What the health?!
An appropriate question raised by Kip Anderson, the director of the critically acclaimed and mostly from the media ignored 2014 documentary ‘Cowspiracy’. In his 2014 documentary, Kip dealt with the environmental impact of our current food system. After his research, he named the meat and dairy agriculture and diet as the main destructive factors. ‘In what the health’, Kip now takes a look at the destructive consequences this animal-based lifestyle has on our own bodies.
Chapter 2: Why do people say meat is unhealthy?
‘When we eat these kind of dead-meat bacteria-toxins, within minutes, you get this burst of inflammation within your system. Such that you basically paralyze your arteries. You get this stiffening of the arteries, their inability to relax normally,’ Dr. Michael Greger states in the 2017 documentary ‘What the health’.
This statements sounds so harshly different from the usual health advice repeated to all of us at every opportunity: Eat a little bit of everything, but all in moderation. But is that really the truth? Well, true is that if you watch most documentaries concerning diet, they end up giving us the same advice as above: Eat mostly vegetables with a side of some kind of meat. So, it is certainly surprising hearing Dr. Greger claim something so vastly different. We are not dealing with unhealthy eating habits that will cause some damage decades down the road. No, we are talking about damages right then when we are eating, within minutes.
Let’s have a look at the topic of dioxin exposure when eating meat first then. Roughly 93% of your average dioxin exposure in humans is caused by animal products. 14 years of breathing the exhaust of cars is comparable to one single cow eating grass in one single day. Men don’t have any ways to get rid of their dioxin within their bodies while women have two ways: giving birth and breast feeding. It stands to question whether these two ways of getting rid of dioxin in your body are even desirable.
Another point often not deeply enough covered enough is the administration of drugs to live stocks. The Center for Food Safety in America states that at least 450 drugs are legal to be administered to animals either alone or in combination. However, very few of them are beneficial to consumer health. Sadly, drug companies don’t have our best interests in mind when they sell their drugs to be used on animals, such as cows, pigs, and chicken. As a matter of fact, the US pharmaceutical industry is selling 80% percent of their antibiotics to animal agriculture. To put this into perspective, antibiotics, antimicrobials, ractopamines (a feed additive to promote leanness in animals raised for their meat), and hormones are found in our meat. Ironically, only the impact of these drugs on the animals is studied, not the impact on humans who eat these drugged-up animals. Aren’t we also to some level what we eat?
The figurative cherry on top of this drug-infused cake is that information on the impact on humans and the environment are handled as company secrets and get blackened-out in reports. The public is supposed to stay in the dark about the risks to their health and planet.
I want to end this blog this week with leaving you some thoughts to ponder. The food you eat determines the bacteria in your gut. So, if you eat a lot of vegetables, you will have many gut bacteria which can metabolize plant macro- and micro-nutrients, and the same obviously goes for meat and meat-metabolizing bacteria. Your gut truly is a cosmos of living organisms which are essential for your digestion and well-being. Unfortunately though, the carnitine found in animal flesh is metabolized to trimethylaminoxid which drives cholesterol into the artery walls and leads to plaque building, and ultimately to cardiovascular diseases.