Why We Need Meat

July 19, 2008

I’m really excited about this post! This is an exclusive post written by Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple. What I like about it is that he is shaking things up here with a controversial subject… An article on why we actually NEED to eat meat (every other girl in downtown Seattle where I live is a vegetarian…I love it that he questions this trend).
expensive kobe beef tokyo
[The world’s most expensive steak can be purchased at Aragawa Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan. An 8 ounce steak will run you $380.]

Why I Think You Will Enjoy Mark’s Writing Style

Mark’s blog is massively popular due to the fact that you just can’t find this stuff in magazines or any mainstream publication. I highly suggest you visit his site on a regular basis and subscribe to his RSS feed. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs. I am pumped that he wrote this article exclusively for this site. How cool is that?

Here is a Picture of Mark at the Age of 54!

mark sisson at 54

Mark stays this ripped year round. I like fitness authors who “walk the walk”. I guess I’m just picky about who I take advice from…I mean, why take advice from someone who is out-of-shape?

He knows a thing or two about fitness and nutrition. He was former editor of Optimum Health newsletter. He has written several books including Maximum Results, The Fat Control System, The Anti-aging Report and The Lean Lifestyle Program.

Oh yeah…he is “slightly” functionally fit as well, finishing as high as 4th place in The Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. This is a MAJOR accomplishment!

[Okay…okay…so I know you want to dig in to the article. Here goes…]

Why We Need Meat
by Mark Sisson

Vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are more common than ever, especially in my neck of the woods (you guessed it, Southern California). I see the menus, hear the pitches, and even read the occasional bogus study that comes out in support of these diets (don’t get me started on the China Study). I once did four-month vegetarian experience in my 30s. I’ve even spent a week as a vegan, with an uncomfortable outcome in an otherwise fun vacation with extended family. Having studied the phenomenon (as well as the science) up close and personal, let me tell you I’m not convinced.

It’s not the most politically correct time to be a meat eater, I understand. And I empathize with those who forgo or reduce meat consumption for environmental and ethical concerns. My wife and son are among them. Nonetheless, the fact remains (as science and human history show), we need meat for optimum health.

First off, let’s get this on the table: no human civilization has ever subsisted, let alone thrived, without animal flesh of some kind. In fact, the study of past and current tribal populations shows that traditional diets contain about twice the protein intake of the typical Western diet today. On average, about a third of hunter-gatherer diets were protein-based. And protein for these folks meant mostly meat.

Research on remaining tribal cultures confirms the healthfulness of the traditional hunter-gatherer style diet. High protein, fruit- and vegetable-rich diets (with virtually no other carbs and few unhealthy fats) seem to protect against the so called “diseases of wealth” we’ve burdened ourselves with in the developed world (heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, arthritis, etc.).

In my little adventure on “Vegan Island” I got to hear the famous Dr. John McDougall’s doctrine on the health advantages of veganism. But when I looked around me, the picture didn’t fit the caption. Overweight people drawn to a philosophy that was clearly doing them no favors. As for the “thin” members of the fully fledged vegan group? I believe the label “skinny fat” would be an apt description.

evangeline lilly
[Rusty’s side note…Evangeline Lilly is an example of a slim woman who isn’t skinny fat. She is a great role model for women who want to get in great shape while still looking feminine.]

Okay! Quit looking at the picture…back to the article…

I don’t say this to be snide. I say it because the current nutritional “culture”, I believe, steers us the wrong way. To gain and maintain muscle mass, adequate protein consumption is essential for everyone (yup, men and women). For us seasoned folks out there, it’s especially critical for overall health as well as muscle mass maintenance, which is key to successful aging, of course. Fats are essential as well, you simply can’t live without them. As for all those carbs we athletes gorge ourselves on? Let me clear something up. Carbs provide glucose that serves as short-term fuel for muscles, but it doesn’t do a thing to build or maintain them. In fact, there is no actual requirement for carbs in the human diet.

As an active person, I eat (here’s an example of my daily diet break down) about 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass each day. For me, that’s about 150 grams of protein a day. (The powers that be would suggest I should be eating half that or less.) I’m 55 and have never been healthier or more fit in my life. Take a look if you like and judge for yourself.

And let me just put the big anti-protein critics to rest. One of the most common critiques links higher protein diets to impaired kidney function. Recent research suggests, however, that people without prior or developing kidney or liver impairment do not experience any kidney or liver issues with a higher protein intake (1.3 g/kg/day). People most at risk for this kind of kidney stress include those who have a personal or family history of kidney or liver problems or those who have high blood pressure or diabetes. And what about the osteoporosis link? This is an outdated claim that just doesn’t hold water. Most new research, including USDA studies, suggests bone density improves with added protein intake in most deficient or borderline people when they also have adequate Vitamin D. Stress, salt intake, and lack of weight-bearing exercise has more impact on bone loss.

But what does adequate protein intake look like in terms of a day’s menu? How do I personally fit 150 grams of protein in a day? I can tell you one thing: I’d be more than hard-pressed to do it without meat. In fact, as a vegan I think it would be pretty much impossible. Check out a few protein estimates (compliments of The Harvard School of Public Health and Northwestern University), and I think you’ll get the picture.

Meats
Beef (6 oz.) – 54 grams
Turkey, breast (6 oz.) – 51.4 grams
Pork Chop (6 oz.) 49 grams
Turkey, dark meat (6 oz.) – 48.6 grams
Hamburger (6 oz.) – 48.6 grams
Chicken, dark meat (6 oz.) – 47.2 grams
Tuna (6 oz.) – 40.1 grams
Chicken, breast (6 oz.) – 37.8 grams
Salmon (6 oz.) – 33.6 grams

Dairy/Eggs
Cottage cheese (1 cup) – 28.1 grams
Yogurt, low fat (1 cup) – 10.7 grams
Skim milk (1 cup) – 8.3 grams
Whole milk (1 cup) – 8 grams
American cheese (1 oz.) – 7 grams
Soymilk (6 oz.) – 6.7 grams
Egg (1 large) – 6.3 grams

Beans and Legumes, Nuts
Tofu (6 oz.) – 13.8 grams
Peanut Butter (2 Tbsp.) – 8.1 grams
Almond Butter (2 Tbsp.) – 7 grams
Lentils (1/2 cup) – 9 grams
Split Peas (1/2 cup) – 8.1 grams
Kidney Beans (1/2 cup) – 7.6 grams
Sesame Seeds (1 oz.) – 7.5 grams
Black Beans (1/2 cup) – 7.5 grams

Fruits and Vegetables
Orange (large) – 1.7 grams
Banana (medium) – 1.2 grams
Green Beans (1/2 cup) – 1 gram
Carrots (1/2 cup) – .8 gram
Apple (large) – 0 grams

Let’s put it this way. As a vegetarian, I’d have to consume a boat load of dairy, which isn’t the healthiest choice and often presents some rather uncomfortable consequences. As a vegan, I’d be gorging on beans (you fill in the blank on that one) trying in vain to get enough protein, all the while cramming in more starchy carbs. Tofu? There are many reasons to avoid it, and I certainly wouldn’t ever make it a staple food. Nut butter? I love almond butter as much as the next guy or gal, but I’d be shoveling away more than a jar of it a day if I was depending on it for a central protein source. How does that feel in your stomach?

world's most expensive chicken dish
[The World’s most expensive chicken dish is $231 at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée in Paris.]

The fact is, we need meat for an efficient, bioavailable source of essential protein. But let me say that I do still believe in feeding your body the “cleanest” protein you can. Factory-farmed meats and fish can carry the heaviest “toxic” burden of our modern food supply. These toxins can be plentiful enough over time to put a strain on anyone’s body, including liver and kidneys. Choose organic, grass-fed meat and poultry whenever possible, and go for wild instead of farmed fish. Short of that, trim the excess fat off those supermarket family-pack steaks.

After my own week-long foray into vegan living, I found myself a few pounds short of muscle (which I was able to regain) and more convinced than ever that meat was essential for healthy living. An essential part of human evolutionary design, meat holds a central place in my Primal Blueprint philosophy. That first night back from vacation, it was also the main fare for dinner. A Porterhouse steak never tasted so good.

Important Message: Although this site has received 25+ million visitors, I am starting from scratch and abandoning it. This site is dated and old school looking, terrible to read on mobile, etc.

It's like a Ford Pinto compared to my new site...which is like a Ferrari. Click the link to head over to my new site.

Starting Over...R.I.P. Fitness Black Book!


Thanks for reading all these years!



 

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{ 98 comments… read them below or add one }

Riley July 19, 2008 at 6:21 am

Great article, good to see Mr. Sisson writing a guest post here on your blog, Rusty. I am glad that you refer to the Daily Apple site every once in a while, because it has been a wealth of information to me over the past week and a half (that’s when I first read about it here!). Mark is in excellent condition, and has a lot of knowledge and research to back up his claims. I told my wife that when I am 50, I want to look like Mark. She said “Jeeze, I want to look like him now!” 😀

Tom Parker July 19, 2008 at 7:44 am

Thanks for the heads up on Mark’s Daily Apple Rusty and thanks for a great article Mark. I don’t think I could ever go vegetarian and I’m almost positive I couldn’t be a vegan. I just love my meats too much. I eat chicken or turkey 4 times a week at least. Mark’s Daily Apple has been added to my RSS reader and I look forward to reading, commenting and participating.

3ller July 19, 2008 at 8:49 am

illuminating report, I always thought veg diets are too restricting not as good as they claim.

have you seen the Dark Knight? I hear that movie was an epic… especially heath ledger’s performance.

