Posted by: thefitacademic | December 1, 2010

Why I am carnivorous

Since I’ve started reading healthy living blogs, it’s hard to ignore how many people are vegetarian and/or vegan! I’ve had several vegetarian and vegan friends before, and everyone seems to have their own reason for doing so. Some people don’t eat meat to help the sustainability of our planet, as in the “Meatless Monday” crew. Some people don’t eat meat (or animal byproduct) because they think it is morally wrong to do so, as in advocates of PETA, among others. Some people don’t eat meat/dairy because of tummy issues like IBS.

Me? I eat meat.

(Source)

I used to be quite picky growing up. There was about a 10-year period where the ONLY meat I would eat was chicken (I called myself a “chickitarian”). It wasn’t for moral reasons, it was simply because that was what tasted good to me. Since then, I’ve incorporated all classes of animal to my diet and I love them all (even though I still eat predominantly fowl – like chicken and turkey).

So why do I eat meat?

Well, before answering I want to give a caveat – I would never criticize anyone for choosing to include or exclude certain foods from their diet. It’s not my place to do so and I think that everyone should have the freedom to make their own choices in life. That being said, please show me the same courtesy and have an open mind (and don’t take it personally) when I explain why it is that I EAT MEAT.

You see, I study evolutionary biology and psychology. Evolution is a HUGE part of my daily life. (Want to learn more about it? See this article, that I published just this year – it’s really non-controversial, y’all). And although evolution is often misunderstood, it’s rooted firmly in biology and the basic facts cannot be denied.

1. Humans are adapted for the environments in which we live.

2. Previous humans (our hunter-gatherer ancestors) played a HUGE role in shaping who we are, how we behave, how we think, the things we do, and…in what we eat.

The fact of the matter is that humans have evolved to eat meat.

I’m not saying it’s right or it’s wrong. I’m not making any value judgments. I’m just stating a fact. We evolved to eat meat.

It’s very difficult for vegetarians (and even more difficult for vegans) to get all the protein that they need to be healthy. That’s why many need to take additional supplements, etc. Additionally, it’s very difficult for vegetarians and vegans to obtain or maintain a low percentage of body fat. Sure, they can be thin….but you HAVE to eat lots of protein and low amounts of carbohydrates in order to have lots of muscle and low body fat. Ever heard of “skinny fat“? That’s someone who is probably eating a low-calorie, low-protein diet. They’re thin. But they’re not what I would consider “healthy.”

There’s a book, The Primal Blueprint, which discusses these ideas in detail. I haven’t read it personally, only heard the synopsis. But, I can tell you that  SCIENCE backs this up. Want to hear more about it? The people from the Cut The Fat podcast interviewed the book’s author. You can listen to the interview here.

So – before you hate me and never return to my blog again, have an open mind and look into what I’m talking about here. I’m not going to try to change anyone’s views or “bring you to the dark side” so-to-speak. I’m just looking for a little understanding for my own dietary choices.

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Speaking of meat, today I had to rush home because the hubb’s had to go to a meeting at 6 so we needed a quick and early dinner. Luckily, I planned ahead so I had some ground beef already thawed out and sitting in the fridge.

So, I whipped up some homemade flour tortillas real quick

while simultaneously chopping a jalapeno, browning beef (with Taco Seasoning packet), & grating cheese.

For the tortillas I modified from a bunch of recipes I saw online – because I didn’t want to use lard I kind of improvised. I only used flour, water, oil, and butter – but I’m not going to post all the increments and everything because the tortillas were kind of weird. They tasted good, but they didn’t clump together properly, and they seemed kind of like a crunchy taco/soft taco hybrid because they had a “crispness” about them, without really being “crunchy”. I dunno. Like I said – tasted good, but kinda weird.

I had 1 taco with the homemade flour, and 1 corn tortilla.

I ate them with cheese, salsa, and sour cream (and the meat/jalapeno mixture). I was sad I didn’t have any lettuce or spinach! Eeek – no veggies!

So I tried to compensate with some fruit

This was split with Chris (it was a good sized bowl).

Now I’m going for a quick run before it gets too cold!

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Responses

  1. Those tortillas look like the jam! I am a veg, but haven’t always been. I am ALL for everyone eating how and whatever they want to eat. I always say to my husband, if one day I decide eating meat is right for me again- I will eat it. I cook meat for him pretty much every night. Gotta do what feels best for your mind and body! Great post

  2. Your tortillas look great! I made mine the other day with just whole wheat flour, water, and coconut oil and they came out beautifully!! 🙂

    I too am a meat eater. I definitely eat less meat than I used to, but I don’t think I’ll ever go full veggie. When I don’t eat meat, after a period of time I CRAVE it BAD, and I do think that is my body wanting the animal protein. I know some very successful vegans and vegetarians, but I don’t think that lifestyle is right for me!

    • Yeah – I know what you mean about the craving. In some more primitive civilizations (modern-day hunter-gatherers like the Hadza) actually have a word specifically to denote ‘meat hunger” that is separate than other “regular” hunger.

      I also agree that there can be very successful vegetarians & vegans – but, like you, it’s just not right for me.

  3. I’ve been dying to make homemade tortillas for weeks now lady, seeing your pics was like A SIGN.

    Separately, when I started reading healthy eating/living blogs, I was astonished by the number of vegans/vegetarians. While I’d say I’m definitely more of a flexitarian, what I learned while running is that I can’t get enough protein for my body to burn fat and not muscle if I don’t eat extremely concentrated protein sources (i.e. meat, eggs, fish) every day.

