Are humans designed to eat meat?

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Are humans designed to eat meat?

Being an anthropology student (and also a vegan) the question “Are humans designed to eat meat” has always been a particularly intriguing question for me.

 

It’s also really important to know this stuff because it stops a lot of people – in their tracks – from embracing diet high in plant food (the key for radiant health!).

A person came right up to me last month, almost dismayed, saying,“Can you honestly tell me that humans aren’t designed to eat meat? We’ve eaten meat since our early days as prehistoric humans!”

Here’s what I said:

“It’s not that I think eating meat is inherently wrong – I don’t.

Yes, there are tremendous problems with the scale of animal cruelty present today, but I don’t think that eating a cow or chicken you tended to with loving care is inherently bad or wrong.

And I won’t deny that – without a doubt – humans ate meat in our early days. We did!

What I find important is how much. How much meat did humans really eat?”

 

Most likely early humans ate very, very little meat.

 

In fact, their main subsistence was likely lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds (a mostly raw diet coincidentally).

Meat was something to be enjoyed on occasion. Why do you think there was such a great celebration over that successful hunt? (That probably happened every couple months at best).

I recently picked up a paleo diet cookbook (where we are supposed to eat like our early ancestral humans did) and I was astounded by recipe after recipe of different meat dishes!

Where’s the truth in that?

 

Now – just because we ate small amounts of meat in our early days – does this mean that humans are “designed” to eat meat in the same way a carnivore is?

I still say a resounding NO.

Anthropologists suspect that, in truth, humans are herbivores by design.

Why? The digestive tract of a true carnivore, say a tiger, is about 3 times the length of the animal. Do you know how long that of a human’s is? About 10-12 times the length of the human. A carnivore – like a tiger – eats and digests a piece of meat in less than 1 day (because the meat is rapidly decaying).

The same piece of meat takes us (humans) double to triple that amount of time (2-3 days!) to digest that same piece of meat.

Have you looked at your teeth lately? Do they compare to that of a tiger?

NO.

How about your jaw? Not much compared to the chomping power on a tiger is it? The teeth and jaws on a tiger are clearly designed to tear and rip apart flesh, whereas ours…not so much.

Our closest living ancestors, the great apes, are almost always herbivores, with very few exceptions.

So: Humans do not need meat to live healthy, vibrant lives!

 

But – you say – what if I LOVE meat?

 

Then you love meat!

For my clients who simply can’t live without meat, I suggest enjoying a small piece (like that of a side dish or smaller) of meat every once and awhile – bought from a reputable, grain fed, local source. And load the remaining 75% (or more) of your plate with some delicious raw, vegan recipes (that I coincidentally teach about in my classes).

As for eating meat (or other animal products) every day, three times a day? No thank you.

This meat stays in our guts for an extended amount of time (mingling at body temperature no less) causing constipation and oxidization within your digestive tract (among other ailments). 

Done in excess over the span of a lifetime, it takes a great toll on the body (colon cancer, a most popular cancer, has a high correlation to meat consumption levels and very low levels of fibre – go figure) – and it’s very hard on the environment too.

So tell me about your thoughts on our human design – did I convince you? Do you enjoy meat every once and awhile?

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70 Comments

  1. Hello Sarah! Thanks for bringing this subject up. That’s a question we vegan have to frequently debate. I think you make many good, compelling points. I am convinced too that the human body is designed for a plant based diet. As for eating meat, never ever for the rest of my life. To me exploiting, abusing or killing another being is unnecessary and morally wrong, when we have all the resources we need to achieve vibrant health by eating a whole, plant based diet, and wisely taking a few supplements that, by the way, would greatly benefit everybody.
    When people say to me, ” but I love my meat”, I say, “Yes, I know, I used to love meat too, and eggs, and dairy. But the fact to the matter is that they will most likely impact ypur health in one way or the other, and don’t forget that we tend to love what we’re used to. The taste buds an the cravings change with the food you consume. Before you know it, you start loving this tofu, this kale and avocado salad, this sunflower pate. Lemon, coriander, coconut become your best friends. Yes, the vegan lifestyle fits me perfectly. I get to eat great tasting and healthy food, I do my part for the environment, and I can truly say that I love the animals and care for all of them. So much joy and satisfaction!

    • Yes, it is so true about it being a transition. So true! Soon enough you’ll be salivating over a bunch of greens and just wondering what happened to my taste buds? Humans are so adaptable.

    • what did people eat on Alaska there was no fruites or veges and there was no transport like today

  2. Thank you very much for this and your blog – I love it. My mother-in-law grew up on a farm in Wisconsin and to her meat is THE center piece of every meal. If you don’t eat meat you’re not getting enough protein.

    When she visits (for too long), EVERY meal she is like a hawk watching my daughter trying to get her to eat more meat. I just want to scream. This woman has had a heart attack and hip replacement and yet sees no connection with her diet. Still pushes the meat and butter on everything.

    She unfortunately stays with us for about 10 days when she visits and one visit I made no meals with meat for almost the whole time. I had to endure comments about how ‘I might want to’ give my daughter protein powder drinks to make sure she’s getting enough protein. Our daughter is rarely sick, a healthy weight, and does well in school. Omg.