I really hope this film will sink The Titanic at box office records ( yeah.. pun intended)

Cheers

pairus July 19, 2008 at 11:36 am

As a lady living in Seattle, thanks for posting this! I was a vegetarian for 2 years, then vegan for about a year. I did it the “proper” way with as much protein as I could manage and the least amount of processed foods. Toward the end of this time I had almost no energy unless I had lots of carbs, so I never got results and physically felt awful. Going back to eating meat is one of the best decisions I ever made for my health.

john July 19, 2008 at 12:47 pm

i am leaning more and more towards paleo, anabolic style, or nhe eating…i just have to dial it in for great results…have you ever read nhe?

john July 19, 2008 at 12:51 pm

this guy makes devany look like the pilsbury dough boy

Yash July 19, 2008 at 1:48 pm

great post again rusty. i’m on my way over to the daily apple now to subscribe after reading a few of his articles. you guys that run blogs like this do a great deal to help each other and i like that you guys refer people to each other so reach their fitness goals.

on another note, the dark knight really was AMAZING. i saw it last night and i’m probably going again.

Yash

katie July 19, 2008 at 2:00 pm

hey rusty, i noticed you changed your site so that when you click on an external link it pops up as a different window rather than navigating away from the FBB. its so much better!

Helder July 19, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Excellent article, i’m in the best shape ever since i’ve cutted carbs and eat a high protein diet, along with fruits and veggies. I’ve recently discovered Mark’s blog and it’s really good, you did really well in letting your readers know about it Rusty.

Simon32 July 19, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Yeah, Mark rules. Just added to my RSS feed too. I have to second everything above. His site kicks ass and brings some common sense to a world of misinformation. Primal is the way to go.

Dan July 19, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Thanks for another great post Rusty! I also love Mark’s site so this was quite inspiring. I’ve been down the vegetarian/vegan path, and it worked great when I was doing triathlons, but I found that once I stopped my body needed less carbs & a lot more protein/fat. Not to mention I was eating tons of processed vegan junk food like tofurkey and soy ice cream. I think that’s the reason why most vegans have the “skinny fat” look, they think that just because it’s labeled as vegan that it’s healthy. Just take a look at some of the ingredient lists of vegan products next time you’re in a place like Whole Foods…it’s incredible!

Although I do have to mention that there are some successful vegan bodybuilders (check out http://www.veganbodybuilding.com for some info), who have done some amazing feats. Most will not be as big as meat eaters, but that isn’t such a bad thing when you consider that we just want to have the “hollywood” look, right? I think that in the end, as long as you eat whole, unprocessed food as much as possible, you will be fine…just common sense!

Alvaro July 19, 2008 at 6:46 pm

Full disclosure – I’m a vegan for ethical reasons. And while I agree that veganism (or vegetarianism) is definitely NOT paleo and therefore not the best plan for optimum health, but a lack of protein is definitely NOT the reason.

For one thing, Mark seems to think that Dr. McDougall’s program is typical of veganism – it is not. The failings of his program aren’t an indictment of veganism at all.

Now, on to the notion that you need 150 grams of protein daily. Here’s Rusty in 2007:

Conversely, the body has the ability to maintain or gain muscle off of a relatively low daily protein intake. The timing of meal is a HUGE variable as well. Did you know your body will absorb and more protein if you ingest it within 30 minutes of your workout. 30g of protein consumed right after exercise would utilize almost the same amount of protein as 60g protein consumed five hours later!

http://fitnessblackbook.com/the-protein-book/

So which is it? Do we NEED 150 gram of protein a day to be optimally fit? Or is the truth that if we pay attention to when, what, and how we eat our protein requirements are actually much smaller?

Alvaro July 19, 2008 at 7:13 pm

I forgot to mention a few things, and I think I may have screwed up the formatting of the page with that link, so Rusty, remove it if that’s the case.

I think it’s been pretty conclusively demonstrated that a vegan diet can be very healthy (though maybe not “optimum”), particularly when it’s combined with a focus on paleo foods. But I do think there are legitimate questions about whether veganism is the best choice for optimum health, but again, not because of protein intake! That Mark would even suggest such a thing makes me think he knows very little about veganism. Probably the things I worry about missing most are B12 and the stuff in fish oil. I’m hoping that someday I can raise my own chickens (or maybe just one as a pet) and follow an ovo-vegan diet, which in my mind would be the perfect balance of ethics and health.

If you still don’t think it’s possible to be very functionally fit and healthy on a vegan diet, take a look:

http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/?page=bios

It’s too bad this came after Rusty’s cut down on the commenting, I’m really hoping either Mark or Rusty will respond to this as it seems to be a pretty major divergence in their thinking (the protein intake thing I mean).

Hulbs July 19, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Good post Rusty,

Both the wife and I eat mainly lean chicken breast and tuna as our main soruce of meat, however, recently we started ocasionally eating Kangaroo steaks instead of other red meat such as beef pr lamb.

We love it in ‘home made’ healtyh curries and stews etc and it is good as far as sustainability for the environment compared to beef or lanb. I lot of non-aussie readers of your blog may be surprised to learn that our beloved national symbol the Kangaroo is somewhat of a pest in many parts of the country due to their overwhelming numbers and lack of feed due to lack of water etc. So by eating ‘Roo we are helping ourselves in more ways than one

Cheers

Hulbs

Josh July 19, 2008 at 9:51 pm

3ller i watched the dark knight yesterday opening day it was great i recommend it. Great post

Q July 20, 2008 at 2:30 am

Rusty you are just amazing man! Thank you for this. I live and train in LA and the raw food movement has so much propaganda based dogma going I meet people who have given themselves food phobias almost each day. thank you fro printing some sanity from MArk. May I copy and share it with friends on Myspace and Facebook? with proper credits and so forth.

Cheers!

The Q

Mdsisson July 20, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Alvaro,

Good comment. Went to that vegan BB site and looked at about 10 profiles. Every single one of them converted to veganism fairly recently. That means that they spent their entire formative years eating meat/chicken/fish to give them a huge head start. This is how most vegans and vegetarians develop. Show me a couple of body-builders who have never eaten meat in their lives (and/or have never used protein powders with whey, egg, casein, and other animal sources, etc) and then we can talk about the effectiveness of a vegan diet in building mass. As for vegan sources of protein, if you figure that veggies and fruits alone can’t provide enough protein to build or sustain mass for long, you are left with legumes (soy, peanuts, limas, etc, to which humans never fully adapted) or grains (which I hope I never consume in any appreciable quantities again). At its strictest levels, my Primal Blueprint diet recommends avoiding both. I note that many of the vegan BBs take creatine. Creatine is found in meat – not vegetables, so basically they are looking for something in meat that is missing from their diet? You also have noted that you miss the B12 and the extremely important Omega3s that are found in meat and fish and that you want to raise you own chickens. Does that mean that you also agree that veganism is too extreme. Not trying to give you grief, Alvaro…just trying to understand your position.

On my site you asked about the high amount of protein I espouse. Great question. The idea in a low carb diet is to get plenty of healthy veggies and fruits as the main source of carb/glucose. Then, be sure to cover your basic needs for protein (which is, admittedly, far less than I espouse). But the difference is that we use the extra protein as a source of needed calories (when you cut carbs, you cut energy) and as a reserve source of glucose (especially when you cut carbs to under 100 grams a day, as I do some days). That means that the body can convert the extra protein to glucose through gluconeogenesis (burning fat to do so) without having to resort to tearing down hard-earned muscle tissue as happens frequently in, say, endurance training.

Hope that answers your question. Great site, Rusty. Saw Dark Knight last night, 3ller. Kicked ass.

Mdsisson July 20, 2008 at 1:31 pm

PS. Neglected to say that we use fats as the main source of energy in the PB plan.

Alvaro July 20, 2008 at 1:39 pm

The Q, before you go to all that trouble you might take note that Rusty seems to disagree with the central premise of the Mark’s article, namely that vegan/vegetarian diets are undesirable because they can’t easily provide 150 grams of protein a day.

I was doing a little reading about the Maasai, one of the most frequently studied very healthful aboriginal diets, which I assume figures into Mark’s “average” paleo diet. From Wikipedia entry on the Maasai:

-Meat, although an important food, is consumed irregularly and cannot be classified as a staple food.-

Mark:

-And protein for these folks meant mostly meat.-

Really?

And lastly I’ll say that I’m not sure that going for the average aboriginal diet is the right course for optimum health – what we know most about paleo diets is that they were hugely varied, which means that our digestive systems evolved in very different circumstances. My guess is that some paleo diets were healthier than others (although all of them much healthier than our modern diet), so aiming for the center might not be optimum.

3ller July 20, 2008 at 2:10 pm

yeah but unfortunately there are no theaters showing the film in my small country(only 2 theaters…… that small) . I’m willing to wait as long as till December when the Dvd is supposed to be released. I want to watch where the video quality is as good as the film itself. Not a crappy CAM version.

Jumpow July 20, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Mark Sisson == awesomeness

Keep up the great work Rusty

Alvaro July 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Mark, thanks so much for responding! I’m glad we’re getting into the weeds with this one, because it’s a really interesting and important discussion! First of all, you seem to be changing your argument – in your original post you made the strong claim:

-we need meat for optimum health-,

But now you’re backpedaling to the weaker claim that a vegan diet isn’t effective in building mass. As you well know, building mass is NOT the focus of Rusty’s site (I didn’t think it was the focus of yours, either). While I agree with you that a certain amount of lean muscle mass is definitely a huge part of optimum health, again, I don’t think you’ve demonstrated that it’s impossible to get there on a vegan diet. Certainly you’ll agree that “building mass” and “optimum health” aren’t synonymous?

