The consumption of meat by human beings has existed for as long as we can remember, presumably from the evolution of man. When you tune in to a cooking channel like Food Network, meat culinary recipes are so many that deciding to choose any one of them will prove cumbersome. These mouth-watering, delectable and savoury meat dishes vary with each other from all around the globe. Different ethnic cultures have their methods of preparing such dishes with spices from barbeques to smoking meat among others.
Meat consumption varies from poultry, pork, seafood to red meat. Nearly all-year-round festivities require these types of meat, especially the Thanksgiving celebration that showcases turkey meat as the crown jewel of the occasion. Statistics have shown that pork is the most widely consumed meat product in the world with over 36% consumption above all others. This is because pork products include ham, gammon, sausages, bacon and smoked pork, however, we cannot neglect that poultry and beef come in second and third places respectively.
Even though we have these statistics, we must bear in mind that not every single person in the world consumes meat. There has been a rise in the number of vegetarians and vegans, most of whom protest and claim that meat consumption is a form of animal cruelty and this leads us to this question if meat consumption is really awful.
We cannot deny that eating meat is awesome, especially during festivities but do we ever think of the repercussions? Scientists have proved that meat consumption is a contributing factor to mass extinction. There have been cases of overfishing has caused a large depletion of the endangered fish species such as bass and haddock. There are awareness groups and campaigns that have begun to show how we as human beings are slowly killing our world without even realising it.
It is utterly sad to see how animal biodiversity has largely increased in the past few years. Biodiversity simply means having a variety of animal species from across the world. Animals such as monkeys and bats are being eaten to extinction and people don’t give a care in the world. It is about time that people perceive eating wild species, especially in Asian countries is wrong. It will lead to a total depletion of those species or worse contract animal diseases like the COVID-19 coronaviruses.
When we focus more on rearing animals for consumption rather than caring about the environment, there will be a huge deficit in lands. We have seen how forests are being cut down to allow room for breeding animals such as cows and pigs. Moreover, the dumping of untreated animal wastes into rivers and lakes pollutes these water bodies. This, in turn, affects aqua life in these places, therefore, contributing to the decrease in water bodies. Animals like cows, goats and sheep consume tons of vegetation and gallons of water. Cases of overgrazing then rise due to such hence rendering the lands infertile and useless.
Statistics have shown how rearing animals for consumptions had contributed to 85% of soil erosion. When people clear forests for cattle ranching and planting crops to feed these animals, they do not understand the harm it does to the environment. Without trees, we would experience excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, reduced amount of water, unclean air, more UV rays exposure and less food and fruits.
The production of fertilizers and pesticides to support the growth of crops for animals has led to an increase in air pollution quantities. When gases such as nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane gases are released into the air, it leads to the greenhouse effect that is slowly destroying the ozone layer of the atmosphere.
In light of all these repercussions, various governments from all around the world must consider imposing stronger and better regulations. This will help curb the environmental impacts that arise from the consumption of various types of meat.
Consuming meat is not bad, but we must not forget that too much meat consumption is bad for our health. The chances of contracting cancer, heart diseases and obesity should not be taken lightly. We must be disciplined enough to take care of our health because no one else will do it for us.