Vegan author: love dogs and eat pigs

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Vegan author: Why we love dogs but eat pigs

Everyone has been talking about vegetarian and vegan diets for a long time. In her new book "Why we love dogs, eat pigs and attract cows", US psychologist Melanie Joy addresses the psychological and cultural aspects of meat eating. She explained her theses to "BILD".

Eat pigs and raise cows
In Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Bremen and Tübingen, students can now look forward to vegan dishes in the university cafeteria, according to a current report. The Studentenwerk wanted to make a contribution to the “healthy nutrition of learners and climate protection”. Melanie Joy, professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Massachusetts, has been a vegan for many years and explains the psychological and cultural aspects of meat eating in her new book "Why we love dogs, eat pigs and attract cows".

Eating meat is not normal
According to Joy, eating meat is a culturally learned phenomenon and not the norm. In some cultures it is frowned upon to eat cows, and for us this is considered normal. "We send one animal species to the slaughterhouse and give the others our love and attention," says the author. She went on to say that meat is not necessary for survival. Meat consumption is generally known to be one of the main causes of common diseases of the civilization such as obesity, diabetes, allergies or cardiovascular diseases. Numerous studies have shown that the causes of many diseases can be found in animal protein. Joy says: "We eat animals simply because we have always done it and because we like them."

Ideology divides into edible and non-edible
The term "carnism" was coined by the vegan. She thus describes an invisible system of beliefs that sorts animals into the categories "edible" and "non-edible". With this ideology, it is necessary to understand one's own meat consumption as normal, natural and necessary. On the basis of such convictions, meat-eating people could distance themselves from compassion for the animals concerned. Joy answered when asked why we eat cows but not dogs: “Carnism is a belief system that conditions us to eat animals. We differentiate ourselves psychologically and emotionally from the animals when we consider these selected species as edible. ”

Problem of social justice
According to the psychologist, most people would not want animals to suffer, but the reality is different. In order not to recognize the cruel methods of animal husbandry, there are “a lot of social and psychological defense mechanisms with which people switch off their compassion for the animals without really realizing what happens to them. For example, hardly a meat eater sees the cow who died for it in his beef steak. ”Ms. Joy had stopped eating meat when she fell ill from a hamburger that was contaminated with bacteria. This event led her to deal intensively with meat eating and finally to write her doctoral thesis on "Carnism". Her conclusion: "Eating animals is a problem of social justice."

95 percent from mast systems
The author sees a big mistake when people think they need meat for a healthy diet. There are numerous studies that show that vegan diets are not only sufficient, but that they are much healthier than a diet based on animal protein. She also points out that in Germany 95 percent of the meat, eggs and milk from farm animals come from fattening systems and that the animals are no better off with the so-called organic products.

Vegan instead of vegetarian
Melanie Joy answers "BILD" why it is not enough to live vegetarian: "Because the production of eggs and milk is just as deadly for the animals as the meat processing. The number of animals killed for this industry is much higher. For example, there are countless male chicks that are killed as unwanted by-products in the laying batteries. Or the cows that get pregnant every year to give birth to as many calves as possible and that are then separated from their young. These are severe traumas for the animals. So vegetarianism is a viable transition to veganism, but it's still a form of carnism. ”

Vegetarians live longer
But not only ethical reasons, as shown by Melanie Joy, speak for a meat waiver. Nutrition expert Dr. From a medical point of view, Christian Keßler from the Charité University Outpatient Clinic for Naturopathy at the Immanuel Hospital in Berlin considers: “Balanced vegetarian diets have numerous health benefits, which have now also been proven fairly clearly scientifically.” Recent scientific studies would show that vegetarians are not only less serious in terms of health Problems, like especially cardiovascular diseases, but also that they live longer. A study by the Loma Linda University in California among around 70,000 participants was recently published in the medical journal JAMA, which said: "Vegetarian diets are associated with a lower death rate [...]."

No deficiency symptoms
The nutrition expert also gave the all-clear for the prejudice of deficiency symptoms among vegetarians: "Interestingly, compared to meat eaters, vegetarians often even have a significantly better supply situation with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals." Vegetarians and vegans are advised only with the supply of vitamin B12 and iron to watch. Vegetarian nutrition in children can be discussed with a doctor and monitored if necessary.

Varied vegetarian diet
Kessler advises on seasonal and regional items on the dining table: "Feed yourself through the garden, try out new vegetables and fruits, spices and herbs." And further: "The variety is important to avoid the" pudding-vegetarian syndrome " to avoid. ”This means not just omitting meat and eating finished products and other unhealthy foods. "That would not be balanced and also not a healthy vegetarian diet." The Vegetarian Association Germany (VEBU) also refers to the variety: "In addition to the abundance of different types of vegetables, fruits and cereals, the vegan-vegetarian range in supermarkets, cafeterias and canteens is growing , Restaurants and hotels. If you need something substantial every now and then, you can conscientiously switch to the growing selection of meat, sausage and even fish alternatives (made from seitan, tofu, lupine or tempeh). In the meantime, there is almost no dish that you cannot conjure up on a plant basis. ”Pages like" "reveal which recipes can also be prepared without meat. Nutrition expert Kessler draws a conclusion by saying that in principle it seems that "completely eliminating meat has an overall life-prolonging and quality-improving effect." (Ad)

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