    So sorry for the negativity, but it is amazing how people will react when you don’t eat like them. (I did mention she had a HEART ATTACK two years ago?)

    Thank you SO much for this blog!0

    • I’m so glad you are enjoying my site, Jenny.

      Indeed dealing with family is a huge chapter in itself (I am working on one right now actually). Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle because there is so much “evidence” pointing towards the need for animal protein. Many people who do share the protein concern are coming from a place of true concern, since it is only in the more recent past that we’ve gotten so many new studies making question marks. Also, I recently heard someone say (and I’m sorry I can’t remember who) that vegetarians have been around long enough that we know they don’t fall over and die from protein deficiency!

      As counter-intuitive as it may seem, one of the best tricks that I have found is to actually NOT talk about it. We are a culture of talking things to death (which I agree with to an extent) but, with topics and relationships that are so deeply set, it is sometimes best just to set clear boundaries and agree to not talk about the particularly inflammatory topics and you’ll both likely feel a freedom and mutual respect after the initial “awkward” phase of getting used to it. I wish you luck in forging this path with your mother.

  3. A few things come up for me when reading about raw/ raw vegan nutrition, which I practiced for a little less than a year. When reviewing information based on blood type, and practicing with my own blood type and lifestyle, some body chemistry can digest meat better than others, some body chemistry can digest raw plant material better than others. Energetically, meat has a lower vibration than plants; and in my experience as the vibration of the individual becomes higher the desire for meat based meals lessens, as does the overall quantity of food with or without meat. When considering ayruvedic principles, there may be some types of meat that are more beneficial than others and there may also be types of plants that are more beneficial than others, and overall there is a desire to stay away form meat, again because of the vibration of it. Geographic location and time of year can influence what is best for each person. Tuning in to how we feel after each thing we eat and the amount of each thing we eat is important to determine what is the best diet for the individual. I feel healthier when I eat meat and mostly cooked foods, even though I would prefer to have a raw/raw vegan diet. Now that summer is approaching I will likely take less meat, incorporate some raw, and still keep some cooked foods to balance out the digestive fire. Given human diversity, it may take some time for everyone to reach the same stage of dietary evolution where we are all healthily eating fruits, nuts and veggies =)

    • Hi Lori, I think you have an interesting perspective – thank you for sharing! Great food for thought. I too believe in consuming some cooked veggies and grains during winter, because it is warming on cold winter nights (not meat for me though!). I do manage to sneak in a lot of raw too :-)

      I agree what works for one does not necessarily work for all. I’d like to say though, that many “needs” often have deep emotional ties as well, which can masquerade as true “need”. Which is why, like you say, made gradually over time, I think everyone could be capable of successfully shifting to another diet (and be fully nourished by it).

      Just as a sort-of unrelated note, moving forward with climate change, due to the environmental stress that meat puts on the environment, meat may not always even be an option, I’ve heard some predict. Certainly the planet could not support enough meat production for 7 billion people. More food for thought…

      I really enjoy learning about the vibrational aspect of foods – very interesting!

      • It’s true we should all eat very little meat. However commenting on the Earth’s ability to feed 7 billion people should not be part of this discussion. For example the current population of the world could have 4 people on a quarter acre of ground with a Victory garden to feed them, just using the land in Texas and Oklahoma alone. The virtually untapped prairies of Colombia, S.A. could feed the world all by itself as well. These experts talked of obviously don’t realize what the scriptures tell us. “There is enough and to spare.”

      • Hi Dee James, I was speaking more from a sustainability perspective in terms of questioning whether the earth can support so much meat production with all the methane gas and drain on the resources. I understand you are speaking from a religious perspective and I respect that so thank you for your comment.

  4. Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you
    get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you protect against
    it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much
    lately it’s driving me insane so any support is very much appreciated.

    • Yes, absolutely. It was a huge problem for me before I installed the “Spam Free WordPress” plugin. Now I only get the occasional one every month or two but for the most part the plugin does a really great job. Hope this helps,
      Sarah

  5. It is useful to eat meat if you do heavy physical work. Otherwise it is completely unnecessary and possibly harmful. It is also necessary to avoid gluten, which is fatal to the human body. Fruits, nuts and veggies are the best :)

    • Actually, I’ve been a vegetarian from birth and do heavy physical work – somehow I’m still alive and well, and working hard! So I guess needing meat to do heavy physical work is a myth…..

      • Yes :-) Thank you for illuminating my point!

      • Nice :-)

  6. You totally skipped a protein source our ancestors ate with abandon, and probably every day; insects.

    We ARE designed for that.

    • Hi Eli, That’s a WONDERFUL point. Thank you. I heard insects will become a very important food in the next century with the climate change and the impact this will have on our food system. Thanks for the reminder.

  7. Et qu’en penses-tu aujourd’hui??

  8. Great article.

    but I question this:

    “bought from a reputable, grain fed, local source”

    I think its important that the meat you eat comes from a animal that is healthy and eats its natural diet. That would be pretty hard to achieve with a grain fed meat. Cows eat grass. The only reason they feed them grain is because they grow faster. They get sick on grains.

    Also I think that fish is more natual for us to eat than red meat. The easiest animal to catch would be eaten more often. Our bodies react better to fish than red meat (inflamation).

