(NaturalNews) Vegetarians and vegans can put up quite the convincing argument when it comes to what they are passionate about - not eating meat. Several have even appeared on this site. With all due respect to them, in the interest of fairness there is another side to the story. Humans are omnivores designed to use both animals and plants as food. Entirely removing one or the other can not only be detrimental to human health, but, if done on a mass scale, could even have environmental consequences.
While everyone certainly has the right to freedom of conscience and one could go about making a credible case against eating meat from a humane perspective, it should be noted that many of the health-related arguments are essentially straw-men set up for an easy knock-down. For example, conventional, factory-farmed beef today is full of antibiotics, tumors, and growth hormones (not to mention ammonia laced pink-slime in some cases), all of which have an ill-effect on human health. Making an argument against beef by bringing up the many health dangers related to consuming the artificial toxins therein is akin to saying one should not ever swim in water because chlorine can be harmful. What does the excess chlorine in the local YMCA swimming pool have to do with swimming in a clean lake? So, of course, any argument in favor of beef (or meat in general) assumes it is organic and fed as nature intended.
Here are four great reasons to consume organic, grass-fed beef.
There are certainly more, but these are a great start. 1.) Beef is full of the fats humans need.
Fat can be a good thing! About half the fat found in beef is oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. The fat in beef that is saturated has been shown to decrease heart-attack risk by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL).
Beef is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, cancer fighting compounds that can play a tremendous role in overall cellular health as well as brain development. Further, grass-fed animals are richer in omega-3 than grain-fed because sixty percent of the fat content of grass is made up of omega-3.
2.) Beef is full of the proteins humans need.
Proteins are essential for life. Unlike plants, beef and other animal foods are a source of 'complete protein,' because they contain all the essential amino acids that the human body needs for life, yet can't produce on its own. While these amino acids can be derived from plants, it takes the proper combinations and proportions to consume what the body needs and can easily digest from meats.
3.) Beef is full of many important nutrients humans need.
Beef is a one-stop-shop, a rich source of B vitamins, zinc, iron, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, magnesium, etc.
4.) Grass-fed beef is good for the environment.
Grass-fed cows that are rotationally grazed, or moved from one area of the pasture to another, actually improve overall biomass by only eating the grass stem instead of the whole stalk, allowing the grass to grow back faster. Thus, cows convert something that humans cannot consume, grass, into something useful. Since grass is nurtured by the sun, cows essentially convert the sun's energy into food energy for humans!
Further, the moderate trampling the rotating pasture endures creates rich humus by working manure and organic matter back into the soil, creating a healthier, more vibrant grass with roots that help retain microbes and water, thus keeping more carbon dioxide underground.
So, in a way, eating organic, grass-fed beef can help save the planet. Now that's one Green initiative we can all stick our forks into!
About the author: Scott is a blogger, writer, and researcher whose primary focus is how to raise healthy kids despite a system and status quo that makes it as difficult as possible. He and his wife, Kim, live in the hills of east Tennessee with their four small children. He holds an MBA from East Tennessee State University. Scott and Kim blog about parenting, marriage, healthy lifestyle, nutrition, and homesteading at www.amorefieldlife.com. Connect with them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amorefieldlife.
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