So I didn’t link to that site to prove you could build tons of mass on a vegan diet (although I think it’s pretty clear you can), I did it to prove that you can be VERY fit (even optimally fit) on a vegan diet. You’ll notice that not all the people on that site are bodybuilders (maybe this is why you’re focusing on mass?) – if you scroll down there’s athletes and normal folks too. It’s interesting to me that people from such different fitness backgrounds find veganism so healthful.

-Show me a couple of body-builders who have never eaten meat in their lives (and/or have never used protein powders with whey, egg, casein, and other animal sources, etc) and then we can talk about the effectiveness of a vegan diet in building mass.-

I’m sorry, but I have a feeling that you know this is ridiculous to ask of me – anyone who was breastfed, for example, would be automatically excluded. But that’s not really the point, is it? Isn’t this discussion about whether one can live on a vegan diet in an optimally healthy way? To say veganism is bad because there are no bodybuilders who have been vegan since birth makes no sense – is the primal diet bad because almost nobody in the Western world has been following it since birth? I think it’s pretty easy to see where the logic breaks down. You’re 100% correct – for the vast majority of vegans, their lifestyle is a conscious (and relatively recent, as most vegans are young) change. But why does this invalidate it as a healthy living style?

And anyway, I don’t which ten profiles you looked at but there are a lot of people on there whose health (again, not so sure why your focused on mass) has radically improved since becoming vegan. For example:

-One popular wrong notion is that vegans are frail and skinny. *laughs* My power has increased since becoming vegan, especially my endurance, and I almost never get ill anymore.-
http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/?page=bio_alex

So is he just lying?

Let’s assume for a minute that your weak claim (you can’t build mass on a vegan diet) is true (again, I don’t agree with this, but for the sake of argument let’s pretend). Even if that were true, how does that translate into “we need meat for optimum health”? If, as you seem think, all of these bodybuilders built up their mass and THEN went vegan, they certainly seem to be maintaining their health. So tell me again how a vegan diet is incompatible with optimum health?

As to your creatine point, as I’m sure you’re aware there’s a lot of controversy about creatine and just because some vegans use it doesn’t mean it’s an indictment of all veganism. This is the same thing you did with Dr. McDougall – it seems you think that veganism is one massive, homogeneous lifestyle. Nothing could be farther from the truth!

-Does that mean that you also agree that veganism is too extreme.-

I thought I was pretty clear about this, but I’ll reiterate my thinking. I think it’s possible to be EXTREMELY fit on a vegan diet. Now I think it’s debatable whether or not vegan fitness can be truly optimum – but my quarrel with you is that low protein intake is NOT the reason! As I said, I think omega-3s and B12 are the two most serious deficiencies. If you had written a post about omega-3s and B12, then I would have been like “yeah, that’s a problem for vegans.” But when both of these supplements are available in 100% vegan form, their absence from plant foods doesn’t mean a vegan can’t be optimally healthy. Now, I’m not a fan of supplements (hence the hankering to raise chickens), but there’s no reason a vegan on these supplements couldn’t be optimally fit, again undermining your strong claim.

-As for vegan sources of protein, if you figure that veggies and fruits alone can’t provide enough protein to build or sustain mass for long, you are left with legumes (soy, peanuts, limas, etc, to which humans never fully adapted) or grains (which I hope I never consume in any appreciable quantities again).-

Can you spot what’s missing? I can, and it’s definitely paleo and my biggest source of protein – TREE NUTS (hooray!)! Do you not eat any nuts? Why not? Nuts and berries are pretty much as paleo as you can get.

You seemed to have sidestepped my central argument about protein intake – do you disagree with Rusty’s post I linked to, wherein he supports the idea that a relatively small amount of protein is required? Again, this is the main point, it seems to reveal a major divergence between you and Rusty, so I’d really love you to respond (and thanks again for your first comment!).

The truth is a lot of people hide behind health claims because they like meat and understand how horrible its implications are (ethically, environmentally).

Also, Dark Knight was great. When Ledger does the disappearing pencil trick you could just feel everyone it the audience take a sharp breath in thinking “holy crap this is gonna be crazy!”

Mdsisson July 20, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Alavaro, Maasai are not hunter/gatherers – they are “semi-nomadic pastoralists.” I didn’t cite the Maasai diet at all, but now that you mention it, the first line of the passage that you omitted from your quote is: “Traditionally, the Maasai diet consisted of meat, milk, and blood from cattle.” That’s about as high protein (and high fat) a diet from animal meat as you can get.

The article basically goes on to say “Today, the staple diet of the Maasai consists of cow’s milk and maize-meal…” The implication is that they began incorporating grains into their diet fairly recently (since they had no grains in their diet until Western encroachment ). Probably had no choice in the matter, since disease killed off much of their herds in the late 20th century, and grazing lands have been eradicated by civilization, etc.

Lorna July 20, 2008 at 6:30 pm

I have always felt this way but as Mark said, it is not politically correct to say so (especially in SoCal, where I am from as well). I did not grow up vegan/vegetarian but I tried it for 40 days in my teens and it was anything but pleasant. I never knew I would miss it so much. The first few weeks went fine but around midway, I started feeling extremely dizzy and missed my period. Even though I was downing several glasses worth of spinach juice, I was still severely anemic. I did lose 12 pounds but most of it was lean tissue as my jeans fit me exactly the same :(.

All in all, it was not a good experience. Being vegetarian is too much work: it takes lots of planning to make sure that we are getting the same amount of nutrients (especially iron for women) and protein as we would from meat.

-Lorna

Tesa July 20, 2008 at 7:59 pm

I’m so glad that i’m not a vegan anymore, it’s not even funny. Following Mark’s food plan i’m healthier than ever; meat is not the enemy!

rey July 20, 2008 at 10:04 pm

nice info – this is coming from a fully fledged vegan of 3 years
its good hearing both sides of the coin
I get mad at vegans who try to force non vegs’ into it by giving stats, studies and so on
everybody is entitled to their own opinions and experiences
don’t let somebody else’s opinion become your own
thats all i have to say
different people, different circumstances, different nutritional necessities… or maybe not… who knows

Alvaro July 21, 2008 at 12:39 am

-I get mad at vegans who try to force non vegs’ into it by giving stats, studies and so on-

But when it comes from the other side it doesn’t bother you? It seems like if you just switch “non veg” with “veg,” that’s exactly what Mark’s doing.

And Mark, unfortunately you didn’t respond to my central point, mainly that you seem to disagree with Rusty about optimal protein intake. And all my other points, save for the one about the Maasai.

The reason I brought up the Maasai was because I’m pretty much grasping at straws – not only do you not cite the Maasai, you don’t cite anything at all. Where are you getting your numbers about 1/3 of the diet being animal-based protein etc? Thanks again

admin July 21, 2008 at 1:12 am

Mark,

Thanks for answering the comments. I knew this was going to be a conversation starter. You got the conversation rolling big-time on this one. I love it!

Alvaro,

Mark and I just have slightly different approaches. He eats less carbs than me most of the time and therefore eats a slightly larger amount of protein. On a lower carb diet you need to insure that muscle doesn’t get broken down. A high enough protein intake assures this won’t happen. Mark explains this in his comment above.

When I need to drop a few pounds quickly, I eat almost exactly what Mark prescribes. It is a great way to burn that last bit of body fat (it is probably the biggest reason Mark looks ripped year round)…maybe I should consider eating this way more often…just a thought. To be honest, his intake of 1 gram per day per pound of lean mass, isn’t really that excessive. I have heard people in the fitness industry recommend 1.5-2.0 grams per lean body mass per day!

Keep the comments constructive 🙂 I want Mark to guest post at some point in the future, because he is an outstanding health and fitness author. One of the best on the web. I do appreciate the well-thought out comments that you have been delivering…just make sure they keep a friendly tone.

John,

Devany looks pretty impressive as well, but you have to remember that Mark was a triathlete. Just finishing the Ironman triathlon is insane!

Yash,

Very few blogs are “lifestyle” fitness blogs like Mark’s site and this site. What I mean by “lifestyle” fitness blog, is that we believe in incorporating fitness into a well-balanced and healthy life (while looking great). Mark travels, he has a family, he runs a great site, drinks beer, gets outdoors a lot, etc…He looks great, but doesn’t live in the gym to accomplish this.

I’m the same way. I go to concerts, parties, camping trips, travel to exotic places, have a demanding job, while running this site for fun. I stay in good shape, but don’t sacrifice everything else to get there.

What I first started this site I used to get funny comments like…”you must hang around fat people because you aren’t ripped”…they would then try and tear apart my picture telling me what I needed to work on.

I just had to laugh, because being “ripped beyond belief” isn’t my goal at all. I want to enjoy life, while being fit. I could spend 3-4 weeks “prepping” for a photo shoot and measuring my food, hitting the gym 5-6 times per week…weighing myself every few days, measuring my body fat non-stop, counting every calorie, etc…but that would suck! What kind of existence is that?

The whole mantra of my site is “get fit in the context of a fun and exciting life”. I know there are people out there with sharper abs, better shoulders, better symmetry, etc. I just want to have fun while doing what it takes to maintain a slim “Hollywood” look.

Sorry to go off on a tangent Yash…the reason I dig Mark’s blog is because he has a very similar outlook on fitness. Some of his methods are slightly different, but the goal is the same. Both of us really appreciate our readers, so we do our best to point them to other sources that we find worthwhile. Thanks for being a consistent reader 🙂

Q,

Please send this to your friends, just make sure you leave a link to Mark’s site in the article. We enjoy reaching new readers…it makes this fun to know that it is being exposed to a wider audience. Oh yeah…give them a link to my blog. I promise I will entertain them!

