Red Meat Kills

But we knew that. So quit eating it already. I have, pretty much. How much to eat? No more than one or two hamburgers or equivalent per week. No more than one steak per week. And the abominable hot dog? Do not poison your innards with such a beast more often than once every six weeks. I gladly substitute chicken, pork, turkey, or veggie fake meat for all of these things. Chicken, turkey or veggie burgers are great. I think there are even chicken and turkey dogs if you must do the Oscar Meyer thing. I hardly ever eat a steak? Why should I?

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12 thoughts on “Red Meat Kills”

  1. I’ll continue to eat a couple pounds of red meat a week, thanks. We’re all gonna die. How many years do you want to spend in adult diapers? For an anti-natalist, it seems contradictory to be such an anti-fatalist.
    If the government wants to reduce our beef consumption, they should slap a vice tax on it. Until that day comes, I’ll be eating dead mammals while watching lions on Animal Planet do the same.

  2. Racerealist: I don’t particularly care if you pass on early, but if you actually take care of yourself, you have a good chance of living a long, healthy life and dropping dead suddenly and painlessly at an advanced age, the way we were meant to.

  3. Also, you may not get that sudden, cholesterol fueled heart attack. You may get a stroke, and end up dragging one foot along and talking like Arseface from “The Preacher” until the day you die. Just sayin’.

  4. Actually, most of them have. Some well, some not so well. One in particular i’m thinking of is 87 and still doing 50 pushups a day. He got into nutrition and exercise and carrot juice, etc. back in the 30s when people still thought it was crazy. His older brother followed the standard lifestyle and still made it past 80, but more in the way you describe.

  5. Dear Robert
    Americans and Canadians are among the world’s biggest consumers of red meat. If red meat were as detrimental to human health as you claim, North Americans would have considerably shorter lives than the Japanese, who tend to eat little red meat and a lot fish. The actual difference in life expectancy is rather small, and if the comparison were made between white North Americans and the Japanese, the difference would be even smaller.
    There is however a good reason to reduce consumption of red meat: it takes a lot of primary calories to produce one calorie of red meat. North Americans consume about 800 kilos of grain per year. If everybody in the world consumed the same amount, the world would need 6.5 x 0.8 tons = 5.2 billion tons of grain per year. The world’s actual output of grain is about 2 billion tons.
    Needless to say, the reason why the North American consumption of grain is so high is that North Americans consume most of their grain indirectly in the form of meat, dairy and eggs. The high-meat diet of North Americans just can’t be imitated by every earth dweller.
    Regards. James

  6. My father lived 7 years after 80, and I think he was happy to have lived them. He didn’t want to go even at the end and fought for every minute.
    I’ve known some heavy red meat eaters who dropped dead of a heart attack at age 56 or so. You never know when it’s going to hit you. Beef is just not good for you, bottom line. You can eat it a few times a week, but no more often than that. When you really get into eating the beef substitutes, you won’t even know what you are missing. And every now and then I really splurge on the best beef hamburger or steak, and boy is it a reward!
    The stuff takes forever to transit your system, it gives you hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, constipation, polyps and ultimately colon cancer. I have the first three of those and I’m not too happy about it. Furthermore, I am convinced that digesting all the time saps your energy. Eating beef is also bad for the environment. I’m also convinced that it makes you fat. In addition, it gives you hypertension. I have that illness too.
    With so many beef substitutes out there, there’s no reason to eat beef all the time unless you have a death wish.
    It’s not just a matter of years lived. It’s also about health. I see fat and every unhealthy people all around me. People my age are starting to drop dead. Others are on canes and some not too much older than me are on walkers or in wheelchairs. You only get one body. People tell me I look a lot younger than I am. There’s something to be said for treating your temple well.

  7. Dear Robert
    You are using anecdotes rather than statistics. People who consume little meat but huge quantities of carbohydrates can also become obese, have heart problems and die young. I don’t doubt that vegetarians in North America live longer on average than omnivores who eat a lot of red meat. However, vegetarians tend to be health-conscious people who belong to the middle and upper class in disproportionate numbers. Since health-conscious middle- and upper-class people live longer anyway, a simple comparison between vegetarians and meat eaters is misleading.
    Let’s take Peter and Paul. They are identical twins. They both consume3000 calories per day, eat nutritiously, excercise a lot and have no health-damaging habits. Peter gets 2700 calories from plants and 300 from milk, fish and eggs while Paul gets 1800 calories from plants, 300 from fish, eggs and milk and 900 from lean red meat. Is Peter really going to live longer than Paul? I doubt it.
    To determine the influence of a factor on human health, we should always compare people who are the same in every respect, except for the factor that we are examining. That is rarely the case. For instance, smokers differ from non-smokers in many respect. Far more smokers are found among highschool drop-outs than among university graduates. Most heavy drinkers tend to be smokers as well. In conclusion, part of the difference in life expectancy between smokers and non-smokers can be attributed to factors other than smoking. It is the same with heavy meat eaters and vegetarians.
    Just to keep the record straight, I consume as much meat as I consume alcohol: hardly any.
    Regards. James

  8. People who consume little meat but huge quantities of carbohydrates can also become obese, have heart problems and die young.
    Show me these people. In the US, they do not exist. Anyway, beef is not the only thing that is bad for you.
    Since health-conscious middle- and upper-class people live longer anyway, a simple comparison between vegetarians and meat eaters is misleading.
    But this is wrong. There is something called factor analysis that can factor out all of those variables.
    The rest of your post betrays a lack of familiarity with factor analysis, no?

  9. Dear Robert
    It may be hard to show very obese vegetarians because in the US there are so few of them, not because vegetarians can’t get fat but because so few vegetarians allow themselves to get fat. There are far more obese 15-year-olds in North America today than 50 years ago but red consumption per capita has not gone up much really. If you eat a lot and are very sedentary, your weight is likely to go up, whether you eat meat or not.
    As to factor analysis, if you can’t measure the variables right, it remains specualtive. How can you measure all the factors that bear on health between two populations. In Canada, natives have lower life expectancy than non-natives. They drink more on average than non-natives. How much of their lower life expectancy is due to greater alcohol consumption? Can anybody say for sure?
    By the way, Canadian natives are on average much heavier than the rest of the population even though they don’t consume more meat. It would be great if we could guarantee our slimness by refraining from eating meat. Alas, such is not the case. Between the age of 18 and 38 my weight was constant at 68 kilos. Now it is 92 kilos, even though I have always consumed little meat.
    There is some evidence that people who live in very cold climates have lower life expectancies because they consume almost exclusively meat. However, if getting 90% of your calories from meat is bad for you, it doesn’t follow that getting 30% of your calories from meat is also bad for you. It is the dose that makes the poison
    Suppose that we had a population in which everybody started to smoke at the age of 15 and quit at the age of 35, then in that population smoking will have no effect on life expectancy. I have a suspicion that with meat it isn’t much different. If people consumed a lot of meat till the age of 45 and then reduced it drastically, meat consumption might have no effect at all on life expectancy. It matters not only what you do but also at what age you do it.
    Finally, racerealist is absolutely right in his claim that those who look after their bodies well are more likely to end up with deteriorated minds. For instance, the probability of getting Alzheimer’s disease increases with age, and if people with healthy lifestyles are more likely to reach higher ages, then they are more likely to undergo mental decline before they die than those who smoke, drink, eat too much and excercise too little.
    Regards. James

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