“There’s a misconception that because we all eat, understanding nutrition is simple. But the question is not whether a certain diet allows you to do well for three days, but can it help you survive to be 100?” said corresponding author Valter Longo, the Edna M. Jones Professor of Biogerontology at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and director of the USC Longevity Institute.

At Harvard, researches have found that people who ate 3 ounces of red meat every day were about 13% more likely to die (from heart disease or cancer) before the study ended than people who didn’t consume meat. Daily servings of processed meat raised the risk of death by 20%.

Meat consumption has increased, globally, from under 50 million tons annually to over 200 million tons in the last half century. The amount of animal waste produced in the U.S is 130 times greater than the amount of human waste. If this doesn’t ring a bell for you in regards of environmental and health issues then you need to keep reading.

The use of antibiotics on factory farms is one of the reasons why antibiotic resistance is on the rise. Government data has revealed that one antibiotic-resistant strain of a germ called Enterococcus faecalis, found in animal and human intestines, was prevalent in a wide variety of meats. This meant that the meat likely comes into contact with fecal matter and that there’s a high risk that other antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the meat as well.

Beef in america is so heavy in hormones that the European Union doesn’t want it. The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures says the U. S.’s hormone-heavy beef production poses “increased risks of breast cancer and prostate cancer,” citing cancer rates in countries that do and don’t eat meat.

Slabs of meat often turn out to be comprised of meat scraps held together with something called “meat glue” or “transglutaminase”, the product was originated in the farmin industry, when the natural enzyme was harvested from animal blood. Now it is produced through the fermentation of bacteria.

The FDA has ruled that meat glue is “GENERALLY recognized as safe” and it is required to be listed as an ingredient, but it is unlikely that any restaurant or market would list the ingredients of it’s meat.

In the United states, farmed animals are excluded by half of all state animal cruelty laws including the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Animal welfare impacts of factory farming can include:

  • Close confinement systems (cages, crates) or lifetime confinement in indoor sheds
  • Discomfort and injuries caused by inappropriate flooring and housing
  • Restriction or prevention of normal exercise and most of natural foraging or exploratory behaviour
  • Restriction or prevention of natural maternal nesting behaviour
  • Lack of daylight or fresh air and poor air quality in animal sheds
  • Social stress and injuries caused by overcrowding
  • Health problems caused by extreme selective breeding and management for fast growth and high productivity
  • Reduced lifetime (longevity) of breeding animals (dairy cows, breeding sows)
  • Fast-spreading infections encouraged by crowding and stress in intensive conditions
  • Debeaking (beak trimming or shortening) in the poultry and egg industry to avoid pecking in overcrowded quarters
  • Forced and over feeding (by inserting tubes into the throats of ducks) in the production of foie gras

At a global Scale, the FAO has estimated that livestock ( including poultry accounts for about 14.5 percent of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions estimated as 100-year CO2 equivalents.

it takes more land to raise animals for food than it does to produce the equivalent nutritional value by raising edible plants. Rain forests are being destroyed to make room for huge cattle ranches. Coyotes and other animals are poisoned and shot by western cattle ranchers who consider federal land to be their land for grazing.

Calcium leached from the bones by the body’s response to neutralize the acids produced by too much protein intake can end up forming kidney stones and gallstones. According to the FDA poultry is the number one source of food-borne illness, and even though they use pesticides and antibiotics, up to 60% of chickens sold at the supermarket are infected with live salmonella bacteria. Approximately 30% of all pork products are contaminated with toxoplasmosis. Meat contains accumulations of pesticides and other chemicals up to 14 times more concentrated than those in plant foods.

Red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and three extra servings of red meat every week increases the risk of developing diabetes by 50 percent. That’s a pretty disheartening statistic.

The link between red meat and disease does not derive from the saturated fats and cholesterol, but the fact that your gut microbes break down a compound found in the meat known as carnitine, which in turn produces trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). And TMAO has been associated with atherosclerosis, the fatty build-up in your arteries which in turn may cause a heart attack.

The healthiness of a vegetarian diet is perhaps shown most dramatically by the fact that lifelong vegetarians visit hospitals 22% less often than meat eaters — and for shorter stays! Vegetarians tend to be fitter than meat eaters — as well as healthier — and many of the world’s most successful athletes (particularly those who specialise in endurance events) follow a strictly vegetarian diet.


Article by: Ariann Aguilar