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Humans are carnivores – get over it – and get well

Wise Traditions London 2010 – Barry Groves from Wise Traditions London on Vimeo.

An outstanding review. Everything you need to know about what we are meant to eat and why in half an hour.

Barry Groves shows how we adapted to a mainly meat diet – millions of years of ice age when there were few plants that we could have eaten – and the result. A large brain and a small gut.

Since the dawn of agriculture we have been shifting away from the food that we are best suited. Since 1980, and the advent of industrial food. we have made a dramatic shift away from fat and meat. And so have set up the epidemic that confronts us.

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  1. […] Diese Fragen lasse ich Barry Groves, Phd beantworten, der einen sehr interessanten Vortrag bei der Wise Traditions London Konferenz 2010 gehalten hat. (gefunden auf The Missing Human Manual) […]

  2. Humans are not “carnivores”. Humans are “omnivore scavenger”. Allan Savory explains why in his lecture called Keeping Cattle: cause or cure for climate crisis? He also explains why species extinctions have always followed humanity. Very complying stuff.

    Have you had a chance to look at Dr Jack Kruse’s website?

  3. […] var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":false};Blog readers will love this video:  Humans are Carnivores-get over it Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments » Leave a […]

  4. […] the information out there if you still believe that fats are unhealthy. Also we are carnivores. Humans are carnivores – get over it – and get well | The Missing Human Manual + Listen to the podcast by dr greg ellis, also a […]

    • monster221 says:

      I tried the whole vegetarian thing once. my friend insisted we were herbivores. i read all this stuff. it made sense.

      so im hanging out with my friend and he asks “hows the vegetarian gig going” i said “good man miss the taste but its cool”. he asks me “are you taking a vitamin b12 supplement?” i said “no” and he says “you need to man, you are really going to dammage your body that way”.

      he goes on to say that your body needs it and it cannot be found in plants enough to keep you healthy. only meat.

      what kind of “humans natural diet” requires you to take pills? the vegetarian thing is hogwash.

      so i did some research. apparently from what is being learned, humans evolved early on in coastal areas rather than grasslands. we lived off of fruits (high calories) and fish (protein, vitamins). we do naturally eat meat, but that meat is fish. not cows.

      as we moved inland we needed to find a replacement for the fish and so started eating herbivorous animals. does the job but can cause digestive problems.

      i personally enjoy a steak from time to time. roast beef sandwiches. bacon. mmmmmm. but i dont overdo it. i got friends that get burgers “meat and cheese only”. to me thats disgusting.

      i try to constrain my meat intake with lots more vegetables than meat. and i eat a ton of fish. i really only eat meat at all because i work out and am building some muscle. its good but i could live without it. i cant go without fish though.

      people that eat meat, its cool. do it. people that dont, you have that luxury thanks to pills. do it.

      but dont run around acting like our history doesnt matter today. our history made us. and just so happens that while we are largely herbivorous, there are certain nutrients that we have to have meat for. or you can take your pills.

  5. Jason says:

    I have read many article written by ignorant, uninformed, propagandists about this issue of humans carnivorous lifestyles being outside what nature intended for us. One of the biggest misconceptions that they try to lead people astray with is “the digestive tracks of herbivores is 10 to 12 times the length of their bodies, and 3 to 6 times for carnivores. Humans digestive track is 10 to 12 times the length of the average human body. FACT! We are herbivores!” Ok people, simple math review for everyone. From mouth to anus, the human digestive track is 30 feet. the average human is 5.5 feet tall. 30/5.5=5.45….. Right in the pocket of carnivore…. Hmmmm. That is just simple math. But if you want more “facts” of humans and their place in the food chain, here it is. when prey, I mean herbivores, are born, they are born to walking and able to run for their lives. Carnivores, when born, are in need of care and protection by their fierce parents and community. Last I checked, Human babies were born pretty helpless. I never have seen a baby off and running right out of the womb. I am not on either side, but please don’t be mislead by writers of misleading and down-right wrong information!!!

    • may says:

      Humans are most definitely not carnivores. Humans cannot live solely on meat.

      Regardless of what we’re “designed” to be, many people are vegans/vegetarians on moral principals. At this point, I don’t believe humans are “supposed” to do anything. We have adapted to do many things we could not have done before (e.g. digest lactase after infancy) so our nutrition history is mostly irrelevant.

