My Beef With Meat: 10 Reasons to Never Eat Meat Again

By Ted


My Beef With Meat is a new book by firefighter, Rip Esselstyn, the creator of the popular vegan diet Engine 2.

He’s on a personal quest to convince people that eating only plants is the best choice for their health as well as for the planet.

My Beef With Meat devotes 35 chapters to the condemnation of eating meat and animal products, but I’ll pick just 10 as a sample of Rip’s argument against meat.

Just 10 Reasons to Not Eat Meat

1. Meat and dairy can lead to sickness and death – The National Heart and Blood Institute, who after a 10 year study, found that nearly every man over 60 or woman over 70 on a western diet has heart disease.

2. Humans are herbivores – While humans can eat meat, our bodies do not digest if efficiently and eating meat is no longer necessary for our survival as a species.

3. The meat industry spends billions to convince people that meat is healthy as well as influences public policy with cash.

4. Livestock accounts for 9% of all CO2 emissions – This is more than all cars, trucks, and planes combined.


Rip Esselstyn

5. Craving meat is unnatural– Craving meat is similar to craving sugar, drugs, or alcohol. It isn’t a “healthy craving” since we don’t need it for survival.

6. Eating Meat is Expensive– When all factors are considered including the health impact meat imposes, a plant based diet is far more economical.

7. Plants are complete protein– Rip says that this is one of the biggest myths around. Humans can and do get all essential amino acids and adequate protein easily from eating plants.

8. Real Men and Women Eat Meat– This is a misconception. Some of the best athletes, thinkers, and body builders are vegan. Meat isn’t needed to have a great body or a great mind.

9. Plants build stronger bones– Many believe that by only consuming enough dairy are strong bones possible. Rip refutes this notion by noting that calcium from plants actually is incorperated into bones more readily than dairy calcium.

10. Eating animals isn’t nice– From factory farms to slaughter practices, the process of eating animals is inhumane and mean.

Are You Convinced Yet?

If not, there are many more reasons to compel you in My Beef With Meet.

Personally, I’m a bit on the fence with this issue. I have drastically cut back my meat consumption to only a few times on the weekend and this is mainly chicken or fish.  I do feel better and being an avid gym goer, I haven’t seen any decrease in muscle mass.

I’ve been eating this way for about 9 months. I turned 40 in February and had a physical. Everything, including blood test results, came back gleaming.

So, I guess I would fall in the middle. Should human’s cut back on animal products? Yes, definitely.

Should they completely be eliminated from the diet? Health wise, there probably isn’t much evidence that would show that occasional meat or dairy is harmful. But, if someone wants to completely avoid meat, more power to them.

What do you think?

My Beef With Meat is available on Amazon.


  1. Raymond

    When someone is expressing a testimony without proof these days it’s difficult to tell if the testimony is true or sponsored. All I can say is that I won’t eat any meat that’s not from the sea (and with that I’m super picky). From my experience I have felt so much better. Doing research and following the money led me to understand why I had felt so tired, stressed, and sick. The people funding these national FDA advocates are the companies and fast food giants that make us sick. There’s even a law passed that they call the “cheeseburger law”. That law attacks citizens by claiming that we should know better even though we are marketed that poisons are healthy. Like I said, the only thing that matters is the personal experience. You really have nothing to lose giving up meat for a couple of weeks. If it works for you, then great. If not, then eat all the meat that you want. This doesn’t even cover the moral factor on a global scale…

  2. Mathijs Eshuis

    Biggest bull of my day so far. A lot of tgese arguments make absolute no sense!
    1: so a public health organization found in “a 10 year study” that “nearly every man over 60 and woman over 70 on a western diet has a heart disease”. So what? Is there any connection in this statement to eating meat being the cause of this???
    Is there actually such a thing as a ‘western diet’, do Italians actually eat the same as Canadians???
    This kind of rubbish and suggestive talk is actually what makes people screw up a balanced diet!
    And are we herbivore just because meat is no longer essential for survival or we “can not effectively digest meat”???

  3. Hafiz

    I think it is the propaganda of vegetarians! the crucial thing should be how to balance meat v.s vegetables!

