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Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables!

Caution: contains SCIENCE!

How many times have we all heard this bunk myth repeated?


“Humans can’t actually digest meat: it rots in the colon.” 

And its variant: “Meat takes 4-7 days to digest, because it has to rot in your stomach first.”
(Some variations on this myth claim it takes up to two months!)


Like most vegetarian propaganda, it’s not just false, it’s an inversion of truth. As the proverb says, “When you point your finger, your other three fingers point back at you.” Let’s take a short trip through the digestive system to see why!

A Trip Through The Human Digestive System (abridged)

Briefly, the function of digestion is to break food down as far as possible—hopefully into individual fats, amino acids (the building blocks of protein), and sugars (the building blocks of carbohydrates) which can be absorbed through the intestinal wall and used by our bodies.

Human Digestive System

Click to zoom in.

Here we go!

We crush food in the mouth, where amylase (an enzyme) breaks down some of the starches. In the stomach, pepsin (another enzyme) breaks down proteins, and strong hydrochloric acid (pH 1.5-3, average of 2…this is why it stings when you vomit) further dissolves everything. The resulting acidic slurry is called ‘chyme’—and right away we can see that the “meat rots in your stomach” theory is baloney. Nothing ‘rots’ in a vat of pH 2 hydrochloric acid and pepsin.

On average, a ‘mixed meal’ (including meat) takes 4-5 hours to completely leave the stomach—so we’ve busted yet another part of the myth. (Keep in mind that we have not absorbed any nutrients yet: we’re still breaking everything down.)

Gastrointestinal transit times: click for more information

Click the picture for more fascinating information on gastrointestinal transit times!

Eventually our pyloric valve opens, and our stomach releases the chyme, bit by bit, into our small intestine—where a collection of salts and enzymes goes to work. Bile emulsifies fats and helps neutralize stomach acid; lipase breaks down fats; trypsin and chymotrypsin break down proteins; and enzymes like amylase, maltase, sucrase, and (in the lactose-tolerant) lactase break down starches and some sugars. Meanwhile, the surface of the small intestine absorbs anything that our enzymes have broken down into sufficiently small components—usually individual amino acids, simple sugars, and free fatty acids.

Finally our ileocecal valve opens, and our small intestine releases what’s left into our large intestine—which is a giant bacterial colony, containing literally trillions of bacteria! And the reason we have a bacterial colony in our colon is because our own enzymes can’t break down everything we eat. So our gut bacteria go to work and digest some of the remainder, sometimes producing waste products that we can absorb. (And, often, a substantial quantity of farts.) The remaining indigestible plant matter (“fiber”), dead gut bacteria, and other waste emerge as feces.

It turns out that pepsin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, and our other proteases do a fine job of breaking down meat protein, and bile salts and lipase do a fine job of breaking down animal fat. In other words, meat is digested by enzymes produced by our own bodies. The primary reason we need our gut bacteria is to digest the sugars, starches, and fiber—found in grains, beans, and vegetables—that our digestive enzymes can’t break down.

Now what is that called, again, when food is being ‘digested’ by bacteria…?

rot \ˈrät\ (verb) — to undergo decomposition from the action of bacteria or fungi

In other words, meat doesn’t rot in your colon. GRAINS, BEANS, and VEGETABLES rot in your colon. And that is a fact.

…And That’s Why Beans Make You Fart


It’s easy to tell when your gut bacteria are doing the work, instead of your digestive enzymes: you fart. That is why beans and starches make you fart, but meat doesn’t: they’re rotting in your colon, and the products of bacterial decomposition include methane and carbon dioxide gases. Here’s a list of flatulence-causing foods, and here’s another:

A partial inventory: “Beans, lentils, dairy products, onions, garlic, scallions, leeks, turnips, rutabagas, radishes, sweet potatoes, potatoes, cashews, Jerusalem artichokes, oats, wheat, and yeast in breads. Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables…”

One side benefit of a paleo diet is the elimination of the biggest, stinkiest fart producer—beans (due to the indigestible sugar raffinose)—and several smaller ones (wheat, oats, all grain products). And it sure seems like my gut bacteria have less to do now that my amylase and sucrase supplies aren’t being overwhelmed by an avalanche of starch and sugar.

But wait! There’s another punchline! Whenever we eat grains, beans, and vegetables, we’re not digesting and absorbing much of the plant matter…we’re actually absorbing bacterial waste products. Rephrased less diplomatically:

You’re not eating plants: you’re eating BACTERIA POOP.

Supporting Evidence: Where Things Rot

I know I really should have ended this article at the punchlines, but I’ve got more to say. Digestion is fascinating! (And before we go any farther, I am not arguing that we should never eat vegetables: I’m just busting a silly myth.)

First, I’ll footnote the essay above with these references.

J Appl Bacteriol. 1988 Jan;64(1):37-46. Contribution of the microflora to proteolysis in the human large intestine. Macfarlane GT, Allison C, Gibson SA, Cummings JH.

“In the stomach and the proximal small bowel, the microorganisms found as normal flora are a reflection of the oral flora. Bacterial concentrations in this region are 10(2)-10(5) cfu/ml intestinal content. In the colon, bacterial concentrations of 10(11)-10(12) cfu/g faeces are found.”

In other words, there are roughly 10 million times as many bacteria in the colon as in the small intestine. So bacterial digestion (‘rotting’) is not significant anywhere in our digestive tract but the colon.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1989 Mar;55(3):679-83. Significance of microflora in proteolysis in the colon.Gibson SA, McFarlan C, Hay S, MacFarlane GT.

“Proteolytic activity was significantly greater than (P less than 0.001) in small intestinal effluent than in feces (319 +/- 45 and 11 +/- 6 mg of azocasein hydrolyzed per h per g, respectively).”

That’s a mere 3.4% of proteolytic activity occurring in the feces vs. the small intestine…and that doesn’t count what already occurred in the stomach. If meat were being digested in the colon, we would expect a far greater amount of proteolysis to occur there. And that 3.4% is likely due to dead intestinal bacteria (which make up a significant fraction of feces), not undigested meat.

Then, I’ll add this firsthand experience from an intestinal transplant survivor who spent months with a jejunostomy, watching the contents of his stomach drain directly into a bag.

“Can Humans Digest Meat?”

“Because I had such an extremely short bowel, my output was very high because no absorption had taken place. I was fed and hydrated by infusion and could literally live without eating or drinking at all. Because of my excessive output, we had to make a rig that had a hose extending from the ostomy bag that drained into a one gallon jug. Often the hose would get clogged and my wife or sister would have to use a coat hanger wire to unplug it. Now if vegan pseudoscience is right, we would suspect that the hose was being plugged by pieces of meat.

Never once did we see any solid chunks of meat. I became so curious about this that I once swallowed the largest chunk of meat I could possibly get down without choking. Because of the shortness of my bowel, it only took about twenty minutes for my stomach to empty into the ostomy. Better than two hours later, there were no signs of any meat chunks. What was always clogging the ostomy tube were pieces of vegetables that were not fully chewed.

Entire pieces of olive, lettuce, broccoli florets, grains and seeds were found. Yet, large pieces of fat were never witnessed. As a matter of fact, all the fat from the meat was already emulsified by the bile into solution. Over time, fat would coagulate on the side walls of the ostomy bag, but never were there any solid pieces observed.”

(Click for full article: Can Humans Digest Meat?)


Most Vegetation Doesn’t Even Rot In The Colon, Because Humans Aren’t Herbivores

Most of the edible part of a plant is cellulose, a polysaccharide (i.e. a very long chain of sugars) that is very difficult to break down. In fact, no digestive enzyme, in any animal, is capable of breaking down cellulose! So the only way that any animal can fully digest plants is for its gut bacteria to break down cellulose, and its intestines absorb the waste products.

Ruminant anatomy and physiology: click for details

Ruminant digestive system, courtesy of the University of Minnesota. Click for article.

Ruminants, including cattle, bison, deer, antelope, goats, and other red meat, have a special “extra stomach” called the rumen. They chew and swallow grass and leaves into the rumen, ferment it some, barf it back up again, chew it some more (called “chewing the cud”), and swallow it again, where it is digested a second time. Hindgut fermenters, like horses, have an extra-long gut. And rabbits run their food through twice: they eat their own poop in order to get more food value out of the plant matter they eat.

(For a more in-depth explanation of herbivore digestion, with lots of pictures, click here for an informative presentation (pdf) from the University of Alberta’s Department of Agriculture.)

Humans, in contrast, don’t have gut bacteria that can digest cellulose. That is why we can’t eat grass at all, why there is so little caloric value for us in vegetables, and why we call cellulose “insoluble fiber”: it comes straight out the back end.

This fact alone proves that humans, while omnivores, are primarily carnivorous: we have a limited ability to digest some plant matter (starches and disaccharides) in order to get through bad times, but we cannot extract meaningful amounts of energy from the cellulose that forms the majority of edible plant matter, as true herbivores can. We can only eat fruits, nuts, tubers, and seeds (which we call ‘grains’ and ‘beans’)—and seeds are only edible to us after laborious grinding, soaking, and cooking, because unlike the birds and rodents adapted to eat them, they’re poisonous to humans in their natural state.

You can demonstrate the purpose and limits of human digestion with a simple experiment: eat a steak with some whole corn kernels, and see what comes out the other end.

It won’t be the steak.

Live in freedom, live in beauty.

And please post this link anywhere you see the bunk myth “Humans can’t digest meat, it rots in the stomach/colon” being propagated.


(Did you enjoy this post? Can it be improved? Are you angry with me? Leave a comment, and use the icons below to share it with your friends!)

You might also enjoy “How ‘Heart-Healthy Whole Grains’ Make Us Fat”, “Why Humans Crave Fat”, the classic “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey: Paleo In Six Easy Steps”…and for yet more diet myths busted and truths discovered, try the index.

Does meat make you happy? Then you will most likely enjoy my “Funny, provocative, entertaining, fun, insightful” novel The Gnoll Credo. Read the glowing reviews, read the first 20 pages, and buy it for just $10.95. (Outside the USA? Click here.)


Permalink: Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables!
  • If you eliminate all the legumes, starches and grains from your partial inventory, you’ve just about summed up what I eat in my diet along with grass fed meat especially offal, seafood and saturated fats from pastured sources.
    I believe that there are nutritional benefits from the paired down list, so I’ll continue to eat them, and fart with a fragrance of garlic, ginger, chillies and cruciferous vegetables!

  • great post. this is a gem of a site and is fast becoming one of my favorites. thank you for the effort and keep it up.

  • Bodhi

    Holy crap that was a great post. I don’t think I’ve ever read an explanation of the digestive system that was that clear. I’ll be linking to this post often.

  • […] myths I hear all the time, about meat “rotting in your gut?” Over at Gnolls.ORG, they debunk that myth. Great reading! Seems that humans only have 1 stomach, not 4. Go […]

  • Otherworld

    I have read and heard this many times, usually delivered in a slightly superior-sounding tone of voice: “Do you actually know how long meat stays in your colon?”

    So now I do, thank you very much:)

    Now, just to round out my understanding: does any part of meat actually get to the colon? Is it completely digestible? Is fat completely digestible? Do they reach the colon as some sort of primordial stew?

    I enjoy the posts; keep it up! Do you want suggestions for topics?

  • Eric

    I have been eating vegan for three years now and have never felt better. Really. Instead of having diarreah several times a year I’ve had it twice. Both times after eating in a restaurant where cross-contamination was most likely the culprit. I don’t get heartburn anymore. And I have been constipated only one time. I have no general issue with your article on the grounds of digestion. It seems well thought out and well written. I enjoyed reading it.

    “This fact alone proves that humans, while omnivores, are primarily carnivorous: we have a limited ability to digest some plant matter (starches and disaccharides) in order to get through bad times, but we cannot extract meaningful amounts of energy from the cellulose that forms the majority of edible plant matter, as true herbivores can. We can only eat fruits, nuts, tubers, and seeds (which we call ‘grains’ and ‘beans’)—and seeds are only edible to us after laborious grinding, soaking, and cooking, because unlike the birds and rodents adapted to eat them, they’re poisonous to humans in their natural state.”

    I don’t agree with this. Sure beans and greens require some preparation. I’m pretty sure the last time I ate meat it was not in it’s natural state either.

  • Tweets that mention

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kenneth Younger III, Phil James. Phil James said: RT @kenny: Hey vegans/vegetarians: "Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables!" – http://sfoc.us/6r […]

  • Bill:

    Of course there are benefits from many of the things on the fart list: vegetables provide color and flavor to meat and eggs, and I eat them daily.  (In fact, I eat far more vegetables now than I did previous to “going paleo”.)  I'm just enjoying tweaking a few noses.


    Much appreciated!  I think there is demand out there for articles that are understandable outside the immediate paleo community, and that we can use to educate people who aren't already 'paleo'.  Please feel free to forward them around, as that's why I write them!


    Thank you!  Often the best way to debunk myths isn't head-on: it's by explaining how things really work.  Then the myths just seem silly.  Too much dietary advice is 'rules of thumb' that don't lead to any understanding.


    Meat and fat are completely digestible in the small intestine under normal circumstances AFAIK: pure carnivores have a very simple, short colon with relatively few bacteria, and its main function is to squeeze the water out of the feces.

    If fat weren't digested, you'd see it floating in the toilet after you shat.  This only happens if you take alli (which decreases intestinal fat absorption) or eat Olestra (which is not digestible).  And collagen is well-digested: gelatin is just hydrolyzed collagen.

    My understanding is that some connective tissues may be incompletely digested, but I'd have to talk to a specialist to find out exactly which.  Animal protein doesn't tend to survive the pepsin/acid bath of the stomach: it's the prolamins in grains like wheat and corn that are difficult for our proteolytic enzymes to break down.


    Unlike many in the 'paleo community' (whatever that is), I don't bear a grudge against vegans. I appreciate that a carefully constructed vegan diet is superior to the usual American diet of processed crap, and don't doubt that you feel better on it. 

    In the long term, though, I don't believe that a diet which absolutely requires supplementation with B12 and long-chain n-3 fats (both present in animal flesh) to avoid pernicious anemia and depression is either natural or advisable.  And the fact remains that eating six or seven raw red beans will most likely put you in the hospital, whereas raw meat from all animals is absolutely edible in any quantity.  

    Raw grains and raw beans are at best non-nutritious, and at worst poisonous.  There's a reason raw vegans don't eat them.  (Look up lectins, trypsin inhibitors, and wheat germ agglutinin, for starters.)  In contrast, meat is cooked because we're worried about contamination and it makes it easier to chew — not because it's necessary to remove poisons or for digestion.

    Once again, I don't begrudge you your choice, and I'm sure it's an improvement over the SAD (Standard American Diet).  But I suspect you might find a grain and bean-free, high-animal-fat diet to be even better.  I know I certainly do: once I finally embraced saturated fat without reservation, my mood, energy level, and body composition improved dramatically.  Besides, it's delicious!


    Thanks to all of you for contributing!



  • Martin T

    One of the greatest articles in the paleo genre, congrats. A truly exhilarating read.

  • Jules

    Found this post via Free The Animal; great stuff! Thanks for breaking it down.

  • Erik

    An interesting note about all that “bacteria poop” that we absorb a bit of in our colons and which ruminants like cows derive most of their nutrition from: a lot of it is lipids and amino acids. That’s one thing a lot of people miss, often in arguments like “cows don’t need to eat protein to get big and strong;” cows ARE eating protein to get big and strong. They eat grass to feed to the bacteria that produce the proteins (and lipids) that the cows require.

    That said, while bacteria poop is theoretically great and all, I’d rather get my fat and protein from some nice tender fatty meat.

  • Elenor

    BRAVO! Wonderfully done! Now, if I can just get my oh-so-committed (and oh-so-ill!) vegetarian foster daughter to actually READ it!

  • My Paleo Life

    Great read. JS, you really have a way with simplifying it right down to understandable pieces. Thanks a lot for this article.

  • David Csonka

    He blinded me, with science!

  • gallier2

    You forgot to mention an important fact that will make the cw crowd even more go ballistic. The colon bacteria produce from the rotting plant matter “arterycloggingsaturatedfat”! Butyric acid is a short chain saturated fat (which of course is not artery clogging, that was a joke) and while our gut does not produce a lot of it, it can nonetheless reach several hundreds kcal per day (showing once more that calorie counting is bullshit as the calories provided by fiber is never accounted for). Herbivorous animals derive 70% to 80% per cent of their calories from these short chain fatty acids. ONe can thus say that even cows, horses and gorillas are low-carbers.

  • Elenor:

    I'm sorry to hear that.  I'm convinced that vegetarianism, and especially veganism, are usually products of low self-esteem — which is why teenage girls and young women are so vulnerable to the propaganda.  Basically being vegetarian or vegan says “My life is less important than a cow's or chicken's.”  They're religions, not logical choices.

    The irony, of course, is that agriculture kills far more animals than pastoralism: what do they think happens to the wild animals when a forest is cut down and a field plowed in its place?  The animals all die, because what was feeding them is now feeding us.  (“The Vegetarian Myth” covers this in detail.)  Vegetarianism doesn't save the animals: it simply moves their deaths to where we don't see them.  Endangered species aren't passively “in decline”…they're killed by us when we take their land and plant crops on it.

    And at the end of the day, the problem isn't that I eat meat: the problem is that the average Ethiopian woman has nine children.  Trying to eat less meat is a useless rear-guard action in the face of third-world population growth.

    Anyway: I recommend making sure she takes EPA/DHA supplements (algae sourced, of course: sigh), B12 supplements if she isn't already…and, of course, feeding her plenty of butter, eggs, and full-fat dairy (you said she was vegetarian, not vegan).  Once you address the fundamental biochemical issues underlying depression and low self-esteem, you can start working on the other stuff.



  • Martin, Jules, MPL, David:

    Thank you!  My aim here at gnolls.org is to educate people who aren't already paleo, as well as to entertain those of us who already are.  I love Free The Animal, but what with all the cussing, it's not something you can generally forward around to your relatives when you're trying to explain why you won't eat their delicious home-baked muffins.

    Eric, gallier:

    You're both absolutely correct: SCFAs (including butyrate — found in, unsurprisingly, butter) are much of the 'bacteria poop' we're really eating.  It's instructive that once you understand how digestion actually works, you end up at something relatively 'paleo' by default.

    I would have loved to include that subject, but I'm worried that the article is too long already and it would have been a distraction.  Perhaps I'll talk about it in another article.


    Thanks, everyone, for the perceptive comments!  I'm encouraged by the high level of dialogue here, and hope you'll continue to contribute.



  • Fun2too

    JS, great post. Just found you via a tweet by David.

    BTW, I had my gall bladder removed many years ago and have always thought the common bile duct dumped the bile into the stomach rather than the small intestine. I know when I used to have an “attack” after a high fat meal, bile is what was vomited from my stomach, after hours of excruciating pain of course. If I hadn’t believed the “dietary fat will kill you” lie, my bile would not have stagnated from liquid to sludge to stones.

    Heh. The reason I didn’t find you from Richard’s blog is because I got fed up with the in-your-face cussing and don’t read him anymore.

  • fun2too:

    The bile duct empties into the duodenum — the top of the small intestine).  One of bile's functions is to partially neutralize the acids of the stomach so that digestion can continue in the ileum.  (Bile is rich in bicarbonates, which are alkaline.)  When we vomit, the pyloric sphincter relaxes, and the top of the small intestine squeezes its contents back into the stomach…including bile.

    Thanks for contributing!


  • Meg

    Your website is pretty great, it gives a lot of sound advice, but I do worry that people may get the wrong idea and forgo eating as many vegetables as they should. It’s important to note that humans are omnivores (and I would argue against the qualifier that we are primarily carnivores) as evidenced by two facts: we have evolved the molars required to process vegetable matter mechanically, and have also evolved a longer digestive tract than most carnivores precisely to give bacteria time to do their job and make vegetable components more digestible for us. True carnivores can either obtain all of their required nutrients from meat, or may consume the gut contents of their prey. We can’t/don’t do either of these things.

  • Meg:

    I appreciate your concern — but I've found through experience that I eat far more vegetables on a meat-heavy diet than I did when I ate lots of grains.

    An all-meat and egg diet is monotonous to me without some accompaniments.  When I was eating grains, I was perfectly happy to eat a steak and a bunch of pasta dressed in olive oil or alfredo sauce, with no veggies on the plate. But if I've only got the steak to work with, I find I frequently want some veggies to add flavor and texture, or a salad to break things up.

    I agree that humans are obviously not obligate carnivores.  However, the fact remains that vegetables (with the exception of root starches) provide little caloric value to us: there are perhaps 70 available calories in an entire pound of mixed greens.  Our colon (the only part of the digestive tract in which bacterial fermentation, and therefore the digestion of cellulose, occurs) is 17-23% of total human gut volume, whereas it's over 50% for chimpanzees (who are primarily frugivores, not folivores, and who still hunt and eat some quantity of meat).

    And, contrary to your final assertion, humans can absolutely obtain all their required nutrients from meat.  Here's a reprint of Vilhjalmur Stefansson's long article from Harper's Magazine in 1935, in which he and a colleague ate an all-meat diet under strict medical supervision for one entire year.  (Having previously lived on an all-meat diet for years at a time during his explorations with the Inuit, who lived on such a diet for their entire lives.)  

    I don't wish to open the debate as to whether it's optimal for health — but Stefansson lived to age 83 in an age without antibiotics, so it can't have completely destroyed him.


  • Mike

    @JS – Thanks for the information. It is a great, clear presentation of the science. I’ve been a vegan for almost 7 years, but I constantly tell people not to be vegan for health reasons, as that is ridiculous. I have heard the meat rotting story, and even repeated that I had heard it, although I believe I have always disclaimed that I had not looked it up. I will follow up on your references and make sure not to propagate the fallacy… I realize that saying something and saying I have not looked it up does not keep it from spreading 😉

    I do think your ‘low self esteem’ comment is off base and disappointing. I have very high self esteem, as do most of the vegans I know. I don’t consider myself worth less than a cow, but I do consider a cow worth more than a convenient diet for myself. There are ways to live a long and fully healthy life as a vegan, although I do believe there is an off chance it will shorten my life simply due to lack of clear evidence/knowledge on the subject… particularly if I am not careful with my diet. That is a sacrifice I am willing to make for the countless animals that will not suffer and die for my direct consumption though. Supplements are no different than other dietary elements… you just have to be conscious of what you are eating.

    The comments about farming displacing animals are misleading too, although I will read the source material you mentioned. It is true that farming does that, but humans create WAY more farmland to grow feed for the animals we breed and consume for pleasure than we would need if we ate a reasonable amount of meat. In addition, we could raise animals in MUCH better conditions if we didn’t over-consume meat. Not to mention the additional waste created by the feed animals, water consumed and energy used. I can theoretically imagine there is an argument for the possibility that ruminants more efficiently convert plant nutrition and then humans can more efficiently convert their meat, ultimately leading to a more efficient chain of nutrient consumption. HOWEVER, if that is the case, people should be able to eat a relatively minimal amount of meat and very minimal plant matter in order to optimize that chain. I’m guessing people aren’t going to do that, and I’m guessing people would end up over-eating meat even more if they tried, which would result in a return to bad resource usage.

    To the point that humans are primarily carnivores, I believe there are a number of critical dietary components, notably vitamin C, that we only get from plant sources. I’m going to go look that up though. I am guessing you are using the term ‘primarily’ to mean we digest meat better and therefore should focus on it, but if there are distinct dietary needs that dictate we must eat plants, we are by definition omnivores. Perhaps there are no pure carnivores though… that’s what I’m going to look up. If that is the case, then I can see using ‘primarily carnivore’ to describe the degree of meat consumption… otherwise it seems to me that we are either carnivores OR omnivores, and not degrees of one or the other.

    Overall I have no issue with people eating meat or raising animals as food. I have a major issue with the meat industry as it exists and the mass consumption of meat that drives it. That being said, I have made my choice because I think it betters the world in many ways (although I acknowledge it is the tiniest of contributions) and in turn betters me. I am always happy to share my thoughts with others, but I realize that the ‘psychology’ of animals and the ethics involved is probably unknowable and certainly open to subjectivity… meaning I don’t take on the subject in a militant way. I do suspect that most people, confronted with the animals they eat more directly, would KNOW the animals were suffering (mass farms) and would feel horrible for what they are directly funding. I think it is an out-of-sight-out-of-mind problem. I just don’t need to see them to feel that way… over-abundance of empathy I guess.

    Anyway – I have several posts on my blog/website about my vegan views if you are interested. I find that there is a lot of pretension on both sides of the debates. I do not consider myself ‘better’ than anyone though. I simply made changes in my personal life in concordance with how I felt about the world so that I am more at peace with the results of my actions. If people don’t share the underlying views/concerns, they should certainly not be vegan, because it’s a pain in the ass and unhealthy.

  • Mike:

    To skip to your last point: I absolutely agree that factory farming is an execrable practice.  All of the 'paleo' sources I know of stress the importance of grass-fed beef — and though many of them do so for purely health reasons and I can't speak for everyone, I am certainly conscious of the environmental damage caused by CAFOs.  Frankly, they're an artifact of grain subsidies: if we weren't heavily subsidizing agribusiness to overproduce soy and grains, they wouldn't be cheap enough to ship from Iowa to feed cattle in California which are slaughtered and the meat shipped back to Iowa.

    And if we weren't heavily subsidizing corn, soy, and wheat production with no regard to quality or nutrition (subsidies simply guarantee a price per bushel…therefore quantity is the only concern), there would be more diverse, healthy, sustainably raised food crops available for everyone.  Intensive monocropping is an environmental disaster whether the corn gets fed to cattle or to people.  (Or to cars.)  I think both the vegetarian/vegan and the paleo community can agree on that, and I think it's a shame to spend so much energy arguing when agribusiness subsidies are at the root of both our issues.  

    As far as agricultural efficiency: only 18% of the USA is arable, most of it on the Great Plains, and much of it only because of water provided at great expense by environmentally destructive, government-built dams.  Animals can graze just about anywhere that isn't forest.  So eating meat isn't necessarily displacing row crops.  I don't want to turn this into a long debate because I doubt either of us will change the other's mind, but “Meat: A Benign Extravagance” (the book that converted George Monbiot from a vegan back to an omnivore) busts several of the myths around resource consumption.

    At the end of each day, some part of the planet dies so that each of us may live — whether that's a cow being slaughtered for its meat and hide, or whether it's deer, cougars, wolves, foxes, porcupines, badgers, prairie dogs, coyotes, and hundreds of other animals starving to death because their home has been plowed under for row crops.  I confront this, I understand it, and I accept it.  (And it implies many things about our numbers and our future as a species.)

    In closing, I admire your honesty and forthrightness.  Though I disagree with your conclusion, I won't mock it, because it is far more important that we both oppose the subsidization of environmental destruction by industrial agriculture.  

    And if you do decide one day to jump the fence, we'll be here to welcome you home.


  • Erik

    Mike, I’d just like to elaborate a tiny bit on what JS just said: if the cows (or other livestock we raise for consumption) are raised on ranches, consuming grass as they’re meant to, not only is the meat they provide more nutritious, but the ranches where they leave provide habitat for myriad other plant and animal species that can coexist with the roaming of livestock. It’s a total reversal of the environmental devastation that results from the factory farming model, and far less damaging than the prospect of feeding the world via grain-centered agriculture even if factory farming is taken out of the equation.

    The other note: requirement for vitamin C is significantly reduced by the metabolic changes that result from a diet centered around protein and fat, rather than carbohydrates. However, some from plant sources is likely necessary for people in most parts of the world; the often-cited inuit had access to food sources like whale skin, which is extremely rich in vitamin C. The adrenal glands (if I recall correctly) of most animals are also rich in vitamin C, and could in theory fulfill needs for vitamin C, but I suspect most people don’t have ready access to such obscure offal. So zero-carbing is kind of like veganism, in the sense that it can be done healthily (though perhaps not optimally) but to do so requires carefully selected foods from often geographically disparate sources and possibly supplementation. Neither is really representative of what could be considered the “natural” diet of homo sapiens (if there is such a thing).

    Good to see sane comments from the vegan camp! Posters on both extremes can get pretty rabid at times.

  • Dana

    You don’t just have to supplement B12 on a vegan diet. Many of us need to supplement vitamin A as well–the real preformed stuff, not beta carotene. Not all of us can convert beta carotene in large enough amounts to rely on it as our sole source of vitamin A. That’s healthy people, now. How many folks adopt a vegan diet because they’re fat and want to get healthy? Like as not, if you are fat, you are either hypothyroid or somewhere on the metabolic syndrome-type 2 diabetes spectrum as well. Hypothyroids and type 2 diabetics can’t convert beta carotene. I’d even question whether someone with metabolic syndrome could do it. That’s an awful lot of people who need to be eating more liver and/or eggs.

    I could never eat a vegan diet for that reason. I found out the hard way that carrots aren’t enough for me–and I love them and have always eaten them.

  • Mike

    JS and Erik — Thanks for the comments. I’ll try to read ‘Meat: A Benign Extravagance’. I am actually completely open to the possibility of changing my mind on the subject. My beliefs are rooted in reasons and information, and if those change, I have no categorical need to adhere to the previous conclusions. The theoretical issue I see is just the scale of it though. I have a very hard time imagining that we will ever have sustainable ranch-fed beef production that is affordable for the average person with populations at the current levels. I agree that the grain subsidies are the root of many, many problems, and have greatly reduced available farm lands for both better agricultural variety and for livestock grazing, and I appreciate that paleos and vegans can unite in fighting that, but it still seems hard to imagine that a system that supports the population densities of today will ever be able to provide significant portions of meat multiple times a day to everyone without resulting in horrible treatment of animals, dangerous health conditions and massive amounts of waste byproducts. Actually, in thinking about the resource usage issue, I’d say they probably use the most minimal possible resources at the moment for animal production, since that reduces their costs. Unfortunately the more minimal the resource usage, the worse are the conditions for the animals and the resulting health dangers and meat/dairy quality.

    I realize you guys are pushing for better animal husbandry conditions, and I applaud that, but unless you can convince everyone to be a demanding consumer *and* make sure that animals are ranch fed by regulation and enforcement, I would expect converting everyone to a more meat heavy diet would just make the situation worse. A lot of it unfortunately comes down to cost. People, particularly in the US, have become accustomed to really cheap food. Improving the quality of a vegan diet is minimally expensive and enforces local produce markets and agricultural variety. Increasing the quality of a paleo diet is significantly more expensive and requires quite a bit more land usage because you first have to raise the feed for the animals and then raise the animals, and you have to do it all in a sustainable, healthy way. I guess ranch scenarios may help by utilizing large naturally growing grass regions instead of separately growing feed for the livestock, but we’re in a pretty nasty day and age for making that happen. I just don’t see people being willing to spend the extra money and that is the motivator for everything. That being said, I also expect minimal progress to ever be made on the vegan front as a large scale movement because, well, people like bacon 😉

    So ultimately I do what I do because I feel like it has minimal impact, I still enjoy my life and eat healthy (albeit with a decent bit of extra effort), and I feel like it is ultimately a sustainable practice that I want to help contribute to financially and by improving the body of knowledge about how to live vegan. I don’t disagree that there is potential for paleo and other omnivore diets being sustainable in the long term, but I feel like there are a LOT of infrastructure changes that would have to happen to make it affordable to the average person without simultaneously compromising quality, health and animal treatment concerns. We should fight for those infrastructure changes because they benefit everyone, and we should do that by being responsible consumers and verbal advocates. Unfortunately for a lot of vegans, I think the entire concept of killing animals for food is repulsive. I don’t have any major issue with other people killing animals for food, even though I choose not to do it, which is why I seem more sane to you 😉 My concerns are with animal treatment and environmental concerns, and I think the end results of those interests line up almost perfectly with a lot of the paleo community, with the caveat that I see the road to sustainable meat production being a good bit longer than the road to sustainable agriculture production from where we are now. It is still worth working on both though.

    Thanks for the feedback, and I’ll do my best to read some of the literature you’ve referenced. I’m all about myth debunking, so hopefully that book will make me have more optimism about sustainable meat production.

  • Erik

    I certainly agree that the road to putting the human species on a sustainable “paleo” diet would be a long and difficult one that would require major upheavals and societal shifts that I really don’t see as likely to happen. I think the biggest non-coercive action a person can take to support such a shift is simply to make food purchases that support sustainable animal husbandry and exclude products of monocrop agriculture (veggies grow better in the milpa model anyways).

    More realistically (and less optimistically) I think that with agriculture, us human animals artificially increased the carrying capacity of our environment… but as we now see, that increase can’t be sustained on a long-term basis. So at some point that system is going to crash, and then our populations will be reduced whether we like it or not. It’s a pattern we commonly observe in other species/environments, but it’s a bit less pleasant to apply the principles to our own situation, even though we’re still subject to the same rules of population vs. resource balance that any other species is.

    …I feel like I should expand on this in a new blog post. Thanks for breaking my writer’s block, Mike!

  • Erik

    Alright, Mike, I just wrote up some expanded thoughts on the topic and I quoted your above comment; I hope you don’t mind. You can read the post , and if you feel like I took your statements out of context or anything be sure to let me know. I feel like this is a very worthwhile conversation.

  • doug

    One question (for which I have not done research needed to address) is, can the earth sustain the number of people who are here today, if they were all Paleo? The agrarian diet may not be optimal for the people eating it, but it is pretty optimal at making the maximum amount of food, and as populations grow, are we outstripping the “X acres per person” that is required to support Paleo, even Paleo with modern means (i.e. we do not each need X amount of space to hunt enough wild game to live)

    In old Paleo the food supply would sync with the number of people, people would limit to match the food supply, animals do this with no trouble. In a world where the amount of food is turbo-charged (even if its the wrong food) the population has managed to get turbo-charged.

    At some point, we reach the point where we can not give everyone the Paleo diet, so we will end up (and might even be there now – sort of my question) with a small number of people eating the Paleo, and the larger masses eating the Ag diet.

    Shades of Soylent green, well, sort of. In that I think that the masses might have been eating “meat” in some form……

    a Paleo guy

  • Doug:

    The Earth can't sustain the number of people who are on it right now: ocean fisheries are collapsing as we extract millions of tons of fish each year, and topsoil is being strip-mined at an alarming rate to support industrial agriculture.  Most of Africa is only alive because of massive food aid sent there from Europe every year, which is the byproduct of massive farm subsidies (much like those in America).

    No matter whether everyone eats black rhino tenderloins or vat-grown mycoproteins, we still have to address the problem someday: what happens when we can't feed all the people we have?  

    My opinion is that we should face the problem and fix it while there are still a few scraps of the planet left to save.

    The problem isn't the industrialized countries, either: our birth rate is universally below replacement rate except for immigration and first-generation immigrants.  The problem is that the average Ethiopian woman has over nine children…in a country that can't support half its current population.  Anything we do here is useless in the face of third-world population growth (including those that immigrate to the First World).  

    And since population growth correlates directly with women's rights, the first thing we need to be doing is supporting women's basic right to self-determination around the world.  In South Africa, widely considered the most 'civilized' sub-Saharan country, approximately 1 in 3 men cheerfully admit to having raped a woman.  In many Islamic countries, women are not allowed to leave the house without the protection of a male relative – let alone drive a car, hold a job, or even learn to read and write.  This has nothing to do with 'feminism' or any other 'ism', just basic human rights.

    There's a lot more to say here, but this is all I have time for right now.  If you're interested in what I think the future can be, you might pick up a copy of my novel The Gnoll Credo.


  • MY digestive issues

    […] yesterdays food hasn't come out yet…so I think i definatly have to cut down on meat. Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables! - GNOLLS.ORG Uh, might be the veggies, not the meat…. Reply With Quote   + Reply […]

  • Zoe

    JS, awesome article. I’ve told vegans about digestion of meat vs plant matter but they get all worked up and angry about it. “You’re rotting inside!”, “You’re a murderer”, “We’re meant to eat fruit like chimps” etc.

    That aside, Mike you sound like one of the nicest vegans I’ve ever come across! 🙂

  • Walter

    Good article. What is your take on the idea that certain foods, fruit, grains ferment in the colon?

    I visited Wikipedia (the font of all knowledge) and looked up fermentation. There is apparently microbes involved in it, so would that make fermentation a specific form of rot?

  • Zoe:

    Much appreciated!  And yes, I've encountered that reaction too.  Fortunately there are people like Mike out there who are much more clear-headed about their reasons.


    “Rotting” is not a strictly technical term: it's more of a value judgment.  If you don't like it, it's 'rot': if you do, it's 'fermentation' or 'aging'.  Either way it's decomposition via bacteria, which is what's happening to any food that makes it to your colon.


  • W. Wild

    If you’re not yet convinced that humans aren’t meant to be herbivores like gorillas, read Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham. He posits that if we were meant to eat what gorillas eat- i.e. raw vegetable matter-our bodies would’ve evolved to look like gorillas: giant guts, which is what’s needed to completely digest raw vegetable matter, and big powerful snouts, which is what it takes to chew it for hours. Humans evolved to have flat faces, one very acidic stomach, and a relatively short gut because we ate meat, and learned to cook it.
    Anyway, eat like a gorilla, look like a gorilla. Eat like a cheetah…well, I think you get the idea.

  • WW:

    I'm working my way through Wrangham right now but haven't got to “Catching Fire” yet…I'll make sure to get to it.

    I'm sure Wrangham is familiar with the Expensive Tissue Hypothesis, which notes that metabolic rate is constant relative to body size, and that for our brains to grow so dramatically in size and energy consumption, something else had to shrink…

    …in our case, the gut.  It's far easier and more efficient to digest calorie- and nutrient-dense meat than vegetable matter, which is why carnivores have shorter and smaller intestines than herbivores.  

    “Eat like a gorilla, look like a gorilla. Eat like a cheetah…well, I think you get the idea.”

    EXACTLY!  And that's why I wrote “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”.

    Thanks for the reference.  Please stick around!


  • 7 April 2011 | Cross

    […] Does meat rot in your colon? […]

  • Cheri Bomb

    I think I love you and your matter of fact writing style thank you!

    Any vegans who are vegan for animal cruelty sake should know that plants scream too ya know! you just can’t hear it! The natural order is what it is. Life begets life begets life begets life….

    Thank you! after going paleo w/dairy, (high animal fat, no grains) my body loves me. I ask for well marbled beef and fatty wild salmon. YUM!!!!!

  • Cheri:

    I love you too. Let's elope!

    Real paleo (high fat paleo, or Paleo 2.0, or Primal, or whatever you want to call it) is the best, isn't it?  It's like we're all recovering from a multi-decade saturated fat deficiency.


  • Thalassa

    One minor quibble… termites can digest cellulose. According to their Wikipedia article, they often do it with the help of prokaryotic symbionts, but they are apparently capable of doing it on their own if they must.

    All in all, an excellent article! I just had to pick on the bit about no animals digesting cellulose, but it was meant as a sign of affection for a well-written, funny article that *gasp* contains SCIENCE!

  • Thalassa:

    You're right: some termites can digest a portion of their dietary cellulose with intrinsically produced enzymes.  I didn't know that!  (Apparently even the ones that do still digest most of it with their gut bacteria, though.)

    Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the article!  After hearing this myth for what seemed like the billionth time, I looked around for a solid debunking…but I couldn't find any, so I wrote it myself.  I hope you'll stick around!



  • Does Meat Rot in You

    […] see a point in regurgitating everything that was in the blog post. You can read that for yourself HERE (I HIGHLY recommend you read this article, especially if you are vegan/vegetarian and believe that […]

  • Peggy

    Fun post! The digestive system IS fascinating. I love seeing articles like these from time to time to remind myself that I’m perfectly normal.

    Years ago I stopped eating grains, sugar, and dairy but even that didn’t really fix me right up. Then, a few years ago I found that I had to give up fiber as well. Within days I was more energetic and happier than ever. Indeed it does get monotonous but I just don’t have the ability to pass fiber through without discomfort and pain. So, I’m a carnivore, for the most part. I always throw vegetables into my bone broths for drinking but I don’t eat them. I certainly don’t need vegetables to be supremely healthy but I add them to compensate for not eating a shit ton of organs.

    Would you say that we aren’t actually meant to be omnivores but that we have the ability to be? That our molars and long intestines are there to add to our adaptability?

  • Peggy:

    “Meant” is a tricky term, which I’d rather avoid since I don’t want to ascribe intentionality to a physical process (natural selection).

    But as far as what humans are adapted for, I think you’re touching on an important distinction: what we can eat versus what we should eat.  A large, slowly-reproducing species like humans is limited not by our ability to reproduce during good times, but by our ability to survive bad times.  

    So we’ve most likely been selected for our ability to survive on starchy tubers during times we couldn’t get meat.  Even something that happens only once every 1,000 years — like a 1,000 year drought — is basically a continual crisis in evolutionary time.

    I ignore vegetables in this calculation because they simply don’t have meaningful calories for us.  They have micronutrients, but they’re basically medicinal rather than nutritional.  I enjoy them and eat them basically daily, but I don’t make any special effort to eat them and don’t stress about not eating “enough”.

    You’ll probably enjoy this article:



  • Lillian

    I had colon cancer almost 5 years ago and had my descending colon as well as the sigmoid section removed. The transverse colon is now connected to the rectum. So, I am missing an important part of my colon; the doctor told me it would not affect my health to be missing it. I actually have been fine since them with no problems and wonder what am I actually missing out on. The one thing that has changed is my pooop is smellier. Thoughts?

  • Lillian:

    I know someone who had a similar operation, with the same result: smellier poop.

    This is because, as the article shows, the colon is where indigestible vegetable matter is fermented (or 'rots', if you prefer) by gut bacteria in order to squeeze a few more calories out of it.  And since our colon is small relative to an herbivore, we don't get a lot of nutrition out of the colon anyway: mainly we're reclaiming a lot of the water that would otherwise be wasted.

    So what you'd expect is that vegetable matter that we can't digest — particularly complex sugars like raffinose, stachyose, and other FODMAPs — would not be digested by your gut bacteria, and would simply come out your back end in a stinky way.  I would expect beans, artichokes, asparagus, and certain fruits (especially dried fruits) to be a problem: you can read a list of common FODMAP-containing foods here.  Milk might also be an issue if you're lactose-intolerant.

    Beano will help you digest beans (it's an enzyme that breaks down the raffinose in beans) — but as you'd imagine, I'd recommend simply avoiding the problem foods, as you're not getting food value from them anyway.

    Does this sound about right?


  • Julie S

    What a great thread.

    I just wanted to add some thoughts to what JS said about vegetarianism and self-esteem. I don’t believe he was suggesting that all vegetarianism stems from low self-esteem. I read his remarks as referring to a subset of vegetarians, i.e., the tweens and teens.

    In my own experience and that of many people I know, vegetarianism served as a convenient and socially acceptable means to limit caloric intake. I was a vegetarian from my early teens through my mid-twenties and anorexic for even longer. And, yes, both the anorexia and the accompanying meat avoidance grew from the fact that I considered myself somehow ‘unworthy.’