    • Yes, Pontus, great point. I am a vegan obviously so but believe – if meat is a must – it has to be naturally fed and – touche – you point out grass better than grain. Being a vegan I forget this :-) Thank you!

    • I’ve been being educated by Dr. Robert Morse, ND on acid/alkaline and lymphatic issues. He helps people with fasting and de-toxing and seems to know the skinny on the human body. According to him fowl is better than fish, although I love a good fatty salmon steak. But if one eats only 20% meat why argue over details? What is the best way to process meat so that it does not sit in the gut so long? Cooked or raw? Blended in the Nutribullet?

      • Hi Colleen, The best way to consume meat if you choose is the take it with a lot of fibre (i.e. veggies), this helps to speed it up through your gut. As well, I highly recommend consuming it in small quantities.

  9. Oh my goodness, such a wonderful article, I have actually seen myself change before my own eyes. No article, no ones influence, no fabulous recipes, but my body connecting to my brain or vice verses, and my desire for eating meat especially red meat. Just the appearance started to turn my stomach, now even chicken and fish don’t always set well. So reading the article just encouraged me that my body is directing me as to what it needs. Thank you for ALL your sharing. I look forward to my future and healthy life style.

    • So thrilled to hear!!

  10. I found this post after googling phrases like “meat makes my stomach hurt”. I was raised in the south, on barbecue and grilled and fried everything. Moved away, discovered vegetarianism and liked it. Moved home, went back to eating meat. I was vegan for a time, and (loved it because I was cooking like a mad woman!), but found it difficult as my husband and kids eat meat, so I was cooking all the time. Now, just like before, I feel a shift inside me away from meat. It hurts my stomach, it makes me constipated, it just does not agree with me. I don’t say I’m vegan or vegetarian, because I just eat what I feel like eating. It’s interesting to know, after trying Paleo and reading all the posts on the “evidence” on some of those sites, that maybe what I’m doing is the best thing. You make me feel like I’m not alone. :)

    • Thanks so much, Jenee. Yes, the evidence on any trend diet seems to be strong in the books and promotional material but when looked at from a scientific perspective it seems the only thing we can prove is that fruits and vegetables are really, really good for us and excessive meat leads to disease. I’m glad you’ve come to realize this, I went through a similar journey myeslf :-) Hope we can be of service to you. Sincerely,
      Sarah

  11. Wow. This actually makes a lot of sense. I’m looking into eating raw, and that’s how I found this site, but I do love to eat meat. Anything else will be easy to cut, but we do eat a lot of steak and chicken. I don’t plan to completely cut it out, but I do plan now after reading this to maybe try to go from once a day, to maybe 2-3 times a week and maybe less once I’m used to that.

  12. Humans eat meat for a couple of reasons
    1. Fat, fat was essential ( and still is) for a healthy diet. Without fat your body can go into starvation mode. Your body will hold onto as many calories as it can and you will suffer from lack of energy and aggressive mood swings and in extreme cases you can pass out from lack of calories.
    2. Protein, although seeds and fruits have a high amount of protein per serving it is just pure protein with no fat or sugars along with it the essential fat and sugars that are needed for a strong muscular system and healthy lifestyle. And although I do not oppose vegans or what they stand for it is true that you need meat to be healthy our body is designed to handle the consumption of meat for its role in our health. Even though I do not agree with mass slaughterhouses i think that everybody should eat meat that has lived its life fully on a farm and that we do still need meat and that is the truth of it.

    • Hi Brendan, Thank you for your comments but I respectfully disagree with your comment. All cultures throughout history have had people who opt to not eat meat and they don’t fall over and die. There have been many vegans/vegetarians for years and years (especially since the 60’s) and they too have not fallen over and died due to protein deficiency.
      As you pointed out yourself, there is a high amount of protein that can be obtained from plant sources. And, in fact, there are studies who point out that the higher your consumption level of animal protein, the higher rates of disease that you accumulate, so there is no simple “truth” to this myth – it’s precisely that – a myth that we “need” meat. Want? For sure but not “need”.
      Here’s to wishing you the best on your health journey.
      Sarah

      • Hi,
        I simply don’t like meat and dairy doesn’t agree with my body at all Therefore the foods I eat are mainly vegan. I would really like to believe that we were not necessarily designed to eat meat but the issue of vitamin B12 seems to question this. I read everywhere that vitamin B12 only comes from animal sources and is integral to the proper functioning of the body.
        I would be really interested in your thoughts on this and also if you know of any natural ways of getting enough B12 without consuming animal products.

      • Link to that study? I’ve never seen a legitimate study with significant evidence showing meats harmful effects on any health markers or disease rate

      • Start here: http://www.ohmyraw.com/scientific-studies-and-plant-based-nutrition/

        There are indeed many studies which suggest high meat consumption is linked with higher rates of chronic disease. Also, this debate is fantastic:http://fora.tv/2013/12/04/Dont_Eat_Anything_With_A_Face

      • Is not protein a complex of amino acids? And can’t one get all the amino acids from fruits and leafy greens? As for lipids (fats) I eat a lot of avocados which are high in lipids. I’ve been on an 80% raw fruit diet since last November ’13.

