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Vegetarian Paleo

Here's how to deal with me when we have a fundamental conflict, unlike some people. A comment from a vegetarian reader.

I see this blog all of the time and I love reading it. I never comment because, as interesting as I think it is… I am newly a vegetarian and am really enjoying this lifestyle choice.

Is it possible to practice this diet with the exclusion of meat?

I keep a foodie blog, tracking my progress as a vegetarian.

Well, I took a quick five or so at your blog and there's no mystery at all. You're having a ball. Quite obvious, and I salute and congratulate you on it. Even though our food choices are not the same, much of what you're doing is real food, you're doing it yourself, and you're doing it with imagination and gusto. Salut!

How could I possibly dis that?

Here's what I think: in spite of you adopting a diet that I would not undertake, I think you're heads & tails above most. I didn't see any fish, and I've had many acquaintances over the years who call themselves "vegetarian" but eat fish and/or shellfish. Could you consider that? It would make me immensely happy if you did.

That approach, if one does it, is an ideal modified-vegetarian approach in my view. The cool thing about fish is that it's as wide in variety as the sea — really, a whole other world of nutrition. In terms of meat, for most of us, we have beef, pork, lamb, chicken & turkey. Toss is some buffalo, emu, or game meat from time to time. But in terms of fish, you have huge, huge variety in taste, nutritional composition, fat content, texture and other attributes. One can eat very fine and high nutrition with fish, vegetables, fruit and nuts. You will annihilate the grain, legume & sugar eaters in terms of nutrition. Instead of grains, rice, legumes, or sugar, just eat a bigger portion of fish, more veggies, more fruit (berries preferable), and/or nuts. Then laugh at your malnourished interlocutors.

I aim for optimal nutrition from food. So, I'm going to try to eat from as wide of a variety as practical; from meat, fish, natural fats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts / seeds.

So now let me get to some critiques of the vegetarian path.

1) You have to get a decent amount of protein or you'll lose weight, as many vegetarians do. This fools them into thinking they are on a good path, but what their body is doing is scavenging lean mass and bone in order to make up for malnutrition. They become skinny fat, i.e., low body weight but relatively high body fat percentage.

2) Since you're not going to get protein from natures most readily available (and tasty) sources, you're stuck with legumes in general, and soy in particular. I've blogged before about lectins, but soy is probably one of the worst (follow the links). In short, lectins are everywhere, but the ones found in legumes and grains are ones we haven't had exposure to long enough to adapt to. For some people, this means a peanut can kill them, and for others, wheat and other gluten containing "food" can melt their gut. So here's what you have to consider: Peanuts don't kill you, nor does wheat and other gluten heavy grains cause immediately noticeable harm. But what do you know of your generalized inflammation, inflammation that may lurk below the pain threshold? You might want to get a blood test for c-reactive protein.

3) This may not apply to you, evidence thereof being your blog, but more and more, vegetarians are straying from the whole foods path to processed foods. Let's just say that highly processed foods eaten chronically are death to all, from vegan to carnivore.

Now, in the interest of objectivity, allow me to highlight the fact that I don't think vegetarians and vegans are entirely deluded. Here's an example:

"Raw For 30 Days" – Vegan Cure for Diabetes

I think that's cool & awesome. But the same thing could have been accomplished with a paleo diet, and what's more: it's sustainable.

Alright, I believe I've made my point, which is: I think a careful vegetarian diet that eschews processed foods and sugar entirely is probably better than the average American diet — even one including meat. And that's because the average American diet includes a ton of wheat & sugar. Most simply: vegetarian diets have sometimes been shown to deliver net benefit simply because vegetarians are of an above-average health consciousness, and that's a bigger association to overall health than the specifics of your diet. Because of their fundamentals, they are going to eat closer to nature, closer to the Paleolithic, and that's going to have a net benefit on some scale.

