The vast majority of medical specialists agree that animal proteins are essential for human systems to develop and function properly. Apart from that, consumerist-driven model of life forces the mankind to leave some of the most topical and serious environmental problems out of account. On the one hand, commodification of labor, land, and natural resources, urbanization, industrial revolution, and globalization have contributed to the processes of human alienation from nature. On the other hand, as the natural resources are continuing to be depleted, mankind is beginning to realize how heavily it depends on nature and how drastically the it has already changed the vision and the image of the entire world. Meanwhile, nutritional patterns vary across the cultures. With regard to this, many cultures of the world agree that person is what they eat. As cynical as it may sound, food influences the mood, general physical and mental state of a human being. Apart from that, dietary regime is an integral part of people’s lifestyle, and at some point the researchers admit that there is a link between the vision, conception of human body, and the dietary regime itself. All things considered, mankind’s model of the consumption of meat is in the need of re-consideration. Nutritional patterns of the vast majority of the Western civilizations are characterized by high intakes of fairy products, eggs, and meat (Westhoek et al., 2011).
Apparently, that kind of a dietary regime (that is to say, protein-based diet in which the proteins are obtained mostly from animals) is not good for it implies that saturated fats and red meat are being consumed in the amounts that exceed the recommended ones (Westhoek et al., 2011). As the world’s population is continuing to grow, the problems of overpopulation, space, and living arrangements start to assert themselves increasingly frequently.
In addition to that, the consumption of meat is negatively associated with such environmental problems as deforestation, depopulation of flora and fauna, and even climate change. With regard to this, the chain of causality is as follows. Livestock production associated with the consumption of meat requires more territories to be transformed into farming lands (Westhoek et al., 2011). Most of the fertilizers that are used these days to improve the quality and increase the quantity of crops are nitrogen-containing compounds. Use of nitrogen-containing compounds leads to soil pollution and worsens the negative aftermaths of the greenhouse effect (Westhoek et al., 2011). Therefore, meet consumption is associated with not a small amount of environmental and technological implications.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in one of its reports made a statement that “beef production results in considerable damage to the environment” (Troy & Kerry, 2010). Furthermore, according to the FAO, the demand for animal products is expected to nearly double by the beginning of the 2050s (Troy & Kerry, 2010, p. 222). The FAO specialists are inclined to think that there is a connection between the increase in the production and consumption of meat and the environment, namely climate change (Troy & Kerry, 2010). It has been estimated that the agricultural sector in general accounts for approximately 22% of all greenhouse gases emitted annually (Troy & Kerry, 2010, p. 222). Livestock production makes up nearly 80% of the greenhouse gases emitted in the agricultural sector (Troy & Kerry, 2010, p. 222). Apparently, information about the link between the production of meet and the environmental pollutions has to be in public access. Assuming the statements presented in this paragraph are correct, consumption of meat is an environmental problem.
Besides, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is of the most typical conditions associated with the overconsumption of meat (McAfee et al., 2010). Anemia, on the other hand, is a condition assumed to be caused by iron deficiency, which, in its turn, is one of the aftermaths of abstaining from meat. Depending on its qualities and how it is cooked, meat may contain fats, saturated fats, and trans fatty acids (McAfee et al., 2010). Medical specialists list the aforementioned substances among the causes of CVD. Iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) is the specific condition associated with malnutrition and/or withdrawal from animal proteins, namely red meat and dairy products (McAfee et al., 2010). However, there are still many plant products that can hold the blood iron level in check. Evidently, consuming too much meat can cause even more serious problems that abstaining from animal proteins. Clearly, consuming meat is an important medical question.
Lastly, whether or not one chooses to eat meat is an ethical matter. Many religious and philosophical tenets and practices are compatible with the idea of abstaining from meat in particular. Hence, if a person follows the religion which involves vegetarianism, they must comply with this aspect as well. Although it may seem hard at the first stages, it is necessary to remember that there is a principal difference between the praxes of vegetarianism and veganism (Ruby, 2012). Vegetarianism is a broader concept in itself. It may imply that person abstains from meat, occasionally eats fish, poultry, or red meat (Ruby, 2012). In this respect, veganism is a stricter and more specific notion. It presupposes that one abstains from all sorts of animal products, including dairy products and honey. Building on that, veganism requires a sensible diet in order to support all bodily functions, whereas general vegetarianism practices are easier to adopt.
Taking all the aforementioned facts into account, one may arrive at the following conclusions. Consuming meat is an important medical, environmental, technological, scientific, and ethical question. Production of livestock has had some considerable negative effects on the environment, namely, the climatic situation. Production and consumption of meat is a scientific and technological problem as the new methods of the production of livestock and treatment of meat are being elaborated and implemented. Consumption of meat, as well as abstaining from it, is a serious medical problem for in medical field there is still no unambiguous approach as to whether meat is good or bad for human organism. In the age of human alienation from nature, poaching, and cruel treatment of animals abstaining from meat can be viewed as an adequate response to aforementioned trends. Thus, abstaining from meat, as well as its consumption, proves to be an important ethical question itself. All things considered, people should strive for abstaining from meat or at least try to reduce the amount of the particular commodity being consumed.