Certain physical aspects of humanity have suggested that we are not cut out to eat meat on a regular basis. For starters we lack canines sharp enough to tear meat as a carnivore should. However, we do possess molar teeth which, like many herbivores, are accustomed to grinding down plant-based food such as vegetables and grains. Furthermore, the long digestive tract humans have are most like that of herbivores. Carnivores utilize short digestive tracts to extract the dense nutrients within meat easily. Long digestive tracts, however, are specifically adapted in herbivores to extract cellulose from green plants, which brings us to the question, if humans were not originally adapted for a plant-based diet, why were their bodies built in such a way.

The detrimental effects of too much red meat in a human’s diet can be significant, causing cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure and increased risk of bowel cancer. The NHS state there is “a link between red and processed meat and bowel cancer.” In any other carnivorous species, however, this is not the case due to their totally different digestive systems and eating schedule which their bodies are adapted for. However, carnivorous animals can live off meat, so there is certainly nutritional value to it. Red meat is a good source of iron along with other meat sources being high in protein, minerals and vitamins. The obvious fact is that, although more must be eaten, plant-based food can provide the exact same nutrients as meat without the excess risk of cancer and heart disease.

Furthermore, the excess downside of high meat consumption encouraged by capitalism is the exploitation of animals and the environment for the benefit of human satisfaction. The unethical procedures used to obtain meat for small prices has created an idea that meat is cheaper than eating plant based, a false notion. Behind the high rate of beef consumption, cows are pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones to increase their size and profit, which not only impacts the health of humans but results in a torturous life for the cows who are subjected to poor living conditions and treatment. The product of their existence is an increase in greenhouse gases (livestock make up 14.5% of greenhouse gas increase,) which contributes to climate change. As empathetic beings whose physical biology encourages us to find small animals cute, there’s a definite sense of compassion humans are capable of in comparison to other animals that sets us apart and therefore should our eating habits.