I’ve never actually heard a good argument for eating meat. Whenever I’ve discussed it with people, their points seem to end at; it tastes good, it’s natural and we need the protein. Here’s a very brief version of my replies.
Firstly, meat doesn’t actually taste good. This is why so much seasoning is added. Our bodies also can’t digest raw meat the same way other predators do, which is why we eliminate certain bacteria by cooking it. Next, as natural as you might think carnivorism is, I’d challenge any human to physically chase and catch a quadruped. We have short fingernails and small canine teeth, in contrast to carnivores which have long, sharp claws and teeth for tearing flesh. The majority of our teeth are molars, another characteristic of herbivores. Finally, there are a number of healthy protein sources that don’t come from meat, they just aren’t always as convenient. But all that is changing as more and more people are moving towards vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.
In 2016, less than half a million people in UK were vegan. In 2018, this number had soared to 3.5 million. So, why are people defecting to a meat-free diet? What are the benefits to this transition? And, will we all be vegan someday?
- Health Benefits
When the NHS is eventually sold off and privatised, staying healthy will become a bigger concern for Brits. The health benefits of cutting meat from your diet are vast. For example, meat-eaters have a higher risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. If everyone in the world adopted veganism, there would be an estimated seven million fewer deaths per year. Its growing popularity has sparked a surge of vegan restaurants across the country. Manchester is one of the healthiest cities in the UK partially for this reason, hosting an impressive 440 vegan restaurants.
2. Environmental Impact
I genuinely believe that one of the biggest causes of a meat-free world will come from the environment. By now, we’ll have all become aware of the international student protests on climate change that took place this month and that we now have less than 11 years until the effects are irreversible. The environment is to the government what exams were to me; ignore for as long as possible and solve at the very last minute. So, my theory is when it gets to a point where immediate action is needed to save the planet, meat will be one of the first things to go. The meat industry is a bigger contributor to greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transport combined. This is largely due to the amount of water that is required as well as the methane and waste production.
In conclusion, there is already a cultural shift towards veganism and it should be welcomed as much as possible. There are also humanitarian advantages to cutting out meat. If you can kill and eat an animal, which is a sentient being the same as a human, then it sets a precedent of not valuing life. Killing animals desensitises people to cruelty, which can easily be applied to other humans. If you can kill an animal because it isn’t human, it isn’t a big step to killing a human because they’re not the same as you.