Today the issue of reducing of industrial emissions, the number of cruise ships, planes and cars for the sake of environment improving is not on the world agenda. Instead, the idea of animal products rejection and production reducing is being discussed. Along with the ecology it’s been decided to recall the animal rights. And with such reasoning suddenly all the farmers have become villains overnight. Those who want to draw our attention from the factories, polluting air, water and soil, have almost achieved their goal. Especially since actors, mass media, bloggers on social networks and television, embracing a demonstrative flogging of breeders, became some kind of backup for them. However, on the run to the scaffold, where the hated calf and chicken tormentors are about to be whipped, one needs to ask oneself «Who stands to gain from it?».
Should a cow be milked?
While adults change their taste preferences and consumer habits, the one thing remains the same - babies need milk. That’s why doctors support breastfeeding actively. Soy, coconut and nut milk won’t serve.
«The World Health Organization holds the opinion that the vegetarian diets are able to meet the nutritional needs of infants only if children receive nutritional supplements or fortified foods. WHO doesn’t recommend a vegan diet during the infancy due to the risk of lack of nutrients that are necessary for the child development and possible negative consequences», — says Candidate of Medicine, nutritionist, research scientist of Scientific Research Institute of Nutrition, Dr. Natalia Denisova. She also notes that «the exclusion of different types of animal food from the child diet can’t guarantee adequate supply of necessary nutrient materials, especially under the conditions of Russian climate and geography». According to the ESPGHAN 2008 recommendations (The European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition) to meet the nutritional needs infants and young children from vegetarian families need to get a sufficient amount (at least 500 ml/day) of milk (breast or infant formula) and dairy products.
The similar applies to meat. «Deficiency of meat products - a source of native and rich of essential amino acids protein - may lead to muscular wasting and decrease in the density of the bones, which is marked by higher injury risk, to disorders of cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and urogenital systems, body disease resistance decrement and increase of risk of cancer development», — continues Dr. Denisova. «Meat protein is a protein with high biological value, it is well digested by the body (about 90%), while plant proteins (from bread, cereals, legumes) are digested only by 60-80%. It is especially important to emphasize that meat is the only food source of vitamin B12. Regarding plant products, it is found only in seaweed. Iron and vitamin B12 are the most important essential nutrients, involved in blood creation. When they are insufficient, anemia (lack of blood) develops». Just look at the pale Greta Thunberg, speaking low voice.
For health support the share of animal products in diet can and should be changed. For example, doctors recommend older people to reduce the consumption of smoked and fried meat. Or to give up on fatty meat because of predisposition to cardiovascular diseases. But the abrupt and irrevocable rejection of all dairy and meat products can lead to the deplorable consequences.
«From the perspective of scientific medicine, benefits of vegetarian diets for health are questionable, given the increased risks of essential food substance deficiencies, found among vegetarians. Even if the level of consumed proteins, fats and carbohydrates is balanced, there is a possibility of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially vitamin D and vitamin B12, which is necessary for proper blood flow».Natalia DenisovaCandidate of Medicine, nutritionist, research scientist of Scientific Research Institute of Nutrition
Consumer to blame
While reducing the animal product consumption, a person will face the question: how to replace them? Soy products, palm oil as an animal fat analogue, plant-based meat are not pressed forward as a recognized comprehensive replacement of the usual products. In a recent study of Russian quality system experts explained that plant-based drinks are not equal to milk and it’s not worth it to refuse it without a good reason.
At the same time, a modern man has another problem - the abundance of sugars and fast food in nutrition. However, traditional and harmless at limited consumption products have been gotten a scolding.
But so far, plant-based meat is so expensive that active consumption is impossible, which means that beef and pork producers can be calm for now. Sooner or later, however, the benefits of such production will become questionable. Farmers have already been found guilty of all environmental problems. It is possible that soon European meat producers will be obliged to pay special taxes.
Active actions are also observed on the other side. Consumers are indoctrinated with the idea of how unethical and cruel growing and killing of living being in the name of gluttony is. Consumers are put to shame for their choice, for the fact that they have not changed their preferences yet. Especially when there is a supposed alternative: soy drinks, soy meat, dried grasshoppers. After all it is a source of protein too. Jaded society is ready to try new products, especially if they have an aura of exclusivity and remind of environmental disasters, while calling to conscience. But the choice of soy milk instead of cow one doesn’t become a persistent habit for everyone. And according to Elena Knyazeva, managing partner of food distribution companies “Ital City Food”, LLC, and founder of the project LENARETAIL.RU, even vegans do not give up meat entirely.
Unfortunately to those who advocate rejection of meat and milk, not in every culture and not in every country people eat beetles and worms happily, it rather reminds of “Survivor”. And not everyone puts trust in products, grown in laboratories. Moreover, not all consumers rely on trends while developing a diet, justly noting that it can be dictated by anything but concern for the individual. The call for reduction of the consumption of some products is an attempt to feed the other. It’s a usual competition of manufacturers. Unless, of course, we dig into the political and economic origins of the created food trends.
About meat-eaters’ rights
People, manipulating consumer consciousness, hide behind animal care, forgetting that cows have always been our food. It’s a matter of survival for humankind and there is no place for ethics. A perverted version of such care will make people suffer, it’s their interests that will be infringed. Whether it is a farmer, who has lost source of income, or his client, who hasn’t had an opportunity to buy an ordinary piece of meat.
The desire to protect a cow baby, which Joaquin Phoenix has spoken about at the Oscars, may eventually lead to the deprivation of healthy products, so sufficient for human babies. Because cows won’t be grown if no one needs them. Herds may be slaughtered or left to live out their days in free-range pastures. However, in the era of capitalism there always will be a person who asks about the economic expediency of such “charity” and everything will end in the same slaughterhouse. Or the number of farm animals and poultry in the world will decrease, because of that meat prices will become higher and meat will be available only to a selected part of population. If this happens, an attempt to drop the value of animal meat will result in granting it the status of a premium product.
Joaquin Phoenix, who is a vegan himself, hasn’t said whether it’s worth denying milk to infants or it should be an adult person’s decision. But with his speech he contributed to the propaganda of thoughtless milk denial, which is already changing the consciousness of those who decided to have a child. It’s worth mentioning that the 45-year-old actor himself is childless.
Yes, the stores should offer goods for plant product supporters, for vegans, vegetarians and followers of other movements, but they also should have products for meat-eaters. Of any age. Probably after a few generations, almost forcibly raised on grasshoppers, baby leaf and soy milk yogurts mixed with soda and chips, scientists will be able to disprove anti-meat nutrition theory. Children, denying milk and meat, will deprive us of our last chance for a healthy future.
In the meantime, doctors’ and nutritionists’ arguments are not always comfortable to hear. The same is with climatologists who claim that cataclysms (freezing or warming) occurred many times throughout the existence of mankind. And nowadays we have just stepped into the same period, which has begun and will end beyond our will, and the farmers have nothing to do with it. Reminders of the fact that cattles have been being bred and nurtured for food for ages are perceived as propaganda of cruelty to animals during this era of hatred of cattle breeding. However, no one explains what that means. Modern barns and calf houses are equipped so that animals live and breed in maximum comfort. There are systems to monitor their health, milking robots, balanced feed and even music and simple human affection. At the same time there are no examples of mass physical violence and tortures for the sake of fun.
And if it is so painful for Joaquin Phoenix to watch the suffering of cows and calves, than he needs to ask himself: is it logical to butcher them in favor of promoting a careful attitude to them? And for whom do we create a clean planet - for healthy kids or happy animals? And between whose pockets is easily led consumers’ money being divided in the midst of this hype?