    There are all kinds of reasons why people choose to follow a vegetarian diet, but I would strongly urge parents of young women to ask themselves whether their daughter’s new-found aversion to meat might not be a sign of something deeper. (And if it’s not, hurrah!)

  • Julie S:

    Not all veg*anism comes from self-esteem issues: but based on the veg*ans I know/have known and my own time as a vegetarian, I think there is a strong correlation at all ages, not just tweens and teens (which tend to have the largest self-esteem issues).

    You make an excellent and scary point about veg*anism being a socially acceptable way to justify disordered eating.  (Paleo Pepper often talks about those issues on her blog.)  I hope parents will read that and take your advice to heart.  Thank you.


  • Melly Sue

    Too bad this website wasn’t around back in my proselytizing vegetarian and vegan days!

    First, to add to the veg*anism and self-esteem thread, I did have generally low self-esteem back in the days when I first became a vegetarian (at 15), but I don’t think that contributed to my dietary change. I stopped eating meat basically because my best friend was doing it. Plus there was all the information I picked up in “health” class about how red meat (saturated fat!) is bad for you. Then when I went all the way to being vegan, I truly believed that lives of all animals were equal, and since I didn’t *need* animal products to survive, I had no right to interfere in their lives.

    Sixteen years later, enter iron-deficiency anemia and severe fatigue. I’d always maintained that if I were starving, I would eat whatever I needed to ensure my survival. So I started in on some clams and oysters, moved on to sardines and salmon, and, after reading so much on this and related websites regarding Paleo diets, have started in on grass-fed cow muscle and organs. Incidentally, I suffered not a single digestive upset from eating animal flesh after so many years’ abstinence.

    Regarding another topic of the thread, about whether the planet could sustain everyone eating a diet of meat and vegetables, I like the argument discussed by another blogger (I can’t recall who, sadly) who said something along the lines of, “Even if everyone else can’t eat this way, if I *can*, what is there to stop me?” The agro-industrial complex is partially driven by consumers. If people stopped eating junk food, the manufacturers would be driven out of business, there would no longer be the same outlet for corn and soy, and government might finally rethink the excessive crop subsidies. If people started eating more grass-fed animals, these food systems would expand, and a new equilibrium would be reached.

    If other countries were actually allowed to reach whatever food/population equilibrium they are able to have with their own internal resources without the interference of other countries, then we’d start heading back towards an ecological balance. There are countries where people die from starvation malnutrition, in Africa, to take the most obvious example; however there are also countries where people die from malnutrition of over-nutrition. Think about how health care costs have increased over the past decades due to the poor health habits of overfed people in the United States. We all need to rebalance.

  • Melly Sue:

    “Incidentally, I suffered not a single digestive upset from eating animal flesh after so many years' abstinence.”

    I've heard a lot of veg*ans say “Oh, I couldn't eat meat, my body refuses to digest it now”.  There might indeed be some issues with stomach acid and bile production, but I'm convinced much of it is psychosomatic — like koro, where Chinese men (and others, sometimes) are utterly convinced their penis is disappearing into their body and they will die when it does.

    “The agro-industrial complex is partially driven by consumers. If people
    stopped eating junk food, the manufacturers would be driven out of
    business, there would no longer be the same outlet for corn and soy, and
    government might finally rethink the excessive crop subsidies.”

    Exactly.  The fact that grass-finished beef is becoming more expensive is a sign that there is great demand for it, and indeed, US production has multiplied dramatically since the 1980s.  Every pound of locally produced, grass-finished beef we eat is several dollars going directly to local farmers and abattoirs — and, more importantly, not going to Monsanto, ADM, Cargill, or other giant, destructive agribusinesses.  Unlike a vegan diet of grains, which is dependent on GMO soy and bases its entire moral superiority on eating somewhat less of it.

    Your argument that food aid actually hurts countries in the long run is, I think, good.  Remember Live Aid?  “USA for Africa”?  “We Are The World?”  We were going to solve all of Ethiopia's problems, right?  Twenty-five years later, Ethiopia's population is double what it was then, and their people are still starving…because you've got 88 million people living in a desert, and their population doubles every 22 years or so, because each Ethiopian woman has, on average, nine children. 

    Eating less meat means nothing in the face of third world population growth, and sending the surplus to Africa just means more hungry Africans to feed next year.


  • gollum

    Nice post, nice site.

    Just some nitpicks – I think starch is digested primarily through amylase and taken up as glucose – you will find out the difference eating rice compared to rhamnose/inulin veggies

    Also, is it true that we have absolutely no gut bacteria that can digest cellulose? That would be most remarkable, giving the myriads of strains living in us. I would rather think our digestive system, lacking rumens or any length, with passage times of about 2 days, is simply not equipped to digest it. Cracking cellulose seems to require about a week and lots of fermentation, and, uh, re-chewing, so even if we do have the bacteria, they do not do much.

  • gollum:

    Starch is indeed digested by amylase and taken up as glucose: I thought I made that clear in the article.  I'll take another look at the wording.

    I think the reality is that a very small amount of cellulose gets digested in the colon…but it's already past the small intestine, which is where the bacterial waste products would be absorbed.  That's the problem with vitamin B12: it's produced by gut bacteria.  So ruminants get plenty of B12 because they barf their half-digested food back up and run it through again: humans just poop it out.  

    In other words, you can get plenty of B12 as a vegan so long as you eat your own poop.


  • Conti

    I like to think that herbivores are actually carnivorous……
    by that I mean that where they actually get their nutrition is by digesting the microorganisms from the “farms” in their digestive systems. these microorganisms are actually the true herbivores.

  • susan

    We all must listen to our UNIQUE digestive systems….EVOLUTION is key to how our bodies work!!

  • Does meat rot in you

    […] Check out the article from Gnolls. […]

  • Jennifer

    I loved it – great info and entertaining, too! I posted it to my wall 🙂

  • Eric Brody

    Great article! Thank you!

  • Eric Brody

    Hey JS;

    What do you think of Jon Barron’s report about the Paleo Diet ?


    Also what’s your thought on the Weston A. Price Foundation Healthy guideline to eating?


  • Chris

    Great Article!!! Because something is labeled “food” doesn’t mean humans were designed to eat it.

  • Tyler

    To follow Eric’s comment, Jon Barron says the following in the article Eric referenced (http://www.jonbarron.org/weight-loss/paleo-diet-review-good-bad):

    “To me, a much better indicator of what foods we are designed to eat is your digestive tract — from your mouth to your anus. Animals that eat particular foods have digestive tracts designed to handle those foods. Carnivores have sharp teeth for ripping and tearing flesh, and short digestive tracts for quickly eliminating waste once digested in the stomach — so it doesn’t have time to putrefy in the intestines. (Meat putrefies.) Animals that eat plants have flat teeth for grinding and long digestive systems to allow time to extract nutrients from plant matter, which does not putrefy. Human digestive systems largely match Chimpanzees, who eat mostly fruits and nuts and termites, but will eat a small amount of monkey meat when they can get it. For more on this issue, you can check out my series examining the digestive system.”

    My personal objections to Mr. Barron’s objections to the Paleo diet have to do with his seemingly flawed understanding of what Paleo has come to mean. He sets up the straw man argument that those advocating a Paleo diet do so upon a flawed ideological adherence to emulating and romanticizing the diet of those throughout the era. See:

    ” -Since most cave people cooked their meat, eating raw meat denies the foundation of the Paleo Diet — i.e., eating what cavemen ate.
    -On the other hand, if you do cook your meat, then you’re doing something potentially unhealthy, which denies the premise of the Paleo Diet — that if cavemen did it, it’s good for you.
    -And when did people first start marinating meat, which makes cooked meat healthier — something that certainly started happening after the Paleolithic era?”

    The premise is NOT “that if cavemen did it, it’s good for you.” Rather, our genes have developed to anticipate such a diet and lifestyle. This doesn’t mean we should emulate the way our ancestors lived to a T, but rather make a conscious effort towards acknowledging how our straying from history may be impacting us in negative ways.

    Personally, I read Mr. Barron’s article as if he were trying to deconstruct the Paleo diet by “finding” logical inconsistencies behind the rationalization of adherence. It showed to me a general lack of understanding for what Paleo means… something that is still evolving in its own right.

  • Nick

    So if I am understanding all the Science…
    If I absorb as absolute truth all the JS BS
    and I eat a huge Prime Rib of Bull
    I will not produce any BS as waste!!!

  • Conti:

    The Perfect Health Diet makes the point that ruminants and carnivores are absorbing basically the same nutrients, and that what goes into your mouth isn't what you're absorbing.


    Very little makes sense outside the light of evolution.


    I think it caught fire when you posted it to FB, because this article is suddenly getting a boatload of views.  Thank you!


    I'm with the WAPF all the way up to the grains and legumes: sprouting and soaking helps some, but at the end of the day I'd rather just avoid them altogether.  But I agree with most of what they say, and I support their work (as does, I believe, most of the paleo community.)

    As far as Jon Barron's article, he lost my respect right away when he said “Food really falls into one of only three groups: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.”  Linoleic acid != trans-eliadic acid != DHA != lauric acid, glucose != fructose.  Anyone who doesn't understand that that has no business giving anyone nutritional advice.

    And this article has already debunked his ridiculous claim that “Carnivores have sharp teeth for ripping and tearing flesh, and short digestive tracts for quickly eliminating waste once digested in the stomach — so it doesn't have time to putrefy in the intestines. (Meat putrefies.)”  No, meat doesn't putrefy — beans, grains, and vegetables putrefy, as the basic biochemistry I've demonstrated above makes clear.  This statement alone makes it clear that he's a veg*an with an agenda — and vegetarianism is a religious belief, not a logical one.

    He makes this even clearer when he refers positively to the fraudulent T. Colin Campbell misrepresentation of the China Study data.  Here's what the data actually says.  

    And he continues with a whole raft of counterfactual statements: just for starters, Indian vegetarians have higher rates of heart disease than Indian meat-eaters.  I don't have time to debunk all the other outright lies and baloney Barron spews in that article…but if you have specific questions about specific statements he makes, I can probably address them.

    I agree with him on one minor point: salt isn't the devil.  Other than that, his article is baloney from start to finish.  Remember that he's a supplement huckster, and paleo eaters (unlike vegans) don't need a cabinet full of expensive supplements to be healthy.


    Absolutely.  As I mention here, “If it has more than one layer of packaging, contains any ingredient you don’t understand, claims any health benefits on the label, or is a fake version of something else, it’s not food.”


    You're making the mistake of taking Barron's article seriously.  He's a veg*an and a supplement huckster, and many of his confident statements are totally false.


    A meaningful fraction of poop comes from dead bacteria and dead blood cells: even fasting people generate some poop.  But since meat and fat are completely digested, you'll produce less poop than you will from an equivalent amount of calories in the form of grains.  I've noticed that I don't poop nearly as much as I used to unless I eat a lot of fibrous vegetables.


  • LifeBodyFit

    I really appreciate the way you’ve broken this down. It is simple and logical and that’s what most people need to read/hear. It is backed by great resources but the main points are not distorted, they are true to the results of the studies.

    I personally have noticed a significant decrease in flatulence and bloating since eliminating legumes and most grains (the occasional oatmeal, tortilla or cookie/brownie – i’m not a perfect eater)

    I would love to see more articles about fertility and diet and how decreasing grains and increasing fat and proteins from reliable (grass fed, pastured) sources can help. Thanks for the information and I’ll be posting this to my FB wall!

  • LifeBodyFit:

    Digestion is not terribly complicated: it's a crime that most of us are never taught how it works in school.

    As far as fertility, male or female?

    Thanks for the support, and for spreading the word!


  • robyn b holmes

    why dont we just eat ethiopians?????????

    seems to me that we have an untapped resource just sitting there taking up more of our resources…..

    yes yes i know im uncouth .
    but if we’re thinking along the lines f paleolithic i think cannibalism has to be brought into it. lmfao.
    (not truly trying to be facetious regardless of how it appears.)

  • robyn b holmes

    ps: thanks for a great write up i shared this on fb and had a great ol debate with a bunch of people who apparently cant read. lmao .they keep saying “so this stuff is making my colon rot?” lol x 10!!

  • robyn:

    Ethiopians are skinny and wouldn't taste very good.  Just imagine the delicious foie gras one could make from the fatty liver of the average obese American!  Geese are fattened by force-feeding them corn…but corn syrup (in the form of soda and fruit juice) works just as well.

    I do my best to write articles that are understandable to everyone.  But as far as reading comprehension, some people just don't have it.  At some point you just stop what you're talking about and say “Hey, how 'bout those Mavericks?”

    See you around,


  • Guy

    Thanks for a great article

    One idea: So bacteria, living inside us, feeds on complex carbs. So if we have none they starve and die off (going on a strict paleo/carnivorous plan)

    Couldn’t this be why carbs are addictive? The bacteria send signals…I’m hungry get me carbs…. which we have interpreted as an addiction. And then 3 days later the ‘withdrawal symptoms’ are gone as the bacteries are gone, as the carbs urges are gone.

    (Same as when one breaks a fast, he has to build up his gut flora again….(but not his enzymes and bile??))

    So carbs are actually not addictive, just the bacterias fighting for life???

    What do you think? Guy

  • Otherworld

    I believe the correct terminology is, “Hey, how 'bout them Mavericks.”Wink

  • Best of the Wine Cou

    […] Does Meat Rot In Your Colon?  No.  What Does?  Beans, Grains, and Vegetables! […]

  • Jason Dickens

    Awesome article! And backed by science and physiology. I would like to mention another reason the human body is very well equipped to digest meat..the enzyme elastase which helps us break down fibrous meats..not so with fibrous veggies as you have stated

  • Tyler

    I see you’re right! I had posted two comments on the website, the first never getting posted and second receiving a response that–sadly–portrayed the author’s lack of reading comprehension.

    The comment is toward the top of the comments if you’d be interested in seeing the discussion, but the response stood out to me:

    “Hi Tyler:

    You mentioned that you have seen “almost NOTHING but support for grass-fed and locally grown meat from proponents of the Paleo Diet.” When Jon researched dozens of Paleo websites and forums across the net to get a better understanding of how people were actually implementing the diet, he found many sites that merely stressed the use of lean meat. Here, for example, is the Paleo Diet’s main website http://thepaleodiet.com/steaks-health-benefits/

    While that may be a flaw in the presentation on the website, it is not a flaw in the diet.

    Regarding http://paleodietlifestyle.com, while Sébastien Noël is a proponent of the diet, he is NOT one of the leading voices on the diet. Not only that, it seems the author’s reading comprehension failed him, as the website concludes:

    “We learned that even if they are often loaded with vitamins and minerals, most nuts and seeds should be kept to a minimum on a healthy diet for a few main reasons:

    -Most nuts contain lectins that can irritate the gut lining;
    -Most nuts also contain phytic acid that bind to minerals and blocks their absorption;
    -Most nuts are very high in total polyunsaturated fat and in omega-6 fat, two things that should be keept to a minimum;”

    Hardly seems like a recommendation. Instead, the author has presented the information on all of the nuts–context building–and offered a position on their consumption, ultimately allowing the reader’s new knowledge be the point of influence dictating their decision.

    Cordain, whose position on saturated fats, dairy, and diet soda are objected to by others like Sisson, Wolf, and Harris to varying degrees, says in his book that we should only be eating Walnuts and Macadamias due to their omega-6:3 ratio… in small amounts (no more than 4oz at a time/day). So we have “contrasting” opinions… what now?

    Another opinion?

    “My general take, as I see it, is that nuts shouldn’t make up the bulk of your caloric intake. It’s not that Omega-6s are inherently dangerous, especially bound up in whole food, nut form; nuts may even be beneficial to heart health, probably by decreasing systemic inflammation. It’s that they’re often too available, too plentiful, and way too easy to consume in excess.”


    By the author’s omission, he made it appear as if, well, just let me quote: “Curiously, nuts are cool on the diet — pretty much all nuts except cashews and peanuts, which are actually beans.” Nuts are cool on the diet. No mention of moderation, which every source advocates. No mention the dire balance of omega-6:3’s, which is a keystone to the diet and why Cordain chooses to restrict nut intake to those with a better 6:3 ratio. The author didn’t even mention this balance anywhere in the article, which causes me to question whether or not he has even the most remote of understandings as to what the diet attempts to balance and accomplish.’

    While I know this conversation on their website can be dismissed as moot, for it seems it can be argued that they are schilling for fear conversions to their diet, I thought it interesting how their arguments are so easily dismantled as there is a large amount of misrepresentation going on.

    While schilly, it still offers a gross misrepresentation that, if people trust him, may do more harm than good. I am all for having the freedom to choose one’s diet and how they live, but I have a low tolerance for blatant misleading and omission. I think that education really only works when people have facts that support reality.

    That’s all. Sorry for using your comments as a sounding board! Keep up the great work. 🙂

  • Tyler:

    You're absolutely correct: the arguments depend on taking little bits of information out of context.  

    Barron is a very slick presenter: he manages to state complete falsehoods in a very plausible-seeming manner, take little bits of information out of context in order to build straw men to knock down, and he uses several other techniques of fallacious argument to mislead people.  He'd make a good political speechwriter.

    Thanks for bringing him to my attention.  I don't tend to write debunking articles, because there's too much duplicity and baloney in the world…it's like trying to hold back the ocean with a blue tarp and some rebar.  But if people ask me about specific claims I can often address them.

    There's no substitute for knowledge…which is why I write my articles the way I do.  I try to give people a sound theoretical framework, so when they see something like “Carbohydrates are more satiating than protein” they can understand why it's a silly statement.


  • How to not eat like

    […] 4. Meat Meat is great. Meat is the greatest. If you don’t like meat, fuck you. Meat gets a lot of shit, pretty much everything has said to make meat bad. It supposedly causes a shit load of health problems and limit it or eat very little and you’ll be healthier. BULLSHIT. There is nothing wrong with meat. Take this shit for example. It says meat just sits and rots in your stomach (LOL) and we’re actually herbivores, or close to it. This is retarded, and anyone with knowledge on human history or morphology knows better. Humans have incisors on both jaws, herbivores have it on the lower. Humans have ridged molars, herbivores have flat molars. Humans have canines, herbivores don’t. Our jaw movement is vertical and it tears and crushes while herbivores have rotary movements and grinding functions. Mastication is not important and we don’t ruminate. We have a small stomach capacity and it empties in 3 hours, while herbivores stomachs never empty. He have interdigestive rest, herbivores do not. Our stomach doesn’t have significant bacteria or protozoa while it is vital for herbivores. We have strong gastric acidity as opposed to the weak acidity for herbivores, and we CANNOT DIGEST CELLULOSE. Our stomach barely digests anything and we don’t absorpb anything from it; you can probably live fine without a stomach really. A herbivore cannot. Herbivores often don’t have gall bladders, and our digestive efficiency is over 2x as much. The only thing we mainly differ from carnivores in is that we have an appendix. But does it do anything, really? It seems like a remnant. As for the rotting, that’s false too. Meat doesn’t rot in our stomachs, that’s retarded, plants do. […]

  • How to not eat like

    […] the rotting, that’s false too. Meat doesn’t rot in our stomachs, that’s retarded, plants do. Other lol shit is when retards say red meat causes cancer. They often cite the debunked China […]

  • Reynier

    Food rots in your intestines. The process of bacteria and/or fungi “digesting” foods is called rotting. This is what happens in your intestines. The bacteria that live in the intestines of not only humans, but all animals, digest most of the nutrients that come from our stomach for us. This process produces various chemicals, which include methane.
    This does not, however, happen in your stomach, because the stomach uses its acidic environment to mechanically tear apart the (chewed) foods that enter through the esophagus. This acidic environment is (with exception to some) unable to sustain the life of bacteria or fungi.
    furthermore, plants do NOT rot in our intestines. The bacteria that live in our intestines are incapable of digesting plants and so are we. Cattle do have this ability, with the bacteria that have this ability living in one of their 4 stomachs.

  • P90X / Insanity R

    […] It’s a good read, maybe not lunchtime fodder though. Share and Enjoy: […]

  • Reynier:

    You need to be careful to distinguish the small and large intestines.  Nothing rots in the small intestine unless you suffer from SIBO, because the bacterial population there is insignificant (as the paper I linked shows).  

    On the other hand, anything that makes it into the colon (large intestine) and is digestible by our gut bacteria is, strictly speaking, “rotting”.  And plant matter most certainly rots there: we don't have the enzymes to digest most oligosaccharides, but our gut bacteria most certainly do.

    As far as cellulose, we don't derive a significant amount of energy from it, but I seem to recall papers that show a small amount of bacterial digestion does take place.  Horses, for instance, don't have a rumen, but they still manage to derive significant energy from grass.


  • 110709 |

    […] vegan/vegetarian myth: does meat really rot in your stomach? Categories: WOD Tags: Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment […]

  • Ann Happy

    Awesome. My annoying brother-in-law kept trying to tell me that meat rots in your gut. I LOVE when he’s wrong and I can prove it!!!!!!

  • Ann Happy:

    Digestion is simple.  Any human biology text can explain it…yet the myth lives on.  Did he also bring up the legend that “John Wayne died with 40 pounds of meat impacted in his colon”?

    I'm glad I'm able to help!


  • Per Wikholm

    Really great post!!!
    Just found it via a link from the Fat Head Blog. Before that I independently posted something with a similar punchline comparing the gorilla diet to the human diet recently:

  • C

    Now I don’t feel bad about eating almost no plant matter. Meat, fish, eggs, and dairy all the way!

  • Per:

    Good point about the actual nutrient input of gorillas.  The Jaminets spend a lot of time on that subject in the Perfect Health Diet.


    My theory is that once we stop stuffing ourselves with grain-based junk, our bodies will tell us when we need plant matter in our diets.  I actually eat more plants now than I did before I started eating paleo!  But I don't force myself. 


  • michelle

    Thanks for the essay, yes, I enjoyed it very much. One question though.
    You write, eat corn and steak and see what comes out, it won’t be the steak. So where is the steak? Don’t we need to eliminate it at some point? Isn’t that what we are trying to figure out? If we have undigested meat stuck in our colon?

    I recently got diagnosed with pinworm. It’s disgusting. I took medication. Laundered and washed my entire house. Then I went to a strictly clear liquid diet, to adding green veggie smoothies, to adding protein powder to my smoothies, to adding raw green veggies. I’ve passed all the disgusting worms and am ready to start eating normally again, but the thought of putting meat in my “cleansed” colon alarms me. It sounds like I’ve been misinformed and that all the plant matter I’ve been ingesting has just added to the bacteria I was trying to clean out!

    Please give me your thought on colon cleansing and let me know what does happen to meat. Do we eliminate it?


  • Michelle:

    My sympathies on the pinworms: yuck!

    First, pinworms don't come from meat: they come from another human who has pinworms, or occasionally their pets.  So you're not going to get reinfected by eating meat.

    As far as “what happened to the steak”, it was completely digested and absorbed by your body, which now has a bunch of protein and fat to build and repair itself, and to use for energy.  This is good: after all, the objective of eating food is to absorb its nutrients into your body, not to poop them back out.  (Note that corn isn't a vegetable: it's a grain.)

    I've definitely found that I poop and fart less on a paleo diet, despite eating just as many calories: this is because the foods I am getting most of my calories from (meat, eggs) are completely absorbed by my body.

    Remember that even a fasting person will poop!  This is because poop contains water (which is most of the weight), dead intestinal bacteria (which is much of the solid bulk), and dead blood cells (which turn it brown).  The rest of it will be things you ate but couldn't digest: “fiber”, inorganic materials, and so on.

    Most importantly, as I said in the article, it's not bad to eat vegetables!  The bacteria in your colon that break down some quantity of otherwise indigestible “fiber” are usually the good kind: we have them for a very good reason, which is to squeeze some nutrients out of plant matter that we couldn't otherwise digest at all.  It's ingestion of huge amounts of refined sugars and starches (and, especially, huge amounts of fructose) that can lead to bacterial overgrowth and SIBO, and it's ingestion of the indigestible sugars from legumes (and milk products, if you're lactose-intolerant) that make you fart.  Excessive farting is a good clue that you're eating something you're not digesting properly.

    So absolutely keep eating and enjoying your veggies!  But don't be afraid of adding meat and eggs back to your diet, either.

    Does that help?


  • Jayne

    Brilliant article. I must say, the stupidest argument vegans can make against meat-eating is the whole “putrefies in your gut” nonsense. Why? Because it’s not even scientifically possible. Why on earth should I embrace veganism when vegans can’t even get their facts right? We know how human digestion works, and it’s not the vegan version, sorry.

  • Jayne:

    Most of that crew doesn't even understand how herbivore digestion works!  And don't even get me started on “colon cleansing”.


  • clemen

    Well, thank you for the article. I agree with all you said about the meats and fats but I dont know what to say about the vegetables and grains. So where we take the rest of vitamins and minerals our body needs from? And if the human body is not suppose to digest sugars, Grains and vegetables why does it have all those trillions of bacterias in the large intestine and colon for? Why do we have a large intestine so? Please answer when you have a chance.

  • clemen:

    See the last two paragraphs of my reply four comments up (link).  As I say in the article, “I'm not arguing that we should never eat vegetables: I'm just busting a silly myth.”

    As I've said before, I find myself eating more vegetables now that I've eliminated grains from my diet.  I don't have to force myself to eat them, either: the desire seems to come naturally.


  • chris.george

    JS has a good point.


    I eat a lot of vegetables with my meals. Think in the realm of ~500g a day; more than that if you include sweet potatoes on some of my harder workout days.


    Try eating a lot and find out how bloated you feel until you get used to it. Or vice versa, eliminate a lot and find out how you feel without them!

  • C.V.

    Great article!
    I’m starting the Paleo way of eating (A month ago)
    Best wishes

  • CV:

    Wonderful!  Keep us posted on your progress.


  • Alice

    I learned a lot from reading your article. I recently had a Whipple procedure (surgery) for pancreatic cancer. They removed half my pancreas, part of the bile duct, gallbladder and did some other detaching and reattaching. My digestion is a concern as my body adjusts to it’s new state. I’m wondering if you have any knowledge about digestion after this type of surgery. From what I’ve learned from the doctors, my pancreas isn’t yet producing the enzymes needed to properly digest my food. What I read in your article seems to support this in that I have a lot of gas which means food is being processed in my large intestine. I’ve been told to eat a lot of protein and not much fiber at this point, so it seems similar to the diet you encourage. Thanks for any input!

  • Alice:

    Ouch!  Whipple is major surgery with significant mortality: that's not just your pancreas, that's a big chunk of your stomach and duodenum.  Congratulations on still being alive!

    If your poop is whitish or greasy, you've got decreased ability to break down fats and need to eat less of them.  But if all you have is gas, it's most likely a consequence of dysbiosis: the antibiotics have cleared out your intestinal tract, and it's taking some time to bring them back into balance.  In that case, you might try the following (note: I am not a doctor, please read my disclaimer on the left sidebar) and see if any of them help you:

    -Probiotics, to recolonize with good bacteria and help crowd out the bad ones

    -Eliminate known gas-producers like beans.

    -Eliminate milk.

    -Eliminate difficult-to-digest plant proteins like gluten (yes, going gluten-free is a pain, but I bet it helps).  Oatmeal and other grain proteins may also be a problem: I recommend getting your starch from things like potatoes and rice.

    -Eliminate white sugar.  If you must use sugar, use dextrose.

    -Increase your intake of foods that require little enzymatic digestion: whey protein, simple starches like potatoes and white rice that can be digested purely with amylase, coconut oil.

    -Increase intake of foods primarily digested in the stomach, i.e. meats.  Fish is a good bet because it's soft and easy to chew vs. beef, pork, or chicken (Note: no battered/fried fish.  Bake, broil, or pan-fry it.)  Ground beef is pre-chewed so it's OK too.

    -Chew everything really, really well — especially meats.

    Hope this helps!  Let me know.


  • Alice

    Thanks for your response! I will try some of your suggestions & let you know what happens.

    I had a REALLY skilled surgeon who probably does 50+ Whipples a year with only a 1% mortality rate. So I was in good hands and am very thankful! But with a cancerous tumor attached to the portal vein, I didn’t have much option.

    My poop doesn’t seem greasy. It is sort of mustard brown and isn’t normal in consistency yet. Not to be gross but it ranges from firm that sinks to “foamy” or “airy” that floats and occasionally just watery diarrhea. I just assumed it varies based on what I’ve eaten and how it was broken down by my system but I can’t tell what foods do which or I’d adjust my eating to have the more normal movements. (I have started chemo so that might complicate things too.) I see my surgeon for a two month follow up next week and hope to get more info from him and/or the nutritionist as well.

    Thanks again for helping me understand my digestive system so I can make informed decisions about my health!

  • Alice

    Oh, meant to ask: What about honey as a sweetener?

  • Honey is better than sugar, since a lot of the glucose and fructose is already free and it's not a zero-nutrition food.  But I would go easy on it.

    Mustard brown means lighter in color and more yellowish than normal, right?  That probably means you're having a bit of fat malabsorption going on, though not terribly bad or it would be greasy.  Again, I'd gravitate towards coconut oil and MCTs rather than vegetable oils or animal fats.

    A clarification to my earlier post: gas means that your enzymes aren't able to break down your food, and your intestinal bacteria are doing it instead. So recolonizing will help: but mainly you want to eat things that require little enzymatic digestion, are digested with stomach and saliva enzymes, or increase enzyme secretion.

    In my opinion, the main thing is to stay away from complex plant proteins (found in grains), FODMAPs (found in a lot of beans and some vegetables), and other difficult-to-digest foods.  Fish and other soft/ground meats should help: meats increase stomach acidity, which will help break down whatever you eat with them.  Simple starches like rice and boiled/mashed potatoes are easy on the gut…and you might look into blending/juicing your vegetables, which will take a load off your digestive system and enzymes.

    Again, please keep us posted on what you find out.


  • Tony

    Thank you for the great article and contribution to the comments section which i find very informative. I would very much like to hear your opion on my condition.
    I am in my mid 20s and until about a year ago my diet revolved heavily around the somewhat typical eastern European cuisine of excess meat and bread(smoked meat, sausages, heavy carbs, bacon, pork chops, beans etc). I used to eat bread with every meal. I rarely ate vegetables or salad. Desert was a big thing too.
    I have a history of ulcers(runs in the family) and had treated those for years. I used to get heart burn – the doctor prescribed anti-acid medication many times which would relieve the symptoms almost to be caused again as soon as I was off the treatment! About a year ago my stomach started to make lowd rumbling noises – especially at night time but really could happen throughout the day. This has caused me a lot of discomfort in my personal life. This is when I started to explore different diet options available.
    I have read about the “food combining guidelines” online and have practiced ( although not religiously ) those ideas of separating carbs and proteins (not eating them during the same meal). I also barely drink anymore and am using less oils and not eating junk food anymore. I’ve reduced my meat intake and have a mainly carb/vegetable diet at the moment. I don’t get heartburn much anymore, but I have lost weight, I continue to have diarrhea or close to it(2x a week about), and I often feel some discomfort(although not very painful) and what bothers me the most is the loud rumbling at night time (possibly during the day as well ).
    I’ve tried several things. I ate only white rice for three days, the rumbling was much better and I felt ok – although not great. Anyway I will try reducing FODMAPs from my diet and moving to a meat diet. What vegetables do you eat? Can you give me some advice on what foods I should start with(an example of what you think I should be eating) – I’m not even sure where I can buy grass-fed meat products as I’ve never paid any attention to that at the supermarket but I will try to buy lean.
    Also, I like to have a glass of kefir in the mornings(7 am), and I have a homemade fruit smoothie (bananas and an apple about two hours later) – I have taken this out for a while and it didn’t seem to make a difference. What do you think about kefir, bananas / apples?
    Thanks in advance and sorry for the length of this

  • LZ

    Hi JS – I just found your blog today and am loving all the scientific explanations — thank you so very much.

    I just wanted to offer that the repeated comments about population growth in Ethiopia are being interpreted by me perhaps in a way that you did not intend. First the several times you have mentioned it, it always references ” Women in Ethiopia are having 9 kids…” which is probably biologically true given the extensive amount of research you obviously put into each blog post. However, as most of us DO already know from Biology, it take “two to tango”,… so by default let’s not heap the blame solely on the females of that country.

    Second, the reason she is having 9 kids is cultural as you point out, and also perhaps a biological imperative “evolution-wise” so that she is not putting all of her eggs in one basket -with one or two kids vs 9 – because she knows the likelihood of survival, especially of a future male breadwinner during her old age, is low.

    Thirdly, I find it hard to deposit any “blame” or causation for a humanitarian effort to save people’s lives, when we in the “First” world take up SO many 1000X more resources in food, energy, disposable lifestyles…. even food production. I understand the frustration with the population growth, but the answer is not to let them all starve to death until their culture changes to allow the mothers AND FATHERS to put more resources into fewer children.

  • Tony:

    My dietary guidelines are found in Eat Like A Predator.  Very few people have special medical needs that require them to redefine “healthy eating” (e.g. PKU).  Start with Step 1 and 2, and move forward from there.  People often overthink their problems, many of which are fixed by simply eating a healthy human diet.

    As far as “what vegetables should I eat?”  Answer: whatever you like!  Here's a great starter dish to cook…and you can always put together what Mark Sisson calls the Big Ass Salad, which is always yummy since you're no longer afraid of delicious fatty things like hard-boiled eggs, bacon (not “bacon bits”), strips of meat, etc.

    I wouldn't worry about the FODMAPs just yet…start eating paleo and see what happens.  If you're still having trouble after a few weeks we can look at it again.

    Probably the reason white rice helps is that it's much lower in antinutrients than the other grains you've been eating…though it's basically just glucose, and too much of it will cause all sorts of other problems.  Lots of people find their GI distress eases or goes away entirely once they're gluten-free and lowish-carb.


  • LZ:

    I can't say it any better than I've already said it above:

    “And since population growth correlates directly with women's rights, the first thing we need to be doing is supporting women's basic right to self-determination around the world.  In South Africa, widely considered the most 'civilized' sub-Saharan country, approximately 1 in 3 men cheerfully admit to having raped a woman.  In many Islamic countries, women are not allowed to leave the house without the protection of a male relative – let alone drive a car, hold a job, or even learn to read and write.  This has nothing to do with 'feminism' or any other 'ism', just basic human rights.”

    As far as the Western disposable lifestyle, it's all relative to population growth.  If it weren't for immigration and the children of immigrants, US population would be decreasing right now…so in the long run, our consumption isn't the problem.  Recycling and driving a Prius is rounding error compared to the ecological impact of bringing another child into the world.  


  • digestive power | Ma

    […] exact issue – sorry, I don't know which – Ned Kock, perhaps? It was J. Stanton at gnolls.org. Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables! - GNOLLS.ORG Reply With Quote   + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread | […]

  • Scotlyn

    Interesting discussion on demographics. Of course, like most things, “it is a little more complicated than that…” Firstly, the 2011 estimated total fertility rates for Nigeria and the US are 4.73 and 2.06 per woman, respectively. The Nigerian birth rate has been dropping steadily, although it is still high. Considered year on year, the Nigerian birth rate is estimated to have dropped from 44/1000 pop to 39/1000 pop just in the single year between 2008 and 2009. The overall death rate in Nigeria is around 17/1000 pop, with an infant mortality rate at around 98/1000 live births. In the US the birth rate is around 13/1000 pop, with an overall death rate of 8/1000 pop, and an infant mortality rate of around 6/1000 live births. Nigerian life expectancy at birth is currently 51, with US life expectancy at birth is currently 78.

    This indicates that there are a couple of statements made in this thread, that might have been made with a bit more caution.
    1) A child who will not survive infancy will have little impact on the ecology.
    2) A female child who will not survive infancy will not add to the populaton.
    3) An adult who will live to 51 will have less impact on the environment than an adult who lives to 78.
    4) Although the world’s cereal based human diets are certainly environment/resource destroying, our diets are not the biggest impact on the environment that any individual human being can have.
    5) A human who uses not only calories, but heat, energy, transport, technology, etc, will have more impact than a human who can barely scrape together the minimum in calories for survival.
    6) Any calculation of population sustainability must take BOTH death rates and birth rates into account. Stable populations CAN exist either with high birth rates/high death rates (most of human agricultural history) OR low birth rates/low death rates (likely more typical of ancestral hunter/gatherer demographics). What is curently happening is an unstable coupling of still high birth rates (although with an ever decreasing trend worldwide), and unforeseeably low death rates.
    7) It might be true that Africa depends currently on our western “leavings”, but it is equally true that many of those leavings are the dregs of what the west originally stole, including the ax to native self-sufficiency that was colonialism.

    Having said all this, I absolutely agree that, as evidence repeatedly has shown, empowering and educating women is the quickest shortcut to reducing the birth rate. Improving food security, by weaning a country off of western subsidised grains back onto native, sustainably grown, and local-economy-promoting foods will certainly help.
    (Note – worth checking out, in this context, the work of Allan Savory, 2010 Buckminster Fuller Prize winner on reversing desertification, increasing herd size, crop quality and bio-diversity in Namibia with holistic grazing principles.)

  • Scotlyn

    Sorry, you were discussing Ethiopia, not Nigeria – but principles still apply – Ethiopians whose children are dying in droves are making little impact on the world ecology right now.

  • Scotlyn

    Oh, and, the original post – fascinating and enlightening! I will definitely refer it on to anyone who brings out the “meat rotting in your gut” canard in future.

  • Scotlyn:

    It's true that most of those nine Ethiopian children are dying, or the doubling rate would be faster than 22 years.

    Yet the reason the children don't survive infancy is that there are no more resources to keep them alive.  The productivity of the land is entirely directed into human mouths (to the best of our ability) and people are still dying.

    Therefore, what happens when the drought lifts for a while or food aid arrives?  Even more people, and resumed population growth.

    And there is yet another famine going on in Northeast Africa, right now.  The suffering won't stop until the population is appropriate to what the land can support — on average, not just in a good year.

    I'm fully aware of the shameful and ongoing history of exploitation in Africa, from the rape of the Congo by the Belgians to the ongoing destruction of Nigeria by oil companies.  But the solution is not to create welfare states dependent on European food aid, and which descend into famine the instant Europe stops dumping their agricultural surplus.


  • Scotlyn

    The thing is we HAVE created welfare states dependent on western food aid because it suits US and will go on suiting us – both Americans and Europeans WANT to dump our agricultural surpluses there, our countries WANT to dominate the trade relationships we have with those countries and run them to our advantage, we WANT to control the supplies of their precious minerals, petroleum and other scarce resources, whether by military threat or the corruption of their leaders, and we DO NOT WANT to permit them to be self-sufficient. Overpopulation is a (not immediately threatening, at least so long as our visa systems protect our borders) side-effect of this ongoing exploitation process, which our countries will continue to pursue so long as it remains to our (short-term) advantage.

    For countries in Africa to become self-sufficient, we would have to become self-sufficient first, because it is we in the West that cannot continue to live as we do without a total reliance on the theft of their resources. Africans can only start living within their means, when we choose to STOP living within THEIR means.

  • Scotlyn:

    Starting in the 1970s with Earl Butz, yes, that's true: we've exported industrial agriculture in order to create dependent populations. 

    But the more recent exploitation in Africa requires complicity by African leaders: if they're willing to sell mining or drilling rights on land already occupied by native tribes to Shell or the Chinese for pennies…  Also recall that most African slaves were sold by African kings who were glad to get rid of prisoners, war or otherwise — and many wars were started in order to gain captives to sell into slavery.  There's plenty of blame to be assigned on both sides, if we're interested in that sort of thing.


  • Jessica

    I haven’t heard the myth that meat rots in your intestines just because of eating meat, but I have heard that if you consume vegetables and meat in the same meal it takes longer to break down and makes the vegetables rot inside your intestines. Any thoughts?

  • Jessica:

    If you eat meat, your stomach will become more acidic, and food will tend to stay in your stomach longer, in order to break down the meat before releasing it to the small intestine.

    First, this is a matter of several hours, not days or weeks.  (See the graphs and links above for gastric emptying and transit times.)

    Second, the stomach is roughly pH 1.5.  As I said, nothing “rots” in a vat of pH 1.5 hydrochloric acid and pepsin.

    Third, the vegetables will be more completely digested because they've sat in your stomach acid for longer.  Therefore, if anything, the vegetables will “rot” (ferment in your colon) less than if you ate them by themselves.

    There are a lot of myths about digestion which are easy to debunk once we understand how digestion works.


  • Wolverine

    Great information. I’m glad to see someone else cover this moronic vegan propaganda. Because I lost all of my intestines and saw the contents directly from the stomach via a jejunostomy, I know for a fact that humans digest meat much easier than vegetables. I wrote an article on the same subject based on my medical experience:


    I hope that this stupid myth will go the way of the Piltdown man. Keep up the good work J. Stanton, I enjoy your work.

  • Wolverine:

    That's great information!  It sucks that you had to learn it that way, though.  What an ordeal!


  • majkinetor

    Great article.

    Being pedantic, I must add that there actually are cellulolytic microbita in human colon:

    A strictly anaerobic cellulolytic strain designated 18P13T was isolated from human faecal sample. Cells of this organism were Gram-positive and non-motile cocci. Strain 18P13T was able to degrade microcrystalline celluloses but utilization of soluble sugars was restricted to cellobiose.

  • majkinetor:

    You're right: some people's gut biota apparently degrade a small amount.  However, I haven't seen any indication that the result is calorically significant — or even energy-positive, once the energy of digestion is taken into account.


  • Can Humans Digest Me

    […] more on how the human alimentary tract digests meat, J.Stanton has published a detailed breakdown here.  There is another excellent description found […]

  • Is Paleo Extreme? |

    […] claim that all that meat just rots in your gut. (Which, by the way, is 100% scientifically false. Read this.)  Who to believe? What to believe? Sift, sift, sift through it all, trying to the truth in the […]

  • A bit tired of Duria

    […] seconds of searching will find that for you. Entering this Google search…. Got me this page: Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables! – GNOLLS.ORG Seriously. Look back on what I said in my original response to you, Mike. You need to ask […]

  • Red Meat is bad for

    […] your colon? I don't think so, try BEANS rotting in your intestines. that is why they produce gas. Does Meat Rot in Your Colon? my primal journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum…Primal-Journal Reply With Quote […]

  • Samuel Schultz

    Thank you
    For writing so clearly about something that I have known for a long time.
    I am always greatly disturbed by Vegan or Veg type people raising children on low protein diets.
    It is taking away the chances of them ever having a strong and active life.
    Thanks again

  • Is Paleo Extreme? (p

    […] claim that all that meat just rots in your gut. (Which, by the way, is 100% scientifically false. Read this.)  Who to believe? What to believe? Sift, sift, sift through it all, trying to the truth in the […]

  • Isabella Gillespie

    Help…I have great interest in this process and subject. I would like to find a project for computational chemistry that would allow me to make additional discovery related to the topic. Any suggestions?

  • Isabella:

    Though I consider myself a polymath, computational chemistry is outside my field of expertise.


