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  • Oct
  • 16

Yes, It’s True: Humans Aren’t Meant to Eat Meat

Posted by at 5:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (53)

Yes, It's True: Humans Aren't Meant to Eat Meat by Lisa TowellEver since I first went vegetarian, I’ve heard comments like, “Eating animals is natural. Humans are omnivores, and we’ve eaten meat for thousands of years.” I usually respond by talking about the suffering of animals and explaining that just because something is supposedly “natural” doesn’t mean it’s right. After all, many people used to think that it was natural to enslave other humans!

But then I got curious and did some research. The results surprised me: Humans aren’t omnivores at all; we’re natural herbivores. We thrive best when we eat only plants. Of course, people eat meat all the time, but our bodies are not well-adapted to meat-eating, and as a result, many people face a greater risk for health problems.  Saying that humans are natural meat-eaters is like arguing that humans are natural smokers.

Unlike all natural carnivores and omnivores, most humans have no instinct or desire to catch living animals, dismember them with their bare hands, and eat them raw. Natural meat-eaters look at a live rabbit or a cow (or even a roadside carcass) with happy anticipation. They can’t wait to kill their prey and gnaw off a leg. In contrast, many people can’t even eat meat that looks too much like the animal it came from; they want their meat skinned and deboned and placed in a plastic-wrapped tray at the grocery store. Even the less squeamish prefer their meat cooked and would rather not slaughter a deer by tearing his throat out with their teeth.

Our anatomy and physiology are those of natural plant-eaters. Human canine teeth are small and blunt, and we have flat molars for grinding up plant fibers. Look at a dog’s or a cat’s teeth and you’ll see something quite different: long, pointed canine teeth for catching prey and tearing the hide and sharp-edged teeth in the back for shearing off chunks of flesh. Humans have hands that are useful for gathering vegetables and fruits but aren’t that good for killing and ripping skin and flesh. Natural carnivores (like cats) and omnivores (like bears) have claws that they use to grasp and tear at their prey.

Humans are not designed to easily digest meat. Natural meat-eaters swallow their meat raw after no or minimal chewing, relying on their highly acidic stomach juices to break down the meat and kill the bacteria that cause food poisoning. We chew our food thoroughly, and we have a carbohydrate-digesting enzyme in our saliva to start the digestive process, just as other herbivores do. Without the stomach acidity that carnivores and omnivores have, we are forced to cook our meat to avoid the risk of food poisoning. Like all herbivores, we have a long intestinal tract, which is necessary for the proper digestion of the cellulose in plants. Carnivores and omnivores have shorter intestines, which are designed to quickly digest meat before it begins to rot.

Another clear indication that we are natural herbivores is the fact that eating meat causes us so many health problems. Meat-eaters face a higher risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and obesity. Natural carnivores can eat lots of animal fat without getting heart attacks, but humans can’t. In fact, a low-fat vegan diet has been shown to not only prevent but also reverse heart disease in humans. People who avoid animal protein also have dramatically lower rates of prostate, colon, and breast cancer.

The invention of factory farms has made animal protein cheap and plentiful. But that doesn’t change our basic biology. Humans are natural herbivores, but we have chosen to eat something that is unnatural and unhealthy for us—meat.

Check out this fun, fact-filled cartoon by Dan Piraro, author of the comic “Bizarro.”

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  • Hannah Genes says:

    That’s awesome! We’re so glad to have helped. Thank you for your compassion and for speaking out for animals at 16! Be sure to check out peta2!

  • Thank you for this! Its a great artical. I used these as proof in my debate class, and got a A+! This is also great because i’m a vegan and i’m only 16! Tysm <3 <3 🙂

  • .info says:

    @Tyler Mintz …..correct about Travis Barker, he said quote “I need protein from food rather than just protein supplements. I changed my diet. I would do anything I possibly could if they said like, ‘There’s a possibility you might heal faster if you do eat meat or just change your eating habits.’ So I did. I don’t regret it at all, I feel so much better.”

    well there you have it.

  • Hi I totally agree with you. In the Garden of Eden God told Adam and Eve to eat all the fruit and ‘herbs’ they wanted. After the fall of the Angels to earth these creatures hated Gods lovely place so much they showed humans how to catch cook and eat the lovely animals. Humans were never meant to eat meat. It is a massive lie that has perpetrated down the years. Once human began eating meat God had to intervene then to direct which animals they could and could not eat. One of the angels revealed to Isiah that tho God allowed it he did not like it. Now we are in the situation is that many humans torture animals to death inorder to eat them. Man has totally lost its compassion towards animals and some of the things now done to them is ‘demonic’ to say the least.

