As consumers increasingly reject cruelly-produced, unhealthy animal products, the meat industry is grabbing at any chance it can to win them back. In late 2020, AgWeb published an article entitled “Eat Meat to Support Your Immunity During a Crisis.” But as people resolve to eat more plants in the new year, thousands participating in Veganuary, consumers are proving that they are smarter than the meat industry’s profit-driven pleas.
A pandemic is the perfect time to reassess your diet, and we can distill AgWeb’s misinformation down into three main points proving that you should actually avoid meat during these times – and any time.
1. Industrial farming got us into this mess.
Now a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s thought that the coronavirus jumped from an animal to a human at a live market. Intensive animal farming, whether in a live market or in a factory farm, is a ticking time bomb when it comes to pandemics—and always has been. Animal agriculture was also responsible for the deadly outbreaks of both swine and bird flu.
Even now, animal agriculture is a huge contributor to the spread of the virus. In slaughterhouses it’s nearly impossible for workers to maintain a six-foot distance between each other, with lines moving faster than ever and workers being forced to stand elbow to elbow just to keep up. Slaughterhouses have become COVID-19 hotspots; this already dangerous occupation has become even more unsafe for workers and their communities.
And instead of protecting employees, industry managers put them at risk for the sake of profits, going so far as to bet on how many employees will test positive for the virus.
Even as more people begin to understand COVID-19’s link to animal agriculture, live markets are alive and well in the U.S. It’s time to rethink our food system completely, and that begins with ditching meat–not eating more of it.
2. Meat is not healthy.
The meat industry touts animal meat as an important source of protein–a nutrient that can be found in plenty of far healthier plant-based foods. In fact, while animal products like chicken and eggs may be high in protein, they’re also remarkably high in cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease–a leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States.
In 2021, with slaughterhouse line speeds moving recklessly fast, meat is as dangerous as ever. Animal Outlook investigations have revealed time and time again that the meat industry cuts corners at the expense of animals, consumers and workers. From metal possibly making it into the meat you buy at the grocery store to workers changing the “best by” dates on meat to make it appear fresher than it is, the risks far outweigh the mythical benefits of meat eating.
3. Plant-based is the way to go for a healthy body and mind.
Vegan foods are one of the most effective ways we can protect our health. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Heart Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) all agree that there are many health benefits associated with reducing or eliminating the consumption of meat, dairy and eggs. According to the USDA, vegetarians, on average, have “lower levels of obesity, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and lower total mortality.”
Even if you’ve eaten meat all your life, cutting cruel animal products from your diet could potentially reverse heart problems and lower cholesterol. Choosing a nutrient-dense vegan dish is a great way to protect your heart. Plant-based eating can help prevent diabetes and control your weight, and has been touted for its ability to renew energy by elite athletes.
Eating plants protects you, animals and the world.
Don’t fall for the meat industry’s propaganda. Meat consumption isn’t good for anyone–especially the animals who die by the billions every year for unnecessary — and unhealthy — diet choices. By trying plant-based, you can safeguard your own health and save animals. What do you have to lose?
Visit TryVeg.com to get started today. You’re not alone in making the decision to live independently of meat industry myths and come to your own conclusions, and you can take the first step today.