cells called fibers. Each cell is crammed with filaments made of two proteins - Actin and Myosin.

After an animal is slaughtered, blood circulation stops, and muscles exhaust their oxygen supply. Muscle can no longer use oxygen to generate ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and turn to anaerobic glycolysis, a process that breaks down sugar without oxygen, to generate ATP from glycogen, a sugar stored in muscle.

The breakdown of glycogen produces enough energy to contract the muscles, and also produces lactic acid. With no blood flow to carry the lactic acid away, the acid builds up in the muscle tissue. If the acid content is too high, the meat loses its water-binding ability and becomes pale and watery. If the acid is too low, the meat will be tough and dry.

Lactic acid buildups and releases calcium, which causes muscle contraction and also glycogen supplies are depleted which leads to permanent contraction of actin and myosin.

Finally, carcass is freezed to keep the proteins all bunched together, resulting in very tough meat.

Advantages of Meat

1. Improved Functional Ability

Iron is needed for the production of myoglobin to store oxygen in muscles and haemoglobin to transport oxygen throughout the body. And all forms of meat are rich in iron. Organ meats, such as liver and giblets, contain the highest amount a 3-ounce serving contains between 5.2 and 9.9 milligrams. The recommended daily intake is 8 milligrams for men and 18 milligrams for women

Also red meat like beef, pork, white meat as chicken and turkey enhances the immune defences, because they are rich in vitamin B6.

Besides, whenever you eat high-iron meat, pair it with food that contains vitamin C like broccoli, citrus fruit, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, strawberries and red peppers as this helps with absorption of iron content in the body.

Thus, the presence of meat within the diet gives an extra boost because the meat has excellent levels of vitamins like B1 and vitamin B12 that strengthen the immune system whose deficiency causes a reduction in the number of lymphocytes and on the flip side chromium, a micronutrient stimulates immune defences and resistance to infections. Thus, eating meat therefore can make the difference, making us stronger against diseases.

2. Important for pregnant mothers and fetal life

Meat is also a rich source of vitamin B12. And ample amount of this vitamin can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects. It can also stave off sepsis or low birth weight or preeclampsia owing to high content of iron and minerals. Hence,meat is really good for healthy and safe pregnancy.

3. Meat aids weight loss

The proteins hinged in meat studies prevents sarcopenic obesity. This is a condition whereby the body lacks protein and converts the skeletal muscle that has been lost into fat. Besides, the high quality protein in meat surges up satiety, optimal energy consumption and increases thermogenesis.

4. Meat contains stress relief and anti-depressant agents

Meat is particularly rich in vitamin B6, lysine, amino acid like tryptophan, isoleucine, valine, leucine and phenylalanine and very is efficacious in the treatment of anxiety including chronic anxiety or any other mood disorders. Thus meat helps stabilize mood, decrease depression, anxiety, and irritability.

5. Meat contains nutrients that can help bolster hair growth and prevent hair loss.

Meat contains significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids that help prevention of hair loss. Moreover zinc is another common nutrient found in meat which is recommended as treatment for hair loss. Thus, through adequate consumption of meat can help eradicate hair issues.

6. Brain development

Vitamin B12 is essential in brain development in children and equally important for all. Animal products, including fish and eggs, are the only natural sources of B12.  Lacto-ovo vegetarians ( a person who eats vegetables,eggs and dairy products but who does not eat meat ) can obtain B12 through eggs and dairy, but vegans must use supplements or fortified foods.     

7. Better Skin & Hair

As per a study published in the Dermato Endocrinology Journal meat is rich in tocopherols and vitamin E which helps to fight against collagen thereby improving skin aging. Organ meat such as liver contains ubiquinol fight oxidative damage and improves skin health.

On the flip side meat consumption is also good for the hair as it is rich in iron. Iron deficiency is one of the leading causes of hair loss among people as per a research published in the Dermatology Practical and Conceptual journal.

Disadvantages of Meat

1. Increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes

Meat, dairy products, and eggs all contain cholesterol and saturated fat and also has contributed to America's top killers: heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and various types of cancer.

Decades of scientific study have linked dietary cholesterol to cardiovascular disease and country’s number one cause of death, killing nearly 2,200 Americans daily.

Saturated fat is present in all meat and fish, even chicken and turkey cooked without the skin. It has even been linked to breast cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive decline. Fortunately, there are many plant-based protein sources that are low in saturated fat and won’t send your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels through the roof.

2. Eating meat makes It harder To maintain a healthy body weight

Studies have proved that if you are looking to maintain a lower BMI for your health, it is worth knowing that meat-eaters are three times more likely to be obese than vegetarians, and nine times more likely than vegans. On average, vegans are 10 to 20 pounds lighter than adult meat-eaters. Vegetarian diets are also associated with higher metabolic rates (around 16 percent faster for vegans compared with meat-eaters).

3. It might contribute to erectile dysfunction in men

Daily intake of meat, eggs, and dairy products slow down the flow of blood to all the body’s organs. And on the flip side studies have found that impotence was caused only by anxiety, but according to the Erectile Dysfunction Institute, up to 90 percent of all cases of impotence is due to eating meat and also have high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, prostate cancer or inflammations, and hormonal imbalances.

Besides, a new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also suggests that men who couple regular exercise with a diet high in fiber and rich in flavonoids and are found in fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and apples, whole grains may reduce their risk of developing erectile dysfunction and artery blockage.

4. It may make you resistant to antibiotics

Factory farms are breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, known as “supergerms.” On farms across America, the antibiotics that we depend on are used to treat human illnesses and are now used to promote growth in animals and to keep them alive in horrific living conditions that would otherwise kill them. This means if you eat meat you run a greater risk of making yourself antibiotic-resistant.