  • Patty says:

    Just found out how bad meat is for a human, I completely agree with your post. What I agree with the most is “After all, many people used to think that it was natural to enslave other humans!” Great job. If you know of any organizations or places to go to get more information regarding this topic please let me know. The truth might hurt but it will set you free.

  • […] During most of our evolutionary history, we were largely vegetarian: Plant foods, such as yams, made up the bulk of our ancestors’ diet. The more frequent addition of modest amounts of meat to the early human diet came with the discovery of fire, which allowed us to lower the risk of being sickened or killed by parasites in meat. This practice didn’t turn our ancestors into carnivores but rather allowed early humans to survive during periods in which plant foods were unavailable. http://prime.peta.org/2009/10/yes-its-true-humans-arent-meant-to-eat-meat […]

  • Jamie says:

    I’m no vegan. I have grown to enjoy meat probably because I was raised on it. But after heavy research and even doing my own diet experiments I couldn’t agree more with this article….I get really sick on a meat and animal product heavy diet but I never realised why until i changed to a predominately herbavoric type diet of fruit and veg. It has allot to do with a great many things I suspect but the most alarming factor I believe is the massive changes that occur in our microbiome. Also refrain from cooking your food it has to be predominately raw!

  • veggiechick says:

    I think the article is great, well thought out, and carries many facts that even many vegetarians may not know. There are many great comments to this article, as I see how old it is, it still has much validity. i really thought of something that was not mentioned (not saying this critically at all, just a thought). I have been around many many babies, and children. One thing anyone who has had the opportunity to observe with children, and infants, is that they do not like meat. Meat is introduced to children, and they generally do not want it, or like the taste. We usually have to alter the taste, make it look different, and grind it then fry it to even get them to attempt it. If you give a child fruit and veggies, they will not have a problem eating them. I have also been around many vegetarian children, they are healthy, love food that is good for them, vs junk food, and don’t have to supplement fake meat for protein. Again, what a great article for those who question mans ability to avoid meat, and I showed it to my scientist husband, who of course picked it apart, and found it to be very accurate. Thanks again!!!

  • Veronica says:

    There are so many different views. The most sustainable is that humans are omnivores. Unfortunately for some reason dairy and drinking milk from another species was introduced but is certainly not required more often then not there is an intolerance to dairy.
    Humans have stuffed around with their eating habits for so long, their teeth are all over the place. GMO has caused great health problems.
    I think it is a personal choice now.
    One thing is clear cruelty to all living creatures has got to stop. Being supposedly sharing this planet with our animal cousins, we should treat them with kindness and respect.
    Now that monetary greed has entered into the equation the cruelty is getting far worse. People have lost morality. Instead of only taking what is needed for survival and health issues, we have become materialistic and boastful with regards to what we can afford to pay for to eat. The more expensive the food, the more cruelty and ego boosting is involved.
    I personally say that I feel much better internally leaving red meat and pork out of my diet and only eat free range cruelty free chicken and fresh eggs. I do like seafood, but often can’t afford it not so much fish but shellfish. I love fruit of all kinds and could live on fruit alone if it were possible. If I don’t know where it comes from, I won’t go near it. I am avoiding supermarkets except for the loo-paper and odds and ends. Never fruit and vegetables and other fresh food produce. I used to have two pet bantum chickens and used to take them for a walk every day. The lady gave me one little egg every morning for breakfast and then we used to cuddle and play along with my pet cat. She got clucky once but the gentleman I don’t think wanted to participate so a donor egg was produced for her to hatch. The son turned out to be a very large rooster who turned on them in too rough a way and I lost them. I was very sad, I should have kept my babies safe.
    A silly story I know, but still it is true.
    All the best everyone.

  • Ashwit says:

    I agree that humans were not meant to eat meat….but then neither were we meant to vegetables or grains too…..How many of us could eat vegetables or grains raw…..We can only comfortably consume it by cooking it…..The only natural food is then one we comfortably eat raw i.e fruits and roots

  • An average person says:

    Actually, I am quite doubtful. If humans were supposed to be natural herbivore, why do we have hydrochloric acid in our stomachs and protein digesting enzymes in our pancreatic juice which aren’t common traits of herbivores? Furthermore, why do humans lack the enzyme cellulase which breaks down cellulose-the substance which plant cell walls are made of.
    PS- This was written not to ridicule but to enlighten.

  • TV says:

    I don’t know whether we need meat or don’t, BUT I do like a steak occasionally. 70% of the time I don’t eat meat, but when I do I enjoy it, whether it be wrong or not. Also, I know it’s messed up for he animals, but even if I do stop eating meat, how many cattle will I save? No offense. Good article btw.

