TO EAT MEAT OR NOT TO EAT MEAT?

I am ruined. I watched a documentary on Netflix that ruined my life. It is called, “What the Health”. To summarise, it basically condemns eating all animal related products – meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, everything. How am I supposed to live?

According to the documentary, meat, chicken, fish and all animal-related products mostly contain antibiotics and other stuff that are detrimental to our health. They say, just by avoiding meat, a lot of health diseases like heart disease, arthritis and diabetes could be cured. Wow!

They even had patients who stopped eating animal products and got healed (in just two weeks!) to proof it.

After watching the documentary, my mind was messed up. I started seeing everything meat as evil. I even went into my fridge and threw out my leftover soya which I had planned to use in making some West African style shawarma. Now that the effect of the documentary is no longer as heavy, I WANT IT BACK.

But seriously, it scared me from meat. I almost declined buying ground beef to make meatballs requested by my girls. And even when I went shopping, I was reading labels like crazy, making sure to buy the ones that read, “NO ADDED ANTIBIOTICS, NO GROWTH HORMONES, RESPONSIBLY RAISED, OUR FARMERS PLEDGE TO GROW PRODUCTS RESPONSIBLY, bla bla bla”.

But how can you be sure that what is written on the packs are true? According to the documentary, animal products are a huge problem no matter how the animals are grown. And they insist that our bodies don’t need them, And that we can thrive on plant-based diets.

Now, I don’t think this applies to some of our African countries in which we still have “Nganakohs” (herdsmen) chasing cows to go eat natural grass. I believe the meat and milk that comes from those cows is pure and unadulterated.

But in the western world, most meat is not natural due to all sorts of things (antibiotics, hormones, etc) that are fed to animals which we humans in turn consume secondarily when we eat meat, sausage, bacon, milk, cheese and all. All these statistics make me want to become a vegetarian ya. But it’s not something I ever dreamed I would even consider. I mean, what will happen to all recipes including meat, fish, chicken or eggs?

Then with my Christian mind, I started wondering if God wanted us to eat only plants. Because when he made Adam and Eve, he put them in the garden of Eden to eat from it and to live.

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden,” Genesis 2:16 (ESV)

So eating only plants was God’s initial command to man. But again, after the flood, God told Noah he could eat every living creature.

All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power. I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables.” Genesis 9:2-3 (NLT)

Also, Abraham served God meat oo – that’s when he had 3 celestial visitors. He served them a “tender and choice calf” prepared by His servant. And God didn’t say no!

We also see in the Bible how God told Peter to kill and eat.

“Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” Acts 10:13 (NLT)

So according to scripture, meat is permitted. But I have seen people (on TV, no real life examples yet) thrive on plant-based diets and I’m wondering if it’s a route to follow. Maybe I will try it for 30 days or something and see how it goes.

The documentary seriously got me thinking; to eat meat or not to eat meat? They claim that all nutrients we get from animals can be gotten from plants as well. I’m an advocate for moderation but the experts in the documentary say even moderation is not safe because you can’t measure it.

What are your views? Have you watched this documentary or any other one advocating for veganism? Would you readily give up all meat for a plant-based diet? Please share below and I totally recommend you check out the documentary, ‘What the Health” on Netflix when you can. And if you do, please let me know what you think about it.

By the way, today is Monday and the hashtag #MeatlessMonday always trends on Instagram. Off to check out out all the meatless recipes!

Have a beautiful week, my friends.pre-signature-pro

29 Comments

  1. Hmmm! It is a very serious something oh hahaha. How can i “unread” this? Certainly not for me sha. Shebi all of us will die someday of one thing or the other, ni? Okay. Let me coman be going. Meshi; next! Lol

  2. Chai! Precious! You are talking about some of my internal struggles. I watched Cowspiracy, another strongly vegan leaning documentary and it gave me all the mix of emotions. I try to buy organic meats if I must buy from the grocery store, but I mostly try to get my meat products from a farm close to my house where I see how the animals raised. It is definitely more expensive, but I approach meat like how I did when I was growing up in Nigeria, like a luxury. I try to eat animal products infrequently, and my husband and I are going to test out vegan for a week very soon. I totally understand the struggle though!