    • Raymond

      The exclamation points in your comment reflect the high blood pressure that is associated with eating industry meat

  4. Shefali

    I eat meat but hate the cruelty of factory farms – so we get our milk, eggs and most of our meat from a local organic farm. We have visited it several times and the animals are humanely treated. The calves stay with their Moms until they are weaned (vs. being separated after 24 hours – very cruel), the cows graze in wide fields and the chickens run free in a large yard. They have access to sunshine and fresh air and normal socialization.

    We buy fresh raw milk from this farm along with eggs and beef. We do buy chicken and fish from the store, but I make sure it is organic free-range chicken and wild caught fish.

    Because these products are quite expensive, we eat less meat than we otherwise might – but I think that is healthier, too. Smaller quantities of better quality meat, lots more organic veggies – it’s a better diet.

    • James

      I like that you are trying but i feel as though you are missing the point.
      Meat is a product of killing, we don’t need it and we can get everything we need from plants so you can’t justify killing especially when it’s killing us. Just because you’re eating less of it doesn’t mean it’s good for you. If you only take heroin once a week you’ll be healthier than taking it every day but you still wouldn’t want to take it, right?
      Eggs are one of the highest cholesterol containing foods and again we don’t need them so why take them from the chicken? The chicken has to go through a hell of a lot to produce an egg and it isn’t ours to take. When chickens lay eggs that they don’t fertilize they eat the shells for more nutrients.
      Cow’s milk is for a calf, it’s intended to help a baby grow into a huge cow. It is incompatible with our body and is making us sick, whether it’s organic or not. All cow’s milk contains hormones which are naturally produced by the mother. The protein in milk(casein) has been linked time and time again with cancer so what reason is there to drink it? Calcium? No. The calcium in dairy is incompatible and makes our body more acidic. To counteract this the body has to find calcium to neutralize it and this comes from our own bones so over time this can have a detrimental effect on bone health. The highest rates of arthritis and osteoporosis are in the countries that consume the most milk and the lowest levels are in the the least consuming countries so it says it all really.
      I hope this helps! All the information is out there, just search online. All the best

      • Raymond

        Do your homework and run your own test or trial. Instead of arguing for meat, you have nothing to lose giving it up for just a couple of weeks. Tell everyone how you feel then and you may be surprised

  5. Amy

    I see a lot of arguments with no evidence to back them up.

    • Ted

      Rip actually spends a lot of time in the book backing up each reason, usually a whole chapter for each. He cites studies and applies logic and reason. I just wanted to give people a taste of what his book was about.

    • Raymond

      The only evidence needed is one’s self experience

  6. Heather

    I think a lot of the arguments are bunk/opinion.

    By and by, my bloodwork improved drastically after 14 years as a vegetarian when I started eating meat. I eat lots of fish, eggs almost daily, and also chicken and bison and beef. I still, as I always have, eat a lot of vegetables but eating meat made me healthier – and as a bonus, I have ot think about it less!

    • Dan

      One should look at pictures of Jimmy Moore, who recently regained a lot of weight from eating a lot of animal products. Loren Cordain, the author of the Paleo diet, is also overweight. Vegan advocates, such as Neal Barnard and Joel Fuhrman, are far trimmer and healthier. Probably eating some, but not a lot of animal products might not be so unhealthy, but clearly eating as much meat as the Paleo diet suggests is proven to be unhealthy by the results we see in photos of its leading advocates.

      • Heather

        I can’t speak to any author or Jimmy Moore. I try to avoid overly processed foods but I’m certainly not paleo.
        I can only speak to my personal experience now eating meat after 14 years as a vegetarian. I am much healthier.

        Perhaps there is a lot of individual variance.
        All I can say for sure is that not every person’s health will be greatly improved on a vegetarian diet because mine was not. I had friends with the same experience.
        I have other friends who did very well switching to vegetarianism.

        • Ted

          I think that’s a good way to approach this. Everyone doesn’t have to fit a mold, but each should eat in a healthy way that works best for his/her body. For me it seems to be 90% vegetarian, others may do well without meat at all.

          • Dan

            I don’t think that people cannot be healthy if they eat meat. However, I have never heard of any study which indicates that meat eaters are healthier than Vegetarians. Sometimes people have to be careful to get all their nutrients from a Vegetarian diet, but esp. from a Vegan diet- but virtually all nutrients can be obtained from plant and microorganism sources. B12 is, for instance made by bacteria, but animals merely store this vitamin. B12 can also be obtained on a Vegetarian diet from eggs and dairy. I believe most people can do well on a Vegetarian diet if they do it right- by tracking the nutrient quality of their diet, such as from a computer program. I also think that people who eat meat do better if they eat more wild fish than they do red meat. Personally, I would really try to make a plant based diet work, since meat is a product of violence, something that I believe should be avoided whenever possible.

