Attn. PETA : Man Has Been Eating Meat For Over 1.5 Million Years

Today’s post is for the vegan lady at the gym who tried to convince me to stop eating animal protein.

According to researchers from the University of Colorado Denver…

  • Humans have been eating meat for at least 1.5 millions years…which is approximately 75,000 generations of humanity.
  • When our 1.5 million year old ancestors ran low on meat, it resulted in a nursing mother’s breast milk being negatively altered the nutritional content of her breast milk to the extent that her nursing child ultimately died from malnourishment.

Her baby died for lack of a Bronto-Burger.

We know this because…

  1. The U of C researchers found a skull fragment from that 2 year old anemic baby in the Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania
  2. The skull fragment showed signs of porotic hyperostosis associated with anemia.

According to these findings, the researchers were able to conclude that…

  • This anemic condition was likely caused by a diet suddenly lacking in meat.
  • The consumption of meat had become so essential to proper hominin functioning that its paucity or lack led to deleterious pathological conditions (porotic hyperostosis).
  • That we have only scratched the surface in our understanding of nutrition and health in ancestral populations of the deep past.

Conclusion

In addition to previous research which showed that “meat-eating was an important factor affecting early hominin brain expansion, social organization and geographic movement”, we now know that meat consumption was directly related to our ancestors’ physical health.

Sounds to me like a good reason to fire up the BBQ.

Reference

14 thoughts on “Attn. PETA : Man Has Been Eating Meat For Over 1.5 Million Years

  1. Hi Doug,

    Great post, and certainly food for further discussion. 😉

    In the past I’ve experimented with being a vegetarian, (though it was short lived), I know that I do much better eating meat. In fact, I’ve taken it further and only eat the type of meat (and vegetables etc) that are beneficial for my blood type (I’m type O).

    Each member of my family eats according to what is most beneficial for them. My daughter, naturally eats the least amount of meat and is interestingly blood type A.

    I’ve been observing and analyzing what my children eat (since birth), what their natural preferences are and which foods contribute to health problems and those that support healing.

    We can’t all eat exactly the same way and expect to thrive. Each of us is an experiment of one.

    Some will thrive on a vegan diet, others not. Some Paleo, some not. But most importantly we should effort to not be so rigid in adopted beliefs just because we’ve invested into them. Experiment and explore.

    In reference to your point to PETA, I think that we, as a modern civilization, need to be more respectful and less wasteful with food in general.

  2. hey,

    just wanted to point out that some vegans/vegetarians realise that animal products have health benefits. it’s not necessarily about the meat, it’s about the way it’s produced now (which is VERY different to 1.5 million years ago!). some vegans are just boycotting factory farming in the same way some people avoid buying products that were made in sweatshops. you can also still be healthy as a vegan or vegetarian, it just takes planning 🙂

  3. To summarise

    “We have been eating meat for 1.5 million years, it was essential to the homo sapiens of that time, helping the human brain to expand as we evolved.”

    Exactly what message to PETA is that? There’s no denying that humans hunted and ate meat, so how is this a message to PETA?

    Your conclusion

    “Sounds to me like a good reason to fire up the BBQ.”

    How does that relate to the rest of the post?

    It was necessary for evolution so I’ll fire up a BBQ.

    Clever!

    A more interesting point is made by your commenter who said

    “In reference to your point to PETA, I think that we, as a modern civilization, need to be more respectful and less wasteful with food in general.”

    This is an intelligent, compassionate comment and one you, Doug, should think about. Rather than state the bleeding obvious. As “a modern civilisation we should be more respectful and less wasteful with food”. Think about what that means.

    The title and the post are of very limited value. Put simply, quoting a research finding that humans have eaten meat for 1.5 million years is saying absolutely nothing to PETA……

  4. Our ancestors didn’t have to worry about hormones, antibiotics and all that other stuff they stuff animals with nowadays. I like to eat meat (very much), but I started to pay more attention to the way it is produced. It’s more expensive that way, but if you skip one or two “meat days” a week you start to appreciate that steak even more 😀

  5. I believe everyone’s body is different and people who take the time to research what they eat can be healthy without meat.

    However, the best story I’ve heard about the value of animal protein has got to be the one that came out after Travis Barker, drummer for Blink 182, was involved in a serious plane crash. He was a vegan, but had to start eating meat again so that his body would accept skin grafts.

    Read more about it on this vegan blog: http://supervegan.com/blog/entry.php?id=1176

    BTW the comments are worth reading. Some people are REALLY into being vegan lol.

  6. Agreed – Since I moved away from supermarket/factory farmed meat, I eat less meat..but I feel confident with it’s quality

  7. That store about the skin grafts is crazy!!! It’s amazing how our bodies work..and sometimes don’t work.

    BTW, I don’t presume that anyone who doesn’t want to eat animal protein should do so. I have client that are vegan and have no intrest in changing…and I am totally fine with that. The reason I referenced PETA re this article is that I find their organization to be more than a little smug and self-important and seeing as I am a bit of a shit-disturber, I could resist tweaking them on the nose a little bit.

    I figured that I would get at least a couple self-righteous Vegans leaving comments 🙂

  8. Eating healthy is difficult in general, especially is you do not consume meat. Yes there are alternatives to receive your needed nutrients maintain a healthy lifestyle, however being solely dependent on taking daily supplements that a genetically manufactured doesn’t seem like a natural approach.

    However, to defend all the vegans out there I feel that although they may relay on different methods of receiving their supplements, I feel that vegans are more health conscious and regulate their diets and are more active than the avg american.

    Working in the drug addiction and counseling industry we understand the concept of health body, healthy mind and realize balance and moderation are essential for a healthy lifestyle.

    Thanks for the article!

  9. we’ve been eating meat since a long time. in early times we needed it to survive but nowadays we don’t need it anymore i think. but everyone should decide what is good for yourself!

  10. I think the issue is more with how food is produced now. Also, for most of that time period, people would use most, if not all, of the animal.

    Though I agree PETA and vegetarians can sometimes seem to not be capable of demonstrating simple logic and can act smug here and there.. I would also point out that meat eaters do the same thing sometimes too.

    I eat meat everyday, multiple times a day but I understand the arguments for both sides. Given that, I’m glad there are organizations and people dedicated to bringing awareness to a lot of the animal cruelty that goes on behind closed doors.

    I think this article was more directed towards an extreme end of the spectrum, ignorant, hardcore “humans are naturally vegetarians” type people; and in that context it was a good write up.

  11. Hey John – you hit the nail on the head…”I think this article was more directed towards an extreme end of the spectrum, ignorant, hardcore “humans are naturally vegetarians” type people”

    I found that study on the same day PETA had been in the news trying to shame everyone into giving up meat as the practice is “non-human”. I just wanted to retort with some facts that our history of eating other animals has a long, long history and is very much human. It may be a part of human history that people find repugnant and morally reprehensible, but it’s still a part of our history.

    I also agree with your point about food processing. From a health standpoint, processed McMeat isnt the same as the meat eaten by our ancient ancestors.

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