  • Months of thinking &

    […] Meat doesn’t rot in your colon – grains do. Another study shows that grass-fed red meat is healthier. A diet high in fat is not fattening. A ted talk on using diet to stop angiogenesis. And a diet high in carbohydrates is linked to cancer. So while low carb seems better for reducing cancer and heart disease, its best to keep it high in vegetables. […]

  • Amy

    So if you don’t fart, if there is no evidence of corn out the back end when eaten with steak, then does that mean the person makes enzymes that digests these foods well?

  • Amy:

    Most likely it means you've chewed your food well.  The corn kernels you see in poop are mostly just the cellulosic shell of the kernel, which humans don't have the enzymes to digest.  (No animals do.)

    However, zein is still poor quality protein which we don't digest well, and corn, like most grains, is chock-full of phytate and other antinutrients (there's a reason corn gluten meal is used as an herbicide) — so I can't recommend it as a food source even if you tolerate it well.


  • Jake

    Hi, it says on Wikipedia that corn gluten meal can be used as a herbicide because of the proteins, nothing about “phytate and other antinutrients”. There are also studies about phytates anti-cancer properties.

    Proteins in CGM inhibit root formation on newly-germinated seeds, killing the plant. Applications must be timed so that the CGM is present and effective as seeds are germinating.

  • Jake:

    You're correct that my statement was somewhat unclear: CGM isn't an herbicide because of phytate, it's an herbicide because of the properties of the protein.

    Yes, there are studies about phytate's anti-cancer properties…but there are myriad other compounds in vegetables, fruits, and meats (see:carnosine) which have stronger anti-cancer properties AND which don't prevent us from absorbing essential dietary minerals.


  • Rebecca H.

    Any of you that think humans were meant to be meat eaters are wrong. I’ve been a vegeatarian for four years now. The thing is my family has a history of heart disease. Four years, my doctor said I was at risk for heart disease. I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. So I did some research on the internet and found that being vegetarian was the best diet for preventing heart disease. So I went vegetarian and am loving it since. I just recently went to my cardiologist for a check up and he said that I wasn’t at risk for heart disease anymore. I hope people one day realize that we’re better off vegetarians.

  • Rebecca H:

    We weren't “meant” to eat anything.  Evolution doesn't work that way.  What archaeology makes clear is that:

    -We've provably been eating meat for millions of years (see: Bouri, Gona, Koobi Fora).  Even chimpanzees and bonobos eat monkeys, with great violence and relish.

    -Eating meat allowed us to leave the tropical rainforests.  If we were vegetarians, we'd still be stuck in the trees of equatorial Africa.

    -Eating meat allowed our brains to quadruple in size, at the expense of our ability to extract meaningful nutrition from raw plants (see: Expensive Tissue Hypothesis).

    -Therefore, eating meat is, quite literally, what made us human. 

    As far as improvements from your diet, I don't doubt you've experienced them.  But as the statistics clearly show, “vegetarianism” is far more closely associated with a lower intake of sugar, sweets, and processed junk, and a higher intake of vegetables and fruit — which is a healthy practice for anyone — and most “vegetarians” eat lots of meat anyway!  (Fish isn't a vegetable.) 

    Given the myriad of positive dietary changes (no seed oils, no sugar, no refined grains, maximize vegetables, minimize whole grains) recommended by people like Ornish and Esselstyn, it's silly to ascribe the benefits to the lack of meat.

    As far as “being vegetarian was the best diet for preventing heart disease”, you might find this study interesting:

    Mayo Clin Proc. 2003 Nov;78(11):1331-6.
    Effect of a high saturated fat and no-starch diet on serum lipid subfractions in patients with documented atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
    Hays JH, DiSabatino A, Gorman RT, Vincent S, Stillabower ME.

    (This is just a starting point: I've got pages of references.)

    And given the nutritional emptiness of grains relative to animal products, it's clear that you'd be even healthier if you ditched the grains altogether and incorporated some nutrient-rich animal foods in your diet (egg yolks, fatty fish, organ meats, etc.)


  • Bec

    Informative article, thank you. Though, I have always wondered why I experienced a painful, knotted feeling in my abdomen following the consumption of meat. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t advocate any one thing such as veganism, vegetarianism or an all-meat diet. I just wish I had an explanation for the abdominal upset I have, and it only ever accompanies a meal that includes meat. I initially attributed it to the poor combination of carbohydrates with the proteins/fats and thus tried eating the meat alone. Despite experimenting several times, I invariably experienced the I did the same unrelenting gastric distress. Why do you think this is?

  • Bec:

    I can't possibly give useful advice without more information.

    What kinds of meat have you experience this with?  Beef, pork, chicken, lamb?

    Does the form of the meat make any difference?  Steak vs. hamburger vs. pot roast vs. chili?

    What about broth?  Does soup made with beef or chicken stock cause problems?

    What about collagen?  Does gelatin cause problems?

    Finally, I assume you've been vegetarian or vegan for some time: how long?


  • Molly Ryan-Fisher

    If you follow the Perfect Health Diet – they recommend unlimited veggies. How does that jibe with the above article about veggies rotting in your gut. Surely some rotting is beneficial – kimchee, sauerkraut. Is there a benefit ito eatnig veggies n terms of fiber – to “clean sweep” the colon?

  • Molly:

    Like I said above, “I'm not saying that no one should eat vegetables — I'm just busting a silly myth.”

    If your gut flora are healthy and in good balance, gut fermentation of a reasonable amount of vegetables (not beans or grains!) can produce some quantity of beneficial SCFAs (e.g. butyric acid).  And that's what's behind the recommendation for fermented vegetables: first, the bacteria that ferment them are (for the most part) beneficial, and can help populate your colon (or at least temporarily outcompete the bad ones, like Clostridium).  Second, they're pre-rotted — instead of having to ferment in your gut, they've already been fermented in a tank!

    I love the Perfect Health Diet, by the way, and count the Jaminets as friends.  Note that they don't recommend you actually consume unlimited amounts of vegetables AFAIK — just that they don't count towards carbohydrate intake.

    I haven't seen any evidence that insoluble fiber is good for you…the only controlled studies show either no effect or (not quite significant) increased mortality.  And the scare stores about toxic waste building up in your colon are complete baloney designed to sell you overpriced mixtures of psyllium husk, bentonite clay, and diuretics — or, even worse, high colonic enemas.


  • Carol

    I just want to thank you for this little spat of information! I just recently had some digestive surgery and afterwords i noticed that eating vegetable by themselves say in a salad would cause me to have discomfort and i could see everything that i ate after i went to the bathroom a couple hours later. However i noticed that when i ate a certain amount of meat before consuming vegetable i would have a much happy system. Now it all makes since!! Many friends and family members as well as a doctor would tell me that if i just ate more veggies i would be fine but the more i ate the worse i felt until my little revelation! Now i am going to show all of them this information. THANK YOU!!

  • Carol:

    I'm glad I've been able to help you — that's a big motivation for me to keep writing.  Do stick around!


  • Mark

    I still wonder about PORK in particular. Is there a substantial difference for eating pork? Any exceptions??

    I have a friend that swears pork stays in the colon for 14 days. What about pork???

  • Mark:

    I can't find any research that indicates pork is digested differently than other meats, and I can't think of any biochemical reason why it would be.

    You might ask your friend where he found that particular piece of “information”.  I guarantee it's of a piece with the other vegetarian myths, such as “John Wayne died with 40 pounds of meat in his colon” — pure baloney made up to scare the uninformed.


  • christopher

    i’m from the third world and i can say f*ck you.
    The problem isn’t the industrialized countries?
    well, it is!
    the civilization in general. but especially the industrialized countries, which are doing the largest ecological footprint and sustaining civilization.
    it isn’t the population… it’s a important factor of course. but not the only one and certainly not the most important.

    i agree with the rest…

  • Andrea

    What happened to humans and following their instincts?

    We have no instincts to kill animals, no instincts to suck on another mammals breasts for milk, no instincts to eat grains/seeds(nuts,coconut,etc..), and no instincts to eat branches like broccoli…what everyone calls “vegetables”.

    The only instincts we have is towards sugar and the only natural sugar is fruit. We also have hands to pick fruits off the tree.

    We can’t live in a cold climate without a tropical place.. a house. We are tropical beings meant to eat tropical fruit.

    We are frugivores.

    The only problem is that we are too stupid to use technology to build greenhouses so we can grow tropical fruits. Tropical fruits most of you have never seen in your lives.

    Don’t ask me if you have these “instincts”. Do everyone a favor and ask yourself!

  • So, what about fructose? We can't digest it! Duh!

  • Mark

    Did you know that when dead cannibals are given autopsies, up to 40 pounds of vegetarian idiots are found in there? IT IS A FACT! Remote viewers have absolutely PROVED this is so! And a noted scientific journal, (the Philidelphia Enquirer), have absolutely CONFIRMED this! So “nanny-nanny boo-boo” Mr Stanton!
    How DARE you confuse us with scientific proof and irrefutable facts! We know what we WANT to believe, so please don’t try and change our minds with “scientific facts” and “proof”. What did “proof” ever prove anyway? (Good job dude, hope I amused you).

  • Andrea:

    97.5% of people in the United States report themselves as meat-eaters.

    Of the remaining 2.5% who claim to be vegetarians, nearly 2/3 (214/334, or 64%) ate a significant quantity of meat on at least one of the two days for which their dietary intake was surveyed! (Source.)  Also see this full-length article on the subject.

    Furthermore, there are no known vegetarian ancestral cultures — even agriculturalists greatly prize meat.  Vegetarianism is a religious belief, and it first appears in the historical record in Greece and India around 600 BC.

    It appears that human instinct is quite clear on the subject of meat-eating.

    The rest of your assertions are false, too.  Chimpanzees and bonobos regularly hunt and kill monkeys.  The first stone tools made by hominids, dating from roughly 2.5 million years ago, were used to deflesh animal carcasses.

    In order to find hominids that ate only fruit, you'll have to go back about 10 million years, into the Miocene.  If you're happy being a small, quadrupedal, tree-dwelling proto-ape with a 250cc brain, go right ahead.  I prefer my upright, bipedal gait, my 1300cc brain capable of language and sophisticated tool-making, and my ability to live in places free of malaria, dengue fever, Chagas' disease, leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, etc.


  • Is Paleo Extreme? (p

    […] claim that all that meat just rots in your gut. (Which, by the way, is 100% scientifically false. Read this.)  Who to believe? What to believe? Sift, sift, sift through it all, trying to the truth in the […]

  • What’s going o

    […] much waste anyway. (Contrary to vegan propaganda, if you have a proper amount of stomach acid, you have zero trouble breaking down animal protein–and you tend to use a lot of it, too.) But I’ve also been noshing on my […]

  • xx67

    Had a piece of pork without anything else yesterday and guess what?

    I started farting which is a sign of the meat rotting and followed by constipation in the morning.

    Carnivores release A LOT more hydrochloric acid than us humans. Get your facts straight.

    Our saliva is alkaline while carnivores is acidic.

  • xx67:

    My facts are straight. 

    A dog has a stomach pH of 1-2, rising to 3 with digestion on a raw diet and 6 on a diet of dry dog food (source).  (Note that meat increases stomach acidity for both carnivores and omnivores.)

    A human has a stomach pH of 1.35-3.5 depending on diet (source)…within the same range as a dog.  How about that!  Furthermore, we have bile salts for a reason — they raise the pH of
    the acidic chyme released by our stomach, so that it doesn't damage our

    And unfortunately for the herbivore/carnivore theory, a cow's abomasum (stomach) has a pH of 2 (source).  It turns out that digestion works best at low pH no matter what you're digesting.


    Next: human saliva has a pH between 6.0 and 7.4 (7.0 being neutral), so if anything, it's a very weak acid on average.  And guess what?  Dog saliva is slightly more basic than human saliva! (source)

    Note to my readers: xx67's “facts” probably came from one of those pieces of vegetarian propaganda which purport to be a carnivore/herbivore comparison.  As I've just shown, they're complete bunk.


  • xx67

    What does a carnivore produces “A LOT” more hydrochloric acid mean? It means that we don’t produce “enough” of it for digesting meat. any nursing student knows this.

    “human saliva has a pH between 6.0 and 7.4 (7.0 being neutral), so if anything, it’s a very weak acid on average.”

    saliva PH is based on a persons diet, meat is high in amino “acids” and fatty “acids” which increases acidity of saliva and plasma. last time I checked Cancer grows in an acidic environment. There is a big difference of 400 times between PH from 6 to 2, not really acidic.

    Meat contains huge amounts of excess very long chain fatty acids that leads the body in storing these excess amounts of VLCF acids in the adrenal glands and brain. alzheimer’s? adrenal shock?

    we didn’t share a common ancestor with the apes because sperm and egg DNA changes all the times, the apes would of also evolved. we are our own specie. not herbivores, not omnivores, not carnivores, but plain and simple frugivorous apes that need huge amounts of Vitamin D to process all the fructose in fruit.

    meat eating is culture based, not gene based. we will never evolve into omnivores because true omnivores like bears and dogs manufacture huge amounts of Vitamin C to prevent atherosclerosis and Cancer.

    meat is for surviving in a northern atmosphere.

  • Rob

    The crazy is strong with this one. Don’t feed the troll stanton, it has spent years on a frugivorious diet. This has had the unfortunate side effect of warping its brain back to the 250cc proto-ape form, thus rendering it incompatible with rational thought. Give it a banana and tell it to piss off back to the Miocene.

  • xx67:

    pH measurement is straightforward, grade-school science.  If you choose to ignore that, you'll find that rational people choose to ignore you. 

    And if you choose to investigate blood pH, you'll find that it's very tightly regulated by the body (between 7.39 and 7.41)…so claims relating to “acidifying the blood”, including cancer and bone loss, are also bunk.  The body maintains blood pH primarily via CO2<->carbonic acid.  (See this article for a long biochemistry excursion, and this article for more on the bicarbonate buffering system.)

    Furthermore, assertions like “we didn't share a common ancestor with the apes” disqualify the speaker from any rational conversation.

    It may surprise you to learn that I don't hate you, and I don't hate vegetarians.  (I was one myself, once.)  What I do have is a very low tolerance for baloney.  If you ever decide you want to abandon pseudoscience, you're welcome here.  And if you decide to eat the diet of anatomically modern humans instead of Miocene proto-chimps, you'll most likely find yourself happier, healthier, and less compelled to proselytize.


    I don't respond because it will convince xx67: I respond for the thousands of readers who might otherwise be swayed by false claims.


  • xx67

    J Stanton:

    I am all for learning and even experimenting on myself with food. Meat from terrestrial animals does rot in my intestines because it gives me major gas an hour after and gives me constipation the morning after. Just eating meat, nothing else and I will not add butter to the meat so it can lubricate my intestines. I will try fish in a couple days and report back.

    I wouldn’t make such a big fuss if I didn’t become constipated from eating meat.

    I see humans as being more omnivores in the sense of fish and fruit. Fresh water fish we can catch with our own bare hands.

    I know that DHA/EPA fatty acids made our brains big however I don’t agree with the notion of just because we are omnivores we can digest all types of meat.

  • kbags

    I agree with this article and great post. Within the past few months I switched to a primal/paleo diet and feel great. When I do eat veggies to get my carb intake in which is around 80-100 a day (strength athlete) I feel bloated which I hate and this is from 2 cups of broccoli and 3 oz of spinach. To get that many carbs from greens is crazy and I also believe that our ancestors would not spend the day gathering tons of green veggies.

    From an strength athletes standpoint what do you recommend for carbs then. Sweet potatoes and some fruit with a few greens I guess?

  • xx67:

    Gas from red meat/pork is an interesting issue, and one I haven't heard of before.  But there are billions of people in the world and we're all different!

    I'm obviously speculating here — but it may be that your stomach is insufficiently acidic, especially after many years of eating vegetarian.  This would mean that the meat isn't being fully broken down, and some amount of it is not being absorbed.  Taking HCl supplements (hydrochloric acid) with meat will tell you if this were causing your problem.  Meat tenderizer (papain) can also be helpful…but I'd try the HCl first.

    However, a seafood-only approach to paleo is perfectly valid: mussels, for instance, are absolutely packed with nutrients.  The only real problems I see are that seafood tends to be much more expensive than land animals, and you have to be careful of methylmercury content (eating lots of tuna and shark, for instance, is not the best idea)…but I can't argue against a Pacific Island-styled diet of fish, coconut products, vegetables, and “safe starches” (taro, sago, tapioca, white rice, root starches).  If that works for you, wonderful!

    Another note: while I love butter and won't discourage its use, coconut oil is both absorbed more easily in the intestine and burned more readily for energy — so some people transitioning to a higher-fat diet find the transition is easier with coconut oil.  (I buy it by the gallon, from here.)

    It often takes time for one's body to adapt to changes in diet.  Let us know what you find out, particularly with HCl supplements! 


    I responded to this in your other comment, but to clarify: I have good experiences with anything listed by the Jaminets as a “safe starch”.  Sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, taro, sago, tapioca, white rice…

    My own take on vegetables is that they're for nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.), not calories.  If my body needs something in mixed greens, cabbage, carrots, or whatever, it'll let me know by generating a craving.  Some days I'll eat half a pound of greens, and some days I won't want any at all.

    I agree that ancestral humans wouldn't have sought them for calories…but many ancestral cultures greatly prize certain plants, usually because they contain nutrients otherwise lacking in their diet.


  • Fran

    Thanks. A cow once told me : “Don’t worry (about eating our meat); what matters is that we’ll have had a good life”. I learnt later how right she was, and many times I wished I was a cow in that field. Apart from that, never met any vegan who ever actually talked to a cow (or another animal for that matter), let alone having a cow talk to it. Only one possible conclusion : these people don’t know what they are talking about. Compassion my arse : they don’t know what it means either. The only thing they see or talk to is their own little selves and they don’t even realise it (which makes it a lot worse).
    There’s got to be some vegans who do know, mind – but they ain’t the nasty soul-eating breed who tries to brainwash others. Eating meat or eating souls, make your choice…
    Rob (Jan. 29th) gave me and my dog a good honest laugh – nothing like it to settle upset guts. As for the rest, all that pickaninny about pH and the rest, isn’t it so so sad that so many ppl don’t know how to listen to their own bodies. There goes diversity, in comes pills diet.

  • Haha! You, too? I walk a lot and mostly around the fields and hills within a few miles of my house which is farming country. I always take time to stop and look at the animals, saying hello, perhaps asking how it's going … folks would think I'm nuts, but I see it more that I am part of my habitat – these animals are, too, and in the end I'm no better than them … just further up the food chain. It's polite.

    Many of our animals are breeders. The herd that graze up to our land boundary are breeders and it's good to see the males for one and two years, then perhaps one particular bull stay on for a few more years and take over. I grew very fond of one this summer – I would take a G&T out to the back fence and look over the fields; he'd come trotting straight over most days and over to wherever I happened to approach their fields from other approaches while out walking.

    I hope to see him again next summer …Young bull at Catherine Slack enjoying a scratch behind the ears.

  • dana pallessen

    3/5/2012 on yahoo is an article by a college trained nutritionist who thinks she is a know-it-all. she says the paleo diet is dangerous, for among other reasons, no cow milk…as if we were calves meant to drink cow milk. i responded and added in your website address. better to treat the other commentors to the facts than have them continue thinking this “nutritionist” has the facts, when she clearly has been brainwashed by the college she attended.

  • dana:

    “Paleo” will continue to be fought against from all quarters, partially due to ignorance and partially due to a profit agenda.  See my article “You Are A Radical, And So Am I.”

    Thanks for helping spread the word!  We can't save the world…all we can do is save ourselves, and perhaps, a few others who are willing to question orthodoxy.  To do this, we need to keep putting good information out there so we're not lost in the noise.


  • […] Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  • dana

    thanks for the response and the infoon another article toread. i sure wish i would all this science presented in the above format much earlier in my life. i started as a vegetarian in my teens, (though my parents hunted, fished and raised livestock in our “backyard”). i then became a veganand then a fruitarian. i then had a heart attack. i was 38. it was 20 years ago. my doctor put me on meat immediatly. a lack of blood calcium or protein, i think she said…it has been a while. i was still eating a varied diet..bread, all whole grain, i made it myself. very “healthy” and all the usual foods, though i do not eat foods i have not raised or fished, or my husband has hunted. but the breads and the other carbs have made me quite heavy. 9add in,i also retired from drought tolerant landscape designer career, got married at age 50 and had menopause all within 6 months of each other.much less exercise and too much bread) i started reading the suzanne somers books, also loaded with science and now have come to just eating what we ate before the domestication of animals and the agrarian revolution. the weight is falling off, i feel great!, and i feel no “deprivation” from no longer have bread cheese, my favorite raw milk, or anything else that is not natural for humans to eat. i have seen some paelo websites that are pushing items of food that i know just cannot be right. having worked with plants all my life, i am quite aware of the species that have been hybridized to make the current models…just take corn. it looks nothing like it did in it’s original state, add in the fact that most people eat the gmo version. i will check out the link to the other article. i do not remember how i found this website, maybe through naturalnews.com, but i am quite appreciative that you and it exist to educate us.

  • dana

    i just read the article you are a radical and so am i. boy, am i grateful for my family. my parents hunted and fished and we grew our fruits vegetables and nuts. we never used chemical fetilizers or persticides. we has some that raised grassfed beef in the midwest, some who raised pigs, fruit and wheat. some who raised chickens and rabbits and grapes and vegetables. the neighbors even then thought we were “out there”. this is the late fifties and early 60’s in to the early 70’s (my childhood). they did all this long before me and long after i left home at age 18. i am educating my husband on the evils of monsanto and corporate farming. he was quite ignorant on the money aspect. monsanto and it’s cozy relationship with the fda is disgusting. he is 21 years younger than me and ate what i call crap all his childhood and until i met him. he was in and out of hospitals for diet related illnesses. a life made up of eating processed food was killing him. we have been married justover 7 years and he says he feels better and is healthier than he has been his whole life. he does hunt and fish for wild animals. that at least his parents got right. keep up the good work. pity not every one has not ead you articles. i will share with all i communicate with. thanks!

  • dana:

    I wish I had learned all this earlier in my life, too!  Well, there are a lot of things I wish I knew when I was younger.

    I'm glad you're experiencing the same thing so many others report: they feel healthy without feeling hungry or deprived of delicious foods.  We have our tastes and desires for a reason, and it's not to tempt us or make us fat, it's to keep us alive…so if we can figure out what foods are natural and appropriate for us to eat, we should also find that they're delicious and satisfying!

    You've led a unique and interesting life, and I'm glad your path has led you here.  Thank you for sharing!


  • Kenneth Shonk

    The law of populations is that the population expands to fit the available food supply (read available calories). Witness the Irish and the potato famine. Before potatoes were introduced to Ireland, barley and rye were the principal source of calories. Cultivation of potatoes increased Irish agricultures production of calories 4x. So when the potato blight took out the potato calories, 3/4 of the Irish population either had to emmigrant or starve to death given that the British overlords wouldn’t import food to feed them and took most of their animal products (Ireland grows lovely grass for grazing). So sending food to Africa only leads to an expanded population and an even bigger food crisis and greater problems of malnutrition. War is how human populations collapse when available resources are insufficient (ie. carrying capacity is exceeded). The collapse of GMO agribusiness is coming. Already a Purdue scientist has identified a new virus that exploits the fact the glysophate chelates manganese (Mn). Mn is critical to plant immune systems. There have already been cases of the virus wiping out whole soybean fields. Should it wipe out the entire GMO soy crop in the USA, Brazil,Argentina, etc, there could be a large scale Ireland.

  • Kenneth:

    That's pretty much the Jared Diamond argument, in “Collapse”: war throughout history has been primarily resource-driven.

    It wouldn't surprise me if a bacterium or virus took advantage of the millions of acres of GMO monoculture currently spread around the globe.  All we have to do is look at the current antibiotic situation to see what is likely to happen.  Yet another reason to eat a wide variety of locally produced foods — by doing so, we're supporting a food supply robust against pathogenic attack and consequent famine.


  • figgypiggy

    I just posted this article on my FB page and was met with this response and was hoping to get your response to this. I am fairly new to the Paleo lifestyle after being a vegan/raw vegan for 6 years and finally learning and understanding the unpleasant consequences of my ex-vegan lifestyle as I reap the health benefits of a Paleo one. Here is the comment he left… “Many people, especially the elderly, no longer have sufficient amounts of hydrochloric acid to digest meat well or quickly…nor do many folks, regardless of age, consume enough fiber to provide the bulk to move meat through the system and eliminate it, therefore it tends to remain in the body for extended periods which is not good for it. When you add to this that most cattle are given hormones and antibiotics and are exposed to pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and other toxic chemicals in water and feed, and that producing one pound of red meat requires hundreds of the amounts of water that is required to grow bushels of grain, etc….for some folks eating red, and even other forms of meat, are either not something they can either financially afford, goes against their value system, or isn’t beneficial to their health. To each their own!”

  • J will nail this one to the wall, but my little contribution focusses around a healthy gut.

    Once you've moved away from foods that actively damage the gut, mechanically, or by biotic imbalance, your gut and stomach work together to digest food – that sounds obvious, but most people are already in a state where this is not actually happening (properly).

    Paleo eating resets the balance. Stomach acid levels will rebalance to break down meat, the gut in prime order to absorb plant foods. People new to paleo find it useful to take acid supplements and take probiotic supplements; some, probiotic dairy and apple cider vinegar, which worked out well for me very quickly indeed, even as a lifelong gastric reflux sufferer. Now off all medication!

    Eating meat and fish, along with leafy greens; that's enough. That “just works”. Simple, eh?

    Another point I'd like to make about combinations of food is: what grows together goes together.

    With global food supplies and continually available foods, we have lost the notion of local and seasonal eating. Seasonal foods go together without you having to even think about it and will be wholly nutritious. I am also convinced that eating locally produced food will keep you more in step with the needs of your ethnicity, local adaptions to food sources that have happened over the last several thousand years.

    Eating food that humans have evolved to eat is a no-brainer … eating that way will not have bad side-effects.

  • Javizy

    You mention that the gut flora sometimes produce “waste products that we can absorb,” and then proceed to use words like ‘rot’ and ‘fart’ to put people off vegetables. How, then, do we get the bacteria to produce those waste products, which include butyric and lactic acids and vitamin K? These are hardly things to be scoffed at as “bacteria poop,” and are essential to good health, like a well-balanced gut flora itself.

    The important distinction between the types of bacteria in the gut wasn’t made, nor was there mention of the uniqueness of each person’s gut flora and how the wrong diet or other factors (like antibiotics) can throw it completely out of whack. If you learnt what foods pathogens hate and beneficial bacteria love, you wouldn’t be stuffing yourself with red meat and avoiding vegetables. You’d probably avoid sugars and starches and eat non-starchy vegetables and good quality proteins that don’t produce a crap-load of gut-busting ammonia.

  • figgypiggy:

    The main thing to remember is that not a single one of those confident-sounding statements have any support from science or the facts!  They’re all baloney, and a confident delivery won’t change that.

    “Many people, especially the elderly, no longer have sufficient amounts of hydrochloric acid to digest meat well or quickly”

    That’s a completely false statement, unsupported by any science (ask for a citation — they won’t have one), or by any evidence whatsoever.  Try the experiment from the article: “Eat a steak and some whole corn kernels, and see what comes out the other end.  It won’t be the steak.”

    That being said, some people do end up with a temporary insufficiency of HCl.  Why?  A normally-functioning digestive system secretes more HCl when we eat meat — but because so many people today eat a low-protein diet of highly processed “food” mostly composed of simple sugars, simple starches, and oils (which do not require HCl to break down), some of them can temporarily experience a bit of stomach upset if they switch abruptly to eating healthy amounts of meat.

    (These people often also have GERD, which is usually caused by such a diet — and which resolves itself upon switching to an evolutionarily appropriate diet of meat, vegetables, and other unprocessed foods.  See Paul’s example above.)

    Solution: as Paul pointed out, acid supplementation will get anyone with a problem over the hump.  A shotglass of vinegar is often sufficient.  Betaine HCl supplements are great if you can’t bring a bottle of vinegar with you.  And as Paul found, you won’t need to do this for very long, because we’ve been eating meat for at least 3.4 million years and our bodies are well-adapted to consume it.

    “nor do many folks, regardless of age, consume enough fiber to provide the bulk to move meat through the system and eliminate it”

    More unsupported bunk.  Insoluble fiber is not necessary to move anything through your system and eliminate it: peristalsis does a fine job by itself.  In fact, the only controlled study ever done on insoluble fiber (the DART trial) showed a 20% increase in death rate from cereal fiber supplementation!  (Reference.)  

    (An aside: note how a 20% increase in a controlled trial is called “not significant” when it contradicts the established wisdom…but when self-reported observational data already proven to be bunk is juggled to produce a theoretical 12% increase that supports conventional wisdom, it's trumpeted all over the world.)

    EDIT TO ADD: Also note how the writer sneaked in the incorrect assumption that meat is ever “eliminated”.  As the article explains, meat is completely digested by enzymes and absorbed in the small intestine, leaving nothing to “eliminate”.

    “therefore it [meat] tends to remain in the body for extended periods which is not good for it.”

    GI transit time is well-known and well-measured.  The article conclusively debunked this statement (reference).  Ignoring evidence and confidently stating the opposite isn’t an argument.

    “When you add to this that most cattle are given hormones and antibiotics and are exposed to pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and other toxic chemicals in water and feed”

    Why are they exposed to all these toxins?  Because they’re eating the same corn and soybeans the vegetarians tell us we should be eating!  Epic fail. 

    Industrial agriculture is an environmental disaster whether the end result is fed to cattle or to people.  Cattle should be eating grass, and we should be buying meat from cattle that eat grass.  Grass-fed cattle don't require any of these toxic chemicals to survive, because they're eating their own evolutionarily appropriate diet.

    “producing one pound of red meat requires hundreds of the amounts of water that is required to grow bushels of grain”

    Another bunk claim, based on the idea that even the worst industrial feedlot beef is fed on corn and soy its entire life.  In reality, cattle die if you feed them on grains for more than a few months — it’s called “finishing”.  They grow up on pasture.  And as I said above, the paleo community buys and supports grass-fed beef, which has negative carbon impact if managed correctly!

    That’s right, negative carbon impact.  Well-managed grazing fixes carbon.  What vegetarians call “waste”, farmers call fertilizer: nitrogen from urine, mulch from feces.  Otherwise the Serengeti and the Great Plains would have blown away into dust millions of years ago from the tens of millions of wildebeest and bison that grazed there.  (In the case of the Serengeti, they still do.)

    Animals are a necessary part of the circle of life.  Sterilizing the land with Roundup, pumping it full of ammonium nitrate, and shipping the harvest to a city where they’re turned into human feces and flushed into the nearest body of water isn’t sustainable in any sense.  Only grazing animals can return their “waste” to the soil and keep it healthy.


  • Javizy:

    I already said in the article “Before we go any farther, I am not arguing that we should never eat vegetables: I’m just busting a silly myth.”  If I tried to get into the topic of colon health and gut flora, this article would have turned into a book!

    “good quality proteins that don't produce a crap-load of gut-busting ammonia”

    Animal proteins are the highest quality proteins: in fact, egg protein is the standard by which protein quality is measured!  

    Besides, all protein is converted to ammonia: the problem is when the body's ability to turn ammonia into urea is saturated.  This is more likely to happen if we eat a lot of poor-quality, incomplete protein (e.g. grain proteins)…it's difficult to eat enough lean meat to cause such problems.  Just try choking down a pound and a half of boneless/skinless chicken breast without dousing it in fat and you'll see what I mean.


  • I don't mean to hijack this discussion towards gastric derangement, but gastric reflux in earlier life, even controlled by PPIs will often lead to something more sinister, like Barrett's Oesophagus in later life unless a radical decision is made at the right time.

    All humans are adversely affected by foods which damage the gut. Some, more than others, and that is not a cop-out. Some can tolerate it for longer. Tolerance is not a good state. Eating real, natural, seasonal and local food which is appropriate for humans in their own environment is right – it is that simple.

    Evolution as the foundation and more recent adaption for the fine detail.

    Back to the gut – I am very sure that a healthy gut is quite probably the most important part of our internals. Sure, all our organs must be working right, but some can take more work, punishment and downright abuse than others … ask your liver after a night on the booze; the gut can be seriously damaged very quickly and for quite a term with little more than a small amount of grain. Conversely, a healthy gut, strong in probiotics will happily work through no end of plant matter for you.

    That's the joy of being a human, an omnivore, and really … only possible through ancestral eating.

  • Cc

    This guy can’t even spell Bologna, enough said.

  • Cc:

    ba·lo·ney [buh-loh-nee] noun
    1. Slang. foolishness; nonsense.
    2. Informalbologna. 



  • Jules

    What are your thoughts . . . what if you knew for sure a person had and was doing everything just right in eating . .. and yet still couldn’t digest the healthy fats – – – just kept putting on weight even if they ignored the immediate weight gain as the body is/was adjusting? I’ve been on a 2-year journey to fine tune everything I was eating and I eat so clean and healthy – yet it’s been 2 months and I still can’t digest, absorb, etc the healthy fats – it goes to fat storage. I’ve taken everything I can in supplements to aid in digestion – especially the fats. Every medical person – all alternative, can’t seem to give me any answer – all vague. Maybe it’s just damage that’s been done from the past – but I’d at least like to know ‘where that damage is and why’ . . . If I go fat free, I do loose fat and gain muscle mass, but as we know – that means tons of cooked vegetables for me and then that causes other issues – the gas, digestive discomfort all the time and I still eat lean meat. I have read it can take from 1 – 2 years to change over from being a sugar burner to a fat burner and maybe I’m in that stage and need to be patient with the added weight. Though I don’t it’s normal to keep putting on weight. But again, I would like to know ‘where’ the issue is as I’m taking all the correct digestive aids for helping fat digestion.

    Any thoughts?

  • Jules:

    Your problem isn't fat digestion or absorption unless you have steatorrhea (fatty stool): you may see oil in the toilet when you poop, it'll smell terrible, and you'll probably have to make frequent bathroom runs.  You may even experience some degree of anal leakage.  If steatorrhea is your problem, you may well have some sort of cirrhosis (including PBC) or other liver injury, and you need to see a medical professional about that.

    If not, you probably have a metabolic issue.  Post a question in the Talk forum if you want to talk about it: include detailed sample daily menus (including what sort of fats you're consuming) and how they affect your weight and energy levels.


  • […] offer incomplete protein, phytic acid, and cause digestive issues in just about everybody (their reputation in this regard, while comical, is not joke). If you must eat beans, look into preparing them in a way that […]

  • Aky

    It is funny how most of you are justifying your actions as if to make your guilt subside. Do as what feels like nature’s intent for you, sounds like you are recruiting to your cults. Some of the indirect aggression on here is draining & immaturely whiny. The importance of what we eat is so ego driven, evident in mass “human” consumption. To get that much pleasure or excitement from food, now that is depressing.
    Inevitably all will be in place soon enough.. Peace

  • Aky:

    “To get that much pleasure or excitement from food, now that is depressing.”

    I disagree!  Life's purpose is to get food so it can keep on living — and to reproduce if it gets enough extra.  Eating should be a joyous occasion, because it allows life to continue.  See: Live Now, Live Later.


  • Aky

    Exactly, “eat to keep living” not “life’s purpose”. Maybe it is to you & many others, do as you may, that is my point. Besides in today’s world most people are not living because of overindulgence & in most cases clogging their lives short. Not that that is a problem I guess they ate their share of the earth. Do not get me wrong when I am feeding my body just enough to function properly it is a joyous occasion -a celebration of life if you may- among family & friends. I already strongly do believe that “living now” will extend the health of your life but food is not the only factor. It might be the most important source of nutritional energy for the physical body but can turn poison if that vessel is corrupt. And still in my voice I do not think the main focus of the human race should be food.
    All the best on your journey..

  • s3van

    It is clear you have an anti “vegan” or vegetarian agenda.Your work seems biased & non subjective. I like to consider all the possibilities. Why don’t you consider these “FACTS” and what it may indicate in respect to human eating habits? Note I say what it may indicate, not what it means.


  • fifkid

    All I can say is watch.

    (Fixed link to video here – JS)

  • Cass

    “You watch the people feed tons and tons of grain to the animals, then they kill the animals and eat the animals. Why don’t they just eat the grain and let the animals live? It don’t make sense. Why are they eating the animals? They eat flesh and blood, then they go to church and talk about ‘thou shalt not kill.’ And they kill every day with every breath they take.” – Charles Manson

    (Link to video here – JS)

  • Aky:

    Food isn’t my main focus in life…in fact, eating paleo has allowed me to spend much less of my time thinking about food!  I eat fewer meals (though larger ones) — and I don’t spend nearly as much time being hungry and trying to figure out the logistics of shoving calories in my mouth every few hours so my brain doesn’t shut down.

    Thus, I’m able to spend more energy making sure that when I do eat, it’s a joyous and mindful experience — not just a necessary inconvenience.

    I wish you good roads on your own journey.


    I’m not anti-vegan or anti-vegetarian — I’m anti-baloney.  (I was vegetarian once.)  There are coherent reasons to be veg*an, but “meat rots in your colon” isn’t one of them.  

    As far as those “facts”, they’re baloney too.  First, we don’t need big teeth or claws, because we have opposable thumbs and sharp rocks, which are even better…and as I discuss in this series of articles, we have evidence that our ancestors used them to deflesh bones starting 3.4 million years ago.  Next, the comments about jaw morphology and motion are simply wrong.  I could go on…and I probably should someday, because that list (or variants thereof) is so widespread.


    That’s a great speech, and deserves watching.


    I wouldn’t recommend sourcing your ethics from Charles Manson.  His moral compass doesn’t exactly point north.

    “Why don’t they just eat the grain and let the animals live?”  Because the grain isn’t any better for us than it is for the cattle!  Grains are grass seeds — and they’re for birds and rodents, not humans or cattle.

    Furthermore, clearing land for crops kills all the wildlife that lived there.  We don’t see the suffering as the foxes and coyotes and birds and bees and squirrels and mice and everything else that once lived there starves to death or is plowed under in order to make room for another quarter-section of GMO soybeans…

    …but it’s still there.  Eating plants doesn’t stop death and suffering.  It just moves it to somewhere we can’t see what we've done.


  • J L Pasalich

    Wow! what a great newsletter! Sign me up; I and my gut thank you. JL

  • JL:

    You're welcome!  Since you're new, make sure to check out the index to my articles.


  • iznogud

    Hey, buddy!

    Lots of comments you get here.

    Please next time do not try to cheat people. I have carefully read your posted article, and nowhere did you put data on digestibility percentage of food, including meat, nor did you mention words like putrefaction, ptomains, cadaver decay byproducts. I am an omnivore, but this is an article quite similar to the vegetarian that are all over the Internet. What you wrote here, just mirrors the extreme and non-scientific vegetarian fundamentalists.

    Let’s all be ignorant, and try to dig a hole as big as our brains are small. We should all be on opposite science sides. The time we live in allows it.

  • iznogud:

    The information about GI transit time is linked in the article.  I'm sorry it doesn't support your prejudices.

    As far as “digestibility percentage”, you can look up PDCAAS values yourself: eggs are 1.0, beef is about 0.92, and wheat and corn are down around 0.25-0.42, depending on type and preparation.  You can do the experiment from the article yourself: eat a steak and some whole corn kernels, and see what comes out the other end: it won't be the steak.


  • […] Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and …In other words, meat is digested by enzymes produced by our own bodies. The primary reason we need our gut bacteria is to digest the sugars, starches, and … […]

  • Siaip

    Human get 30% energy from cellulose, which is fermented by colon bacteria into short chain fatty acids and when used by human cell t oget energy: (link).

  • Siaip:

    The abstract of that paper neither says nor implies any such thing — nor do any of the citations of it I can find.  If you know where I can read the full text, please let me know.

    As I've said in the article, no animal can digest cellulose natively: to the extent that any animal can use it for energy, it's “fermented” by gut bacteria (e.g. it rots), and the animal absorbs the SCFA and other waste products of fermentation.  


  • Daniel Taylor

    Either way you look at it, the body still uses fatty acids as fuel…why else would we have so many different ways to produce/use it?

    Btw, I can tell when I’m eating too little fat…I start to crave nuts….

    I’ve been really strict the last few months, buying only grass fed meats from us wellness and I’ve noticed an upward trend in those cravings.

    Not too keen on nuts; I like them, but IMO, they aren’t really food for us.

    So I’ve supplemented with pemmican and wild shrimp cooked in tallow….it works!

  • Philosophy_101


    What vegetarian is making the argument that “humans can’t actually digest meat”??
    This ” Vegetarian propoganda” simply doesn’t exsist…I have been around vegetarians since I was born..The reason is simple. Animals are tortured and objectified for our want of consumption (Notice I didn’t say need). They are brutalized and sacrificed unwillingly on a genocidal level, yet the majority of us turn a blind eye out of conveniance and wilful ignorance. I’m willing to bet cold hard cash that a meat manufacturer or employee of, is behind this website.. EDUCATE YOURSELF PEOPLE!!! Look at non-Bias documentaries like ‘deconstructing dinner’ or ‘Food Inc.’

  • DT:

    Absolutely.  As I said in Eat Like A Predator, “If you need to eat a can of nuts or a brick of cheese, you didn’t eat enough meat.”  I should amend that to “fatty meat”.

    I'm convinced this is why so many people trying to eat mainstream “healthy diets” crave cheese: they're badly deficient in both protein and saturated fat. 


    The “meat rots in your colon” claim is widespread — and it was even made on Oprah's website by Dr. Oz, last time I checked!  I wouldn't have written the article if it weren't such a common myth.

    Meanwhile, please don't move the goalposts: the ethics of meat-eating are a separate issue.  And being the sole proprietor of this website, I'll take your bet for as much money as you have to wager. 

    (Frankly, I'd love to be sponsored by a producer of grass-finished beef: it would certainly decrease my food budget!  Any CA or NV rancher interested in trading advertising space on gnolls.org in return for grass-finished beef should contact me.)


  • Againstthegrain

    Last year I inadvertently experienced a lengthy experiment that further convinced me that meat is *much* easier to digest than plant material.

    At the late age of 49, I spent 15 mos in orthodontic treatment. I didn’t chicken out with Invisalign, either – I had “train-track” brackets & titanium arch broadening wires to correct my narrow & crowded almost V-shaped arches into much broader U shapes.

    Needless to say, there were plenty of reasons it wasn’t fun turning 50 yoa with braces, and I had to make many adjustments to my cooking and meal choices to accommodate a sensitive mouth and teeth, etc., while at the same time, make sure that I was eating very well so that my middle-aged approaching menopause jaw bones would have the necessary nutrients to remodel and retain the teeth that were being moved to the extreme edges of my arch capacity.

    In the first few weeks of having braces and every month or so after I’d had an arch wire or ligature adjustment, my teeth felt quite loose and very tender, so I either ate really soft ground, pureed, or practically liquid food, or I ate solid food that could be easily mashed & swallowed without much chewing. Throughout my time in braces, I *never* had a problem digesting meat, seafood, poultry, dairy, and fats, even when I swallowed chunks of unchewed meat or barely mashed it with minimal chewing (I did make sure to cut firm meat into fairly small pieces to minimize choking risk). The ability to digest meat didn’t seem to depend on either texture or degree of cooking, thought that did make a difference in my comfort while eating and chewing.