  • Siobhan says:

    Still hard to know what to believe. I think there are points that support both sides.

    Humans can only derives vitamin B12 from animal sources (and no, trace bacteria from excrement or that’s in the dirt is insufficient). High-fat/protein and low carb diets do more to lower blood pressure, bad cholesterol and triglycerides than low fat diets, which is good for people with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or heart disease. (Both are equivalent in helping with weight loss.)

    On the pro-veg side though, it seems strange that humans are the only creature that has to PREPARE certain foods in order to eat them (meat). If “natural” is always *better*, than a raw food, predominantly vegetarian diet fits the bill. (I would note that raw grains are also largely inedible and have to be soaked.) Unpasteurized dairy products alone, not to mention raw fish, would certainly be dangerous for us.

    My own opinion, taking into account the valid points from both sides, would be that raw, fresh vegetarian diets with something like fresh eggs would meet our nutritional requirements. Eggs are a better source of protein, iron and vitamins than meat and can be eaten as is. Such a diet would also be lower in calories, assuming we left out junk or “non-foods” like candy, chips, crackers and anything else that is highly processed.

  • louis S. Brown says:

    EAT WITH YOUR HEART AND SOUL. iF YOU ARE STARVING AND YOU NEED TO EAT FLESH OR DAIRY OR EGGS SO BE IT. But Id rather be a sproutarian= living on sprouted; wheat berries, clover, mung bean, fenugreek and radish sprouts, sunflower, and buckwheat sprouts in combination with avocados, fresh fermented kraut, olives, seaweed flaked, fresh pressed garlic dude, And super green juice made from sunflower sprouts, celery, E3 Live with a tiny bit of ginger or garlic/ i like it plain without the garlic and ginger. also the salad will contain; red and green peppers, asparagus, baby carrots, (nut loaf special) baby greens and organic raw dressings. If you eat two large sproutarian salads a day along with 8 glasses of sprout juices you will in 5 days begin to transform into a new person, Of course we strongly advise folks to take high wheatgrass enemas/implants to clean and detoxify the bowels that are a leading site of deadly colon cancer. Implants are best done in the shower or bathtub, cause they can become a bit messy, but no worry the shower will clean it like new A wheatgrass enema is a powerful healing that hits the liver in 3 seconds and the heart in about 7 seconds. Steve Jobs the creator of APPLE COMPUTERS DIED OF PANCREAS CANCER. SO lets all encourage each other to live the natural way, the way healers lived 6 thousand years ago before modern medicine

  • MC says:

    Why do people always have to bring god into lifestyle decisions? Do as YOU feel is right not what you think some fictional character is telling you to do

  • Hazy says:

    I agree to a certain extent – we are most like monkeys, which eat a mainly vegan diet. We dont have claws, despite what Tyler Mintz says… Our nails would at best be as sharp as a chimps, and nothing near strong enough to rip apart animals. Until tool use, I doubt we would have been able to kill anything bigger than rabbits and chicken (and it is mainly bigger, red meat that is not healthy so this points to it being unnatural)

    However, you are comparing people to carnivores, which no one argues we are. A better argument would be to point out how we’re similar to other omnivores, such as pigs, who thrive on a carb rich, veggie rich diet, and only scavenge for food (wild boars are different, but they are stronger than us and have tusks.. wild boar vs human without tools would probably equal dead human!)

    Tooth theories etc are also not brilliant as babboons have massive canines, and yet eat an almost solely veggie diet – their canines tend to be for fighting (something which also perhaps makes sense with humans – we fight a lot for a ‘social’ species…

  • Michael Myrick says:

    Yes, you are correct, but I wanted to add a few notes from my personal exploration. There is no such thing as a ruthless killer in the wilderness of the earth, with the exception of human beings. For instance, wolves don’t kill for sport and actually kill sick and weak animals out of heards of there prime diet, carribou. They actually keep the carribou heards healthy by doing so. They do not wase their kills either. They consume almost everything, even getting valuable nutrients from bone marrow. They will then take the portions that are left over, and save them for later, for their pack. Nature isn’t as violent as it is made out to be. Now how about the comments you hear by people quoting scripture from the Holy Bible? Read the first few verses of Genesis. God says he has given us herbs, seed bearing fruits which will be our meat. He has given us dominion over the earth, each other, fowl of the air, cattle, and every creeping thing. Remember these beautiful animals (including ourselves) were made by God, humans in his image, and other animals in the earth’s image. God grants us dominion over it all. What did I learn in english class? Since our language is complex and words such as dominion have several different meanings, you read the context to get the correct definition of an english spoken word, to clarify. So, God created these things and saw “that they were good”. What do we know about God? All loving comes to mind. When you read the context, the messege is simply. Yes we are made to eat fruits & veggies and protect each other, all animals on this earth, and the earth itself. That’s the definition of dominion when you take the context in consideration. All loving is pretty clear. God made us caretakers of all his most wonderful creations! Not murderers, not glutinous humans with a never-ending thrist for destruction. I know religion is something we vegans & veggies get soured on. The fact of the matter is, we get soured on people mistranslating what our hearts already tell us. I too was soured on religion, but when I opened my eyes and read the bible, there it was. My heart in a very old sripture. There will always be those who ignore truth and instead listen to what they want to hear and so is true with religion. After years of being a veggie, I opened a bible and there it was. I was eating the “meat” God intended me to eat. VEGGIES! In turn I was spiritually enlightened and realized I lived a more Christain lifestyle than a lot of those who claim to be and redicule me for my beliefs and compassion and love for every creeping thing. Now I tell them, “you’re right! God did give us as humans dominion, which doesn’t mean we have a green light to torture, murder, or eat our beautiful fellow animals. We are their guardians and should act accordingly. In God’s image….all loving.” Love conquerers all, and we PETA people are doing our part. I love you all and let’s keep rocking & rolling in 2010. It is our job to educate those who chose to listen rather than researching life itself. It is our responsibility to take care of each other, every animal on this earth, and mother earth herself!


    Michael Myrick

  • Linda says:

    Setting aside my moral and ethical beliefs, ever since I went vegan I feel fantastic. My skin is clearer, I have more energy and my body just feels cleaner. I was concerned that I was getting enough protein even though I felt great, but my doctor said the protein levels in my blood were perfect and she had never seen anyone with such healthy cholesterol levels.

    And that’s a fact…

  • Tyler Mintz says:

    Ellie says…

    October 26th, 2009, 4:48 am

    “My protein and iron levels have improved since I stopped eating meat and switched to a vegan lifestyle- they are now at the level they should be. I also feel so much healthier. Id like to see if most people would continue to eat meat if they had to murder the animals themselves… I dont know why some meat eaters get so aggressive towards vegans- our lifestyles do not have a negative impact on the life of meat eaters, in fact, we’re offsetting our greenhouse gasses..and theirs! Im sorry if as a vegan, I remind people that what you are actually eating is an animal and that its life before ending up in a lunch was a miserable one, but if you cant handle the truth then dont eat meat or other animal products!”

    Please read your own last line, and tell me who is being aggressive towards who? “If you can’t handle the truth, then don’t…” Really? I can’t imagine anyone hating the fact you are vegan. If you would just be vegan and stop talking down to us meat-eaters as if we are evil, world ruining beast, I think we would all get along a little better.

    Honestly, has a meat-eater ever tried to shove meat in your mouth?

  • Tyler Mintz says:

    Here is an article detailing some rewards AND risks of vegetarianism: http://www.epigee.org/vegetarian.html
    And Jen-X, I have no idea who sucks cow’s milk from an udder, that is such an invalid point.
    This entire article is presented as researched “facts”, when there are no references to your sources. Omnivore is much different then Carnivore. You refer to “natural meat eaters”, yet no one is would suggest humans are Carnivores. This article is very slanted in that direction though. Saying we “thrive best when we eat only plants” is wrong.
    The real fact is that the nature and origins of man are HIGHLY debatable, since there is such sparse evidence to look at. Yet you are stating your opinion-yes, it’s an opinion- as if it is scientific fact to be screamed from the mountain tops. If I believe in God, and you believe in something else, then there will never be a middle ground, despite the lack of evidence on either side. The same thing seems to be happening here, people have commented silly things like “now I have proof” and I’m sure you were perfectly happy to present it as such.

    And to the guy who said going vegan would end war and such… Some people, regardless of diet, are born with chemical imbalances that diet cannot fix. Life is hard, and bad things happen to good people sometimes.

    And just because plants dont have “feelings” per say, and dont look all cute and cuddly, doesn’t mean they are not alive. Yes, plants are living, BREATHING things that we eat to sustain our own lives. There is no bias or slander in that statement, it is absolutely true.

