Meat, Medicine and Human Health in the Twentieth Century
By the beginning of the twentieth century, meat eating was a regular part of daily life in the Western world. Whilst the extra protein in this diet had a beneficial effect on growth and resilience to certain diseases, excessive amounts were found to promote cancer, heart disease and obesity. When it comes to meat this is often what we talk about today: its implications for us, our planet and our health. However, few seem to agree on what these implications are. This collection of ten historical essays explores some of the complex relations between meat and human health in twentieth-century North America and Europe. Its subjects include the relations between the meat and the pharmaceutical industries, the slaughterhouse and the rise of endocrinology, the therapeutic benefits of meat extracts and the short-lived fate of liver ice-cream in the treatment of pernicious anaemia. Other articles examine responses to BSE and bovine tuberculosis, cancer and meat consumption, DES in cattle, American-style meat in Mexico and Nazi attitudes towards meat eating. Together these papers highlight a complicated array of often contradictory attitudes towards meat and human health.
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