As a last bit, I've often described the vegan diet as one of "long-extinct pea-brains and chimpanzees." As I've remarked on before, the two lines of hominids that were vegetarian (other than the bugs, worms and caterpillars they all consume) went extinct like a couple of million years ago. Still, if one is vegetarian or has even mildly been exposed to the rational, one has with little doubt been exposed to the "argument" that our digestive tracts are more like those of "vegetarians" than of carnivores.

Do you mean: like these vegetarians. (Note added later: Bea just saw this, said it freaked her out, and that I needed to emphasize that you take the time to watch it. It will blow you away.)

(HT: To the commenter on a previous post who clued me into that, and this.)

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

41 Comments

  1. J on January 19, 2009 at 18:16

    I am a big fish guy as Richard already knows. All fish for sure do not taste the same. The one thing Richard that I wonder is this: doesn't fish have mercury, and while eating low mercury fish multiple times a week is fine, isnt it bad to eat fish every day?

    reason why i ask, is that i was told to cut down my fish intake bc of mercury. I eat mostly fish, but enjoy bacon, beef, chicken as well.

  2. shea on January 19, 2009 at 20:40

    What's up Animal?

  3. mamaholler on January 20, 2009 at 16:25

    I am so grateful for this abundance of information. I am also grateful to all of the patrons of this blog, who dropped by mine to leave helpful comments and further websites to explore.

    I'm not sure if I'd consider eating fish. As I said earlier, vegetarianism is very new for me. I had been a vegetarian for about ten year prior to my first pregnancy. During pregnancy I had a "listen to my body" rule. And one of the first things my body wanted was a very rare steak. So, I ate a lot of meat.

    Honestly, I think that my diet is probably too high in carbs. I am interested in learning more about the wheat/health relationship too. That said, I am also worried about eating too much meat and what that in and of itself means for my health.

    At one point, I used to Atkins diet. What I found was that I could eat lots of food and not gain weight. I didn't necessarily lose any weight… but I was also eating lots of food. I felt really deprived… which is why I ate so much. In the long run, I felt that I was eating too much fat and became scared that I'd be risking the health of my heart (which seems to be in pretty good shape so far!)

    All in all, I am just interested in being a healthy person.

    Thanks for sparking my interest in this!!!!!

  4. Richard Nikoley on January 20, 2009 at 09:07

    J:

    Mercury is one of those things I have yet to look into. I probably will someday, and in the meantime, I just try to vary intake between fish and other meats, and within fish, variety including variety of source.

    • mm on October 14, 2010 at 19:40

      When they looked at mercury in fish they only looked at isolated mercury… they didn’t look into selenium. I know at least when it comes to tuna (especially skipjack, yellowfin) and salmon, they have so much selenium in them these foods could actually be eaten to fight mercury poisoning; whatever mercury these fish have is made bio-unavailable by the selenium, and they’ve got plenty of that to spare. Only some sharks and other top predators have more mercury than selenium to neutralize it. Even then, unless you have absolutely no selenium in your body, your kidneys are dead or you’re pregnant it isn’t a huge problem. If you google around you can find this info and even some nice charts.

  5. Monica on January 21, 2009 at 08:19

    mamaholler, if you're interested in learning more about wheat, wholehealthsource.blogspot.com is a great place to start.

    Cheers!

  6. Richard Nikoley on January 21, 2009 at 17:10

    mamaholler:

    Here's what I might just think about — not to try to convince you of anything. If you know your body told you to eat meat during pregnancy, do you think that might mean something? Let me put it this way: it took the high demands of pregnancy for your body to get through the signal/noise ratio to be sure you knew it needed specific nutrition.

    So why stop now, which is to say, denying yourself what your body told you was optimal?

    Regarding meat consumption — if you care to answer and I fully understand if you don't want to get into it — what are you thinking that it means for your health?

    I suppose I'm a bit confused. Is it that you would really like to eat meat, have a taste for it, etc., but have a fear of it on some level?