      One could make the case that we should reject factory farmed foods and completely hunt for our food, since that’s what ancient humans did.

      • homocarnivorus says:

        Humans can comfortably live on nothing but meat. Where did you get the idea that we can’t?

        • VOfReason says:

          Nital J is a beast for her comment

        • VOfReason says:

          Humans cannot live comfortably on only meat. that is the most ignorant/ uninformed/ ridiculous thing i have ever heard in my life.

          • robpatrob says:

            Not what was said

          • Daniel says:

            Nothing can live on just meat. Carnivores such as cats and such sometimes eat grass (small amounts) Humans original diet consist of 90% meat. We may not have claws or large teth, but we are born runners and the best in the animal kingdom. Original humans were from Africa where plants were not abundant. We would use our in born ability of running to run down our prey to exhaustion and eat it there. Humans are more likely to get food poisoning from raw plants than meat. All canivores no matter what have plants in their diets. Like I said even cats eat grass.

  6. Nital J. says:

    We’re not carnivores, we’re not omnivores, we are herbivores. The basic compelling case of anatomy aside, just take a look at every single major focus / group study ever done comparing populations eating animal-based foods vs. purely plant-based.

    Moreover, blows my mind that most people today think factory-farmed meat is the same thing as ‘normal’ meat. It’s not. And to those blind/indifferent to that fact, it is that apathy that is helping keep your blinders on.

    It’s no coincidence that, beyond taste, the food that is best for you is also what is best for the environment and our fellow animals.

    If you want to fundamentally question if we’re truly omnivorous/carnivorous (designed to eat meat), follow Gary Y’s advice and try some challenges with someone still in touch with natural human instincts – children. For example, put an apple and a bunny rabbit with a young kid. If the kid eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, it’s a carnivore.

    Doing things like eating factory farmed meat in moderation will never truly hurt you, but to pretend that we’re designed to do so or, worse, that it’s optimal for us to do so, is sheer ignorance. Wait a few more years til you see the explosion among athletes following purely plant-based diets. They narrow gaps and outperform their peers more quickly when they eat the way we were truly meant to: as herbivores.

    There’s no fault or right/wrong in any of this, some people were raised to believe we are carnivorous the same that some of us were raised from the opposite perspective.

    To believe either out of sheer behaviour and comfort is doing one’s brain a disservice.

    To all the skeptics: start looking at net-gain nutrition, read up more on medical science (startlingly clear and severe links between animal based diets and massive disease) and, finally, watch Gary Yourofsky’s youtube sometime. Informed arguments are better.

    • GC says:

      “Wait a few more years til you see the explosion among athletes following purely plant-based diets. They narrow gaps and outperform their peers more quickly when they eat the way we were truly meant to: as herbivores.”

      They supplement. All of them. Without exception. There is no such thing as a fully vegan athlete, and definitely none that will perform at the same level for more than a year or so without falling off that diet wagon. If you believe that they’ve operated in any other way, you’ve believed lies.

      How you were raised to believe is irrelevant. Belief has nothing to do with reality.

      I also challenge you to find a contributor to this site with fewer letters after his or her name than that Gary guy you refer to:

      Dr Charles Czeisler
      Dr Christopher Alexander
      Dr David Dinges
      Dr Doug Willms
      Dr J Fraser Mustard
      Dr Jonathan Shay
      Dr Mary Gordon
      Dr Megan Gunnar
      Dr Michael Rose
      Dr Norman Doidge
      Dr Richard Wrangham
      Dr Robert Lustig
      Dr Robert Putnam
      Dr Robert Sapolsky
      Dr Sarah B Hrdy
      Dr Staffan Lindeberg
      Dr’s Andrew Clarke and David Brown
      Gary Taubes
      Lierre Keith
      Michael Rose’s 55 Theses
      Prof Geert Hofstede
      Prof Robin Dunbar
      Sir Michael Marmot
      The Early Years for Children – Summary of Key Research
      Vitamin D Council

      The above list is pasted from the list to the right of this page.

