Why don't vegans and vegetarians like meat

Diet without meat - better or worse, which is really true!

The Allensbacher market and advertising media analysis from 2019 estimates a little over six million vegetarians in Germany - and the trend is rising sharply. In addition, there are up to a million vegans, raw foodists and so-called fruitarians. We'll clarify right away who is what. They all have at least one thing in common: they eat without meat and sausage. And: The industry earns a lot from it, with an annual turnover of a good 1.2 billion euros for the corresponding food. Many doctors and scientists welcome a vegetarian diet, but there are also prejudices. Before we clear them up, a brief classification:

What are vegetarians, vegans and co.?

Vegetarians do without meat, sausage and often fish in their diet. Those who continue to eat eggs and dairy products are known as lacto-ovo-vegetarians. Lacto-vegetarians avoid eggs, ovo-vegetarians avoid dairy products. Vegans usually do not eat or wear anything from animals, for example they also do without honey. Raw foodists refrain from heating their plant-based food to over 40 degrees Celsius. And fruitarians only eat what the plant willingly gives, i.e. seeds, fruits and plant parts that fall off by themselves and without damaging the plant.

Why do they eat that way?

One of the main reasons is the rejection of all animal husbandry and killing. In addition, there is the associated environmental pollution and the conviction that a purely plant-based diet is healthier and that humans are naturally "herbivores". For example, supporters of a particularly meat-heavy diet, the paleo diet, contradict this. According to them, our development only got better thanks to fried meat and a corresponding protein-rich diet.

So a big pros and cons in which strange arguments are often put forward, which we will now clarify:

The myths

Man needs meat

This is quark. The fact is: Meat is a really great food that primarily provides protein, iron and certain vitamins. We need protein for the formation of muscles, tissues and hormones. Among other things, iron is important in blood formation and in various metabolic processes. That means: We can actually use meat very well, but we can also get protein and iron from plants. Soy, legumes and nuts are good for protein, green vegetables like fennel, broccoli and spinach provide iron. So we don't necessarily need meat! On the contrary, those who eat too much, especially red meat (beef and pork), increase their risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems; gout and rheumatism can also be favored.

Athletes really need meat

That is also not true. Big names like Dirk Nowitzki or Lewis Hamilton should live purely vegetarian and still perform at their best.

Note: A really well-done steak is nothing more than baked and burnt protein. The body has to expend a lot of energy and fluids in order to gain nutrients from it. If it is meat, it is best raw as minced meat or only lightly steamed, which the body can use very well.

Vegetarians suffer from nutritional deficiencies

It is true that important substances from meat, milk and cheese are missing. These include above all the proteins and iron mentioned. Added to this are the important calcium for the bones, zinc for the immune system and many B vitamins for the heart and brain and a few other substances. But you can compensate for this with a well-thought-out plant-based diet. Important omega-3 fatty acids would be found in fish. However, anyone who actually completely refrains from animal foods, i.e. vegans and fruitarians for example, runs the risk of suffering from a nutritional deficiency with drastic physical consequences during physical exertion or during times such as pregnancy.

Therefore, if you do without meat and other animal foods, have your blood values ​​checked regularly by the doctor and discuss with him any additional intake of minerals, vitamins, etc. Especially women during pregnancy and breastfeeding, children and the elderly need to pay particular attention to one Pay attention to a balanced diet and see a doctor immediately if there are deficiency symptoms.

Studies have so far not been able to demonstrate a direct connection between a meatless diet and lifespan. It is assumed, however, that vegetarians and co. Are more concerned with a healthy and conscious way of life and therefore actually live longer.

Vegetarians are leaner

Due to the more conscious diet and lifestyle, vegetarians usually consume fewer calories and are therefore less likely to be overweight. From a medical point of view, vegans and raw foodists sometimes tend to consume too few calories.

Veggie products are always healthier

This is cheese. The Stiftung Warentest and Ökotest have proven several times that meat substitutes in particular are often highly processed foods with many unhealthy additives, flavor enhancers and fats. Often there is not a lot of good in there where the attempt is made to get a meat taste in. Products that are intended to replace milk and cheese often have to be mixed with sweeteners in order to create flavor at all. Purely plant-based vegetarian food that has been processed as little as possible, on the other hand, is extremely healthy, especially if it comes from organic farming.

Children should not be fed a vegetarian diet

The B vitamins, iron and iodine are particularly important for children's development. If they are missing, there is a risk of deficiency symptoms in the brain and eyes, for example, which can no longer be compensated for. Therefore, children can be fed vegetarian, but not vegan or even raw food.

Vegetarians smell better

At least that's what a study by the University of Prague in 2006 says. Men ate, women smelled and found that guys without meat in their food smell more pleasant.

Conclusion - how to really eat healthy

Many scientists reject a pure raw food diet, especially for people with health problems. Vegetarian food, on the other hand, is completely sufficient for most people. But even those who eat meat and fish moderately, do not forget the vegetables and otherwise exercise a lot, do not smoke and drink a lot, can grow old healthily and be happy.