    • Fats and proteins can be get from plant food. It is harder, what made a lot of difference o early days of humanity, but doesn’t matter today. At least for the last 2 to 3 thousand years humanity produces enough food to live without meat. For sure, it wasn’t that way everywere during this time, but in certainly today we don’t face the issues that can force someone to rely on meat. You CAN, but don’t NEED to.

  13. Hey Sarah,

    Great Post.

    I agree, I always say that the assumption by some people that humans are natural born Omnivores is a somewhat narrow statement. When I say narrow, I mean that the parameter of Omnivore in respect of human meat consumption is an ‘extremely narrow parameter’.

    As you mentioned, our ancestors did eat meat which I agree with, but the widespread use of fire at a time pre dating 125,000 years is mere scholarly speculation.
    So in terms of Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus at this point in the Pleistocene, they would have been consuming Raw Meat and most likely insects.

    I did have a chuckle at your reference to The Paleo thought process. As you say the Paleo set I believe is set up as a meat promotion vehicle…and we all know how terribly the excessive consumption animal fat can impact the human body, Neu5Ac and Neu5Gc Glycans literally killing people on a standard western diet left right and centre as well as all the other complications related to Lypemia and IGF1.

    Take a look at this facebook post and tell me what you think:

    I am a 38 yr old 11th year 100% plantbased [V*gan] and regularly run trail marathons, weighing in excess of 212lbs 15.2 stone (so not built like a standard runner by any standard). When running I do keep pace with running club mid paced runners and some back markers….so where is all this deficiency? I would like to hear your views on all of this Vegan deficiency associated with K2, B12, DHA and the Homocystein complication.
    Especially when all of these deaths in the mainstream public domain of those on SWD are “relatively” skewed towards those consuming a diet inclusive of animal fats and all the associated.

    I have always maintained that we require a death register for persons of a Vegan lifestyle persuasion, to put everything into a more clear context.

    Thanks for your time and look forward to your responses!

    Gazza

  14. Sarah, apologies, can you close off the html link which should be:

    Facebook Post

  15. Hey Sarah,

    Great Post.

    I agree, I always say that the assumption by some people that humans are natural born Omnivores is a somewhat narrow statement. When I say narrow, I mean that the parameter of Omnivore in respect of human meat consumption is an ‘extremely narrow parameter’.

    As you mentioned, our ancestors did eat meat which I agree with, but the widespread use of fire at a time pre dating 125,000 years is mere scholarly speculation.
    So in terms of Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus at this point in the Pleistocene, they would have been consuming Raw Meat and most likely insects.

    I did have a chuckle at your reference to The Paleo thought process. As you say the Paleo set I believe is set up as a meat promotion vehicle…and we all know how terribly the excessive consumption animal fat can impact the human body, Neu5Ac and Neu5Gc Glycans literally killing people on a standard western diet left right and centre as well as all the other complications related to Lypemia and IGF1.

    Take a look at this facebook post and tell me what you think:

    Facebook Post

    I am a 38 yr old 11th year 100% plantbased [V*gan] and regularly run trail marathons, weighing in excess of 212lbs 15.2 stone (so not built like a standard runner by any standard). When running I do keep pace with running club mid paced runners and some back markers….so where is all this deficiency? I would like to hear your views on all of this Vegan deficiency associated with K2, B12, DHA and the Homocystein complication.
    Especially when all of these deaths in the mainstream public domain of those on SWD are “relatively” skewed towards those consuming a diet inclusive of animal fats and all the associated.

    I have always maintained that we require a death register for persons of a Vegan lifestyle persuasion, to put everything into a more clear context.

    Thanks for your time and look forward to your responses!

    Gazza

  16. Just for your information: We humans evolved as a species that uses tools and even fire, which have been around for much much longer than the actual homo sapiens. Spears, knives and fire are our natural weapons, we are coursorial hunters, and even physically adapted to this hunting style: We walk upright, so we have a good overview over the steppes (we originate from), we have our hands free to carry our weapons, we have no fur and can sweat for cooling, and we have extraordinary endurance and excellent eyes compared to most other animals. A gazelle for instance can run much faster – but not for long. Our big, energy hungry brains however enable us, who we are physically relatively weak, to work in groups, coordinate using elaborate language, and build more and more sophisticated tools, up to the very computer you used to write this article.

    Just my 0.02€ – have a nice day.

    • For sure :-) There are arguments on both sides but perhaps the truth somewhere lies in the middle. Humans are omnivores but, given the chance, the vegan diet is the healthiest given that chemicals released in meat after it is cooked are harmful for health….a topic sure to never die.

      • Hi Frank, Here is just a quick link to get you started. I simply just googled it but this is well known among the medical community. These toxic substances are the black pieces that are formed when you cook meat on the grill which are carcinogens. That’s why stewing meat is much healthier. Here is the link to get you started but there’s a plethora of info on the internet and scientific data to back it up. http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/cancer-risk-from-bbq-meat

