I found this article, Meatless Monday: Anger Management, from the Huffington post to be quite interesting. ASU gets a mention too, so that makes it extra cool.
However, I'm about to stop reading comments on articles like this forever. They just get me riled up with all the venom people spew from every side of an argument. And even though there might be some good information tucked in them supporting, or not, the themes of the article, I can't stand sifting through all the mean-spiritedness and insults. If that's not a perfect example demonstrating how easy something can affect our mood, I don't know what is.
So, the article might not be perfect and the research might not be either, but I think there is something to the idea about meat affecting emotional health. My own experience is that when I stopped eating meat I felt lighter and happier than ever before.
Here's an excerpt:
"Recent research by Arizona State University showed omnivores who went meatless felt better emotionally. Of the 39 people studied, one group kept to their omnivorous ways, a second group ate fish but no other source of animal protein, the third group ate no fish, no meat, no eggs. The first two groups reported no change in emotion or cognition. The plant-based party reported they felt more relaxed and focused than they did eating meat. .... I'm saying there's a real correlation between how eating meat and feeling anger affect the body."
Yeah, it's from a small pilot study. And the research doesn't look to have explored WHY people feel better without meat, but that is something I'd be interested in learning more about.
The idea that meat can affect your mood is not a new one for me. Not only do I think our bodies are happier without meat, I think our spirits tend to be so too. Meat equals the death of another being, and I just believe that's got to affect us negatively on some level.
I remember reading about a belief/theory/idea that when an animal is slaughtered, whatever they are feeling triggers chemicals in the body and those chemicals stay in the meat which people later eat. So if a cow is feeling terror and pain and anger, and I believe they do, people who eat meat also ingest those chemicals/hormones which can affect their own mood and well-being, therefore increasing their own levels of anxiety and anger and depression and even adrenaline. We're not even talking about injected hormones and antibiotics, these are chemicals that would be present in organic meat of slaughtered animals.
I think this is true with toxins too. And maybe we are ok at first with our body being able to detox and clean out our systems, but progressively both toxins and chemicals and hormones build up. But our deterioration can be slow and we adjust to it so it feels normal.
Anything we ingest plays a part on how our body feels, and our mind and body and spirit are connected. If we are not nourishing one, the others suffer too. Sometimes feeling bad is noticeable, but often we get so used to feeling a certain way that we don't know we can feel better with just a few diet adjustments. It's only when we have big dips that we actively strive to make changes. I think this is what happened to the people in the ASU study. They felt better without realizing they even could, just by not eating meat.