You won’t appreciate this statement until you have gone vegan for perhaps a year, and no longer crave meat.
Dependence on meat is psychological, not physical or health related. There is no difference between the addiction to meat and addictions to other habit forming substances – nicotine, recreational drugs, and alcohol. Try restricting a compulsive carnivore (which is almost everyone) from eating meat for any duration of time, even a day, and watch their reaction and behavior. They will exhibit symptoms of withdrawal including intense cravings, irritability, and anxiety. Believe me, I’ve seen it. If you eat meat constantly, try it yourself. Be observant rather than dismissive of your reaction.
The body doesn’t need meat to survive. It only believes that it does. This is why image based advertising of meat products, especially fast food, is so effective. It stimulates the mind and reminds it of the addiction, of the need to refresh, of the desire for immediate gratification.
Addiction psychologically prioritizes short term reward over long term consequences. Most people who have cholesterol levels above 200, chronic illness, or mood related disorders continue to eat meat when evidence strongly suggests that switching to a plant-based diet for even two weeks may help start the healing process and alleviate prolonged suffering.
With a vegan diet, I'm not addicted to the food I eat. I willingly skip meals whether I’m hungry or not. Some days, I’ll eat only fruit and drink water. On some days, this is enough. I often skip dinner. I don’t obsess over kale, cucumbers, quinoa, or lentils. When it comes down to it, they’re just food matter which I use to fill my stomach when it needs it. I’m able to regulate my diet and balance what I want with what I need. You can, too!
When you have an addiction, your mind is never free. The addiction controls your thoughts and actions. You wake up in the morning and every activity throughout the day is directed subconsciously to support the addiction. A vegan diet can un-tether and release you to become the amazing individual you were born to be!
Meat is an addiction.