Rey,

Well put. I like it that Mark at least gave it a shot. It shows he is open to different points of view.

3ller,

I saw Batman at 12:00AM last night in Seattle’s best theater downtown…Cinerama (a theater that Paul Allen invested a lot of money into about 10 years ago). It is OUTSTANDING! I hope it shatters all of the box office records.

Rusty

GarthFader July 21, 2008 at 1:20 am

LOL! I love it… One post is based on one persons eating ‘ethics’, and a couple of posts later another guy is talking about loving kangaroo steaks! HA HA… Fun stuff here Rusty!

admin July 21, 2008 at 1:29 am

GarthFader,

Hulbs has become one of my Australian connections. When I take my girlfriend to Australia…I’m going to eat a Kangaroo Steak and drink a large beer with Hulbs and his wife. Then its off to Bondi Beach! Hulbs says it has the best sand in Australia…or something like that!

Hulbs July 21, 2008 at 2:00 am

Lol!

Can’t wait Rusty! The beer will be ice cold and the ‘Roo piping hot off the Barbie!

P.s. GarthFader,

Plenty of ‘Roos to go around in this part of the world so I don’t have an ethical problem in eating a few of them!

Troy Crowley July 21, 2008 at 5:19 am

to alavaro,

who says eating meat isn’t for ethical reasons too!! Being Half Native American, and coming from a Native American background I would know.

Native American Tribes from North America knew Animal was of the highest value for food. Some tribes would go as far as to eat almost no vegitation out of respect to the animals. I grew up hunting elk in colorado, and to me, you can’t get more natural than seeing an animal graze. I understand not everyone can go hunting, but people can choose grass fed if there is the option. If there isn’t an option for grass fed, organic, or natural…i think your still better of eating some kind of meat. If you have access to Grass fed organic organ meats, consider yourself really lucky!

As for eating meat for ethical reasons? Animals can graze more areas of land where you can’t farm. People can’t synthisize alot of vitamins and minerals frome plants. Humans can’t digest fiber or cellulose, but an animal with a rumin can(buffalo, goat, sheep, cattle..etc) and they turn grass and plants goodness into fat soluable vitamins for us. It takes alot of energy to run a agri based farm, for that matter a little organic berrie farm, but you can let a animal just graze like its meant to, thats easy. If you are allergic to plant chemicals, let the animal eat the plants and take care of it for you. Respect animals, and they will provide, weather you use them for milk, eggs, or meat.

And marks right…to get the same amount of nutrition from veggies, fruits, or legumes as you can get from a steak is impossible. Have fun filling bloated the rest of your life…and hungry. Animal fat is very important, and native americans knew this…they thrived on it.

I will leave you with some quotes.

You ask me to plow the ground, Shall I take a knife and tear my mothers’s bosom. Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest.
You ask me to dig for stones! Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again.
You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it, and be rich like white men, but how dare I cut my mother’s hair?
I want my people to stay with me here. All the dead men will come to life again. Their spirits will come to their bodies again. We must wait here in the homes of our fathers and be ready to meet them in the bosom of our mother.
Wovoka
Paiute

My young men shall never farm. Men who work the soil cannot dream, and wisdom comes to us in dreams.
Wowoka

I love the land and the buffalo and will not part with it. . . .
I want the children raised as I was. . . I don’t want to settle. I love to roam over the prairies. There I feel free and happy, but when we settle down we grow pale and die.
Satanta
Kiowa Chief

You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts.
Cochise
Chiriacahua Chief

If you are a vegan for ethical reasons, then so be it, but think about it… Lets keep on over farming land, producing more grain for animals and third world countries. Lets not forget that its the animals manure they use for ogranic crops…manure from a grassfed animal is superior to the toxic manure of a grain fed animal, and its easier if you let the animal graze and refertilize at the same time…it keeps making more since?

Thanks for the great info Rusty and Mark! Keep up the good work!

AFDerrick July 21, 2008 at 9:48 am

Wow lots of comments still. Thanks for the article, a few weeks ago you mentioned Mark’s website and I go there as often as I come here (about once a day). So I say thanks for that. THe other one, I forgot Evangeline Lilly was so hot, man how am I going to get her lovely face out of my mind now?!

Helder July 21, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Troy Crowley, i just loved this one:
“My young men shall never farm. Men who work the soil cannot dream, and wisdom comes to us in dreams.”
Wowoka

That’s what i believe, adapted to our days, and to all areas of Life

AA July 21, 2008 at 2:07 pm

When thinking about the correct combination of protein, fat and carbohydrate I like to consider the egg. Inside the egg is everything needed to build a chick and maintain that chick while it is under construction. It must be quite a workout for the cells constructing such a complex organism from goop. So how much carbohydrate is there in an egg to fuel this process? Well under 3% of the total. It would appear that serious body building requires a lot of fat and protein and very few carbs.

Ryan July 21, 2008 at 11:24 pm

ya rusty i agree with u, meat of some form is more or less essential to building lean muscle, and also promotes fat loss since you are getting almost pure protein (with lean meats) and less fat and carbs than you would get in vegan products. Even protein powders are usually derived from milk or some other source that strict vegans wouldn’t touch. One quick q tho, didn’t know where else to put it. As a teenage ectomorph who has gotten the level of musculature that I want, I am now on a mantain program but I am wondering if I should leave in cardio to say super sharp? Or will cardio eat away at the muscle? I currently do 15 min 3 times a week, I figure that’s the least I can do not only to stay sharp but more importantly to keep lungs, heart etc healthy. What do you think bro?

Sandy July 23, 2008 at 12:58 am

WOW he looks great!!! Hard to believe he’s in his 50’s with that body! (:

Angie Schumacher July 23, 2008 at 9:57 am

Ahhh….wonderful guest post! If I could get all my clients to eat like this (which is exactly how I eat), they would look amazing and make progress so much faster!!

This post just helped me to feel that I am making the right choices by avoiding the carbs and eating higher, healthier fats!

(Shout out to Rusty! 😀 Sorry I been away so long, extremely busy, as I see you have been also! Hope all is well!)

Allan Innes July 23, 2008 at 4:43 pm

What I will add is this: I am a vegetarian (with a desire, for ethical and environmental reasons, to one day go vegan), and if the above claims are true – that one must kill something in order to exist at an optimum level of health – then I will settle for living slightly below said level.

Rusty, thank you for the time that you give to this site.

James July 23, 2008 at 7:42 pm

Rusty, I need your help. I didn’t see any other way to contact you but through leaving comments. Sorry about the long post but I want to give you a little background:

I’m a recovering bodybuilder, by saying that I mean that I’ve seen the light about bodybuilding training and how it can do more harm than good to your body. I’ve been bodybuilding for the last 5 years and this summer I had some type of injury that has limited my ability to even walk. The doctor said I had a ruptured disc along with sciatica, which effects both legs causing intense pain. The only way I could have sustained this type of injury is from heavy squatting and deadlifting that I was doing. I believe I’ve created some type of either muscle or lower back imbalance that finally did some intense but hopefully not permanent damage.

Anyway I’m so glad I ran across your site, I’m recovering from my injury currently but I really want to change my training habits from this bodybuilding type training to an athletic one like you describe. I’ve spent years eating enormous amounts of food and pumping up my muscles in hopes of achieving what I saw in the magazines. This injury was a huge wake up call and I don’t even look like the same person I was 5 years ago. I really regret this now because looking at some old pictures before I started doing bodybuilding I looked so much better, even doing modeling part-time.

I just wanted to ask what do I do to reverse this type of look for my body? I’ve read several posts of yours but what do you feel is the key components of your philosophy on training? Mainly with weight training, diet, and cardio which I need to do a ton of to get most of this weight off!!!!

Thanks Rusty for your site!!

romesaz July 28, 2008 at 10:37 am

Hey James,

Not sure if you’ve already seen it on this site, but, you should also probably take a look at Rusty’s suggestion for strengthening your lower back/core.
It’s in a post where Rusty describes his own back problems.
http://fitnessblackbook.com/…while-getting-fit/
I know this doesn’t address your request, but may be a bit helpful.
I’m hoping to get my Dad to start incorporating those exercises into his day, since he’s had a lot of lower back problems too, including a surgery, which actually made matters MUCH MUCH worse (Yay canadian health system!).

Olga August 22, 2008 at 12:54 pm

This artile was very educational, I was a vegan for like 5 years I became a “skinny fat”, took up that fad diet after I had my first baby. Started at 130 lbs and only because I had attended a Adventist curch and a few people there said that being a vegan was better and healthier, yeah right! I got down to 115 lbs., yuk had no muscles. My friends were asking me if I was taking drugs or if I was sick? Prob. cause I look unhealthy.
Now that I have three children I need to eat healthy. I can’t imagine not eating meat. I will never go back, ever.!I know from experience what eating protien does to my body and my health.
All this information inspires me, I love the information I read here, so many people think they know everything and don’t even realize their misleading people. I like advice from people who have experience and knowledge, that’s what makes me keep on reading.
Right now I am fat, cause I overate on carbs, kept loading up on sugar I just couldn’t control myself, but in not time will loose everything and will be looking hot again, just like Jennifer Nicole Lee. Which also eats meat, not soy or tofu, but real meat, and is a mother of two.

Nathan December 7, 2008 at 10:29 am

Hey Rusty.
Just discovered your site here, and wow, what a wealthy of information!
Mark’s estimation of having a higher protein diet is right on the money, I used to be close to 300 lbs, and now I’m around 225, and it’s only been recently that I’ve started a rigorous exercise regimen.
Until 3 weeks ago it was purely a revolution in my eating habits, and that included massive reduction in carbs (not completely, but reduced to whole grains and only in small amounts) and a massive increase in protein, be it beef, chicken, fish, turkey, etc., and an increase in ark green vegetable consumption.