    • Actually using tools and fire benefited us in more than just a way to aquire meat, it gave us the ability to cook starch food for more energy as well as the ability to protect ourselves from predators. Also walking on 2 feet is not a hunting thing but a way to see danger ahead of time, many animals do it like birds who stay in groups (one will perch up high to alert the group if predatory animals come close), meerkats and primates. You can’t say hands are meant to ONLY use tools, although the ability to do so helped us with our survival (especially during the ice age times where on most of the eating plant matter wasn’t an option) however we still retain the ability to climb perhaps not as well as other primates but we still have a decent ability (this can be shown by how even people who have never gone rock climbing or have climbed a tree can with a little amount of practice to the point of being able to proquire fruits from trees), yes actually we do have fur, we have hair and on lots of people, if they don’t remove this hair, can become pretty thick warm and protective. Hair is protection from the elements and the only reason we lost it was because we started wearing clothes (which happened even in warmer places as a way to protect against not only snow but rain, sunburn and wind). This made me laugh because actually, no, our eyes are pretty shitty compared to omnivores and carnivores. Our eyes are also meant to see colors pretty vibrantly (plants are often brightly colored) as well our brains are optimal for remembering certain places to be able to go back to where a plant created food to eat. Wouldn’t being relatively weak make us more prey than predator? being able to outlast the predator running after us is a vital skill since omnivores and carnivores can’t run for long periods of time like humans can. Language, again, more than just hunting. Just trying to actually spread facts.

      • Zoe, you’re quite right, but I would like to correct som things.

        Hands aren’t for climbing, even if they do keep some of this cappacity. Climbers use claws. Our hands ARE for tool using and making, and fine manipulation of things, as are the hands of all primates.

        Of course, tool using isn’t synonimous to meat eating, either. You can use simple tools to break nuts and smash seeds, cut bark, take insects (as a lot of apes do), defend against predators, and much more. Meat was important on our early days, but There was much more on our development as species.

        Our eyes aren’t shitty, either! Ours is a good set of eyes, if not one of the best. What happens is that almost every animal on earth have specialized eyes. Humans included. So, if you get anny random animal, it will probably be better tha us on one aspect of vision. But not on others.

        In our case, we have a good measure of distance AND a wide focus area, with a reasonable periferic vision, we are very good with perception of movement, distance calculation and perception of details, and have a huge range of color perception at day. We’re not the best at any of those things, but almost any other animal will better us on one, maybe two of them, and be very poor on the rest.

        By the way, the best way to recognaise edible fruits is by smell. Our perception of collor gives us a lot of information about a lot of things, since we standed up to see far away, but on food, it’s specially good to discern poisonous animals. So it’s more to discern edible meat than fruits. But hardly so focused on food, either way.

        Our brains have more porpose, also, than to remember where to find plants. Even because we can also discern migration patterns and animal behavior, so it’s as useful for hunting as is for gathering. And being relatively weak of body doesn’t make us more nothing, nor prey, nor predator. We are adapted, as every living creature.

        Rhinos and hippos are both herbivores, and are among the most powerful of all animals. The chimps and gorillas have a similar diet to what we eated on the dawn of our species, and are both stronger than us.

        Snakes are predators AND prey, and they’re not specially strong. Few snakes are strong enough to estrangulate a weak human being, and venomous ones are positively weak, easily killed with hand or foot (of course, there are a lot of technique on killing a snake with care to not be biten and end up poisoned).

  17. Hi! Just like to share some toughts on the subject, Iv had 4, now i got 3 Fangs in my mouth and they defenetly look like fangs as the tiger. not as big but at the same time they are for tearing meat. And all other teeth iv got is superb of cutting meat. And another thing about tigers is they work mostley on their own and are bigger and attack fast, They have been depending on their size to be able to take down big chunks becourse their succesrate isnt the best to say the least. humans used to run or walk long ways to get to hunting grounds in the earlie days. Atleast thats what if found out of when researching human. So yes we are a carnivore. We eat both Vegetables fruits and meat. Check out wat the remote tribes do and how they hunt and what they eat and you will see that it almost always contains meat or fish.

    • Yes, you have fangs. Yes, they are able to cut meat, indeed. Also are your other teeth, specially the front teeth. Congratulations, you are ABLE to eat meat.

      No, they aren’t too much like tiger fangs. They remember tiger fangs as much as the back teeth remember the jaw of a cow. Indeed, the animals whose teeth most resemble ours, aside primates, are the ones on the pig familly.

      We are not carnivores. We are not herbivores, either. If you think nature works just on this ground, it would be good to study a little more. We are, as other primates and pigs, and a bunch of other animals, OMNIVORES. Able to eat a great array of things, not the best on any of them.

      That said, exercises alone aren’t enough to compensate a diet with too much meat. You can eat a good amount of it if you want to, but remember that vegetables have yet to be the base of our diet. As you said yourself, our ancestors didn’t had all that success on hunting. They ate meat at every opportunity on early days, but that wasn’t that much.

      It is also a good idea to keep in mind that there are different sorts of meat. Our ancestors ate hunted meat, including mammalian meat, fish and birds, but also including insects and arachnids. And if they almost allways WANTED to eat meat, their success rate where so low that some indeed had to live almost exclusively on vegetables.

      Finaly, keep in mind modern times. Today we produce food completely different from what our ancestors had to eat. One of the good sides is that today we do produce vegetables enough to live without meat. The reverse isn’t true, meat-only diets are tremendously hazardous to our health.

      Indeed, we produce so much food that we have to be cautious of what we eat to keep our health. That’s not to say that only meat can be hazardous, a kilo of fried potatos, fried using soy oil, isn’t an example of healthy meal, even if tottally meat-free. But someone who dedicates to avoid meat is already doing the most important thing: paying attention to the food.

