About six weeks ago I stopped eating meat (I stopped eating fish over a year ago). There are several reasons why Gülsah and I decided not to eat it anymore. I want to summarize a few of them:
I am feeling great! I am feeling fit, I am sleeping well because I know, at least there are no animals slaughtered for my short-while pleasure of eating and my diet is way better than before! I changed it to a lot of fruits and vegetables. We eat salad with a lot of fresh stuff to almost every meal, at least twice a day.We are trying out a lot of new recipes and it tastes better and better. Am I missing meat? Honestly, I am not.
Around three weeks ago I was feeling exhausted, fatigue and powerless without any apparent reason. I thought most probably my B12 and iron had to be far too low, as I wasn´t really replacing them on a constant basis. Both of them contribute to the oxygen supply in different tissues. I got some supplements and not even 48 hours later I felt fit again. There´s a lot of iron in a lot of stuff (brokkoli,nuts ..) but it is in a different chemical form than the iron in meat and is therefore harder to absorb. You can help your body by drinking a glass of orange juice (vitamin C) to your meal. We also need Vitamin B12, which is in meat but can be replaced by supplements, fortified foods and juices. Carboyhydrates are not difficult to cover and proteins are always consumed more than enough with your normal diet (of course, everyone that lifts knows better here and will take his/her supplements ;-). There are a couple of other nutrients that are really important to us and our well-being, but I´ll write an own post about that.
All in all it really feels good…and right. There´s a lot of people and industries out there trying to tell you how important meat is and how much “life power” a piece of meat contains. The truth is that this is all bullshit. Only marketing strategies to keep the industry running and producing. Only a fast and effective factory will generate a lot of money. And as we all know money drives a lot of people very crazy and makes people forget about all environmental or ethical issues.
Take six minutes of your precious time and watch this video: without saying a single word this film tells a shocking and sad story.. Think about it ..
You’re absolutely right, people in poorer countries don’t have the luxury to consider such a diet. But why? I find it very weird, that meat is often very very cheap, even though it consumes so much food and water during its “production”. The truth is that huge industrial companies export their waste product to countries outside the EU, as it is cheaper than following the EU regulations for waste disposal. This ends up in the completely crazy fact, that this meat – even though it was raised let’s say in Germany, used a lot of food and water AND is exported to let’s say Libya – is cheaper than locally raised meat.
As long as these politics continue nothing will change. A fact is that if all the food and water fed to animals could be used to feed humans and people in poorer countries might have more to eat. But this could only happen by changing the whole existing industry, which will not happen any time soon. Nevertheless I think, it would be a benefit to many people to know that meat isn’t absolutely necessary and to know about all the problems that come with meat production..
You’re surely right that many people wouldn’t understand, but this is one of the reasons why I write this blog – to spread some facts and knowledge 😉
You are an idealist, my dear. It is a good initiative. I know that you do it because you are convinced from all your heart. Keep on going and believe that you can change the world. I got tired trying it.
¨Don´t eat what you love¨
I love beef steak – that’s why I eat it.
Good post, good points but I’m not buying it! If you care about the nature so much, why wouldn’t you leave all your high-tech stuff at home and go live to the woods? Can you imagine how much waste was generated to produce your GoPro, for instance? The electricity in your house? Probably all the people should commit a suicide in order to preserve the Earth and all the living creatures on it. And then an asteroid comes and everything is dead anyway.
You’re right, it is IMPOSSIBLE not to harm the environment in any way and sure, I am guilty too.
BUT – and this is a big but- you can decide how much you want to take part in this game. The is no absolutism, though there are many steps you can take yourself (sure, I had to go live in the woods, if I didn’t want t use electricity at all, but why not stay in the house and use less??)
I think it is the wrong attitude to have, if you think it will be all gone soon anyway because everything is fucked already, and you can’t change anything about it anyway. You can! We can slower the process and even though there will never be as much biodiversity on our planet as there used to be (as long as we are here), we can preserve what we have and not destroy more. Because we DO know better by now, there’s so much research..
The question is: do you have to eat your beloved beef steak three times a week? Or in another way: do I have to get a new phone now or buy the newest gopro or whatever? These questions everyone should consider and answer themselves, and we might make all together a little change 😉
I actually am convinced that man can easily be an eco-supportive organism, check out cradle to cradle and permaculture. nay-sayers are always to be found, just look at what Henry Ford and Thomas Edison had to go through in ridicule, because their ideas seemed way to outlandish, or just imagine explaining the idea of the internet to someone on the street in the 80s, when it was being developed.
way to go, i’ve somehow developed into a vegan in the last few weeks, last time i ate meat was at christmas. i probably can count the times i ate meat that year on one hand and was quite happy to have cut back so much. on the way home from the woods after the christmas meal, a deer jumped in front of the car i was driving and it less than a second it was infront of my car and i broke its neck. i stopped the car, went to the animal and just stared at it, seeing the life leave its eyes. it was an incredibly beautiful young deer and i patted it and started crying. i shivered all over and was under shock.
the next day i ate some left-overs from christmas and even though the meat was really well done, it just tasted like death to me. the more i look at flesh, the more it just grosses me out now, the smell, it’s simply dead matter you are shoving into your body. lately i’ve been eating less and less cheese, it somehow appealed less and less to me. my wife came home with some cheese from our italien grocery and i tried a piece and I was really surprised. two months ago I’d have loved that cheese. now it justed tasted like gone-off milk to me.
basically i’m 95% vegan now and i feel i’m just organically adjusting and letting my taste-buds, my body adapt and appreciate the new diet I am consciously choosing.
are you back in mainz?
thanks for your comment! I can totally feel you .. My decision was triggered by Rox, the dog I took care of in Egypt. As cheesy as it sounds: I looked into his eyes, he looked into mine and I just felt his soul, I could see it! How dare I eat them?