    Well, if you stick around — and I sincerely hop you do — I'll continue to post lots of things that should at least make you suspicious. And by that, I don't mean suspicious that natural fats are just OK, but that they are radically healthy and you're missing out.

    At any rate, this was a good excahnge and I will count myself fortunate if I can, in the future, manage to have such meaningful exchanges with other vegetarians. At very least, you have convinced me that I need to tread lightly on this issue. Concern for optimal nutrition from food is the foundation, and I believe we all share that value.

  7. Liana on February 14, 2009 at 21:16

    I came across your blog this morning, and I've been coming back to read more and more during the day. This is all great information, and I'm so glad to have found it.

    I was vegan for a while since last summer. It felt great during the first few months, but after a while I noticed my energy levels were dropping gradually, and my body didn't always seem up to being active, even though I wanted to be. Recently I started losing too much weight, so I decided to try eating eggs and dairy again. I had read about raw-paleo before, and recently I gained interest in learning about the hunter/gatherer life. I realized that if I had to live in an uncivilized environment I would not make it long if I was religiously vegan, and there would be times that I would have to kill animals to eat if I were to survive. My main moral deal with meat is not that "eating an animal is murder" but the meat industry turns the life of a living thing into a commodity, which just doesn't feel right to me.

    Just a few weeks ago I started eating fish again, and I really enjoy it. I've been thinking of going paleo as well. I've eaten some raw fish the past few days, and it was great. Raw salmon is so much better than cooked, but I've also learned to check never-frozen raw salmon for tapeworm larvae) I did buy some grass-fed beef today, but I didn't eat much, because I couldn't help but feel a little guilty. I still need to get past that moral barrier, I mean, this was a little family farm, not a factory farm or feedlot finished beef. The cows seemed well, so I guess there's no real reason to feel guilty.

    ehh, it's late, sorry if I'm rambling a bit, I guess I just got going and had more and more to say. The whole anthropological aspects of paleolithic people and even present hunter/gatherers is interesting to me, it seems like it's so basic, but it makes the so much more sense than the way we live our lives in civilization. I'd better not get to deep into this, this comment was going to be about food anyway, heh.

    Anyway, I really like to read your stuff, there's a lot I'm learning from sources, and learning that it works for you is encouraging.

  8. Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2009 at 21:20

    Liana:

    I'm on the verge of leaving almost immediately for a week in Mexico, but I do want to get back to your comment. It's important and I really glad you took time to post it.

    I will follow up.

  9. J C on December 20, 2009 at 09:52

    I am a vegan, for many reasons. I’m not going to get into all the reasons but I will say I have a lot of food allergies! I did eat fish for a few years in hopes that it would help my anemia. It didn’t! Celiac disease is a major health issue for me as even on the diet, I still have some symptoms. Having been vegan most of my life, and having studied holistic health and nutrition, I have to disagree with you on a few points here! First of all, the protein issue. Why do so many people think it’s difficult to get protein on a vegetarian diet? I find it difficult to not get too much protein! Protein is amino acids, which is found in plants, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruit, and grains. Protein is in everything! It is quite easy to get enough protein on a vegetarian diet!
    As far as intelligence goes, well as a baby I wasn’t able to eat any animal products, so I started live as a vegan and ate so throughout the crucial development stages of life and I have an IQ of 165. How’s that for a pea brain?
    On a final note I would just like to say that I am really getting tired of this argument. We are all different! Some people, like myself, thrive quite well on a vegan diet, while others need some animal products to truly be healthy. It’s not a “black & white” issue…it’s all gray! If someone is doing well on a vegetarian diet and they are happy, you have no right to tell them they should eat an animal! Yes, fish are animals! And sea vegetables contain all the nutrients of the sea! The Paleo diet is mostly vegetarian with some meat! Eating animals or not is a personal, moral choice that each individual has to decide for themselves if it’s right for them! There is no one diet on this planet that is right for everybody!