    But for about 7 or or 8 months, whenever I tried to eat vegetables, I either minimized vegetable ingestion or else I had to either cook them to the point of being disgustingly soft & mushy or pureed with a blender. It wasn’t just for eating and chewing comfort, either. If I prepared vegetables the way I prefer (raw or lightly cooked, aka al dente), my abdomen “talked” to me for hours after a meal, evidently trying extra hard to break down the vegetables. I wasn’t in pain or particularly uncomfortable, but the obvious and continual churning, rumbling, and somewhat increased gas production from barely chewed vegetables was very annoying and interfered with good sleep for both myself and my husband (he could hear the rumbling and gurgling noises).

    Salad greens were the worst to eat, because it was *very* hard to chew the thin leaves efficiently so they took a ridiculous amount of effort and time to consume, and they created the most abdominal noise and churning sensation. I love having a big salad with my dinner, so initially I tried swallowing salad without much chewing, but that created a far worse choking hazard than swallowing unchewed meat (the leaves would act like plastic cling wrap & stick at the back of the mouth or top of the esophagus). For the first 7 mos with braces I mostly gave up on raw and chunky vegetables and salads. When I ate vegetables, I either cooked them until very soft and/or blenderized them to make up for my inability to chew well, or I limited myself to just a few small bites.

    If I had any doubt about the difference in digestibility between meat and plant foods, I don’t now.

  • ATG – Your story is really very interesting. I find the most digestible meals to be some kind of red meat and little else. My wife is not so much the carnivore, but we both enjoy certain cuts of beef with little else. Interesting read – thank you for posting it.

  • ATG:

    Your story makes biochemical sense.  In order to digest vegetable matter, we need to chew it well in order to break down the cellulose, which forms the cell walls of green plants —

    — and which we can't digest.  Otherwise the nutrients we can digest are trapped within the cells, and digestive distress results as our stomachs and small intestine try (and fail) to break down the cellulose.

    That's why long cooking, pureeing, or juicing vegetables allowed you to eat them — it broke down the cellulose where your teeth couldn't.

    Thanks for sharing!


  • Daniel Taylor

    JS: this is precisely why corn terrifies me so much:

    No matter how much you chew it, it still comes out whole….

    WTF IS UP WITH CORN?!?!?!?!?

  • cobalamin

    J. Stanton:

    I’ve been experimenting and I’m going to point out the errors in the logic.

    You’ve never been Vegan for at least a year. A vegetarian’s gut flora is similar to a meat-eaters gut flora, as in harboring more harmful bacteria than beneficial bacteria and a lot different than a Vegan’s gut flora, as in, a Vegan harbors very little harmful bacteria and a lot of beneficial bacteria. Vegetarians have levels of protease enzymes close to those of meat-eaters, going from Vegetarian to eating meat is not a big leap in noticing what rots and what doesn’t.

    As a vegan that has been vegan for over 3 years, I decided to test cooked meat, raw meat, cooked fish and raw fish.

    Cooked meat: I experienced a serious immune system response, my body did not want the cooked meat, right away it exited my stomach where it was dumped in my GI tract to rot, major gas and abdominal pain.

    Raw meat: Digested beautifully however my armpits and feces stank the day after.

    Cooked fish: Digested fine however I woke up with a small ball of snot in my throat. Very small immune system response.

    Raw fish: Digested beautifully however my armpits and feces stank the day after.

    For me, meat is for survival and nothing else since I know how we humans produce large quantities of Vitamin B12. So.. There isn’t anything needed in meat that can come from vegetation and that we can easily produce ourselves.

    I’ve never had grains and vegetables rot in my GI tract, only beans at the beginning of going Vegan from being a meat-eater, not anymore. My guess is that a meat-eater/vegetarian moving from their current diet onto a Vegan diet will experience gas at first as the gut flora changes, harmful bacteria dying off and GI tract getting cleaned up from the processed animal products and/or cooked flesh. Grains should be avoided because of the anti-nutrients and the damage they cause on the brain.

    We aren’t herbivores, omnivores or carnivores. We are frugivorous apes that should be butt naked and barefoot in the tropics.

  • Daniel:

    The reason corn ends up in poop is because the outer shell of a corn kernel is made of cellulose, which we can't digest.


    Before I get into the disagreements, I'd like to note that we agree on the grain issue — and I'm sure we also agree that massive subsidies for monocropped GMO grains are both unhealthy and incredibly destructive to our environment.  

    Furthermore, while I'm not a raw foodist, “raw vegan + meat/fish/eggs” is a very healthy Paleo variant…and in general, I think foods that can be eaten raw (even if they typically aren't) are better for us that foods that require processing.  I sear the outside of my steaks and roasts for flavor, but I prefer the rest bleu…and I'll never turn down good sashimi, or a delicious baby green salad.

    That being said:

    “We aren't herbivores, omnivores or carnivores. We are frugivorous apes that should be butt naked and barefoot in the tropics.”

    While there's absolutely nothing wrong with being butt-naked and barefoot in the tropics, we haven't been frugivorous for at least six million years.  Furthermore, our (partially) frugivorous ancestors were quadrupedal tree-climbers with tiny 300-350cc brains, limited to dwelling in the tropical forests that provided them with ripe fruit.  

    (For those interested in what the fossil record tells us of the history of hominin evolution and diet, I've been exploring it at length in my series Big Brains Require An Explanation.)

    As for myself, I prefer bipedalism and my big 1300cc+ brain — which gives me the ability to make and use tools so that I can live somewhere besides malaria, leech, and parasite-ridden tropical forests.  Plus, there's no skiing in Equatorial Africa, and I prefer living in mountains — such as these andthese.

    “For me, meat is for survival and nothing else since I know how we humans produce large quantities of Vitamin B12. So.. There isn't anything needed in meat that can come from vegetation and that we can easily produce ourselves.”

    Your facts aren't straight.  No animal produces vitamin B12!  Only bacteria produce it.  Ironically, while gut bacteria produce some quantity of B12, it's not absorbed through the colon, so the only way to get it (besides eating animal products) is to eat your own poop — a practice I can't recommend unless you are a rabbit or other cecotrope.

    (Ruminants, such as cattle, goats, and sheep, barf up and redigest vegetation that's been fermented by bacteria in their rumen, so they can actually absorb the B12 their own bacteria are producing.)


    Moving on: the balance of gut flora does tend to adapt over time to one's diet — so any rapid shifts in diet can cause GI distress.  Furthermore, those who haven't eaten meat for a long time can suffer from an insufficiently acid stomach.  Ordinarily, meat stimulates the secretion of additional gastric acid (which improves the digestion of anything eaten with it) — but it can take some time for longtime veg*ans to re-adapt.  HCl supplements can be helpful, as can a few tbsp of vinegar taken with the meal.


  • Briann

    I have been reading that if we eat too high of a protein diet we get sick…our kidneys will fail and we get diarrhea and things like that..I am aware that we do not digest the fibers in non meat foods but I am pretty sure that we do get some of the vitamin benefits from the vegetable matter foods as no one runs around with skurvy these days and it is my understanding that meat is a poor source of vitaman c.

    I am not personally going for a zero residue diet. I am more than happy to poop out fibers and inedibles and toxins.

    Also beans do not make me gassy but man some of the asian cooking products sure do. No fish sauce for me.

    So I am sticking to meat, veggies, some dairy and some fruit. Do not try to convince me that a strawberry is toxic lol.

  • Briann:

    The “protein damages your kidneys” myth is another widespread piece of propaganda with no backing to it…I should write an article about it!  

    It is true that we can't live indefinitely on a 100% protein diet…our livers can only convert so much protein to glucose each day, and our cells aren't very efficient at using it directly for energy AFAIK.  It's called “rabbit starvation”, and though it's a very effective weight loss plan (see: the Velocity Diet), we need fat and/or carbohydrate to make up the bulk of our daily energy needs.

    In real life, however, protein is extremely satiating — so it's very difficult to eat more of it than our bodies need unless we're making lots of protein shakes.  And our kidneys are more likely to excrete the incomplete proteins from grains than the complete proteins in meat, eggs, and dairy: if we're short on any one of the twenty essential amino acids, the rest are either converted to glucose or excreted.

    Also, as I said in the article, “I am not arguing that we should never eat vegetables: I’m just busting a silly myth.”  I actually eat far more vegetables than I used to before going paleo!  However, I don't do it because I'm afraid of damaging my kidneys, peeing out my bones, or any of the other bizarre anti-meat myths out there.  I do it because some of them taste good.  

    Summary: we're not arguing.  Keep doing what you're doing.


  • Sybal Janssen

    I lean a little bit toward the idea of a diet that consists of animal protein, vegetables and a fairly high fat content that includes animal fat – providing those animals are grazed on grass and fed with ground up animal carcasses. Yet I take issue with the idea that the so called paleo diet represents the diet of early man. Even with modern weapons, hunting an animal for food hard work, particularly in the winter and early spring. Those animals that our early forefathers did manage to kill were thin and filled with parasites. I suspect that early man fed himself on roots and grubs far more consistently than he fed himself on meat. Except for those animals killed in summer when forage was plentiful, the amount of fat on an animal would be skimpy at best. The chances of overindulging on fat in prehistoric days would be few and far between. Quite frankly the Paleo Diet in and of itself is a diet that is only feasible in a country that is wealthy enough in terms of open space and grasslands to support an abundance of meat animals. It is also only possible in a society where agricultural practices restrain the growth of parasites, while promoting a relative amount of cleanliness in the packing houses. Also, if it is true that the formidable armies of ancient Rome primarily subsisted on rations of grain that they ground daily with their portable mills, then a high protein diet is not necessarily the best option for all peoples.

  • Sybal:

    “I take issue with the idea that the so called paleo diet represents the diet of early man. Even with modern weapons, hunting an animal for food hard work, particularly in the winter and early spring. Those animals that our early forefathers did manage to kill were thin and filled with parasites. I suspect that early man fed himself on roots and grubs far more consistently than he fed himself on meat. Except for those animals killed in summer when forage was plentiful, the amount of fat on an animal would be skimpy at best. The chances of overindulging on fat in prehistoric days would be few and far between.”

    What evidence do you have for that theory?  I'm going through the archaeology of ancestral diet right now, in this series of articles…and I long ago debunked the idea that our more recent ancestors (caribou hunters ~30 KYa) ate a diet of lean protein, here.  

    “Quite frankly the Paleo Diet in and of itself is a diet that is only feasible in a country that is wealthy enough in terms of open space and grasslands to support an abundance of meat animals.”

    That's true.

    However, if you're running a zoo and someone tells you “We don't have the budget to feed meat to all those lions…let's feed them corn instead,” you would rightly say “Then we have too many lions in the zoo.”  The same holds true for the world: if we can't feed humans a diet that keeps us healthy and fit, then there are too many of us.  

    Before we get too excited about the consequences, though, it's very important to note that industrial agriculture, such as we practice now, is completely unsustainable, depending on massive inputs of fossil fuel via the Haber process and using up topsoil at roughly 1% per year…and that while less than 20% of the US is arable, ruminants can graze sustainably nearly anywhere.

    “If it is true that the formidable armies of ancient Rome primarily subsisted on rations of grain that they ground daily with their portable mills, then a high protein diet is not necessarily the best option for all peoples.”

    I hope you're not using the diets of conquering armies — who eat by confiscating whatever their victims are growing or herding — as an template for human health.  Do you have data showing that soldiers in the Roman army somehow outlived their contemporaries?  (I thought not.)


  • Kimberly

    Do you have a post on the ethics of meat eating? I haven’t thoroughly investigated the page yet actually, but I did not see one. I have just read through the last years worth of comments on the subject, and I think the ethics do play a part in the discussion IF you are a vegetarian or vegan. I have been a strict vegetarian for four years. (No meat (“nothing with a face”) dairy or eggs. My primary reason for being vegetarian is that once I realized what was taking place within the mass factory farm situations, I chose to not be part of it. It is that plain and simple. I have two daughters, one is a vegetarian and one is not. I still cook meat for my non veggie girl…but I have a hard time doing it. I don’t try to push the health benefits of being vegetarian…it IS more difficult than eating very readily available meat…but I do feel that if more people were aware of what actually took place behind the scenes there would be more people that did not include meat in their diet. I don’t know if I am better off, but I have never had any of the problems associated with eating a vegetarian only diet that some of the posts here talked about. My cholesteral is very low and my blood pressure is great too at 46…and I feel better since I stopped with the animals. So, anyway, I would be very interested to see a post related to the ethics behind animal consumption…I think it would be interesting and, of course, more specific since this started truly in regard to the issue of the “rotting food”. I do feel though that the majority of people “for” eating meat that would post would be the McDonald’s burger and nuggets folks that really just don’t care and turn away from what is unpleasant. I feel like so many people in the above posts are so negative in regard to vegetarians which I just don’t get! They were so excited to have some kind of information that they could re-post on their facebook pages next to a picture of them eating a steak or a bucket of KFC…they weren’t really concerned with the health issues or the digestion (which you were pointing out) but just that someone made it okay for them to not feel bad about eating it. Anyway…more than I originally meant to say…it was an interesting hour…

  • john j.

    never in a million years would i eat cows,pigs,chickens, ive been vegan for 10 years and have energy and run marathons and in good health just like my doctor is. all you people that have excuses why animals should have to suffer for your tste buds and diets, why dont you get a taste of your own medicine and be slaughtered yourself.
    dead animal carcas is not meant for human bodies or else we would eat it raw like lions and then we would start eatin gdogs and cats, but thankfully some people still have hearts on planet earth and are trying to spraed the word you dont have to eat rotten flesh to be healthy, most of these commenters are meat/dairy industry thugs who are the murderers of these animals. go to peta.org like i did and see the truth about the crap youre eating. factory farming is the number 1 cause of air pollution and greenhouse gases so youre taste buds is murdering animals and destroying planet earth. and yes grains and beans may be indigestible, but the answer is not eating cows and pigs, there are sick people out there.

  • Kimberley:

    I haven't spent much time on the ethics of meat-eating, because it's been covered so ably by people like Simon Fairlie in Meat: A Benign Extravagance and Lierre Keith in The Vegetarian Myth.  However, there are a few important facts to keep in mind:

    1. Our ancestors were definitely eating meat since 3.4 million years ago, and probably since before our split with the ancestors of chimpanzees and bonobos (who also eat meat) 6-7 million years ago.  Meat-eating is natural behavior for humans.

    2. Animals and animal products are a necessary part of the cycle of life.  Industrial, chemical fertilizer and pesticide-based monocropping (usually of GMO grains) is an unsustainable environmental disaster whether we feed the result to cattle, to pigs, or to people.  As I wrote previously:

    “Even worse, industrial grain production impoverishes our farmers, destroys our soil and our water, and leaves barren landsalt flats, and dead ocean deltas in its wake. It demands unimaginable amounts of fossil fuels to create nitrogen fertilizer, toxic herbicides and pesticides, and giant sowing and harvesting machines, and to transport the grain from the Midwest to where people actually live. It demands giant, river-killing dams to fill irrigation canals. It strip-mines fossil water, pumped fromunderground aquifiers that took millions of years to fill—all to grow corn, wheat, and soybeans on land best suited for grazing livestock on perennial grasses.  (Did you know that 3-5% of world natural gas production—1-2% of the entire world energy supply—is required just to make ammonium nitrate fertilizer? No, that’s not a misprint.)

    And just to choose the most ironically named example, the “Fertile Crescent” is mostly barren desert—denuded forever by the agriculture that was invented there, and once flourished there. (It covers regions of modern-day Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria…countries known for being desert wastelands.)  In short, industrial agriculture is an unmitigated environmental catastrophe.”

    3. Paleo emphasizes the consumption of grass-finished, sustainably raised meat.  It's better for us, and better for the Earth.  Grain isn't the natural diet of cattle any more than it is ours.

    In summary, we both agree that industrial food production is destructive.  However, there are many options for sustainable consumption of animals and animal products.  eatwild.com is a good place to start looking for local providers.

    That being said, if you still can't bear to eat anything with a face, that's your choice, which I respect: I was a vegetarian once.  However, I submit that it's a learned, cultural response based on our industrial food system keeping us insulated from the realities of production, not anything innate.  In real life, unlike children's books, cattle aren't cute: they're big and dumb and smell like poop.  

    And while this doesn't excuse wanton cruelty, all anyone has to do is watch a few Youtube videos of starving wildebeest or Cape buffalo being eaten alive by lions, hyenas, and wild dogs to realize that being fed for your whole life, protected from predators your whole life, and then killed instantly by being shot in the head maybe isn't so inhumane after all.


    john j:

    Read my answer above.



  • C-Dan

    A discussion on health comes later.
    Will I be able to eat human meat? yes. Will human meat rot in my colon? no.
    What qualifies us for eating animals? Intellect? cognition? level of consciousness? Physical superiority?
    I don’t eat retarded humans. I don’t eat weaker humans. If the criteria for eating from the animal kingdom was “survival of the fittest”, me being in the top 1% of the human population when it comes to height and IQ (despite the rotting grains in my intestines) could pose as a predator to 99% of the human population apart from the rest of animal kingdom and would be vulnerable to few.. that would be a good deal, wouldn’t it?
    Why don’t I exercise my superiority? Because I DO NOT want others to do that to me.
    If there were a wiser, stronger species on earth, I would want it to let me be.

    What Veganism is : It is a way of life. You don’t cannibalize, you derive nutrition and resources from way down in the consciousness food chain.

    Which option appeals to you? –
    I eat an apple from an apple tree, I let the apple tree be, I take the apple seeds and plant them for more trees.
    I feed a cow, jail it forever, impregnate it over and over again, drain its milk, slay its calf and finally when the cow can no longer give milk, slay it too.

    Let’s keep this aside.
    Let’s take the article you had linked to. I can provide 10,000 counter studies. What difference does it make?
    I can tell you about studies which show vegans and vegetarians have always had a better IQ than their non-vegan counterparts. I can give examples of people getting rid of their diseases after turning vegan etc etc.
    But all that’s numbers and secondary.

    What’s primary?
    That you were able to post here and get a reply from me. To comprehend that reply, to have the time to absorb it without someone having planned your death as soon as you were born.
    To be able to respond to me again without being physically harmed.
    The freedom is primary.

  • C-Dan:

    “What qualifies us for eating animals?”

    What qualifies a wolf, raven, hyena, cougar, raccoon, tuna, lion, or any other animal to eat other animals?  Because that's what they do.  Each has a long evolutionary history of eating animals as part or all of its diet, and each is well-adapted to do so in its own way. 

    Similarly, eating animals is what humans do — and we are well-adapted to do so in our own way.  Instead of using fangs and claws, we have a multi-million year history of making stone tools in order to eat animals.  That history shaped us into what we are today: intelligent, opportunistic omnivores.

    I absolutely agree that we need to be careful not to overexploit the Earth: as I've said before, seven billion people would be far too many even if we all ate nothing but tofu.  But I see no need to discard what humans are in order to achieve that restraint.  (And such efforts are doomed anyway: over 2/3 of US 'vegetarians' admit to eating meat.)

    “I can tell you about studies which show vegans and vegetarians have always had a better IQ than their non-vegan counterparts.”

    Really?  Citations, please.


  • […] Nein. 6. June 2012 Was verrottet denn im Darm? Bohnen, Getreide und Gemüse. Mit dem Titel “Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables!” stellt J. Stanton recht frühzeitig klar, worum es in seinem Artikel geht. Eine vielzitierte […]

  • indrajit

    you a yankee? sounds so!because thats the only race that cannot decode the basic code of life,or what life is,but keeps making scientific farts about having known everything.the catch,my man,is not whether meat rots or not,rather how meat digests meat!it is no less fascinating as the fact that meat eaters and non meat eaters have vrey different perceptions.have you any idea why meat is not on the exact good books of the spiritual guys?you wont know,because half of your population thinks NASA is the best thing to happen to mankind. :} update your reads.not why meat is,but how meat is.scince is,about why, and not how.regards

  • indrajit:

    “you a yankee? sounds so!because thats the only race that cannot decode the basic code of life,or what life is”

    I'm proud that I don't think I know everything!  The evidence is quite clear: those who think they do know everything are proven wrong, nearly every day, by new discoveries.


  • jo3hn

    Would you or anyone please compare the life span of meat-eating persons
    and persons who almost do not eat meat?

  • Pauline

    Wonderful article! Half way throught the comments which are always informative. This is the kind of writing I enjoy and find fascinating – thank you.

  • jo3hn:

    The China Study (not the fraudulent popular misrepresentation of it, but the actual, original data from China) shows a significant positive effect of animal protein consumption on heart disease and lifespan in general.  (Analysis here, extremely exhaustive analysis here.)

    The usual problem with comparing the two is that most vegetarians are doing their best to eat healthy, and most meat-eaters aren't: see the statistics at the beginning of this article for some comparisons between what vegetarians eat and what meat-eaters eat.  This is known as the Boy Scout effect.  For instance, Seventh Day Adventists are often held up as a positive example of long-lived vegetarians…but they don't smoke or drink alcohol, coffee, or tea, either.

    Furthermore, as the paper I cited notes, two-thirds of self-reported “vegetarians” in the USA still eat meat!  So most “vegetarians” are gaining the benefits of their attempts to eat a healthy diet — while still enjoying the nutritional benefits of meat-eating.

    To get an honest comparison, you'd have to compare two groups equally committed to their own health: for instance, a group of Ornish dieters vs. a group of Paleo dieters.  Then you'd have to compare compliance over time as well as outcomes for those who remained compliant.  And, sadly, neither diet has been around long enough to allow any meaningful comparisons.

    That being said, even given the Boy Scout effect and the fact that most “vegetarians” are still gaining the nutritional benefits of eating meat, the positive association of self-reported “vegetarianism” in the USA is extremely weak: 0.95 for all-cause mortality in this aggregation of studies (Table 3).  Interestingly, there is no association at all for ages < 65 and >= 80: only the age group 65-79 showed any mortality difference (Table 5).  And veganism had no protective effect at all (Table 7)!


    This is one of my most popular articles, for good reason — it's a remarkably durable myth.  I'm glad you find it informative!


  • Jeanmarie

    Thanks from another former vegetarian. Wonderful post, wonderful responses to the many comments. How do you find the time?!

    Thanks for pointing out the ills of industrial agriculture and overpopulation, and the need to educate and empower women, who can then exercise some control over their fertility. (And for remembering that men are part of the equation, too.)

    One of my favorite lines: “…all anyone has to do is watch a few Youtube videos of starving wildebeest or Cape buffalo being eaten alive by lions, hyenas, and wild dogs to realize that being fed for your whole life, protected from predators your whole life, and then killed instantly by being shot in the head maybe isn’t so inhumane after all.”

    I raise chickens for eggs, though we have killed a few to eat as well. We’ve also put a few injured or sick ones out of their misery and buried them in the garden or left them in the woods for other critters to eat. Harvesting is very, very difficult for us to do, because we get attached to our animals and don’t like to take their lives. But we feel as meat-eaters we must take responsibility for it by learning the whole process.

    It makes me very, very grateful to all animals I eat for making my life and health possible. In return, I make it my business to give them a good life. We don’t raise our own meat or pork but buy it from local ranchers who follow humane practices. Nothing makes me angrier than the factory farming system, except maybe child abuse. This earth could be a paradise for all with a little adjustment.

  • Jeanmarie:

    I'm not sure where I find the time!  It's getting harder and harder to keep up, and someday I won't be able to respond to everyone anymore.  Meanwhile, I do my best.

    Yes, we owe our lives to the animals we eat, as does every other carnivorous and omnivorous animal on the Earth.  We should understand and respect that we are just one part of the cycle of life, of eating and being eaten.  I'm glad you've found a way to understand and accept that.


  • […] Es wird nicht das Steak sein.Quellen und weitere Informationen:NDDIC: Gas in the digestive tractgnolls.org: Does meat rot in the colon? …Urgeschmack: Verrottet Fleischim Darm? Nein.Wikipedia: KarminativumWikipedia: FlatulenzGesund, […]

  • […] greater amount of nutrients and calories for a smaller amount of food. It is more efficient. Plus, protein is easier to digest and absorb than fiber is, so you won’t upset your insides as much. And you don’t have as many constituents in […]

  • C.S.

    Thanks for a very informative site! I’ve heard a claim that people with arthritis should not eat meat, as it exacerbates the arthritic symptoms. I’m wondering if you have any sources that would directly address this issue. I find it very difficult to believe that bone and joint health could be compromised by eating a nutrient-dense, animal-based diet, but I have no sources handy that can explain the science to people who are hearing this. I know at least two people who are insistent on vegetarianism because of their arthritis (women in their 60s), and who use all kinds of animal-protein substitutes like margarines and tofutti spread and soy sausages. My guess is they’re making things worse for themselves, but I’d like to explain it more clearly. Thanks!


  • Don

    Great Article! I’m researching the best diets for improving digestion, weight loss, and increased energy levels! What is your opinion on juicing vegetables, or fruit smoothies? Wich is better? Since plants and vegetables are hard to digest could I drink them instead? Would I then get the benefit without the digestive problems? Thanks again for a great easy to read article!

  • CJS:

    Without some specific mechanism by which meat is supposed to cause arthritis, I can't even begin to debunk that ridiculous claim.  Ask whoever's making the claim why it's bad — and if they can't tell you that, ask them where they heard that.  

    Finally, keep in mind that many people are simply set in their ways and will never consider changing them, no matter how ridiculous their beliefs.  Try your best, but don't be surprised or disappointed by failure.  It's their life and their decisions.


    Eating whole fruit is fine, but I don't like fruit smoothies because they're an easy way to consume soda-like quantities of sugar while pretending you're being healthy.  (Regular size Jamba Juice = 400+ calories of sugar.  12 ounce Coke: 140 calories of sugar.  Would you slam three cans of Coke?)  

    Juicing veggies is fine, and it leaves the nutrients intact AFAIK…but there's no need to go overboard.  Much like vitamins, more is not always better!  And a healthy digestive system is perfectly capable of handling reasonable amounts of vegetable fiber…some amount of which gets fermented into SCFAs like butyric acid, which is a Good Thing.  

    My opinion: I wouldn't bother juicing unless you really enjoy it and won't eat veggies otherwise…or if you have digestive issues that are exacerbated by vegetable fiber.)  Otherwise, just prepare them normally — whether by themselves or as part of a mixed dish — chew them well, and enjoy!  

    The healthiest diet in the long term will be the one that consumes the most nutrient-dense real foods and avoids the most processed foods.  (Hint: bread is a heavily processed food, as are all grain products.  As I've said many times: “Food doesn't have ingredients.  Food is an ingredient.”  See Eat Like A Predator for more.)


  • Hugo Stiegl

    I think the biggest dietary problem for americans in particular ,but all rich countries, is the volume of food consumed. we are terrible gluttons and on top of that we’re lazy. just look around you at the supermarket next time your there, it’s staring you in the face.doesn’t matter whether your vegan or paleo or anything in between, if you systematically under eat and get a good amount of daily exercise you can expect to be healthy. remember that in paleolithic times huge amounts of energy were spent acquiring food,today we just sit on the sofa and order the next pizza and coke over the internet. the average american eats four times what is needed to maintain health, think of what that means as far as our reliance on agriculture and land use. those rain forests in Brazil are being cleared so you can stuff one more maccas deluxe beef burgher down your fat gullet.

  • Hugo:

    Given the shape of the graphs, I have a hard time blaming obesity on sloth and gluttony — because that hypothesis depends on a massive nationwide moral failure roughly contemporaneous with the Reagan inauguration.

    And, lest we forget, both fast food and junk food existed before 1980.

    We've been flogging the standard advice (“eat less, move more”) for several decades, and it's been a miserable failure.  Clearly there's more to the problem.


  • jenna

    Evidence of how unsuitable meat is for human digestion is the relationship established by numerous studies between colon cancer and meat-eating. Meat-centered diets are almost always high in fat and low in fibre, resulting in a slow transit time through the colon and allowing toxic wastes to do their damage.

    Peter R. Cheeke, professor of Animal Science at Oregon State University, writes,

    “Rates of colorectal cancer in various countries are strongly correlated with per capita consumption of red meat and animal fat, and inversely associated with fibre consumption. Even the most dedicated Animal Scientist or meat supporter must be somewhat dismayed by the preponderance of evidence suggesting a role of meat consumption in the etiology of colon cancer.”

    Moreover, while being digested, meat is known to generate steroid metabolites possessing carcinogenic (cancer-producing) properties. True carnivores move raw meat through their digestive tracts quickly within about three hours. Humans, with their long digestive tracts, take between twelve and eighteen hours to process and digest flesh.

    Because the environment of the digestive tract is warm and moist, the meat rots and creates free radicals, unstable, destructive oxygen atoms that can cause cancer, premature aging, and other degenerative conditions. These free radicals are released into the body during the long digestion process.

    As research continues, evidence linking meat-eating to other forms of cancer is building up at an alarming rate.

  • “… alarming …”, eh? Gosh! Surprised

  • C-Dan

    Man I was looking for retard-land forever. Finally found it. Being led by J. Stanton.

    Coming to the point, I’ve rats in my backyard. I’ll pay you guys $10 for each rat you eat.

    I’ve got lots of money but only healthy, wise, vegan friends, so help is appreciated.
    I’ll pay for your children’s education if your brains can’t afford it.

    You get to eat the rats! Your children get education, It’s a win win situation!!!! What more can retards want!!!

  • Jughead

    I’m all for eating meat. But I won’t settle for anything less than human meat.

  • C-Dan

    “What qualifies a wolf, raven, hyena, cougar, raccoon, tuna, lion, or any other animal to eat other animals? Because that’s what they do…”

    Here’s what, a lion may kill another lion in fight and there’s no policing. A lion may see a sexy lioness and want to get it on with her and if it can, it will.

    Here’s the thing with humans, I see a tasty person on the street and kill her/him to eat, the police catches me.
    I see a hot babe on the street whom I can overpower and fcuk, and I do it, it would be called rape.
    In the rest of animal-land, there is nothing like rape or murder.

    So quit being a hypocrite, either legalize rape, murder and what not or go vegan. Don’t cite examples of carnivores you can’t live up to.

    And you didn’t answer any of the other things I mentioned. Seriously, douchery has limits!

  • jenna:

    What relationship?  Vegetarians suffer more bowel cancer than meat-eaters:

    Am J Clin Nutr May 2009 vol. 89 no. 5 1620S-1626S

    Cancer incidence in vegetarians: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford)

    Timothy J Key, Paul N Appleby, Elizabeth A Spencer, Ruth C Travis, Andrew W Roddam, and Naomi E Allen

    The incidence rate ratio for colorectal cancer in vegetarians compared with meat eaters was 1.39 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.91).

    Go here for more information: Carnosine, Colons, and Cancer


    Oh no!  Whatever shall we do?


    Disagreement is fine, but mudslinging is not welcome.  You're a guest in my house, and I expect you to respect that. 


    How's it taste?  If the modern American diet is any indication, it'll be flavored like a mix of Coca-Cola and Cool Ranch Doritos.


    Don't move the goalposts.  We're talking about eating other animals, not rape.  And I suspect a lot of women aren't willing to let you trivialize their experience by equating it with eating a hamburger.

    Furthermore, I've answered your questions: I'm sorry you don't like my answers.  Humans have a multi-million year evolutionary history of eating other animals as a significant part of our diet (see this series of articles), and the scientific consensus is that our big brains were made possible by the dense nutrition found in animal fat and meat, and made necessary by the difficulty of obtaining it!  (Pigs are perfectly capable of digging roots and tubers.)  If you want to go all the way back to veganism, you'll have to go back at least to the Miocene…and a brain smaller than a modern chimpanzee's.

    Besides, you still haven't answered my own question from earlier: where are these studies that “prove” vegetarians have higher IQs?  


  • […] And here is the whole article over at Gnolls.org.  And yes there are references. […]

  • Cheryl

    Thank you for this article. Really. I have a friend who is taking Community College courses, and she has become enamored with her A&P instructor who describes himself as “mostly vegan”. He has almost convinced her that a piece of beef takes 4 days to digest.

    I attended a college that actually taught people the facts, with no personal agenda included. We did the experiments (beef and broccoli) with hydrochloric acid at the same ph as the stomach, and lo and behold, the meat actually broke down faster than the broccoli.

    If vegetarians want to be taken seriously they have to stop using this argument.

  • […] Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables! […]

  • […] And here is the whole article over at Gnolls.org.  And yes there are references. […]

  • Mike

    I have been a meat eater my entire life and would consider myself a healthy person. 6 months ago I decided to go vegetarian. 2 months ago I started doing coffee enemas. The majority of the waste that initially came out was undigested pieces of meat. One of the most disturbing aspects was how identifiable the meat was; I could tell what cut it was from and what type of meat it was – in some cases it even smelled like it did when I ate it (over 4 months prior.) So yeah maybe it isn’t ‘rotting’ but it sure as sh!t does stay in you.

  • Coffee enemas? I'm from over the water, and I know you folks over there do some weird things, but really. At the risk of sounding offensive, do you have brain problems?

  • […] unknown, however, studies show some of the risk factors to be smoking cigarettes and excessive consumption of red meat…. facts or […]

  • Cheryl

    I think Mike must be joking, otherwise he really is a weirdo. Coffee enema, and going through his feces and being able to identify pieces he ate 4 months earlier? lol.

  • […] food make it to the big intestine where your gut bacteria go to work on the undigested food. Digestion of Foods (solids and liquids) start to happen as soon as the thought of food enters your brain….even […]

  • Dave

    In reply to Jenna: I tried to look up this Peter R. Cheeke. It seems he is quoted quite a bit by vegans. I could not find the original source for the quote supposedly made by him. I would like to see the list of these ‘studies’ that he says show correlations* between meat consumption and colon cancer. I wish to examine the data myself to see whether the authors of said studies used observational or clinical data. If observational, the data is practically useless due to confounding variables. Population studies are especially vulnerable to error in that researchers will find what they want to find (confirmation bias).

    Don’t believe me? Look up “Lies, Damn Lies, and Medical Science”. It’s an excellent article that deals with pervasive dishonestly in the medical research community. You’re trusting these people with your life?

    Anyway, back to colon cancer studies. Rich countries eat more factory farmed meat than poor countries. Rich countries eat more refined carbohydrates, especially sugars, than poor countries. Rich countries get more colon cancer.

    In data collection, researchers sometimes combine red meat with processed meat, and we should be able to guess that processed meats (the stuff eaten in sandwiches and on pizzas) will then come with several servings of white wheat flour. And those sandwiches and pizzas get washed down with HFCS containing drinks. So… is it the natural plain red meat that is to blame? Or could it be the confounding variables of wheat, sugar, or even preservatives and industrial seed oils? Unless you have actually read the study and know what variables the researchers were looking for (and ignoring), you really don’t know anything at all.

    * Correlation does not prove causation. Correlation does not prove causation. Correlation does not prove causation!!!

  • faroq

    you almost had me until your article took on the same tone as the very ones you were attempting to debunk and began to critique the consumption of vegetables. just another example of internet mis-information. shame.

  • Cheryl:

    That experiment doesn't surprise me, since the cellular walls of plants are very difficult to break down (being made of cellulose) in comparison to those of animals.

    Unfortunately, very few schools ever demonstrate these sorts of experiments, leaving the population vulnerable to veg*an misinformation.


    I've heard similar stories before — but I've never seen a colonoscopy in which anyone's colon had anything in it but the odd kernel of corn (or, occasionally, a penny).  And the “mucoid plaque” that comes out during “colon cleansing” is either just a) a combination of psyllium husks and bentonite clay, pressed into weird shapes by the peristalsis induced by senna and/or caffeine, i.e. you're getting out exactly what you put in, or b) a necrosed piece of your intestinal lumen (not good…you've just ripped away the barrier between your gut and the outside world).


    Caffeine is a potent stimulator of intestinal peristalsis AFAIK, so they're not a completely crazy idea if you're heavily constipated.


    I agree.


    Absolutely!  It's possible to make associative data 'prove' almost anything you want by carefully choosing which variables you 'control' for, and you'll still never know what all the covariates (which could also be causing the observed correlation) might have been.


    As I said in the article, “I am not arguing that we should never eat vegetables: I’m just busting a silly myth.”  I haven't eaten yet today (I'm IFing), but when I do, a head of Romaine lettuce is on the menu.


  • Dave

    After taking some time to read all of the above responses to this informative post, I would like to address a couple of things, and perhaps add more wood to the fire.

    I noticed that saliva pH was mentioned, but I don’t think the discussion got very far on that point. I’m no dentist or physician. The statement that the human mouth is slightly acidic on average is probably true in modern America and the world in general. The statement that diet influences mouth pH is also probably true. What isn’t correct is that mouth pH becomes even more acidic on a diet high in fat and animal protein. The opposite occurs. The mouth becomes more basic (pH 7.1-7.6) with fewer carbohydrates and more fats in the diet. Since carbohydrates predominate the modern human diet, it should follow that mouth pH is, as I stated, slightly acidic on average in any given population.

    This may have something to do with the predominant fuel that the body uses. If one is a fat burner, one’s mouth pH will become more basic. The more carbohydrates one consumes (that is, if one is a sugar burner) the more acidic the mouth environment becomes, and incidentally, the more tooth decay occurs. The consumption of sugars by average human omnivores is strongly correlated with tooth decay. Indigenous populations had near perfect teeth and well formed dental arches before the introduction of refined wheat flour and sugar as staples. They were often careless about oral hygiene. Some eaters of fatty meats barely even chewed their foods, yet they had perfect teeth into old age.

    No one has to take my word for it, though. There are pH test strips that you can put in your own mouth. You can compare the results to your own diet and the condition of your own teeth. With that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone claims to have perfect teeth on a high carbohydrate diet. Good for you! In any given population, someone is bound to beat the odds.

    My source on indigenous dental health: THE FAT OF THE LAND (1956) by Vilhjalmur Stefansson
    My source on saliva pH and body fuel: THE BIG BOOK OF ENDURANCE TRAINING AND RACING (2010) by Phil Maffetone

    Speaking of exceptions to the rule, here’s a little wood to stoke the conversational fires…

    In reading the above comments, I have found the Vegan Witnesses to be amusing, coming here to convert the lost souls using Vegan propaganda. I can spot the fruitarians right away, of course. Yes, I read Doug Graham’s 80/10/10 diet book and even lurked on the 30BaD forum. For that matter, I’ve read THE CHINA STUDY and watched FORKS OVER KNIVES. I’ve read other books and watched other documentaries, all telling me how healthy and ethical I would be to give up eating animals. I tried following their advice for a while, but my body refused to cooperate. I’m not so orthorexic to force my flesh to conform to any ideology. Thankfully, I read GOOD CALORIES, BAD CALORIES by Gary Taubes, and that gave me a whole new perspective on food.

    Now I’m not here to get you to leave your Vegan religion, but I just want to give you some perspective. No matter what you think you know, someone out there knows more. In fact some of us know more than one side of the issue, and we’re not easily convinced anymore by simple faith-based reasoning. Just to give you an example:

    The other day I came across this item on the internet – “VEGAN CENTENARIANS – WHERE ARE THEY?” (http://naturalhygienesociety.org/diet3.html#8)

    Wow, so there really are at least some Vegan centenarians! The comments section has a list of mostly vegetarian centenarians, but there are a couple of Vegans. We really shouldn’t count the vegetarians, though, since they still enslaved animals, right? 😉 Anyway, despite the vast majority of centenarians being omnivores, maybe being Vegan isn’t so bad after all?

    And then I came across this item on the internet – “THE WORLD’S OLDEST: ALL SMOKERS” (http://www.forces.org/static_page/oldest.php)

    WOW! So there really are centenarians who smoke tobacco! If I am to believe the information on both web sites, Christian Mortensen was a vegetarian and a smoker! It would seem many of these very elderly victims of the tobacco industry also ate fatty animal foods, too. Is there no stopping the artery cloggin’ meat industry!! (Tongue firmly planted in cheek, btw.)

    So, what’s my point? There are no guarantees in life. You can follow your favorite diet guru and still die young. You can live exactly like you imagine Okinawan centenarians do and still die young. You can do things that modern medicine says is unhealthy and live to a ripe old age (or not). Fruitarians and Vegans, if you want to go back to the trees, no one I know is stopping you. I will eat like a predator. We are born and we die. Hazrah Nachti.

  • ravi

    why did the Buddhist coroner get fired?

    because he kept listing the cause of death as “Birth”

    Thanks JS for your assiduous attention and answers – lotsa good stuff in the comments as well as the articles–

  • rawcr

    Please, read fully before making any comments as to the true nature of the human condition, give knowledge your attention and make a choice based on actual/factual/logical/ethical information.
    In truth and logical defense of a Vegan and Vegetarian diet, of fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables. Found here, is a very informative article on the difference (scientifically, biologically, evolutionarily, naturally, etc) between Herbivores, Omnivores, and Carnivores. This site also addresses questions about proteins as well as other common healthy related questions; Enjoy the information. BE WELL!!!


  • rawcr

    Read “Protocols of Zion” 16th Century. It states its influence on factual an nonfactual information, and how we will be misinformed; 10 false articles published to 1 article of truth. Follow the money… Also check out the Documentary “THRIVE” If this dose not open your eyes nothing will!!! I understand what you(JS)are stating, and do not mix facts with fiction, the world is not black and white. It is your choice to live the way you want as long as it is in the true light of love.. You appear to be well informed but, information does not denote Intelligence of Wisdom. I wish you all the love and luck on the path you have currently chosen.

  • Melissa

    Just some fun facts for all of you 🙂

    Why we can’t digest cellulose
    Because humans are frugivores. Grazers and leaf-eaters can digest cellulose. Frugivores cannot. Therefore cellulose digestion is NOT a hallmark of a “herbivore” since frugivores are herbivores too.

    We also DO need cellulose. Cellulose = fibre. Fibre is vital to help move food through the intestines.

    Actually, we are NOT designed to be omnivorous, in any way shape or form AT ALL.