5. Meat is acidic

Meat is one of the major acidic foods in the standard North American diet. It’s difficult for the body to break down and digest and requires extra work from the kidneys. As a result, it produces too much acid in the body and also contributes to chronic diseases.

On the flip side another factor to avoid meat is the quality of meat that a majority of people eat: often it’s fried, overcooked, and not eaten alongside green vegetables. This not only creates acidity in the body but also does nothing to help neutralize it.

6. Other disadvantages are

  • Meat can be high in saturated fats which can clog arteries, leading to health complications.

  • Meat can also be high in cholesterol.

  • A pair of studies reported in Harvard Health Publications show that red meat eaten in large quantities is associated with higher levels of colorectal cancer.

  • Meat cooked at high temperatures can create chemical reactions leading to high levels of harmful compounds. Processed meats such as salami, smoked ham, or hot dogs may also contain chemicals that are not good for us.

Frequently asked questions

1. Can you still be an athlete on a vegan diet?

Athletes at all levels, from youth to recreational to elite, can adjoin their energy and nutrient needs on a vegetarian or vegan diet that contains a variety of foods, including grain products, fruits, vegetables, protein-rich plant foods, and (if desired) dairy products and eggs. So i would highly endorse you all to watch documentary named "The Game Changers” on netflix which shows a vegan diet can improve athletic performance in professional athletes.

2. Is eating meat every day detrimental?

You could increase your risk of diseases like cancers and cardiovascular illness. Studies have consistently linked higher consumption of red and processed meat to increased risk of certain cancers, as well as cardiovascular disease. So kindly eat meat moderately to prevent deadly diseases.

3. Producing meat has more collision on the environment rather than other foods.

Meat production requires a double passage procedure. Initially producing feed for animals, then start the process of converting protein during their breeding.

A second aspect particularly valid for bovine supply chains is represented by the impacts of the dam (mother of calves), that are bred solely for the purpose of giving birth to calves with an average rate of one a year.

The last aspect is related to the management of manure and enteric fermentation involving a significant impact, especially with regards to the greenhouse effect.

These aspects are undeniable and are part of the natural characteristics of supply chains a correct understanding of the processes and transparent information.

4. Can you extricate planet by becoming vegan ?

Usually people discuss that becoming a vegetarian is the only way to save the planet due to some ecological reasons or legitimate ethical reasons. Yet, eating meat in a balanced way does not impact substantially on one’s overall environmental impact.

Food choices are not the only way to take the edge off ones own carbon footprint but many such exertions related to mobility, energy consumption, the purchasing choices (clothing, electronics etc.) and in general the wasteful lifestyles of today can be much more important. So please dont blame meat eaters for any of the negative impact on environment.

5. Why is the presence of animal protein cardinal in balanced diet ?

Animal proteins have a higher biological value. Fortunately animal products not only make proteins but also vitamins (some of which are scarce or absent in vegetable sources), extremely important minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium.

So in a proper diet there must be space for both proteins accompanied by the above-mentioned minerals and vitamins.

6. Is their much waste in meat industry ?

All the phases carried by meat industry generate lot of scraps and waste almost equal to half of the waste produced by cereal chain.

The most wasted food, in fact, are those of vegetable origin: those which are not circumstantial but have a lower price (maximum 2 Euro per kg). Conversely one takes good care of wasting products of animal origin, regardless of their price. A fact that is probably also linked to the social and cultural value perceived for centuries about these foods.

7. Is pork a red meat or a white meat?

It’s a red meat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture as it contains more myoglobin than chicken or fish. The amount of myoglobin, a protein in meat that holds oxygen in the muscle, determines the color of meat.

8. Can grilling red meat cause cancer?

High-temperature cooking of any muscle meat, including red meat, poultry, and fish, can generate compounds in food that may increase cancer risk. They’re called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

9. Should we completely stop consuming meat ?

Moderation is a key in consuming red meat. If you eat ten ounces of meat at every meal then meat is bad for you. However, it’s okay if you eat three or four ounces of red meat once or twice a week.

Moreover lean meats like chicken or fish might be a healthier option, but you don’t have to be afraid of consuming red meat. After all, your health isn’t determined by a single type of food that you eat. Indeed! It’s a combination of everything you eat, your physical activity, and other life choices that you make.

10. Can we replace meat with legumes and soya chunks in our healthy diet ?

The proteins in meat are nutritionally complete and contain all the essential amino acids required for good health. Legumes usually lack one or more of the essential amino acids, and relying on legumes alone to meet your protein needs might result in a nutritional deficiency. Combining lentils with other plant-based foods such as grains and nuts, which supply complementary amino acids, overcomes this disadvantage of legumes.

Soya chunks are processed food so the added salt and oil downgrades the nutrient value a bit and is also not good for heart health when consumed in excess so have it not more than once or twice a week.

Besides, soya chunks are also rich in estrogen, which may cause hormonal imbalances, especially in men. If you’re looking to include more soy in your diet, opt to add sources like tofu and tempeh to the mix.


The healthy diet should include a balanced consumption of all foods available. If you follow the consumption advice recommended by the dietary model of the mediterranean diet, the average weekly impact of meat is aligned with that of other foods, for which the impacts are minor but generally more unit quantities are consumed. This healthy lifestyle and right food model will eventually make people to eat right amount of meat which will not negatively impact environment.

On the flip side to ensure our health is not affected due to meat its always recommended to chose non processed meat, organic meat and for beef eaters its best to opt for grass fed beef i.e cattle that consume natural diet of grass.

Sooner or later, whether you consume meat is a personal choice.


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