There has been a lot in the news recently about meat causing cancer, mainly due to the World Health Organisation (WHO) listing processed meat and likely fresh red meat among the most cancer-causing substances alongside tobacco, arsenic, asbestos and radiation.
- The Telegraph article headed: Bacon, ham and sausages ‘as big a cancer threat as smoking’, WHO to warn
- Independent article headed: Bacon and other processed meats cause cancer, claims WHO report.
- Mail Online article headed: Bacon, burgers and sausages are a cancer risk, say world health chiefs: Processed meats added to list of substances most likely to cause disease alongside cigarettes and asbestos.
To explain a bit more about why it causes cancer, here is an excerpt from the great book Skinny Bastard:
Chapter 4 – Meat: Rotting, Decaying, Decomposing Flesh: “Researchers at the National Cancer Institute found grilled chicken to have high levels of heterocyclic amines (HCA), carcogens that are formed when animal proteins are heated. With 480 nanograms of heterocyclic amines per gram, grilled chicken registered 15 times higher than beef. HCA’s can form from cooking chicken, beef, pork and fish, and whether you’re grilling, frying or broiling. Grilling or broiling over a flame also produces polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), more carcogens. So don’t think cooking dead animals over an open flame makes you the grill-master, it makes you the cancer master.”
When asked by Men’s Fitness why Liam Hemsworth has gone vegan he said: “My own health, and after all the information I gathered about the mistreatment of animals, I couldn’t continue to eat meat. The more I was aware of, the harder and harder it was to do. About six months ago I went and saw a nutritionist to do a blood-diet analysis. He basically told me, based on my blood type and all the other different little tests they do, that red meat was good for me, and I should eat a lot more red meat and various other foods. So I started doing that, and the more red meat I ate, the worse I felt. At the same time, I have a lot of friends who are vegan. [Hunger Games co-star] Woody Harrelson was actually one of the original reasons I became vegan, because he’s been vegan for, I don’t know, 30 years or something. So, with the facts I was gathering, and then just how I was physically feeling, I felt like I had to do something different, so I adopted this vegan-diet lifestyle. It’s been almost five months now. There are no negatives to eating like this. I feel nothing but positive, mentally and physically. I love it. I feel like it also has a kind of a domino effect on the rest of my life.”
You may be thinking, well if meat is bad for us, why we have we been told for so long it’s good for us? Please remember that there was a time when we were told smoking was good for us and opened up our lungs! So often it’s not best to believe everything we are told. It’s good to always learn new information, but always question it and want to know why.
The meat industry has been so successful in keeping a hold over our diet, making us believe meat it is good for us and that it’s the only source of protein, due to their size, money and influence. The meat industry has influenced the dietary guidelines for decades. The size of the meat industry is immense. In the US, according to the USDA, beef alone is a $95 billion a year business and the North-American Meat Institute (NAMI) estimates that in total, the meat industry contributes about $894 billion to the US economy. This size and amount of money involved translates into political influence, as they contribute to political campaigns and fund ‘research’ and then advertise those research findings to programme us into believing their view and never questioning it.
Some great documentaries I recommend watching to learn more about health, environment and ethics include:
- Forks over knives – empowers people to live healthier lives by changing the way the world understands nutrition. Showing that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. Read the IMDb review here.
- Cowspiracy – ground breaking environmental documentary uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. Read the IMDb review here.
- Earthlings – Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, EARTHLINGS chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit. Read the IMDb review here.
However, it’s not looking all bad as change is happening!
- The USDA reports that 400 million fewer animals were slaughtered in 2014 than 2007.
- According to The New York Times, “An estimated 12 percent of millennials say they are ‘faithful vegetarians,’ compared with 4 percent of Gen X’ers and 1 percent of baby boomers.”
- The market for vegan food is growing as more and more shops have vegan options.
- Environmental Awareness is increasing about how extremely inefficient and resource-intensive animal agriculture is.
Hopefully one day another change will come and it will be normal for organic food to just be called food and farmers using chemicals will have to use labels so we know what chemicals are going into our bodies!