I know that this is a controversial subject, but we have to face the truth. People who eat less meat have a better life expectancy and better endurance in sports. These facts are proven in various studies. If we need to eat meat to get certain nutrients and/or vitamins, 75 grams or less than three ounces would be more than enough for an adult. There are however alternatives, which can totally replace meat.
To start with the way humans are built, indicates that we are no carnivores, our dental structure and digestive tract clearly sustains this. There is a theory that millions of years ago our ancestors started eating meat in the ice ages when all herbs were covered by ice and were hard to come by. Of course the meat they then ate, had to be cooked, in one way or another.
This is not an article to convert humans back to vegetarians, but just to put the finger on the problems and eat less meat. A flexitarian diet, low meat non-vegetarian diet, would lead to a much healthier life style and sure would decrease the number of deaths due to coronary diseases.
Quoting the dietician of WEBMD: There's plenty of scientific evidence to support the healthfulness of a diet made up mostly of plant foods. Studies show that vegetarians live 3.6 years longer and, on average, weigh 15% less than non-vegetarians. Blatner estimates the average person could shed up to 30 pounds by sticking to the flexitarian diet for 6-12 months.
The consumption of meat in the USA dropped some 7 % in 2008 compared to 2007, mostly driven by economics, as meat is the most expensive component of our diet. Farmers are already taking notice.
There is another major benefit of lowering the meat consumption. Think of all the acres of forests, which are felt to convert into pasture. This would save the forests with all the benefits of this eco system.
The less meat we eat, fewer cattle will be bred, which results in less contamination of air, waters and soils too. One cow contaminates, at least, more than a car and with methane gas, which is 23 times more aggressive than carbon dioxide. A cow produces lots of excrements, liquids, solids and gaseous. Some scientists therefor count the ratio as one cow against four cars.