      • robpatrob says:

        And your point abut Gary Taubes? Whose work has been to investigate the literature? If it is “No credential” it might worth recalling that that was the critique of Pasteur who was only a chemist and not a doctore

      • Nital J. says:


        There are absolutely many vegan athletes. (See http://www.greatveganathletes.com/ sometime, for example). And every single one who does it right has seen an improvement in their performance. To just blurt out that ‘they all supplement’ is so ignorant it almost led me to just ignore the comment.

        It’s nice that you’re so certain without actually a) being accurate and b) relying on a list of random names instead of making your own basic argument – very persuasive.

        If you’re so convinced that there are no vegan athletes, go talk to Brendan Brazier and every olympic / high-performance athlete he’s helped coach in the past seven years.


        • Rob Paterson says:

          I am not claiming that there are no vegan athletes – My site here is about the broader issues of health

          • Nital J. says:

            That’s why that was a response to GC’s comments, robpatrob. I’ll address your comments soon and in a more diplomatic way, since you took a polite approach yourself. nj

    • robpatrob says:

      You say that we are herbivores. Our anatomy shows that we are not. If you look at a gorilla who is, their stomach is quite different from ours. It is many times larger and has a major part designed to ferment plants. Our vestige of this is the appendix. Humans lost this and gained a brain. The only way that this could happen is for us to have eaten food that was more dense in nutrition – meat. And the only way we could do this without looking like a wolf was to use fire to cook it.

      Please have a look at this link on how this happened.

      I do agree about “Factory” meat. Again cows are not designed to eat grain either. By so doing they become ill and their fat becomes high in Omega 6’s rather than 3’s. And of course there are all the ethical issues too.

      But I am seeing a return to pastured meat and with that a natural approach.

    • robert says:

      Your retarded, so why is it most vegans need pills as vitamins and mineral supplements cause they don’t get the nutrients they need from meat. JACKASS

    • john says:

      nital your a nitwit plain and simple

      how you have deluded yourself that our ancestors somehow were living a herbivore diet, i have no idea. go log on any ibs forum and read from some of the members there of what a high fiber diet lacking in fats and proteins can do to a colon, dolt. that is why sibo is skyrocketing in modern societies

    • Emma Johnson says:

      Needed this to lighten the mood at the end of the day. Give a kid an apple and a bunny and see which it eats. Even lion, tiger, and bear cubs are taught to hunt and kill by their mothers. Kittens will play with mice if not taught to kill them. This was cute thanks

  7. Monika says:

    Truly mind-blowing..thank you so much for posting. What I find incredible is that everything you speak of is something my body has instinctively known all it’s life, as opposed to the idiotic new fads perpetuated by the western world today. Luckily I have followed my body’s instincts but never had the arguments to counter contemporary dietary theory with – now I do. A million thanks!

  8. ike says:

    Maybe you veggies need to eat meat so your brains can develope. Without protien babies brains do not develope.

  9. Patrick Meadows says:

    People, can and have lived solely on meat. Eskimos go months with nothing but whale blubber and fish. Our bidies will produce vitamin c in a ketogenic state. People can not and will not ever be able to sustain a vegetarian diet solely. Without supplementation you become sick. Also without cholesterol coming from food sources your body will over produce, which is why vegetarianism leads to heart disease in a lot of cases, whereas a carnivorous diet has lead to healthier hearts, leaner physics and stronger metabolism. The ideas expressed here about the benefits of vegetarianism is both against nutritional science and real world results. Good have us animals for meat, He even brought fish into the boat. Some animal rights groups would kill humans to give a day off freedom to a furry friend, but take humans out of the picture watch what animals do when not being fed. Stop the vegetarian madness.so natural you need supplements….give me a break.

  10. Omnivore says:

    let me sum it up. Search “man eats meat for five years. Look up “how long is my digestive track” you’ll find that your digestive track is 30 ft… Do the math a normal man is 5-6.5 ft (some times even 7 ft) 30/6 = 5 so just looking at that it says where carnivores. If we are not equipped to eat meat then what are these two sharp teeth in my mouth and how come all my “flat grinders” are bumpy and even sharp in some places. How did we survive the ice-age eating berries or did we eat meat? If you look at the cave drawings you’ll see they where hunting. Face it where not herbivores, or carnivores where omnivores! And where not scavengers there is evidence that we were using spears long ago, even before the ice-age. I’m sure that if you had to choose between letting your family starve or killing a deer (to feed your family) you would probably choose killing the deer.

