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Debating Meat Jerky versus Vegan Jerky: What’s the Difference?
Meat jerky has been around for ages, traditionally made by drying salted strips of lean meat, without any additives or cooking. Nowadays, manufacturers add in-house-developed seasonings and use modern equipment to dehydrate and even grind the meat into strips. The meat can come from various animals, such as cows, pigs, lambs, goats, deer, and bison. On the other hand, vegan jerky is made from plant-based foods that simulate the taste of meat, including soy, seitan, shiitake mushrooms, or a combination of these. Vegan jerky can be used in various dishes, such as sandwiches, salads, and stir-frys.
Some people argue that humans are designed to eat meat because it’s a tradition that has been around for a long time. However, looking at a chart that shows the anatomy of herbivores and carnivores side-by-side, it becomes clear that humans are herbivores, not carnivores. The real test of jerky taste lies in the seasoning, not the raw, uncooked meat. The seasonings are what makes jerky taste good, and humans eat meat out of habit and tradition.
It’s important to consider the consequences of eating meat, not only for one’s health but also for the environment. Raising farm animals takes a toll on resources and the environment, with cows drinking 50-100 gallons of water per day and it takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef. On the other hand, it takes only 244 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of tofu. Animal farming accounts for 51% of all greenhouse gas emissions, and animal farms in the USA produce 500 million tons of manure each year, which pollutes rivers and lakes and affects people’s health. Growing food for vegans takes 20 times less land, and animal food production takes 20 times more space. Eating meat also means consuming growth hormones, fattening medicines, antibiotics, GMO feed, and pesticides, which can be retained in the body and cause diseases.
In conclusion, the taste of jerky lies in the seasonings, and humans eat meat out of habit and tradition. Eating meat has consequences for one’s health and the environment, whereas a vegan diet can be beneficial for both.