No - it isn't a need for meat....... I've been a blood donor for many years.
I've been a vegetarian for more than 20 of those years. Before you
can donate, your vitals including your iron count are checked. If your iron
count is too low, you cannot donate. Blackstrap molasses, greens and dark beans
such as red beans and kidney beans are big in my list of high iron sources.
I KNOW many people can't stomach the blackstrap molasses. Sometimes
I add it to a stove top barbecue beans recipe. Blackstrap molasses is a
very good source of iron, potassium and calcium. Most dark beans provide at
least 10 percent of your iron requirement. Keep in mind, that consumption
of dairy and caffeine blocks iron absorption. If you're going to eat something
high in dairy, or have a cup of coffee, don't even bother trying to get your
iron at that time. Instead, eat a separate meal with the iron-rich food in it.