    Facial Muscles

    CARNIVORE: Reduced to allow wide mouth gape
    HERBIVORE: Well-developed
    OMNIVORE: Reduced
    HUMAN: Well-developed

    Jaw Type

    CARNIVORE: Angle not expanded
    HERBIVORE: Expanded angle
    OMNIVORE: Angle not expanded
    HUMAN: Expanded angle

    Jaw Joint Location

    CARNIVORE: On same plane as molar teeth
    HERBIVORE: Above the plane of the molars
    OMNIVORE: On same plane as molar teeth
    HUMAN: Above the plane of the molars

    Jaw Motion

    CARNIVORE: Shearing; minimal side-to-side motion
    HERBIVORE: No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back
    OMNIVORE: Shearing; minimal side-to-side
    HUMAN: No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back

    Major Jaw Muscles

    CARNIVORE: Temporalis
    HERBIVORE: Masseter and pterygoids
    OMNIVORE: Temporalis
    HUMAN: Masseter and pterygoids

    Mouth Opening vs. Head Size


    Teeth: Incisors

    CARNIVORE: Short and pointed
    HERBIVORE: Broad, flattened and spade shaped
    OMNIVORE: Short and pointed
    HUMAN: Broad, flattened and spade shaped

    Teeth: Canines

    CARNIVORE: Long, sharp and curved
    HERBIVORE: Dull and short or long (for defense), or none
    OMNIVORE: Long, sharp and curved
    HUMAN: Short and blunted

    Teeth: Molars

    CARNIVORE: Sharp, jagged and blade shaped
    HERBIVORE: Flattened with cusps vs complex surface
    OMNIVORE: Sharp blades and/or flattened
    HUMAN: Flattened with nodular cusps


    CARNIVORE: None; swallows food whole
    HERBIVORE: Extensive chewing necessary
    OMNIVORE: Swallows food whole and/or simple crushing
    HUMAN: Extensive chewing necessary


    CARNIVORE: No digestive enzymes
    HERBIVORE: Carbohydrate digesting enzymes
    OMNIVORE: No digestive enzymes
    HUMAN: Carbohydrate digesting enzymes

    Stomach Type

    CARNIVORE: Simple
    HERBIVORE: Simple or multiple chambers
    OMNIVORE: Simple
    HUMAN: Simple

    Stomach Acidity

    CARNIVORE: Less than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach
    HERBIVORE: pH 4 to 5 with food in stomach
    OMNIVORE: Less than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach
    HUMAN: pH 4 to 5 with food in stomach

    Stomach Capacity

    CARNIVORE: 60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract
    HERBIVORE: Less than 30% of total volume of digestive tract
    OMNIVORE: 60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract
    HUMAN: 21% to 27% of total volume of digestive tract

    Length of Small Intestine

    CARNIVORE: 3 to 6 times body length
    HERBIVORE: 10 to more than 12 times body length
    OMNIVORE: 4 to 6 times body length
    HUMAN: 10 to 11 times body length


    CARNIVORE: Simple, short and smooth
    HERBIVORE: Long, complex; may be sacculated
    OMNIVORE: Simple, short and smooth
    HUMAN: Long, sacculated


    CARNIVORE: Can detoxify vitamin A
    HERBIVORE: Cannot detoxify vitamin A
    OMNIVORE: Can detoxify vitamin A
    HUMAN: Cannot detoxify vitamin A


    CARNIVORE: Extremely concentrated urine
    HERBIVORE: Moderately concentrated urine
    OMNIVORE: Extremely concentrated urine
    HUMAN: Moderately concentrated urine


    CARNIVORE: Sharp claws
    HERBIVORE: Flattened nails or blunt hooves
    OMNIVORE: Sharp claws
    HUMAN: Flattened nails

    In addition:

    Saliva: in omnivores and carnivores it’s acidic, in herbivores it’s alkaline. Human saliva is alkaline.

    Eyes: Much is made of our forward facing eyes. But sideways-pointing eyes indicate a prey animal, so herbivore animals that are not typically prey can have forward facing eyes, like hippos and many primates. Forward facing eyes are essential for animals, like primates, that climb trees, as it enables us to judge depth and work our way through branches and dense vegetation. In addition, the eyes of omnivores and carnivores cannot see colour well (dichromatic or monochromatic, referring to the how many types of rod there are in the eye), however we can see colour very well (trichromatic) and find it highly attractive – this corresponds with brightly coloured fruit being the tastiest and most nutritious, and is an evolutionary trait to find the best food. In mammals, only frugivores, or animals who eat a significant amount of fruit (like other primates) have good colour vision. Also, the eyes of many predators are able to track movement A LOT more easily than us, to enable them to accurately attack prey.

    Cooking food – we’re the only animal that has to cook and process its meat perfectly to render it edible and safe, cut it with knives because we can’t chew it, marinate it to make it more interesting, breed the farmed species and manipulate their life cycles and growth to produce less unsuitable meat, and kill the animal using tools because our own bodies are unable to.

    Other great apes have intestines that take up 50% of their digestive track whereas our takes up 20%. This is because other great apes are designed to eat more leaves than us. This is because leaves are high in protein, and since other great apes are multiple-times stronger than us, they need more protein.

    Male humans show colour preferences to blue and green, like other apes, whereas female humans prefer red. Perhaps this shows men’s need for slightly more leaves in their diet, since they have proportionally more muscle than females. Red and dark pink fruit have the most of certain phytochemicals.

    Perphaps the genuine canines of non-human primates are used for their occasional attacks or slaughter of each other and other animals. Some primates, like male chimpanzees, occasionally kill and eat smaller monkeys for psychological reasons, to prove their strength.

  • I suspect you're trying to prove a point …

    Either way, two things: first, I like red meat (not the female), my Mrs (the female) like blueberries and broccoli. Second, meat is more digestible raw. I only cook meat to make it an ingredient. I prefer meat, that's all red meat, raw. I find myself happier afterwards, digestively speaking.

    Oh, and I'm not an ape. I'm a human.

    Leaves are high in protein? Really? I just ate some … felt like a chimp and pulled a funny face. I've also just read on another forum that Post-It notes are high in protein. I've got a whole pack here … gonna smoke the lot!

    Ooh! I've got one …

    Humans can crack bone with our molars … only us, and hyaenas. Call a hyaena a chimp and it'll rip your face off. We have a modicum of humanity, for what it's worth.

    … and your link doesn't work.

    Eat meat … bigger brains. Eat like a predator … can smell shit from a mile off!

  • Melissa


    I am not to concerned about your thoughts considering you pulled two things from that article. That you like the colour red, and your wife likes blue, therefore that article has no validity, (great logic) and b) you were able to appreciate the fact you arent an ape. And FYI spinach has protein… but really glad it inspired you to pull a funny face, and eat post its. Wow, not so sure your proof of eating meat = bigger brain. But I appreciate the contribution.

  • rawcr

    First: I can prove with “science” that an object never hits the ground, but as we all know objects DO.
    Second: B12 deficiency is more prevalent in ‘meat’ eaters then ‘vegetarians’.
    Third; We Human Beings(different then just humanoid)are alkaline based, as meat eating animals are acid based. And in order for human beings to remain disease free(CANCER FREE)we need to keep our PH balance between 7.0-7.6 (this may be on or off one or two .0 but you get the idea)
    Forth: When man started to use fire he learned to cook the (NON-GMO)beans, grains, nuts, corn, etc. This is what allowed for the increase in Brain activity.
    Fifth: It costs approx. $80-$90 a pound to produce beef calf to plate… Why is it less to purchase, subsidized by the Pharmaceutical Industry. ?Why?
    FINALLY: Now that the question has arisen and you have taken the ‘diligence’ to inform yourself; do not stop at this article or what comforts your socialized program. Be the Thriving Human Being you chose to be. Your Volunteerism is what allows your free will to exist. Use multiple sources and be aware of the agencies that write the articles(research your sources). Remember money rules the information age and censors most truth.

  • Melissa

    Why Vegetarians Are More Intelligent than Meat Eaters

    Here is a couple articles linking HIGH IQ as a child to a vegetarian diet as an adult that you were asking about earlier. The one article does find an interesting correlation within the U.S. in that it is not as strong of a correlation between childhood IQ and becoming a vegetarian as an adult. Perhaps all that Jersey shore is rotting the brain? Or maybe it has become somewhat of a trend instead of an intelligently thought out choice because it is the moral the ethical way in which to eat. There is a long long list of people who made major advances in their various fields or were just plain smart people who were also known vegetarians. Extremely intelligent people. This list includes: Mark Twain, Leonardo Da Vinci, Plutarch, J.H. Kellogg, George Bernard Shaw, Albert Schweitzer, Pythagorus, Voltaire, Leo Tolstoy, Thorea, Gandhi, and Einstein. He became a vegetarian towards the last few years of his life and is quoted as saying “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” Those are some people I am quite proud to share the same ideologies with. I like them understand when it comes to my diet and what I eat it isnt just about me. Society needs to stop thinking only of themselves because we are destroying ourselves and our planet. No other animals enslave, use and abuse another species the way we do, and we call ourselves superior. In what way? The fact that we can reason and understand these animals suffer so much for the sake of a taste of flesh is quite possibly the strongest case we have for the fact that we are not any better, or any more superior. Another quote from the brilliant man:

    ” A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
    —Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

    I think this is also the key for us advancing our society further than we have already. I will not argue that we started out as a tree dwelling monkey, and that it was eating meat that allowed us to evolve so that our brains could grow to the marvelous organ it is today, but now that we have reached this new level of thinking and awareness, I think it is our duty as a superior species to have mercy on those beings. For the sake of compassion and love and peace, I think it is well worth sacrificing our past flesh eating if it has the potential to eliminate murder and suffering and pain in more aspects of this world than just what the animals experience. If murdering an animal was looked upon by all as a true loss and sorrow and its life and soul given the reverence we as a society are completely void, then can you imagine those same people aiming a gun at each other? Throughout history very intelligent free thinking people all associated with peace have argued that vegetarianism is key to this world knowing peace. Isnt that what we all say we want? maybe its time to try something new, because for the millions of years that we have been eating meat and killing animals, we have also been slaughtering each other. To keep doing the same thing, but expect different results, that is the definition of insanity, yet we just keep on with our past ways. I think somebody inquired about you doing an article on the morality of the act of eating flesh, and noticed you left that one untouched. I think many people deep in their heart and soul feel it to be wrong, but just go along with the rest of the herd. Nobody can argue that people aren't immensely inclined to adopt whatever belief and idea of the culture they were brought up in. Reading the immense confidence in your scientific facts that its natural and healthy is all people need to cling to so that any of the feelings we may have had as children about killing things as wrong, to be silenced. But by continuing to partake in the murder and eating of sentient emotional beings with a desire to live and be free and perpetuating the slaughter of millions of animals, we will never live to see a day where we no longer slaughter and kill one another. We are desensitized, and have been told that it is just the way we are for as long as we can remember. There is far more propaganda out there for eating meat than for not eating meat, hence the fact it is so much more popular, and as you stated where even people claiming to be vegetarian do it. Those brilliant people listed above were able to hold firm in those beliefs that a vegetarian diet is essential for us as a society to progress into something new, something more beautiful and more full of love and enlightenment then we have ever been able to achieve. Perhaps following their advice for a just a few milleniums could be wise? We have tried the whole eating meat thing for millions, perhaps it has given us our big brains, and our fancy iphones, and rocket ships and satellites. But now that we have those things, maybe there is more we can achieve that isnt about how much fancy shit we can invent but how much love we can start putting out into this broken and fucked up world.” The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man”.—George Bernard Shaw. We have been adapting the world to ourselves since these “1300cc” brains you so much like to bring up like some superiority token. The fact is that these animals suffer so much, when we can live healthy without it. There is no love in the slaughter of another living being, justt because my brain is bigger, my right to live and be free should not also be greater. You and I are NOT more deserving of a free life because our brains managed to evolve faster. We live in a world that has “always” eaten meat as you say, and you are evidence we have always justified it, and stated it as natural, but maybe its not meant to be our way. Maybe we would have evolved anyways, but there is no way to test that now is there?
    And again, even if eating meat is the reason we became the way we are, we don't have to continue doing it. Thats the beauty of being human, that we have the choice every time we sit down to eat. By what we have on our plate we are choosing to continue on the path we are on or to say that things can be different in our world, that we can live in a kinder more loving place. but things can't be different without loving and compassionate people willing to try something our species according to you has never done in order to achieve something our species has never been able to achieve before. A world of peace. I don't believe we will ever be there until we learn to respect the lives of animals on this planet the way we respect the lives of man. But one can argue we cant even figure out how to do that.

    Maybe stop pigeon holing vegetarians for being stupid niave people with no concept of your “far superior” scientific facts about the history of flesh eating. Maybe just maybe, vegetarianism is the next step in our evolution to reaching our full potential in the moral capacity we are so dreadfully lacking. The list of people above, I'd consider them all brilliant, and some ahead of their times. I am happy to be among them, in the hopes that one day mankind will be able to let go of the archaic past of murder, pain and death and instead at one of kindness, love and compassion. But that's just me. End rant.

  • … and every other intelligent person in a substantially longer list is a meat eater. That proves nothing.

    Don't get me started on Kellogg – what a compassionate guy! I wouldn't want to be associated with him, or Hitler, or Pol Pot, or Manson, but guess I'm “associated” with a bunch of evil folks by proxy of being a meat eater. I just wouldn't make the association – intelligent people are just that: intelligent; stupid people are just that. It's as a species, we have the advantage of a big brain.

    Would world peace really be a good thing? How does it matter? Conflict exists because we fight for resources, be that as an individual, a tribe, a nation or a species. We are now over-populated as a species and so fight against each other and against other species over resources to sustain our way of life, a way of life that was borne out of us moving away from eating meat to eating plant matter. Our massive population actually has its genesis in moving over to plant matter as our principal source of food. Now what? It is, after all, insane to think that doing the same thing over and over again and will glean different results.

    Maybe, just maybe …

    You'll likely find, if you asked, that many people here know exactly what you're (you're not your*) talking about as many here have been there, done that, got the T-Shirt saying “Wheat Grass is Real Food! (Honest)” and moved on. We don't pigeon-hole vegetarians. In fact, we probably don't think about them at all … until they meander into someone else's lifestyle forum and start chirping away.

    Since we're pulling pointless quotes out, “we don't hate vegetarians, we just think they're funny” – Steve Albini.

  • Melissa

    and you are entitled to think that we are funny. we are after all are the minority…that’s to be expected. I believe it to be true there are a lot more vegetarians out there who have strived to better the world than meat eaters percentage wise. But I don’t see how anybody else would be of your concern. And the list may not prove something but the research with High IQ and the choice to become a vegetarian as an adult is some evidence. Hitler was not actually a vegetarian, he loved stuffed pigeon, and ate sausage regularly. Not that it matters, there is going to be good and moral people in both categories, but I think the morality may be a little misguided on the meat eating side because we have been taught since we were children it is just how the world works, that animals die for our unnecessary pleasure to put their flesh in our mouths. Vegetarians are the ones questioning the status quo, as most of us abhor the killing of anything, and meat eaters seem to be a little more non-chalant about that sort of thing, which you helped support with a comment like this “Would world peace really be a good thing? How does it matter?”
    It would matter a lot to the millions of families who are shipped the bodies of their sons, brothers and husbands home to bury. To the child who lost his dad, or to the children who are robbed of a childhood because they are forced to fight in a war they don’t even understand, forced to murder other innocent people. I’d like to think we could do so much better, but it is impossible to change minds like yours, and that is why society will stay the way it is. Which is such a shame. And the quotes aren’t pointless. This one still much applies and I will say it again. “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man”.—George Bernard Shaw.
    The people who are willing to adapt are stuck with most of the world’s population who are not willing to adapt. We need to make some MAJOR changes in our values, and thoughts about what this life is all about, it sure isn’t about inflicting pain and suffering on others for your own pleasure. There is no real humane way to slaughter an animal. The desire to live that exists in those millions of dogs own and loved in peoples homes is the same for every animal. We have laws to protect some animals but not others. Where do they divide the line between this animal isn’t ok to torture but this one is? I know that the billions of people out there who eat meat aren’t torturing animals, but they are supporting the torture of them when giving their money to a system that does because they like the way it tastes. In her book slaughterhouse, Gail Eisnitz, the chief investigator for the Humane Farming Association in the U.S. interviewed dozens of slaughterhouse workers throughout the country (which by the sounds of it is your country). In these interviews she found that every single one admitted to abusing animals or neglecting to report those who did. Some quotes from the workers of these interviews, “Hogs get stressed out pretty easy. If you prod them too much they have heart attacks. If you get a hog in a chute that’s had the shit prodded out of him and has a heart attack or refuses to move, you take a meat hook and hook it into his bunghole [anus]. You’re dragging these hogs alive, and a lot of the time the meat hook rips out of the bunghole. I’ve seen hams-thighs- completely ripped open, I’ve also seen intestines come out. If the hog collapses near the front of the chute, you shove the meat hook into his cheek and drag him forward.” Another one “pigs on the kill floor have come up and nuzzled me like a puppy. Two minutes later I had to kill them – beat them to death with a pipe” These stories by real workers, from real slaughterhouses go on and on and on. Eisnitz chronicled the constant failure of U.S. Deptarment of Agriculture inspectors to stop this abuse and their willingness to look the other way. And of course they would, because I am sure they don’t have their first choice in workers for those kinds of conditions. Who would want to do that job? Nobody, but they don’t have to think about it at all when they go to the store to see the neat and tidy slab of meat for their christmas dinner.
    Personally, I don’t believe anyone should allow that to happen, but we live in a society that does allow it to happen, every…single…day. So knowing I can get all the nutrients I need without putting an innocent creature through that kind of horror makes it impossible for me to condone that kind of torture. The only real way to take a stand is to refuse to participate. By supporting the industry that does it, you might as well be the one in the room doing those terrible things. Pigs have been shown to have intelligence that exceeds a three year old child. It’s not ok to do that to a three year old child, yet we condone it with a pig because its “just an animal”.
    I am not ok with that. That doesn’t make sense to me, but I am sure somehow you are able to make it work for you. But that is the different frame of mind that sets you and I apart, and I will always be proud of that distinction. My reverence and respect for life and yours are just plain and simple…different.
    It’s not about a been there done that kind of trend that you are suggesting so many people will relay to me that it was for them. Most vegetarians don’t view inhumane torture as something you move on from because its plain and simple wrong. I believe you don’t think about vegetarians at all, you don’t think much about anyone else but yourself.

    Lastly, thank you for correcting my grammar, you may have noticed I had already done that. You didn’t notice however that I left my typo of the word naive, because this is an internet forum, not a thesis paper. But just in case. Naive* 😉

  • Dave

    Funny how raw vegans, aka fruitarians, always use ‘vegetarians’ as a proxy for how healthy a ‘plant-based-diet’ can be. Let’s see, last I checked vegetarians eat cooked and raw plants AND may consume milk products, eggs, and sometimes fish. I agree, then, that vegetarians who consume some animal products, but not the flesh of land animals, can live long, healthy lives. This is a far cry from eating only raw fruits and some kinds of greens.

    Vegetarianism != Veganism != Fruitarianism. The nutritional profiles of these diets can be completely different, individual choices on implementation notwithstanding. I will say one good thing about fruitarians: they know to avoid the processed junk so often marketed as health food to Vegans.

    I’ve visited the forums of fruitarians and seen how so many of them struggle to conform to the dictates of the raw gurus (Doug Graham anyone?). The orthorexic obsession with food required by those locked into such a paradigm seems pathological (as in mental illness) to me.

  • Dave

    Melissa said: “…animals die for our unnecessary pleasure to put their flesh in our mouths.”

    How much of the biosphere is set aside just for your fruit and vegetables?

    Don’t imagine for a moment that modern fruitarians aren’t just as reliant on killing as Big Mac eaters. What would you do if you actually had to compete with other species for the fruit you claim is your birthright (instead of the competition being exterminated by farmers you rely on)? How much of the planet are YOU killing just by being ‘civilized.’

    You want to impose some kind of religious guilt on those of us who eat meat because we kill or pay those who kill for us? I charge that you are a sinner too. Perhaps you sin from ignorance. I don’t know. Every bite you take requires the death of animals. Life requires death. That is nature’s way. Be a part of the cycle of nature, however, and your ‘sins’ are forgiven. Be a part of ‘civilized’ culture, kill nature, and your sins remain.

    You seem to be on the wrong website, Melissa. As far as I am aware, no one here is advocating factory farmed meat. If you would actually read THE GNOLL CREDO, you might understand what JS is all about. Or maybe not.

  • Dave:

    You raise some interesting points about dental health.  It's instructive to note that Paleolithic hunter-gatherers didn't have toothbrushes, let alone fluoridated toothpaste…yet their teeth were far better than ours!

    Your points about lifespan are well-taken, too.  It seems that living to 100+ is mostly a matter of good genes: either you have them or you don't.  And the single thing all centenarians seem to have in common is that none of them follow any sort of extreme diet or exercise regimen…it seems likely that stress is more damaging in the long term than the “life-shortening” behaviors we're stressing about.


    That's a great joke!  I'm going to steal it.


    It looks like I have a new subject to debunk!  I've seen many variants on that “humans are naturally vegetarians” list — and they're all, shall we say, naive to biology and evolutionary history.  For instance, the human stomach has a pH of 1.5-3, consistent with carnivory…not 4-5, as the table claims.

    Also, the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” was proven long ago to be a hoax.


    First, I'm not going to delete your comments this time…but I can tell by the formatting that you just cut-and-pasted them from elsewhere.  If you do that again, you'll be the first commenter whose posts I'm forced to delete.  Just link your sources — or even better, if you don't have anything to contribute personally, please don't comment.

    Moving ahead:

    Our ancestors haven't been frugivorous since the Miocene.  I lay out the archaeological evidence for our ancestors' diet in this series of articles (in progress).

    Also, leaves are not “high in protein” by any measure.  Whoever told you that is flat wrong, and you're likely protein-deficient as a result.

    Finally, your links are very interesting, but they show that you've got cause and effect confused.  As Satoshi Kanazawa said in the second article you linked:

    Another evolutionarily novel value is vegetarianism.  It is exceedingly unnatural for humans to be vegetarian.

    Humans are naturally omnivorous.  We are evolutionarily designed to eat both animal meat and plants.  Anyone who eschewed animal protein and ate only vegetables in the ancestral environment, in the face of constant food scarcity and precariousness of its supply, was not likely to have survived long enough and stayed healthy enough to have left many offspring.  So such a person is not likely to have become our ancestors.  On the other hand, anyone who preferentially ate animal protein and fat in the ancestral environment would have been much more likely to live longer and stay healthier.  They are therefore much more likely to have become our ancestors.

    Vegetarianism would therefore be an evolutionarily novel value and lifestyle, as well as a luxury of abundance.  The Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely to choose to become a vegetarian than less intelligent individuals.

    So: my contention is proved.  Vegetarianism doesn't make you smart.  Being smart (and omnivorous) is associated with later becoming vegetarian…but only if you live in the UK, not the US.  This means that intelligence and vegetarianism have no causal relationship, and we're dealing with some sort of third factor.  (And, therefore, that Kanazawa is most likely wrong.)

    As for the rest, frankly, I'm unable to make it through massive bricks of text with no paragraph breaks.  Can you include an executive summary?

    Paul Halliday:

    That's a great quote!


    Just like there are people who can high-jump over 2 meters or run the 100 meter dash in under 10 seconds, there are people who can thrive on a fruitarian diet.  However, they all seem to be endurance athletes who consume 5000+ kcal/day, thereby burning off the massive sugar load required to accumulate enough of the other nutrients to scrape by…

    …meanwhile, the majority seem to experience physical and cognitive decline, including (as seen above) the propensity to post gigantic, rambling bricks of text with no paragraph breaks.

    And you're absolutely correct: I've made the point many times that for a human to live, many other creatures have to die.  The fruit we eat represents many other animals starving to death because they couldn't eat that same fruit…or the plants and animals which would have lived on the plantation if it hadn't been clearcut for bananas.  Read the book “Banana” for a sobering history of what's required to bring us those sweet yellow sugar bombs.

    I'm glad The Gnoll Credo spoke to you.  Thanks for chipping in here.


  • rawcr

    Ok, Maybe I got caught up with a retort, commentating on the blind Idiocy of conventional socially programed thought, though I never did call anyone out personally, but the assumptions have caused a removal of my post. That's fine, wasn't much info there anyway. Now I do not mean to change the subject here, as you seem to say what ever it is you like, and since it is your page you can censor any bit of information you choose(get the Idea, yes I am calling you out)The Protocols of the wise men of Zion, has never been completely debunked, do your research and double check your sources(as I stated in a previous post)You must research a bit further then Wikipedia or the common propaganda censored sites easily accessed. I would love to list numerous sites that state contrary beliefs, but I will leave that to you as you appear to pick and choose your black and white world. There is no right and wrong, no good and bad; we as conscience Human beings either find efficiency in the way life progresses or we force such to exist, or inefficiency. One last remark, so as not to waste any more of your precious dubunking time. Please listen to a little bit of logic as it might incline you to focus on more progressive ideas and challenges.

    Link to Youtube video: Carl Sagan: A fire Breathing, invisible, flying Dragon Lives in my Garage

    I choose not to waste any more time chasing this fire breathing(meat eating) Dragon around, so if you want to continue to do so, that is your choice. Please do not state theories, hypothesis or unsubstantiated evidence as “FACT” without the proper research, that makes you just as guilty as the original ghosts of darkness or Inefficiency. Once again, please accept my apology for any remarks that you find to your assuming poor taste, as I rarely if at all eat Dead animals, and my previous retort is a reflection of my eating of such.

  • rawcr

    I made a mistake, I am fairly new to this comment board thing. Now I realize why I have strayed from such discussions. I apologize for my rush to claim of censorship as I had not seen my recent post. Also for the double post, as I had mentioned, this is fairly new to my approach of gathering information. Now, see how easy that was to admit fault. Most people are in infantile states when it comes to understanding life or even themselves; and establishing the ability to admit fault, has become a festering thorn in the side of humanity. I do not feel my time is being well spent attempting to share ideas on most of these comment boards, as most appear to be just biased religious and belief based rantings and twisted views. Not what to think, but how to create the ability to think with unbiased views appears to be lost. I can only have faith that Humankind wakes up from their slumber. Be Well

  • aprile

    If meat doesn’t rot in the GI tract, how come Cadaverine and Putrescine are produced from the breakdown of animal flesh by bacteria in the intestine by eating meat?

  • rawcr

    Melissa, you have done all that you can do to bring light into the cave of the dead animal eaters, but they will resist the light. With the inability to reason due to the lack of proper nutrients, one can not expect them to comprehend. I like the quote: Don’t waste your time throwing pearls to the pigs. They will call you names and state random idiocy, for the true lack of spirit, provably, caused from eating dead animals. Brain scans and modern technologies can now show the true responses in the brain so the logic of the modern dead animal eaters is currently being proven false. Now all that needs to be done is to have faith that truth, will be set free. And forgotten by most here, the U.S. is a Republic, not a Democracy and just because the majority believes what they are fed does not make the majority right to rule. There is so much here that connects itself to the life of this article, for anyone to insinuate that your information is not valid in this arena (oh, and starts reciting some religious socialized propaganda), is surely eating from an, Idiot producing food source. One may also consider that the truth you have shared, threatens those that do not take the proper actions as a living Human Being and are feeling the guilt and remorse in the lack of doing as such. Be Well, on/in your enlightened journey.

  • Dave

    aprile, have you been reading vegan propaganda? (sarcasm)

    Cadaverine, aka 1,5-Diaminopentane

    Putrescine, aka 1,4-Diaminobutane

    These are simply chemical compounds. They are in fact synthesized by healthy living cells in the body. Both compounds are produced by the breakdown of amino acids in living and dead organisms. So, yes, the words that aprile used sound ugly and all that, but they are just words. Vegan propaganda capitalizes on scientific ignorance and, apparently, an orthorexic obsession with a ‘clean’ diet.

    I do not doubt that 1,5-Diaminopentane and 1,4-Diaminobutane are produced by gut bacteria that get the leftovers of my pork dinner. I must say that my gut bacteria apparently get far less leftovers when I eat meat than when I eat plant matter from beans or kale. I believe that this was the whole point of J Stanton’s article: If your digestive system is working properly, there’s a whole lot less for your gut flora to work with when you eat meat than when you eat plants. So, unless your innards are sterile, something is always ‘rotting’ in your gut, whether it’s the leftovers from bananas, beans, or pork shoulder roast.

    I would like to add that my pork shoulder roast had already started rotting before I even cooked it. I think it improved the flavor a bit. Whether one calls it ‘rot’ or ‘fermentation,’ humans rely on bacterial decomposition to aid in digestion. This applies equally to plant and animal foods alike. When I used to eat wheat flour, I often made my own sourdough starter. I was using ‘wild’ microbes to rot a wet mass of powdered wheat berries. Sounds delicious, no?

  • rawcr said:

    … and forgotten by most here, the U.S. is a Republic, not a Democracy and just because the majority believes what they are fed does not make the majority right to rule.

    Not forgotten … of no interest whatsoever. Why would I concern myself with the politics of some country the other side of the world? Why would I concern myself with politics at all? Who cares?

    I'm not scientific, but I can smell shit from a mile away. We have evolved to eat the way we do. We can choose to live a certain way because there are market structures around us that support that. To become natural vegans we would need an evolutionary change. Not an adaption, not choice, but an evolutionary change.

    If all those social and market structures around us fall apart, I can kill a rabbit, deer, cow, pig, bison, other human and eat. Where would you get your tofu? It's not like it grows on trees – it's made in a factory. Same with all the other soya filth, TVP and other non-foods that grow in labs. I'd rather gnaw on the dry wall.

    Now it's turning into a slanging match and use of emotive words. Tell you what, how about you vegans go over there and eat your whatever it is you eat and us meat eaters will sit over here and eat whatever it is we eat. There you go, issues sorted, resources shared and world peace achieved. Until we run out of meat and then we'll come and eat you. Mmmmm … grass fed long pig.


  • aprile


    More bias. No need to use scientific names, doesn’t make you sound smart at all, just shows you can read a wikipedia page.

    Fermentation is not the same as rotting. Fermentation by bacteria releases beneficial compounds, fatty acids and vitamins. Rotting releases harmful compounds, Cadaverine and Putrescine.

    I wonder where carnists would get enough daily water without the tap.

    Paleo diets make me laugh, so unrealistic.

  • Dave

    Congratulations, aprile! You are quite correct. I did read Wikipedia. (And so, apparently, did you.)

    You said, “Fermentation is not the same as rotting.”

    While in my previous posting I attempted to show the somewhat subjective nature of how we perceive decay, I will admit that you are also correct in this statement. There is a line that must be drawn between beneficial and harmful microbial activity. With respects to foodstuffs, whether plant or animal in origin, it seems that cultural preference dictates what is ‘rotten’ more often than not. However, there is a near universal repulsion among humans to feces.

    As a meat eater, I must say that you are absolutely correct, aprile. My shit is rotten. I won’t eat it. I will go on to point out, however, that I’m not full of it. Even with very little plant fiber in my diet, I’m very regular. My shit doesn’t smell nearly as bad as it did back in the day when I downed 10 banana smoothies and lots of bean burritos.

    These days my digestion is great. My elimination is great. Yes, the microbes are at work on the leftovers of my meat, making some 1,5-Diaminopentane and 1,4-Diaminobutane in the process. But I’m not eating my shit!

    So, aprile, you eat just plants, yes? Do those plants rot or ferment in you colon? If you say that they ferment, will you eat your shit? I’ve read that vegan shit is full of vitamin B12. 😉

    ps. Vegan diets are so unrealistic, they make me laugh.

  • E Craig

    Paul Halliday said:

    Until we run out of meat and then we'll come and eat you. Mmmmm … grass fed long pig.

    Except that so many of them are eating soy, they're more like free-range-but-grain-fed meat. I try to avoid soy in my food's food – as if it passes through to chicken meat and chicken eggs to some extent it may do so in humans as well.


    I can see that it's going to require a complex question and answer period before I kill any vegans for food.  Perhaps a famous person promoting Tofu could start a hairstyle so those members could identify each other – I could then avoid the vegans that adopted that hairstyle. (I think I'm on to something!)



  • Kris


    I noticed the comment regarding colon irrigation. Colon irrigation is a very healthy way to mantain basic hygine and to take out the old mucus. And yes, there is lots of mucus in it. What comes out with irrigation is not just psyllium husk. I have done these colonics so many times that when people tell me that there is no such a thing as mucus, this makes me laugh. One can live in denial, but not for that long obviously. What comes out with irrigation after some time, are leather-like strings or hardened mucus plague, which has the shape of colon.

    Regarding eating meat, it is perhaps healthy in small amount but not necessary. A small amount of eggs and fermented milk will satisfy our needs to animal substances. To eat meat in this age of abundance is simply unnecessary cruelty. It is true that long time ago, hungers were eating lots of meat, but they lived some an intense life that they were requiring a great deal of protein. In my opinion the decline in health after agricuture was introduced was caused not by eating less meat but due to intocuction of grains and beans.

  • Kris

    There is one more thing. I really like this site and find many useful information. I did try to go vegan and it does not work. However, a balanced Vegetarian diet is an entirely different matter. The problem is that meat is addictive. When I stopped eating meat 20 years ago, it was really hard. Because it is addictive, it is difficult to argue with addiction or with those who hold for life into their piece of meat. Some guys here respond to non-flash-eating ideas pretty aggressively, or trying to joke in an very unintelligent way. What kind of joke it is a about eating other humans? This is not even funny, just ‘high school funny’, and we are trying here to esquire into scientific and philosophical truth of these matters. I hope this kind of energy will not be present anymore because is highly disrespectful and immediately discredits those who are behind it.

    Regarding digestion of meat, the idea that it is rather easy to digest is very interesting. However, to pass out the meat we need fiber. Meat has no fiber. Meat eating creatures have a very short intestine and are very acidic, they get rid of it without fiber, we cant. So even those who eat meat, must eat plenty of fruits and veg, in fact more than vegetarians. If not, they will get constipated and sick in time.

  • Florin

    Another typical example of brainwashed meat-eaters who try to “justify” eating meat and animal products and thus destroying their health, the animals and the planet, only for the taste and out of greed and selfishness. And those “copy-paste” shits that you are using from somewhere in your desperate attempt to “prove” something are ridiculous and laughable.

    Firstly, the rotting problem. Of course that is meat (and secondly cheese) that is rotting inside your intestines, not grains, beans and vegetables (on my, how much will you embarrass yourself further with these idiotic statements that come out of your stomach and not from your brain??). Meat is rotting inside human intestines, because human intestines are very long, like the ones of the animals who don’t eat meat, appropriate for plant-based food, totally inappropriate for meat-eating, meat being an unnatural food to humans. Human anatomy is entirely vegetarian. Also meat has NO fiber, very important nutrient that is essential for digestion and for good health. Animals who are naturally designed to consume meat have very short intestines, to push the rotting meat very quickly out of the body. A normal human digestion takes maximum 2 hours, which is the case for all vegan foods. Meat especially and other animal products is digested by the human body in minimum 6 hours, with over 12 hours being very common. This is why as a meat-eater you have so many problems in taking a shit, because you eat something that your body can’t digest properly, it is not natural for your intestines. And this is why millions of people (including my mother) get constantly colon cancer and all other intestine-related diseases. So please cut the crap, it stinks (like rotten meat into your colon!)

    Even the simple statement „beans, grains and vegetables are rotting…” is idiotic, since no vegan (plant-based) food rotts, but can only ferment. Rotting is an exclusive „attribute” of meat and animal products. So don’t start to make philosophies where it is not the case and stop searching for the needle in the haystack, that’s a clear fact.

    (Non-junk food) vegan is the healthiest by far and it is the most and only natural way of eating for humans. The incidences of ALL serious diseases (cancers, strokes, heart-attacks, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity/overweight, internal organ failures etc.) is huge in meat-eaters and it is minimal in vegans or near-vegans. Vegans and vegetarians live longer, 10-12 average extra years of life, and having superior life quality at older ages. Doctors like Colin Campbell , Caldwell Esselstyn, Neal Barnard, John McDougall, Dean Ornish, Joel Fuhrman are constantly reversing many types of those diseases only with nutrition, going from animal-based to plant-based. What do you want more of a proof? And that is only logical. Have you ever heard somebody having a stroke from broccoli, pasta, rice or bananas? Heart-attack from nuts, veggies and grains? Overweight from fruits, beans, salads or sprouts? It is a no-brainer! All, the time the reported cause for ALL those disease is the same: cholesterol, animal saturated fats and animal protein, doubled by the toxines, hormones and antibiotics found automatically in the dead corpses of massacred animals. My mom herself beat the 4th stage colon cancer (developed when she was a meat-eater, because, surprise! it was MEAT that rot in the colon and gave her the tumor) by going vegan. Before, she was all the time constipated and having a super rough time in taking a shit, after going vegan she has perfect and easy digestion with no constipations and no more problems. There are millions like her and millions of people who beat all the above diseases by going vegan. Do you know people who beat cancer, strokes, scheduled by-pass operations, obesity etc. by starting to eat meat and dairy? 😉 See the following documentaries to inform yourself and stop the bull-shits: „Forks over knives” (by doctors Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn), „A diet for all reasons/ Foods that kill” (by doctor Michael Klaper), „Eating” and „Healing cancer from inside out” (by Mike Anderson) and all conferences of the above meantioned doctors. You can find the documentaries easily, but for who is interested you can find all of them in one place, I gathered them all and many others on my informative site, here:


    Btw, only doctors who strongly inform themselves about nutrition know something about it, and know that nutrition is the strongest weapon in preventing and healing/reversing diseases. The vast majority of doctors knows nothing about nutrition, because this topic is NOT studied in the medical school, they know and learn only how to stuff your ass with non-effective pills and to schedule you for not-always-needed surgeries. Read the „China Study” book, the most comprehensive study ever conducted on nutrition, and other books like „Eat to live”, “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: the revolutionary, scientifically proven, nutrition-based cure”, „Healthy Eating, Healthy World: Unleashing the Power of Plant-Based Nutrition”, “The Protein Myth: Significantly reducing the Risk of Cancer, Heart Disease, Stoke and Diabetes while Saving the Animals and the Planet” and all the written work of the above-mentioned doctors.

    Paleo or Atkins diets are laughable, non-realistic (congrats Aprile!) and non-effective. Stinky lies that don’t ever work in a healthy way, you will get only fatter again and sick. Atkins himself was an obese charlatan with heart diseases and hypertension, and such a guy wanted to give advices about losing weight, having a healthy heart and being healthy? 😉 The solution: just eat vegan and exercise a little bit. The early humans were gathering vegetarians and they thrived on that food. Only later, at some point, that HAD to hunt, only when they couldn’t find enough vegetarian food to gather. In that moment, they could either hunt or starve, so they did it not because they wanted or liked it, but in order to survive, nothing more. In the do or die scenario, you don’t think health or ethics anymore and you eat anything if you want to survive. But today, due to evolution, such a scenario does not exist anymore, since you can find enough vegan food anytime, anywhere and it is time to think health and ethics. If you will remain alone on a deserted island or something and you can’t find vegan food, go ahead and hunt to survive, because it is a survival scenario. But when you are not in such a scenario, and 99,99% of us aren’t and won’t ever be, eat what is natural, healthy, optimal and ethical, and that is vegan food. Trying to mimick the behaviour of some not-evolved humans, who anyway did that ONLY because they were obliged and forced by those conditions, is stupid and idiotic. You may as well go and live in caves, you Paleo (or Atkins) freaks…

    Secondly, the human anatomy. You say (!) „humans are primarily carnivorous…”. Are you serious, dude?? Is it the greed and meat-addiction in you speaking or what? You have then NOT EVEN basic information of the human anatomy. So wake up:

    – It is a clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have flattened nails or the equivalent (blunt hooves), whereas meat-eating animals have sharp claws.

    – It is a clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have long intestines (10 to 13 times body length) whereas meat-eating animals have short ones (3 to 6 times body length).

    – It is a clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have long, complex colon whereas meat-eating animals have simple, short colon.

    – It is a clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have extensive chewing whereas meat-eating animals don’t chew, but directly swallow food.

    -It is a clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have: broad, flattened and spade shaped incisors; short and blunted canines (yes, the majority of vegan animals HAVE canines, short and blunted, like humans, for biting into hard food like apples, quinces, nuts and others) and flattened with nodular cusps molars; whereas meat-eating animals have short and pointed incisors; long, sharp and curved canines (yes, those are canines for meat, for tearing the flesh, not what you have, just look in the mouth of a meat-eating animal to see how canines for meat look like) and Sharp, jagged and blade shaped molars.

    – It is a clear and obvious fact that humans and the majority of vegan animals have small mouth opening vs. head size whereas meat-eating animals have large mouth opening vs. head size.

    – It is a clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have also side to side jaw motion whereas meat-eating animals have only up-down jaw motion.

    – It is a clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have carbohydrate digesting enzymes whereas meat-eating animals have no carbohydrate digesting enzymes.

    – It is a clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have well-developed facial muscles, whereas meat-eating animals have reduced facial muscles; jaw type is expanded angle for humans and vegan animals, whereas is angle not expanded for the meat-eating animals; major jaw muscles: Masseter and Pterygoids for the humans and vegan animals, whereas meat-eating animals have the Temporalis as the major jaw muscle.

    – It is a clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals have a stomach acidity of pH 4 to 5 with food in stomach, whereas meat-eating animals have a stomach acidity of less than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach; stomach capacity: humans and vegan animals have less than 30% of total volume of digestive tract, whereas meat-eating animals have 60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract.

    – It is a clear and obvious fact that humans and vegan animals are naturally repulsed and horrified by seeing blood, intestines, bones etc., whereas meat-eating animals are naturally atracted to that.

    Do you drool when you see blood, raw bones and intestines and the smell of those makes you drool? Guess not. Well, the animals naturally designed to eat meat do, so please… animals naturally designed to eat meat need no weapons to hunt, and they eat the meat entirely, no exceptions, brains, tails, bones, blood and everything. The fake „meat-eaters”, the humans who try to be what they are not designed to be must use invented weapons to hunt, because they can’t otherwise, they must cook, spice and change the taste and image of meat, and remove most parts of a corpse, because they aren’t unable to eat it otherwise.

    Another type of human instincts: take any baby that still have intact natural instincts, not old enough to have them spoiled and manipulated by the uninformed adults surrounding him. Put some animals in front of him: pig, calf, dog, cat, hen, sheep etc. Natural instinct? He will pet them, play with them, love them, so that’s the instinct of a vegan being. A natural meat-eater would have the direct instinct to jump towards those animals, the instinct to kill. Put a tray full of various foods in front of the same baby: fruits, biscuits, grains, legumes, veggies, seeds etc. and randomly on the same tray, anywhere, a piece of meat. Through natural instinct, no baby will choose the meat, but a vegan, plant-based food. The majority of babies refuse meat, and that is only natural, and they eat it only because they are threatened by adults or a reward is promised if they eat that. Children artificially learn the taste of meat and animal products only after being force-fed with them at an age where they can’t oppose this unnnatural eating. Only after being force-fed with them, the brain wrongly learns the smell and taste of meat and animal products.

    And to have another eloquent example: take the Eskimo people (as being mainly carnivors) and take the Shaolin or Tao monks (as being mainly vegan). Eskimos have an average lifespan of under 30 years of age, and they look like 80 when they are 25. They look like shit and that is because of their diet, lacking antioxidants which are an exclusive trait of vegan foods. On the other hand, the monks known little to no disease, average lifespan of over 85 with many monks constantly reaching 95-100 years of age, and practicing martial arts at a high lever well after reaching 80-90 years of age. That summs it all. So yes, dude, seems like the human beings are carnivors, right 😉 I wonder how much will you embarass yourself further…

    Should i continue? I think i made my point and i think it is time that you recognize obvious facts, even if they don’t suit you or your addiction to meat. Humans have the ability to digest small amounts of meat, only to ensure survival in the worst-case scenarios where they don’t find plant-based food. But humans don’t have the obligation to eat that meat when they are not in such a scenario.You are a plant-eater, designed and born as one, so do yourself a favor and eat what is natural for you, be vegan. It is the most ethical, healthy and protective way of eating.

