A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about the book The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith. I won’t repeat what I said in that post except to note that humans are not meant to be vegans. We need to eat animal protein (fish, shellfish, eggs, poultry, some red meat) in order to be healthy. Fatty fish and eggs are especially important for proper brain growth, development, and health. Refusing to eat them could result in decreased mental ability as one ages.
Another recent fad is the raw food movement. Now, I am not against eating raw foods. However, I am against the concept that one should eat only raw foods, especially if that means only vegan raw foods (i.e. no sushi).
As neuroscientist Susanna Herculano-Houzel notes in her TED talk, cooking food allowed our human brains to expand in neuronal number and connections far beyond what would be expected for a primate our size. If our ancestors had not begun cooking their food, especially meat, we would not be advanced much beyond chimpanzees in brain capacity and ability.
Vegan/vegetarian diets will also not save our planet from destruction. Keith covers some of the reasons for this in her book, but ecologist Allan Savory’s TED talk provides yet another reason that humans need meat in their diets: in order to reverse climate change and desertification, we need to have large herds of animals mimicking the herds that once roamed the savannas and grasslands.
Savory’s thesis seems counter-intuitive. Even he thought that before he tried it. The results are amazing.
Points to ponder and remember:
1] We need cooked animal protein for healthy brains and bodies.
2] Managing herd animals correctly can save the planet.
3] Grasses (wheat, corn, rice, etc.) are for herd animals to eat, while the herd animals are for us to eat.
See you at the barbecue!