A companion piece to Mark’s writing here would be your piece about how important a solid diet in comparison to being highly active. (another great piece, i might add)

Thanks for the great info!

Jacob January 6, 2009 at 11:06 am

I’m with Allan on this one. For ethical reasons, I have a strict vegetarian, mostly vegan diet and have done so for the past 7 years. I’ve never had any problems with energy level, building muscle (when I’ve tried), or attaining a lean physique. I’m certain I would look slightly better or have more ease in achieving fitness goals if I weren’t vegetarian, but hey, in the past few years I’ve run a marathon and taken up BJJ / MMA training. So if that isn’t optimal fitness, then sub-optimal is fine with me.

I’m a big fan of fighter Mac Danzig, who’s been vegan for the past 4 years, and I doubt anyone can impugn his level of fitness.

sujal February 19, 2009 at 10:35 am

Spanish triathlete Ovo-lacto-vegetarian Eneko Llanos.

El menor de los hermanos Llanos, campeón del mundo de triatlón de larga distancia en Ibiza 2003 y olímpico en Sydney 2000 y Atenas 2004, primer español que gana el mítico Ironman de Lanzarote Canarias considerada por los especialistas como una de las pruebas de triatlón más duras del mundo(2007), y este año (2008) ha acabado segundo en el de Hawai tras Craig Alexander. “Ya me queda menos para llegar a la cima”.

Entrevista tras su segundo puesto en el Campeonato del mundo de Ironman en Hawai:

¿Es un problema ser vegetariano como tú en un deporte tan exigente?

No. Aún existe la idea de que la dieta vegetariana es incompleta, pero yo no lo creo para nada. Soy ovo-lácteo-vegetariano desde hace 13 años y no creo que mi dieta tenga ninguna carencia.

Meat is not necesary.

Daniel April 9, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Good article, but i suggest you look more into vegan sources of protein, as it is easily possible to get 1-1.5g per pound of body weight in your diet daily with tempeh, lentils, chick peas, nuts etc. as long as you down rely on just one source. Then if you’re vegetarian and add in milk and eggs, it makes everything a whole lot easier again!

Our whole digestive system represents that of a herbivore. Humans are omnivores, in that we can eat meat. But meat is not needed in our diet, the only nutrient lacking in a completely vegan diet is vitamin B12 which primates get from eating things like termites. In a vegetarian diet this can be satisfied by milk or eggs (I’m pretty sure eggs have B12, but I’m not sure).

and as for the unhealthy vegans… look at Mike Mahler maybe? haha. (the fact that he’s one of the worlds leading kettlebell instructors has nothing to do with it :P)

John November 7, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Great article. people who object to meat eating because they object to hunting or animal slaughter are really much too pampered and effete for their own good. It’s not pleasant . . . and personally I object to hunting as “sport” unless you’re in the water armed with a knife hunting sharks or hunting lions and tigers with a spear.
But we’ve been meat eaters for thousands of years. Any tribe member too weak to kill an animal would have culled from the tribe early in life.

John November 7, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Daniel, to say “meat is not needed in our diet” is ridiculous. WATER isn’t needed either since I suppose we could drink beer and wine and survive. But just because we can adopt some kooky life style doesn’t mean we should. A man living outdoors who needs 3000 cal/day would have to eat over 30 apples to get it . . . and would still get insufficient nutrients. Yeah, you can pick and choose various types of plant life and seeds . . . given a good understanding of modern nutrition. But to suggest that early man did that instead of simply consuming what animals were handy . . . is preposterous.
Besides . . . I suspect that too many “vegans” are really living out what can AT BEST be described as a very “liberal” lifestyle which is more about politics than sound nutrition.

Niklas November 22, 2009 at 6:18 am

Hi Rusty
I’ve found your blog very inspiring but this post discouraged me.
Well if this is true so be it, but I doubt that it will result in vegetarians (who wants to be fit and healthy) to reconsider. We’ve already sacrificed certain pleasures (atleast i have cause i used to love meat) cause we believe in something (it’s true, not everybody is in it for the “trend”) and I think that most of us value our beliefs far more than reaching 6 % in bodyfat, but that doesn’t make physical appearence unimportant.
I agree that many have the misconception that being vegetarian = healthy, but why dont write an article how vegetarians can make the most of it and encourage vegetarians to eat more healthy instead?

John. (Off Topic)
“But we’ve been meat eaters for thousands of years. Any tribe member too weak to kill an animal would have culled from the tribe early in life.” Well thank god we live in 2009 then.

If your comments reeks with arrogance so will the replys.

(Sorry for the English)

Kara November 25, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Great article! What do I tell my bodybuilding Marine husband who thinks that Organic Meat is a waste of money??

matt January 21, 2010 at 6:45 am

Whilst i do believe that many forms of meat includes lots of protein, iron and other vitamins and minerals, i do not believe that it means it is right to go ahead and gorge on the flesh of what was a living thing… i mean human meat might be full of protein but do we eat it… no… and besides you can find all that is needed to live a largely successful and healthy life without meat..

So for all of you who read this article full of honest factual evidence.. just remember sometimes the easiest solution is not necessarily the most right. Einstein said it himself – “Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind.” Albert Einstein

Bill February 15, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Protein anyone? We cannot eat protein and still be vegetarian? Sad… 🙁
We obviously have to eat meat!!!

Lucas March 21, 2010 at 12:30 am

I’ll have to disagree with this information.
I was a meat eater for 25 years, then turned vegetarian and now wont eat meat or dairy and eat very little processed food. My energy is better than ever. My metabolism sped up and I can now use the bathroom 2 times a day instead of 2 times a week. I’ve seen a 72 year old who eats only beans, fruit, vegetables and nuts and is in excellent build shape and looks more like hes 45 years old. Recent studies show that some people need more sugars some need more protein and some can just plain live off a balanced diet and not crave too much of anything.

The body breaks down the protein for amino acids which are in the vegetables you eat and the vegetables the animal eats before you eat the animal. The USA no longer goes by the advice of the farmer but by the advice of a pencil pusher creating a factory farm process. I can go on and on about this but the truth is that some of us need more protein than others and not necessarily meat. Keep in mind that its the meat which causes so many of the diseased in people who then have to medicate themselves.

Also human teeth are designed for grain breakdown, our bodies cant tolerate cholesterol in meat and if you eat a raw chicken like a wolf would you would be dead. Wouldn’t evolution adjust all this for us? Nope the body tries to adjust but not conform. My results speak for themselves and I would never go back to eating meat.

Lucas March 21, 2010 at 12:34 am

Kara tell him to go watch Food Inc.

vegan friend May 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Check these websites out…

http://www.emagazine.com/view/?142

Anonymousa May 19, 2010 at 2:41 am

That 72 year old could have started his diet very early in his life. The effects are only immediate if the diet isn’t done right. Its the long term effects that get people, and yes, the long term effects of heme iron deficiency and B12 deficiency can be severe (Heme iron is found strictly in meat. Not even dairy products have it in them. While B12 is simply in smaller amounts).

And finally, our teeth very much resemble a pigs and a chimpanzees, both being omnivores; We also cook and sanitize our vegetables, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t built to be able to digest them too.

Lightspeed May 29, 2010 at 7:29 pm

“Properly planned vegan diets are healthful and have been found to satisfy nutritional needs, and may offer protection against heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. – American Dietetic Association”

http://www.eatright.org/About/Content.aspx?id=8357

sciatica cure July 20, 2010 at 10:19 am

I like to vegetables very much , not only for nutrition,but also I like green

sue August 30, 2010 at 11:56 am

We dont need meat at all. Go to drday.com and a Dr from america will tell you all about it. Meat has no enzymes, it has no fibre, and we need this to digest our food. Listen to Dr Day. It was the best thing I ever did.

Dana September 9, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I wish meat-eating advocates would quit focusing on the protein question because, to me, it’s not even the most important one. More on that in a minute.

First off, whether you can get enough protein on a vegan diet (obviously you can on ovo-lacto) is irrelevant. What’s coming along with that protein? If you get it by combining grains and pulses (even if throughout the day rather than at one meal–yes, I’m aware of that controversy), you’re intaking a hell of a lot of starch along with that protein. If you get it by eating a lot of soy, you’re chelating your mineral intake before your body ever gets to use it, and you’re killing your thyroid gland. You can get around the chelation problem somewhat by eating traditionally fermented soy since that destroys most or all of the phytic acid in soy, but you can’t ferment away the goitrogenic compounds also present. If anyone has any other ideas for vegan protein sources that don’t involve making up some fake industrial food crap in a factory, I’d love to hear ’em. It won’t sway me any, but maybe it’ll help someone else.

Second off, you’re not getting the right fatty acid profile in your diet if you never eat animal foods. Despite propaganda to the contrary, we desperately need saturated fat in our diets. If we don’t eat it, our bodies make it–from the carbs we eat, no less. The process involved in making fatty acids from carbs is not exactly good for the body.

Third off, you’re getting no cholesterol at all. Again, despite the propaganda, you need cholesterol–to feed your brain, to make hormones, and so on. If you don’t eat it, your body will make it–and again, carbohydrates are involved and, again, the process is not exactly good for the body.