    • Richard Nikoley on December 20, 2009 at 09:57

      Fair enough. Though I don’t buy the protein argument. Meat & fish have complete protein and not much in the plant world does.

      At any rate, you might care to look into a recent book on vegetarianism by Lierre Keith, vegan for 20 years.

      The Vegetarian Myth. I’ve reviewed it a few times and you can find those using the search function.

      I do wish you well.

      • happy, healthy vegan :) on January 17, 2010 at 02:07

        It’s a myth that people need the “complete protein” in meat. As long as you eat a varied diet, you’re bound to get all components of complete protein as a vegan.

        Being vegan is only unhealthy when it’s done with a lack of knowledge. And with the wealth of knowledge out there, I assume that would be very difficult to do.

        You might care to look into a documentary that I think every meat-eater should watch, to be aware of the industry they support.

        It’s called Earthlings, and will only take up about 95 minutes of your time.

        I wish you well 🙂



      • Alex Thorn on January 17, 2010 at 02:40

        There is more to protein ‘quality’ than having a full spectrum of essential amino acids, which can be achieved by mixing different plant-based sources. However, most plant sources of protein also contain protease inhibitors. Protease is the enzyme we use to breakdown proteins into their constituent amino acids and plants contain chemicals that inhibit this enzyme. So I still question whether a vegan has as good a protein intake as someone who eats animal sources.

        And, no, cooking/sprouting does not totally inactivate/destroy these antinutrients!



      • Richard Nikoley on January 17, 2010 at 09:05

        Most paleos are well aware of the disaster of industrial farming. That’s why we support local organic farmers and pastured, grass-fed, humanely treated and slaughtered animals.

        And perhaps you ought to become more aware of the grain, corn, soy industries you support. I recommend The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith, a vegan for 20 years.



      • happy, healthy vegan :) on January 17, 2010 at 10:04

        I’m not sure how it is exactly you feel comfortable placing the words “humanely” and “slaughtered” into one sentence, but regardless…

        Perhaps you should read the book Eating Animals by Jonathon Safran Foer to learn the truth about the industry and suffering meat-buyers support.

        The words: organic, pastured, grass-fed, humane, free-range… all marketing ploys. There is little to no regulation behind them. Any regulation imposed on the meat industry is basically created and enforced by itself. It means nothing, Take it from a marketing professional and a well-educated vegan.

        And yes, I’ve read the only vegan-written book an omnivore typically recommends, but thank you for the recommendation, it is an interesting read.

        I do focus on avoiding these industries as much as possible, not so much grain for corruption but for heath. Even if I were to buy any of those things, I wouldn’t be willfully causing harm to another living being – which, in my eyes, is a more compassionate choice.



      • happy, healthy vegan :) on January 17, 2010 at 10:07

        oops! I forgot cage-free. Cage free means nothing as well 🙂 still just marketing and brainwashing 🙂



      • Richard Nikoley on January 17, 2010 at 10:10

        I agree. Chicken should be free range on pasture. They are not vegetarians. They require insects, worms and other things for optimal health. Also, if pastured with ruminants, they serve a role of spreading manure (also picking and eating nutrients from the manure, building topsoil. All spelled out the The Vegetartian Myth.



      • Richard Nikoley on January 17, 2010 at 10:14

        > I’m not sure how it is exactly you feel comfortable placing the words “humanely” and “slaughtered” into one sentence

        Simple: allegiance to reality and that words have meanings. As to Foer, not interested. Marketing ploys. False, and ignorantly so. One merely need to visit a local farm or meat operation. I have.

        “I wouldn’t be willfully causing harm to another living being – which, in my eyes, is a more compassionate choice.”

        Yea, really sounds like you read that book. This is simply ignorance. For anything to live, something else must die. It’s just reality.

        But you’re welcome to your fantasies.



