Imagine if you will, a world with no meat. Imagine a world where people solely dine on fruits, vegetables, grains and processed grocery store foods. While there are vegans and vegetarians who base their diets on these types of foods, adapting this concept for everyone could have a lot of unintended consequences.
Meat is important, and it is a vital part of a typical, healthy diet. Let’s talk about what could happen if there was no longer any meat available to eat and the five consequences that could result.
Consequence #1: Meatless Diets Can Lead to Vitamin and Nutrient Deficiencies
Tim Noakes is known for his Banting diet, which a low-carb, high-fat diet that has grown in popularity during recent years. He is a scientist from South Africa and has worked as an emeritus professor in the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town. Tim is also a member of the National Research Foundation in South Africa. They rank him as one of their highest-rated members.
Tim is very forward about what he believes about vegan and vegetarian diets. He simply says that people cannot survive on them. He told Huffington Post that, “There’s never been a society that can survive on a completely vegetarian or vegan diet. We have to have some animal products. Vegan people survive because you can get some of the nutrition you need from supplements, which means it’s not a complete diet. But you are still not getting adequate protein. You can survive on a 100% animal diet, but you cannot survive on a 100% vegan diet.”
According to Healthline, there are several nutrients that people simply cannot get from plants. Yet, they are essential for good health. They include:
- Vitamin B12 – This is found almost exclusively in meat or food from animals, such as eggs, dairy products and fish.
- Creatine – Creatine comes from the muscles of animals, but there is also some stored in the brain too. Creatine can be produced by the liver, but vegetarians tend to have much lower amounts than people who eat meat.
- Carnosine – Carnosine is an antioxidant that is found in the muscles and brains of both humans and animals. It is vital for proper muscle function in the body.
- Vitamin D3 – Vitamin D3 increases the blood levels of absorbable Vitamin D more efficiently than Vitamin D2, which is found in plants. The best sources of D3 are found in fatty fish and egg yolks. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to cancer, heart disease and other ailments.
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – DHA is an essential omega-3 fatty acid that is critical for healthy brain development and function. Not having enough can have a negative impact on your mental health. This is especially true for children.
- Heme iron – This is a type of iron that is especially found in red meat. It is more easily absorbed than non-heme iron, which is found in plants. Not getting enough heme iron can easily lead to an iron deficiency.
- Taurine – Taurine is a sulfur compound that is found in the brain, heart and kidneys. It plays a role in proper muscle function, bile salt formation and antioxidant defenses. Taurine is only found in animals, such as seafood, fish, poultry, dairy and other meat products.
Consequence #2: Meatless Diets Can Lead to Mental Health Issues
Mental health issues should never be ignored, and yet, our diets can be largely responsible for them. For example, one study has shown that:
- Vegetarians are as much as 18% more likely to suffer from depression.
- They are 28% more likely to suffer from panic attacks and anxiety disorders.
- They are 15% more likely to have depressed moods.
The study showed that there really was no reason for people to be having mental health issues. The only common factor all participants had was that they were eating vegetarian diets. Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies are believed to be at least partially responsible for many mental health issues.
Consequence #3: The Environment Would Suffer Greatly
One of the major arguments vegans and vegetarians give for wanting to rid the world of meat is because of the positive environmental impact they say it would make. But the reality is that going meatless will do nothing to save the environment.
The New York Post states that scientists in Scotland have found that global warming is not the result of meat production. Today’s breeders are producing cattle that are less harmful to the environment than ever before. They argue that meat is important for childhood development and that fewer livestock farms would not necessarily mean more sustainable land use.
One study indicates that a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables could actually be worse for the environment than eating at least some meat. Vegetables require more water and energy per calorie to grow. This results in higher greenhouse gas emissions than what is needed to produce many types of meat.
Paul Fishbeck is the co-author of the study, and he is also a professor of social and decision scientists. He states that, “Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon.”
Eating lettuce is worse for the environment than bacon.
The World is Better With Meat
At Red House Ranch, we believe that the world is better with and because of meat. We agree that large industry farms are doing the world a disservice through their unethical treatment of animals. That is why we strive to be better.
Most of the land on which animals are raised is not conducive to growing fruits and vegetables. If everyone became vegan or vegetarian, the world may not be able to feed them all. Not to mention, a lot of farmers and food industry workers would be out of jobs, which is not the world we want to live in.
We’d love to hear your thoughts! What do you think about a world with no meat? Could you survive? Would you even want to try?