What are the common arguments against not eating meat? Many of them sound something like this “humans are the top of the food chain bro”, and “we need protein to be strong”, or “We need protein to survive that’s why we eat meat man”.
Firstly humans are not top of the food chain, in fact there are plausible arguments to suggest the vast majority of civilized humans are not even part of the food chain (more on that later).
Secondly let’s address the meat argument, in terms of DNA we are nearly identical to Chimpanzees, they are in fact our closest living relatives genetically speaking. Meat makes up less than 3% of a Chimpanzee’s diet including that of insects, in fact the hunting and consumption of meat among apes has more social value in terms of team cooperation and troup bonding than it does nutritional value.
What’s more interesting is that Chimpanzees are 3-4 times stronger than the average man, which means they are stronger than an olympic power lifter yet they their diet consists of less than 3% meat.
Like Apes, we can move our jaws sideways grinding with our flat teeth, yes we do have canines, which our Ape relatives use to open shells of certain fruits. Unlike the 2.5cm long upper canines of a Jaguar which it uses to pierce the cranium of its prey. Grinding is essential for easy digestion.
When you look at carnivorous animals like Tigers, Cats, Lions etc you will see all their teeth are sharply pointed and their jaws only open vertically in order to rip and swallow flesh.
Unlike carnivores, and omnivores there are very few types of meat cuisine we can eat without cooking. Apart from sushi and considering many fish species used in sushi are seasonal and/or migrational without a food industrial complex to supply us they would make up an incredibly small percentage of our diet.
Actually eating large amounts of processed meat is actually very bad for your health:
“Why the confusion, well it´s all about profit and growth…”
Culture and tradition can be beautiful things, but they can also be the most dangerous. Our belief system is so rooted in our culture and inheritance that for many people, even solid scientific proof will not lead to change. It takes a special kind of person to question what we have been brought up to believe and to question ourselves to the level where we change our culture and our belief system.
Thankfully, more people are starting to question the belief system we have brought about over the past one hundred years regarding nutrition, the environment and our place on Planet Earth. What we will find if we dig deep enough is not so much a system of belief based on ancient wisdom, but a carefully manipulated set of beliefs infiltrated into our lives by corporate PR machines and Lobby groups who have influenced everything in government to benefit one thing… profit and growth.
How many times have you heard someone say “Humans are top of the food chain bro”, “we’re Apex predators and all Apex predators eat meat”. What you are about to read will make question are part in the so called “food chain”.
“The food chain is a popular justification for eating processed meat en mass”
If you take the average person who is apparently “on top of the food chain”, and leave them in the middle of the Amazon rain forest I imagine their estimation of where they stood in the food chain would change drastically within just a few hours. Even if they managed to survive being preyed upon by Jaguars, Caimans, and Anacondas they would have an incredibly tough time finding safe edible food. More than likely our cocky test subject would be dead within a month or less. Probable causes of death would range from dehydration, starvation, infection, envenomation from a Brazilian Wandering spider, or Bushmaster, poisoning, and lastly but most gruesome of all devourment from an Apex predator “We’re Apex predators oh actually we´re not”.
The human species in terms of physiology are far inferior to nearly all other animals, even average herbivores like cows, and horses could easily kill a human. Put a human as nature intended (no weapons) in a cage with a Lion and I know whom I would bet on.
In order for you to be part of the food chain you have to be hunting/foraging for your food out in the wilderness in a manner that is sustainable for many generations of your family. Many people who believe they are part of the food chain are grossly mistaken and misinformed, they are in fact part of the factory farming industrial complex and instead are part of the consumer chain.
So let´s stop saying we are on top of the food chain, we are just the top consumer of factory farmed products, and 95% of us would be completely ineffective in a world that required us to farm, forage, or catch our own food.
