Sunday 23 October 2016

Why has it taken so long to discover meat is bad for us?

Published 28/10/2015 | 02:30

Didn’t the diet of early man consist, for the most part, of meat?
Didn’t the diet of early man consist, for the most part, of meat?

It seems eating red meat is now bad for your health and that’s official. Our experts tell us we should avoid it if we want to live long, healthy lives. Why exactly did it take our experts 2.6 million years to discover this, considering evidence suggests early man ate meat as part of their diet? I foolishly thought that evolution would make us bigger and stronger, capable of fighting whatever diseases came our way.

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It also occurred to me that breathing air, drinking water and eating most foods are also bad for your health but what, might I ask, is the common dominator, or indeed, the proverbial elephant in the room?

Answer: the human race, of course! We have destroyed our rivers, polluted our oceans and pumped endless amounts of toxins into the air we breathe. Our livestock roam in lush, green manufactured meadows, created using artificial fertiliser and are fed a “balanced diet” manufactured in a lab to the “highest standards” to ensure better meat and milk yields.

If an animal falls ill, it is quickly injected with an  array of chemicals to bring it back to “health” and, once again, ensure the meat arrives at out table to conform to our “exacting standards” and our version of what “good healthy food” should look like.

We have destroyed this planet through sheer greed and stupidity – and now we have the neck to blame the creatures we destroyed for our troubles.

Mark Twain once said: “I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the ‘lower animals’ (so-called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me.”

How right he was.

Eugene McGuinness



Remembering all war victims

I thought the red poppies were optional. However, you wouldn’t think that if you watched the BBC. Their presenters don’t seem to have the freedom to chose not to wear them. Ironic isn’t it?

Does anyone actually remember what the red poppy represents? I ask because the original meaning has been lost, and the military public relations machine has ambushed it. It has now turned it into a way of manipulating the public into “supporting the troops”, and by extension, backing current, often illegal and unnecessary, conflicts.

In World War 1, the vast majority of fatalities were military; a hundred years on, around 90pc of war casualties are civilian. It is therefore far more fitting that people buy the white poppy, because that represents all of the people who die in war. The refugee crisis is a good indicator of this.

If we really want to move towards ending all wars (and we must), we should remember everyone who is killed, from all nations, and not just ‘our boys’.

Colin Crilly

Tooting, England


Simple solution to rent crisis

As a person who works on the frontline with long-term unemployed people, many of whom are currently threatened with losing their homes and some who are already living in emergency accommodation, I would like to make an observation.

It would be cheaper and better for society if the Government agreed to pay an emergency monthly increase, through supplementary welfare allowance payments, to cover the difference between rent allowance and the increased rent for families.

This would save the Government paying high prices to house families in unsuitable hotel rooms, and also prevent families from having to move from their homes and schools, with all the upheaval and the detrimental effects this brings.

Moira Burke

Malahide, Dublin


JobBridge not suitable for vets

As a recent, unsuccessful candidate for election to the Veterinary Council of Ireland and as a practising, equine veterinarian, I feel compelled to voice my concerns over the current state of our profession in this country following the report in your newspaper (‘Wanted: qualified vet for €50 a week JobBridge post’ Irish Independent, October 26).

With absolutely no disrespect to the JobBridge programme and the valuable opportunity the initiative gives jobseekers to gain much-needed work experience, I feel it is wholly and utterly unsuited to a professional qualification such as veterinary medicine. Our more recently qualified vets are of a superb calibre, but are increasingly stymied by an overall lack of opportunities.

In practical terms, the profession here is turning into a gerontocracy and my greatest fear is that our new veterinary graduates, who are now accredited to practise virtually immediately in the US and Canada, may leave our shores and never return.

Declan Gill MVB

Castleconnell, Co Limerick


Shame of our drink culture 

Alcohol has become Ireland’s culture and passion— if not a religion. Many people are now living for the drink in a nation that seems to be drowning in it. It is almost culturally unacceptable not to drink.

Every shop in the country can apply for a limited liquor licence, notwithstanding off-licences and supermarkets that are dime a dozen.

University campuses are unashamed of the bars that are there to fuel the drink culture and get young people started early.

Alcohol is a highly addictive substance.

Many people are living in the pubs and call their watering hole a ‘home away from home’, such is their need for alcohol.

Pubs and bars are featured prominently in soap operas, which are designed to foist the alcohol culture on viewers and make it seem normal.

It is not normal – it is detrimental to people, causing them serious physical and mental harm. The drink culture in this country seems to be inexorable for a nation living for it and worshipping it.

Maurice Fitzgerald

Shanbally, Co Cork

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