You Love Bacon, But Do You Know Why?
We don't need to eat meat, and yet we still do. Researchers sought to find out how people defended their meat-eating habits.
Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker
We don't need to eat meat. With things like beans, nuts, quinoa, and tofu available to us in modern grocery stores, we have all the nutritional substitutes we need to replace the nutrients we'd normally get from animal meat. So, why can't most of us stay away?
A team of Dutch researchers said a while back that it's, in part, due to the fact that we can't say no when we smell foods containing carbohydrates and amino acids cooking over a grill — we gotta have it. But that alone shouldn't save us from the fact that we're unnecessarily killing and consuming animals. Even after seeing various food documentaries showing the horrors that happen within those industrial chicken and cow farms, we still eat that stuff. So, how do we continue to convince ourselves that this food is OK to eat?
Jared Piazza approached the topic of eating meat from a moral standpoint, wondering how people justifying their actions when they don't need to eat animals. Piazza made his case in a press release, where he said:
"The relationships people have with animals are complicated. While most people enjoy the company of animals and billions of dollars are spent each year on pet care and maintenance, most people continue to eat animals as food. People employ a number of strategies to overcome this apparent contradiction in attitude and behavior."
His team of researchers distributed surveys to find out how meat-eaters sleep at night, and they found the typical response among adults and students usually fit into one of four categories: "Humans are natural carnivores," "Meat provides essential nutrients," "I was raised eating meat," and, of course, because "[it's] delicious."
"One important and prevalent strategy is to rationalize that meat consumption is natural, normal, necessary, and nice."
Marion Nestle, nutritionist and academic who specializes in the politics of food, explains that from a health and environmental standpoint it's better to go vegetarian. However, in her mind, she says either way of life would be fine; just eating less meat would be better.
Read more at Science Daily.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
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