Just got this email in today from Malena wondering why I don’t include small amounts of animal foods in my diet. I’ll be answering Malena’s questions within the body of her email.
I’m just wondering why you don’t include small amounts of raw animal foods in your diet. For pure ethical reasons I can understand why, but not for health reasons.
ROGER: Thanks for your questions and comments Malena. Of course, I’ve studied the information you’re providing below and have had hundreds of such emails to me over the years. So let me get into my perspective on this issue of whether or not we should eat meat.
But let me say up front, I’m not exactly vegan. I do eat raw and unfiltered honey.
Raw foodists often refer to primates when preaching how you should eat, but no primates are vegans. They eat insects, larvae, eggs and chimpanzees even hunt.
ROGER: Well firstly I’m not basing my dietary decisions on what chimpanzees eat. There are many factors influencing what they eat including a loss of their natural habitat.
But even so on a raw vegan diet we find that there are small animals and bugs that get into the raw vegan food that people eat. Primates are very smart and adaptive like humans, just because they can eat something doesn’t mean that they should.
Though maybe eating bugs and doing very occasional hunting may not be the worst thing for them and it might even be good, I’m not going to analyze what is good for them or not. I’m more concerned with what works for humans.
Actually a closer example to humans would be the pigmy chimps or the bononbos and not chimpanzees.
Some raw foddists say that we don’t have the teeth or a digestive tract suitable for hunt but honestly, it is much easier to collect, crack, eat and digest e.g. roe, birds eggs, mussles, oysters etc than it is to collect, crack, eat and digest a nut.
ROGER: Well Malena, if that turns you on and you like the feel of these things in your mouth, then go for it. As for me, for the foreseeable future I don’t plan on eating these kinds of foods.
When I used to eat meat I got these yellow perspiration stains under my arms. And I smelled pretty darn bad.
As soon as I went “cooked” vegetarian those stains under my arms disappeared and I didn’t smell nearly as bad.
There’s way more to this issue than you are bringing up.
I’ve studied carnivores and omnivores and what I found is that they both had much shorter intestinal tracks than humans. They both had 10 to 100 times stronger stomach acid than we do and they both have the enzyme uricase to break down the urine from the animals that they’re eating. Humans do not have the uricase enzyme.
A tiger can bite off your foot and swallow it whole without chewing because it’s stomach acid is so strong. And then it will excrete or poop out what it ate about 4 hours later.
Now compare this with human digestion. Have you ever eaten a corn on the cob and didn’t chew it only to notice that you saw some pieces of whole corn in your stool?
If you can’t break down a small piece of “already cooked” corn then what makes you think you can break down meat and bones likes carnivores and true omnivores can do?
And since it takes the average human at least 24 to 72 hours to pass their meals through their digestive track, that meat you just ate is going to be putrefying in your system and poisoning you because it’s rotting inside your body at body temperatures for up to 3-days or longer.
Yikes, that’s going to stink to high heaven.
Raw animal food actually contains enzymes whereas nuts, unless you soak them, contain enzyme inhibitors.
ROGER: I never argue the importance of the enzymes in foods anymore. I learned long ago, that if these enzymes were so important to digestion then the food would have digested itself because of the enzyme content.
Enzymes are not an important aspect of why we should be eating raw. All of the enzymes to digest raw foods are created in the body to do the specific task of digestion.
The whole enzymes argument is a big myth in the raw food movement.
As for enzyme inhibitors it’s not a big issue with most nuts and seeds. And as you know I don’t recommend eating a high quantity of nuts and seeds anyways. The biggest problem maybe being from unblanched raw almonds. But I barely eat those or recommend them anyway.
And they taste delicious, that’s why they are seen as delicacies in so many cultures.
ROGER: OK, enjoy eating animals and slugs and the like. It’s just not for me, for the reasons I’ve mentioned so far.
Per calorie, seafood is also much more mineral rich. Instead of eating vitamin b12 supplements, you only have to add a couple of raw oysters or a tbs of roe and your b12 intake will hit the roof.
ROGER: Seaweeds are also incredibly rich in minerals and trace minerals and I do eat them. As for B12 I do recommend that people consider taking a sub-lingual B12 supplement to play it safe.
These are also foods that indegenous people all around the world specially ransoned for children, pregnant and breast feeding mothers and for to-be parents. I don’t think these people were stupid. They based these programs, as they can be rightly called, on thousands of years of experience.
ROGER: There’s good, better and best in any category of things in life. For the most part the raw food diet simply wasn’t practical until recently for most people with the advent of produce being delivered to supermarkets from all over the world.
What people don’t realize or think about is eating the animals is getting your nutrients second hand. Because most of these animals you recommend eating got their nutrients from plant sources.
So why not go direct?
When you do proper research on nutrients you’ll realize you can find virtually everything you need from raw plant sources. And where we living more primitively in a less antiseptic environment I don’t even think B12 would be an issue as it’s produced by bacteria and not animals anyway.
Another food used in the same way for milennia is actually raw liver, you only need miniscule amounts to fix your b12 and vit a intake (betakarotene is not enough for growing kids and for binding minerals to your bones and tissues you need the real vitamin, which Weston A Price showed so many years ago when travelling around the world researching bone and teeth health among indegenous people, as he coudn’t find truly healthy individuals in the civilized world).
ROGER: I read his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. He made some astounding discoveries. But keep in mind he was a dentist, not trained in nutrition and at that time the science of nutrition was just barely being developed.
Also he didn’t give the full picture. He claimed Eskimos were doing so well on their meat diet. Yet these native Eskimos actually had a 39 year life expectancy and super high rates of osteoporosis even though they had a ton of calcium in their diets.
And he never thought of the fact, that you can get the same nutrients (without the excess toxins from meat sources) from plant sources.
But again, if you want to include a little raw meat or bugs in your diet then feel free. Just pay attention to your results and make sure it’s not something that’s actually holding you back.
At the moment I’m having struggles with going over to a raw food diet, the modern life is extremely addict forming, so this is certainly no complaint, I think your advice is very wise as I and probably so many more don’t fare well with all the acidic fermented foods, the sprouts, beans and nut based raw food diets out there. I’m considering jumping on your e-course as I do feel I need motivation right now :-). It’s just that I think this vegan only -approach is so strange, I don’t get it.
Best regards, Malena
OK, Malena, now you know why I use this “so strange” approach of not eating animals.
I believe cooked food addiction is easiest beat by having super delicious, quick and healthy raw foods to eat. I solved that problem for the raw food world last year with my introduction of “Savory Veggie Stews.”
Learn more about them here: http://SavoryVeggieStews.com
As for the ethical reasons to be Vegan or Vegetarian. I initially did this for health reasons and not for ethical reasons. What I’ve discovered is that even plants have feelings and definitely experience pain. Even picked fruits. So there’s no way around creating some pain if we still wish to survive.
The only non pain causing option is to become a breatharian. But I haven’t quite figured that one out yet.
Take a look at the video “The Secret Life of Plants” which you can find on Google Video. You’ll learn about fascinating studies that were done about plants. They actually have psychic abilities and can definitely feel pain.
Hope you found this email interesting and educational. I do provide raw food coaching and support at a dirt cheap price at http://HowToGoRaw.com.
For less than the price of a banana per day you can get unlimited free consultations with me via our member’s only forum and community.
Why don’t you take advantage of it?
The Eternal Youth