  • Lisa says:

    Although humans are capable of deriving nutritional value from meat, dairy, and eggs (and many humans enjoy the taste of these foods), the many parallels between human anatomy/physiology and that of other herbivores indicate that we’re not optimized for eating animal-based foods. Similarly, cows are natural herbivores and they also are able to eat animal protein, in the form of ground-up “animal by-products” in their food on factory farms. Just because the cows are able to eat animal protein doesn’t mean that it’s good for them or that they are designed to eat it. See this link from the Union of Concerned Scientists for more detail: http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/impacts_industrial_agriculture/they-eat-what-the-reality-of.html

    There’s no getting around the fact that most humans eat far more animal protein than is good for our health. And even if you aren’t convinced by the evidence that humans are natural herbivores, there’s something else to consider: most animals raised for food are treated in ways that would result in felony animal cruelty charges if they were dogs or cats. For me, that’s the strongest reason to go vegan.

  • wildflower says:

    thank you for the info, i have put it on my face book page for awareness, the thing is that i have taken on an apprentership as a butcher.. im 43, i needed security and i was offered this job.. it makes ends meat so to speak, but i am considering leaving but i just dont know what to do.. i havnt eaten meat in months, yep it has given me a bad bowel, i go to hospital on the 4th of november to see what damage it has done, i just pray it hasnt gone to cancer.. i eat fresh, 80% raw, exercise ever day, the bad thing ive done is to consume too much meat.. and im in the wrong job.. stress..

  • Jenna says:

    haha how’s the weather up there on your high horses, vegetarians? your comments are plausible at best, none of the meat eaters here write comments with an underlying feeling of guilt. they’re simply tired of all these excuses you call a legitimate argument for not eating meat. YES, the treatment of animals is TERRIBLE in those slaughterhouses, i completely concur. but what is this about humans being herbivores? if we are herbivores why are we eating meat? LOL it’s as simple as that. what of our physiology does it matter just because we fit into the category of an herbivore with our dull teeth and our calm nails doesn’t make us one, it’s our choices and behaviors. and from what i see, we are definitely not herbivores. amanda- i didn’t know people used the word vegetarian in the bible, always thought it was a modernized concept. ellie- meateaters aren’t aggressive to vegan, refer to christys poorly supported comment toward tyler.

    if the human species had a very simply developed brain with thoughts no more complex beyond basic survival instincts, we would not be on the top of the food pyramid, monkeys would. but we do, so we are. why don’t we fight for deers rights against lions? because they’re in the food pyramid just like us and what you all really have a problem with is the poorly treated animals and yea it’s an issue to anybody with a heart. but that issue is a separate cause.

  • Phish says:

    “Unlike all natural carnivores and omnivores, most humans have no instinct or desire to catch living animals, dismember them with their bare hands, and eat them raw.” I lol’d

    Human beings no longer have that desire because we have no need to anymore, things change, things evolve, back when we didnt have technology to help us, i am pretty sure we did have the instinct and desire to hunt animals.

  • Adam says:

    It all depends on your mind set, adaptation is a wonderful thing. If I grew up in the wild I’m pretty sure I’d develop a killing instinct of some sort

  • Anonymous says:

    An interesting viewpoint but seems to lack outside references to back up the facts besides a single pro-vegetarian website. At least two arguments presented seem to defeat themselves with a little bit of thought as well.

    Herbivores such as cows or horses will simply die of starvation rather than eat other animals. It never occurs to them that they’re food. Setting aside conditioned morals and leaving only natural tendencies and instinct what happens when you place starved humans together with no hope of other food sources?

    The statement about humans being squeamish when it comes to eating raw meat or slaughtering an animal for food is also questionable. This is something likely conditioned by our society and lifestyle. What about humans living far back before there were butcher shops, ovens and grills, or nice plastic packages? Was the reaction the same at that time as it is now? Even as short a time span as going back to the pioneers in the America or the early colonists where survival and getting food was an important daily activity. Did they have this same trouble with killing an animal and cutting the raw meat off its body?

  • Ellie says:

    My protein and iron levels have improved since I stopped eating meat and switched to a vegan lifestyle- they are now at the level they should be. I also feel so much healthier. Id like to see if most people would continue to eat meat if they had to murder the animals themselves… I dont know why some meat eaters get so aggressive towards vegans- our lifestyles do not have a negative impact on the life of meat eaters, in fact, we’re offsetting our greenhouse gasses..and theirs! Im sorry if as a vegan, I remind people that what you are actually eating is an animal and that its life before ending up in a lunch was a miserable one, but if you cant handle the truth then dont eat meat or other animal products!

  • lildan15 says:

    Don’t get me wrong I agree we would all be better off eating less meat, but I believe that those physiological changes to our teeth and gut came about because we adapted to cooking our meat instead of eating it raw. Though it is true a diet with many more plants in it is healthier and better for the environment it doesn’t mean we are natural herbivores.