      And just to repeat: we are NOT carnivores. We are omnivores, and in doubt, are best served with vegetables than with meat.

  18. Hi Alex,

    Great thoughts, were they thoughts or research, or observations of ancient civilizations who base consumption of flesh purely on availability, rather than clinical data and science available to modern day civilizations today?

    Have you researched the impact of mamillian Glycan starches such as Neu5Gc and pathogenic endotoxic bacteria?

    Even Carnivores and Omnivores eat offal to attain the mineral and bacterial goodness of the digested plant matter in herbivore prey.

    It’s all very well taking nutrition advice from ancient hominid ancestors, but remember that Homo Habilis did not cook his meat, so either ate it raw, or likely ate insects and grubs.

  19. FYI: Grain fed meat is not nutritionally good to eat, cooked or raw.
    Grass fed meat is nutritionally good to eat, best raw.

    • Don’t take this as a rule. Instead, naturaly fed meat tend to be nutritionally good to eat. That means an animal being allowed to eat what it go after and get, not being forced to any particular diet. On some cases, that means hunted meat, usually an animal that was healthy and as happy as one can be on harsh nature (certainly more than one can be on most places where humans treat them as growing machines, or just like crap).

      Also be aware with raw meat. It takes at least 5 times as much caution to avoid food poisoning as cooked meat, and if more nutritious, is also harder to digest. I would like things wheren’t such way, I do like raw meat…

  20. I just want to add some information.

    First, that people tend to forget that there are not just “Carnivore” and “Herbiore” on the animal world. Indeed, to say that the Great Apes are herbivorous is outright incorrect.

    We are omnivorous animals, as do are the apes. If you do compare our teeth to true herbivores, you’ll find no more commonplaces than with true carnivores.

    Also, since our stomach is free of bacteria, the time of the meat on it isn’t such a concern. It is a problem because of the energy we must to spend and the extra weight during this time, but it is no big deal if it is not a humongous amount of meat. Of course, it IS a problem for the people that DO eat a humongous amount of meat…

    No anthropologist believe that we are herbivorous by design, that’s just a legend. Even because it isn’t on Anthropoly’s field, but in Biology’s.

    That said, stoping to spread such legends is the best way to do spread Veganism. Truth is allways the best to not infuriate someone and make enemies to your cause.

    Human beings ARE able to eat meat, and designed to do so. So are the apes. And, on the past, it WAS necessary for survival, and for our development. What we never was, was able to live of meat ALONE. And that is a truth.

    By the way, we cannot have a healthy life with too much meat on the plate, but today we CAN have a healthy life only on vegetables. And with the amount of resources needed just to make a cow into a beef, it would be great indeed if more people could live just on that. Less suffering, less pollution, a lot of lesses, and not so many that I would feel sorry for.

    • I recently watched a video where the male chimpanzee would offer meat to the female as a precursor to mating. It appears meat is a sexual stimulant.

    • Perhaps, Jorge, However as time goes on I have changed my stance on this. Multiple studies show that consuming a mostly vegetarian diet will increase your life span and will make it less likely you’ll die of a chronic condition. So keep this in mind.

      • Hi Sarah,

        Can I just ask what your thoughts would be one “Plantbased eater” to another :)
        Whether you would accept that in consuming an entirely organic diet, which will obviously include plant leaf matter, that in doing so, the consumption of some insect matter will occur and whether you feel that there is:

        – Any nutritional value or benefit in this
        – Any ethical issues in consuming some insect matter (no matter how small)even as a Vegan
        – Whether insect consumption is by default “Truly Paleo” in any case (as opposed to the ‘meat industry hijacked Paleo’ version we have today)

        Thanks

        G

      • I’m not arguing that, but there are two things also to keep in mind:

        1- That “mostly vegetarian” still includes some meat, do not mean “exclusively vegetarian”.

        2- Even if you can have a long, healthy and happy life eating vegetables only, it doesn’t mean your body are not meant to also eat meat. Not that it have to, but is capable of, and meant to do this if you want.

        A cow isn’t meant to eat meat. If it does, will find no nourishment on the meal, even if it doesn’t become ill. A cat isn’t meant to eat vegetables, and likewise, will find no nourishment on such a meal. Both may eat anything, because they are as capable of eating crapy stuff as human beings are. I know of cas eating grapefruit and coffee, and cows eating snakes, but their bodies aren’t meant to that, so they digest such things as much as we digest rocks.

        By the way, humans don’t digest high-fiber components, like celulosis (their benefit for us depend exatly on those components not being turn into sugar on our bodies), a thing that a cow does (not so surprisingly, they can be big and fat living on grass. We can’t).

        But my point is just for the biological details. We CAN live healthy on vegetables, we ARE meant to eat more vegetables than meat, and if in the past we needed the extra-mile in protein, that was because in the past we couldn’t be sure to have anything at all to eat on a given day. Today, we do NOT need meat.

    • Jorge, where do you get your biological data from? It is well known and documented (in ethical scientific circles) that the ileum of the small intestinal tract is dysfunctional in the presence of putrifaction, i.e endotoxic bacterial loading due to consumption of flesh foods.

