Wednesday, 17 March 2010

So what goes into that burger these days?

I believe in making informed decisions - not going with the flow - not just doing things or saying things to try to be shocking with no substance behind my argument and above all I believe in allowing an individual their choice without preaching. Especially when the only thing I can preach with is a lame argument.

Vegetarianism has been frowned on by many - quite often because people don't understand it. I don't believe I have a right to tell someone they can't eat meat - because they can - but do they understand what is really going into it?

There's also the issue that could you kill and cook your own food - if it's OK to eat meat then surely you should be able to? Do you understand the difference between the hunter gatherers diet and going to the local supermarket to buy your meat? There is an argument about the conditions animals are kept in today and there is also an argument for what is put into the animals that are consumed today and some people fail to realise this.

Not everyone can afford to eat organic. Not everyone has a caring bone in their body. BUT I do believe that there are some things people should know about the meat industry of today and the way meat was eaten by our ancestors.

There's a story by Luther Standing Bear, you can probably guess from the name that he was a Native American Indian that lived in 'their times' and also in the times of the 'white man'. The Native American Indians would hunt for the food they required - they would eat well, using the whole animal from everything from food through to clothing through to weapons and homes. Nothing was wasted. Only what they needed was taken and a great respect was held for the animal. Then white man came along and started to slaughter all the buffalo they could and for the first time ever there was suddenly a shortage of buffalo. White man offered the Native American something they called a Spotted Buffalo - you and I might know this as a cow. When they first saw this animal (that had been transported for many hours in cramped conditions and had been reared in cramp conditions), they could not believe the overwhelming stench and were even more shocked when they realised it was coming from the animal that was meant to be a form of food. Luther Standing Bear remembers looking at the Indians with their full heads of hair and health and looked at the white man - they were all bald or balding. It made him think of the bald headed eagle that fed off made him wonder about the quality of the meat that the white man was consuming. In the day of the Native American Indian there was no such thing as anaemia. Most women today suffer from this - quite often without even realising it.

Meat is very fattening. In the day of the hunter gatherer, they would go out on a hunt that meant they had to be physically very fit and getting the food took a lot of energy and burnt up a lot of calories - people didn't carry all the excess weight they do today. The modern world is becoming obese. A lot of this is down to the lack of physical exercise and the diet we have. No hunting, little games and a lot of low grade meat.

I personally think if someone is going to eat meat it is their decision, but they should buy the best quality meat they really can.....and everyone should give a shit about the other things that are on this planet that all contribute to the world in one way or another.

Lets take beef in America - did you realise just how much fresh water is consumed to make that burger? Or how much rain forest is destroyed for grazing land for that burger? You might not care about nature but the rain forest is absolutely fundamental to the ways of the world, you know a little thing called oxygen for a start off. You can't really dispute the effects of meat eating today on the environment when even scientists are asking people to go meat free at least once a week. Many rises in cancer have been linked to the consumption of meat in the modern age - these sorts of things I found very hard to ignore. In fact it seemed ignorant to ignore. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US - not breast cancer - but heart disease caused by blocked arteries - meat is very high in saturated fats which will clog you arteries and cause high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Apparently a low fat plant based diet would cut an individuals risk of heart disease by 85%

Most meat we eat today is full of antibiotics. The animals can be fed dead animals and any disease they have when they are killed for consumption - you will end up digesting. Not only that - humans are starting to become immune to antibiotics because of how much is being given to animals we consume - just think about that for one moment - imagine a world where antibiotics no longer worked. Meat is full of hormones. Excess hormones have been linked to many cancers. We don't need to consume extra hormones - so they do nothing but bad for us - in fact the health issues I have had over the last few years have been heavily linked to the hormones in meat.

There's another fact that interested me - a carnivores intestines are 6 feet long, meat is not meant to sit in your gut as it starts to rot - we have intestines that are 20 feet long it takes 3 days for meat to pass through our system - that's like allowing a steak to sit out in the sun for 3 days and then eating it - you just wouldn't - would you?

Did you know that Einstein was a vegetarian. He's not known for being stupid.

There is then the whole environmental effect that today's meat consumption is having on the environment - for humors sake lets take cows. The poo from them and the fertilisers used today soak into the land which can also reach water tables - which leads to our consumption of such waste. 42% of the fresh water used in the USA is used for agriculture. Apparently it takes 441 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef. It takes 11 times more energy to produce animal protein to grain protein. Cows ruin the top soil of land which takes millions of years to produce and is vital for growing plants - which will feed the cows as well as us. And cow's farts - they produce SO much and it's all bad for the environment.

(Thank you to the Kind Diet for the actual figures). One thing else of interest in this book - there was an American called T Colin Campbell who had grown up on a dairy farm and was doing research into how to make the bigger bestest cows and pigs for us to eat. But the research had some interesting developments. He emerged a strict vegan not just vegetarian but vegan due to his findings.

I could go on but I don't want to go overboard - I think there is enough information here for you to start to do your own research just a little bit.....and then make your own decisions but at least make those decisions based on a bit of research not just following a trend.

Take a look at this argument

I think people are a bit oblivious to the environmental/health and emotional effects the meat industry of today has on us and our planet - at least be informed about what you are doing. Remember: "Teach your children what we have taught ours, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."


  1. hello there! I think you've done a really great job on this post! :) keep up the good work & keep in touch. I always enjoy your blog

    -kendra richardz

  2. Thanks again Kendra that's really kind of you and I'll definitely keep in touch. Hope you are ok.

  3. Hey Alison,

    just got a chance to look into your blog... amazing it just so simple yet informational... i loved reading it ... awesome job gal.. By the way I am Nita .. a new blogger in here.. if you get time please do see this site and let me know if you have any suggestions...

    Coz i am not sure what i am writing but i just write...


  4. Hi Nita,
    Thanks for your really kind words. I have to say - I never have a clue what I am going to write either - I just write things I like or am inspired by or bothered by and hope for the best ☺ I am going to go and have a look at your blog now.
    Thanks again and take care.x