There were days when eating meat was special. Now it’s the other way around. We have the freedom to choose something vegetarian from the menu, but usually for vegetarians the options are limited in the USA. When they come over to your house for dinner they want special treatment and you should cook something vegan for them. At their dinner table usually they won’t do the effort back and serve you a burger.
Early man would eat meat every time he could get his hands on it, which just happened occasionally. The rest of the time he ate vegetables. About 8000 years BC man started domesticating animals so meat was more available. Til the 19th century meat was only for kings and the rich. Only the past 200 years meat eating is democratized. It’s cheap and unlimited available. That’s why we think it’s the norm and Americans consume more than any other country in the world. At the same time look around you: obesity and diet-related diseases have increased.
These days people usually gain weight in wintertime and lose weight in summertime. It used to be the other way around. In summertime was plenty of food available so we gained extra kilo’s to get us through wintertime when we lost weight because there was less food available.
In India it’s a different situation. Meat is available but for the majority it’s a luxury. Vegan is the norm and the meat eaters, – the rich – get fat, although comparing to USA standards they’re still modest. In the north of the country basically everyone is vegetarian. You won’t see people that are fat or very muscular, because of lack of proteins. Most cancer rates are way lower than in the USA, but studies of Indian immigrants show the rate of chronic diseases and cancer increases dramatically after one generation in the adopted country. The role of the Indian diet is being researched. The focus is on vegetarianism, spices and food additives and their role in preventing diseases and to stay slim.