|“By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet.”
– Thích Nhất Hạnh
(Vietnamese Thiền Buddhist Monk and Peace activist)
Countless studies have been conducted over the past decades to assess the effect of meat consumption on human health. A host of illnesses from heart disease, pancreatic and prostate cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity to high harmful cholesterol, have been linked to meat consumption. The largest study of diet and health concluded that meat consumption is associated with increased risk of dying from cancer, dying from heart disease, and decreased lifespan. The findings were observed despite controlling for other diet and lifestyle factors (smoking, drinking, age, weight etc.). Without a doubt, the consumption of meat is harmful to human health and significantly compromises the immune system.
Major health organisations, such as the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the American Heart Association (AHA), suggest eating more plants and no meat to help to combat serious health concerns. Processed meat has been classified in the same category as causes of cancer such as tobacco, by the World Health Organisation.
Virulent disease outbreak, such as the current global pandemic of Novel COVID-19 has been traced to a meat market in Wuhan, China.Outbreaks of avian flu, swine flu, have first occurred in meat production facilities. The current intensive production practices of egg and meat production gravely impact the preventable burden of disease on the public healthcare systems, that are already not functioning optimally.
Protein, essential for sustenance, can be derived from sources other than eggs and meat. For a stronger immune system in individuals and reducing risks of epidemics or pandemics of the scale we are witnessing, it is advised that a diet free of protein sourced from animals is adopted today and NOW. Tomorrow will be late.