[extropy-chat] what is the upside / advantage of meat ?

Ensel Sharon user at dhp.com
Fri Sep 22 18:38:06 UTC 2006

I have recently been in the process of re-evaluating my diet as relates to
health, longevity, athletic performance and environmental impact.

As a result, I have been cutting out a fair amount of animal products, and
specifically meat (and more specifically, red meat) from my diet.  I
definitely feel healthier, lighter on my feet, more agile, etc., and I
think there are widely accepted benefits to limiting meat consumption,
especially as regards cholesterol, blood pressure, and digestive health.

However, certain thoughts keep nagging me, such as:

- setting aside overconsumption, which leads to obesity and western-style
ailments, increased meat consumption in the developing world has led to
greater average heights, body masses and physical robustness

- throughout history, meat has been more expensive than grain, etc., and
the sorry plight of the poor in history (for instance, the
pre-revolutionary french peasant) was illustrated by a lack of meat in the

- Primitive tribal structures often considered cattle as the primary
measure of personal wealth, with great african chieftans defined by the
thousands of head they owned.

So it would seem that there is something to having meat in your diet - it
would seem that its premium in (relative) price and its stimulative effect
on growth and development are not imaginary.

At the same time, I am reminded of a quote:

"Short term expedients always fail in the long term"[1]

... and clearly meat fails in the long term (in relation to health and
longevity) ... but if that is so, what is its short term expedient ?

My own well being and positive results suggest I will continue to remove
meat, and animal products in general, from my diet, but I'd like to have a
better grasp of what I am giving up, and what, in most basic terms, meat
is good for.  All comments appreciated.

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