  • Jen-X says:

    I’d love to see what Mintz has to say about drinking cow’s milk. Does he find it “natural” to get on all fours and suck from the teat of a lactating cow? Lol, so typical that he wishes to dismiss the whole idea of humans being natural herbivores. He’s in love with his meat-eating lifestyle…

  • Julie van Niekerk says:

    A person at work told me that humans are designed to eat meat. Okay, that is his reality. I asked him if animals are designed to spend all their lives is small cages, on concrete floors, never see sunlight, never roam in the field and never be with their own offspring. Sorry, I dont fall for that. Animals are better mothers than human beings. They can teach us humans lots about integrity. As Sir Paul Mc Cartney mentioned, “if slaughterhouses had glass walls, then no one will eat meat”. So, look at your meat on your plate and also “experience” the cruelty behind it.

  • Amanda says:

    For Jane, from Jesusveg.com if you’d like more references:
    The Garden of Eden, God’s perfect world, was vegetarian (Gen. 1:29-30). Immediately, God calls this ideal and non-exploitative relationship “good” (Gen. 1:31). There follow many years of fallen humanity, when people held slaves, waged war, ate animals and committed various other violent acts. But the prophets tell us that the peaceable kingdom will be nonviolent and vegetarian; even the lion will lie down with the lamb (e.g., Isaiah 11). Jesus is the Prince of Peace, who ushers in this new age of nonviolence. When Christians pray, “Your will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven,” the one prayer given to us by Jesus, this obligates us to change our lives, to make choices that are as merciful and loving as possible. There will be no factory farms and slaughterhouses in heaven.

    Arms to cut meat, are you serious?

  • Jane says:

    I do believe evolution has given us arms to cut our food, thus no need for big teeth. Very well researched.

    Plants have been proven to react to the environment. Don’t plants have feelings, too? Perhaps there is nothing left to eat.

    Geri, can you please edify me on the parts of the bible that instruct us to be vegetarians? For the life of me I can’t find it.

  • Geri Ross says:

    I’m a Christian, and therefore I have always believed that God originally designed humans to be herbivores according to the book of Genesis in the Bible. According to my religion, meat eating only came about as a result of sin. This is one of the reasons I went vegetarian, and I’m so happy to read an article like this which supports my belief!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    “Protein has many important functions in the body and is essential for growth and maintenance. Protein needs can easily be met by eating a variety of plant-based foods.” (USDA)

    “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association (the A.D.A. paper cited more than 250 studies—my comment) and Dietitians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases….Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life-cycle including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence.”
    (As published in PubMed) •

  • Mark says:

    Everything you say is brilliant and this Miaj one seems rather backward about the statements they are making. Hello, for it or not!? So what if cellulose is hard to digest-it still breaks down and no one has ever died from plant-based diseases that I know of where the cause hasn’t been meat/dairy/egg/fish linked in the first place. Animal parts break down slowly in the human body and our digestive has to work overtime to flush all the alien toxins out in a diet we’re not meant to consume, but do beacuse the human race kinda sucks!

  • Lisa says:

    Tyler and MiaJ, This link provides some more detail about how human anatomy and physiology compare to those of mammalian herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores: http://www.vegsource.com/veg_faq/comparative.htm
    The author is Milton Mills, M.D., a Stanford University-trained physician specializing in nutrition.

  • Bill says:

    That vegans are healthier is hardly a theory as Tyler suggests. It’s been documented over and over. But my own experience is enough proof for me. For 23 years I’ve listened to “warnings” from meat eaters how I was ruining my health. Yet in all that time it is they who are growing fatter, slowing down, looking older, and taking more medications. Meanwhile I look much the same, remain thin, rarely get sick, have largely overcome previous minor health concerns (without medicines), and have more energy. Carl Lewis who many consider one of the world’s best athletes says his best years were after he went vegan. Humans eat meat by choice. That humans continue to stick to primitive cultural choices shows little intellectual evolution. As for me, as I keep telling my critics, I’m not going to take health advice from people whose bodies continue to rot and decay while mine improves. If Tyler wants to let his fingernails grow and chase animals in the forest so be it. I’m sure he’ll soon meet a true carnivore with “real” claws.

  • Mike Quinoa says:


    You referred to “the health risks associated with vegetarianism.” Would you mind detailing a few of those risks?

