Eating Meat

The question of whether or not to consume meat is one of the most controversial choices facing thoughtful eaters today. Having considered a variety of nutritional, environmental, ethical, and aesthetic arguments, we’ve both come down on the side of selectively eating meat. Here, we share why, and we touch on some of the factors we think deserve more nuanced consideration.

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Eating Meat — the nutritional, ethical, and environmental questions that choice raises, and how we’ve come to our own answers.

From the vegan-vs.-paleo propaganda to the disconcerting realities of factory farming, we consider both the pros and cons of meat consumption.

We wade into some of the controversies and conundrums that polarize many well-intended eaters, and we shed light on some little-considered factors that we think deserve more attention.

Finally, we offer you some experiments to help you explore on the question of how meat-eating fits into your own life, or doesn’t.

“Eating Meat” Episode Highlights

  • Pilar and Dallas share where meat fits into their eating, and why
  • The quandaries of eating meat in our current food system, and how well-intended eaters can easily get led astray
  • The dangers of orthorexia and other misguided, counterproductive clean-eating obsessions
  • Balancing the environmental, health and ethical concerns of eating meat, while recognizing that there is no perfect or “pure” solution
  • The value of undertaking deeper research and reflection before adopting a major dietary change, and the importance of paying attention to the longer-term effects
  • Considering your individual health profile and priorities in shaping your own eating decisions

Expose yourself to some alternate points of view on the topic of meat-eating, and strive to empathetically consider the factors that are driving others’ decisions. Be open to adjusting your own meat-eating habits based on what you learn. If you’re an omnivore, be willing to acknowledge the reality of factory farming as an unsustainable, inhumane, and unhealthy-for-everyone practice that deserves critical scrutiny and activism. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, consider reviewing the arguments and real-life experiences of former vegans as expressed in books like The Vegetarian Myth, Women, Food and Desire or The Mindful Carnivore.

Do the Whole30. This is a 30-day experiment in eating high-quality whole foods, and for vegetarians, a great exercise in eliminating the processed foods that are too often at the center of meat-free eating. If you’re a vegetarian willing to expand your health experiment to include eating some meat, the Whole30 is a great opportunity to maximize the health improvements that come with focusing on nutrient-dense, satiating, anti-inflammatory food. Be sure to especially focus on the systematic re-introduction of foods, taking note on how they impact your energy, skin, digestion, mood, and general health.

Healthy, Happy Goodness

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