How ethics of meat and health transcend the dinner plate


Meat consumption is at an all-time global high and is linked to negative health outcomes such as obesity and coronary artery disease. Moreover, meat production and industry practices contribute to a range of social and environmental implications that physicians should consider in promoting human health.

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Featuring a diverse array of contributors, the April issue of AMA Journal of Ethics® (@JournalofEthics) explores how health professionals can consider and respond to ethical challenges that meat production and consumption creates in their practices, professions and organizations.

The April issue of AMA Journal of Ethics includes the following articles:

  1. How Should Food Offered by Health Care Organizations Meet Individual, Community and Ecological Needs?

    Sustainable food services are key dimensions of health care organizations’ civic and stewardship responsibilities to individuals and communities.

  2. AMA Code of Medical Ethics’ Opinions Related to Meat and Health

    The AMA Code and Principles provide guidance on how to educate and counsel patients about meat consumption and about their advocacy roles in reducing meat production.

    Related Coverage

    Temple Grandin on what doctors should know about slaughterhouses
  3. Do Clinics in Meat and Poultry Plants Endanger Workers?

    Most meat and poultry plants have on-site workplace clinics where workers are required to obtain care for work-related injuries or illnesses.

  4. How Should We Improve How Medical and Veterinary Students Learn About Human and Nonhuman Animals?

    Five things all physicians and other clinicians should know about why environmental threats matter to human and nonhuman animals’ health.

The journal’s April “Ethics Talk” podcast features a discussion with David Simon to help untangle economic incentives driving industrialization of meat.

The April issue also features five author-interview podcasts. Listen to previous episodes of the podcast, “Ethics Talk,” or subscribe in iTunes or other services.

Also, CME modules drawn from this month’s issue are collected at the AMA Ed Hub™ AMA Journal of Ethics webpage.

Related Coverage

What a sustainable diet means—for your patients and the planet

Submissions for the 2023 Conley Contests are being accepted. U.S. medical students, resident physicians and fellows are eligible to submit entries. The winning prize for the best essay and artwork, respectively, is $5,000.

Upcoming issues of the journal will focus on interprofessional education and innovation, as well as patient-centered transgender surgical care. Sign up to receive email alerts when new issues are published.