      • Alex H on February 11, 2010 at 02:51

        Richard,
        I am vegetarian and only for the reasons that I do not wish to support the horrors of the main stream meat industry. However, it is my intent to start providing most of the food I eat for myself. I think that there are ways of humanly dispatching animals. Preferencially they should have lived a wild and free life (game and fish) and should be killed with as little trauma as possible. However living a free range life on a farm with organic natural food is good too in my mind. And so as soon as I can raise or hunt animals in the way that I believe is appropriate I shall do so. Do you personally choose only to buy local, organic free-range meat?



      • Richard Nikoley on February 11, 2010 at 11:06

        I prefer local, organic free-range. Marin Sun Farms is my current favorite, but I also buy from Prather Ranch, both local Bay Area.

        But for times when I can’t get there, I usually keep a stock of essentials from La Cense, which is mail order. Otherwise, it’s over to Whole Foods and their grassfed section.

        Every now and then I’ll have to resort to getting non-GF due to availability but when I do I try at least to get certified organic from WF and other upscale markets.



      • PaleoJJ on May 21, 2010 at 12:52

        @happy, healthy vegan 🙂

        You know you’d be the first to go if push came to shove and you had to survive. And if you were starving, on a mountain waiting for help to come and all you had was meat to eat.. you will be eating meat. 100% positive. lol.
        You also owe our ancestors some gratefulness, had they not eaten meat, you my dear wouldn’t be here.



    • mm on October 14, 2010 at 19:56

      “pea brain” reference might be in part to those who eat soy – researchers in Honolulu discovered in autopsies and brain scans that soy products shrink the brain overtime, possibly by inhibiting the signals for glial cell reproduction, while leaving the signals for glial cells’ programmed deaths unaffected. Memory loss and cognitive decline have been observed. Source: The Vegetarian Myth and the Weston A. Price Foundation talk about some of the research.
      It may also be a reference to the low-fat, low-cholesterol diets some people including vegans adhere to, since the brain, by weight, is half cholesterol and neurons are swimming in fats, including the much villainized saturated fats…
      There’s also the problem of plant proteins being locked in inedible cellulose along with the plant’s own anti-nutrient defenses which can cause a protein deficiency (because of things like this, a vegetarian diet is highly wasteful as only a fraction of the calories are available to us compared to ruminant herbivores that have ways to eat the cellulose) – then again some autopsies of starved individuals show that the brain (and gonads) never give up a gram of their proteins even while all other organs are dying.

  10. Matthew Bates on February 2, 2010 at 21:08

    What do you make of the evidence supplied in “The China Study”, particularly the scientific evidence-based first 1/3 of the book that makes a strong case for a “low” protein diet being linked with with markedly lower rates of cancer?

  11. Val on March 29, 2010 at 20:08

    Ah, the “search” function is a wonderful thing… I’m getting smarter w/this machine all of the time 😉
    I am intrigued by the paleo info I have found, but at this point find it unsustainable [personally] from an ethical standpoint: I refuse to support CAFO’s so I have recently stopped buying grocery-store beef, pork, or chicken. (Yes I am still eating fish, dairy, & eggs – not ultra low-carb, but greatly reducing my “grains” intake.)
    At this point it’s too soon for me to tell if I truly feel “better” or am still just running off the fumes of my moral self-righteousness, but I can say that I haven’t had any cravings… Also experimenting w/supplements which may also be helping: fish oil, iodine, & an aloe-vera based liquid “multivitamin” since I’ve been w/out MY thyroid for almost 21 yrs now – I can tell you firsthand that my metabolism has suffered, trying to regulate itself in all its miraculous complexity by a single synthetic tablet [Synthroid].
    Thanks for all your hard work, Richard.

  12. Liz on June 4, 2010 at 18:08

    So what does it mean that I craved eggs (and egg whites satisfied the craving) and cheese during pregnancy and still thought meat was yucky?

