I heard on the news today that McDonald's just launched a new plant-based burger called...yes...the McPlant. Just like the rest of their patties, the ingredients are a closely held company secret. This really makes me wonder about the quality of this supposed "healthier" burger and makes me long for a simpler time of simpler ingredients. A time when a burger was just that. A burger. I love eating meat. I don't know about you, but I find it very enjoyable, satisfying, and nutritious. I tried veganism for a short stint in grad school, but it was difficult to maintain socially and from a health standpoint. Animal products are the richest dietary sources of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. They have been an essential element of the human diet since before we were Homo sapiens. So, why does so much controversy exist around eating animals?
I think the controversy stems from blaming the messengers (animal products) and not the sender (the modern meat industry). The arguments that the plant-based community are making are not wrong. Factory fed meat, poultry, and dairy are both bad for our bodies and the environment. They produce nutrient deficient and hormone-laden animals, grown in the cruelest of environments, all in the name of profits. These should be the real targets of our disdain, not the animals that are pasture-raised, free-ranging, and wild-caught. Next time you are in the grocery store look for better choices for animal products. Look for grass-fed and finished beef, pastured chicken and pork, non-hormone, non-antibiotic choices. Better yet, support your local farmers at the farmer's markets around town (just Google "farmer's markets chattanooga" to get started). Educate yourself on regenerative agriculture (check out the documentary and book Sacred Cow at sacredcow.info). Get into hunting or raise your own animals. And, most importantly, each time you enjoy some animal product, take a moment to be grateful for the life that was given for your sustenance. Let me know what you think. Happy Thanksgiving.