  • Beth says:

    “Where are your facts? Your theories are porous at best. We don’t have a “natural instinct” to kill animals when we get it from a store. Try being alone in nature with a bare minimum of fruits or veggies and see how your stomach turns against your “instincts”.
    And please tell me you are comparing the teeth of today’s citizens to old fossils found of early man. You DO realize a certain amount of evolution has occurred, right?
    And claws? Have you ever not cut your nails for a while? They become claw-like. Clipping our nails is a fairly new phenomenon.
    A lot of “natural” habits you point to are nothing close to that.
    If you are a vegetarian and you’re getting sick of hearing guff from meat eaters, that I understand, but please don’t post such trivial, un-concluded “facts” as such. That is highly irresponsible.
    Lastly, I would suggest you look at the health risks associated with vegetarianism, since there are some also. And then explain why Travis Barker, after getting horribly burned, was INSTRUCTED to eat meat (he was a vegetarian) because there was NO OTHER WAY to safely get him the protein his regenerating cells needed.”

    Thank you Tyler Mintz! you said it perfectly! Most dietitians understand that for high quality protein that your body needs in order to function properly is best obtained from an omnivorous diet with small amounts of meat. Some days you may eat only vegetarian meals, but other days you may have a turkey sandwich for lunch and a nice baked chicken breast on a salad for dinner. On special occasions you may splurge on a steak for a nice meal. The problem comes when people overindulge–any food can be bad for you if you eat too much-moderation and an active lifestyle is the best you can do for yourself.

  • MiaJ says:

    As much as I would love to be able to believe the statements in this article, I simply cannot for the most part. I kind of have to agree with the responses from Mintz above, despite my best vegetarian tendencies. I seldom eat meat, though I try to get my protien from sources such as Hemp, eggs, some dairy and various protien shakes. I don’t see much validifying scientific information to back this theory up. Also, cellulose is not digested by humans, (except for a nearly insignigicant amount that is digested by some of the bacteria in the human gut, but not by the human) it is what we know to be fiber, which DOES have it’s health benefits. I do feel that this article does help make people aware to the fact that humans do not need to gorge on meat, those that do are missing out on all of the really great stuff found in a vegetarian lifestyle.

  • Lisa says:

    Q, Good question about the protein; I wondered about this too when I first went vegetarian. It turns out that a balanced diet of plant foods provides plenty of protein. A vegan who is getting enough calories (and isn’t eating all junk food!) is also getting enough protein. Soy, legumes, and nuts are especially rich protein sources, but grains, vegetables, and even fruits provide some protein as well. (Broccoli is 33% protein!) And plant protein, unlike animal protein, doesn’t come loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat. Check out http://origin.www.peta.org/mc/factsheet_display.asp?ID=105 for more information.

  • Christy says:

    In response to Q, there are many forms of plant protein, including soy, lentils, beans, nuts, whole grains, and certain vegetables. Although there is still debate about the exact amount of protein we need, Dietitians agree that the average American gets about twice as much protein as should be consumed. It is a common question for people to ask vegetarians about how they get their protein, but when someone actually stops eating animal products, he/she realizes how many plant sources there are!

    And as for Tyler, wow, I don’t know where to start. You should do some research before writing a post like that. I am not sure why you seem to have so much anger about this issue. Perhaps it is about your own guilt for eating meat. Whatever the reason, this article is a good one, and your response only shows that you are either grasping for any way to defend your meat eating ways, or your ignorance.

    Do you think that even our earliest ancestors were doing anything other than hunting with tools? Do you really think they would run after their prey and rip it apart with their hands and teeth? I think not. And even if that actually were the case, you are right about evolution. And for what we have evolved into right now, we do not to kill a deer in this fashion (and most of us not at all). As for teeth, take a look at ancient human teeth fossils. They are flat, just like we have now.

    And your claw idea. Are you serious!?!? That was the most ridiculous of all. Growing long nails is nothing like animal claws!!! When our fingernails are long, they have very little strength. Why do you think woman use all kinds of tricks to keep nails strong when they are trying to grow them. You cannot even begin to compare our long nails to the claws of a carnivore. This part seriously made me laugh.

    Lastly, as for Travis Barker, you are also slightly wrong here. Well, more that you don’t have the entire story. First, eating meat was only his doctor’s suggestion. Why do you think people seek second opinions? One person is not always right. But, for argument’s sake, let us say that doctor was absolutely correct and 100% of doctors would have agreed. Even then, that doctor didn’t actually say he had to eat meat and as you said there was “NO OTHER WAY.” In reality, Travis Barker just wanted any way to heal quickly. He said he would do anything he possibly could. After some serious burns, who wouldn’t? Besides, having serious burns on the body is not exactly our state on a day-to-day basis. Most importantly, he said that he needed protein from food rather than from just protein supplements, which means he wasn’t eating correctly in the first place. He was having problems with skins grafts because he did not have enough protein. No, protein supplements aren’t enough, people need actual protein, which a healthy vegetarian eats. He just wasn’t eating eating a healthy veg diet.

