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Are Humans Supposed to Eat Meat?

Frederic Answers Reader’s Questions

Are Humans Supposed to Eat Meat?

Just a sincere legitimate question:

I have been reading a lot of respected sources, including Steve Pavlina and your own site, but there are also some respected sites that stipulate quite the contrary, that meat and fats are good for human health. One example are the Eskimos that live healthy on almost fatty meat and cite that in the glacial Era there where little fruits.

I have found compelling respected evidence with citations and references of *both* that humans are natural carnivorous and herbivorous.

Some sites/books even say that most of my calories should come precisely from fat

There are also comments that the meat ingestion was responsible for the growth and evolution of the human brain.

Please help me with this issue, as the two theories are quite opposite and cite the other not only of neutral but as dangerous.

How can I know which is right?




MY ANSWER:You seem like a honest health seeker, and in fact I remember clearly being exactly where you are right now.

Let’s take a look at the issue and see if you can understand my own point of view on this.

So the question is: are humans supposed to eat meat? And is our ideal diet high in fat or high in carbohydrates?

First, let’s start with the Eskimos. Although prior to the arrival of western civilizations they were living in pretty robust health, the Eskimos are not reputed to have a very high life expectancy.

The lowest figure I have heard was 35 years. The highest was not much higher than our current life expectancy.

On the other hand, the three, longest-lived cultures in the world known in the last 100 years have been:

The Vilcambaba in Ecuador, the Abkhasia in Russian, and the Hunzas in Pakistan.

All of these cultures, without exception, have lived on a low-fat diet with limited supply of meat and animal products.

As for the growth of the human brain, to me it’s completely ludicrous that this came from eating meat. The researchers who came up with that are lost in their own wonderland of romantic thinking about the strong hunter-gatherers and cave-men who dragged their female partners by the hair to their caves, and from whom we supposedly evolved.

Come on!

Just look at the model in nature.

The most intelligent of all apes are the ones that eat the most fruit. Bonobos are the most intelligent of all the great apes and they’re the one eating the most fruit and the least animal products.

It seems to me more obvious that fruit eating is has a direct relationship with intelligence in animal species, rather than meat eating.

After all, the carnivores are not necessarily the smartest creatures around, compared to the smart frugivores.

Think about it: an orangutan most have knowledge of over 150 species of fruit and plants to survive. It not only knows which fruit are in season, but can precisely time its eating patterns to specific trees in a rather large area where it lives. As one fruit tree goes out of season in one area, it knows that another variety somewhere else far away is about to go into season. And that without calendars!

To me being a frugivore in nature requires a lot more intelligence than hunting for meat. And that’s why I think our brain evolved.

Humans will survive on ANYTHING!

And all of the primitive diets are healthier than the standard-American-diet for a very good reason. They avoid four of the main culprits that make our own diet so bad. These are:

  • Bread and gluten containing products
  • Refined dairy products
  • Caffeine
  • Processed foods

Just put anyone on any diet that eliminates these categories of foods and they’ll get better, no doubt about it.

In my book the Raw Secrets, I describe in details the reasons why we are meant to eat a low-fat, high-fruit diet and how to best thrive on this diet.

You can find out more about this here:

Why not give it a try? Do you honestly believe that killing animals and eating their flesh is what humans are supposed to do to best thrive on?

What about the fact that our entire system is NOTHING like that of a carnivore or an omnivore. Our entire system matches that of the frugivore.

I will agree with you that the traditional, vegan diet which contains a lot of bread, wheat products, refined foods, soy and fat is not healthy.

This is not what I’m proposing here. I endorse a raw vegan diet composed mainly of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. For the details on how to make this diet work, check out the Raw Health Starter Kit:

If you need more scientific evidence on the animal products issue, read some well-researched books such as:

The China Study

Eat to Live

These are the two books I recommend. They’re not raw-food books but have some important information on the subject.

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.