How Often Should We Eat Meat? TED video!

Most people wouldn’t eat meat if they had to kill and clean the animal themselves which seems to suggest that there is something not quite right about eating it, and when I say “meat” I include poultry and perhaps even fish.

It’s no secret that chickens and chicks are treated in a truly horrible way and that calves are kept in tiny cages, in the dark and not fed the nutrition that the need so that people can enjoy veal.

It’s reckoned that a similar sized piece of land can feed seven to eight times as many vegetarians because you don’t have to feed the animals, so it would seem that as the world population increases that meat will become so expensive that only the rich will be able to afford to eat it on a regular basis.

And MEAT causes more emissions than all forms of transportation combined. Others might be able to treat themselves once a week or so, which would be much healthier anyway.


So please let me know what you think about the ethics of eating animals and the likelihood that the price of meat will soon put it out of most people’s reach. It’s a known that fish will soon be so expensive that only the rich will be able to eat it on a regular basis.

This entry was posted in animals, Bible, diet, empathy, fish, food, health, Meat, Misconceptions, sympathy. Bookmark the permalink.

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13 Responses to How Often Should We Eat Meat? TED video!

  1. donald-drake says:

    I’d say that it’s most likely OK for adults to skip meat but that’s it’s definitely unethical for parents to deny their children meat.

    The results of a longitudinal study conducted in Kenya showed that children who ate two spoonfuls of meat each day almost doubled their muscle development, were more talkative and active and showed more cognitive development than those who did not eat meat.

    Conducted over a two-year period, the study involved 544 children in Kenya, all about 7 years of age.

    The children were divided into four groups and all of the children ate the typical local fare, consisting of starchy, low-nutrition corn and bean staples but one of the groups received two spoonfuls of meat per day in addition to the children’s normal diet.

    The second group consumed an additional cup of milk and the third group received an oil supplement.

    Both the milk and oil supplement contained the same amount of energy (calories) as the meat.
    The fourth group, the control group, received only the food normally given to these children without any supplements to their diet.

    The Result

    Compared with controls that had no intervention, the meat group had 80% more increase in muscle mass over the two years of the study, and the milk and energy group had 40% more increase in muscle mass.

    Moreover, the children that ate meat had a larger improvement in test scores for mental skills than the other three groups, and the milk and oil supplement groups showed more improvement than the controls.

    * Meat provides many micro-nutrients that a growing body needs, including vitamin B12, zinc, calcium, vitamin A and iron.

  2. big-thoughts says:

    big-believer, here’s some info for you about the number of people that can be supported by a ten acre farm.

    60 people growing soybeans.

    24 people growing wheat.

    10 people growing corn.

    But that same piece of land would only support two people if it were used for raising cattle, and a pound of wheat can be grown with 60 pounds of water, whereas a pound of meat requires 2,500 to 6,000 pounds.

    Whilst it’s true that many animals graze on land that would be unsuitable for cultivation, the demand for meat has taken millions of productive acres away from farm inventories and the cost of that is incalculable, and it’s reckoned that reducing meat production by just 10% in the U.S. would free up enough grain to feed 60 million people.

  3. Iocane says:

    Donald, I fear your reasoning is daft. If children in Kenya, whose diets would otherwise not be able to sustain them did not eat meat, then it would be bad for them. The problem is, it only applies in the context of their diet. If you have two groups, one eating food that’s not providing them enough nutrients and another group that’s eating the same food, IN ADDITION TO SOMETHING ELSE, the group that’s getting the additional nutrients will do better.

    That’s not a meat diet compared to an adequate vegan diet. That’s a study of meat compared to no other supplements. Oil is not a vegan diet, and milk is not a replacement for meat. If you supplemented the diet with an appropriate amount of nuts, fruits, and vegetables, we’d be talking.

    So no. Your study isn’t valid.

  4. donald-drake says:

    Hi Iocane,

    Well you can call me Daffy Duck then ;-)

    But it wasn’t my study.

    Hear is the study ….

    Symposium: Food-Based Approaches to Combating Micronutrient Deficiencies in Children of Developing Countries.

    Meat Supplementation Improves Growth, Cognitive, and Behavioral Outcomes in Kenyan Children

    Charlotte G. Neumann, Suzanne P. Murphy, Connie Gewa, Monika Grillenberger and Nimrod O. Bwibo.

    Departments of Community Health Sciences and Pediatrics, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095; 4 Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96813; 5 Department of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095; 6 Wageningen University, Wageningen 6700 EV, The Netherlands; and 7 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Nairobi, Nairobi 00100, Kenya

    A randomized, controlled school feeding study was conducted in rural Embu District, Kenya to test for a causal link between animal-source food intake and changes in micronutrient nutrition and growth, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes.

    Twelve primary schools were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups.

    Children in Standard I classes received the local plant-based dish githeri as a midmorning school snack supplemented with meat, milk, or fat added to equalize energy content in all feedings.

    The Control children received no feedings but participated in data collection.

    Main outcome measures assessed at baseline and longitudinally were 24-h food intake recall, anthropometry, cognitive function, physical activity, and behaviors during school free play.

    For cognitive function, the Meat group showed the steepest rate of increase on Raven’s Progressive Matrices scores and in zone-wide school end-term total and arithmetic test scores.

    The Plain githeri and Meat groups performed better over time than the Milk and Control groups on arithmetic tests.

    The Meat group showed the greatest increase in percentage time in high levels of physical activity and in initiative and leadership behaviors compared with all other groups.