    I am sorry if you feel guilt about eating meat, but that does not change the facts that are in this article. If you want to call them theories, then that is fine. Maybe you could argue that this article should not say that humans aren’t meant to eat meat, but rather there is a lot of evidence that strongly supports the idea. However you want to put it, it certainly does seem that the “natural” thing is not to eat meat. The difference I feel physically since becoming a vegetarian certainly supports the idea.

  • Caleb says:

    Ahh.. Fact check. Travis barkers doctors told him he could eat meat or change his diet. His vegetarian diet was a junk diet. He was relying on protein from supplements. Apparently he nor his doctors cared to advise him on a healthy whole food vegan diet with plenty of protein. It should also be noted that doctors receive next to zero nutritional education in school. They were more or less speaking out of ignorance and Travis was acting as he had for 25 years on a vegetarian diet: with a total lack of knowledge on a proper diet – veggie or meat.

  • Deborah says:

    Tyler Mintz is misinformed about our ancestry. It has been shown, with the recent discovery of the ardipithecus fossil, that we did not evolve from apes or chimps. Ardipithecus also had small, BLUNT canine teeth, indicating that they were primarily herbivorous: http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/ardipithecus/ardipithecus.html

    However, why should our ancient ancestry determine what we eat today when we no longer have to hunt or gather food in order to survive? We now have a CHOICE regarding what we eat. Take a good, hard look at the conditions in factory farms and slaughterhouses and then make an informed decision about what you will CHOOSE to eat, based on what you see.

  • Tia says:

    great article, i’ve been telling people this for awhile, physiologically there is nothing carnivorous about humans! we eat meat because we CHOOSE to kill animals gentler and kinder than us, meat and dairy industry are you listening??? we do not need meat, your meat is killing us and the environment! give up and grow non-GMO organic plants!

  • Gail Richardson says:

    Excellent job of citing facts to support your argument, Lisa!
    I once got to hear a speech by the great writer Isaac Bashevis Singer. During a Q&A session following his speech, someone asked Singer about his being vegetarian. He replied that he had “never heard a radish scream when you pull it out of the ground.” !!!
    Thanks for the post.

  • Terrance says:

    My theory is that if the majority of humans were to convert to a plant based diet war, major crime, disease, pollution, and our economic problems would all probably disappear.

    The earths ecosystem is so stressed, that if we don’t make drastic changes, our existence as a species would be in jeopardy. The earth is a living organism. It is constantly sending us messages in the form of natural disasters that it can no longer take human abuse.

    Our illnesses is another message being sent to us. We eat animals that make us sick, then we experiment on the same animals to find a cure for the illness. How irrational!

    The mind that creates weapons of mass distruction to maim and kill his fellow man definitely comes from a source contaminated with a flesh eating diet.

  • Rosa89 says:

    I wish I was bron not eating me.. ew, being going veggie for close to a year! We are designed just like our bretheren the chimps! But then again they are omnivores.. we should all just not eat anything from animals. Eat plants, they don’t struggle or suffer when you kill them.

  • Tyler Mintz says:

    Where are your facts? Your theories are porous at best. We don’t have a “natural instinct” to kill animals when we get it from a store. Try being alone in nature with a bare minimum of fruits or veggies and see how your stomach turns against your “instincts”.
    And please tell me you are comparing the teeth of today’s citizens to old fossils found of early man. You DO realize a certain amount of evolution has occurred, right?
    And claws? Have you ever not cut your nails for a while? They become claw-like. Clipping our nails is a fairly new phenomenon.
    A lot of “natural” habits you point to are nothing close to that.
    If you are a vegetarian and you’re getting sick of hearing guff from meat eaters, that I understand, but please don’t post such trivial, un-concluded “facts” as such. That is highly irresponsible.
    Lastly, I would suggest you look at the health risks associated with vegetarianism, since there are some also. And then explain why Travis Barker, after getting horribly burned, was INSTRUCTED to eat meat (he was a vegetarian) because there was NO OTHER WAY to safely get him the protein his regenerating cells needed.

  • Q says:

    Goods points, but what about protein?

  • Crystal says:

    Thank you soo much for this! Now I have proof 🙂 Go vegans!!

  • Kristina says:

    Thank you! That was a GREAT article.

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