  11. Omnivore says:

    (Reply to monster221) Not all of us lived on costal beaches. I’ve done some research and look what is brought up. These people have been eating meat for a long I mean a loooong time.

    “The Inuit of the Canadian Arctic thrived on fish, seal, walrus and whale meat.
    The Chukotka of the Russian Arctic lived on caribou meat, marine animals and fish.
    The Masai, Samburu, and Rendille warriors of East Africa survived on diets consisting primarily of milk and meat.
    The steppe nomads of Mongolia ate mostly meat and dairy products.
    The Sioux of South Dakota enjoyed a diet of buffalo meat.
    The Brazilian Gauchos nourished themselves with beef.”

  12. cpu says:

    An eclectivore diet seems best, meaning, eating a varieti-vore of high nutrient foods that you can both afford and enjoy. Blood work/labs can show some of what is lacking and what needs to be limited or withdrawn from ones diet.

  13. cody f says:

    let me set this straight…. Different humans are programmed to eat different diets.
    This is determined by blood type.

    O blood type, which is the hunter gatherer blood type, perform best eating nuts, red meat, and plants that grow in the ground. This is because they have a higher stomach acid content. Their bodies break their food down into ketones rather than insulin. Eating this diet will make them superior athletes over humans of other types. Eating wheat (Gluten) will make them fat by slowing down metabolism, and eating beans and legumes will slow down muscle function(by reducing the natural acidity of the muscle tissue.) They also require the most rigorous exercise to be healthy.

    A blood types are the only humans that can live somewhat healthily off of a vegan diet. In, fact this type originated when human began to settle down and farm. They do not digest meat very well, and it will make them sluggish, (and less intelligent).These are the less athletic members of our society, but make up for it in other ways.(do your own research.)

    The B blood type (was spread across Eurasia by the Mongol hordes) functions best on a heavy dairy based diet. Meat and veggies must also be incorporated to an extent.

    Humans are not to be all eating the same diet!! It has always bothered me when hospitals/ nursing homes feed everyone the same foods, as well as the same medicine and treatment(these should vary considerably as well.)

    Take this for what it is. Fact that is not well known to society for political/political correctness reasons.

  14. moon says:

    Wow so many veganazis here… there was a study on 2 men who ate meat for an entire YEAR and they actually became healthier. We can choose not to eat meat but we will be missing out on the animal proteins our body needs

    since we are omnivore.. the worlds oldest people are meat eaters. People in Japan who live past 100 eat alot of fish in their diet and eskimos eat pretty much everything that is meat and look how healthy and glowing their skin looks. As long as the meat eggs and dairy were obtained ethically,
    then I dont give a crap and im happy to be a creature that nature intended !

    Vegan diets are so boring and they make my stomach feel weird and unsatisfied yet i never feel that way when i eat meat. I feel nourished… plus i have seen many vegans have weird leathery skin since they are not eating animal fats collagen and proteins ! Get well indeed ! We are humans not fucking giraffes…

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What is the Missing Human Manual All About?

Do you want to age well? Most of us do. If you are my age, 60, this is more important a question that if you are 30. But most of us would not wish to have heart disease, cancer, dementia when we get old.

Most of us think it is normal that we will get ill like this.

But science today tells us that this is not "Normal". Our evolutionary past designed us to be active and fit until we drop dead. Why? Because raising human children takes so long. Mature adults had to do most of the hard work enable us to invest up to 25 years in our kids.

We are designed by our evolution to reach a plateau of fitness in mid life. So why do most of us not live like this?

We don't because, we have strayed away from the best way of living that fits our evolution best. Our culture has got too far ahead of our biology. We eat foods that make us ill. We have lost our social identity and power and that makes us ill. And we have lost touch with the circadian rhythms of the Natural World, and that has made us ill too.

We have lost our fit with our true nature.

This site will be a Manual. It will show you what the best fit is. It will show you the science behind this. It will share with you some methods for getting your fit back with your true human nature.

So welcome to the "Missing Human Manual" . I hope that we can help you and I hope that you can help others as a result.

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