by Margaret B. Adam
Recently, a new medical study hit the headlines, arguing that reducing meat consumption does not improve human health. This study reviewed previous studies and decided that the evidence is not strong to warrant the advice to eat less meat.
It’s too early to tell how these latest claims will hold up after critical assessments by the wider medical science community. Some initial queries about the study wonder if the claims might be more true when considering an individual’s health, but less true when looking at population-wide health. Others observe that the new study simply describes the original evidence differently, and what is really needed is new, more detailed and expansive research.
The good news is that this new report, however it is assessed, gives CreatureKind a great opportunity to illustrate something distinctive about our approach:
CreatureKind’s focus does not change, regardless of the latest medical research, economic swings, international trade deals, environmental crisis, or climate change development.
CreatureKind’s focus is on farmed animal welfare as a matter of Christian concern.
Even if experts declare meat to be the secret of eternal life, CreatureKind’s focus remains the same: Christians should care about farmed animal welfare.
Farmed animal welfare is most certainly connected to the health of humans, water, air, soil, wild animals, and agricultural crops; as well as to the wounds of racism, classism, sexism, poverty, war, and extinction. But, these related issues do not change CreatureKind’s commitment to improving the welfare of farmed animals.
How much does meat-eating affect human health? We really don’t know. Is it still important to reduce meat consumption? Yes, because improving farmed animal welfare requires farming fewer animals. The scale of industrial farming systems, designed to meet consumer desires for meat-heavy diets, cannot accommodate measures to improve animal welfare. Christians who care about creatures farmed for human consumption can improve animal welfare by consuming less meat (or none at all). They might improve their own health, but they will definitely demonstrate that the wellbeing of all creatures matters more than human desires for farmed animal products at every meal.