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Is eating meat the new smoking?

Is eating meat the new smoking? 12 reasons that speak for it

Have you ever heard that eating meat is the new smoking? Then you've probably spoken to a vegan, vegetarian or a very thoughtful meat eater. But let's be honest: how can you compare the consumption of meat and tobacco? After all, you eat one and smoke the other. But there are actually some similarities, for example in the development of the products, in their consequences for health, the environment and society or in the way they are accepted by the population.

In this article, I would like to explain some of the signs that suggest that meat is indeed the new smoking. Let's go!

  1. Unscrupulous industry
  2. Carcinogenic products
  3. Environment and animals suffer
  4. Price increases
  5. Consumption becomes a habit/addiction
  6. Poor image
  7. Industry advertises improved products
  8. Consumption is not a necessity
  9. More and more people do without
  10. Industry has no real arguments
  11. Pro and anti groups form
  12. People have to talk themselves into consumption or justify it

Important: If you are a meat eater or smoker, please don't take this article personally. As this is the third time I've heard the statement "eating meat is the new smoking", I just want to use this article to illustrate the extent to which this - admittedly steep - thesis could be true.

1. unscrupulous industry

Meat and tobacco industries are unscrupulous

Both the tobacco and meat industries have used targeted, large-scale advertising campaigns to ensure that their products are assigned a certain "benefit" in our society. People who smoke are cool and self-confident, people who eat sausage and steak (or drink cow's milk) are big and strong. This ultimately gave rise to the misconception that Veganism totally unmanly be.

To be on the safe side, health and ecological consequences, as well as ethical issues, are not mentioned. And if they do come up, they tend to be made fun of and dismissed by those responsible in order to keep the Greed for profit at the expense of others people, the environment or animals for as long as possible.

2. carcinogenic products

Everyone probably knows that smoking is carcinogenic. After all, it is now written in bold letters on the packaging. But that the WHO also classifies the consumption of meat as carcinogenicis still relatively unknown.₁

Regular meat consumption also increases the likelihood of suffering from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity.₂ Overall, it can be said that both cigarette and meat consumption have one thing in common, Harmful to health are.

Tip: You can find out more in the article about nutrition-related diseases.

3. environment and animals suffer

However, smoking or eating meat is not only a burden on our own health. Cigarette butts end up in the environment, are eaten by animals and poison soil and water - not to mention passive smoking. The consumption of meat (and, among other things, the associated Animal feed production), for example, is essential for the Deforestation of the rainforests and climate change responsible. The agricultural sector itself suffers most from the latter. Added to this is the Cruelty to animals right up to the brutal death in the slaughterhouse - without which meat products cannot exist.

Cigarette consumption could still be described as a personal choice, but it can also have serious consequences for others. There is no question about this when it comes to meat consumption - because every steak demands sacrifice. The essential commonality of smoking and eating meat is that while an individual benefits from the products in the short term (e.g., through relaxation or taste), it is also the case that ALL suffer in the short or long term.

4. price increases

Even as a non-smoker, I have noticed how rapidly and sharply the price of a pack of cigarettes has risen in recent decades. Why? The EU subsidies ended in 2010The tobacco tax was also increased.

There is a similar threat to animal products from the Factory farmingas is already being intensively discussed in politics. At the moment, meat (and also eggs and dairy products) are only so cheap because they can be bought with the reduced tax rate be taxed and "livestock" kept artificially economical by state funds becomes. For serious climate and animal protection, there is ultimately no other alternative than to increase the prices of climate-damaging and animal-torturing goods.

5. consumption becomes a habit/addiction

Eating meat the new smoking? Habit is commonality

Smoking is definitely an addiction, eating meat is probably more of a habit. But at the end of the day, smokers and meat eaters regularly indulge in these things because they feel accustomed to the benefits have. Smoking counteracts stress in the short term and spiced meat from animals tastes delicious. Definitely another similarity that tends to suggest that meat is the new smoking.

My personal experience: When you have a vegan trial month like the Veganuary you feel better, no longer crave real meat and know countless alternatives that are at least as tasty, but more environmentally, animal and health-friendly.

6. bad image

Eating meat could also be the new smoking because both the tobacco industry and the meat industry now enjoy a tarnished image. The Tönnies scandal about the exploitation of employees in slaughterhouses during the coronavirus crisis, is likely to have made a decisive contribution to this. Last but not least, it is also due to the fact that the products (of both industries) may be good for an individual in the short term, but fatal consequences in the medium to long term for the planet, health and not least all life on earth.

The bad image could ultimately lead to the fact that, in addition to the flight shame (guilty conscience due to the greenhouse gases emitted by aircraft), the Meat chamois joined.

7. industry advertises improved products

Both the tobacco industry and the meat industry are experiencing ever stronger headwinds from the public. They are responding accordingly with improved products. The E-cigarette, activated carbon filter or just the organic meat are famous examples. But of course these developments do not change the fact that these products are still harmful to health, cruel to animals and destructive to the environment.

In the short term, these measures may soothe a guilty conscience or two - But in the long term, these product variants are also doomed to failure. No evil lasts forever.

8. meat eating is also not a necessity

Another possible reason why eating meat could be the new smoking is that there is no need to consume the products. Smoking was never necessary, eating meat at most in early human history - but no longer today. If you like the taste of meat, you can find countless plant-based alternatives on the supermarket shelves. Not everything tastes perfect, but many things do. It's a matter of taste - just as it is with animal meat.

