The consumption of animal meat isn’t sustainable. 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 common 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. Beef cattle are raised for meat production, while dairy cattle are raised for milk production. Some people substitute the meat from other bovines (like water buffalo in the Philippines), at least in developing countries where beef is prohibitively expensive. I’m not overly fond of steak, and I eat more ground beef and corned beef than anything else.
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 creatures. There are a lot of other animals I haven’t mentioned, and I really don’t want to spend any time on insects, reptiles, and other creepy crawly creatures.
Unless you don’t 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 chicken eggs, 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.
Image by Dllu, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons