Vegetarianism – disability or vision?

>> Why do we love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows? The new trend in eating – the golden mean – is called flexitarianism

We live in a relatively liberal society. How much and how often one wants to have meat on their plate is an unquestionable right for everyone to decide for themselves. Nevertheless, regardless of what we decide, making informed decisions about a particular issue requires understanding all relevant information. Those who refuse to listen to the arguments of one side or the other harm only their own judgment. In this debate, on one side, we have meat lovers who simply cannot enjoy or satisfy themselves without it. On the other side, we have vegans with their understandable effort to improve the world, as they consume no animal-derived protein or even honey. Let us not judge either side and accept that the majority of Europeans fall ‘in between.’ Now, let’s try to objectively analyze this topic from different perspectives.

Human evolution

By nature, humans are omnivores, and animal protein of any kind has always been a part of their diet, contributing to the development of our brain to its current size. This has helped humanity to reach the top of the food chain. Organism parameters that have proven themselves in the process of evolution are deeply ingrained, and they are not something we can easily discard. So, for those who celebrate meat consumption, please have a seat again. This doesn’t mean that meat was ever the major component of our diet.

In the past, people couldn’t sustain themselves solely through hunting; they had to travel long distances to find prey, and the results were uncertain. People were forced to use all available resources for survival in a given season and location. Therefore, the more significant portion of their diet included roots, stems, fruits, plant seeds, insects and their larvae, small vertebrates, and when they were able to catch bigger prey or come across carrion, they made use of everything – not only meat and organs, but also tendons, marrow, or the brain.

Tarianism Paleo food
What did people eat in prehistoric times?

Prehistoric people primarily consumed food that was readily available. The climate was vastly different from what it is today, and the selection and variety of foods were quite limited.

Eating to extinction

After depleting the available resources, human communities faced the prospect of migration to other territories. Despite the low population density, this was undoubtedly not an easy or secure endeavor. Agriculture improved the situation during the (relatively brief) last part of human history, and the same area could sustain a larger population. However, even then, meat did not play a primary role in the diets of the wider population. This information can be confirmed by historical accounts if we can find any in our local area. The explosion in meat consumption only came with the industrial revolution.

Today, we face a similar problem to our distant ancestors, but on a larger scale and with no easy solution. Migration after resource depletion is not an option – we only have one planet.

Are we eating ourselves to extinction?

Many available data suggest that if humanity doesn’t want to self-destruct in the near future, it needs to adjust its diet to available resources as soon as possible.

It is widely known that plant production is less resource-intensive than animal production, but what do the numbers say?

To produce one kilogram of insect protein, roughly twice the agricultural land (2:1) is required compared to plant protein production. For poultry protein, it’s even higher (3:1). The numbers get worse for pork, which requires nine times the land (9:1), and large-scale beef production is the worst resource waster, with a thirty-two-fold land requirement (32:1)! The ratios for water consumption, environmental pollution, and climate impact are even orders of magnitude worse. In other words, a single steak has the same environmental impact as 32 vegan lunches.

The average meat consumption per person is slowly decreasing (by approximately 1% per year) at present. However, when we consider the absolute numbers and the size of the population explosion, the situation doesn’t look as promising. The growing number of meat consumers on Earth is already straining the planet’s resources. In South America alone, an area equivalent to the size of our republic disappears as a rainforest every two years, becoming fields for growing fodder for livestock. As mentioned in previous articles, we can’t expect any systematic solution to this issue from politicians, and natural economic regulation through food prices isn’t significantly effective yet. Even though feeding a meat consumer places a much higher burden on the planet compared to a vegan, it doesn’t significantly affect one’s wallet. Until the carbon or ecological footprint is significantly reflected in meat prices, there won’t be a dramatic change in the foreseeable future.

Evolution of meat consumption and its impact

The global average meat consumption per person is around 42 kg of meat per year. The average European consumes nearly twice that amount.

Eating to extinction - meat consumption


The ethical and psychological aspects of meat consumption are addressed in an entertaining way by a website called “Carnism. ‘Why do we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows?’ This is a question that is certainly relevant, and you can find some answers here.