9. more and more people do without

Eat vegan and do not smoke

Worldwide More and more people are quitting smoking - the global number of smokers is decreasing.₃ The main reasons for this are, for example, that the most people are now informed about the personal health effects of are that the pack of cigarettes is getting more and more expensive and that there are more sensible, healthier alternatives to reduce stress.

Global meat consumption is still on an upward trend₄ - but a similar decline in consumption is to be expected. In Germany, it is already declining rapidly.₅ The preference for a meat-free diet is primarily based on ethical, ecological and health reasons.

As soon as animal products no longer enjoy VAT benefits, livestock farms no longer receive subsidies and the prices of meat, milk, cheese etc. rise to their true value as a result, it is to be expected that the Turning away from animal products increases even further.

Good to know: Just as there are courses on how to stop smoking, there are also more and more offers for plant-based cooking, for example. Easier access to more sustainable alternatives is also helping to reduce the number of smokers and meat eaters.

10. industry has no real arguments

Who now and then Discussion rounds or heated arguments on the topics of cigarettes or meat consumption will know that those responsible for the two industries quickly run out of arguments to defend their products. Jobs and taste... and then it usually ends. The bottom line is the profit motive. Because the more sustainable, healthier and animal-friendly alternatives also provide jobs and taste.

11. pro and anti groups form

We are probably all familiar with it - and probably all of us find it unpleasant. Nevertheless, common behaviors such as smoking or eating meat lead to a certain degree of in the office or at the table at Christmas dinner Allies in spirit, forming groups like "smokers/non-smokers" or "meat eaters/vegans". Incredibly annoying, of course. But as you have to justify your decision for or against the respective behavior in many situations, this is of course much easier if you have like-minded people around you.

Nowadays, smokers are usually outnumbered and meat eaters are still in the majority. Nevertheless, at least in my environment, it is noticeable that the consumption of animals is increasingly considered uncool and controversial - similar to tobacco consumption.

Notice: It is not necessarily a negative thing when groups form! On the contrary - it is a positive sign that a society is changing.

12. meat eaters have to talk themselves up or justify their consumption

Eat meat but love animals

Since smoking and eating meat are not a necessity and have many serious consequences, smokers and meat eaters have to put up with "annoying" questions and opinions from non-smokers and vegetarians or vegans from time to time. Defending your own consumption in particular can be very stressful, as you actually value your health but still smoke - and as you are a vegetarian or vegan. actually loves animals, but still pays money for their deaths. (see also cognitive dissonance)

The commonality of smokers and meat eaters here, for example, is that they have the Understate the extent of their consumption and therefore sugarcoat it. "I only smoke at parties" or "I only eat meat once or twice a week" are prominent examples of this, which are usually not entirely true.

So is eating meat the new smoking?

The many similarities between the two products mentioned here at least speak for this. Both the consumption of cigarettes and the consumption of animal meat have no logical advantages, which is why, in my opinion, they belong to the things that are actually unnecessary today. The greed for profit, the desire for taste and habitual behavior can also be satisfied in other ways.

I personally believe that those responsible have long been aware that the life cycle of their products is slowly coming to an end. At some point, no one will probably smoke or eat meat anymore, as more sensible, future-oriented, sustainable and animal-friendly alternatives will eventually prevail.

Do you have any questions or comments about this post? Then I look forward to your comment!

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: Under Eat less meat and vegan lifeyou will receive further valuable input that will make the changeover much easier for you if the worst comes to the worst. Have fun!

₁ Harvard Chan: WHO report says eating processed meat is carcinogenic: Understanding the findings (as at: 03.11.2015), available at [23.03.2022].

₂ American Dietetic Association; W. J. Craig; A. R. Mangels: Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets (as of July 2009), [23.03.2022].

₃ Statista GmbH: Number of tobacco users worldwide by WHO region in the years 2000 to 2025 (as of December 2019), available at [23.03.2022].

₄ M. Janson: Der Fleischhunger der Welt (as at: 25.08.2021), available at [23.03.2022].

₅ Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE): 57.3 kilograms of meat per person: Consumption continues to fall (as of 22.03.2021), [23.03.2022].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

2 thoughts on “Ist das Fleischessen das neue Rauchen? 12 Gründe, die dafür sprechen”

  1. rarely read such a nonsense! Eating meat is not unhealthy, on the contrary: meat contains vitamins and proteins that man needs to survive. The consumption of meat alone has made our brain in early times of mankind so large. It has even already been proven that the human brain is shrinking again since we humans have been pursuing agriculture and eating more plant food. Please dear grass eaters: Stay with the truth. Then one can discuss!
    Enjoy the chop!

    1. Oh, I must have triggered you there. Meat contains nutrients, but that doesn't make it healthy. Moreover, it doesn't have a monopoly on any nutrients - they're all available in plants, too.

      Just because the Eating meat at some point helped us developit does not justify the consumption of meat nowadays. You buy your meat packaged in a plastic tray in the supermarket and no longer have to hunt it yourself.

      Unlike you, I substantiate all facts with sources to support the truth. Where are the sources for your assertions? I would be happy to look at them if you send them to me.

      Many greetings

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