    • I have a farm by my house which I only recently visited to purchase eggs. They sell meat and all. I should frequent it often. Thanks for that tip!
      Approaching eating meat as a luxury also really helps. Now that you have told me about Cowspiracy, I want to watch it. There’s another one called, “Forks over Knives”. I will sit down and watch when I have the time. The struggle is real. Lol

      • I watched What the Health… sigh! As a trained statistician, one thing I will point out is that the research and studies that they were referring to a lot talked about correlation between meat and some of these sicknesses. Correlation does not always equal causation! That being said, I am going to limit our meat consumption even more! Chai! I need to now think about how to break this news to my husband…

        • Wow! Thanks for pointing that out, Lois.Correlation doesn’t always equal causation. Word! I think the health problems in the Western world are far beyond meat and fish. I’m all for limiting, dear. Hope hubby gets on the same page with you.

  3. Lol at cowspiracy. I can’t laugh oh. You know how a serious post is unintentionally funny.
    The Lord is our strength jare. I like that your “Christian mind” analogy. Very valid points and I am going to note them. The truth is whether meat or fish everything should be done in moderation anyway.
    P. s Let me quickly go and eat meat before Precious plants thoughts in my head.

    • Haha just from the name, Cowspiracy you can only begin to imagine what the documentary would be like. I too believe in meat and fish in moderation then lots and lots of vegetables.
      Lol at let me quickly go and eat meat. Enjoy your meal o.

  4. Perpetua Sirri Nkwenti

    I have visited your blog a couple of times and never commented on a post until this one. I am from Cameroon and live in Minnesota
    I graduated from Culinary school and will enrol in the U of M next fall in Food Science Program. I stopped eating meat and poultry three months ago and my family thought I was crazy. I stopped drinking cow milk and use almond milk instead . Salmon is my downfall so I try to eat it once or twice a month . I don’t eat tilapia I do use mackerel from the can since that is mostly wild caught. I love the change .
    In our community when people hear that meat and chicken are bad for you they look at you as if you have two heads. Now I don’t want to deprive my family from eating the things I don’t like but I can certainly limit the quantity and quality of what they eat . We live in a country were we have a lot of options, wealth of knowledge and choices. You can do it. I love healthy options. Sorry I got carried away but I am very passionate about this post. I grow my own garden and have my own compose. All these are very easy to do .

    • Hi Perpetua, I love you already! I tried growing a garden this year but I failed woefully. I’ll definitely try again. You are right when you say we live in a country with a lot of choices. It’s up to us to make the right choices. I also love how you do not deprive your family of what they want but instill some discipline. Thanks for sharing, dear. And all the best with your Food Science program this fall!
      And oh don’t be sorry – I love long comments! (:

  5. That documentary seems to have converted many people. I think that bible wise it’s very okay to eat met. It’s just that the kind of meat and animal products we see these days are so often filled with artificial stuff. I think it’s best to cut down, but I don’t think I can do with it completely. Let’s see.

    http://www.KacheeTee.com

    • I know right. It’s amazing how powerful knowledge this. Since I watched that documentary, I have looked at meat differently. I’m all for greatly cutting down on meat and only purchasing the best no matter how expensive they may be.

  6. Lily H Chi

    Hi Precious,
    I have been in both worlds. Circa 2013 during field research in India where I stopped eating meat and then back in Cameroon in 2014 where meat eating resumed with high gear but recently shifted to quasi-veganism (read meat-eating with moderation). My influence innocently started with me trying to be culturally respectful of the Indians that hosted me but quickly moved to militant veganism I read on the web.

    In all , there is no way I can give up meat altogether because I need meat-based nutrients which other plant-based products cannot provide but I don’t do minced meat and its cousins. It evokes strange thoughts in my mind.

    I hear you on the processed meat issue. Detested the meat I saw in student supermarkets while in the UK. It just did not look real. So I dry beef most of the time and travel with to be on the safe side.

    Hope you find what works for you after the documentary effect wears off 🙂

    • Hi Lily,
      Thanks for sharing your experience. That’s interesting – about the Indians I hear cows are worshiped in some parts of India. Could this be what you are referring to?
      What you said about minced meat is so true. I’m hardly sure of what’s in there. You just motivated me to grind my own meat.
      I don’t think I’ll give up meat all totally. But when planning meals I try to think of the plants we can eat first before the animal proteins. Thank you, dear.