    Even as a kid eating meat regularly, I always went for the highly spiced stuff, e.g. salami. No one eats salami for the meat flavor, it’s all about the garlic! I even specifically remember tasting some shrimp my dad (along with a dozen adult strangers) was having and loving and finding it nasty.

    My baby likes meat and gets it when we’re around other people having it.

  13. 21st Century on July 16, 2010 at 13:18

    @PaleoJJ the point is that you’re NOT starving on a mountain, haha

    also, re: The Vegetarian Myth, here’s a seemingly pretty objective review of the book I saw on amazon:

    “I want to be clear about a few things:

    1) I am a female.
    2) I give the idea of this book 5 stars, but its execution 1.
    3) I have been a radical vegan, a rabid meat-eater and everything in between (currently in the in-between)
    4) I am working on an archaeological PhD on hunter-gatherer diets, subsistence, hunting and transition to agriculture.

    I picked this book up after reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals”. I thought it would be interesting to read a different perspective on the vegetarian debate. I found Safran Foer’s book to be much more geared towards the inhumane practices of meat while Keith’s book is geared more towards diet/health.

    I admit that it took a very long time for me to get through this book, for several reasons. I purchased this book hoping to get something out of it. I am not an upset vegan who wants to hate it and I am not someone who bought it knowing Id love it. I was just neutral. There were two main reasons for my disappointment with the book. One minor, one major. First, I found the second agendas (specifically the radical feminism) distracting and unnecessary. I have nothing against the feminist agenda, but this wasnt the place to put it. Second, I found the book absolutely riddled with bad information, faulty facts and just plain lazy research (if you can call it ‘research’). As someone who intensively researches these issues on a daily basis, I found myself underlining items on nearly every page that I knew were just plain untrue or were ‘cherry-picked’ facts slanted to give a certain perception. This is such a disappointment as a really great case could be made for the author’s view if she had only put the real work into researching the book properly. Once you lose the reader’s trust that you are providing factual information what do you have? Ill provide examples:

    1) pg. 140: The author states that “Carbon-13 is a stable isotope present in two places: grasses and the bodies of animals that eat grasses”. She goes on to suggest that since there is no evidence of grass “scratch marks” on the human teeth found, that they must have been eating animals. There are many flaws in this thought process. First, I cant even begin to explain the preservation and degradation issues present in examining three million year old teeth for ‘scratch marks’. Second, carbon-13 is an isotope found in ALL terrestrial and marine plants, not just grass. Finding high levels of C3 or C4 (which are what carbon-13 breaks down into) in human teeth only means that that human was eating large amounts of SOME plant, seed, nut, etc. (not JUST grass) or the animal that ate those. It is not as simple as GRASS OR COW.

    2) pg. 142: The author states that there are no bacteria in the human stomach. This is simply untrue. In 2005 Barry Marshall and Robin Warren won a Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering a stomach bacteria that causes gastritis and ulcer disease. There are currently over 130 known stomach bacteria.

    3) pg. 146: The author states a “rumor” authored by RB Lee about hunter-gatherers getting 65% of their calories from plants and 35% from meat. She states that this “simply isnt true”. First, this rumor-spreader is one of the most well-respected anthropological/archaeological researchers in hunter-gatherer studies who edited what is considered THE tome on hunter-gatherer theory, ‘Man the Hunter’. He isnt some random hack. Second, saying those numbers ‘simply arent true’ is simply not true. Hunter-gatherers did and do inhabit a huge range of environments and likewise their diets cover a wide range. Some do follow the 65/35% number. Some eat much more meat. Some eat much less.

    These are only three examples from a span of six pages. This pattern continues throughout the entire book. Fact is the authors ‘facts’ just arent believable (which, again, is a shame because a factual book on this topic could be powerful). She writes as if the anthropological and archaeological evidence she quotes is written in stone, when in fact many of these topics are constantly under revision or not well understood yet. Most importantly, I just believe that writing a book and promoting it as a factual, scientific account of a subject when it is not is doing a great disservice to your (mostly) unknowing readers. If you are not willing to put in the real research effort, write a book that is touted as a personal account and nothing more. Selling flubbed facts to people who are truly searching for answers, inspiration or (insert what you are looking for here) is just bad journalism.