    Farting is caused by animal-products, meat, dairy (mainly cheese) and eggs. From the vegan foods, neither one of fresh grains, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, some legumes, sea-weeds and sprouts don’t provoke farting. Only some beans can do that, and it is not from rotting, it is from inhibitors. If those are soaked and cooked well, there will be no problem and no farting.

    Vegan food is the healthiest and gives you everything your body needs, a complete, healthy, cruelty-free, nutritional package. Beans, soy, peas, chickpeas, lentils, nuts and nut butters, seeds, oats, grains, bread, spirulina and all algaes, tofu, tempeh, seitan, sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, all veggies, fruits, potatoes, rice have plenty of healty vegan protein, carbs (the energy for the body and for the brain), fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy unsaturated fats, antioxidants and phytonutrients.

    In opposite, meat is devoid of all essential nutrients: has NO carbs (so no energy for the body and brain; human body and brain are fueled by carbs), NO fiber, NO antioxidants, NO phytonutrents, only traces of some vitamins and minerals, unhealthy animal protein, unhealthy animal saturated fats, cholesterol, toxins, hormones, antibiotics and many other shits who are the cause of every major disease around, without exceptions.

    Thirdly, veganism saves animals, because you decrease the demand for their flesh and their products. With every person that stops paying for their slaughter, the demand goes down and a certain number of animals are saved. Animals are gentle, innocent, defenseless beings, who did you no harm, and nobody has the right to enslave, torture and slaughter them, because you have plenty of delicious, healthy, accesible, economical, non-cruelty food around. Animals have the right to live their life free from pain, terror and suffering, and nobody should take this right away from them because of greed, taste or tradition. If you want to live free from pain, terror and suffering, then also leave the animals to do the same. Animals give you always nothing but love and goodness, so at least you can do is return them the favor and NOT put a knife in their throat.

    Lastly, meat-eating destroys nature and promotes global hunger. Globally, up to 70% of the grains and up to 50% of the water goes to the animals raised for meat, milk and eggs, and if directed towards starving people, everyone would have something to eat and drink. All the residues, toxins and chemicals from the animal industry goes into the water, air and into the ground. Deforestation is caused mainly by the „necessity” of forcing new pastures for the animals, because the natural ones are long time worn-out. Global warming: the main cause of it is again animal industry, much more than what comes in second (ALL the cars, planes, ships, trains etc. of the planet). You already have even a UN report from 2010 here, urging everyone to adopt a vegan diet, so not much to debate on this issues.

    With all this being said, it is more than clear that a plant-based diet is optimal for everything, health, animals, planet, respecting human anatomy, global hunger etc. You addicted meat-eaters have no arguments for eating animal products, it is again only greed, tradition and gluttony, so please come clean on that. If at least you would be sincere and honest about it and admit that is like this. But no, you try all the time to invent „arguments” that you „must” behave like that, and these lies and bull-shits are just disgusting, who do you think you are fooling? Almost everybody was lied and misinformed by the meat and dairy industry, and that is acceptable, what is unacceptable is not to change when you have the true and accurate information that points you to the best diet, for this nobody has an excuse. So when you will get your cancer, stroke, heart-attack, osteoporosis, diabetes, overweight, organ failure or allergies etc., or when you will have the toughest time of your life staying hours on the WC trying to shit, please remember that is from your diet, and it is not „fate”, „age”,„stress” or other lies that people invent.

    This website is a disgrace, full only of fake, biased and copied information, in a desperate try to „justify” the slaughter of animals, the destruction of the environment and of the health. I would put an end to this website if I were you. It is time to start using your brains more than your lust and stomach, and it is time to stop being SO brainwashed…

  • Yawn … who cares? I got to about the third word and gave up. I'm simply not interested, nor is anyone here. We've been there, done that, others who have not won't be bothering.

    Vegan opinion is of no interest or consequence to anyone here. You're wasting your time. Worse, you're turning people's minds in quite the opposite direction.

  • E Craig

    This reminds me of the street preacher, all fire and brimstone and whatnot, preaching to try to save all of us who were entering the alternative fashion/leather shop.  He was there every weekend.


    He was pretty entertaining to watch for awhile.  I suspect he found us interesting and intriguing and had no other way to engage with us other than to talk at us and pray pray pray for some negative attention to be shown to him.

  • aprile:

    Cadaverine is formed by decarboxylation of the amino acid lysine, an essential amino acid — which is, by definition, found in the diet of anyone who is alive.  As such, cadaverine is produced by everyone in very small amounts.

    (Fun fact: grain proteins are deficient in lysine and methionine, which is why they can't support human life on their own.  Thus the necessity of “protein combining” for vegans: animal products, with the exception of gelatin, all contain complete proteins.)

    Putrescine is formed by decarboxylation of the non-protein amino acid ornithine, produced from arginine as part of the urea cycle.  Anyone who is alive is continually producing ornithine…and as it's a non-protein amino acid, it's not found in meat, either!

    (Think about it for a minute: horses, deer, and cattle are all vegetarians, but their corpses still stink.)

    I'm certainly not going to claim my own s–t doesn't stink…but it stinks a lot less without beans and grains in my diet.  Raffinose (the indigestible sugar found in beans) is the typical offender…but grain proteins are poorly digested and absorbed (unlike meat), and other FODMAPs (complex sugars found in vegetables and beans) cause problems for many.

    Science is fascinating!



    I know that most vegan forums — particularly raw vegan forums — are very tightly censored moderated in order to prevent inconvenient facts like “humans digest meat perfectly and have been doing so for millions of years” from reaching their readership.  That's not what I do — and I don't appreciate insinuations to the contrary.

    Additionally, using Carl Sagan to justify belief in the authenticity of a document clearly “appropriated” from multiple existing sources of the time is a terrible insult to the memory of Carl Sagan.  (Note: Given the vagueness of the Protocols, it can be read as a general “how-to” propaganda manual whose techniques have been used throughout history…but if that's what you're interested in, you'll be much better served by reading, say, Jacques Ellul.)

    Finally, don't fool yourself that you're “bringing the light” to the uninformed.  I've been a vegetarian, and I spent many more years believing the propaganda.  gnolls.org is the product of years of careful research and experimentation.

    Again, I know it's disconcerting to venture outside the heavily censored bubble of vegan websites (and their propaganda tomes)…but there's a whole world of science out here, and it has no need to make anyone feel good — or bad — about their personal choices.



    As gnolls, we can make cannibalism jokes…but you should know that most vegans have no sense of humor at all!

    Your point about evolution is well taken, however.  It's possible to argue that humans should make ourselves into natural vegans…but as things stand, we're omnivores selected for our ability to hunt, kill, and eat animals.  And, frankly, I'd rather be part of a hyena clan than part of the wildebeest herd they're preying on.


    E Craig:

    An excellent point.  Unfortunately the humans who eat a healthy diet tend to be wily, lean, and difficult to catch!  It's the ones living on birdseed that tend to fall behind the herd and get eaten.



    “Fermentation” is a moral judgment: it's anaerobic decomposition that produces a result desirable to us (i.e. production of alcohol, 'aging' of meat).  If we don't like the result, we call anaerobic decomposition “rotting”. 

    My point is that except in pathological cases, meat is completely digested before it reaches the colon, leaving nothing to “ferment” or “rot”…whereas vegetables and beans are always partially comprised of indigestible polysaccharides, and will always “ferment” or “rot” to some extent.  (As will grains, which contain indigestible proteins in addition to 'fiber' and the odd FODMAP.)


    More soon!


  • Kris:

    Of course there's mucus when you “irrigate” your colon: it forms the protective lining of your intestine.  Peeling it off through the abrasive action of indigestible fiber, laxatives, and high-pressure water is a BAD IDEA, because it leaves your gut permeable to toxins and infection until the mucus can be replaced.

    Mucus is very important!  It does important things, like keeping solid particles out of your lungs and stopping stomach acid from eating through your body.  (Not to mention making sex possible.)  The idea that it's a pollutant is, quite frankly, pseudoscientific Victorian-era bunk.

    Yes, meat is 'addictive' in the same way water is 'addictive'.  If you don't want to drink water, you had better drink a lot of liquids that contain mostly water, or you'll die.  Same with meat: if you don't want to eat meat, you had better eat a lot of foods that contain the same nutrients, or you'll die.

    So yes, humans are addicted to meat.  That's been the case for at least 3.4 million years, and probably longer.

    “However, to pass out the meat we need fiber. Meat has no fiber. Meat eating creatures have a very short intestine and are very acidic, they get rid of it without fiber, we cant. So even those who eat meat, must eat plenty of fruits and veg, in fact more than vegetarians. If not, they will get constipated and sick in time.”

    Really?  Someone should tell the Inuit and Yupik.  (As well as Lex Rooker, Owsley Stanley, Buckminster Fuller…) 

    Yes, that's a load of bosh: you're just restating the myth I already debunked in this article.  Meat is completely digested (modulo the odd piece of gristle) in the small intestine…as it doesn't reach the colon, there's nothing left to pass!  The only reason to eat a whole bunch of indigestible fiber is because you enjoy sitting on the toilet…

    …and the only reason to get your colon “irrigated” is because you enjoy enemas.  NTTIAWWT, but it's not good to be so harsh with them that you remove your own intestinal mucus!



    If those facts are so clear and obvious, perhaps you can point me to some peer-reviewed sources for them?


    Paul, E Craig:

    I like the street preacher analogy…most likely because veg*anism is religious in origin and in practice, even if its modern practitioners don't realize that!


  • Paul Jaminet is very clear on the function, purpose and importance of mucus throughout the digestive tract, first, and body as a whole. Simple starches are very useful for this. I intend to catch a copy of his revised book shortly.

    I'm interested in whether mucus is encouraged by animal protein. Roots, love 'em, eat lots of them.

  • Kris

    with all the respect, if you google the photos of the old hardened mucus that comes with colemas, not enemas because enemas introduce only very little water into the rectum, i am sure you will not wish to have this stuff inside. the function of a healthy colon is to create mucus and then to release it. when we eat toxic food, the releasing is not happening and the mucus gets accumulated and hardened preventing absorption of nutrients. there is report of one surgeon who said that after doing 2000 operations, he did not see even one normal colon, they are all deformed by old mucus. people have many kg of that stuff inside. as far as i remember they found 40kg of old mucus in Elvis Presley. this is simply a fact and since your approach is scientific, perhaps there is something for you to explore in this area.

    not all the meat gets digested in the small intestine, or else meat eating animals would not need to make poop.

    regarding enjoying colemas, there is nothing wrong with enjoying it in a healthy way, because they are very healing emotionally as well. after all it is in the anus that most people hold many issues of self-control…etc


  • Kris

    I am wondering if eating meat is at all natural or acquired habit. there is a report of many children that hate eating meat. i was one of them. as a child i hated meat, specially the fat meat. when i was eating fat meat, i was throwing up, it was awful. since the child’s system is pure, i think it tells us something about what really is natural for a human being.

    another issue is esthetics. there are not more horrible places that butcher shops, there is something wrong about the whole institution producing meat. if you go to a fruit or vegetable shop. or dairy shop for that matter, these places feel good. but of course, if one is insensitive one does not feel anything anywhere, that’s the problem.

  • Susie Horvath

    Great post!

  • E Craig

    Paul Halliday said: I'm interested in whether mucus is encouraged by animal protein.


    (probably going to muck this all up again, I'm not familiar with quoting in this forum interface)


    I am as well.  Many of the PHD mentioned 'safe' starches aren't as 'safe' for me as I'd like. (I'm not a special snowflake *snorts laughing*, but I have some medical issues that I have to 'eat around').  Until I get this all figured out, it's tiny amounts of sweet potato and birdseed occasionally for me.

  • Dave

    @ Kris

    You make a valid point that a natural whole-foods vegetarian diet including eggs and cultured milk products can be very healthy. I would personally add some wild caught fish to that for the essential oils. If being vegetarian works for you, great! However, I feel better with very fatty meat in my diet.

    As far as meat – chicken, pork, and beef – being addictive, I don’t agree. Consider plain ground beef. It’s not the most appetizing thing all by itself. But add garlic, onions, tomatoes, and spices to it, and it becomes delicious meat loaf. I certainly enjoy meat loaf more than plain ground beef, but it doesn’t induce cravings for me.

    The most difficult things for me to give up are processed carbohydrates. I absolutely love cakes, brownies, and cookies. I used to make my own Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. They were heavenly. I used to make my own pizza crust for vegan pizza back in the day. I also enjoyed homemade sourdough pancakes with syrup and fruit. All that sugar and wheat flour did no favors for my health, of course. By contrast, eating meat, while satisfying, seems a bit bland. Eating manufactured junk food is so much more addicting than eating Paleo/Primal, and the processed food industry knows it.

    Kris, I must also disagree that fiber is necessary. I eat very little fiber and don’t get constipated. I have regular, easy bowel movements. I won’t speak for anyone else’s experience, but for me it is a fact that meat is not the cause of constipation. I would suggest that those who get constipated should consume more oils and fats. Removing grains from my diet has helped me overcome an irritable bowel. I would like to eat more vegetables, but on my current budget I have to shop for the highest calorie-per-dollar foods I can find.

  • Dave

    J. Stanton said:


    “Fermentation” is a moral judgment: it’s anaerobic decomposition that produces a result desirable to us (i.e. production of alcohol, ‘aging’ of meat). If we don’t like the result, we call anaerobic decomposition “rotting”.

    My point is that except in pathological cases, meat is completely digested before it reaches the colon, leaving nothing to “ferment” or “rot”…whereas vegetables and beans are always partially comprised of indigestible polysaccharides, and will always “ferment” or “rot” to some extent. (As will grains, which contain indigestible proteins in addition to ‘fiber’ and the odd FODMAP.)

    Exactly. And thanks for the additional information on cadaverine and putrescine. If these chemicals had happy names like ‘Vitamin P & Q,’ people would be buying them as health supplements…

  • Dave

    @ Kris

    Your concern with cleanliness, purity, and aesthetics speaks more about your social position, economic status, and religious heritage than any universal human qualities I am aware of.

    You compare a butcher shop to a fruit and vegetable market. Why not go instead to a farmer’s market where all kinds of whole food are sold: meats, eggs, milk, honey, fruits, vegetables, etc?

  • Alex

    If a child's innocent likes and dislikes are evidence of what the natural human diet should look like, then my childhood says the natural human diet should consist of meats (including all the delicious fatty goodness), eggs, dairy, fruits, and vegetables with absolutely NO oily, fishy-tasting fish or fish eggs.

  • Dave

    @ Florin

    I won’t argue with you. I skimmed your post. You have nothing new to add to this discussion. FYI, I’ve read vegan books and watched vegan documentaries such as (in no particular order):

    Diet for a New America by John Robbins,
    The China Study by T. Colin Campbell,
    The 80/10/10 Diet by Doug Graham,
    One of the raw food books by Victoria Boutenko,
    The RAVE diet documentaries (that you mentioned) by Mike Anderson,
    Forks Over Knives,
    Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead,
    Breakthrough, a documentary about a raw vegan family,
    and probably some others that don’t come to mind at the moment…

    Tell me something new, Florin, because I’m still not convinced. You seem to be operating under the assumption that none of us knows what you write about. How can you convince us unless you know what we know?

    I’ve also read and watched the following (in no particular order):

    The Gnoll Credo by J. Stanton,
    Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes,
    Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It by Gary Taubes,
    Pure, White, and Deadly a book about sugar by John Yudkin,
    Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon,
    Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price,
    The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith,
    Wheat Belly by William Davis,
    Fat Head, a documentary by Tom Naughton,
    and many Paleo/Primal/HFLC blogs and pod casts, but you get the idea…

    Florin, unless and until you have actually read the above books (summary reviews of them written by vegans don’t count), I’ll just ignore you.

    OK, Florin, just this one point: You make a distinction between junk food vegans and whole food vegans. I’m glad your mom beat cancer, but would she have beaten it eating vegan junk food? No. Remember what the letters for the RAVE diet stand for? In addition to its exclusion of animal foods, the RAVE diet allows no refined sugars, no refined grain products, and no added vegetable oils (and no exceptions). Essyelstyn placed similar restrictions on his heart patients, allowing no processed carbohydrates, for example, among other things. So, was it the meat or something else? I don’t doubt good results, but I seriously question the lack of scientific method. If you need a refresher on what good science actually is you could do worse than check out Science for Smart People on You Tube.

    So, from my perspective, Florin, you’re blaming the wrong foods for chronic disease. You’re all upset about people eating meat while the multi-billion dollar processed food industry gets a free pass from people like you. Or should I say, you know that Coca Cola and Little Debbies are unhealthy, but you instead prefer to troll a Paleo oriented blog that encourages supporting local farmers selling real food. (Not to mention hunting and gathering your own if you are able to do so. There’s no profit in that for ADM and Monsanto either!)

  • Kris:

    “there is report of one surgeon who said that after doing 2000 operations, he did not see even one normal colon, they are all deformed by old mucus. people have many kg of that stuff inside. as far as i remember they found 40kg of old mucus in Elvis Presley. this is simply a fact”

    You need to keep your vegan myths straight!  It was John Wayne who purportedly died with 40 pounds of meat in his colon, not Elvis Presley.  (If that claim isn't ridiculous enough to reject at face value, you can see it debunked hereJust one pound of impacted feces is enough to send patients to the hospital with severe pain and rectal bleeding…)

    Your comment is instructive, however, because it shows how these myths grow and mutate over time.  First it was John Wayne and 40 pounds, now it's Elvis and 40 KILOGRAMS (88 pounds).  88 pounds?  Really?

    Once again, the Internet is full of colonoscopy pictures.  I challenge you to find any that show “mucoid plaque” or significant amounts of impacted feces.  (Those suffering from Crohn's or IBS have obvious inflammation…but even they don't have pounds worth of impacted feces or “mucoid plaque”.  That's blatant silliness.)

    Continuing: If meat was aesthetically offensive, we'd have to package it like everything else in the supermarket in order to get people to buy it — hidden inside brightly colored boxes with cartoon characters on the front. 

    Instead, we slap them down on a bed of ice, naked and bleeding, and people pay $10/pound and more for them.  Revulsion for meat is a learned, cultural phenomenon, usually religious in origin (e.g. Muslims, Jews, and pork, Hindus and beef).



    There's plenty to say about mucus and animal protein.  I'll get to that in future articles.


    Thank you!

    E Craig:

    I'll be addressing those questions in future articles.


    My point exactly.


    The raw vegans are on the same side as the Paleo people on every important public policy issue.  We'd be happy to join forces with them in opposition to subsidies for massive chemically-based overproduction of GMO grains…but (with a few rare exceptions) they don't seem interested.

    You'll find the behavior of veg*ans makes much more sense when you think of it as just another religion.


  • Kris

    I am wondering why the olive oil is not mentioned here as a part of healthy diet? Next, what is better to use, normal butter or ghee? I would think that for cooking, particularly frying, ghee should be better as it reacts less to the heat?

    The other thing I am wondering regarding the paelo diet is why nuts and seeds are not encouraged? I agree that our system is not used to grains, but we have been eating nuts and some tasty seeds that do not require cooking since the beginning, well since we have learnt to crash the nut shells. So our system is very well adjusted to nuts. I love nuts and it pains to restrict them. They are just delicious.

  • Hi Kris – First, J's take on the Paleo Diet 'Eat Like a Predator' is not the straight down the line paleo diet as described by Cordain or Wolf, it is streamlined.

    So, fats. Saturated fats are best. The only other fats that are considered by paleoists are oils extracted mechanically – an olive can be squeezed and the oil runs out, same with avocado, same with flaxseed. Olive oil and avocado oil are perfectly good to eat … as garnish. Slosh it cold over salads. Cooking with these kind of oils will oxidise them and they become unstable very quickly.

    Butter vs ghee? Butter for wetting up veggies, for laying a piece on a cooked steak, fine, otherwise, you want to be looking at a fat which will remain stable at temperature. Ghee is good, here, as is coconut oil, as is lard/tallow, but best is beef dripping. You can look these up and compare the data for yourself by searching the internet for the Rancimat Analysis – you'll see how sunflower oil is an appalling fat for cooking!

    Nuts and seeds pass the “hunter/gatherer” criteria, but actually, are full of omega-6 which can easily unbalance our omega-3/6 balance and leave us with inflammation. Like our proverbial paleo man, these should not be considered as “food”, but as something to look to when absolutely desperate, when other food sources were simply unavailable. Read the 'Eat Like a Predator' article. You could regard them as a snack, but snacking is not condoned by paleo writers – eat real food at mealtimes, eat until you are replete and don't snack in between; if hungry, eat more next time you eat a regular meal.

    That said, no reason not to pour some pine nuts over your avocado, drop a handful of hazelnuts with some blueberries into full fat probiotic yoghurt for breakfast or a light dessert, munch a few brazils, a small handful of macadamias when the fancy takes you. Redress some of the balance with good, oily fish and grassfed red meat, keeping other sources of high omega-6 (polyunsaturated fat, junk food, that kind of thing) right down. Pick your poison, and pick only one – it's nuts and seeds or a glass of alcohol.

    Jump in, cut out anything you think is suspect – again, 'Eat Like a Predator' will help you make this decision. Do it well for 30 days, feel great, carry on …

  • Kris


    The musus plag is a simple fact. I don’t know who had this 40kg of mucus, and I don’t really care. I have seen these things with my own eyes and this stands for more than internet links. The link you gave is posted by someone who does not have direct knowledge of colonics practice, and sounds like an idiot. If you want to clarfy this matter, you may for instance research Bernard Jenson, who did colon menagement of 300.000 patience. (i hope this time i got the number right). In one case he got from a person 3 gallons of putrified matter. I accuse you of being prejudiced against colon therpay. The question is whether you want to know the truth of prove yourself right? I really appreciate your body of knowlege and the many insights into nutrution, but am surprised by your rigidity all the same.

  • Kris


    thank you for all the information.

    i have another question whether Fat makes us fat? if so, what is the considerable amount of fat to stop before we begin to accumulate body fat?

  • Kris


    Just to close the subject on colon irrigation, here are some photos. They are real, I have seen these things with my eyes.

  • Dave

    Kris, it would take a book to explain in detail why dietary fat is not to be feared. In fact several have been written. I highly recommend Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat and What to do About It.

    If you like entertaining documentaries, watch Tom Naughton’s Fat Head for free on You Tube and Hulu. It’s also available on Netflix.

    If you enjoy fascinating discussions involving nutritional biochemistry, look up Petro Dobromylskyj’s “Hyperlipid” blog.

  • Kris


    Thanks. I will have a look soon (when my internet connection is better). I live now in India and network sucks, but there is plenty of ghee!

    I just discovered that Macadamia nuts (and oil) are excellent, as they have very small amount of omega 6 and hardly any anti-nutrients. The oil is supposed to be the new ‘olive oil’.

  • Kris


    Thanks. I will have a look soon (when my internet connection is better). I live now in India and network sucks, but there is plenty of ghee!

    I just discovered that Macadamia nuts (and oil) are excellent, as they have very small amount of omega 6 and hardly any anti-nutrients. The oil is supposed to be the new ‘olive oil’.

  • Kris

    by the way, regarding Ghee, do you guys know that the Ghee in India is not made from cow milk but from Buffalo milk? Buffalo milk is much more thick, rich, double fat, protein and minerals and is much more tasty as well.

  • Kris

    by the way, regarding Ghee, do you guys know that the Ghee in India is not made from cow milk but from Buffalo milk? Buffalo milk is much more thick, rich, double fat, protein and minerals and is much more tasty as well.

  • Jen W



    I did not know that.  Thanks for sharing as I use Ghee quite a bit!  Wink


    Jen W.

  • I did know this, but not all supermarket ghee is the same – check the ingredients. Buffalo milk is, indeed, very fatty – mozzarella is from buffalo, giving an idea of how fatty the milk is. Lovely stuff, if you can get the milk but there are so few producers and largely, they turn it straight into cheese and butter for ghee.

    One milk I would love to get my hands on is reindeer. Apparently, it's so fatty, it's difficult to make ice cream with it.

  • Kris:

    I do mention olive oil as an excellent condiment and salad dressing — but cooking with it isn't the best idea, since (as Paul mentioned) it burns.  I usually use coconut oil and ghee.

    I also agree with Paul on the nut issue.  They're fine as condiments, but not as a mainstay of the diet.

    I'm not seeing a link nor any pictures in any of your comments.

    Macadamia nut oil is something I've been meaning to try, but it's hard to get and very, very expensive where I live.

    I didn't know most Indian ghee was made from buffalo milk!

    Another excellent source for scientific studies on dietary fat, cholesterol, and why they're not to be feared is David Evans' Healthy Diets and Science.


  • Dave

    I’ve been reading The Stone Age Diet (1975) by Walter L. Voegtlin, M.D., F.A.C.P., this weekend. I saw it referred to on some Paleo blogs and decided to look it up. The book is out of print and apparently cannot be purchased at this time. I’m reading a PDF that someone scanned and put up on the net. The scan quality is fair, but readable. There is some question over the copyright, the author being deceased, so I will not provide a direct link to the file here. Seek and ye shall find.

    Dr. Voegtlin covers similar ground to the topic of this blog article by J Stanton. He compares the digestive anatomy of carnivores and herbivores, providing details on dogs, sheep, and humans. I’m afraid that the frugivores reading this may disagree with his conclusions, no doubt because their reading comprehension is limited by the lack of essential docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in their diets. 😉

    Dr. Voegtlin provides a short history of human evolution and the likely dietary changes that have occurred over millions of years. I’m sure that some of the information is now out of date, given that he wrote his book 37 years ago. However, I did find his examination of the progression of dietary changes from the early neolithic to modern man to be instructive.

    One point in particular in Dr. Voegtlin’s book that grabbed my attention was about the origin of the modern dogma on the necessity of raw fruits and vegetables as essential for human health. It seems to be an almost unquestioned ‘fact’ nowadays no matter which end of the dietary spectrum one believes in that one will become vitamin and mineral deficient without eating lots fruits and vegetables. Some extreme vegan diets advocate eating nothing but raw plants. In the Paleo arena, it is taken for granted that our ancestors gathered loads of vegetable matter for consumption in addition to meat. For example, Dr. Terry Walhs advocates eating something like nine cups of vegetables per day. Is this really necessary? Frankly, was it even possible before the advent of modern systems of global transportation and storage? Why do we assume that vegetables contain nutrients we can’t just get in more assimilable form from animal sources?

    In the preceding chapter, mention was made of a mysterious illness descending upon many unsuspecting Orientals coincidentally with a greatly increased consumption of rice. This augmented use of rice in the diet followed the discovery of a method of processing (polishing) which made it more palatable, more digestible, less bulky, and less prone to spoilage.

    This exotic malady, apparently limited to Asians living in the Orient, attracted the interest of a Polish-American biochemist, one Casimir Funk. By ingenious pioneer research Funk, about 1911, found a cure for this illness in the cast-off bran from the polished rice and established it as a deficiency or nutritional disease. The malady was named “beri-beri.” It could be cured rapidly and specifically by feeding rice bran, or by injecting an extract of the rice polishings. Funk considered this unknown substance contained in the rice bran to belong in a class of chemicals called amines, and since it appeared to be vital to health, suggested the term vitamine, later contracted to vitamin. In 1927, Dutch chemist Jansen isolated Funk’s vitamin and named it thiamine. Eventually it was placed in the vitamin inventory and classified as Vitamin B1.

    It was immediately apparent to those interested in nutritional problems that, since beri-beri did not afflict the millions of people who had never tasted rice, Vitamin B1 could not possibly be a vital principle found only in rice bran. A search for it among other nutriments found thiamine to be widely distributed in nearly all foods. The Japanese and Chinese had succumbed to beri-beri because the thiamine-deficient polished rice had crowded out nearly all other foods which did contain the vitamin. The concept of vitamins was a thrilling and challenging discovery in medical research – a field of science which had been rather barren since Jenner’s discovery of vaccination against smallpox over a century before. In rapid succession, other vitamins were discovered: Vitamin A (1913), Vitamin D (1918), Vitamin C (1919), Vitamin E (1922), Vitamin B3 (1928), Vitamin B5 (1930), Vitamin B2 and K (1938), etc.

    Today we know that vitamins cure nothing that is not the result of a vitamin deficiency, and that vitamin deficiencies have always been rare indeed, except in a few instances such as alcoholism, food fad-ism [like eating 30 bananas a day?!], starvation, abnormalities of absorption, or chronic illness with loss of appetite. However, the early nutritionists knew little about vitamin potentials or limitations. Only apparent was the fact that here were a number of remarkably powerful substances, an appropriate pinch of which would snatch a patient succumbing to beri-beri, scurvy, or pellagra from the graveside, and in a few days restore him to health and vigor. These were truly wonder drugs, almost magical in their ability to heal and restore health.

    Perhaps, mused the nutritionist, a lack of vitamins causes us to grow old, or hardens our arteries, or allows our hair and teeth to fall out. Perhaps an increased intake of these vitamins would prevent cancer and many other diseases beside beri-beri. scurvy, and pellagra. Was it possible that Ponce de Leon’s fountain of youth could be as simple as a chemical mixture of vitamins?

    It appeared reasonable to all concerned that increased vitamin intake would be of great benefit to mankind.

    There was, however, one difficulty. In the mid-twenties, one could not go to the drug store and buy a bottle of high potency multi-vitamins. At that time the only vitamin preparation to be found on the druggist’s shelves was cod liver oil. Synthesis and commercial production of vitamins lagged far behind their discovery and chemical identification. Concentrated preparations of vitamins were fantastically valuable and were to be found only in the research laboratories. It was not until World War II that the first preparations of four different vitamins in a single capsule were offered for sale. These early capsules were lacking in some as yet undiscovered vitamins, not always of standard potency, and entirely too expensive to take just for fun.

    It had been noted that if a carrot, for instance, was boiled, a significant amount of its Vitamin A seemed to be destroyed. Soon it was found that many of the other vitamins were heat-labile, that is, they were destroyed or reduced in potency by heating. An excellent answer to the lack of commercially available, cheap vitamins appeared to be: eat your fruits and vegetables raw.

    At this point much of the digestive difficulties with which we are beset today would have been avoided, had someone stopped to examine three questions:

    1. Can man actually digest, without difficulty, a much greater and more constant intake of raw fruits and vegetables than he had ever attempted in the past?
    2. Does man actually succeed in absorbing more vitamins from raw plant material than from cooked?
    3. Would human health actually be improved if vitamin intake could be increased past the level supplied by conventional diets of the time?

    Had these questions been examined critically, a great skepticism would have answered the first, for the material
    presented in Chapters 4 and 6 of this book [comparing the digestive tracts of dog, sheep, and man] would have been appreciated.

    From the historical context of human nutrition, the modern preoccupation with vitamins, and by extension vegetables, was not due to any real deficiency with our evolutionary diet of animal foods. Instead it came from the population boom of the early industrial age combined with massive poverty in overpopulated cities.

    Here is an excerpt discussing the difference between putrefaction and fermentation in the colon:

    Putrefactive bacteria, or proteolytic organisms, as they may be euphemistically designated, when they attack meat and fat change those substances into fatty acids, glycerine, and conglomerates of amino acids called proteases and peptides. In other words, bacterial decomposition of meat and fat by putrefactive bacteria in the colon yields the same products as does normal digestion by the pancreatic juice. However, these bacteria, if offered simply carbohydrates, are capable of decomposing them also, but when this happens acid and gas are produced.

    Fermentative organisms act only upon carbohydrates or plant food. This process is called fermentation. This process of fermentation is one of the most important biological reactions in nature. It is used industrially in the manufacture of many different acids.

    When fermentation takes place in your colon, the products are carbon dioxide (a gas) and alcohol. The latter is promptly fermented further to acid, such as acetic acid or vinegar.

    The carnivorous animal, eating nothing but meat and fat, cannot possibly allow carbohydrates of any sort to reach its colon, for there is none of it in his diet. Therefore no food arrives there to support a fermentative colony. The proteolytic bacteria live happily on the minute amount of protein and fat which escapes carnivorous digestion and prosper, maintaining a thriving bacterial community. Since there is no carbohydrate present they cannot produce any acid, and the resulting alkaline reaction of the colon is very much to the liking of these organisms.

    Civilized humans rarely eat nothing but meat and fat; there is nearly always carbohydrate of some sort in each meal, usually a large amount. This means that more or less carbohydrate escapes digestion and reaches the colon. Even small amounts of carbohydrate may support a modest fermentative community. If the amount of carbohydrate is larger, a more flourishing fermentative population develops, and if there is, in addition, a considerable proportion of highly indigestible carbohydrate in the diet, the fermentative organisms become overwhelming. The production of acid zooms and the fermenters not only multiply but also invite their cousins – the yeasts, molds, and fungi – to settle in this Promised Land of acid and carbohydrate you offer them. The latter are also efficient fermenters and, as their numbers increase, a vicious cycle is established wherein more and more of the carbohydrate escaping digestion in the small intestine is changed to acid. The colon gets more and more irritated and irritable. Diarrhea and abdominal distress appear.

    I’ll leave it to you good people to find the book and read the rest of it for yourself.

  • Dave:

    I find the idea that non-starchy plant foods were a major contributor to our diet implausible due to the simple fact that they contain so few calories.  As I point out, an asparagus spear contains four calories, which is most likely less than the energy required to chew and digest it.

    Also recall that modern plants are the product of centuries of careful breeding to minimize toxins and maximize nutrition.  Paleolithic plants would not have been so congenial!  

    I suspect their use would have been primarily medicinal, not nutritional.


  • Jen W



    I'm finally begining to understand this, as lately I've been experiencing digestive issues after every meal inwhich I add plant matter to it (minus spices and kelp flakes).  That, and I also notice undigested parts of plant foods in my bowels.  Time to cut out the steamed/cooked veggies for awhile to and see if it helps.  I am after all a predatorSmile


    Besides, it accurred to me last night, that I was really using those steamed veggies as something to put my Ghee on!


    Jen W.

  • Jen W:

    My opinion on leafy vegetables: eat them when you desire them, but don't stress about any sort of quota.  If your body needs them, it's likely that you'll crave them and they'll make you feel better: if it doesn't, it's likely they'll make you feel worse.


  • […] since getting onto a Paleo diet, I’ve lost excess weight, stopped having intestinal troubles from all those grains (literally) rotting in my gut, and a blood test has shown my CRP levels (a marker of inflammation) to be 0.7, which is considered […]

  • Jason

    Interesting… If I eat pizza, 1 out of 2 chances that I will end up with a temporary hemroids for a while, and it’s mostly from the dough.
    Only overcooked (reheated pizzas) dough though, and only dough used in pizzas.

    I digest meat well enough, only if it’s freshly made meaty food though…
    Once it involved reheating and leftovers, that’s when problems start to occur…

    I’ve heard or read somewhere that said leftovers is really bad for humans… Even if it’s refrigerated.

  • […] days, while other says it takes 4- 5 hours before it’s fully digesting. Explanation can be read here. My opinion is, our body can digest what we have eaten, but if we eat meat the entire day, our […]

  • Jason:

    I can't think of why that would be — but if avoiding leftovers keeps you healthy, I certainly won't advise you to change!  (Hopefully you've got a family or some roommates who will eat them, so the food doesn't all go to waste…)


  • Kat

    Im fascinated by this article! I use to think the more often and larger your stool was the healthier you were. This became my goal, lived on RAW fruits and a lot of RAW veggies years on end..
    What happens differently in the body between raw and cooked vegetables?
    My colon is worn out after years on ONLY raw produce.
    Would the steamed veggies absorb like meats because the cell walls are are broken down by the cooking pocess?

  • Kat:

    Steaming your veggies helps break down some of the cellulose in the cell walls, so that more of the nutrients (which are found inside the cells) can be absorbed.  Our own digestive enzymes still won't digest the remainder…however, the remaining “fiber” will, at least, be much less abrasive.

    Juicing does the same thing by physically tearing the cell walls apart, and by physically separating out much of the “pulp” (cellulose) — so that's another approach you can try.


  • Kat

    Thank you JS! I love love your blog!

    I was a whole foods vegan for 20+ years, raw vegan for the half of that. As a vegan in general I lost my menestral cycles on and off the whole 20 yrs. (I went 7 yrs straight without one! But I’m anti BC so i tried to follow more vegan guro advice instead ), no sex drive what so ever, bone fractures came easily the last several yrs, sugar cravings -I had to sweeten everything, stomach bloat after every meal, always hungry, cavities & root canals all of a sudden during raw vegan stage, brain fog, moody, I’did not sleep well, constipated cooked vegan, raw vegan gave me IBS …. The worst diet i followed, to a T,was 80/10/10. Still recovering from that.

    This article really gave me peace about meat. If it were healthy to never have to poo again I would think I was in heaven!

    How many grams of fiber is really necessary anyways for a good digestive system? Have you come across the truth on that matter??

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    If you can’t tell yet- I’m pretty thankful I came across your blog 🙂

  • Kat:

    First, it's important to distinguish soluble fiber vs. insoluble fiber.

    Soluble fiber is just starch in a form that our digestive enzymes can't break down…but the bacteria in our colon can.  (“Resistant starch” is soluble fiber: so are “probiotics” like inulin.)  For some people, some types of soluble fiber cause gas and other digestive distress (see: FODMAPs)…but others find it helps maintain healthy gut flora. 

    Insoluble fiber is vegetable matter, like cellulose and lignin, that not even our bacteria can digest, and which we excrete unchanged.  (Psyllium husk and all forms of “bran” are insoluble fiber.)  There is zero research proving insoluble fiber is healthy, and the only controlled study on it proves that fiber from whole grains, at least, has a negative effect on lifespan!  (Although that might be the grains, not the fiber per se.)  

    I see no evidence that insoluble fiber is necessary at all…and soluble fiber is only good if it doesn't trigger your IBS or other problems.  And despite decades of attempted proofs, no one has yet determined that eating your “5 a day” of veggies has any positive effect on health or lifespan…so I don't stress about it either way.  If I want a salad or some blueberries, I eat a salad or some blueberries.  If not, I don't.


  • […] a Paleo diet (meat/eggs/fish, vegetables, fruits and nuts). “Guess what rots in the colon? Grains, vegetable fiber, and beans. Our bodies lack the enzymes to break these […]

  • Andrew

    What I find interesting that no one seems to have mentioned our teeth in accordance with what we should be eating. If you want to a clear indication of our own natural and balanced diet then it seems only logical to take an inventory of our own teeth, and their individual types & functions, of both primitive and modern man. In my personal opinion cereals should be approximately 50% of the diet, fruits and vegetables – 35-40%, meat – 10-15%. If factoring the laws of nature to our diet in accordance with our teeth I would challenge anyone to take down a cow with their bare hands and teeth and consume it…at best I think I could wrestle down and eat a Barracuda.

    We consume a sickening overabundance of meat, and most of it is wasted, thanks to the fast food industry and chain restaurants. Although I am a vegetarian (and also a bodybuilder who does not take supplements) I don’t deny that meat is a contributing factor in a healthy diet, but I simply have lost all faith in meat production. I feel we as a race have placed far too much trust in an industry which inundates livestock with antibiotics, steroids, and hormones – even to perfectly healthy animals. What these compounds are doing to the human body over time is quite literally killing us. The criteria for which meat is considered certified and fit for human consumption is obscene, but most of this goes unnoticed by the general populace. I spent five years of my life working for a reputable meat packing company and I tell you, if I never eat meat again it will be too soon. We seemed to have stopped questioning what we are putting into our bodies and from where it comes from. There is already so much crap in our environment today, which inevitably comes out in our meat, and, yes, vegetables too, but if you take into account all the unnatural elements we add on top of this, we the consumers are the only losers. Corporate fat cats and their sidestepping and avoidance of proper and humane health standards just to make the almighty buck are the winners every time.

    I know after writing this I could come under attack because of the large level of pollutants (crap) also existing in the fundamentals of a vegetarian diet but I have the luxury of living close to the country and I am able to buy as natural food as possible. Nothing is perfect, but I guess what I am trying to say is that everything should be balanced. Constantly question the fuel your giving your body’s engine. Listen to your body and don’t blindly follow the supposedly undisputed guidelines of the latest diet or some unknown ‘diet guru’ that manages to sell a book or two. You know inside what is right and what is wrong.

    Also, in regards to the digestion issues I have been reading, I think most people forget to chew their food properly. We live in such a fast paced society and gulping or rushing down a meal is usually the culprit for many issues. I suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome for many years and only took control of it after my MD enquired as to whether I was masticating my food properly. I realised after my appointment that in fact I wasn’t chewing nearly enough, if my mother was to be believed. As laborious as the procedure was I persevered to start chewing my food 30-40 times with each bite (excruciatingly dull at times) until the stuff in my mouth was almost liquid. There is a lot to be said of the mechanics of chewing/saliva and its purpose of pre-digesting food before it reaches the stomach and intestines. Anyways, not a cure by any means but I have not had a problem with bloating since….that only comes now with drinking too much Guinness.

    BTW Marmite is an excellent source of B12. You either ‘love it’ or you ‘hate it’.


  • E Craig

    I'm replying because this household is not part of the 'you' and 'we' that you refer to that eats industrially processed meats.  I may be an outlaying statistic.  But many others like me exist.

    Please let me tell you about where my husband and I get our food and what we do with the waste.  If you want any details about how our meat-stuff is fed, I can tell you because I've talked with the farmers.


    Lamb/beef/pork (this is 80-90%+ of the meat we eat) suppliers are Abby, Jeff, Sarah, Graham (and the three other kids who only occasionally make it to the farmer's market)


    Turkey: Rob and Rebecca hatched and raised on open fields the turkey we consumed for Thanksgiving last week. 


    Chicken: We don't eat much of it, tough to find birds not fed soy.  We have frozen 15+ chickens from a co-op we went in on with a friend (I eviscerated).  We own 3 hens that give us eggs occasionally.


    Fish, etc: We don't fish yet, we're getting to it.  My husband will likely bow-hunt deer next year.  If we had a suppressor we'd consider culling out some of the rabbits that infest our neighborhood, though they'd be pesticide laiden (having lived on the sad excuse for subdivision lawns).


    Vegetables, other stuff: I go to the market for vegetables not in season (or something like tinned smoked oysters, a huge weakness of mine).  I'll mail order food if I see fit.  I grow some of our own herbs. I generally have a 'black thumb'.  Dog and cat food does get purchased.


    Meat waste: I make bone stock. Bones are pretty much disintegrated by the time I get done with them. Dogs help with the bones too.


    Vegetable waste: The waste from the few vegetables I can eat get fed to the chickens or go on the compost pile.


    The food I eat nourishes my body and helps me and my husband stay happy and as active as we choose to be. It is not wasted.

