Times of India published an article yesterday (June 14, 2009) promoting meat as a functional food with many health benefits and talks about how the health benefits of meat can be enhanced by better processing, i.e. by adding ingredients. Some points from the article:

"Adding probiotics to fermented meat products (i.e. sausage) may lead to health benefits, although this application is still marginal.

"Several disadvantages exist when using fermented meats as a probiotic carrier. For one, fermented meats are not generally considered ''health food'' by consumers. Plus technical issues exist. It requires careful selection of probiotic strains since, for example, they would need to have a resistance to bile salts," said Leroy.

"Fibre-enriched meat products may also offer health advantages, although they can elicit a grainy texture and have a restrictive digestive tolerance."

I agree with them that sausage, i.e. ground up meat scraps, blood and slaughterhouse floor scrapings mixed together and fermented, are not a health food. In fact, just the opposite. The sheer horror and reality of the meat based diet is hidden away from us, it all looks very sanitary on the supermarket shelves. We don't see the poor innocent animals living lives full of suffering and then cruelly slaughtered and butchered under horrendous conditions.

The idea of promoting meat as a health food is preposterous and flies in the face of the extensive evidence showing that meat based diets contribute to a host of diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and others. Even if meat were healthy, which it isn't, the negative enviromental effects (e.g. the meat industry is responsible for huge methane gas emissions from the cows belching and passing wind, contributing to global warming), and the negative moral and ethical impacts of a meat based diet make it so one should opt for a low environmental impact and compassionate vegetarian diet.

What is even more strange is that this article is published in the Times of India, where the prevailing Hindu culture generally supports a vegetarian diet, but unfortunately these values are being eroded as many Indians seek to emulate the west. They don't realize that as soon as they eat a western diet they will also be struck by western disease.

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