    • Yeah – that’s how I’ve felt too! I know people can do it, but it would be difficult & it’s just not for me. I’d love to see how your tortillas come out (hopefully they “clump” better than mine) : )

  4. I eat meat, but I am very careful as to where it came from. I buy organic, grass fed and local every chance I get. I never knew there was a website for meatless Monday! I actually do that just so I can eat more beans and other foods I wouldn’t normally try!

  5. I’m a meat eater too. I really like the approach you took in explaining your why.

    I love the rustic look of your home made tortillas. That’s something I’ve never attempted before.

  6. I’ve been vegetarian for almost 5 years and vegan for almost a year and it truly doesn’t bother me. I don’t miss meat, I never liked it much anyway. I think its just meant for me. It works you know? I get all my stats checked and I’m really healthy, no deficiencies and I don’t even take supplements. I honestly don’t think it is meant for everyone, and I do see your point I am a bit soft and don’t have really toned muscles or anything. Thanks for sharing, its so nice to see a non biased post when recently a lot of blogs have been filled with hate and misunderstanding.

  7. haha i love how you tagged this post “carnivore” =) and you’re not wrong… i’d say a huge portion of food bloggers and health bloggers are vegan/vegetarian! It doesn’t stop me from posting a good turkey or shrimp recipe =) & I hate to offend anyone, but honestly, a huge portion (but not all!!) of the 100% vegetarian/vegan kids out there bake ENTIRELY too much and live off sugar. which is no bueno. We can be healthy living like a caveman or eating like a rabbit — but regardless… we have got to watch what and how much we stuff in our faces =)

    I think I just made a few enemies — but I’m a bitter nutritionist ❤

    Love the blog so far chica! and thanks for finding me =)

    xoXOxo

    • Thanks for stopping by! You are so right! I really think that at the end of the day we all need to be watching the QUALITY of our foods (and not just the quantity). So it’s really not about meat versus veg ~ it’s about finding what’s right for you & making it work, making the best decisions you can!

  8. oh I love Mark and all his yummy recipes. I am a carnivore as well but think any has the freedom eat however they feel (vegan, vegetarian, etc). Marks book is great and has a lot of scientific evidence. I like to follow it somewhat but also try not to stress about the do’s and don’ts. Just enjoy life, ya know!? I hope i make sense. haha.
    Cheers,
    LC

  9. I was veg for about 3 years and just a few days ago I couldn’t take it anymore and ate a philly cheese steak. I don’t know what I was trying to prove by not eating meat, but I’m really glad that I did. It was not only delish, but it felt RIGHT. Oh and I’m a bio major so I appreciate your scientific approach by the way 🙂

  10. I think the phrase “meat hunger” is fantastic. I had such meat hunger when I was pregnant. I NEEDED red meat. When I would eat it, it was literally the best thing I had ever tasted. I used to avoid it for health reasons, but after pregnancy I decided life is too short to not have a real burger. 🙂

    I love your justification for eating meat, it’s so much more nuanced than my reasons “It tastes good” and “My husband really likes when I make it for dinner”

    • haha, that’s too funny! Don’t get me wrong – the hubbs is definitely a contributing factor in my motivation, too : )

  11. […] it as one of my favorite ipod downloads, but I’ve also referenced it before (check it out here and here). Today I want to talk about another one of my favorite […]

  12. I LOVE this post! So many blogs make me feel “bad” for not being some sort of vegetarian or vegan or raw foodist or something…I can’t help it – I’ve tried lots of different things but the fact of the matter is I like meat. There are some days I may not eat it – but most days I do. And it just makes me feel fuller or stronger.

    Don’t get me wrong! I am a carbivore and love fats! Cheese and pizza – sorry, don’t judge. And I eat vegetables till their coming out of my ears! But there’s only so much of that you can eat…and I’m not a rabbit 😉

  13. I really like your approach to this. I’m mostly vegetarian/vegan just because I don’t LIKE or WANT meat (dairy is another story), but lately I’ve been trying to eat some more meat because I know it’s so good for us. I try to eat a lot of foods with protein and protein powder but obviously it’s not the same as animal protein. I’m a swimmer and ate more meat during the swim season… I think when I need it, I want it. Now that I’m not working out as hard maybe I don’t need it very much and therefore don’t have any desire to eat it.

  14. I like this post and the way you explain your perspective on these things. I think pretty much the same (and I’m also a meat eater). Some people may be healthy on a vegetarian or vegan diet, but I’m not one of them. 🙂

  15. I choose not to eat meat for the main reason that I don’t like how it tastes or makes me feel. I too appreciate the way you crafted this post 🙂 My husband eats meat, I just choose not to. It’s not for me.

  16. Just stopped by your blog from your comments (thanks for stopping by mine, btw!) and I just want to say “Amen!”

    More power to those who are vegetarian/vegan – but I really do crave the protein from meat. I’ve cut it out of my diet significantly in the past few years – but I love shrimp and a good steak! I can definitely feel a difference in my body when I don’t eat meat. Thanks for posting this!

  17. […] you ever heard of the Cut The Fat Podcast? I’ve talked about it here (explaining why I eat meat), here (giving the 6 principles of Fat Loss), and here (8 reasons why we […]

  18. […] fructose corn syrup! I’ve also tried to somewhat follow the food pyramid diet you can read about here. Basically, it’s a diet consisting of mostly vegetables, followed by fruit, then meat (or protein […]


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