    Ill end this review with some facts and encourage any readers (whether you liked the book, hated the book or havent read the book) to always question whether what you are reading is true and to do some research of your own.

    The author sites 207 references in this book.
    62 of those references are websites (~30%)
    18 are newspapers and magazines (~7%)
    32 are journals (~15%)
    95 are other books (~46%)

    First of all, think about that. 30% of the references in this book come from website information. Five of those 62 website references were Wikipedia. Wikipedia! One was Google Answers. I wont let my freshmen students use Wikipedia as a reference in their papers, why would it be acceptable for a book? Like websites, newspaper and magazine information needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Of the 32 journals less than half come from well known, peer-reviewed sources. The remaining 46% are books, which can truly say anything the author cares to print (as this one does) and only show that the author is getting her information from another source (and another opinion) aside from the primary one. The point of this is to make clear that this is a book that is sold as (and which many positive reviews hype as) providing scientific, factual, intellectual knowledge on the vegetarian/diet/health debate. In reality less than 8% of the book is coming from peer-reviewed, fact-checked sources which can provide unbiased, neutral information.

    If anything I hope this review encourages people to get away from the bias on either side, find factual scientific sources instead of second-third-fourth hand knowledge, check information for yourself instead of blindly believing an author, and to question published material and push for it to actually be factual if it presented as such.”

  14. Christ on August 25, 2010 at 11:30

    it seems to always be 110 lb women and small men who do well on a vegetarian diet,for a 6’4 lean man…not so much

  15. Alex on August 30, 2010 at 05:45

    “it’s well-known that meat rots in your stomach and leads to colon cancer- it’s understood the average meat-eating male has up to 5lbs of undigested meat in their intestines -hence the need for colonic irrigation – a lovely job for anyone.”

    http://www.snopes.com/horrors/gruesome/fecalcolon.asp

    You post nonsense like that, and you wonder why this blog has the attitude that vegetarians are idiots?

  16. Niamh O' Donoghue on August 30, 2010 at 04:58

    I find the tone of this article quite pompous and condescending. Perhaps you could scale down the “Vegetarians are idiots if they believe humans were ever herbivorous” and “Wouldn’t you be better off / I’d be happier if you ate a bit of fish” rant.
    Everyone knows modern day humans eat far too many carbohydrates which leads to diabetes but no matter how many articles you point to about the main staples of vegetarians being toxic, it’s well-known that meat rots in your stomach and leads to colon cancer- it’s understood the average meat-eating male has up to 5lbs of undigested meat in their intestines -hence the need for colonic irrigation – a lovely job for anyone.
    I cam across your site in a search for ‘vegetarian paleo’, in an effort to adapt my relatively healthy diet but you have convinced me that you are just another extremist trying to sell an idea.

    Yours

    Niamh O’ Donoghue
    Journalist

    • mm on October 14, 2010 at 20:02

      Niamh O’ Donoghue
      ” Journalist ” ?

      Fail.

  17. Niamh O' Donoghue on September 7, 2010 at 01:53

    Alex, another ignoramus are you? Would you like me to pull a couple of articles that contradict this? Did you google anything that wouldn’t support you view? Very balanced commentator aren’t you. I’d say you will do well in life listening to one side of the story or anyone who is trying to sell you the latest new diet.

    Interesting nobody had mentioned anything about the 9bn people walking this earth and the need to cut down on meat eating for environmental reasons? Or was the world able to sustain 9bn cave men?

    I can’t believe you expect donations to further support your venture. If interest in paleo diets is so widespread, couldn’t your site do well enough on traffic/ ad revenue.