Eating to extinction - Carnism
Carnism – the ideology of meat consumption

A person who believes that it is right and desirable to eat the meat of certain types of animals that are considered edible in a particular society is called a carnist. At the same time, they have difficulty consuming so-called “inedible” animals. Often feel aversion to being present during the killing of edible animals.

Eating to extinction

Everyone has their own limit of love for animals and their acceptable level of suffering somewhere else. Thanks to investigative journalism that reveals the true face of factory farming, more and more people are becoming less tolerant of inhumane animal husbandry. Meat is no longer just an inanimate “thing” on the shelf; we are beginning to take an interest in the conditions in which animals live. Even lawmakers can no longer ignore the pressure of public opinion for the improvement of conditions in factory farms.

Unfortunately, whether satisfying or not, short or long, every life will eventually come to an end. To end up on our plate, the farmed animal must first be killed. Nature can be quite cruel in this regard; the “natural” death of most animals is neither quick nor painless, and it involves a long and agonizing dying process due to exhaustion, illness, or a slightly faster death through predation. In this respect, farmed animals have better prospects as laws consider the humaneness of slaughter. Nevertheless, death is still death. The slaughtered animal will not reach adulthood and will experience nothing else in life except satisfying the need for food. Therefore, the zero tolerance of vegans for such exploitation of living beings is understandable.

But what can I do about it?

We will first arm our minds with available information and start thinking about it as this website encourages. After all, if you’ve read this far, you’re on the right track.

There is a growing number of people who voluntarily take responsibility for our future and think more about what they eat, whether for ecological, ethical, or health reasons. This is evidenced by the mentioned fact about the decreasing average meat consumption. And it’s not just about die-hard vegans; an increasingly popular approach is the flexitarian diet, where the consumer doesn’t eat meat regularly but doesn’t completely exclude it from their diet either. Everyone who cares about our future can contribute as they see fit. Even if you don’t intend to reduce animal protein consumption at all, you could consider the vast difference in environmental impact between Argentine beef and local organic meat.

Who is a flexitarian?

The dietary habits of individuals have an impact on the entire planet. Flexitarianism is a compromise between animal and plant-based foods. It has relatively loosely defined characteristics, so you can easily be inspired by it as well.

Who is a Flexitarian

Eating to extinction

How to become a “-tarian”

First, you need to clarify what and why you plan to exclude from your diet. Do you have an environmental issue only, or is there an ethical concern as well? Does the slaughter of living beings bother you, or do you also object to the lifelong use of a chicken as an egg-laying machine or a cow as a milk producer? However, your “-tarian” journey doesn’t start with this decision alone. You must first realize that everything you give up in your diet needs to be replaced with some nutritional equivalent. The idea that you will simply eat everything you used to eat, just without meat, is naive. Doing that will only strain your body and eventually, hunger will force you to capitulate.

You can find an extensive database of opinions and experiences on this topic, for example, on the website of the “Open Your Eyes” association. You don’t have to be a vegan to learn a lot of interesting information there.

Everything About Veganism - How to Replace Meat
Everything about veganism – what to replace meat with?

As is evident from the views of leading world nutrition experts, a well-balanced vegan diet is not only safe but can also help in the prevention or treatment of certain diseases.

Eating to extinction

For illustration, here are some basic supplements. More comprehensive information can be found on the website mentioned above:

Sources of Protein

Legumes – beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas, soy, and soy-based products like tempeh and tofu.

Edible insects – an alternative that is not vegan but is ecologically sustainable.

Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Nuts – hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews.

Plant oils – flaxseed, hemp, olive, rapeseed.

Avocado, olives, edible insects.

Sources of Iodine

Iodized salt – although it contains iodine, it may not cover the daily requirement (overuse of salt is also unhealthy).

Vincentka mineral water – a rich source of iodine, but caution is needed to avoid overconsumption (use only about 20 ml per day).


Vitamin B12

This vitamin is not naturally present in plants, only in animal products. If you want to reduce meat consumption without risking health issues, you must either replace it with dietary supplements or edible insects.

Edible Insects >>

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