Animal food has been an important part of human diet for thousands of years. Although in most cultures, animal food has been eaten in small quantities in comparison to plant foods, for many, animal food may be an essential component of the diet for restoring or maintaining health, otherwise suffering from a type of malnutrition.
Meat has been traditionally associated with the YANG male principle of activity. Kings and warriors were given meat, fueling the desire to conquer and expand outwards. The secret weapon of Jennings Khan that conquered the ancient world was that he fed his troops with a shepherd’s and hunter’s menu, rich in animal protein: mare-milk, yoghurt, hard cheese,mutton meat and venison. The armies of China and Europe, fed on an agricultural menu of cereals, pasta and porridge, had no chance against the Mongolian predators.
Monks and scholars ate simple vegetarian food through which they conquered inner realms, as evidenced by the ancient Greek philosophers who ate bread, barley porridge, lentils, flax seed, green leafy vegetables, turnip, figs, olives, goat cheese, fruit and wine. These philosophers, in addition to shaping the foundations of Western thought and culture for 2,500 years, enjoyed a long life expectancy: Plato lived to age 87, Sophocles until the age of 91, and Hippocrates until age 83.
White meats such as fish and poultry were considered to have a stimulating quality and were often served as a medicine for people recovering from illness. Red meats such as beef and lamb were considered to strengthen endurance and were served to warriors and during certain periods in history as an offering to the gods.
Give me power
The three main components of animal food are fat, protein and water. Because meat is rich in protein and fat, it encourages the building and growth of cells and tissues of the body and has a strong thermo genic effect. Thermogenesis is a process of producing physiological heat. In order to allow digestion and absorption of food, the cells of the body increase their activity and create a thermo genic effect. Protein-rich foods increase thermogenesis and create a stimulating and warming effect in the body. Of all types of protein, red meat has the strongest thermo genic effect.
Eating meat in quantities appropriate to one’s unique needs will create energy and build strength. Over-eating of meat will quickly create problems associated with accumulation of fat and protein in blood vessels and internal organs, decay and infections.
The yin and yang of animal food (according to the terms of macrobiotics)
Generally speaking, animal food as a group has a more YANG (thermo genic) effect than plant food, but it is possible to make an internal division of this group according to the following characteristics:
Influence from Yin (less hot) to Yang (more hot):
MostYin–prehistoric – modern – most Yang
Most Yin – Seafood – fish – poultry – mammals – most Yang
MostYin– fresh water – salt water –land–mostYang
Most Yin –factory animals – pasture animals – wild animals – most Yang
The color of the meat
Most Yin– white – bright red – dark – mostYang
Most Yin – fillet – muscles – internal organs – bones – most Yang
Energy properties of meat according to Chinese medicine
Animal food has a strong medical effect when properly processed and consumed in the right amount, which according to Chinese medicine should be a small quantity (an ideal portion of meat will be the size of the diner’s fist),for either breakfast or lunch, when the digestive system is at its peak. It is usually cooked in soup or porridge with Greens and spices that improve digestion.
For example, traditionally an egg is considered a powerful food that contains Qi (energy) of a whole chicken. Therefore, the Chinese consider one egg sufficient for 6 people (e.g. egg drizzles for a soup pot or scrambled egg for a pot of rice) and are used with spices and herbs of a dispersing quality such as black pepper, hot sauce, green onions or chives that help digest and release the stored energy of the egg.
Fish Strengthen the Qi (energy) and blood and is Suitable for tired and heavy and deficient people. Fish has a stimulating and sharpening effect on the senses and brain and nervous system activity.
Strengthens Qi and blood, strengthens the spleen, stomach and pancreas, strengthens postpartum woman, encourages the production of breast milk, and strengthens the bone marrow. Chicken is suitable for depleted people without energy and motivation.
Turkey is suitable for depleted people with hyperactive minds; turkey has a calming quality because of the amino acid tryptophan. Good for low muscle tone, physical heaviness, and running thoughts that interfere with concentration.
Strengthens Qi and blood, loads the energy reserves of the body and endows power. Beef is suitable for people who are depleted and weak. Eating meat supports assertiveness, competitiveness and an urge to act. In the right quantities will encourage sharp senses, will power, excitement, enthusiasm and strength to perform physical work.
Strengthens Qi and blood, strengthens kidneys and spleen, suitable for weak, thin and dry people who suffer from cold and weakness and anemia.
Strengthens Qi and blood, nourishes the lower body and relieves dryness. The egg has a tremendous ability to store energy and endow endurance, strength and stability. Suitable for people who suffer from emaciation and cold, in these cases eggs could quickly nourish vacuity and renew energy and vitality.
Wildlife Animals, Farm Animals and factory Animals
Traditionally humans have been nourished by hunted animals or animals they have raised. Wild animals (birds, rabbits and larger mammals) have special qualities, they are free to choose their habitat and adapt to it, where nature gives them their needs for survival. Wild animal food enhances the will to survive and to live, the power to adjust, keen instincts and sharp senses. It is recommended that eating wild animals be balanced in having contact with nature through work or sports.
Shepherd animals have been used by humans as food for thousands of years. In ancient cultures eating meat was associated with strength, courage, daring and a down to earth connection.
factory animals are usually genetically manipulated, containing 20% -30% more fat, these animals have lost their instincts to survive and the will to live, factory animals feed mainly from grains and not grass, therefor high fat percentage, the ratio of omega 3: 6 is 1: 17-25, when the ratio in grazing animals is 1: 4. Because of overcrowding in cages and pens, inadequate food, poor sanitary conditions, poor ventilation and massive use of drugs, the energy quality obtained from this food can cause health damage. Today it is possible to buy free-range eggs and meat of a relatively good quality, free range animals, nourished by a high quality blend of feed and of grass. If animal food is a necessity for your health, make your best effort to obtain organic chicken or meat, organic pond fish and organic eggs.