  • […] J. Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables! . Gnolls.org. 2012. […]

  • Andrew:

    “If you want to a clear indication of our own natural and balanced diet then it seems only logical to take an inventory of our own teeth, and their individual types & functions, of both primitive and modern man.”

    Apparently you've read the vegan propaganda instead of the archaeology.  Our teeth haven't been adapted to high fruit consumption since the Pliocene, as I discuss in Part III of my series on hominin archaeology.

    Also, at no point have our teeth been adapted to eating cereal grains!  In fact, in every case for which we have data, our dental health, without exception, deteriorated dramatically when we took up agriculture and a cereal-based diet.  Just to take one example, one tribe of hunter-gatherers in North America averaged less than one cavity per person: the agriculturalists who replaced them averaged over 7.5 cavities.  (More.)

    The reason we don't have huge, meat-shredding canines is because we've always used stone tools to butcher our meat.  No one disputes that Neanderthals were basically carnivorous, yet they don't have teeth like a lion or hyena.


    Next, meat isn't wasted.  The much maligned “pink slime” is what happens to all the little bits that get scraped off.  “Chicken nuggets” use the skin and odd bits that people won't otherwise eat.  Then there is gelatin…

    If we're wasting good beef tallow (I don't know if any of it is thrown away, or if it's just sold cheaply…the fact that it costs the same as soybean-based shortening argues against that assertion), it's because the government has deliberately chosen to push chemically-extracted seed oils made from GMO grains in order to dispose of an agricultural surplus created by a policy that rewards Big Ag for overproducing corn and soybeans that no one would eat otherwise.  And the reason we have such a nutrition and agricultural policy is partially because of the vegetarians!  (The Senate staffer who wrote the McGovern “Dietary Guidelines for Americans”, which told us to stop consuming animal fat, was a vegetarian.)

    Yes, feedlots are disgusting…but the main reason we have feedlots is because of the corn/soy surplus created by our agricultural policy.  It's simply not economic to feed cattle that much corn at its real market price…”corn-fed beef” was a luxury item before the subsidy era.

    In short: intensive industrial GMO monocrop agriculture is an environmental and nutritional disaster, whether its products are fed to cattle or to people.


    Also, note that I just bought a half beef from a local producer of sustainable, grass-finished meat…and the paleo movement not only emphasizes consumption of local, sustainably raised meat and produce whenever possible, it emphasizes avoidance of the heavily-subsidized grains (soy, corn) that make feedlots possible.  I don't think we're the problem!


  • Sara

    I truly enjoyed your article, you are a good teacher . I will look to see if you have any other articles later, I have to run, and think about what I will eat next . Good job !!!

  • kenneth kagame

    My cow has been stealing my dog’s food that included chunks of meat. Now the cow has lost lots of wait despite good apetite. I suspect the meat has affected it since it can not digest it. Any expert opinion? And treatment

  • Cows eat grass. They cannot tolerate anything else – not even grain. When a cow is grain finished, it is placed into a state of bulking and slow death. I don't want to eat that cow any more than that cow wants to eat grain.

    Yours is eating dog food? Prevent it! That is how BSE started – forcing animals into cannibalism and then wondering why it fucked up in our faces. Talk about “Duh!” …

    It really doesn't need an expert and really doesn't need treatment – push it back into a field and let it live.

  • Kenneth:

    I'm not sure what happens when a ruminant tries to digest meat, but I suspect it throws off the bacterial balance of the rumen over time.  As Paul suggested, I'd get it back on its natural diet of grass as quickly as possible — if you're grain-feeding it, I'd cease that too for a while in order to get its gut back in order.

    Meanwhile, I'd strongly recommend you speak to some people with more experience raising cattle!


  • Ellease

    Judging from the debate, it seems to me, that there are a number of reasons why people do and don’t eat meat. I for one don’t eat meat or fish for that matter; it is out of pure awareness for the universal commonality of man and beast as a whole. Personally, I don’t think anything conscious should needlessly suffer, just so as I can indulge in my sense of taste. After all you can just as easily condition yourself to any particular diet as you can with anything else in life. Millions upon millions are religiously condition but at the drop of an hat, they can decide not to believe. It is out of a certain level of self realisation, that one reaches a level of maturity; that can only be to the common good of all in consciousness. You may call me a vegetarian; if you ask me, I’m not in any category. All categorisations arise out of the mind and therefore have personal bias in there nature; the world in which we all share is impersonal and common to all. We all perceive, this is fact; but what we perceive on a personal basis can only be subjective and therefore only relative. The worlds that we create are personal and bias to our own prejudices. So the debate for eating meat and not eating meat is inexhaustible; how long have you got? A diet of bacon, eggs, milk , cheese; meat and two veg could keep one man healthy but yet make another sick. The same principle applies to the vegetarian diet. What is the common ground? It is all a question of what is in the mind and not in the body. Sure you can borrow a ton of medical fact and little nuggets of information to defend your argument, but it will not change anything. People will still be eating meat as well as not eating meat; there will be those healthy eating meat and there will be those health not eating meat and vice versa.
    One must realise, in reality existence always maintains the balance, there is [you] the reality, then there is your [mind] the illusion; between the two, there is the balance. The mind is merely a reflection of the inner. When all is said and done, opinions matter very little, all opinions are variably attached to the mind; you are not the mind, but an invariable source of awareness. For every point in conscious, there is the propensity to expand; you can call this the mind or life force. in this respect mind becomes a mechanism of exertion, then all organic life can be said to have a mind; albeit not as advanced as man himself. Even this is not true, since there are animals far more intelligent. From the lowest forms of life [the most subtle] to the highest form [the most gross] all in existence serves to protect, expand and perpetuate its self in consciousness. Man is the highest form of organic life, he has the most developed of all minds in terms of cognitive functioning. Whether he is intelligent or not is debatable but he most certainly has the highest capacity for memory as far as we know.
    Mind and consciousness appears as two aspects of the same phenomenon, in reality they are one; since only one can arise out of the other. You cannot have consciousness without a mind; neither can there be a mind without consciousness. Mind in itself is not the problem, it is the identity with the mind and its content; bewildered by wrong ideas the mind constantly thinks, creates and as a variate; imagines all that exists.
    In its confusion, it invents personal ideas and identifies with such. In our arguments and defence we create belief systems out of borrowed knowledge and call this the truth. Without looking at the common grounds, we draw the conclusion based on our likes and dislikes. If meat sustains one mans health and deteriorate another, there can be no truth in its argument for and against. Just as it is with stealing, if nobody owned anything, then what would be there to steal? It is simple psychology. If we didn’t have it in mind to eat the meat, then who would kill the animal in the first place for mass meat production and profit? We can consider the paleo dietary facts but it has nothing to do with the reality, since it is all in your memory of borrowed knowledge. We are here; now, not in the times of pre historic man. All too often we are tide up in personal ideas that do nothing for the common good of man as a whole; that unless man matures and grows in awareness as opposed to just growing old; there will be no change. We continue to nit-pick and niggle like children in kinder garden for no other purpose than self gratification. Food is food at the end of the day, it has its purpose for the body only; of course those who are intelligent enough, will realise that what you eat ultimate effects how you think. The body is a product of your mind, not the other way round. Without you to posses a mind, there could be no body for you to feed.

  • Judith

    Loved this post!!! This is the first time I’ve read your writing and it was great. Thank you for the laughs along with the facts on digestion. Makes sense to me, and I’ve taken a lot of biology, anatomy and physiology courses.

  • valerie

    What an amazing discussion!!!!!!!!!!! There is enough material here for a book!

  • Etta

    Young women can be very sensitive, thoughtful and conscientious. I don’t think that “low self esteem” is any more likely a reason for not wanting to contribute to the slaughter of tiny furry creatures. Of course it’s healthier if they do; this is not what they have been taught. There’s also a lot of misinformation out there about consuming animals and environmental destruction, not just diet. Tx.

  • […] Many of these medications were originally used to treat other health problems but were found to have the unusual side effect of hair growth. […]

  • Ryan

    Excellent article!

  • Meatisstupid

    This is funny considering flesh starts rotting as soon as the animal dies. Of course, unless it’s in a freezer or cold temps. Bring it out of low temps and the rotting process continues.

  • Jen W

    Yes, the MEAT rots, but that doesn't mean the meat breaks down your colon!

  • Ellease:

    I can tell by the formatting that you cut-and-pasted that epistle, which I discourage…not to mention that I need a few line breaks to process that much text.


    Exactly.  The process of digestion is well-understood and well-documented: it's amazing that silly myths like “Meat rots in your colon” are so tenacious.


    I agree: I could easily write several more articles just based on some of the discussions in these comments.


    There are many different possible reasons, and I don't invest too much in any single explanation.  

    However, it is a fact that many more women are vegetarian than men: I've seen ratios from 1.5:1 to 1.75:1, depending on the survey.


    Thank you.


    Of course meat starts rotting as soon as you kill it.  So do vegetables, and so do fruits!  (In fact, fruit will often rot while still on the vine or tree.)  

    Any living food starts to rot once it dies.  We've all seen “mushy” fruit or “wilted” vegetables in the store — but that's certainly no reason to stop eating fruits and vegetables.

    Jen W:

    Exactly.  Any rotting stops immediately once you dunk your food in a pH2 vat of HCl and pepsin, known as “your stomach”.


  • […] Just found this interesting post re the digestive system: Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables! - GNOLLS.ORG now I know not to worry about by current once a week habit Reply With […]

  • Ellease

    Mr Stanton (easy read)

    Don’t be worried about it, it is just my writing style. Your mind is so full of information that there is not much room for you yourself to move.

    Naturally it will seem cut n paste to the intellect, because the intellect cannot recognise the new; what it sees as knew has already become old. Its preference is in old knowledge and repetition, in repetition the mind is in its element, it is comfortable with what it knows or rather thinks it knows.

    The truth is without language, this is why in language everything becomes relative. But just a few times in an intellects mind there are gaps created by awareness, this is when the truth penetrates the armoured plating of the mind and plucks a heart string. And for a moment the intellect becomes incapacitated, so the intellect is left in the face of truth naked, without its armour; without much to say that is none bias.

    The meat debate is eons old – it is perfectly obvious that the mind is the driving force and not the body. So man can eat meat without any problem; the mind will become accustomed and the body will follow suit, providing there is no division between the mind itself.

    But it will be short lived, the downfall will be the destruction of the species and other species for that matter.

    Here lies the difference between info-lectuality and intelligence. Surely if the mind is stronger than the body, we should put it to good use, instead of being enslaved by it.

    Your reply is typical of an intellectual, an intellect cannot say much about truth, they know plenty of facts, simply because they have been collecting them over the years and stored them in memory. But the truth cannot be contained like knowledge.

    The whole body is a living organism and under the command of its creator, the mind.
    What appears to be cut n paste are mere common self realisations. It is a common dialect amongst those who have become more aware of consciousness as a whole rather than just its reflection within the field.

    And surely you must realise that cut an paste forms the basis of your own fanciful rhetoric? Where did all your knowledge come from? It didn’t come from you, that much is certain. It is all borrowed my friend, it has come from a book or from somebody else.

    If you took your imposition away then you would be as clueless a joe blogs.

  • Martin @ Leaky Gut R

    So true, when we eat grains, we push ourselves in the direction of methane producing ruminants.

  • Chad

    Look, if you have to eat those animals, do it in moderation. But look at it this way. Can you you live your whole life ONLY eating plants, or ONLY eating animals. Quite easily, if you only ate animals and no vegetation whatsoever, you’d pretty much end up with a variety of diseases, including cancer. I’m a vegetarian for religious reasons. I’ve been one my whole life because I’ve grown up in a vegetarian household of Seventh day Adventists, except for my brothers and dad. I’m the only vegetarian man in the family. So if you’re a Christian (because any atheist will not care what I have to say) listen to this. If we believe in the Garden of Eden, then we know with 100% that Adam and Eve were vegetarians. Eating meat is result of sin because death of animals is rooted in sin. And for Christians who believe in heaven and the new world, do you think we are going to eat animal?. Of course not! Remember, eating meat is a result of a sinful world!

  • Chad

    By the way, even though I’m a vegetarian, I do not support eating vegetarian meat unless it is all organic and has little sodium. So many veggie meats are heavily processed and GMO. That’s why when I say I have a vegetarian diet, that only means whole food ORGANIC vegetarian options, as well as VERY little of refined sugar. Refined sugar is so toxic to the body.

  • eddie watts

    Ellease said
    “But it will be short lived, the downfall will be the destruction of the species and other species for that matter.”

    ok, but only if you call 4.3 million years short lived?
    i mean, i’m 36 now and i think that 100 years is a long time. over a million seems…a little excessive?

    JS how do you keep your cool responding to some of these (not Ellease incidentally) just reading some of the responses has massively depressed me.
    along with the many blatant copy and pasting from the same websites, without realising that someone else has done it!
    sidenote: my sister became vegetarian and sent me the herbivore:carnivore:human charts as many have on this article.
    5 years later on doctors orders she resumed meat consumption.

  • Alex

    Really? We eat meat because of sin? That doesn’t sound right. I’m quite certain the real reason we eat meat is because Xenu tossed body thetans into a volcano and blew it up with H bombs. Logically, that makes far more sense than the sin theory.

  • Ellease:

    Thank you for the line breaks.

    “So man can eat meat without any problem…But it will be short lived, the downfall will be the destruction of the species and other species for that matter.”

    Agriculture, particularly industrial monocrop agriculture, is far more destructive to the environment than grazing.  If grazing by herbivores destroyed the land, the Great Plains, the Serengeti, and all other grasslands worldwide would have blown away into dust tens of millions of years ago from the millions of bison, antelope, and other ruminants. 

    Meanwhile, agriculture is using up our topsoil (which was mostly created by the negative carbon impact of millions of years of herbivores grazing on perennial grasses) so quickly that we may have less than a century of it left!  (More here.)

    So yes, industrial-scale agriculture allows humans to live entirely on processed birdseed…but it's not good for our health, or for the health of the Earth.  Grazing animals are a necessary part of any functional ecosystem.  

    Our problem isn't that we eat meat…it's that seven billion people is too many no matter what we eat.


    Grains aren't the natural diet of ruminants, either!  The reason cattle are fed with so many antibiotics is that a constant diet of corn and soybeans doesn't just make them fat very quickly…it makes them sick.


    “Quite easily, if you only ate animals and no vegetation whatsoever, you'd pretty much end up with a variety of diseases, including cancer.”

    There is quite a bit of evidence to the contrary here.  Even if you don't count the Inuit, Buckminster Fuller, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, Owsley Stanley, Lex Rooker, and a host of other people (see the raw paleo forum, dirtycarnivore, etc.) seem to do (or have done) very well on it.


    “JS how do you keep your cool responding to some of these?”

    I don't do this because I get points for converting anyone…and those who respond in that way aren't going to be converted anyway.

    My hope is that, by responding calmly and rationally, I can demonstrate that we're not just hedonists (although it's wonderful to be able to take such great pleasure in eating)…we have solid scientific and moral reasons for what we're doing.  For everyone who writes a long rant, there are tens of thousands of curious readers, many of whom are genuinely interested in finding out who's right!


  • Chad

    In response to Alex, I clearly mentioned that my statement was directed only to Christians and not to atheists. Even with me saying that, you still have to make fun of my beliefs. You, sir, are the reason why so many people consider atheists to be conceited and lack decency. You really have a disgusting attitude.

    And in response to J. Stanton, I live in Loma Linda, the only Blue Zone in the entire United States and a huge percentage of us are vegetarians and are living into our 90s and 100s without the use of terrible prescription drugs. If you can find me a group like the Inuits that regularly live into their 90s and 100s, I’d like to see it. Don’t mean to sound rude at all, Mr. Stanton, just trying to understand more of what you’re saying.

  • Ellease

    Eddie when I say short lived, I’m drawing the comparison between here and now, which is eternal and the time that the mind creates which is momentary.

    Indeed from the minds perspective 4.3 million years is a long time, but in the light of eternity it is but a blink of an eye. And in any case, time is a paradox; and since it is created by the mind it is always relative, so there can be no true comparison in the real sense.

    We objectify it by reason and measurement, measurements are subject to an objective world of change, but in reality there are no objects; there is only the subjective point of consciousness.

    We create time out of memory, the impressions left on the brain leaves traces in the memory. This is how we know from this point in memory to the hear and now; the present, a certain time has elapse.

    But in being you cannot fathom the time lapse. We have all experienced it, when in being there is no time; the clocks stop. But no sooner than we raise the question of time, the clock starts ticking again and we wonder where the time had gone.

    It is the constant shuttling between what is real and the idea of what is real. There is no time in reality but in the idea of thing, time appears eternal.

    The pendulum creates the time in the clock by swinging back and forth in space. We create time in the same way the pendulum does, by moving between the past and future in the mind. It is the memory when going back in time and anticipation when moving forewords in time. Both are illusions.

    When we move into the field of consciousness we create time, hence the reason why physicists are baffled as to the origin of time. Time is the by-product of a conscious mind. As long as the physicist is there to create time to observe, there will always be the question of time itself. You + observation = time and space.

    Mr Stanton

    The problem is not eating meat, nor is it the 7 billion population. It is the 6.9 billion who are asleep. The population argument is a nonsense, it is just that we are not intelligent enough to organise it. It is mere propaganda, propagated by the ruling elite.

    Of course, if you have 7billion people living on the earth, each having their own ideas about how things should be, naturally we are going to run into problems.

    We live in a civilisation of welfare states and none welfare states that promotes and encourage procreation. As we all know, sex is promoted right the way through all medial outlets; along side the conflicting moral strategies of the law. Naturally, between the two variants an environment is created for population expansion. And like any system, wether Eco or mechanical. if it is not maintained and managed intelligently there will be problems.

    The human body is said to have between 50 – 100 trillion cells. When its working fine, there are no problems, they all work in unison to keep you in good health. If we work in unison, surely we could achieve the same harmony right here and now.

    Man is deluded insomuch that he speaks of nature as separate from himself; nature is in the man not man in nature. As a unconscious whole man is parasitic, blind, unconscious and simply moves without purpose. Until he becomes more intelligent, self realised and aware; whereby there is no ideas between him and the field of consciousness, his level of consciousness cannot rise; his consciousness will always be in the grips of his programming – fear greed and perpetuation of his consciousness.

    Further more there is no scientific or moral reason for what we are doing. Certainly we may think we know what we are doing but again this can only be relative.

    Man is driven by desire, fear and greed. He simply eats meat because he finds it delicious and has no respect for the animal because he thinks he is above them. And the very fact that you take pleasure out of eating meat yourself prove you wrong, man is hedonistic. If man didn’t take so much pleasure in eating the meat you probably wouldn’t have anything to rant about yourself.

    The whole world is drunk with the wine of self identification. One is a meat eater, one is a vegetarian and one is a vegan.

    One says; we have molars so we are design to eat meat. Another will say; we have no canines so we are not design to eat meat. And if we talk about design then we have to address the issue of the designer and of course, if we jump on this merry go round, naturally we end up in an endless, tedious, and regressive delusion. We are not designed in any capacity, we are here but we also have an idea that we are here. And it is in this idea that the confusion arises.

    The bottom line is that the body will adapt as best as it can, to fit whatever the physiology the mind creates. It has been doing this ever since we decided to take note of the memory log.

    One must remember, the balance is in the act; the act of eating meat will always be in the balance of its opposite, in this case not eating meat .

  • eddie watts

    lots of writing but no actual addressing of my point.
    you could have just not responded if you have no answer, would seem a lot easier.

    also “One says; we have molars so we are design to eat meat. Another will say; we have no canines so we are not design to eat meat”
    i think you’ll find molars are put forward as a reason to not eat meat, and we quite clearly do have canines and incisors which are put forward as a reason to eat meat.

    i dislike the word *designed* in this context as it implies a higher power/god(s)/intelligent design call it what you will.
    however designed by millions of years of evolution makes sense.

    also most of the vegan and vegetarian commenters are missing a simple point: nobody (as far as i’m aware) is denying their stance that humans *used* to be frugivores…just that millions of years of meat eating has fundamentally changed us, as you would expect any species to be changed.
    i daresay thousands of early proto-humans died due to poor adaptation to the meat when they first started eating it, but enough survived due to adaptations passed down and over time evolution favoured those with the most meat adaptations that were passed down.

    this is the very essence of evolution and most of the vegetarian/vegan posters seem to ignore this in their rants.
    (not that all are like that)
    in fact i think you’ll find the paleo world awash with ex-vegetarians and ex-vegans: J Stanton, Robb wolf, tom naughton.
    i’m sure more are reformed non-meat eaters.

    personally i get annoyed at the “we vegans use less than 20% of the resource than omnivores” statements.
    this just highlights the narrow world view that has to be maintained to keep belief going.
    monocrop is destructive and will cause our descendants massive problems in a few years, i’d like to say a few hundred, but i’ll likely still be alive to see it.

    population growth is an issue, nobody would make a serious claim otherwise surely?
    i mean if 7 billion is not a problem what about 10 billion? 15 billion?
    at some point it *has to matter*


  • Mattias

    You live in your little world of pseudo science and I and many of us will live in the REAL world in “Freedom and beauty” and HEALTH!

    You kill/eat dead animals and call that freedom and beauty
    and life will show you the results! You numbnuts!

  • Serena

    It’s true that some people don’t digest fat, regardless of whether it’s animal or vegetable in origin. It’s called malabsorption syndrome, resulting in steatorrhea, a disgusting thing indeed. It happens when the liver or gut has a problem, or when the fat is indigestible (Olestra e.g.) and its a pathological state, not normal. The answer is not to avoid fat, but to discover and heal the cause. The body needs fat.
    Healthy hunter-gatherer populations have animal/plant calorie ratios between 30/70 and 70/30, with a mean of about 50/50, and macronutrient ratios ranging from P=10/C=80/F=10 (like the Pritikin diet) to P=40/C=20/F=40 and other combinations. If someone wants to be animal=70/plant=30 at P=10/C=80/F=10, I have no problem with that. Even veganism, if it’s well-planned and supervised and not forced on others, is OK with me. But I need something closer to animal=50/plant=50 at P=25/C=40/F=35, give or take, to be healthy. That’s an empirical conclusion drawn from trial and error. We’re all unique.

  • Mary

    Hi, I’m wondering why The American Cancer Society has been screaming for year that veggies/bean/grains & eating them in plentiful amounts helps prevent cancer?

    From what I’ve researched & read (for years) is that the previously mentioned foods provide a lot of vitamins, iron, calcium & fiber. Fiber IS harder to digest..and the fact that your intestines need to work is actually good for them.

    As far as flatulence, you can minimize this by building up your fiber intake as well as not over-indulging in any type of food.

    Also (although I’m not totally convinced of it), there are theories that each of us (due to our different blood types) do better on different type of diets. This is in regards to the level of stomach acid each person produces. For example, Type O is better off eating lots of meat & Type A is better off being a vegetarian (due to lower stomach acids present).

    I’m a pesco-ovo-lacto vegetarian (very light on pesco though). I certainly don’t have all the answers just like no one does. I’m also a Type A blood type & I feel healthier & much more in control following my current diet rather than a meat-based one (which I’ve tried btw).

  • … a side comment to Mary.

    I had a little smile (not a sneer, a smile … smiles are good) when I read that you consider yourself a “pesce-ovo-lacto vegetarian“. I would describe myself in similar terms as a “pesce-ovo-lacto paleo“.

    I eat fish, shellfish, eggs, vegetables and dairy from fermented and fatty sources, goat, usually.

    You sound like somebody who has taken the time to read and research good health for yourself, just as I have. It is fun to see how completely different approaches can bring people to very similar conclusions.

    Semantics, but I guess you would say that you won't eat meat … I would say that I won't not eat meat, but for the most part we probably eat quite similar.

  • Vicki

    I’m no expert but I am a vegetarian/vegan and therefore have done some research.
    There is a chemical in beans that produce the gas in digestion. If you only buy bagged beans and do the overnight soak, it somehow breaks down the chemical and does not produce the gas in digestion. I have a sensitive system and know this from experience. And if you’re not used to eating a lot of fiber, that can make you very gassy! Gradually increasing your fiber intake will help stop the excessive gas!
    I have not been able to find support so far to us having a stomach ph to that is around 2. Everything I am finding is carnivores have a ph of 2 WITH food in stomach, we have a ph of 4-5 WITH food in the stomach.
    Herbivores do not require cholesterol intake (because they make their own), where carnivores do require eating it because they do not produce their own. Humans produce their own cholesterol therefore we do not need to eat it.
    Anyone who eats mainly meat will tell you they have bowel problems (not able to have a movement, only able to go once a week!). This is awful and so unhealthy! I’m sorry but I disagree completely with this article. How can something sitting in your colon for a a week not be rotting compared to the veggie matter that’s in there for less than 24 hours? There is a reason carnivores have the short, pipe like digestive tract they have…
    This just seems like more selfish “I don’t want to stop eating meat.” Most vegetarians and vegans don’t want to eat meat because there is no humane way to kill. Billions of farm animals are killed for food a year and live awful lives. Yes, maybe there are some wildlife killed in the process of farming but at least we are trying to minimize the killing! Plowing down the forests for fields? What do you think the fields are for? Since it is takes SIGNIFICANTLY less resources to produce plant foods while producing more plant food, these fields are made for cattle and grains for the cattle! Then you have to grow the food for people. Stop with the over production of meat and there will be less fields!

  • No part of anything you said is right, Vicki. I simply cannot be bothered to respond to eat and every point you erroneously make – all the corrections are in the posts above.

    Simply put, modern farming is killing the planet. Modern diets, vegetarian and vegan, is killing the planet … and the people upon it.

  • Chase

    Whoever created this is a dumbass and needs to be put in jail for spreading corporations lies and propaganda. Your not really educated in proper health, nutrition and the human digestive system, yet you pretend you have all the answers, too bad most people who buy this are not properly educated enough to realize your lies. How about we eat you?

  • ian

    ok not really sure what to make of this. i have never believed that meat took that long to digest anyway. this is primarily what you have debunked here and fair enough. however i would need a lot more evidence to convince me that eating meat is better for us than eating fruit and vegetables. from what i know vegetables, uncooked and raw contain enzymes that the human body uses to digest. I also think the alkaline/acidic balance, which is something you havent really touched on in this post is the only way of staying healthy. if we were to eat meat all the time, our bodies would get very acidic, and obviously that is not a good thing for many reasons. also cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens contain chlorophyl, which has a structure that is simiiar to human blood, chlorophyl has been proven to be a great cleanser of the body and also the body can use it to create new blood. are you telling me i should forget about the fruit and veg, and live like a predator and just eat meat and protein and fat??

  • eddie watts

    there are many people trying to point out flaws that *are not even mentioned in the article*
    no attempt is being made here to so “don’t eat fruit and veg, eat meat instead”

    also can you not read all the many comments that have answered *every.single.comment.* that you are now making?

    i get the vast majority of my calories from meat, i have *never* had a problem going toilet and certainly once a week is a total fabrication. in fact while i eat plenty of veg my problem is more the other way 3 times a day!

  • ian

    well forgive me but there is too many comments to read in this post, i have read a few but there is no way i can read them all this post goes back to feb 2011. also i think people are entitled to point out flaws in this argument, whether its directly or indirecty linked to this article, so you say he’s not saying that we should eat meat instead of vegetables, yet he says that vegetables rot in our digestive system and need our own bacteria to break it down, whereas meat can simply be digested by enymes, which is better and healthier for us, i would also be interested in knowing what this guys average daily diet consists of. i myself eat mainly vegetables and fruit, i also empty my bowels 2 or 3 times a day. salmon is the only meat i eat these days and i am staying off red meat and poultry because of the acidity of it. also cooked meat on its own is very bland, it is not until you add seasoning and condiments that it becomes what we call “tasty” and raw meat tastes absolutely horrible. it is obvious that fruit was meant to be eaten by us because it tastes so good to us and right off the tree, no need to add anything else just pick it off the tree and eat it.

  • Jen W

    For me, I find that certain out of season fruits and veggies just don't taste right.  Lettuce tastes way too bitter out of season, and strawberries don't have much flavor in the winter nor do tomatoes.  Also, I find that bananas, while quite sweet, spike my blood sugar too much and I don't like how a feel afterwards.


    I'm finding I've had very little need/craving for seafood/fish since adding grass-fed lamb kidney (selenium) to my diet and supplementing Omega 3 (TJ's Fish Oil or Carlson's Cod Liver Oil).

  • […] your intestines are not. He's repeating a vegan myth about meat. Ask him if he thinks that meat putrefies in the colon. Griff's cholesterol primer bloodorchid: paleo and primal are not low carb Winterbike: What I […]

  • Jen W

    Anyone seen this blog post from Dr. Briffa?  Study finds dietary fibre is more likely to be the cause of, rather than a cure for constipation, and other bowel symptoms?  


  • eddie watts

    good catch Jen W

    liking it. tom naughton has in the past looked into fibre and found the data to be not supporting the current trend of fibre = good

  • Dave

    Haven’t been here for some time. Interesting to see how many new people have shown up in the last couple of months. Also interesting that many of them apparently don’t take the time to read all of the comments before posting theirs.

    So, I’ve been reading the book Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) lately, and it is fascinating to see the psychology behind the decisions we make and actions we take. Cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias are rife in the human mind, as is the seeming need for self justification.

    As a former ‘pro-vegan’ thinker, I used to be one of those people urging others to read The China Study. However, once I read, and I mean really, really read and understood, some books that contradicted what I had believed as a ‘pro-vegan,’ I had to deal with some cognitive dissonance. I could have resorted to self justification, but instead I admitted to family and friends that I had been wrong.

    BTW, still enjoying my diet of meat, eggs, and high fat dairy. I must admit to not eating much in the way of plant foods lately, but if viewed from the perspective of my pre-agricultural ancestors, just what kinds of calorie dense fresh plant food would be available during winter anyway (in the northern hemisphere)?

    I’m also at what I consider to be my ideal weight (down about 40 lbs. from what I used to be) without strenuous exercise. I walk and bike around the small town I live in, but I wouldn’t credit any weight loss to this activity.

    To the Vegans: it’s not the meat that’s killing us prematurely. It’s the processed food-like-products made primarily of sugars, wheat, and seed oils. Weston Price saw this process first hand around 80 or so years ago among groups of people on every continent who were being exposed to the industrial diet for the first time.

  • eddie watts

    Dave: congrats on your weight loss and health improvements!
    many people who pop in and drop one liners “china study!” “meat rots in your colon!” etc also give the excuse that they can’t read all the comments.

    i’ve read all the comments in the last few days, the sheer number of “drop in commentators” is very noticeable if you do that.

  • Vicki

    Really? Your insulting sounding arrogant responce to my post really doesn’t make you sound smart. You’re just pointing a finger. I’m responding with what I’ve researched and experienced myself. this article sounds like bs to me. I’ve actually researched some of this information and have not found much to support these claims. Where is this person getting their info? People do not have a ph of 2 with food in their stomach! I agree that some people will not be healthy on a fully plant based diet but the majority will. A lot of what I’ve mentioned is based what I’ve seem or have experienced myself so how can you say I’m wrong? I also do not agree with modern farming and would love to see people growing their own food. I’ve done it even in an apartment. Ever see “raw for 30 days”? can’t do that with meat!

  • Vicki

    I see there are some sources but being on my phone its had to look into them cause my phone stinks.

  • Jen W



    I just posted that link earlier



  • Alex

    The primary purpose of HCl in the stomach is to provide the low pH needed for the release and function of the enzyme pepsin. Pepsin doesn’t become inactive until the pH hits 6.5. So, even if food entering the stomach does raise the pH to 4, pepsin is still able to do its job of breaking down proteins.

  • we

    J.stanton sorry dude U got it WRONG! Take a look at sum real doctor’s without agenda, save helping people healthy women, schoolgirls and us men also check it out FORKS OVER KNIVES! The fact is all are planting goes to raising cattleY’all wanna eat meat go right ahead but atleast do the research before spreading yor mythbusting nonsense! Compare the human digestive system with meat eating animals versus plant eaters other than cows and horses! And next tyme U enjoy the flesh of another animal eat it raw like a REAL carnivore! FORKS OVER KNIVES get the FACTS, enjoy the life GOD has blessed U with. And in all things give thanks for HIS SON JESUS, believe and be saved follow and be free

  • sabrina

    I admit i was skeptical about magic spells, for me it was just a movie thing though I was ready to try anything to get my husband back, which I did with this spell Esango priest 've cast for me.I think I wouldn't have done it if it wasn't this spell caster. The other casters I contacted seemed to care only for money and nothing else, but I've appreciated the fact that Esango priest seemed much caring about my problem than all of them. magic water I was hurt and depressed when my lover of five years left me for another woman. One friend suggested the idea to contact a spell caster, which I would have never thought of myself. I contacted a few of them but Esango priest was the person I felt good with. he was understanding, replied all my emails promptly and patiently. Then I decided to place an order for his spell even if at that time I was still a bit skeptical about his capacity to bring my man back with me. Only 1 week after the spell was actually cast, he returned to me and since then, it seems that there is no more mistrust and no more lies between us. For that reason, I am gladly leaving a testimonial on this page, which I believe will help persons to choose Esango priest for their case his email is xxxxx@xxxxxxx.xxx [Email removed, but I've left the spam here because it's so wonderfully bizarre -JS]

  • Dave

    “we” said:

    J.stanton sorry dude U got it WRONG! Take a look at sum real doctor’s without agenda, save helping people healthy women, schoolgirls and us men also check it out FORKS OVER KNIVES! The fact is all are planting goes to raising cattleY’all wanna eat meat go right ahead but atleast do the research before spreading yor mythbusting nonsense! Compare the human digestive system with meat eating animals versus plant eaters other than cows and horses! And next tyme U enjoy the flesh of another animal eat it raw like a REAL carnivore! FORKS OVER KNIVES get the FACTS, enjoy the life GOD has blessed U with. And in all things give thanks for HIS SON JESUS, believe and be saved follow and be free

    I’m not J, of course, but I’ll write a response to this…

    I’ve watched Forks Over Knives. I’ve read The China Study, twice. Heck, I’ve even read the 80/10/10 diet book by that fruitarian quack, “doctor” Doug Graham.

    Guess what? I’m not impressed. Yes, watch Forks Over Knives and by all means read The China Study. Then go on over to YouTube and watch Fat Head. Go to your library and check out Wheat Belly by William Davis, Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, and Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price.

    I honestly doubt most Vegans will read these books because they are afraid of finding out just how wrong they’ve been all along.

  • Dave

    @ Eddie Watts,

    Thanks! I spent many years with an ever expanding gut that I assumed would stay with me until I died. Now I’m in my 40s and have a 29 inch waist! The best part about it is that I’m eating foods that I love (not tasteless, hard-to-prepare, low-fat ‘whole plant foods’), and I don’t have to ‘exercise.’

    Hmmm. It’s about time to read my copy of The Gnoll Credo again…

  • eddie watts

    wow sabrina wins the most wacky post award!

    ph2 in the stomach before food goes in. once you add anything into this the ph will change, much like adding water to cordial or squash.

  • AardeMan

    Brilliant discussion and epic article!

    Keep up the good work!

  • Attention, all commenters!  Please keep these points in mind when replying:

    1. The purpose of this article is to address one very specific topic: the claim that “meat rots in your colon”.  Making the general case for veg*anism vs. omnivory is not only a non sequitur, it's beyond the scope of one article — and most certainly beyond the scope of a comment.

    2. Please read, at the very least, my responses to comments before asking a question (or making a statement).  I have previously answered many of these questions: asking them again says, to me, that you're not interested in productive dialogue and are just spouting off.

    Yes, there are a lot of comments!  Deal with it.

    Live in freedom, live in beauty.


  • Chad:

    First, only 35% (appx.) of Seventh Day Adventists are vegetarian.

    Second, the lifestyle differences between Seventh Day Adventists living in Loma Linda and the average American are, to put it mildly, not limited to their dietary choices…so ascribing the difference to vegetarianism is optimistic.

    Third, Paleo is not generally an all-meat diet.  (Though it is within the template, it's very infrequent.)

    Fourth, the only groups who ate a Paleo-compliant diet during a period of history recent enough to have good records (e.g. the Inuit, Hadza, Ache, !Kung, etc.) did not have access to antibiotics, or any medical care at all — let alone live next to one of the premier medical clinics in the world (Loma Linda Medical Center)!  Comparing lifespans of people who live in the wilderness and must hunt for their food to people who live in temperature-controlled houses, whose every need and want is paid for by the government, and who are treated by some of the best medical care in the world any time they suffer so much as a sniffle, is patently silly.  Drop a Seventh Day Adventist in the Kalahari Desert with the !Kung, and let's see how long he lives.

    It'll take many years before we have robust statistics on the lifespan of First World residents following a Paleo template.  However, in contrast to the average vegetarian, fruitarian, or other low-fat zealot — most of whose diet gurus tend to die well before the average American — the older Paleo gurus seem to be doing quite well, e.g. Art Devany, S. Boyd Eaton.  (And the proto-Paleo diet advocates seemed to do well, too: Dr. Wolfgang Lutz lived to 97, while R. Buckminster Fuller lived to 87.)


    “Man is driven by desire, fear and greed. He simply eats meat because he finds it delicious and has no respect for the animal because he thinks he is above them. And the very fact that you take pleasure out of eating meat yourself prove you wrong, man is hedonistic.”

    As I've said many times in my series on hunger, our tastes for food exist for a very good reason: humans that didn't desire the foods that were most nutritious for them tended to die out over time, and be replaced with those who did.  (Recall that we didn't co-evolve with Cheetos, Oreos, and microwave burritos…we co-evolved with animals, tubers, and in season, fruit, nuts, and vegetables.)

    We don't desire meat because we're “sinful” or “hedonistic”.  We desire meat because, for millions of years, humans that desired meat survived more frequently than humans that did not.  And there is ample fossil evidence for this, beginning (as of today) 3.4 million years ago at Dikika.



    It's a fundamentally religious argument: don't expect it to make too much sense.



    “You kill/eat dead animals and call that freedom and beauty and life will show you the results! You numbnuts!”

    Yes, I do.  Why do you suppose humans have such big brains?  It's not to dig potatoes or pick fruit…warthogs and monkeys are quite capable of that.

    My results?  So far, they include being in the best mental and physical shape of my life, at an age where most people are rapidly sliding downhill.  And while the details are no one's business, I can confirm that eating more dead animals has produced anything but numb nuts!


    More soon…this one caught fire, probably from being linked from veg*an forums.  (And these questions are grandfathered in because they were asked before my warning above.)


  • Serena:

    “The answer is not to avoid fat, but to discover and heal the cause. “

    Absolutely!  And the number of people who genuinely have fat absorption problems is very low.  AFAIK, even people whose gallbladder has been removed usually do fine if they increase their fat intake slowly.



    I hate to break it to you, but a pesco-anything isn't a vegetarian.  (Fish aren't vegetables.)  However, most fish (and shellfish) are quite healthy to eat — and a fish-based version of paleo is perfectly reasonable, if often somewhat expensive.  So feel free to adapt the paleo template to your own needs and desires in that regard.

    Paleo doesn't eschew vegetables…far from it!  We do, however, eschew beans and grains…both of which are incredibly nutrient-poor relative to fresh, whole foods like meat (including organ meats, fish, and shellfish), eggs, vegetables — and even most tubers.

    As far as fiber, insoluble fiber (the kind you get from “whole grains”) actually increased mortality by 20% in the only controlled study ever done on it (DART)…and zero-fiber diets dramatically reduce or eliminate constipation in controlled trials!  The idea that eating things we can't digest is good for us is both bizarre and unsupported by the evidence.

    The reason some studies associate vegetarianism, high-fiber diets, etc. with health is most likely the Boy Scout Effect.  We've been telling people for decades to eat more whole grains and fiber, less meat, etc.  So anyone who ignores that advice probably doesn't care much about their own health, and does lots of other unhealthy things that decrease their lifespan more than the fiber.  (Read this article for more ways in which statistics are used to obscure the truth, not reveal it.)

    Re: the blood type diet, I know of absolutely no evidence that stomach acid levels are tied to blood type! Biochemical individuality is quite real…but it generally doesn't change the optimal diet.  It changes our ability to cope with suboptimal diets.



    Exactly.  We've been brainwashed for so long to believe that “vegetarian = healthy” that most people who try to clean up their diet call themselves “vegetarians”, even when they eat fish…and sometimes chicken!  (Over 2/3 of self-identified “vegetarians” eat meat.)



    The pH in a healthy human stomach is 1.5-3, depending on what we eat.  Our stomach secretes more acid when we eat meat, so eating meat actually helps us digest other foods!

    Yes, soaking and sprouting beans does decrease their quotient of toxins and indigestible sugars.  And soaked and sprouted beans are far less offensive to the gut than grains!  However, it's a lot of work to produce something that is still nutritionally inferior to paleo foods, so I don't bother…except on an occasional trip to the local Indian restaurant, where I'll sometimes indulge in a bit of dal.

    “Anyone who eats mainly meat will tell you they have bowel problems”

    No, we don't.

    “How can something sitting in your colon for a a week not be rotting”

    Because meat doesn't sit in your colon for a week.

    “Herbivores do not require cholesterol intake (because they make their own), where carnivores do require eating it because they do not produce their own.”


    “Plowing down the forests for fields? What do you think the fields are for?”

    Grasses, flowers, bushes, trees, elk, deer, cattle, wolves, coyotes, bobcats, cougars, rabbits, mice, squirrels, raccoons, thousands of species of birds and beetles and insects…and they're all killing and eating each other or being killed and eaten.  We're just another part of that circle…if we do it right.

    Or GMO soybeans soaked with Roundup, and nothing else. 

    It's our choice.

    And if you had read more carefully, you would know that corn and soybeans aren't the natural diet of cattle any more than they are the natural diet of people.  My freezer is full of a half beef that ate nothing but fresh, green grass its whole life, from unfertilized and unweeded pasture (turns out cattle do that better than chemicals).



    “Whoever created this is a dumbass and needs to be put in jail for spreading corporations lies and propaganda.”

    Really?  I'd sure love some corporate sponsorship…I bet it pays better than selling life-changing novels and T-shirts!

    Unfortunately, articles like Real Food Is Not Fungible and You Are A Radical, And So Am I have most likely torpedoed any chance I have of getting fat checks in the mail from Big Ag.  (The veg*ans pushing veggieburgers and soy milk have a much better chance at that…)

    “How about we eat you?”

    Like most predators, I'm tough, stringy, and difficult to catch.



    “i would need a lot more evidence to convince me that eating meat is better for us than eating fruit and vegetables.”

    So would I!  That's why I've stated repeatedly that such evidence is far beyond the scope of this article.  I provide a long list of references at the end of Eat Like A Predator, and quite a few in the text…feel free to dig around there and make your own decisions.


    More soon…it's going to take a while to catch up with all of this!  (And these questions are grandfathered in because they were asked before my warning above.)


  • eddie watts:

    Exactly.  Constipation is often caused by a change in diet…possibly because it takes one's gut flora time to adapt to the new foods you're giving them.  And the only time I have such problems on paleo is when I'm dehydrated from intense activity…which makes sense, as one of the main functions of the colon is to recycle the water used in digestion.