      • Mathijs Eshuis

        Gaining or losing weight has nothing to do with being vegetarian or eating meat, its about the energy balance. Learn the facts guys.

  7. Kelly

    Thanks for the book review and also your thoughts/experience. I’ve been on the fence about it too. Having a history of being so awkward with food I was finally settling into how nice it was to go to people’s houses and restaurants, etc. and just ‘eat what everybody else was eating’ and meat also always makes me feel full so I can just get on with the day… but lately, kick-started by a few documentaries and a few sick pets (I’d come back from the vets thinking – while I LOVE my animal so much and they are a family member – why am I visiting my animal at the vet and then coming home to eat another animal for dinner…? I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it that way before – like people walking their dogs in fur coats) So I’ve been trying to cut back on eating meat completely – though people around me have suggested as with all things – to make change with baby steps so there’s a chance to educate yourself on alternatives, etc. I.e. There’s lots of things you can eat that will make you feel full! And I have to say – even buying free run eggs – just a change like that makes you feel good – like you’ve stood up for something you believe in and won’t be a bystander. I’d rather spend a bit more on free range and forgo a coffee on the go! (Though I’ll have to look into this more since reading Dan’s comment below). Thanks!

    • Ted

      Good work Kelly! If more people would just eat more thoughtfully a lot of the problems with meat would be solved. Those on a Western diet just eat too much meat period. And we as a society are paying for it.

  8. Dan

    When I ate meat, the kind that I craved was not the healthier kind, but rather processed meat, such as bacon and sausage. I never craved roasts, which are kind of bland, and certainly never liver, which has a lot of nutritional value. I also never craved fish, which might have health benefits. People often crave processed foods of all kinds. I saw a video on factory farms and it completely eliminated all cravings for meat, given the complete cruelty of these farms. My tack on this is to take the ethical stance on being Vegan and think of health as being a bonus. Therefore, I avoid meat as much as possible. I minimize dairy and eggs. I might not be perfectly Vegan, but mostly, but almost entirely Vegetarian. Eggs might be ethical only if the person raises the chickens themselves. Many chicks are killed even in “cage free” egg production. I don’t really agree with Denise Minger (the refuter of the “China Study”), but she might have a good point that it doesn’t cause suffering to eat bivalve fish that don’t have a central nervous system. This would include oysters. It is good that she doesn’t oppose ethical Veganism. But I don’t think I have the stomach to eat these, however- they sound incredibly slimy. It seems that now that I don’t eat meat at all that it is becoming easier to maintain my weight loss. Vegan diets are probably better for one’s physical health, but there may be some drawback for one’s teeth. Many kinds of fruit are not good for teeth, even though they are good for one’s physical health. I never get sick anymore, but my teeth seem to be getting worse, even though I thoroughly brush them everyday and get professional cleanings four times a year.

    • James

      Hi Dan, I’ve been completely vegan for 3 years now and i can honestly say it’s the best thing i’ve ever done.
      I really like your comments and you seem to be thriving on your diet which is amazing!
      It takes time to get used to new eating habits but once you do it’s great, i can really recommend going full vegan, not just for the animals but for your health. On the subject of your teeth, i sought advise from a dentist and they said that if i brush at least once a day, floss once and use mouthwash at least once then i shouldn’t have any issues and sure enough, no fillings for the last few visits!
      I originally ate a lot more citrus fruits and processed foods but since i’ve reduced these and i now eat more bananas and veg i feel that i’ve struck the right balance.
      I hope this can help a little and i wish you all the best!

  9. Spectra

    I’m also on the fence–I agree with SOME of his reasons, not all of them. Humans do indeed crave meat; we’re omnivores and not herbivores. Meat is a nice and complete source of protein and fat and nutrients–they can definitely be obtained elsewhere, but many people eat a diet with meat in it and stay very healthy. However, I don’t eat nearly as much meat as I used to due to the rising cost of meat. I stretch it out fairly well with legumes, veggies, and whole grains.