Maybe it’s a question you’ve asked, or just one you’ve heard way too often. We caught up with MFA staffer and registered dietitian Julieanna Hever to get her take:
So…is it natural to eat meat?
Like most of us, I was raised eating all types of meat, eggs, and dairy. It was what I considered to be “the norm.” In fact, I only had one vegetarian friend in elementary school and her diet was unique. Although I was curious, I did not quite understand it. Once I began reading as a teenager about how animals ended up on my plate, I was shocked and horrified that I had not been told this information earlier. I did not want to contribute to the violent, destructive, and unnatural system of raising and slaughtering animals for food.After many years on my journey, discovering the nutritional and health implications of eating animals, I steadily gained confidence that meat was not necessarily natural to consume, and that we could indeed thrive on an exclusively plant-based diet. My health was absolutely transformed and my conscience was eased when I went vegan years ago. Plus, I have had the honor of supporting and witnessing hundreds of clients, students, and audience members as they experienced similar outcomes.We do not have claws and large canine teeth to catch prey, or digestive tracts built to optimally absorb nutrients and discard toxins from animal flesh. We do, however, have physiology friendly to plant eating and the science clearly shows multiple health advantages of sticking to what nature grows—plants.
Have a question you want answered? Send me a message at SarahVA@MercyForAnimals.org.