      Please research some proper biology and try not to refer to your favourite website http://www.howtobelittleaveganwithpoorscience.com

      • Gaza, that agrees with what I am taught by my medical hygienist, Dr. Robert Morse. Technically the body DOES need all the amino acids and proteins are composed of amino acids, however the body does better getting the raw amino acids rather than having to break down the protein to secure amino acids. Hope this helps.

      • First, is your right to question where I get my data. But is NOT to suppose I’m a poor reasercher just because of not doing so before. And if you whant to argue superiority on the matter, have the decency of being an example.

        I derive most of my knowledge on the matter from academy, but since I will have to list fonts, I will do in a week or two, since I have limited time.

        About your piece of information, it is correct, of course! But if you had read what I said, the matter is that meat, or any other food, doesn’t putrify on your stomach. And the extra time meat gets on your body is on the stomach. You will have problems if the meat is already putrid, what also happens with vegetables, with the difference that putrid meat can more easily go unnoticed.

        There are other specific issues on meat, and I can’t deny that as food, meat need a lot of cautions for proper consume. Vegetables also, but in a different way, they are usually harder to keeping from rot, but easier to notice when something is wrong.

        Again, I’m not interested on belittle anyone, much less with poor science. I do suport initiatives on diets of reduced or no meat, today that is possible and healthy, for people and nature.

        But on the contrary, what I will never support is poor science, or pseudo science, and by purpose or mistake, such can appear anywhere, specially when ideologies are concerned, and Vegans aren’t immune (nor am I, by the way, or a lot of shitheads that believe meat to be necessary, worse yet, in loads).

      • Jorge, I agree with you that certain protocols need to be followed when eating meats and that can get rather complex and most people, if they knew those protocols, would probably eat less meat.

        Eating fresh ripe fruits, however, require almost no protocols if eaten in hand, and the only complexity I experience is my own learning curve and transition and re-training the palate, etc.

        There are plenty of testimonials of people feeling better when putting themselves on a diet of green smoothies or fruit smoothies. (Example: the movie, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”)

      • Colleen, as I said, meat is trickier to notice when something is wrong. About fruits, usually is quite hard to ignore the fermented smell, or the fungi on a bad fruit.

        But to be true, there are at least two protocols to follow with them:

        1- Wash them very well. If nothing else, at least cooked food is cooked. Salads take time to prepare, so higiene ends not adding much to them, either. With the ease of eating a fruit, isn’t hard to forget to wash, and sometimes is good to use vinegar or something like to guarantee higiene. Some very nasty diseases can get to you by fruits. Not so common, but best to not give’em the chance.

        2- Take care with seeds when you don’t know very well about the fruit, specially tropical ones. Apple seeds, for instance, are poisonous in large quantities, so isn’t a good idea to eat them if you eat a lot of apples. There are a bunch of tropical fruits whose seeds are full f needles. If you eat without care, they can realy hurt you. There are one here where I live, for example, called “pequi”. A lot of people love it, but one wrong bite and you will need someone to take the seed away of your mouth, and a day or two on liquids only untill you get better.

  21. After almost a year of eating mostly raw fruits I’m confident I can mostly survive on high Brics fruits. When I go off this frugivore diet I do like to add some psyllium husk and bentonite clay to keep the gut moving.

    Due to the seasonality of various fruits a frugivore diet can be largely a mono-diet. It took several years and water fasting to be able to tolerate the sugars in grapes and other sweet fruits, but now I can eat a pound of grapes without going unconscious. :-)

    • I would suggest to still eat some leafs, or at least to keep a good amount of nuts and grains, specially high-protein grains like soybeans.

      • Jorge, thank you for your reply. I do still have an interest in the more herbal vegetables, such as parsley and cilantro, etc. However, I would like to point out again that if one is getting all their amino acids from fruits then they really do not need proteins. For example, orangutans have a similar digestive system and bulk up muscle on almost all fruits and herbs (okay, some insects too).

        When man began migrating out of the tropics and sub-tropics he then found it “necessary” to supplement with raw (or processed) nuts. And I am aware that today humans in the tropics and sub-tropics also do the same and also hunt for meat. Meat is a known sexual stimulant (the specific neuro-transmitters in meat) and is a great prize to share with a chosen female. Ho-hum.

        The only reason I can see for a frugivore to not subsist on fruits, berries, and melons is if there are none available. The hydrochloric acid in our stomach is not as “hot” as that of carnivores. The fact that we CAN eat other than fruits does not mean it is not taxing for the body and results in short or long-term sickness. But then again, who really eats because it is healthy compared to who eats because it is yummy?

        It has taken a year or more for me to transition to the point where I can crave a navel orange or grapefruit instead of breads, meats, and cooked vegetables.

    • Hi Jorge,

      It was not a personal assault. I cannot be held responsible for the poor efficacy produced by your data sources.

      Thanks, peace

  22. Yesterday I watched a new video by Dr. Robert Morse, ND wherein he does say that neurotransmitters which energize the body can be gotten from meats BUT at a cost to the kidneys and lymphatic system and the putrefaction factor in the gut. If I were to become a meat eater I would focus on raw (for the enzymes) and the organs and glands and (in Africa) the contents of the stomach, and some of the fatty areas. Then I would accompany it with herbs that aided the digestion, and not combine the eating of meat with any other fruits or vegetables.