    Btw, if someone wants to call me an idiot, I expect my right of reply or I will report you to the communications regulator.

    Regards

    • Alex on September 7, 2010 at 06:06

      At any given point in time, everyone has a certain amount of food in transit through the GI tract, but you won’t find any scientifically valid support for the idea that meat collects inside the intestines and stays there. The intestinal walls are covered in mucous, and the cellular lining of the intestines is continually sloughed off, so there’s nothing permanent for meat (or anything else) to hold on to.

      With respect to the environment, there’s nothing sustainable about the current 7 billion people, let alone a future 9+ billion. Large scale mechanized agriculture loses topsoil faster than it is created; at some point, the soil will no longer support the human population. Personally, I do make choices with the environment in mind. Almost all the meat I eat is raised on pasture instead of grain. Our house has some solar electric power, solar thermal panels for heating domestic hot water, and a ground source heat pump. I drive a recycled (i.e., rebuilt) economy car. We bought the farm next to us and took it out of conventional row crop production; 23 acres was planted back to native prairie, and 70 acres is rented out for organic hay production.

      As for your right to reply, the only communications regulator around here is Richard Nikoley, the website’s owner, and he can regulate the comments left on his site in any way he pleases.

      • David Csonka on September 8, 2010 at 07:22

        Alex – epic reply.



    • Aaron Curl on September 8, 2010 at 02:54

      I only want to know about this love for animals and protecting them. As humans we should be more concerned about fellow human beings. Google the world population and you can discover that scientists believe the world’s eco system can handle 2 billion at max capacity. Scientists suggest that no human pro-creates for 5 years and it would greatly help the environment. So do your part and don’t have any children which is the number one thing you can do to save the earth! Spread the word!

  18. Rup on September 22, 2010 at 19:58

    Thanks for the great blog with personality! 🙂

    I was wondering if you could recommend a paleo diet cookbook for those vegetarians who still eat fish and shellfish like me…I’d love to learn and try it out, but not sure where to start or what’s good. A regular paleo cookbook won’t do it for me…

    Thanks!
    Rup

    • Richard Nikoley on September 23, 2010 at 08:04

      rup:

      I don’t know of any specific veggie paleo cookbooks. The couple of cookbooks out there Im aware of (see the right sidebar) have lots of veggie recipes, but of course most include meat, fish and other animal foods too.

  19. Vegan Warrior/Stud on September 25, 2010 at 05:10

    I am a vegan/warrior and have an IQ of 300. How’s that for a “pea brain”?

    • Richard Nikoley on September 25, 2010 at 06:51

      Sounds like you may be being facetious, and if so, good on ya.

      If not, then certainly a 300 IQ would understand the context of pea brained diet. The only reason a large brained, small gut human can exist on vegetation is from the move to meat and fat scavenging in the savanna way back when, allowing guts to shrink and brains to expand while maintaining the same metabolic rate per pound of mass, i.e., a 200 lb human and 200 lb primate have the same total metabolic rate. The relative differences are in the inverse energy expenditure of brain and gut. All other major organs (heart, lungs, lover, etc) use the same amount of energy. See Kleiber’s law.

      • Vegan Warrior/Stud on September 25, 2010 at 07:19

        Thank you for your response.

        I’m not sure what I said that opened up the topics that you advised me of, but I appreciate it nevertheless. I don’t doubt that a move to meat way back when is what got us to where we are.

        PS – I also bench press 600 pounds and make $750,000 per year as a big-time executive. Oh, and females find me irresistible.



      • mm on October 14, 2010 at 20:07

        Wow, that’s impressive…. here – have some soybeans… I promise they won’t have any effect on the energy levels it must take to earn all that money, on your ability to absorb all those nutrients to bench press so much, on the sex drive I am sure is needed to tend to all those women who just can’t resist, nor on your glial cells’ ability to reproduce properly in your brain and keep your 300-IQ brain functioning properly…



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