If we look in the history books, it makes perfect sense why humans needed to kill animals for food to survive. Without transportation methods and phone lines and the Internet, humans hunted and gathered, being limited in their food choices. However, the world has come a long way. Foods that are native to certain countries can be shipped around the globe. Humans have created simpler solutions to eating, and the question isn’t “how will I eat?” but “what will I eat?” Plus, if you think about it, humans really aren’t suited to eat meat. We lack those animalistic instincts to hunt and kill with our bare hands. As Dr. Richard Leakey, a renowned anthropologist, said, “You can’t tear flesh by hand, you can’t tear hide by hand. Our anterior teeth are not suited for tearing flesh or hide. We don’t have large canine teeth, and we wouldn’t have been able to deal with food sources that require those large canines.” There, see? So stop making these 5 excuses!
1. Meat is too delicious to give up
Vegan-only restaurants have popped up and caught on fire, trending in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, and other U.S. cities. Don’t think vegan food tastes good? Go take a took at some vegan menus and you’ll see mouth-watering creations that are fresh, healthy, delicious, and extremely satisfying. Come to Manhattan during lunchtime and ask that huge line of people snaking down the sidewalk why they’re willing to stand around for 20 minutes to get organic, vegan noms from the Cinnamon Snail food truck. Are they there because meat tastes too good? Quite the contrary. Try something new. The meal possibilities are endless with plant-based foods, and there are a lot more vegan chefs, recipes, cookbooks, and grocery items now than there were ten years ago.
2. I’m an athlete and need meat for strength
Of course athletes need strength, but who said meat is the only thing we can eat to bulk up? Clearly, the people who make this excuse have never heard of the great vegan athletes who push their body to the limit on plants. Scott Jurek is a fantastic ultramarathoner who is a proud vegetarian. The Washington Times named him one of the top runners of the decade. Ultrarunning Magazine named him Ultra-Runner of the Year — not once, but three times. As stated on his website, “In 2010, he set a new US all-surface record in the 24-Hour Run with 165.7 miles—6.5 marathons in one day—for which he was named USA Today’s Athlete of the Week.” The proof is in the peas; Jurek doesn’t need meat to set marathon records.
3. I would be unhealthy if I stopped eating meat
Yeah, if you decided to gorge on nothing but vegan cookies, chips, and processed foods, then sure, you’d be super unhealthy. Just remember our friend Jurek, who probably couldn’t run so fast and well if his vegan diet was unhealthy. The fact is that eating meat can put you at a higher risk for heart disease and high cholesterol levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, “a National Cancer Institute study of 500,000 people found that those who ate 4 ounces (113 grams) of red meat or more daily were 30 percent more likely to have died of any cause during a 10-year period than were those who consumed less. Sausage, luncheon meats and other processed meats also increased the risk.” Switching out that steak for tofu is definitely healthy.
4. I’m too lazy to care why I shouldn’t eat it
Ignorance isn’t bliss when that ignorance affects the rest of the planet. There are some people who open a package of processed hot dogs and state that they simply don’t care what’s in it. These are the people who never look at ingredients labels and could care less about how their actions affect the rest of us. Despite all the evidence and truth about animal cruelty in the meat industry, they don’t want to learn why they should give it up. They live by the “ignorance is bliss” mentality. However, living in the dark is dangerous in a modern society, so wake up and smell the cruelty and fat in that bacon.
5. I am an ethical meat eater
What’s with all this marketing jargon about free-range, cruelty-free, cage-free, grass-fed, and so on? How can any practice be cruelty-free when the end result is killing the animal for food? Plus, those labels can be misleading and are tricks to make meat-eaters more at peace with the fact that they’re stuffing dead carcass in their face. A marketing label does not necessarily match up with the practices and actions of making that food. A chicken and egg packing plant that labels itself as “cage free” only means that the animals aren’t kept in cages. It does not ensure their welfare and it does not mean they’re clucking happily on lush, green farmland. Sorry to break it to you, but your meat probably did not come from a little old farmer with overalls and a tractor.