Meat Consumption and what it means for Our Planet
The global average per capita consumption of meat and the total amount of meat consumed is rising and doesn't seem to have any control. But what does this mean for our beloved planet?
Meat is a good source of energy and some essential nutrients—including protein and micronutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12—although it is possible to obtain a sufficient intake of these nutrients without eating meat if a wide variety of other foods is available and consumed. Consumption of meat has many health benefits such as the elimination of skin diseases, strengthening of the immune system, long-term energy, building and repairing of body tissues and protection of the body from infections, It aids in the production of hemoglobin and is a rich source of protein and other essential amino acids.
However, the consumption of different types of meat and meat products has substantial effects on people’s health, and livestock production can have major negative effects on the environment. Meat can be an important source of nutrients for people on low incomes with restricted diets, but there is also evidence that high meat consumption
- may increase the risk for some types of chronic disease
- Livestock production is a major source of greenhouse gases
- cut down forests to create pasture as well as arable land to meet the demand for animal feed
- can exacerbate soil erosion
- 14.5% of total man-made greenhouse gas emissions are from animal production, of which the beef and dairy industries are the biggest climate polluters in the sector
- nitrogen or phosphorous from fertilizer.
Eating too much meat is no good for our health, with studies proving the link to increasing rates of heart disease, cancer and obesity, brain tumours and other bacterial infections. For a many people, there may be no alternative to diets very high in meat and other animal-sourced food. For those who can’t give up meat fully, reducing your intake helps more than you think. Switching to better alternatives and diets is the most common and most easy way to cut your meat consumption.
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