  23. If one is to introduce morality into the picture, then to be the most complementary with the biosphere is to eat the fruits, berries, and melons that say, “!eat me!”. Most plants, animals, fishes, and insects have been on a long evolutionary track to do their best to not be eaten. Even human bodies cry out if even a mosquito draws their blood, although sub-ego animals don’t take being eaten as dramatically as ego-based humans.

    Such is the nature of our biosphere and you can choose to be complementary with it or not; it was here before any religion or ‘-ism’, as was your body. I’m not a moralist, however, and not presenting a dogma,simply another viewpoint because there are other planets, other biospheres. Perhaps it is the smaller ancestral reptilian portion of our brain that helps the body accommodate meateating during times of scarcity.

    • Can you clarify the Bv protein profile of Avocado Vs the Bv protein profile of meats? As you rightly alluded to the putrefaction of meats in the ileum that also prevent the cleaved enzymes and B12 of peptide bonds from being suitably assimilated in the B12 absorption. (have you considered this?)

      I actually tend to agree that in order to be truly “paleo” that one would expect to be eating raw meats (or more likely and truly PALEO, grubs and insects, a higher grade and abundant source of protein). It is science FACT, I repeat….it is science FACT, yes FACT, that the unequivocal usage of fire is traced to no later than in the order of 135 – 150 thousand years ago. Please clarify why humans cannot safely consume native jungle fowl safely unless cooked (Ecoli et Al).

      In terms of evolutionary timeline, it took a Hippo 15 MILLION YEARS (FIFT-EEN MILL-ION YEARS!!!) to evolve from predominant carnivore to predominant herbivore.

      So in light of this, one would expect that humans being typically (and incorrectly) as predominant omnivores (we are Omnivore in a VERY VERY narrow parameter) we should comfortably be able to still consume a varied and copious amount of raw mammalian flesh. I say to you, please , PLEASE do research Sialic acid cellular/ molecular science surrounding the Neu5Gc and realign your evidently distorted view on the extent of human Omnivorism.

      The evolution to utilize cutting tools and weapons does not constitute the physiological evolution to consume meat.

      Thank you

    • No, it is not. Morality isn’t complementary to biosphere. Nature isn’t moral, and even if it was, nature is harsh. The food chain is violent, and life bound to death. The ecosystem is maintained by this. If there are no predator for an animal, the species will grow too much in numbers. The same for plants. Some species ties their very reproduction to this. Bacteria, fungus, and some plants and animals need the carcasses of dead animals and plants. There are just too much things on an ecosystem that derive and depend on the very point of being adapted to such an arrangement. The biosphere is made of this. Animals and plants adapt to not be eaten. And to eat. Predators and prey both die in the process, learn, adapt, and find the rest of world around them adapting at the same time. Fruits are just a little part of this, not the whole point.

      Not that you can’t rely on fruits based on a moral standard. Be welcome if you want, is a valid choice for a human being. Animals don’t care for the suffering they cause on others, but we do. In fact, i’m tottaly pro for reducing the suffering of animals on farms and abattoir, and I respect who do care for such on plants, tough I don’t. What you need to have in mind is just that morality is our thing, not nature’s, or biosphere’s thing. Of course, it was nature that made us that way, but as with any other animal, we’re just one experiment, not The one.

  24. Meat eaters unite. It tastes delicious, it’s very nutritious, and I have not found any really strong reason to stop enjoying myself. Well, except maybe just one. Watch this video and you decide:

    Earthlings | Watch Free Documentary Online

    Peace, Joy, and Love forever,

    Art.

  25. Good article but there are some corrections:
    The digestive tract of a human is not about 10-12 times the length but about 5-6 times. The entire system — from mouth to anus — is about 30 feet (9 meters) long. The small intestine is 20 feet (6 meters or 4 short humans) and the large intestine is about 5 feet (1.5 meters – or 1 short human) long.

  26. I agree, Humans aren’t designed to be carnivores. You’re probably right that humans ate less meat than we consume these days. Not only that the processed meats today are probably worse than the fresh meat our ancestors hunted and gathered.

    I recently did a fruit fast just to cleanse my body. I finished it last Sunday at midnight. I gravitated towards a cheese stick and had a few. Already I felt weird kinda like a knot. I had to eat an apple chaser. Labor Day meant BBQ so I had a burger & brat no bun but that didn’t matter. Within an hour or so the grease seemed to coat my throat and stomach, I still taste as I write this.

    I had more energy and felt great then I felt like a slug. I was asked it you are what you eat. I said yes because I felt bloated like a cow, fat as a pig, and lethargic like a sloth. Now I’m looking at switching over to a more vegan lifestyle. I used to love meats. Now the thought of eating meats makes me nauseous.

  27. I personally feel there’s nothing wrong with eating meat but it has to be in moderation and organic. I admire vegans who are in sports such as mixed martial arts and powerlifting and the strongman competition. My goal is to eat less meat and more grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. I’ve switched from vegan to vegetarian to pescetarian and to omnivore. What I do notice is that I don’t feel so good when I eat too much red meat. I noticed when I train in mixed martial arts that I have a lot of endurance when eating less meat. I don’t hardly break a sweat after 12 rounds of intense training. It’s unbelievable but true.

    • Thanks so much for your experience, Ryan :-)

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