We’ve all had these thoughts and who can blame us? The media has a different opinion every single day. I wanted to write this post to try and simplify this debate for you. As I always say, everyone is different, so this is simply an educational post for you to read and then make your own decisions. Personally, I eat meat and dairy in moderation.
These are the guidelines I look for when purchasing meat:
– Grass fed
– Grass finished
– Pasture raised
– Wild caught
– Hormone Free
– Antibiotic Free
I highly recommend staying away from industrialized meat. Let’s stick to red meat for argument’s sake. Cows are meant to roam freely and graze on grass. Today, 99% of cows are fed nutritionally impoverished, & maladaptive (something you didn’t evolve to eat) food in a confinement animal feeding operation. There are no laws against feeding cows genetically modified grains, chicken poop, candy, and even plastic. Yes, you heard that right. Cows are held in dark, crowded rooms for their entire lives and fed food that they are not made to eat. This causes them to be inflamed, stressed, and sick. Therefore, they are dosed with antibiotics regularly. This is obviously a disturbing image.
“Animal wellness and human wellness are one in the same” (Anya Fernald). In these circumstances,the cow is stressed and sick their entire life, cortisol, antibiotics, and nutrient deficient food is pumping through their bodies constantly. Then, you eat that meat. Those hormones and antibiotics are going straight from the cow’s meat into your body and thus causing inflammation.
After all that being said, why not be vegan? Well, there is a small portion of people that may thrive on a vegetarian/vegan diet, but the majority of people don’t. There was research done at the University of Santa Barbara that showed an increased statistical correlation between access to high quality protein in a mom’s diet and the child’s IQ and standardized test scores. Meat is THAT important.
Benefits of eating high quality meat:
– Improved skin tone, skin elasticity, and hair thickness
– Enhanced gut health – collagen in the meat is soothing and allows for the proper absorption of nutrients in food
– High protein, iron, B-12, folate, zinc
– Improved brain function, immune system, and energy
You might ask about the environmental impact that meat has. All of the data out there that concludes meat consumption is causing a huge carbon footprint is from confinement farms, not regenerative sustainable farms. So yes, industrial meat IS bad for the environment but sustainable farms are actually carbon NEGATIVE. Can you imagine?! Grass fed and grass finished is radically different in terms of its environmental impact and is good for the health and regeneration of the soil and ecosystem.
At the end of the day, it is your decision to eat meat. If you do chose to eat meat, choose high quality meat from sustainable farms for the sake of your health and the health of the environment. An easy solution is to purchase a Butcher Box or Thrive Market subscription.
Sources: The Truth About Red Meat, The Skinny Confidential #233 with Anya Fernald