Hi guys, hope you can help me with my crisis of conscience. I have not eaten meat for 15 years. I believe humans are designed to eat meat (in moderation) but I have a problem with factory farming and treating animals like commodities, rearing them and killing them inhumanely, pumping them full of hormones etc - bad for the animal and bad for the person eating it. I eat fish and eggs as a compromise and to ensure I get enough protein. There was nothing like the range of organic, free range etc meat you can get these days when I made this decision.
So anyway, I have now discovered Paleo and I can see the sense in a lot of the principles of it. I have cut out all the things you are meant to cut out, but without meat, and legumes, my diet feels terribly restricted. Today I forgot my packed lunch and went out to try and find something Paleo, and not involving meat. It is literally impossible. I had to have a prawn ramen, and hold the ramen.
I don't agree with some Paleo people on here that seem to eat meat with every meal, I think that is probably a fast track to constipation and eventually bowel cancer, but I am considering introducing some lean red meat back into my diet. Maybe starting with game, maybe venison or something like that which would have been truly free range, unstressed, and killed humanely by being shot. The other thing that worries me is, even though I can get super high quality, cared for meat when shopping for myself, what do I do when I am in a restaurant, or supermarket, or at a friend's house and don't know the provenance of the meat?
I really want to give Paleo a proper go, but I feel a bit sick when I think of eating meat because I have been so long without it. However, I am not squeamish about meat itself, I have (over)cooked steaks for other people in the past, so maybe I could adapt if it would be good for my body. I am 2 stone overweight despite cutting out most carbs over the last few months and eating lots of fruit and veg, plus I have been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. My energy levels are low and I need to overhaul my lifestyle and my diet. So basically my heart and my head are telling me different things.
Paleo people, please tell me what to do!
P.S. Sorry for longest post in the world.
asked byPesce (45)
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on January 27, 2012
at 08:07 PM
I did it after 4 years and I'm very happy (and healthy) for doing it.
Don't be afraid to give it a trial, so you can make a full and informed decision. Best wishes to you.
on January 27, 2012
at 08:17 PM
Two things to keep in mind:
- The paleo emphasis on grass-fed/pastured meat is two-fold, one is the quality of the meat, but the second is that grass-fed/pastured animals are raised the way they are supposed to be (and butchered properly, not with inhumane captive bolt methods). And again, this reflects on meat quality, the pain and stress of feed lots results in not only lower quality but less healthy meat.
- Introduce meat slowly, after 15 years, your body is not used to the protein differences and will give you digestive problems until it adjusts. Start out with meat broths/stocks, then work along flexitarian guidelines (meat as a flavor component), then onto larger pieces, organ meats, fatty cuts.
on January 27, 2012
at 08:10 PM
I have to ask, why agonize about it? If you believe it's your best overall option, go for it. If not, shelve it for now and keep your options open. You are an independent person and you own your choices.
It's probably easier for me, because I analyze the moral dilemma of needing to eat a little differently than you expressed. I believe factory farming--particularly of cereal grains--is raping the wild environment and sterilizing/depleting large tracts of land. It's not better for crops than livestock, since grazing livestock actually restores land. I also believe that historical farming of both animals and crops is much easier on the environment, including water, and leaves local wildlife in much better shape.
In essence, animals are part of sustainable agriculture and eating factory-farmed grains is not better than eating CAFO meat. On the other hand, eating meat, fruit and vegetables from sustainable farming/ranching operations as much as my budget allows leaves my conscience clear.