Meat’s impact on the environment is devastating, approximately equal to emissions from every car, plane, and truck. While meat is not necessarily bad for humans, it does have an impact on the environment, our health, and on animal livestock conditions. Meat is an essential part of the human diet, however, there are a number of areas in which meat consumption and production have become unsustainable. Our health is a key area in which the amount and the type of meat consumed has negative effects.
Meat has become an essential staple of the human diet. It provides crucial proteins such as B vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Meat also provides vitamin E, protein for bones, muscles, skin, and blood. Compared to other sources of nutrition, meat provides the aforementioned nutrients in a more efficient and complete package. However, to fully benefit from the range of vitamins and nutrients meat has to offer, the whole animal must be consumed. Indigenous peoples such as the Inuit, who live in the arctic, derive their sustenance from an all-meat diet. The main issue with meat consumption around the world is that most diets do not include the consumption of the whole animal. Grocery store cuts of meat do not contain the necessary minerals and vitamins, and are instead high in protein and fat. Additionally, processed meats can drastically increase the chance of getting heart diseases. Overindulgence in sodium intake can increase the risk of high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Environmental impacts are just another one of meat’s negative effects. Currently, according to researchers from Oxford 83% of the earth’s available farmland is used to feed livestock. As reported by “The Guardian” the food that we feed to animals is enough to nourish 3 billion people. From “sciencedirect” the reader learns that not only is agriculture dominated by the footprint of the meat industry, so is the world’s supply of freshwater, with 29% of freshwater going to meat production. “The Guardian” shows that meat accounts for almost 60% of all greenhouse gases from food production. However, most people don’t think about the negative effects to the environment when they bite into a delicious burger or eat a juicy steak.
Meat also impacts animal livestock greatly. Every day, 200 million animals are killed around the world to satisfy human demand. Sadly, animals are kept in small enclosures, from birth to death. These farms kill animals as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, their methods have little regard for the creatures in question. Animals are supposedly stunned, making animals unconscious for a painless death. Yet it does not always work. Animals who are improperly stunned suffer a slow and painful death.
In summary, meat has a huge negative impact on humans, the natural environment, and on animals. There are a number of areas in which meat production has become inhumane. Human treatment of animals is horrendous because humans desire the taste of meat. To meet the demand, farm factories rely on mass slaughters. To reduce its negative impact, we can eat less meat and buy from trusted producers.