It came across my desk again the other day. Someone was offering a workshop on the benefits of the carnivorous diet. Then today I ran across this article on the benefits of meat in one’s diet. (side bar is not very clean, sorry)
There seriously ARE benefits to including meat in your average diet. While many of the nutrients found in meat are present in plants, they aren’t as bioavailable so you either need to eat more than triple or more the amount of plant food versus meat to get the same level of nutrient benefit, or use supplements. Practically every single article I’ve read over the past few years on how people can successfully enjoy a vegan diet, mentions supplements! Every single one!
Iron and B12 are two of those supplements. It isn’t that these aren’t present in various plants, but how they are bound up in those plants is the issue. Bioavailability isn’t discussed much in the vegetarian/vegan space. There is the assumption that because it is present, it is available, but that isn’t true of all nutrients found in plants. This is why we boil some plant foods, pulverize other plant foods in smoothies and such, juice other foods, ferment other plant foods, etc. All these preparation methods are to get as much out of the plant as we can.
EDIT Dec 4, 2023
Essential Amino Acids are continually said to be available to the human gut from the plant kingdom. Much of the time, these proteins are stored in lectins, and more people are discovering sensitivity if not outright allergy to plant lectins. A recent study looked at the bioavailability of essential amino acids in beans and almonds versus pork and eggs. In the two age groups they tested, pork and eggs won out over beans and almonds every time. You can read that paper here.
EDIT Feb 17, 2024
Further to the amino acid discussion, the amino acid Taurine, is only found in animal products such as seafood, red meat, dairy, poultry and eggs. Mercola wrote a very good article on Taurine, July 2023 where he states:
“… since taurine is one of the nutrients missing in plant-based diets, vegans may want to consider a high-quality taurine supplement. While your body can synthesize some taurine, it’s not going to be sufficient in the long run, especially as you get older and your body’s ability to synthesize it diminishes.”
There are some nutrients however, that are not only far more bioavailable in meat, but are more powerful coming from meat as well. Iron and B12 are far more bioavailable coming from meat, but animal-based collagen is far more powerful coming from meat than from vegetables. We need that collagen for our hair, nails, skin elasticity, etc. My daughter was taking a sports coaching string of courses from the government when one the instructors wrote a blog article on the benefits of collagen gelatin! They specifically mentioned bovine collagen due to how complete a nutrient profile it has. The only lady quoted in the article above that went off her vegan diet because her hair and nails began falling out, is unfortunately, what can happen. A commenter on this article never had that happen to them, but they fortunately acknowledge that what works for one won’t work for another.
This is where knowing your ancestral history comes into play, and your blood type. If you have ancestors that didn’t eat much meat, you are likely not requiring as much of it yourself. But if your ancestors existed on half to most of their diet being carnivorous, you would do well not to attempt a plant-based diet. Your blood type will have an influence on how well you do or don’t process different types of food too.
It is dangerous for governments, Bill Gates, and others to be saying everyone should be going meatless, fake meat, or lab meat as a result. Such broad stroking is dangerous to the health of those who need the more carnivorous diet.
After the Great Flood, God officially mandated the eating of meat to Noah and his sons. There’s good reason for this! The world’s eco-system had changed. Plants could no longer be relied on for everything the human body requires, and the global ability to grow the necessary plant food for everyone was now hampered. It takes far more farmland to feed a community of vegans than it does a community of omnivores. PETA didn’t like my daughter going through the math on that when she replied to an email they sent her once. There are regions of the world, who before distribution opened up more distant supply chains, would live almost exclusively on animal products for certain times of the year, getting their plant nutrition from what was partially digested in the stomachs of the beasts they killed for food.
Will mankind go back to a strictly vegan diet in the future? We shall have to see what happens after God creates the new heaven and the new earth. But until then, meat is a necessary part of the human diet to ensure we are getting the full suite of necessary nutrients.
For additional information and research see the following list of links and follow their additional references: