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Genetic changes that apparently allow humans to live longer than any other primate may be rooted in a more carnivorous diet.

These changes may also promote brain development and make us less vulnerable to diseases of aging, such as cancer, heart disease and dementia.

Chimpanzees and great apes are genetically similar to humans, yet they rarely live for more than 50 years. Although the average human lifespan has doubled in the last 200 years — due largely to decreased infant mortality related to advances in diet, environment and medicine — even without these improvements, people living in high mortality hunter-forager lifestyles still have twice the life expectancy at birth as wild chimpanzees do. (More…)

Mike Beacom

Reading that article, I’m inclined to say, “well……duh”.I swear I wrote something along those lines in one of our Brian/Gus/Mike debates. It’s a no brainer that we need meat protein in our diets. According to our pediatrician it’s literally one of the most important parts of my daughters diet. I was, however, a bit surprised by that “2.6 million years ago” line. I knew that the quest for meat was a driving force in our evolution, but I didn’t realize it went almost as far back as “lucy”.


Modern humans are made up up every synthetic molecule that man has made. Mercury, BCP’s, and other industrial concoctions have mad the modern human a virtual petri dish of more and more variables. Any advantage ABC feels the modern meat-eating human possess is definitely offset by the fact that modern meat is fed with corn. As the leading agronomist Michael Pollan points out, every 1st world ailment from cancers to diabetes can be attributed to the corruption in agribusiness (among other factors). It is impossible to make a blanket statement about the formative qualities of meat-eating with regards to human evolution. At different transitional moments in evolution, meat may have been crucial in competition with another group of early humans, but not as super fuel for the body.

However, it is safe to say that the only thing meat-eating has done for evolution of modern man is in terms of creating pathogens, that in turn, wiped out vast civilizations. Europeans, with the fortuitous luck of just evolving beside six out of the seven domesticated/socially accepted farm animals, developed the immunity to pathogens that could only be passed on through living in close quarters. After a few plagues, the strongest and most viral Europeans survive to spread their germs all over the world, thereby decimating any trace of most subsistence-based communities.

Through new archaeological discoveries, it is now evident that the americas were more populous than the European continent. The americas only had the llama as a domestic farm animal. The llama was not regularly eaten, but rather used for labor reasons as well as deification. The anthropology guru Jared Diamond proposes this cause and effect in his infamous book “Guns Germs & Steel.” His books are used for debates in anthropology as well as many other disciplines. A botanist has written human prehistory as well as true dynamics that have formed modern man.

ABC, I bet is funded by Monsanto, ADM, or Cargill and is worried about those vegetarian parents not ordering a healthy dose of meat fed by corn. Nature did not intend our diet to determined by corporations. Whatever is in this field was “what’s for dinner”. Meat is a luxury that needed a refrigerator. Early humans probably ate meat once a month or one season of the year. Is that irregular diet pattern enough to attribute man’s evolution to meat? I don’t think so. Sorry, off the soap box. Have a good day.

Mike Beacom

Do you find it at all contradictory that you would say that …

It is impossible to make a blanket statement about the formative qualities of meat-eating with regards to human evolution.

Yet, you’re totally comfortable with a blanket statement like…

every 1st world ailment from cancers to diabetes can be attributed to the corruption in agribusiness

Personally, I mean no offense, but I think that statement is patently absurd. EVERY first world ailment caused by corruption in agribusiness? So therefore, if one were to use a bit of logical inversion, without corruption in Agribusiness, there would be ZERO first world ailments? Whoever is the originator of such a thought should be wholly ignored.

However, I do agree, it’s impossible to really nail down the importance of meat in our evolution. I certainly think it was important, likely even vital. I’m a firm believer in what I call “natures truth”. It’s those things that you can see and feel and know without a scientific study to back it up. I think out bodies tend to do what they are designed to do. Sometimes to our detriment, but nonetheless it can reveal evolutionary truths. When you see virtually every kid eating the meat and ditching the bun, it’s not because some ADM executive is corrupt and putting in chemicals that control the child, its because their little bodies are making decisions on a biological level. To simplify, I firmly believe if we as humans weren’t evolved and essentially designed to eat meat, getting a kid to eat vegetables wouldn’t be so frakking difficult.


“Among other factors” was omitted in your restatement of my blanket statement. Omitting my qualifier gives you a point of contention, but nothing else? Hmmm.

