Do we need a book to argue the reasons why human beings should eat everything? Juan Pascual, a graduate in Veterinary Medicine, has considered it opportune and, in 'Reasons to be omnivores. For your health and that of the planet' (Servet) – a work with a prologue by the former Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Manuel Pimentel – presents his thesis.

'Reasons to be an omnivore for your health and that of the planet'. You can't say more with a title, can you? But what are those reasons? Yes, I think it is important for the reader to know from the outset what reading the text is going to bring them. Being omnivores is part of our evolution, of our essence as humans. It is possible to avoid this in the diet, but it is complicated and dangerous. It is not for nothing that many medical associations advise against it. So for our health, it is best to have a varied diet that contains animal products. Not only do they provide us with key nutrients, such as vitamin B12, iron or essential amino acids (to name just a few), but they do so in a way that we can easily absorb them. And for the planet because livestock recycles: for every kg of edible product provided by crops, 4 kg of waste is produced that we cannot eat. We can eat the kernels of the corn (the popcorn), but not the stems, leaves or roots of the plant, which the cows will take advantage of. Without livestock, 6 billion tons of plant debris would be wasted. Animals take advantage of them and give us high-quality nutrients in return. In addition, 50% of the world's fertilizers are manure-based. Without cattle we would have to build chemical plants to produce more compost. There are many more examples. You could say that your book goes against the current trends, right? It is even 'politically incorrect'. At what point and why does saying that you eat meat seem frowned upon? Actually, the goal of the book is not to go against anyone. Only against misinformation. Orwell said that telling the truth is a revolutionary act. I don't know if that's the case, but everything I tell in the book is amply documented in more than 400 bibliographic references. A narrative has been constructed by a certain activism that has permeated the media and part of society. But it is still a fallacious narrative since there is a discrepancy between what is said and what is done. Animal protein consumption is not decreasing, in Europe it is stable and in the world it continues to increase. People who give up animal food are a tiny part of society. But the data is also clear and I explain it in detail in the book: drinking dairy products protects against cancer, consuming animal products increases life expectancy, as well as the physical and mental development of children. A profoundly erroneous narrative has been established in which all the evils are blamed on animal production and its products. Livestock farming has become the 'pim, pam, bam' of other sectors and it turns out that it is responsible for climate change, pandemics or hunger in the world. The reality is that livestock farming is a fundamental part of the solution to these problems. Is it really necessary to eat meat? It's very, very difficult to eliminate animal products from your diet. According to data from the French Ministry of Agriculture, the number of vegans in France is 0.3%, a figure that coincides with a recent study published in Spain. In addition, according to the French survey, 50% of those who confess to being vegan claim to eat animal products with some frequency. And what's more, 84% of those who embrace these diets quit in less than two years. There are a lot of famous vegans who have abandoned it (Bill Clinton or Angelina Jolie among many others).And most of them quit for health reasons. So it seems that yes, eating meat – or animal products – is necessary for the vast majority. I think the influence is more in the conversation than on the plate. I want to say that the vast majority follow an omnivorous diet, but the conversation of what to eat, why to choose one option or another, ethics and food are present. It must be acknowledged that, despite being a small minority, it has achieved very high levels of media - and political - attention. Hence the need to write this book, to give the other version, the informed version, if I may. You speak of the 'moral superiority' of this current... That's how they position themselves. In English, vegans call themselves "ethical vegans." Its parties and associations make constant reference to the ethical position of its postulates. But these are fallacious premises. Let's look at a case study, let's imagine that you and I eat a cow that has only eaten grass to have the protein we need in a year. Another person chooses to cultivate half a hectare to get those nutrients from vegetables. But growing vegetables means using insecticides. By ploughing fields, burrows of rodents and reptiles are destroyed. When harvesting, machinery destroys bird nests. Then, in this particular case, more animal deaths occur by opting for a plant-based diet than with a carnivorous diet. You are not more ethical to opt for plant-based products. It is very difficult to state categorically that this is black and white. There are many nuances, but you are not more ethically or morally better by eliminating animal products from your diet. In your book you allude to the 'strange relationship' we have with animals. Where, in your opinion, would be that healthy and balanced coexistence? To get to know them better. Today many children only see cows, pigs and rabbits at the zoo. They are as unknown to much of the urban world as tigers or polar bears. Millions of people enjoy the company of dogs and cats, but the world of livestock is increasingly unknown to a large majority. So it's time to get closer, to take an interest in him in order to be able to give his opinion with full knowledge of the facts. You also talk about animal welfare, but to a certain extent you call into question some of the most recurrent demands. Why? Because animal welfare is a science that is studied in veterinary medicine. It's not about what I think is right or wrong for an animal, it's about what it looks like to him. Many believe that animals should always be raised in the wild, but that means being exposed to inclement weather, predators or drought. On the other hand, on a farm there is shelter, veterinary care and no predators, but the animals cannot move freely. Both systems have good and bad things, but judging from afar and without knowing leads us to take positions, often wrong. You also link that well-being to productivity... In general, when an animal is well. Both physically and emotionally, without stress, it produces better. Farmers are the first ones interested in their animals growing bigger or giving more milk or laying more eggs, then it is in their own interest to have them in good condition. In addition, pets are our responsibility and it is our obligation that they have a good quality of life. You talk about veganism as a religion that, as you have already pointed out, many abandon. There are also doubts about whether its environmental impact is really less than that produced by eating meat... There are at least two judges, one in the UK and one in the US, who have regarded veganism as a movement that deserves to be respected on the same level as religious beliefs. Of course, respect must always preside over our judgment, but on both sides. There is no moral superiority for having one diet or another. And it's not always a kind move for those who abandon it. Going without animal products would have dire consequences for the environment. I have already mentioned that cattle recycle, but I will illustrate this point with a different example. In the world, the most consumed animal protein is fish: 20 kg per person on the planet per year. 200 million tons in total. If we choose not to eat, among other things, fish, those 200 million tonnes would have to be obtained from crops. Where do we get the ground to do it? How many hectares would have to be deforested to replace fish?

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