  7. Hello Precious, this is really a tough one and I have gone back and forth with the decision to not eat meat many times. I have a day job in environment and sustainability so I have been exposed to some of the hazards of meat production. These days you can’t even trust the food labels so it all boils down to personal choice or preference. Apart from the cost involved, I have tried the vegan lifestyle by eating some of their dishes and they are really good. But I am still eating meat for now…

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    • Hi Jamila, are you saying veganism is expensive? I thought it could be cheaper because veggies are really cheap. But these days, there are all sorts of ‘vegan products’ out there and they don’t come cheap. I agree that we can’t even trust food labels. God help us.

  8. Honestly, this has come to mind as a struggle because lately my hubby showed me a documentary. I don’t know the title but it hit me hard. Then I also thought of animal cruelty just to have meat. Eggs are my kryptonite. But I am beginning to think being a vegan has great benefits. It will be a struggle now cos my kids are little and they want their eggs and meat et al but I’m hoping in the nearest future I could be a complete vegan. Let’s be honest, haven’t we all eaten enough meat from one year old till now that can last a lifetime? What is there to eat again? It would be hard to change, I know. I pictured a nice grilled suya and steak as I type this but I’m tired oh.
    http://www.bubusboulevard.com

    • Hahahah Bubu, that picture of suya! If we ate the meat in Africa while growing up I think it was much better than the mostly adulterated meat in the Western world.
      I always feel like I NEED eggs for baking and all. Vegans substitute eggs with the liquid from canned chick peas called aquafaba. I just don’t buy that idea. I see fresh eggs as better than something from the can.
      I think there’s a way around this. Eat more plants, eat meat occasionally. At least it’s a good starting point.

  9. I’ve watched all of those videos and like you I will clear out my fridge, or stop eating meat for a while, but always went back. Anyways, watch this video https://youtu.be/bd5bmcd90HI

  10. I think chiuceslike this are relative and that everything should be to moderation. I don’t really like meat, I’m more of a fish and sea food person, but I was asked to drop fish and sea food due to its high mercury content since I’m anaemic and eat more of red meat. Anemia nearly cost me my pregnancy and I was downing meat like no man business. So just like the bible instructs us, moderation in all things. Lovely post and quite interesting

  11. I read mine in a book about how meat is not good for human consumption. Since then I have been thinking of being a vegetarian, but the prob is I’m in Nigeria, I don’t know what a vegetarian in Nigeria would eat. Any suggestion Precious.

    • Hi John, it is hard to suggest because most of our meals begin with meat/fish. However, my two favourite vegetarian meals are bean stew and mushroom stir fry. I eat them with rice, plantains, etc. I’m still looking out for more West African style vegetarian meal ideas. Hope you find more ideas!

  12. Ah! Precious, don’t let them mess with you. I especially love meat, if I stop eating meat what will I eat? I don’t condemn vegetarians but I just can’t help but eat meat. I love my chicken, goat meat, cow meat. You should not allow them mess with your mind. Cheers to eating meat!!! Please give my love to your girls, thank you.

  13. Hello Precious. You know, it’s funny because I was actually logging on to ask you about some plant based, meat less, oil free African recipes. I also watched something on Netflix – forks over Knives which made me actually switch to predominantly plant based. So far, it’s not that bad but Im getting tired of beans as my major protein source. I’ve been doing this for about 2months and have lost some weight which is a pleasant side effect. How do I eat eru, ndole, sese plantain, okra soup, and all the other delicious meals without meat, or oil? Its hard to eat out, and I don’t know any vegan Africans, not to talk of cameroonians. I’m just experimenting still and don’t want to label myself. I had some fish tonight – sure was delicious. I’m thinking it will suit me better to add at least fish in my diet. My parents have a family history of heart disease. While I am still young and healthy, I’m looking to live to 120. 😀 So in conclusion, I think I will do well with majority plant based, but still eat some fish. So…any recipes or ideas on the line will be awesome.

    • Hi Beryl, I will definitely work on bringing more vegan African recipes to the blog. I have been eating a lot of beans too.
      I have the same question about eru, ndole and other traditional meals. The only meaty alternative I know that could suit them is mushrooms. Maybe you could try that too in addition to the beans.

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