Being vegan means you’ve probably been told at least one of the following (or all three) statements about animals when you’ve stated that you don’t eat meat and don’t intend to. Time to bust these myths once and for all.
- Human beings were designed to eat meat.
- Why did a Higher Power create animals if they weren’t supposed to be eaten?
- Eating animals is natural - our ancestors did it!
Right. Let’s bust these myths, shall we?
- ‘Human beings were designed to eat meat.’
Actually, there’s evidence to the contrary. Animal products are bad for us. While carnivores can eat meat without ending up with hardened arteries, human beings cannot, which puts us at risk of health conditions such as strokes and heart disease. Even our intestines don’t fit the bill of meat-eating creatures. While carnivores have short intestinal tracts so that meat is able to pass quicker through their bodies, our intestinal tracts are longer. This is a problem because it takes longer for food to be broken down. Usually foods vegans eat passes through the body quicker than that of meat-eaters, because they tend to eat more fibre.
- 'Why did a Higher Power create animals if they weren't supposed to be eaten?'
There are much better reasons why animals would be on the planet. One of them is that animals all serve a purpose in the greater scheme of things. In the book, ‘Cows Save the Planet’, author Judith Schwartz states that grazing animals have many benefits for the world, such as actually helping to restore land and improve soil quality if they are managed properly. What further thwarts the idea that we are somehow insisted on to eat meat from a religious perspective is that the base of all religions is compassion and kindness. This is not just meant to be shown towards our fellow human beings but also to the animals that are sharing this journey with us.
- 'Eating meat is what our ancestors did so we should do it too!'
Although our ancestors got by on a daily meat diet in order to survive, it wasn’t actually healthy for them. Scientists have found that their bones reveal dietary issues. An example is the skull remains in Kenya that have displayed lesions which are associated with deficiencies in B-vitamins.
*Image: © Coka / Dollar Photo Club