Fourth off, you’re either not getting or you’re not getting the best form of several micronutrients. Off the top of my head I can name vitamin A, vitamin B12, and vitamin K. In the case of vitamin B12 you MUST rely on industrial supplement sources if you are a vegan. In the case of A and K your body must convert them. If you’re diabetic or hypothyroid, you can NOT convert beta carotene to vitamin A. You simply do not have the ability to undergo the process. Now, vitamin A can be stored in the liver, which is why liver is such a good dietary source of the vitamin. But eventually your stores will run out, and then you’re in trouble. And there is NO plant food with vitamin A in it, no matter what the USDA says. What you want is the preformed retinol. Beta carotene is about as much vitamin A as a lump of clay is a brick. I found this one out the hard way when I developed reproductive health problems. My daughter’s kidney defects may have also been caused by my over-reliance on beta carotene.

If I am not mistaken, the form of K in plant foods is K3, which is pretty well useless. The proper form for human bodies is K2. You not only need it for blood clotting, you also need it for optimal maintenance of your skeletal structure. Going without it means your body deposits calcium wherever it feels like putting it, rather than putting it into your bones where it belongs. This is where some of that hardening of the arteries comes from in people who eat industrial diets. It also occurs in vegetarians and vegans, particularly the latter, whether they like to admit it or not.

Vitamin B12 is a sneaky bugger just like vitamin A is. Again, you can’t get the ideal form of it from plant foods–actually you can’t get it there at all. Vegans must take supplements. Your body can sort of get by on cyanocobalamin, but eventually you’re going to use up your B12 stores (as far as I know this is the only B vitamin we can store) and you’ll wind up with pernicious anemia. The only populations of vegans I know of who get away with not supplementing are Jains in India who eat the market produce. Why? It’s got bug eggs on it. When they emigrate to someplace like the UK with tighter standards for insect parts and that kind of thing, they get sick.

And finally, there are indigenous tribal communities that get by on nothing but meat and fat, or meat and dairy. There are no extant vegan indigenous tribal communities. You must have the support of a modern food industry to eat vegan and get away with it for any real length of time. Human beings are primates, primates are insectivores, and bugs are meat. End of story. The fact we can eat plant foods and get away with it says only that we are non-obligate carnivores, not that we’re herbivores like cows or rabbits. Even orangutans eat bugs, and chimpanzees hunt!

Dana September 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Oh! Vitamin D! I forgot vitamin D. Guess what? There is only one non-animal food source of vitamin D: mushrooms! What if you’re allergic to fungus? A lot of people are. And you do have to eat vitamin D to get enough in your body if you don’t happen to live at the equator year round. Especially if you live north of South Carolina, which most of the country does.

Allan Innes November 5, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Dana, I hope you realize that, by advocating for (and practicing) the consumption of other living and feeling creatures, you leave yourself open to this same mode of logic.

Within such, why should you not be on the dinner plate? Because you can speak out?

Lame.

John December 14, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Gee, I wonder why all of the vegetarians and vegans aren’t just dying off instead of multiplying. This guy is full of crap, literally. “the body has no need for carbs at all”?! The brain functions on glucose exclusively, supplied by carbs. In the absence of carbs, the body converts protein to glucose thru gluconeogenisis, producing toxic byproducts, ketones. Ever see actor/bodybuilder Carl Weathers of Rocky fame? Vegetarian. Bill Pearl, Mr. Universe at 40, vegetarian. Vegetarians, statistically, live longer, have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and lower body weight than meat eaters. Also lower incidence of heart disease and of colon and prostate cancer. If not for health reasons, then for humanitarian and environmental reasons we should all adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Bianca March 27, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I’m 23 and have been Vegetarian since I was four. While I gym and dance regularly and am fit, I fall into the overweight category (statistically the average size 12 in the US and 14 in UK/Aus) and have done so my entire life. I have no trouble with other people eating meat, I can’t even stomach the thought of starting.. I do wonder however, if by not eating meat my body is missing out on something?

victoria April 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I’m so glad I came across this article for many reasons. This is a lenthy post so I apologize in advance lol.
I too feel that it is not PC to admit that you eat meat (I am a 26 yr old female in Toronto) given the shifting political, environmental and ethical climate we find ourselves living in. However, I am an omnivore and I firmly believe that it’s the best thing for my body and many others, as well as the environment, given one doesn’t go overboard w meat and dairy and consume it in an ethically produced manner. A focus on consuming local fresh veggies and fruit, healthy fats w some whole grains added in would also be beneficial imo.
Now, notice how I say “many others” and don’t lump everyone into one collective entity as “ALL others”?? That is because I believe it is not my right to tell somebody what they should eat and am a firm believer in what is one mans medicine, may be another mans poison and I would expect the same consideration in return.
I don’t question for one moment that there are ppl who thrive on a vegetarian or even vegan diet when done properly, but to say that EVERYONE can and SHOULD based on their own personal beliefs is dangerous on many levels. First, every human has a unique bio chemistry that synthesizes proteins and enzymes and absorbs nutrients differently. The notion that everyone can absorb all essential nutrients from plant based material is absurd and if you don’t take my word for it, perhaps consider all the many ex-vegans who had to convert back to consuming at least some animal products to get their health and energy back.
There is an online forum of ex-vegans (some were vegan for more than 15 yrs) who share their stories of feeling amazing at first on a vegan diet, then gradually over the years, got sick with low evergy, anemia, poor teeth condition, diabetes, not to mention their physical appearance was sallow w no muscle mass. This wasn’t as shocking to me as were the responses these ppl received from current vegans; “well you just werent doing it right” or werent “trying hard enough” and even “you were just looking for an excuse to eat a cheeseburger, and don’t care about the animals welfare” are some nasty retorts I read, to which I reply, seriously? I mean…Seriously? Firstly, going back to the point about absorbtion of nutrients, these people spent alot of time properly researching veganism, buying books, going to seminars and NDs so I don’t think they just were doing “it” wrong or half-assed so much as their bodies just couldn’t sustain themselves properly in the long run without at least some animal supplementation no matter how much they believed it was the “right” thing to do.
Now, this isn’t an attempt to prove that veganism is wrong in any way, it just only demonstrates that not everyone can thrive on it, even when they truly believe it’s best way to live. It also raises the question that if veganism is supposed to be the most natural, best way to live for everyone (including animals) why do most humans have such a hard time adhering to it and aren’t reaping the benefits of it? Humans are adaptable creatures by nature and yet it seems like this “perfect diet” has been set up for the majority of the world to fail, giving those who do succeed a cavaliar, elitist view on the world which makes them also feel entitled to not only make dietary choices for the rest if us, but to also impress on us whatever standpoint they have regarding religion, politics, environment and personal ethics they have concerning eating animals.
To sum this all up, I don’t believe there is a one size fits all diet when it comes to all aspects of how humans thrive and their relationship to animals. Being an omnivore, | feel and look great and have boundless energy but I also try to make ethical choices in the animal products I do consume as to ease suffering and support local agriculture.
In the meantime, bc I am considerate of others choices as much as I may not agree with them, I can only ask the same in return from those who dont share the same view. Ohhh man that was a mouthful lol (no pun intended):)

Jesse April 29, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Just because it didn’t work for you, Mr. Author, does not mean that others will be as uncomfortable as you were. You spent one week as a vegan? I have friends that are healthy and are sustaining their nutrition just off of vegan diets.

Meat is processed in disgusting factories, and more often than not is tampered with to alter taste, appearance, and nutrition. If you ask me, that’s the worse end of the stick.

Ibrahim September 11, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I was stuck on the picture for 20min 😛
Great article man 🙂

saab September 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm

“In my little adventure on “Vegan Island” I got to hear the famous Dr. John McDougall’s doctrine on the health advantages of veganism. But when I looked around me, the picture didn’t fit the caption. Overweight people drawn to a philosophy that was clearly doing them no favors. As for the “thin” members of the fully fledged vegan group? I believe the label “skinny fat” would be an apt description”

You also have to remember the fact that Mark Sisson also puts great emphasis into exercise whereas vegans tend to rely solely on diet alone. This can be a factor to why vegans seemed to have the “skinny fat” mentioned here. There are vegan athletes and body builders that look like Mark Sisson. Just type in “vegan bodybuilding” in Google and look at the images as well. Here, Mark Sisson is comparing meat-eaters that exercise to vegans that don’t exercise.

saab September 14, 2011 at 11:34 pm

I wanted to share something with all of you.

2 Eggs: 12.6g
2 Orange: 3.4g
1 cup natto: 31g
100g Pecan: 9.17g
100g Hazelnut: 14.95g
1 cup brown rice: 5g
20 cups of vegetables: ~60g

Altogether: 136.12g of protein without any meat at all.

I don’t know what all this anti-vegetarian/vegan stuff is all about, but it looks here you can still get plenty of protein without meat. By the way, natto is type of fermented legume(soya) originally from Japan. Since it’s fermented, the toxins are deactivated, and will cause no intestinal gas like eating un-fermented soya or legumes. So if you are a vegan, you can replace the two eggs with a sum of natto. To get twenty cups of vegetables in one day, snack on them.

However, with all those muscular vegan bodybuilders out there, the quantity of protein needed as Mr. Sisson suggests in this article comes into question. As I said in my previous comment, type in “vegan bodybuilder” or “Avi Lehyani” and click on the images as well.

Michelle Black October 2, 2011 at 9:47 am

NOT TRUE!!! As long as you are eating a balanced, healthy vegetarian or vegan diet you can achieve the heights of fitness! Watch this video on monks performing very cool kung fu moves.. impressive & they live on a vegetarian diet. veglov.blogspot.com/20…meat-myth.html
Also there are examples of olympic athletes and bodybuilders who are vegetarian/vegan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIcSuA2b_Wc
Just because meat-eating works for him, doesn’t mean that vegetarian wouldn’t work for him, or for someone else. What he is writing about is an OPINION, not fact.
Since becoming vegan, I have no issues with energy levels. I can perform my workouts just as intensely. A balanced diet is key. Making sure you get all your vitamins & minerals, vegetarian sources of protein are extremely easy to get.. beans, lentils, soy, grains, nuts & seeds, some fruits & veggies. All you need is B12 supplement for vegans.

Jack November 11, 2011 at 11:26 am

Whether you are active or not I can’t believe that you need 1gram of protein per pound of body weight. I would really like to know where you got that information from or if you just made it up.

I have found quite a bit of research that shows that protein intake is directly related to osteoporosis, not the other way around like you are suggesting. Studies have shown that the countries that eat the most meat and dairy are shown to have the highest rate of osteoporosis. You might want to read some of these articles
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/mar03/osteo0303.htm
https://www.msu.edu/~corcora5/food/vegan/osteo.html
http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/caryn/protein.html
https://www.msu.edu/~corcora5/food/vegan/calcium+protein.html

Beyond that, there are so many sources of protein that you do not need to rely on meat to attain the amount of protein you need (unless of course you think you need a lot more than you do.) I am not saying meat is bad, I eat meat sometimes, maybe once or twice a week, but I also won’t say it is the best thing for you. How do you think that the animals you eat get their muscles? In most cases (cows, chickens, etc/) it is from eating plants and using the amino acids from those plants to create protein not from eating meat…

[My Opinion and nothing more]
No matter what type of diet you eat(vegetarian, omnivore), exercise is just as or more important than what you are eating in terms of your appearance and cardiovascular health, in terms of overall health, I really believe it is a mistake to eat a lot meat.

sciatica November 15, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Great pictures and nice articles.
I think it’s better to eat vegetable.

Brandic2020 November 18, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Only meat contains several amino acids like taurine, creatine, and carnitine that can only be found in meat. The body can produce them, but at small amounts. Meat also contains the DHA and EPA forms of omega-3, while plants only contain the ALA form. The body can convert ALA into DHA and EPA, but at inadequate amounts.

The studies that show how protein supposedly causes osteoporosis was done using isolated amino acids and fractionated protein powders rather than consuming protein from the meat as a whole. When meat is consumed as a whole, it has cholecalciferol and retinol which prevents the protein from disturbing the body’s biochemistry, which would also prevent the supposed mineral loss.

The reason why cows or chickens can get all the amino acids from only eating plants is because they are HERBIVORES. Humans are OMNIVORES. Herbivores have a digestive system that can harbor certain bacteria than ferment certain plant materials like cellulose which humans CANNOT digest. As a result of this fermentation, all the amino acids, essential fatty acids, and vitamins are a by-product of the bacteria, which allows the cows and chickens to get the essential nutrients they need. Because humans cannot do this, we must naturally like other omnivores, eat herbivores to obtain all the nutrients that we cannot obtain just by eating plants.

Carbohydrates are the cause of cardiovascular disease, not cholesterol or saturated fat.

Peter December 11, 2011 at 9:46 am

This article is the product of Mark Sisson’s cowardice.

Here, Mark Sisson is comparing himself who is a fit athlete to vegans that do not do much exercise. Of course it’s going to make him look better than vegans because he is only comparing the worst of vegans to the best of meat-eaters.

If you want an accurate comparison, you should compare people Robert Cheeke or Ed Bauer. Take a look at those vegans instead of comparing the worst vegans that you can find.

TC January 7, 2012 at 10:40 pm

UMMMMMMM…… If Humans are Carnivores then why cant we manufacture our own Vitamin C, why do we have GOBBS of Carbohydrate digestive enzymes in our saliva? Why do we have Molars for chewing, carnivores don’t chew, they tear and swallow… I’m willing to bet that if 99% of the pro meat eaters on this site had to hunt, kill, gut, etc every animal they ate THEY WOULD NOT DO IT! Go run trough the jungle, jump on a wild boar (which you couldn’t catch on foot btw) and sink your teeth into the back of its neck…LOL all of you are ignorant nuts trying to act like were badass predators.. if we were we would be designed to run 30+ mph, have sharp claws and an abundance of sharp teeth with a long jawbone structure and way more concentrated stomach acid so we can kill all the nasty shit in raw meats ( pork in particular)!!! you all buy your meat at the stores in packages bypassing all the killing and blood, and don’t even really THINK about what you are eating…. FLESH. I COMPLETELY understand eating them as a means for survival purposes, but most people aren’t in that situation.. And Mark Sisson advocates a HIGH FAT PRIMAL DIET…LOLOLOL High Fat Doesn’t EXIST IN NON ARCTIC AREAS!!! All the deer, elk, moose, turkey’s etc that people would in eat all have single digit body fat % levels…. SOOOOO low fat, no carbohydrates, Where is this energy coming from to kill these animals…Oh I know STARCHES!! Mark Sisson says that ALL groups of people have included meat in their diet but what he fails to mention is that meat came behind STARCHES.. The Native Americans had corn, not just meat.. don’t be dumb………MAN THAT FELT GOOD!!!!

VeganIsTheWayToBe February 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm

That˙s pretty pathetic. We’re in a NEW age and there are ways to get protien WITHOUT KILLING ANIMALS. We CLEARLY are not supposed to eat meat- THE HUMAN BODY IS 100 PERCENT HERBIVOROUS. I think this is a LAME article- so you’re healthy eating dead animals. What about the 54% of all Americans who are obese? EATING DEAD ANIMALS HAS KILLED MORE PEOPLE IN THE LAST CENTURY THAN ALL OF THE CAR ACCIDENTS, ALL OF THE WARS, AND ALL OF THE NATURAL DISASTERS COMBINED.
Stop trying to find excuses to kill animals so we can cook and eats parts of their bodies.

Maya February 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm

You completely rejected peaches in your fruits and vegetables. One peach contains 46% of daily protein intake.

Andrea February 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Lets get the facts straight about EPA/DHA.

Vegans efficiently convert ALA to EPA/DHA and here is the proof:
http://www.ajcn.org/content/92/5/1040.abstract

Vegans actually had more EPA/DHA in plasma(blood) than fish-eaters, meat-eaters and vegetarians.

If we can’t digest cellulose, why does mark sisson advocate vegetables? The only reason is because they have zero carbs and anything with carbohydrates like fruits would kick the body out of ketosis(survival mechanism of non-meat eating mammals).

Mark thinks he has it all figured out.. copy&paste of heart attack atkins diet.

VeganIsTheWayToBe February 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm

THAT’S YOUR EXCUSE.

michelle April 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm

my husband and I have lead a well and wonderfull life (we are both vegetarians). after having a recent medical… we are both in good health, perfect blood pressure, and a perfect B.M.I….better than most meat eaters huh? (we havent eaten annimals for 20 years)

laura June 12, 2012 at 9:19 am

Simple fact check (with my lentils box and other stuff) :
In half a cup of lentils, so 100g; there are 25g of protein, so half you daily intake. Not 9 grams
In 6oz of tofu, so 170grams, there is 22gs of proteins.
With the rest of the meals, even vegan (pasta, vegies, soymilk) thats enough for the day. And before a workout, a protein shake, don’t you all do that anyways ?
Stick to the facts, they should speak out for themselves, and if they don’t…accept it and shut up.

jake June 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I just watched the documentary, “Forks Over Knives,” with my vegan brother. I am a large supporter of meat and animal products, so naturally we disagreed on everything. I feel that this article proved most of the things in the documentary wrong. You also mentioned most of the doctors/studies that they mentioned in the movie.

YouGetACForEffort June 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Unconvincing job. Sure it’s more difficult to get protein in your diet: difficult in the sense that you should expend more effort in meal-planning. No idiot chugs jars of almond butter a day.

Figgzie July 4, 2012 at 2:59 am

Vegans and vegetarians take pride in telling people that they are vegans and vegetarians. They think its cool to be in the minority of the population, rebels in a sense. These same vegans who say they don’t eat meat because it’s wrong will still wear leather shoes and jackets. Most of the vegans I have met are d-bags, seriously. My brother in law is a vegan and he is always making tired comments about how unhealthy meat is. He weighs 115 pounds and has no muscle definition at all (skinny fat mentioned in the blog is perfect in this case!). I was eating a steak and he said my steak probably had a name when it was alive. I said “Yeah, it’s name is dinner”. If they weren’t so fanatical about their beliefs and if they weren’t always trying to convert meat eaters they might be tolerable. Throw away the vegans that are body builders and the remaining vegans look unhealthy and frail. The 2 vegans I know are always sick. You wanna obstain from eating meat? No problem. Do it without trying to suck up the attention you are dying for by being a vegan.

ricky July 4, 2012 at 10:21 am

This article sucks, he doesn’t give one single scientific reason why humans need meat. All he said was the same weak argument all the paleo guys use “our ancectors did it therefore we should too”

Meateater August 24, 2012 at 3:06 am

Meat is not complaining, why are you all complaining?

Drea @twomotivate.com September 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

Cow fed! I am a highly competitive athlete (marathon runner) and must maintain a lean powerful frame of 107 lbs at 5’4″. Every time I have tried to NOT eat meat- I have critical drops in my ferritin levels. I consume legumes, almonds, tofu, dairy, fruits and veggies etc- BUT if I do not eat RED MEAT (I even swallow liquid iron daily!), my ferritin levels do not stay up and I run like crap. Sorry cow haters- but this girl needs the grizzle.

Timhole September 29, 2012 at 9:25 am

Figgzie: Vegans are douchebags is a weak argument. I like the one about how they wear animal products though. I always found that bizarre, but I put it down to them using the label of vegan incorrectly, because wearing animal products isn’t consistent with veganism. Also, lack of muscle definition could be genetic. Ask any non-vegan bodybuilder.

