Monday, May 30, 2016

Meat Eaters Anonymous

If we want to call things by their proper names, we should understand that Veganism is a religion. Those who are burdened with guilt over the death of any living organism embrace veganism because it helps them to manage their guilt. It’s a way to embrace pure innocence.

Horrified that any living being might have died to nourish them, they believe that by eating a diet rich in grass and twigs they will become kinder and gentler creatures, so thoroughly disinclined to compete, to fight or even to defend themselves that they and their ilk will form a vanguard leading us to an age of eternal peace.

Of course, they might also be making themselves easy prey for those who still indulge the occasional rib eye, but they believe that God is on their side and that God will persuade the rest of the world to do as they do. God will kill off the meat-eaters and egg-eaters and leather-wearers.

As you know, vegan faith promotes scientific studies that demonstrate that those who eat meat develop cancer and heart disease and die. Of course, it does not show what happens to those who become so veganized that they are too weak to defend themselves.

Anyway, today is a bad day for vegans. A recent scientific study has shown that our species became more human and less ape-like when it began to eat meat, that is, animal protein. It’s nice that primates prefer fruit and vegetables, but it is less nice to see that the reason they remained chimps and monkeys was that they only ate fruit and vegetables. Without meat we would have been less intelligent and less verbal. As it happens, more meat means bigger brains.

Time Magazine reports the results of the study:

As a new study in Nature makes clear, not only did processing and eating meat come naturally to humans, it’s entirely possible that without an early diet that included generous amounts of animal protein, we wouldn’t even have become human—at least not the modern, verbal, intelligent humans we are.

It was about 2.6 million years ago that meat first became a significant part of the pre-human diet, and if Australopithecus had had a forehead to slap it would surely have done so. Being an herbivore was easy—fruits and vegetables don’t run away, after all. But they’re also not terribly calorie-dense. A better alternative were so-called underground storage organs (USOs)—root foods like beets and yams and potatoes. They pack a bigger nutritional wallop, but they’re not terribly tasty—at least not raw—and they’re very hard to chew. According to Harvard University evolutionary biologists Katherine Zink and Daniel Lieberman, the authors of the Nature paper, proto-humans eating enough root food to stay alive would have had to go through up to 15 million “chewing cycles” a year.

Prey that has been killed and then prepared either by slicing, pounding or flaking provides a much more calorie-rich meal with much less chewing than root foods do, boosting nutrient levels overall. (Cooking, which would have made things easier still, did not come into vogue until 500,000 years ago.)

More calories, less chewing. More protein, less chewing. And we know the importance of animal proteins. After all, our first meal is milk. What could be more natural than milk? And yet, good vegans will not touch milk.

But, why does the number of chews matter?

A brain is a very nutritionally demanding organ, and if you want to grow a big one, eating at least some meat will provide you far more calories with far less effort than a meatless menu will. 

All that meat translates into more brain power. Don’t you just love evolutionary biology?

Now, throw another steak on the barbie.


Leo G said...

"After three decades of research on the hunting behavior of chimpanzees at Gombe, we already know a great deal about their predatory patterns. We know that although chimpanzees have been recorded to eat more than 35 types of vertebrate animals (Uehara 1997), the most important vertebrate prey species in their diet is the red colobus monkey. At Gombe, red colobus account for more than 80% of the prey items eaten."

From here -

Excellent article using the hunting methods (30% kill rate when alone, basically 100% when in large groups) of modern chimps to help unravel the question of how when and why.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

The greatesy mantras of Leftist thought are "Science says..." or "Studies say..."

I'm sure this chimpanzee study was funded by the Koch brothers, making it anathema.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, homicides are up 95%. No justice, no peace.

AesopFan said...

If you haven't seen the hippie comic on Youtube, start with this one:
"If Meat Eaters Acted Like Vegans - Ultra Spiritual Life episode 35"

Sam L. said...

WAIT!! Are not vegetables living until they are rrrrrrrrrrrrippppppppppppppppped from the ground, fruits from the tree or bush, corn ears from their stalks, brussels sprouts from whatever they grow on? Oh, those nasty horrible Vegans!!

Dennis said...

Without death there is no life. In other words, Life survives on death. Fail to pay heed to that important aspect is to become prey.
When I belonged to the Sierra Club that used to be understood. Man did I make a lot of unforced errors when I was young. One cannot be an observer of life and not notice the realities of life and death.
Consider for a moment what life would be like if Conservatives acted like those on the Left. Or consider if men actually acted like feminists say they do? Most of the Vegans i have met have been leftists or left leaning. Is there a Vegan that leans to the Right? It would seem that intolerance is one of the prime characteristics of the Left. Is there a connection in there?

Ares Olympus said...

I saw this very interest TEDTalk recently, with ecologist Allan Savory, from 2013. He makes an interesting proposal - that herd animals help reduce desertification, as long as they keep moving.
"Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert," begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And terrifyingly, it's happening to about two-thirds of the world's grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos.

Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes -- and his work so far shows -- that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.
Allan Redin Savory (born 15 September 1935) is a Zimbabwean ecologist, farmer, soldier, exile, environmentalist, international consultant, and president and co-founder of The Savory Institute. He originated holistic management, a systems thinking approach to managing resources. Once a staunch opponent of livestock, Savory would come to favor using properly managed livestock, bunched and moving to mimic nature, as a means to heal the environment, stating "only livestock can reverse desertification. There is no other known tool available to humans with which to address desertification that is contributing not only to climate change but also to much of the poverty, emigration, violence, etc. in the seriously affected regions of the world." "Only livestock can save us."

He also makes somewhat wild claims that soils can be sufficient carbon sinks to reverse CO2 accumulations in the atmosphere.

Anyway, so this is good news for the world's poor who can now be proud carnivores without destroying the world.

Myself, I'm a bit skeptical. Perhaps he's still feeling guilty slaughtering 40,000 elephants and looking for redemption? But we need some hope, and sometimes there are relatively simple solutions to very old problems.

Perhaps the American plains will once again be filled with millions of acres of roaming herds of bison, with prairie grasses that can withstand the next great drought cycle, while our vulnerable corn and wheat fields and their shallow roots wither and die.

Unknown said...

yes I'm a right leaning vegan. problem with the argument that eating meat allows a species to attain higher IQs is that there is no other carnivore that is expanding their intelligence. Lion's seem to be stuck in their animalistic ways. anyway I don't judge meat eaters, after all, I ate meat for 32 years of my life (vegan for 5). Just found that I had more energy, better digestion, and better sleep on this diet. Do whatever works best for you!

Unknown said...
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