Health A-Z

What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Meat – And Which Religions Practice It?

Eating Meat

There are many reasons why people choose to eat meat, such as physical benefits for the body. These can include improved mood, bone strength, and fertility.

There are also religious traditions and practices that encourage the eating of meat, such as Eid al-Adha, where Muslims sacrifice animals to share the meat with the poor, or how Christians believe that animals were made by God and put on earth to be consumed by humans.

Physical Benefits of Eating Meat to the Body

  1. Meat contains high levels of protein, which is important for growth and development, including strong bones, cartilage, and skin.
  2. Eating meat ensures your body gets important nutrients such as iron, which promotes oxygen flow around the body.
  3. Meat also provides other nutrients like iodine, zinc, and Vitamin B12.
  4. Get Omega 3 through meat consumption, which helps brain health.
  5. Eating meat can lead to a fertility boost.
  6. A diet with meat can promote an increase in energy as well as weight loss, contrary to popular belief.
  7. Meat has anti-aging and antioxidant effects.
  8. Meat promotes muscle growth and repair due to high protein.

Mental Benefits of Eating Meat to the Body

There have been studies that have shown that those who eat meat have better mental health and reduced rates of depression than vegans and vegetarians. Find out more about the mental side of eating meat here.

Numerous studies show that eating meat is associated with better markers of mental health and reduced rates of depression when compared with vegans and vegetarians.  

Mental Benefits of Eating Meat

Types of Meat – Examples

Red meat examples include the following:

  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Veal
  • Goat
  • Game such as venison or bison

White meat examples include the following:

  • Chicken
  • Quail and other wild birds
  • Turkey

Processed meat examples include the following:

  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Salami

Meat Consumption in Different Religions


Qurbani is a common annual practice among Muslims whereby they sacrifice, or pay to sacrifice, an animal that can be shared among poor people.

Islam promotes and encourages charity and generosity, and this religious practice helps many people around the world, especially those in poor countries who do not have good diets or access to food.

The giving of Qurbani is explained in the Quran: “And the camels and cattle We have appointed for you as among the symbols of Allah; for you therein is good. So, mention the name of Allah upon them when lined up [for sacrifice]; and when they are [lifeless] on their sides, then eat from them and feed the needy and the beggar. Thus, have We subjected them to you that you may be grateful.” (Al-Haj 22:36)

This is performed at least once a year during Dhul Hijjah (the last month in the Islamic calendar) before Eid al-Adha. Find out more about Eid al-Adha and how Muslims observe it.


Most Christians and denominations believe that consuming meat is allowed. This is the most commonly held view by Christians based on Genesis 9:3 – ‘Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.’

Christians mostly agree that meat can be eaten as long as it done is in a way that honors the life of the animal by treating it well and sacrificing it properly and not inhumanly.


Most Hindus avoid adding meat and eggs to their diet, but some eat lamb, fish, and chicken. However, all practicing Hindus do not eat beef as cows are considered to be holy and sacred animals.

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