In Defence of Meat

Richard Kelly 4th November 2019

‘Have you seen Game Changers?’

It’s something commonly asked of me by my peers, my friends, my clients and friends of clients.  Game Changers, it appears, is having some headway with the mainstream audience.  Let’s leave behind the questionable science in the documentary, the curious rebranding of vegan to plant-based, and the motives of the producers of the documentary. 

There is no doubt that fruit and vegetables are, in most cases, of benefit to your health.  There are notable exceptions to this, people who work better on a high animal product diet.  But generally speaking increasing your fruit and vegetable content of your diet will benefit most people.  This is because fruit and vegetables are most commonly unconsumed by most of the population, so therefore increasing them in your diet is bound to make you feel more energised in the short term. 

However, removing all animal products from your diet simply because you feel better because of increased fruit and vegetables in your diet is not necessarily the next step.  They are not either or.  You can have both.  In most cases the items which should be reduced are processed foods.  There are issues with processed pre-made foods just as much as with processed meats.  And one of the big issues I have with the vegan movement is that people aren’t in the main choosing to replace meat with fruit and vegetables, they are choosing to replace meat with meat substitutes and processed meals in replacement. 

So I’m going to defend meat here, from a health perspective.  If you are a vegan and feel triggered by meat positivity messages please stop reading here. 

  1. All known gut problems, with the exception of dairy and shellfish intolerances, are caused by plants. All nut and seed allergies, all gluten, rice and corn problems, all allergies to nightshades or inflammatory symptoms to foods are caused by gut reactions to plants.  Don’t believe the lie that meat is inflammatory.  Whilst individuals might experience this it is not typical than compared with gut inflammation from plants. 
  2. Red meat contains high levels of Iron, B12, and Creatine. Many women have low iron levels, something which has become more prevalent since red meat was demonised.  B12 is something which is equally deficient in men and women, again very commonly found in red meat.  Creatine is found naturally in meat, and studies have shown that lower levels of creatine have impacted IQ.  Going exclusively plant based affects your intelligence and the strength of your immune system, therefore. 
  3. Red meat and eggs contain the healthy form of cholesterol. Red meat and eggs contain plenty of HDL, the good type of cholesterol that can actually help your body reduce its overall level of cholesterol. 
  4. Quality is key. Like anything quality is key.  Studies on meat eaters typically don’t distinguish between good quality sources of meat and bad ones. 

 

Equally this list doesn’t give the green light to exclusively eat meat from this point onwards.  You are far better off eating good quality meat once a day than you are eating meat two or three times a day which is of poor quality.  But the same argument can be made against fruit and vegetables.  Better quality is more important. 

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