Do we need to eat meat? | DW Documentary

Why, in some regions of the world, do we love dogs and eat pigs? It’s a question best answered with an appraisal of the cultural, historic and psychological roots of meat consumption.

At the Goldschmaus abattoir, animal welfare officer Gerald Otto explains why he thinks it’s OK to eat meat – and shows, with astonishing transparency, what measure abattoirs take to ensure as painless a death as possible for thousands of animals every day.

The US-American psychologist Melanie Joy identifies a widespread ideology within many societies: from childhood we learn to distinguish a small group of animals as edible – and the meat of all other creatures as disgusting. And to uphold this belief, says Melanie Joy, we repeatedly tell ourselves three myths: Eating meat is natural, necessary and normal.

Ilja Steffelbauer is examining just how natural our meat consumption really is. The cultural historian has researched the history of meat from the beginnings of mankind to the present. He provides a clear explanation of how hunting has influenced us – and why after millennia of scarcity, we became the greediest meat-eaters in history.

Nutritionist Niko Rittenau explores the question of how necessary it really is for us to consume meat. What nutrients does meat contain? Can we get these from other foodstuffs? Why do we find meat so delicious – and what role do our instincts play?

Finally, the documentary investigates the idea that eating meat is normal. Different cultures have different interpretations of what’s normal – so what does that mean for humanity as a whole?

Factory farming, animal welfare and the future of modern agriculture:

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