I disagree with your assertion in childs’ diet statement. I personally was raised on not having meat for EVERY meal. For dinner, meat would be an entree. Giving children meat laced with high fructose corn syrup might as well be giving them a sweet muffin. You are just talking about kids in the last 20 years. Before that, every kid in the first world ate whatever was on his/her plate. Gen X & Y are used to walking over their parents and telling them what they want. 20 years ago, the baby boomers made it through real disasters and fed their children what they thought would be good for them, not what they like. That dynamic has changed, thanks to agribusiness. I don’t mean to say your child will start eating vegetables tomorrow because I say so. Rather, if they are brought up with no other options than vegetables, then you won’t hear any complaining.

I was a picky eater growing up. Now ,I am pretty handy in the kitchen. My vegetarian dishes taste good and fill you up. My father just came to Omaha to visit my wife and I. I cooked the entire time, and he is not a vegetarian. He went for seconds and thirds. When I was young, I hated brussel sprouts. I tried them after college thinking my taste buds have changed. Nope. I still hated them. However, I found a recipe that adds a little butter after steaming and then coated with almond bits. Wow, amazing, I can’t stop eating them. Don’t knock the vegetables until you prepare them in a way you like.

Check out the not so new studies on high fructose corn syrup with mice. They tried to recreate a Super Size Me with just high fructose corn syrup. The damage to every organ was intense and irreversible.

Mike Beacom


I omitted the qualifier because it makes the original statement useless. If you put a qualifier like “among other factors” after any statement, you can pretty much say whatever you want. Making a statement that uses absolutes like “every time” or “always” and then qualifying it with something completely generic is a very lazy way to make an argument sound legitimate. Example, “I always eat steak for dinner. (except when I eat other things).

every 1st world ailment from cancers to diabetes can be attributed to the corruption in agribusiness (among other factors)

So, answer me this, can “every first world ailment” be attributed to corruption in agribusiness or not? If removing the “other factors” causes the statement to no longer be true (which you imply by your response), then blaming corruption in agribusiness is a fallacy. If removing “other factors” doesn’t weaken the truth of the statement then why add it to begin with?

With regard to the kids and food thing, you’re totally missing the point. I’m not talking about kids who are socialized to eat certain things. You’re absolutely right about what we can teach our kids to eat and even enjoy. Naturally if you raise your child only eating vegetables, you’ll have an easier time. Its for this very reason that we dont give our daughter sugary cereal. We want her to develop a taste for healthier foods. But if you take a kid and give them the choice, they’ll pick the meat (or fruit) every time. My point is that there is a biological reason for this. I’m not saying vegetables are bad. Obviously, they are a vital part of a healthy diet.

Our daughter is now 21 months old. My wifes father has cattle and sends us beef constantly. We rarely buy beef or pork at the store (almost never) because we get it free from the farm. It’s never been touched by Archer Daniels Midland or any evil corporation bent on causing the destruction of the known universe. It’s MEAT. From a cow. Butchered by a friend of my wifes father. We feed our daughter everything. Meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, grains. Her diet is (what I would consider) very well balanced and healthy. Given the choice, she will clear her plate of meat every time. She will avoid the vegetables every time. This is not some product of socialization. We make sure she sees us eat our vegetables every meal. Yet she doesn’t want hers when given a choice of almost anything else.

Now, if I was soaking the vegetables in animal fat (butter) and almonds, like you’re doing, maybe she would eat those better too. 😉

As for being a source of fuel. Wow. Go try to get a construction worker to eat vegan and see how much work he can get done. I can speak from experience on this one. I had a VERY hard manual labor job for about 5 years. We ate eggs and meat constantly. Anything less was horribly inefficient. It took up too much space in your stomach relative to the caloric and protein content and necessitated constant eating. I read a book on the Alaskan crab boats. They serve steak at every meal. These guys work 20 hours a day and steak is the most efficient fuel there is for such labor, bar none. No way those guys are gonna work 20 hours a day on brussel sprouts and tempeh.


Vegan is another story. I am just talking about not eating meat with every meal. You know, the Nebraska way. I have no beef with farm-raised anything, pun intended.

Mike Beacom

I certainly agree, one doesn’t need meat with every meal. I almost never have meat at breakfast anymore. If I have some at lunch, it’s usually a very small amount, maybe a couple of ounces. Dinner however is usually centered around a meat or pasta (with meat) dish.

Hey Gus, did you see the lead story in the World Herald this morning? There are some researchers from Omaha publishing a paper on several large glaciers in the Himalayas and how they are steadily growing. Don’t worry, these guys are part of the consensus. They theorize that the only reason they are expanding is because of global warming. They just haven’t figured out how to explain it yet. I have a tip for them and I’m sure you could imagine what it is. 🙂