“Why you shouldn’t eat meat, well apart from causing cancer its…”
When it comes to body design, we are also very different to a carnivore. The human liver is not very efficient at processing Uric Acid, a by-product of digesting animal protein. On the other hand, a carnivore’s liver contains uricase, which is an enzyme that breaks down uric acid fifteen times faster than in the human liver. Our stomachs are also different, we have much less acid in our stomach than carnivores do and because of this lower amount we are not as efficient as carnivores at breaking down the high concentration of proteins from their diet. A carnivore’s stomach acid is about ten times more concentrated than that of humans.
As well as the above, humans have carbohydrate digestive enzymes in saliva, meaning our bodies were created for fruits and vegetables. Animal products have no complex carbohydrates, which is why carnivores/omnivores lack carbohydrate digestive enzymes in their saliva.
Finally we must consider the human digestive tract compared to that of a carnivore like a Tiger for example. The human tract is about 12 times the length of our torso giving it a long time to absorb the minerals and nutrients of a plant based diet, which quickly breaks down and moves through the digestive system. Carnivores on the other hand have a much smaller digestive tract, about three times the length of the torso. The relatively short intestinal length in carnivores/omnivores, along with the relatively smooth interior surface, allow rotting animal flesh, animal protein, casein, cholesterol, trans fatty acids and the excessive amount of fat found in all animal products to pass through quickly; that is why it’s impossible for any real carnivore/omnivore to clog their arteries.
Clogged arteries, however, affect more than 50% percent of all meat, dairy and egg-eaters. When humans eat meat as it does not exit the body quick enough it starts to putrefy in our digestive tract and exposes the body to toxins and any other compounds like heavy metals, hormones, antibiotics, uric acid and ammonia, all making our body more acidic.
And what about our brains? Contrary to the lies being spread by the meat, dairy and egg Industry; meat was NOT responsible for brain development. It was plant starch, as Dartmouth University Professor Nathaniel Dominy explains in this article. The “nutcracker man” article, and the following paragraph from page 21 of the Sept./Oct. 2008 issue of Science Illustrated: “The human ability to digest starch was likely a major factor in the development of our big brains”, according to research from the University of California-Santa Cruz and Arizona State University.
Compared to other primates, we have significantly more copies of the AMY1 gene responsible for the salivary enzyme amylase, which helps to break down starch.
This made it possible for early humans to more efficiently digest starchy foods such as potatoes and corn.
Over time, the improved access to carbohydrates, which fuel the brain, may have helped give humans the cerebral boost needed to set us apart from other primates.” It is important to remember that our first ancestors had no weapons and no fire… so it would be impossible to hunt or eat meat anyway.
Now let’s move on to the biggest misconception in nutrition and diet. PROTEIN!!! Everyone talks about protein and many even refer to meat, chicken, dairy etc as protein… “I´m going to cook some protein”. What most people do not understand is that we do not use protein per se; our bodies use the amino acids that make up the protein. Animal protein does not have perfect amino acids that the human body can immediately absorb, when we eat meat our body has to invest massive amounts of energy in breaking down these amino acids and rebuilding them so our body can replace them with the ones we have used.
There are 23 different amino acids, 15 of which the human body can manufacture by itself and 8 which it needs to absorb via food (when a food includes all these 8 essential amino acids, it is known as a complete protein).
Now here is the great myth buster, YOU DO NOT NEED TO EAT ANIMAL PROTEIN to absorb these 8 essential amino acids, they are found abundantly in all fruits, vegetables, sprouts, seeds and nuts. By eating plant-based foods like asparagus, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, tomato, cabbage, kale, potato etc etc you will get all the nutrients in your body you need.
Not only that, by eating plant based you are reducing the probability of illness so you are helping yourself, you are helping the environment as pants use less resources once they reach the table than meat and you are contributing to non-violence by not killing any animals who have a will to live and not die.
If you really can’t stand the idea of not eating meat, come over to Charly’s Vegan Tacos in Tulum and we will show you a friendly alternative to meat. We specialize in Tacos that replicate the textures and flavors of meat made with plant based ingredients. This way you can eat the way you like and not miss those flavors you have become accustomed to with all the benefits that a plant-based diet gives you, the animals and the world.