Animal Meat Alternatives
Tagged with animal meat, animals, plants on February 1, 2024
The consumption of animal meat isn’t sustainable at the current population growth rate of the world. Sure, most of the human race can live on it for some time to come, but for how long? As the population increases, the amount of grazing land decreases.
The way some animals are now being raised is less humane and more antiseptic than ever, especially for animals being widely consumed. I’m mentioning some of those today.
Pork is the culinary name for pig flesh, even when the pig is called a hog or swine. Despite religious restrictions, pork is consumed more than any other animal meat in the world. Uncooked or undercooked pork is dangerous to consume because it can carry parasites as well as bacteria. I tend to avoid pork unless it’s supplied in a manner I trust. Even though I enjoy bacon, I tend to avoid it because it’s expensive.
Beef is the culinary name for meat from cattle. Some cattle are raised for meat production, while others are raised for milk production. Some people substitute the meat from other bovines (like water buffalo in the Philippines) in developing countries where beef is prohibitively expensive. I’m not overly fond of steak, and I eat more ground and corned beef than anything else made of beef. I haven’t had veal in over 40 years.
Poultry are domesticated birds raised for their meat, their eggs, their feathers, or all of these things. The most common for consumption are chickens, turkeys, and quail. Quail eggs are widely consumed in the Philippines. I eat far more chicken than any other animal meat, and only because it seems to be less expensive than the rest.
Fish is another widely consumed animal, especially in the Far East. I don’t eat a lot of fish because I don’t like picking out the bones. Fish doesn’t include other seafood, such as crustaceans and tentacled sea creatures. I can eat clams, oysters, shrimp, and squid, but I’m okay without them.
Although I’m sure I’ve had lamb at one point in my life, I’m equally sure I haven’t had mutton. I’ve had the opportunity to eat goat meat, but the way it was prepared sent me in the other direction. I’ve had venison, but only because my wife once let me think I was eating steak and onions.
There are a lot of other animals I won’t mention because I’m not familiar with them, and they’re not commonly consumed (as far as I know). Some animals shouldn’t be eaten at all, for various reasons. I’m talking mostly about members of the canine, equine, and feline families.
Alternatives to Animal Meat
If you follow national news, where it’s been mentioned at least a dozen times, you’ve heard about lab-grown animal meat. I don’t consider it a sustainable alternative, even if it’s viable. Never mind the ethical or religious implications.
A plant-based alternative is much more sustainable, without any ethical or religious implications. Companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are producing products that look and taste like animal meat. I once ordered an “Impossible Whopper” from Burger King. While it tasted okay, I disliked the fact that it cost the same as the original Whopper. If they really want to sell more of them, they need to make them less expensive.
I’ve had plant-based drinks with the dairy milk replaced, and I actually liked them better than the same drinks made with dairy milk. With the rising cost of animal meat as well as animal byproducts, plant-based alternatives should always be considered. Although I don’t want to be a vegetarian, I don’t have a problem with consuming more plants than animals, especially when it costs less.
Lately, I’ve been consuming more barley grass than any other plant and far more than any animal product. It helps keep my hypertension in check, with the side benefit of helping me lose weight without trying to lose weight.
Image by Dllu, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons← Previous ArticleNext Article →