I know the only people on the planet who don’t hate hearing vegans talk about being vegan are vegans themselves, but for once, they actually have the upper hand. Science has yet again spoiled all of our fun by proving that by getting rid of meat from our diet, we can add about 3 years to our lifespan.

Most of us already know that we shouldn’t indulge when it comes to red meat, but it turns out that even the slightest amounts can have a startling effect on our health. In a collection of studies in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, it was reported that consumption of red and processed meat could lead to cardiovascular disease and cancer. When the rate of consumption was studied, a significantly higher mortality rate was reported. Turns out you’re not even safe with chicken, either, as white meat showed to be detrimental to health as well even if it is replacing red meat in your diet, leading to heart disease.

If you go as far as cutting all animal products out of your diet (see ya later, gouda), you would see a reduced risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes, just to name a few.


Photo by Jess Heckman

Why is our beloved, carnivorous diet betraying us, you ask? According to Science Daily, when meat is cooked at a high temperature over an open flame, harmful substances are created within the meat. When ingested, these substances are filtered through the kidney, whose primary role is to filter toxins from the body. A repeated amount of exposure to these materials will wear down the kidney, raising the potential for cancerous cells to form.

The World Health Organization currently reports that “Americans eat, on average, about a quarter pound of red meat per day.” If we just cut back, even a tiny amount, we can vastly improve our health both now and in the future. The National Cancer Institute agrees, with the Mayo Clinic reporting that “those who ate the most red meat daily were 30 percent more likely to die of any cause during a 10-year period than were those who ate the least amount of red meat.”


Photo by Haley Rudin

While I’m usually not one to say no to bacon, the stats just back up what we have all heard over and over again. It’s okay to dive into a fat burger once in a while, though. Moderation is key. Give up a little meat, get up to 3 years back on your lifespan.