Long ago, I was on the verge of eliminating all meat from my diet, with the exception of the occasional egg. Not only was I completely against the meat industry (which I still am) economically, environmentally, and morally, but I didn’t appreciate how taken-for-granted the process was, considering that if I had to kill an animal in order to have a steak dinner, I couldn’t. Therefore, I didn’t think that I had a “right” to be eating meat.
That being said, I still have strong feelings about the meat industry and that whole process, however I have gained a new perspective. Ever since discovering the Bulletproof Diet, I have slowly acknowledged that meat is a vital part of an omnivore’s diet (that’s us), and that not all meat is created equal.
For the most part, I’ll be talking about beef. Poultry is still something I avoid, because it isn’t nearly as useful in my diet as beef is, and sea food is off-limits for me, as the fishing industry is out of control, and now the Pacific Ocean has large amounts of radioactive material seeping into it (Japan Nuclear Disaster). Enough said about that.
Conventional meat from grain-fed cows is completely different from meat from grass-fed cows. The list outlining the differences is extensive, but essentially:
Grain-fed cows live in unacceptable conditions where, if not for antibiotics, sickness would easily thrive. Many pollutants result from beef farms, thus leading to contamination of the surrounding soils and water. Cows are often fed a diet based on cheap GMO grains that often irritate their digestive system because they are ruminants, designed to digest greens. This affects the meat, believe it or not. Because of this diet (usually soy and corn, which are the most common GMO crops out there today), the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is off-balance. Omega-6’s tend to be higher in grain-fed meat.
Grass-fed cows tend to live in pastures where fresh greens are readily available. There is a lower risk of spreading sickness because they have more room to roam. Because they are able to eat what they are designed to eat, their systems function properly, and they retain the most nutrients from their diet. Healthy cows equal healthy meat. The omega-3 to 6 ratio is more balanced, and there are more nutrients, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties in the fat.
Additionally, the fat in grass-fed meat is better for you, contrary to popular belief. Body by Science by Dr. Doug McGuff outlines the true reasons behind cholesterol and heart disease. In a nut shell, saturated fats (solid at room temp.) like beef fat, butter, Ghee, and Coconut Oil are not the main causes behind heart disease (in fact, they may lower your risk). Many people think that a fat solid at room temperature will clog arteries when ingested, when in actuality, it turns to a liquid inside our bodies. These are healthy fats, packed with countless nutritional properties that cannot be obtained through substituted proteins such as soy.
According to the book, plaq builds up when an area within the artery is agitated or inflamed (for reasons most likely related to poor health). Having more healthy fats in your diet, including fat from grass-fed cows, can lead to a decrease in inflammation in your body. This is important for reasons related to cancer, heart disease, muscle and joint function, etc. (See the article on anti-inflammatories).
All in all, I have compassion for animals, and don’t like to see them slaughtered for my benefit, however, I do believe that some meat should be consumed in order for our bodies to function properly. Consuming meat doesn’t mean that you have to support the conventional meat industry. Speak to local farmers and visit markets. Humanely raised, grass-fed cows are probably closer than you think.
If you are still against eating meat, then I suggest taking supplements like omega-3 and K2 for heart and bone health.
Hopefully this helps!