Happy to hear you are doing well with it. Im back in Germany, but living with my girlfriend in Aachen right now, though I come to Mainz regularly to work. Maybe we could meet up, have a good vegan dish and a talk next time?
it is a very touching story. thank you for sharing and for inspiration.
keep on going,
i like eating animals. It’s an arbitrariness of nature to “develop” carnivore. And i decide not to resist her. What i don’t like is massproduction of animals. This is no arbitrariness of nature but arbitariness of capitalists who give a f$$$ on nature. I will keep eating animals cause this one source of our life, one source of our career as the greatest predator on earth. But we have to eat responsibly.
thanks for your comment. We can track back the ecolution of human kind to almost 50 million years. Around 45 million years of this time period we were herbivores, meaning we did not eat meat. It is surely true that meat played a major rule in developing bigger brains and size and to make us the human being we are today. Though we should reanalyze, if under our present circumstances meat is required?
WE, as THE SOCIETY can change it and we all carry the responsibility to do so. To change what we don´t like or at least to try. And YOU as a member can make the first step. So if you say mass production is a bad thing, what about not buying ANYTHING coming from it?
Anyways, I am not attacking you, how could I, I´ve been eating animals almost all my life. What I do is ENCOURAGING people to reconsider the diet and consumer behaviour and to spread facts and knowledge! As you already noticed yourself, knowledge is missing and many people simply don´t know! I see it as my mission to spread it!
If you love your meat so much and your fine with everything, just keep eating it. Maybe you could consider to reduce your consumption? But you can´t say, you didn´t know better and you can´t blame the society or politics or whatever, because it is your decision..
I agree partially, with what you say. If there is something that i consider to be really important to our society, i would also try to convince people. But one could also interprete it as attempted proselytisation. And if i don’t like one thing. It is proselytisation. But in our case it is somewhat justified 😀
The other thing is, that politicans are there to initiate regulations in every thing that affects our society. Thats why i don’t think, it is just ones personal behaviour, but also as a matter of course.
By the way, i don’t eat much meat. Just some bacon sometimes or fish, yummy fish fresh out the can. hmmmm tasty 😛
Es gibt nur ein gutes und ehrliches Argument in unseren Kulturkreisen (in denen wir sämtliche Lebensmittel saison- und regionalübergreifend zur Verfügung haben) Fleisch zu essen und dieses Argument heißt Egozentrismus. Die Wollust, die nur die eigenen Verlangen befriedigt, übersteigert die Sicht auf die Umwelt, auf andere Lebewesen und verhindert auch damit die Auseinandersetzung mit Alternativen. Ausgenommen alte Menschen: dort heißt das Argument Gewohnheit. Alte Mensch sind den Braten oder den Fisch an einem Freitagmittag gewöhnt und sich zu entwöhnen kostet Energie. Die Energie haben alte Menschen oft nicht, deshalb sei es ihnen gegönnt. Zudem haben sie oft in der Nachkriegszeit Hungersnot erlitten und für sie ist Fleischkonsum Genuß, welcher dem Fleischkonsum auch nochmal eine andere Note gibt.
Ob man jetzt anderen Menschen eine Portion Egozentrismus zugesteht, muss jeder für sich selbst entscheiden.. Immerhin kann man nicht jedes Problem zu seinem eigenen machen und Egozentrismus wird in solchen Situationen zu einem bewährten Schutzmechanismus..
first things up-front: great blog article! I really appreciate your effort in showing up the benefits of a vegeterian/vegan diet, and the effects that the meat industry has on our ecosystem. My brother who has been a vegan for almost 3 years now has tried to convince me multiple times with exactly these arguments. And I have to say they are mostly plausible and comprehensible. Unfortunately, there are many people who either haven’t got the time or money to retain the “perfect” meatless diet and thus have to resort to these so-called “vegan vitamins” in order to upkeep their health. Actually, I wouldn’t know if I would have to take pills to maintain my iron level, etc. as I have never tried or considered going full veggie. I respect the effort a lot of people take to make a difference.
However, the only possibility to change the global drawbacks that are related to the meat industry is, if the majority of the 7 billion people inhabiting spaceship earth (or rather the few of them in first world and emerging countries, who pay their duce to the slaughterhouses) take a step back and reconsider their meaty diets. Without a supreme majority of herbivorous people the situation will not take a turn for the better, but maybe even for the worse. Due to less consumption (but not so little that it would drastically change something) we will may experience a rise in meat dumping as the products that already have and still are produced have to be put on the market.
In my opinion it makes a lot of sense to become (and I hate this word) a flexitarian if you do not want to give up eating meat. I for myself cannot say that I always pick the most ecofriendly meat when shopping, but I try as often as possible to avoid discount deals on meat offered by questionable brands. Moreover, I try to only eat meat once in 2-3 days (also a slice of ham on a sandwich counts!). This reduces “craving” for meat and fosters a healthier diet, too. After all, if I eat meat then I want to enjoy it; and nothing is more enjoyable than a steak or some after a few days of meaty abstinence.
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Tom Vierus is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, and marine biologist based in Suva, Fiji Islands. This blog is dedicated to his assignments and to sharing some behind-the-scenes footage.
Tom, exactly in Germany you can find sooo many people who are vegetarians or vegans. Have a walk around my district next time and you will find many shops for these people. In poorer countries (even in the EU) I don’t think that someone really comes to the idea about this (or very few). People are too busy to survive (literally).
Your message is not for the people who go to the shop and buy the cheapest stuff. They will not understand you anyway.
Thanks for this post! 🙂