    For growth, in the Milk group only younger and stunted children showed a greater rate of gain in height.

    The Meat group showed near doubling of upper midarm muscle area, and the Milk group a smaller degree of increase.

    This is the first randomized, controlled feeding study to examine the effect of meat- vs. milk- vs. plant-based snacks on functional outcomes in children.

    • Iocane says:

      Again, the title admits that the data is only relevant as information regarding food based supplements to MALNOURISHED THIRD WORLD children. It has nothing to do with whether or not it’s okay to raise children on a proper vegan diet.

      All it says is what should already be common sense: a diet that ONLY contains corn and beans isn’t enough. A diet that suppliments that “not enough” diet with a little oil will be better, but they’re only getting the additional nutrition from the oil. Add milk or meat, and yeah, there’s more nutrition, but the diet’s inadequate.

      I would imagine there would be far less benefit to introduce meat into the diet of a child who is already on a recommended vegan diet, since the nutrients would already be redundant. That’s the kind of study you’d want to look at if you wanted to know whether or not children need meat. You’d need to compare the ideal-case vegan diet with an ideal case meat diet for the data to give relevant results for this issue.

  5. Iocane says:

    I’m not saying the study’s bad. I’m just saying it can’t support the conclusions you’re drawing from it. Which makes sense, because it wasn’t intended to support that conclusion.

    Misconceptions, eh?

    • Michael Redbourn says:

      I’m glad to have you visiting the site and making posts :-)

      The site is only around 3 months old, doing very well already, but the more intelligent people that post the better!

      Michael (webmaster)

  6. knopfman says:

    Some quotes to ponder!

    “The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.” ~Leonardo da Vinci

    “You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” ~Thomas Edison

    “Even in the worm that crawls in the earth there glows a divine spark. When you slaughter a creature, you slaughter God.” ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

    “What is it that should trace the insuperable line? …The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?” ~Jeremy Bentham

  7. Jake says:

    Next time somebody tells you that we need to eat meat, then tell them that Dave Scott won the Ironman Triathlon six times and he’s a vegetarian.

    And you might throw in the fact that the Tyrannosaurus Rex was the largest meat eater that ever lived, and point out that he’s no longer with us.

    As for the strictly Ethical Argument

    The number of animals killed for meat per hour in the U.S. is 660,000
    The occupation with highest turnover rate in the U.S. is slaughterhouse worker.
    The occupation with highest rate of on-the-job-injury in U.S. is slaughterhouse worker.

    • peterson says:

      Thanks for your post which prompted me to seek out further stats, and I found these:

      What or who is the user of more than half of all water used for all purposes in the U.S. – livestock production.

      How much water is used in the production of the average cow: sufficient to float a destroyer.

      Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of wheat: 25.

      How many gallons of water are needed to produce a pound of California beef: 5,000 !!

      And look at this about oil, which is pretty pertinent given the present huge rise in gas prices.

      How many years would the world’s known oil reserves last if every human continues to eat a meat-centered diet: 13 years!
      A vegetarian one? 260 years!

      And:

      Calories of fossil fuel expended to get 1 calorie of protein from beef: 78
      To get 1 calorie of protein from soybeans: just 2

      Percentage of all raw materials (base products of farming, forestry and mining, including fossil fuels) consumed by U.S. that is devoted to the production of livestock: 33%
      Percentage of all raw materials consumed by the U.S. that is needed to produce a complete vegetarian diet: 2%

      Pretty horrifying, stats and certainly food for thought!

  8. Gina says:

    It’s obviously not healthier to eat meat as you can get enough or even more protein from lentils, beans, tofu, organic whole grains, free range eggs, spinach and other plant sources.

    Also, adequate amounts of iron can be found in organic broccoli, bok choy, figs, whole grain, enriched cereals, and other plants.

    You can get required calcium from sesame seeds, beans, tofu, wax beans, humus, and broccoli.

    In fact there is more calcium in sesame seeds and broccoli than there is in milk and the calcium in cow’s milk isn’t easily absorbed.

    Dead flesh (meaning meat) contains saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones, antibiotics, toxins and NO fibre.

    Where are the carnivores and why aren’t they posting?

    The answer to “Is it ethical to eat meat?”, is obvious.

    But thanks for an additional place to discuss this!

  9. Jake says:

    Humans don’t need meat to be healthy, but they are now meat eaters.

    By nature we therefore need to kill to fulfill our natural eating habits

  10. mak-the-knife says:

    Most avid meat eaters will want to ignore the Environmental Argument, but here it is anyway:

    The primary cause of the greenhouse effect is:

    The carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels!

    Fossil fuels needed to produce meat-centered diet vs. a meat-free diet: 300% more!

    Percentage of U.S. topsoil lost to date: 75%

    Percentage of U.S. topsoil loss directly related to livestock raising: 85%

    Number of acres of U.S. forest cleared for cropland to produce meat-centered diet: 260 million acres.

    Amount of meat imported to U.S. annually from Central and South America: 300,000,000 pounds, and the percentage of Central American children under the age of five who are undernourished: is 75%

    Area of tropical rainforest consumed in every quarter-pound of rainforest beef: 55 square feet.

    Current rate of species extinction due to destruction of tropical rainforests for meat grazing and other uses: 1,000 per year.

    * Fossil fuels are effectively non-renewable resources because they take millions of years to form, and the world’s reserves of them are being depleted much faster than new ones are being made.