D.bags aside, perhaps the bodybuilders you spoke of could help you understand that veganism is simply a lifestyle choice, and that your skinny bro-in-law is simply projecting his unhappiness with the world onto everyone he meets, inadvertently ensuring that they will come to loathe anyone who adopts the vegan life style.

Good day sir!

Soothe-Sayer October 3, 2012 at 9:56 am

I feel the article states an opinion over fact and wished that he had used some scientific backing. I am however going to back Dana on this one (100% correct and I’ve been researching this while being unbiased. I don’t care if I’m vegan, a vegetarian, an omnivore, or a carnivore as long as I am as healthy as possible because I believe the number one reason to exist in this universe is to make yourself into the best possible being possible; mentally and physically.)

Plants are great for our diet, but so is meat. At this stage in the game though, you can basically limit your diet in almost anyway desired and still remain healthy through supplemental nutrition.

Pro-life, all life November 17, 2012 at 1:42 am

This was a very poorly put together blog entry on a very important topic. I hope anyone reading this trash has the common sense to do a moment of study before deciding vegan-ism is just a ‘life choice’.

It’s funny … because being vegan is the choice OF life. Deciding that because we don’t *need* to harm and maim and kill, because we are perfectly able to live full and happy lives without eating eachother, we just *shouldn’t*.

Hell, if protein is the only problem there is 57g of it in every 100 of seaweed. Just as much in most nuts and nut flours. 88g in every 100 of many soy proteins. All of which have a 80-99/100 amino acid score (a score of protein quality dependent on having all the essential amino acids in the proper proportions.)

This far surpasses your revolting addiction of consuming the corpses of innocent beings. I know how you feel, though, because I am hooked on the stuff. I smell melted cheese or a neighbour barbecuing and a part of me says “You will never taste that wonderful flavour again.”

But despite the cravings for a despicable act I was raised to commit daily, I know I could never do it again. I’d like to say it’s because I’m not a conceited disgrace of a thinking, reasoning entity, but that kind of truth is too rude…

Suffice it to say, I wouldn’t scalp another person simply because my ancestors did. Nor would I let my doctor operate on me with barber scissors, as was the norm once upon a time. And I definitely wont refuse a healthy and filling meal to dine instead on the ligaments, sinew, muscle tissue and cells of a living, breathing earthling.

wolf January 24, 2013 at 8:24 pm

I’d like to see mention of bugs as a protein source. I’m dead serious, not being a smartarse or something. They’re usually pretty abundant and a pest, they’re a great source of protein, they don’t consume nearly as much as a cow or pig or even a chicken, they’re low in fat, and it’s not like other places in the world don’t eat them so it can obviously be done. I’d be interested in trying bugs as a meat source, but somehow I don’t see those coming to a farmer’s market or store near me any time soon, ha-ha. Imagine if our country could get past the “eww” factor and give it a real chance…I wonder if it could change things for the better?

As someone with a lot of allergies (not even food allergies, either!), I was told when I finally went in for an allergy test that I should avoid fruit at all costs, and only eat cooked vegetables…I always wondered why my favorite fruits would make my stomach ache for hours after just a few bites (why yes, I am a slow learner apparently!), or why my throat would burn after certain meals with no way to make that feeling go away until it ran its course, or why certain areas of my skin would break out in rashes (ok, I still don’t understand how the heck that even works). And here I was hoping I could live on a “raw” diet with minimal meat, especially very little red meat! Overall giving up meat isn’t an option for me (of the many times I’ve tried, every time it led to some HORRIBLE digestive problems that were bad enough to make me call it quits before reaching my minimum time goals for giving vegetarianism an honest chance). And best part? Allergies in the US affect 1 in 5 people, and the trend is growing (and is growing in all developed countries, actually). I don’t have food allergies, save for a minor wheat allergy (the doctor said not to worry about it though), so even if you don’t have a food allergy you can be affected! As someone who deals with it, I can honestly say IT SUCKS and I wish it weren’t even an issue. I couldn’t even begin to explain how hard it is to cook for my LARP group, so many food allergies and such in the people I know.

So to everyone touting on about how vegetarianism/veganism is really the way it should be and this article is full of BS, remember that it’s really true, NOT ALL OF US CAN DO IT. If you can, that’s AWESOME, and if you choose to live that lifestyle I say power to you and you rock! But to degrade those of us who literally can’t, or even the ones who choose not to, watch you’re mouth, please. What’s healthy to you may not be for the next person, that’s the wonderful world we live in (we aren’t all clones, yay!). No one should insult anyone for their diet, unless they’re doing something ridiculous and/or harmful to others like feeding on the flesh of their neighbors’ babies or something. In the end, as far as ethics go, there’s plenty wrong with agriculture as a whole (animals AND plants), and no matter what you do you are choosing your life over another living being’s life. To live is to consume, and to consume is to kill. So be nice to one another, and stop pointing fingers and saying, “No, MY way is superior!” (and yes, I realize this article isn’t being kind to vegetarians/vegans with that title alone, never-the-less the content…because OBVIOUSLY there are plenty of people who CAN and DO live without meat just fine…I mean, there’s more to how healthy you’ll be than what you eat! ha-ha There’s more reason than our ancestors eating meat to them being healthy! And gosh that’s BEFORE they had additives and chemicals and antibiotics and the like in their food).

John February 18, 2013 at 6:44 am

Human beings are not herbivores. You people have been conditioned to care about your looks and not your health, especially women. Sorry ladies you were not designed to look good. You were designed to store fat for milk production during times of famine.

This culture has you brainwashed in believing the opposite. I guess we should also prevent all of the meat eating animals like lions and wolves to stop eating meat since it’s not ethical to do so. My Grandmother lived to be 98 years old. She along with the rest of my relatives had a farm and their diet consisted of a lot of meat.

Life expectancy today is actually shorter due to all of the chemicals that are ingested from processed foods. Nothing is natural anymore. Eating meat is just part of the cycle of life. We’ve been doing for thousands of years and we have thrived as a species. Without this cycle there would be no ecosystem. We are everything and everything is us. Deal with it, it’s who we are.

VIC CAVIN March 14, 2013 at 10:53 am

Dimwits about with their meat eating ways. We need protein. Whether it comes from plant (there are many sources not just beans btw) or animal (funny how choosy people are on which animals are food and which are pets/entertainment/sport/cuddly – double standards or some kind of schizophrenic aspect of modern humanity) . The fact is land water and crops go to feed livestock that could be far more useful and efficient if used to feed populations. yes that’s right country’s where there are starving people are growing food for export to feed animals for other people to eat. Now how screwed up is that? The CO2 and methane produced from livestock farming is a greater than all the transport by a factor of 2 at least and yet fuel is taxed hugely but meat not? Double standards or lobbyist influence. Drinking cows milk does much less good for you than it is suggested. Bacteria, Calcium depletion and fat are just a few of the nasties that come from that fantasy.
The meat industry is responsible for the destruction of rainforests because there’s money involved in selling meat as exports to cretins like this guy.
And there is also the moral issue but when you have people who use fantasy characters and superstition as their guiding principle then perhaps morality is a fluid thing,
So in the end you need the proteins, you can get them from plants at a much less cost environmentally socially and economically or you can leave the world in a worse place and opt for the easy option and ignore the fact that as humans we have developed a conscience that allows us to shape our world as we need it and we can accept the consequences or not of our actions.
Oh and the fact that you can produce between 20 to 100 times more nutrition from land used for graxing

Lulu April 11, 2013 at 5:04 am

The whole vegetarian/vegan thing is like a religion of culture – you believe in whatever that make you feel the best but don’t force it upon others or worse, judge people based on it.

JC CS June 9, 2013 at 8:06 pm

I see several people are in favor of being vegetarian which is a person’s right to choose to be and I don’t really care if someone wants to be vegetarian or not personally. I have a problem with someone telling me or other omnivores that we shouldn’t eat meat cause ultimately they believed some study that made them change their mind and think we should as well.
So say everyone stopped eating meat. What would happen to all the cows, pigs, chickens, and any other animals humans keep caged and fenced up? Do we let them stay there and die? Sounds a little inhumane. Do we release them? Can’t wait to see that backfire on us, wrecks and such.

That’s the question I think everyone needs to consider. If all the vegans and vegetarians succeeded and the world stopped eating meat altogether what would we do with all of the animals? Also, when you discover your answer I would like everyone to consider the potential future that action would create for everyone.
And since I do feel so strongly about this why don’t we let the animals in the zoo go as well? It’s not their natural habitat so we should respect their rights and release them. When you consider fighting for animal rights consider every animal on earth whether near or far and also place yourself in this position. If you were faced against a bull that was angry and you were in an enclosed area with no escape, would you rather respect that bull’s right to live and let him take your life or would you like to have a gun to save yourself?

The point is that if we let animals out they will overrun us and there will be fatalities. Some of you may still not care but when it’s you and your loved ones in that incident you will care then.

tony kopy June 14, 2013 at 1:19 am

It is an unfortunate fact that we have evolved over 6 million years as omnivores, which makes meat an essential part of our diet. You woúldn´t feed nut cutlets to a lion or beef steak to a cow, they would die. We are what we are and millions of years in the making, live with it.

Pablo nox September 13, 2014 at 7:17 am

Another completely rubbish argument… Just check out markus rothkranz. At least he puts up a good vegan argument.

Also google “vegan bodybuilders” and tell me they don’t get their protein!

Amy January 18, 2015 at 5:50 am

I know this is an old article, but I am bothered that in his list of foods he completely excludes things like quinoa, lentils, brown rice, amaranth seeds, and cracked wheat, which make up large parts of vegan diets. These provide more than enough protein and calcium for a day. Otherwise interesting article!

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