    Yes, there are a lot of comments.  Suck it up.

    “i would also be interested in knowing what this guys average daily diet consists of.”

    Today was reasonably representative, so here it is.

    Breakfast, lunch: nothing.  I fasted.

    Dinner: the Asian variant of this recipe, with three eggs, about 1/2 pound of steak, a bunch of peppers and onions, and a small amount of white rice, cooked in coconut oil.  And a mixed baby green salad with olive oil/balsamic vinegar and about 1/3 of an avocado.

    About an hour later: one pound of Dover sole, poached in butter.  (Usually I would eat more red meat, but the fish was on sale.) 

    Dessert/cheat: handful of Sweet-Tarts (which are basically pure dextrose).

    I may or may not eat again before bed.

    “i also empty my bowels 2 or 3 times a day.”

    Bummer…that's a lot of running to the toilet!  I average once a day, which seems about right.  You might be eating too much indigestible fiber.

    “cooked meat on its own is very bland, it is not until you add seasoning and condiments that it becomes what we call “tasty” and raw meat tastes absolutely horrible.”

    Speak for yourself!  I eat raw hamburger (grass-finished, from a local rancher) frequently…and really good, dry-aged cuts of meat require, at best, a hint of salt and pepper.

    Of course, most people overcook their meat until it's bland and tough, because of their mistaken belief that it's terribly dangerous.  (No one has ever died from any store-bought cuts of meat, even hamburger…the only deaths are from factory-processed lunch meats or Jack in the Box.  Meanwhile, 30 people died from cantaloupes in 2011 alone…here's the list of all deadly foodborne illness outbreaks, so you can see for yourself that vegetables, cold cuts, and dodgy Mexican cheese are what kills people, not meat.)

    “it is obvious that fruit was meant to be eaten by us because it tastes so good to us and right off the tree, no need to add anything else just pick it off the tree and eat it.”

    I have no problem with eating fruit, in season, and as dessert…but our teeth can't withstand the acids of regular fruit consumption, and that has been the case for at least four million years.  (Paleolithic hominins didn't have toothbrushes.)

    All that being said, we probably agree on more than we disagree: our diet should be based primarily on foods that can be eaten raw, even if we prefer them cooked.  Add meat and eggs to your diet, and it probably looks a lot like mine!

    Jen W:

    It's true that fruits and veggies out of season are either shipped from a long way away at ridiculous expense (e.g. Chile) or grown in hothouses, and simply don't taste as good.  Even store-bought produce in season doesn't taste as good as local, fresh produce bought directly from the farm!

    And yes, that Dr. Briffa article is great!  (I should read his blog more.)



    “Interesting to see how many new people have shown up in the last couple of months. Also interesting that many of them apparently don't take the time to read all of the comments before posting theirs.”

    There's something about extremely restrictive diets that seems to cause their adherents to become evangelistic without regard to social norms.  You wouldn't just walk into someone's party, shout a long rant about how everyone there is killing themselves, and leave — but that sort of behavior is disturbingly normal for long-time vegans, particularly the raw foodists and fruitarians.  (“I didn't bother to read the other comments, but I know mine is more important, so I'm going to subject you to it.”)  I think the resulting nutrient deficiencies may be seriously impairing their ability to reason, and even to pick up on basic social cues.  Brains are mostly made of cholesterol and saturated fat, after all, and B12 is required for nerve myelination AFAIK…

    “if viewed from the perspective of my pre-agricultural ancestors, just what kinds of calorie dense fresh plant food would be available during winter anyway (in the northern hemisphere)?”

    That's why I don't stress about vegetables.  If I'm hungry for them, I'll eat them.  If not, no big deal.

    Congratulations on your excellent progress!


    More soon.


  • vicki:

    “Where is this person getting their info? People do not have a ph of 2 with food in their stomach!”

    Yes, they do.

    Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Dec;34(11-12):1269-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04874.x. Epub 2011 Oct 17.
    Systematic review: the use of proton pump inhibitors and increased susceptibility to enteric infection.
    Bavishi C, Dupont HL.


    “Parietal cells secrete hydrochloric acid at a concentration of pH 0.8 and maintain a median daily pH in human stomach around 1.4.”

    You'll have to get some basic facts correct before I take any of your other claims seriously.



    Quite true.  And as I said before, ingesting meat causes your stomach to secrete more acid, so you'll actually digest anything you eat along with the meat much better!



    Go read this article, which rationally evaluates the claims made in Forks Over Knives:

    Forks Over Knives: Is The Science Legit?

    And for good measure, read this one about the book “The China Study” (a fraudulent misrepresentation of the data contained in the actual China Study):

    The China Study

    “Compare the human digestive system with meat eating animals versus plant eaters other than cows and horses!”

    Our digestive system is much closer to a carnivore's than an herbivore's.  The fact that we can't digest cellulose, whereas we have specialized enzymes dedicated to breaking down connective tissue and other meat proteins, should clue us in to the fact that meat, not plants, is the foundation of the natural human diet.

    Do I eat plants!  Sure!  In fact, my diet is probably closer to a raw vegan's than to the Standard American Diet: just add meat and eggs!  But after a while, you'll find that it's not enough to avoid food…you have to eat some, too. 



    You can also spend some time at Healthy Diets and Science.

    And it’s always a good time to read The Gnoll Credo again, as the reviews demonstrate.



    Thank you!  I was surprised that no debunkings of this absurd claim existed…so I had to write my own.


    Wow!  That was a lot of comments…if the logs are to be believed, I got linked by McDougall's forum and a share-storm on Facebook.

    Future commenters, see my warning above: these questions were grandfathered in, and I won't respond so politely to anyone who hasn't read the comments and is just here to spout propaganda.


  • […] Originally Posted by pinballdoctor Meat sticks to intestinal walls, which results in "rotting". We'd never have survived the evolutionary process if that was true. Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables ! […]

  • DJ

    JS… wondering if you’ve see this video yet:

    Basically, Alan says that if we have MORE livestock eating what they’re naturally supposed to eat… we can reverse desertification of our planet and slow down climate change. It would also provide enough meat for our growing population.

  • Jen W

    @DJ,  that video has been linked here in several posts.

  • DJ

    Ahhhh… thanks Jen. I haven’t looked around on many threads, so it’s quite easy for me to have missed it. I just thought it was relevant here because of all the comments talking about Paleo being sustainable.

  • DJ, Jen:

    Yes, it's been posted several times before.  It's a great video, though, and I'll leave it here because the topic has come up so much in this comment thread.


  • Kat

    All this vegan vs. meat eaters wars is so boring. This article is just as inconclusive as all other “studies”. Every human is different and their body responds to food differently based on external and genetic circumstances. PLUS, every food product differs in nutritional content and modification according to what it is and where it comes from. The term “meat” is used so loosely here as if the facts would equally transcend across all meat products and variations, as well as the multitude of grains, vegetables and pulses. Articles like this are so destrucive because you’re just getting another group of people riled up on limited information and opinion adding to the already totally misinformed debate about health, nutrition and diet.

  • Kat

    lol…you cant make all of your assumptions based on “science”. Humans are not machines and everything we do is circumstantial. Go to northern Russia where you still find Inuits living on a diet of frozen whale blubber, seal, reindeer and vodka only, nothing ever cooked and no vegetables for their entire lives. Then travel to California to visit a man of the same age who eats pure vegan and they will probably share the same multitude of health. Although should they wish to swap diets, their body would find it very difficult to adapt and would struggle over a long period of time.
    You are not appreciating the fact as it is. Diet contributes and is a factor of so much more in a person’s life than just nutritional value and physical performance and each individual responds to their diet in a separate way, this is also heavily affected by their social circumstances.
    If you are going to make a claim like: “This fact alone proves that humans, while omnivores, are primarily carnivorous”…you really ought to do more anthropological research, which im sure would take much longer than it did to decide to produce this on the net. You might also want to look into the faeces content of fossiled humans, as there are some incredible findings there.
    Lay out your facts, but also realise that you are missing a lot of information to make any claims.
    Personally, I think that this debate is ridiculous and will never be answered, as it is so inconclusive and fuelled by nothing but opinions. If we all just diverted our attention to what is happening to our food before it reaches our plates, instead of a stupid diet debate, then we would at least be able to make a more informed choice on what to eat having the access to clean, healthy food regardless of what it is. Meat or veg, our food is contaminated in so many ways through the process of commodification, and this is the real issue that needs to be addressed as this will affect our digestion more than anything else.

  • Kat:

    As I've said before, the purpose of this article is to debunk one specific myth: that meat is not digested and rots in your colon over a period of days (or weeks, in some versions of the story!)

    The facts are not inconclusive, nor are they subjective: that does not happen.

    “If you are going to make a claim like: “This fact alone proves that humans, while omnivores, are primarily carnivorous”…you really ought to do more anthropological research, which im sure would take much longer than it did to decide to produce this on the net.”

    If you had looked at the index to this site, you would notice that I already did!  I've written a long article series on the subject, which reviews the archaeological evidence for hominin diets…and while I'm not yet finished writing the articles, I've spent enough time with the primary research to make and substantiate such claims.

    Furthermore, nutritional relativism is a seductive concept, but it's clearly untrue.  Vegan diets are deficient in any number of essential nutrients (no, you won't get enough B12 from dirt or other vegan sources unless you eat your own poop), and the reason many are healthy is because they cheat or take supplements.  (Recall that roughly 2/3 of self-described vegetarians ate meat on one of two days their dietary intake was surveyed.)  Even vegans admit that vegan children require supplementation in order to grow and develop correctly.

    Yes, the average vegan is probably healthier than the average consumer of the Standard American Diet, because for all its faults, a low-fat vegan diet eliminates many frank toxins: PUFA-laden seed oils (and the trans fats that inevitably accompany them), all fast food, and most industrially-produced junk food.  But the classic paleo diet is closer to a raw vegan diet than it is to the Standard American Diet…just add meat and eggs.

    “Meat or veg, our food is contaminated in so many ways through the process of commodification, and this is the real issue that needs to be addressed as this will affect our digestion more than anything else.”

    I wrote that article too!  Real Food Is Not Fungible: How Commoditization Eliminates Nutrition, Impoverishes Farmers, and Destroys The Earth.


  • Kat

    I will have a read at the requested articles…but…

    “Furthermore, nutritional relativism is a seductive concept, but it’s clearly untrue.”
    WRONG. I think you should travel more.

  • Kat:

    “WRONG. I think you should travel more.”

    To where?  I've been on all the continents except Australia. [Edit to add: and Antarctica.]

    Let me use my observations of Japan as an example, both from cities and from more rural areas.  Yes, older Japanese are skinny and tend to live a bit longer than we do.  They're also amazingly short (stunted by post-WWII malnutrition) and frequently suffer osteoporosis.  The younger a Japanese person is, the taller they are on average…and the more likely they are to be obese.  There were a few Japanese kids who were of Western height: many of them were also chubby, similar to American teenagers.  So while we can learn some things from the Japanese diet, they're not the apex of health, either.

    That being said, I agree that I should travel more.  If people bought more books and T-shirts, maybe I could!


  • AJ

    well first of all congratulations on this interesting article and great website!
    i just want to say that while i, too, think the statement ‘meat rots in your colon’ is BS (of course, too much meat kinda does, theres a limitation to everything and too much of anything can be bad for you;humans can digest up to ~30grams of protein per meal),
    and im thinking highly of paleo concepts myself,
    what bothers me here is this:

    “Grasses, flowers, bushes, trees, elk, deer, cattle, wolves, coyotes, bobcats, cougars, rabbits, mice, squirrels, raccoons, thousands of species of birds and beetles and insects…and they’re all killing and eating each other or being killed and eaten. We’re just another part of that circle…if we do it right.”

    actually, we’re not.we might have been a long time ago, but humans evolved. humans developed something called ‘ethics’ and are actually proud of not being slaves to their instincts and not having to act like animals anymore.

    im not trying to start this old debate again and im well aware this is not in the scope of the above article. im just genuinely wondering if you are ever having (or had) this kind of thoughts since im struggling with those issues myself and am switching back and forth between paleo and veganism (i know that sounds crazy). and while i do think theres absolutely no reason not to eat meat (in appropriate amounts ofc, most average people eating probably too much living an inactive lifestyle not being able to metabolize it) from a health perspective, the ethical aspect makes me think pretty much.

    Sometimes i think of killing and eating animals (which almost no human absolutely has to do to survive these days!) as some kind of racism since you descriminate another species by saying their right to live is less important than your right to taste something good.it doesnt seem to be concurrent with our humanistic existence.

    You wrote: “and the reason many [vegans] are healthy is because they cheat or take supplements.”
    …so what? if thats the only price to be paid to spare other lives wouldnt it be worth it? i really dont know!

  • eddie watts

    the “30g protein is the maximum you can absorb in one meal” is possibly the most stupid thing that has caught on in nutrition.
    (AJ this is not aimed at you a LOT of people believe this!)

    it was started by Joe Weider from what i have gathered around the time the company released a product that contained…..30g of protein!

    if a person was to eat a 20 ounce steak every bit of protein would be absorbed. if i was at home i’d link a video by biolayne (PHD in protein synthesis) explaining all this.
    (there is also an amount to get maximum effect pwo which is often where people get confused too)

    as to the humane sid eof things: there is nothing, literally *nothing* that humans do that do not kill animals.
    computers? made of fossil fuels (plastic) all components are made of materials that are finite and we have to destroy the natural world to get them. (metals i’m thinking here)

    any food bought from any supermarket chain supports their many non-ethical practices (the least of which imo is actually killing animals for food)

    personally i think we can afford now to raise animals in a free range and organic manner and afford to feed the world in that way.
    we won’t due to money.

  • AJ:

    If we limit the ethical conversation to the immediate death of the animal we eat, of course meat-eating appears to be immoral.  However, the point I was making (perhaps far too subtly) is that meat-eating is an absolutely necessary part of any functional ecosystem, and therefore not just morally justifiable — it's morally mandatory.  

    Think about agriculture for a moment: we kill all the other plants and animals in an area of land so that it can be devoted entirely to growing and harvesting a crop humans eat.  Add the destructive impact of fossil fuels necessary to make the fertilizer (3-5% of world natural gas production goes into the Haber process to make ammonium nitrate fertilizer), the pesticides and herbicides, etc.  

    Then remove all that biomass each year and feed it to humans, who digest it and flush it down the nearest toilet.  Plants aren't magic: they're made of soil and water.  What do you suppose is happening to the topsoil here?  Answer: it's disappearing, and that's why ancient agricultural regions are now deserts (see: “Fertile Crescent”)…agriculture destroys the land in the long term, which is a permanent death sentence to all the animals that used to live there.  As I said in this article:

    “…Industrial grain production impoverishes our farmers, destroys our soil and our water, and leaves barren landsalt flats, and dead ocean deltas in its wake. It demands unimaginable amounts of fossil fuels to create nitrogen fertilizer, toxic herbicides and pesticides, and giant sowing and harvesting machines, and to transport the grain from the Midwest to where people actually live. It demands giant, river-killing dams to fill irrigation canals. It strip-mines fossil water, pumped fromunderground aquifiers that took millions of years to fill—all to grow corn, wheat, and soybeans on land best suited for grazing livestock on perennial grasses.”

    In contrast, all the “waste” from grazing animals (all that “inefficiency” in turning cattle feed into cattle flesh, which the vegans endlessly trumpet) is returned to the land as urine and feces.  In other words: fertilizer.  (Think about it: if grazing destroyed the land, the Great Plains and the Serengeti would have blown away into dust millions of years ago from the millions of herd animals grazing on them.)

    That is why grazing animals are carbon-negative — they fix more carbon than they emit, and well-managed grazing actually restores the land.  Here's Allan Savory demonstrating how:

    Allan Savory: How to green the world's deserts – YouTube

    Summary: agriculture destroys land and life, meat-eating (done correctly) restores land and life.  I'm killing one animal, which will be replaced by its kin.  Agriculture kills all the animals that could ever live on that land.

    Those are my ethics — and I've got a rapidly-diminishing grass-finished half beef in the freezer, from Hat Creek Grown, to back them up.

    Meanwhile, go check out eatwild.org if you're interested in finding sources closer to where you live.

    I wish you the best on your journey. 


    You're right: the “30g limit” on protein is a broscience myth.  I didn't know it originated with Weider, though!


  • AJ


    well im the first to admit ive been wrong if someone teaches me something new. the 30g protein thing is just the way i learned it and tbh it doesnt seem right to me either i just didnt find any good sources to prove its wrongand i know plenty of people including doctors who are convinced its true and who teach it that way.it would be appreciated if you could hand me a few sources.

    as for the ethical reasons…as i wrote above im struggling with that too, maybe i dont know enough.thats the problem with diets too, there are doctors and researchers for every diet out there confirming its the most healthiest. how should us normal non PhD people choose which professor to believe, after all they all know more about the subject than i do.
    just watched the ted talk ‘debunking the paleo diet’ with christina warinner, totally convinced me:D

    and what about those arguments that less people would suffer from hunger if we just gave them the grains instead of feeding animals with it so we can eat meat?
    however, you made some good points.

    i hope noone gets offended by my questions as im not trying to prove someone wrong or to belittle someones way of life im trying to learn something. but the more i read about nutrition the less i know it seems.and the less i know who to trust.
    for example if u search pubmed there are much more studies showing that a vegan lifestyle is much healthier and that even small amounts of red meat increase risk of getting diabetes etc than there are studies showing positive effects of paleo. how come this doesnt count for anything for some people? i suspect that theres too much confirmation bias out there and that most people just believe what they want to believe, after all thats the easiest way.

  • AJ

    @ JS

    thanks for your reply.
    of course i have aleady thought about your points a lot,
    and i agree its way too simple and naive to just say eating animals is bad, agriculture is good. ‘meat eating done right’ i tend to agree is ok, unfortunately theres nothing right with meat eating how its done in the world today, but i guess we can all agree on that.
    thanks for the interesting links,
    all the best

  • AJ:

    At this point it's important to distinguish grain-fed beef from grass-fed beef.  

    Cattle didn't evolve to eat grains any more than we did: the reason cattle are fed grains is because it makes them fat more quickly than anything else.  In fact, corn-fed beef used to be a luxury item, because until the massive US government subsidies for corn, soy, and wheat started in the 1970s, it cost a lot more to feed corn to cattle than it did to feed them on pasture!

    The reason we have feedlots is because of massive subsidies for chemical-based monocropping of GMO corn and soybeans.  In fact, we have so much surplus corn because of these programs that we're forced to feed it to cars at a net energy loss!  (“Biofuels”, meaning ethanol from corn.)  And since the surplus of these “heart-healthy whole grains” is so monumental, is it a surprise that official government policy encourages their consumption?

    As I've said many times before: industrial agriculture is a health, environmental, and ethical disaster no matter whether we feed the results to cattle or to people.  


  • AJ

    @ JS

    thanks for your reply once again.
    of course one has to distinguish grass-fed and grain-fed, i was just trying to point out that theres everything wrong with meat eating how its done today.apparrently agriculture isnt any better.its too easy to fall for someones propaganda if you dont know enough yourself, be it vegetarians or meat industry (which is,im sure we agree on this one, just as bad).

    still, how would you explain the fact that there are much more studies out there claiming superior health benefits from vegan/vegetarian diets, and that even small amounts of red meat increases the risk for diabetes etc etc?to me the few studies i read seemed legit.

    P.S. just ordered your book, looking forward to reading it and hopefully gaining some new insights.after reading many articles here it becomes apparrent that you really know a thing or two about nutrition,quite impressive, keep up the good work;D

  • Jen W

    @AJ,  And few of those studies are clinical trials.  Most are observational, which tells you nothing about cause and effect, it just tells you there's some sort of link between the two variables.



  • AJ

    I suspected as much. i have to admit im not the most qualified person to assess the quality of scientific research thats why i ask.
    but then again, are there ‘better’ studies out there regarding paleo (and if yes could you point me in the right direction)? what about those few clinical trials youre talking about, and arent observations better than nothing?


  • Hailey

    I like how this website completely disregards the fact that raw fruits and vegetables contain their own enzymes in order to break down which is why the body doesn’t need to produce all of its own. Do research on both sides of the argument before publishing something.

  • What's in it for the fruit or the veggie, then?

  • JA

    Read every. last. comment. Really enjoyed your article! Found it because I heard the “meat rots in your stomach for 6 weeks” from a fellow partygoer. Having never heard it before, I had no response, but my friend (hostess) soaked it right up. I would like to link her to your article.

  • AJ:

    First, those studies are population studies, not controlled studies.

    Second, they don't compare vegetarianism to paleo: they compare it to the SAD (Standard American Diet).  And as I've discussed at length in this article (which I hope you already read), the differences between the average vegetarian's diet and the SAD are not limited to consuming less meat.  Quote: “Meat-eating ‘vegetarians’ are consuming much less meat, beer, and french fries—and are consuming much more fruit, vegetables, and fish.”  

    I don't think anyone will dispute that replacing beer and french fries with fruit, vegetables, and fish is a health benefit.  (Note that french fries are almost always eaten in fast food restaurants, so 'vegetarians' are also eating out less and cooking their own food more…another healthy dietary pattern.  Most importantly, note that paleo recommends the same dietary substitutions!)  

    Third, paleo hasn't been around for very long, so there aren't very many studies on it yet…though the few controlled studies that exist all find it superior to even the much-vaunted “Mediterranean” diet.  You can find some of them in this list.

    Thank you for ordering a copy of The Gnoll Credo!  Feel free to share your thoughts in the forums when you're done.



    “raw fruits and vegetables contain their own enzymes in order to break down which is why the body doesn't need to produce all of its own.”

    No, they don't.  Think about it for a moment: if they did, they'd digest themselves before we could eat them!

    Fruits are primarily composed of sugars (which we can digest with our own enzymes), starches (most of which we digest with our own enzymes), and various forms of soluble and insoluble fiber (which are digested by our gut bacteria — they 'rot' in our colon).  

    In contrast, meat is composed of proteins (digested by our own enzymes) and fats (also digested by our own enzymes).

    Some fruits do contain enzymes that help digest meat proteins. 'Meat tenderizer' is just papain, found in papayas, and pineapples contain bromelain, another protein-digesting enzyme.  However, the idea that fruits magically digest themselves (while meat somehow does not) is fruitarian propaganda with no basis in reality.



    In theory, we poop out the seeds in a nice little pile of fertilizer.  In reality, they've either been bred to be seedless, or the seeds end up in the trash.



    Thank you for taking the time to read my responses to the comments!  And yes, please feel free to send this article to anyone exposed to that silly myth.



  • eddie watts

    AJ i did not mean it to come across as i’d taken offence, the 30g protein thing i also believed for quite some time.
    JS and rest: i learned of this through the starting strength forums and a few other places. it all began through the history of body building splitting into strength training and non functional posing training.

    cannot find article now sadly, but it was very thorough and had links to data backing it up (most of which i read). also chaos and pain has noted bits and pieces of it too.

    will link the video from biolayne later when i get home

  • eddie watts

    as promised here is the protein video

    that’s it for today i promise!

  • eddie watts

    also a problem with this situation is the amount of financial backing the views of coventional wisdom (and making a massive profit)
    as i’m uk based i’ll share this list (obtained from here http://www.drbriffa.com/2013/04/19/bbc-journalist-appears-disinterested-in-the-science-on-low-carbohydrate-eating/ in the comments section)

    “DUK The diabetes charity.

    Abbott Bayer Boehringer Ingelheim Bristol Myers Squibb Bupa Bunzl Everyclick First Capital Connect Flora pro.activ Kodak Lilly Lloyds Pharmacy Menarini Merck Serono Morphy Richards Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited Novartis Novo Nordisk Nursing Times PAL Technologies Ltd Pfizer Rowlands Pharmacies Sanofi-aventis SplendaTakeda Tesco Diets

    HEART UK -The Nation’s Cholesterol Charity

    Abbott Healthcare Alpro UK AstraZeneca BHR Pharma Cambridge Weight Plan Cereal Partners UK (Sh Wheat) Food & Drink Federation Fresenius Medical Care (UK) Limited Genzyme Therapeutics Hovis Kellogg’s (Optivita) Kowa Pharmaceutical Europe Co Limited L.IN.C Medical Systems Limited Merck Sharpe & Dhome PlanMyFood Pfizer Premier Foods Progenika Biopharma s.a. Roche Products Limited Unilever (Flora) Welch’s (Purple Grape Juice)

    The British Nutrition Foundation

    However, the organisation’s 39 members, which contribute to its funding, include – beside the Government, the EU – Cadbury, Kellogg’s, Northern Foods, McDonald’s, PizzaExpress, the main supermarket chains except Tesco, and producer bodies such as the Potato Council. The chairman of its board of trustees, Paul Hebblethwaite, is also chairman of the Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Trade Association.

    The European Food Information Council

    Current EUFIC members are: AB Sugar, Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe, Bunge, Cargill, Cereal Partners, Coca-Cola, Danone, DSM Nutritional Products Europe Ltd., Ferrero, Kraft Foods, Mars, McDonald’s, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Pfizer Animal Health, Südzucker, and Unilever.

    The British Heart Foundation

    Unilever Flora margarine.”

    now it would be nice if all these organisations were on your side…but sadly i doubt they are

    i remember when the WHO were going to come out and make a public statement about sugar being deleterious for human health and the american sugar association (i think) sent a congressman(!!) to threaten them with a funds cut of 1 billion dollars(!!!) if they went ahead with it.
    these organisations are probably working on a “little evil to achieve a lot of good” philosophy, but it still shows the problems they do face

  • Nicole

    I am not a believer of the meat theory, at all. I have eaten meat my whole life up until 3 years ago before I became a vegan. I even followed the Atkins’ Diet for 10 of those years, and it made me so sick.

    My thyroid went out of whack. I had a severe hormonal imbalance (let’s not forget, when you eat meat, you are ingesting the ground up hormones of these poor animals too), my gallbladder went out, and thank God, through a series of liver cleanses and a strict vegan diet, I was able to save it and correct it, I was constipated with hemorrhoids all the time. I felt sick and lethargic all the time, my hair was falling out in clumps, and yes, I was low on B-12 and Vitamin D, I am living proof that meat eaters can have a B-12 deficiency too, my cholesterol was high, and it has dropped over a 100 points since becoming a vegan, I was 100lbs overweight, which I have since lost when becoming a vegan, I was plagued with constant gas and digestive issues, like heartburn too, and I had acne, which is now completely gone.

    I became a vegan for health reasons, and it has cured me from the inside out. Didn’t you watch “Forks Over Knives” or the “China Study?” There is just as much validity and claim in veganism as you are trying to validate with the Paleo diet.

    I don’t believe for a minute that grains and beans cause Ulcerative Colitis or Colon issues. I believe anti-biotics and a diet of 36 vaccinations given to children today cause those things along with the consumption of dairy.

    People who stop all dairy, even if they still eat small quantities of meat, recover most of their health, but yet, that doesn’t solve the issues of high cholesterol.

    There are valid arguments on both sides,and I have lived on both sides, and I pick veganism over meat any day.

  • eddie watts

    nicole your post is merely highlighting that you’ve not read the other comments.

    also google denise minger and forks over knives

  • eddie watts

    nicole your post is merely highlighting that you’ve not read the other comments.

    also google denise minger and forks over knives

  • Andre Chimene

    J. Stanton, brilliant work. I owe you a steak dinner, grass fed of course, when I meet you. We got a meat meet date. A reminder, there is a fix for World Hunger…

  • eddie:

    Thank you for the links!  It's clear that in the UK, just as in the US, dietary and medical advice is being dispensed by entities controlled by the same corporations whose food causes our ill health, and who profit from our ill health.



    I wouldn't dream of contradicting your own experience.  However, I note a few things:

    1. Paleo is not the same as Atkins.

    2. If you're B12 deficient on a diet with plenty of meat, you most likely have the genetic defect that prevents you from absorbing it, and require B12 shots in order to not develop pernicious anemia.

    3. You're the first example of anyone I've heard who suffered those symptoms and was “cured” by going vegan, instead of the other way around.  You may have an undiagnosed food intolerance, e.g. dairy or eggs.

    4. Or, you might be BSing.  It really sounds like you simply cut-and-pasted a typical Paleo testimonial and substituted “vegan” for it.

    5. Denise Minger conclusively debunked both The China Study and Forks Over Knives here

    6. Apparently you didn't read the comments before posting your epistle, because you would have seen my warning in boldface: “The purpose of this article is to address one very specific topic: the claim that “meat rots in your colon”.  Making the general case for veg*anism vs. omnivory is not only a non sequitur, it's beyond the scope of one article — and most certainly beyond the scope of a comment.”  Apparently going vegan has not improved your reading comprehension!

    (Yes, I'm becoming shorter with those who feel the need to spout off without reading the existing comments first.)



    The population of Ethiopia has doubled since Live Aid.  (And it's still primarily desert.)  It shouldn't be surprising that people are still starving there.


  • Ryan Janke

    There are not enough natural enzymes in our bodies to break down such things. That’s why you get tired and feel like shit after eating a big steak.

    Now after eating a big salad that is made properly so that it moves through the system and cleans everything out on the way, you feel light, energetic and quite happy. The next thing that happens is you shit it out in the morning the next day. If you knew anything about proper nutrition and the art of cleaning your body of all of its worms, gunk, and muck, then you wouldn’t be posting some article about how the body digests.

  • Oi! Knee jerk! Did you read the article? That'll be a no, then.

  • eddie watts

    the many comments on here just seem to imply that vegetarians/vegans cannot read.
    or concentrate long enough (lack of fats in diet?) to read a whole article?

  • Alex

    I have no problem at all digesting steak. In fact, it’s the poor quality proteins in grains and beans that I have trouble with. If I need the energy to be active for 6-7 hours without food, I eat an 8oz steak with some added fat.

  • Ryan:

    “There are not enough natural enzymes in our bodies to break down such things.”

    Apparently you're a victim of veg*an propaganda, because science (clearly explained in the article) long ago established that we have enzymes specifically dedicated to breaking down collagen (elastase) as well as meat proteins in general (pepsin, trypsin).  In addition to the biochemical fact that we poorly digest the prolamins found in beans and grains (descriptions of these enzymes contain phrases like “cleaves X-Y bonds except when X is proline”), they contain trypsin inhibitors which stop us from digesting them!

    “That's why you get tired and feel like shit after eating a big steak.”

    Speak for yourself.  The rest of the world feels extremely energized after eating a steak — often to the point that it impairs sleep when eaten too close to bedtime!  In contrast, it's well-established that complex carbohydrates put you to sleep, e.g. the well-known “pasta coma”. 

    Seriously: I dare you to find anyone who says “I can't sleep…I'd better eat a steak.”  If you fall asleep after a “steak dinner”, it's likely due to the loaf of table bread and giant ball of mashed potatoes that came along with it (and comprised the majority of calories).

    “If you knew anything about proper nutrition and the art of cleaning your body of all of its worms, gunk, and muck”

    Ah, so you believe in the colon cleansing myth!  It's profitable to sell people a mix of bentonite clay, psyllium husk, and laxatives, and tell them to be surprised at the weird poop that comes out (which looks suspiciously like a mixture of waterlogged bentonite clay and psyllium husk, squeezed into strange shapes by a colon spasming from laxative overdose).  And it's even more profitable to sell them enemas.  But as I said above, try to find a colonoscopy picture which shows a colon filled with “gunk and muck”. 

    You won't find any, because that does not happen.

    As far as “big salads”, I enjoy them frequently, as do most paleo eaters.  (Mark Sisson even coined the term “Big Ass Salad”!)  However, if I want them to be an entree as opposed to a side dish, they're going to feature a grip of meat on top…preferably tri-tip, grilled rare.

    “then you wouldn't be posting some article about how the body digests.”

    This article is basic, uncontroversial human physiology, as taught in any introductory college class.  Which specific assertions do you have trouble with?

    Oh, that's right…you're a veg*an who is suffering from cognitive dissonance upon discovering that that reality doesn't conform to veg*an propaganda.  We're here for you once you decide to stop suffering needlessly and start eating a natural human diet.


    Paul, eddie:

    I've noticed a robust trend: veg*anism is strongly associated with poor reading comprehension.  



    You, me, and the rest of the human race.


  • RW

    So I have a question about constipation. Normally the docs recommend adding more fiber to the diet to get rid of constipation. After reading your article I’m wondering if constipation is actually the result of too much fiber in the diet being stuck in the large intestine. Would probiotics then ultimately be the solution to deal with that? Can probiotics even survive the journey to the large intestine?

  • RW:

    I don't see how probiotics would address constipation…intestinal bacteria can only ferment soluble fiber, which is just complex sugars which we don't have enzymes to digest (e.g. inulin, raffinose, all “probiotics”).  What most people think of as “fiber” is insoluble fiber, which neither us nor our gut bacteria can digest at all, and is excreted (e.g. cellulose).

    I can't address all the possible causes of constipation…but if you're dealing with it, I recommend some combination of magnesium citrate and MCT oil.  (Straight coconut oil is almost as good.)  If that doesn't clean out your system, you've likely got a serious problem and should see a medical professional!


  • nasir

    Colon Cleansing helps to tonify the bowel to help produce a better elimination practice for the body. It’s great as a part of an overall wellness program.

  • Alex

    I cleanse my colon 2-3 times every day. It’s a technique called taking a shit. I highly recommend it.

  • nasir:

    Someone should invent a colon exercise program to go with the cleansing.  “Just like kettlebell swings for your intestines!”


    I enjoy “cleansing my colon”, too, but 2-3x a day seems a bit excessive.


  • […] up a Myth   Sounds kind of gross, but Does Meat Rot in Your Colon? might be an eye-opener, as the author explains what happens during digestion and how our intestines […]

  • Gail


    Read The Fiber Menace by Konstantin Monastyrsky.

  • Dan

    This will provide me with some info for my up coming NOFA lecture: Two Nutritional Phobias: Bacteria and Animal Fats

    Your article was well written and easy to follow. Thanks for the post.


  • Dr Suess

    I am NOT a vegetarian or vegan. While your science is accurate, your interpretation is whacko… http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324423904578523190441042514.html

  • Jen W

    Dr. Suess,


    That study was based on a questionnaire aka correlations which tell us nothing about what caused what.  

  • Lorean Winkelman

    Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.

  • […] if she is miserable enough to be willing to read this: Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables! - GNOLLS.ORG J Stanton explains exactly why she is having issues. Well-behaved women rarely make history : […]

  • Amber E

    I bet if you put a bunch of vegans side by side with a bunch of Paleo diet followers, the vegans will out health you meat eaters any day of the week. Try telling someone who had terminal cancer and was on death’s door that being a vegan isn’t healthy, especially, after it cured them. Maybe, you should educate yourself further on a vegan lifestyle and the dangers of a Paleo diet.




  • Dan:

    Much appreciated.  Thank you!


    “Dr. Suess”:

    First, I'm reasonably sure you're a vegan, for two reasons:

    1. You didn't bother to read the GIANT BOLDFACED NOTE I left above

    2. You don't know how to spell Dr. Seuss

    Also, the study you cite has the same problems all such studies do.

    1. “The Loma Linda researchers used a questionnaire to categorize participants into groups based on their diets.”  Dietary recalls are notoriously inaccurate: I talk about the known, measured problems at length in this article.

    2. Here's the kicker: “The categories include nonvegetarians and people considered semi-vegetarians, who eat meat more than once a month but less than once a week. In addition to meat, vegans eliminate dairy and eggs from their diets.  Others eat fish, in addition to the cohort that eats no meat but consumes dairy and eggs. For many of the analyses, the researchers lumped all of these subsets of people together as simply “vegetarians.”

    And in this article, we find that two out of three people who claim to be “vegetarian” on a survey eat meat frequently…but their diet is much healthier in general than self-described meat-eaters.

    Result: most of the SDA “vegetarians” are actually meat-eaters, and this paper isn't measuring the health impact of vegetarianism or veganism at all. 

    (More about the “vegetarian vs. omnivore lifespan” argument can be found here and here.)



    Thank you!


    Amber E:

    “Try telling someone who had terminal cancer and was on death's door that being a vegan isn't healthy, especially, after it cured them.”

    Like Steve Jobs?

    Now I'm going to quote the first article you linked:

    “I do not believe in evolution (do not want to imagine that my great-great-great….-granny was evolving, hunched over, tree-hoping, branch swinging chimpanzee 😉 ), so, as such, I believe that God made us perfect the first time around and designed our digestive tracts to eat a plant based diet.”

    I know it's annoying that facts don't change to fit your beliefs.  However, if you someday decide to live in reality, we're here for you.


    A final note: apparently going vegan destroys one's social skills and reading comprehension, because not a one of the vegan commenters has bothered to read the GIANT BOLDFACED NOTE I left above…or even noticed that the article is about digestion, not the general case for omnivory.  And yes, if you decide to leave such a comment, I'm going to break my usual rules and make fun of you!


  • […] office vegan starts telling you that meat rots in the human digestive system, send her this one : Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables! - GNOLLS.ORG Well-behaved women rarely make history : Laurel Thatcher Ulrich My New Primal Journal : […]

  • Ray

    Hey JS,

    I am a vegetarian (3 years) obviously ate meat all my life on top of the SAD diet..I introduced it back in my diet because I felt like I would “need” it for the “gym body” you referenced above..it made me fat (I was eating organic-grass fed meats) and my gastritis also came back…never once did I have these problems as a vegetarian..Now that I have left meat out of my diet my stomach health is improving again and I am much leaner now.

    As far as digestion goes, I would really like to know where you are pulling your science from because we are going to need alot more literature to actually prove we can digest meat..I believe that the guy you mentioned doing the intestine transplant, may have somewhat digested the meat, but the digested meat by-products stick to the walls of the colon for a long time and are really hard to get rid of just by pooping.

    I always have been a firm believer from doing extensive research (and testing it and experiencing it on my self) that we do not fully digest meat..and alot of it clings to our colon wall and builds up over time. I am always a man of true science so if it’s a fact, it’s a fact. I’d love to see more extensive literature and research on this matter disproving that meat infact does not at all stick to the walls of our colons – because that is the issue with “humans not digesting meat” and I’ve seen plenty of people do colonics and pass meat waste that has been in their colons their entire life.

    The whole paleo thing is another topic, but like you said this was about digestion. Briefly off topic, I have not heard of anyone curing sickness or disease through a high meat eating diet (such as the paleo diet). I think we need to loose all the titles and stick to science..fruits and herbs are natures medicine..and there is plenty of people to prove it who have cured disease and sickness, not by being a vegan/vegetarian but by implementing a diet rich in super foods / herbs and fruits….and of course cutting out the processed junk and gmo and conventional meat/produce.

    Interesting article though.


  • Ray

    One last thing – “[…] office vegan starts telling you that meat rots in the human digestive system, send her this one : Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables! – GNOLLS.ORG Well-behaved women rarely make history : Laurel Thatcher Ulrich My New Primal Journal : […]”

    Explain how vegetarians and vegans or people who eat less meat in general have way healthier colons? This article does not add up 100% and it seems like theres a new trend of paleo’s just trying to find more ways to bash people on plant based diets, from all of the mockery I seen lately. Oh and btw, I believe the vegetable pieces coming out in the stool is just the fiber..not the nutrition. Agree or disagree?

  • eddie watts

    “Explain how vegetarians and vegans or people who eat less meat in general have way healthier colons?”
    well that is easy and covered elsewhere on this blog and even in this post and the comments…

    when you say you need more science what specifically do you mean?
    beyond biology textbooks available to anyone up to high school standard, or chemistry for that matter.

    that being said here is a very easy experiment to perform which will solve this issue:
    get some PH2 acid (i have some from a plumbing place and use it to clear out blocked drains from hair, dead leaves or bits of vegetable that go down the drain from sink)
    put in pan on stove and heat gently to 37 degrees celsius
    place a piece of meat in this (if you’re really a true believer you could use your own hand here, i advise against it)
    leave there for 1-2 hours

    see how much is left.

    not done this myself yet, mostly because wife will kill me for destroying or damaging her cookware! but i will try it soon and will make a video if i can be bothered.
    to be fair i may just do it without heating it, that should be safer.

    finally vegetarians suffer higher rates of colon cancer than meat eaters, does that sound healthier to you?

  • Ray

    Eddie, you never answered the question. I don’t have time to dig through this site let alone am I interested.

    “finally vegetarians suffer higher rates of colon cancer than meat eaters, does that sound healthier to you?” – How is that true when I just said they have way healthier colons than meat eaters..?? you make no sense dude.

    More science to PROVE that meat or meat by product does NOT stick to the colon wall..forget about it being digested..because even if we digest it and it still sticks to the walls of the colon and STAYS there…that’s not beneficial what so ever. If we truly digested meat we wouldn’t have any left overs clinging to our colon walls.

    As far as your little experiment, is your plumbing acid sulfuric acid? because we have hydrochloric..and I looked for plumbing acid at ph2 and it was sulfuric acid…

  • Ray

    Eddie – http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/142427.php

    You are right, but we still don’t know WHY..and it’s not because there is no meat in the diet..one truth is the fact that we do have a decreased risk in all other cancers. Red meat also increased risk of colon cancer and alot of you paleos do red meat on a regular basis. Question is what is it that’s causing an increase risk in colon cancer in vegetarians..interesting find. I wish I can say meat will help solve that problem for us, lol but we know that’s not the case.

  • eddie watts

    re-read your reply as it makes no sense.

    “we still don’t know WHY..and it’s not because there is no meat in the diet..”
    we cannot know why and yet simultaneously know that it is not because of no meat in the diet.

    “. Red meat also increased risk of colon cancer”
    this cannot be true if people who eat no red meat get more than their fair (or average i suppose) share of colon cancer.

    cognitive dissonance.

    “I wish I can say meat will help solve that problem for us, lol but we know that’s not the case.”

    again we do not *know* this at all.

    as to why, i do not know. we cannot very easily test this either.
    the number of confounding variables in these sorts of studies are simply staggering.
    youtube big fat fiasco for an explanation as to why confounding variables are a massive issue and the weakness of correlation studies like these.

    bear in mind: correlation does not equal causation.
    but lack of correlation is a fair assumption that causation is absent.

    or, in other words, if red meat caused colon cancer we’d see very few vegetarians and vegans suffering from colon cancer, the opposite is true, which is pretty clear that red meat does not cause colon cancer.

    as for meat byproducts sticking to insides:when it leaves stomach it is chyme, which is a combination of protein and fats.
    what about vegetable proteins and fats (or plantbased if you prefer)?
    how do we know those do not stick to the walls as you suggest?

  • eddie watts

    as a total aside though: i’m glad you are better now, i don’t think anyone is debating that “some people” are better without meat.

    the problem comes with statements like “i am better without x/y/z in my diet, therefore everyone should eat like me or they will die!!!!!!!1111”

    my family all have degrees of dairy issues (casein, lactose, whey even), wheat issues and the gods only know what else.
    but not everyone has these issues.

  • daniel

    Man is this a crazy comment section. JS you really felt sorry for the lady because she has a step-daughter who wants to be vegan. I would love for you to watch this video and learn a little more about what meat does. (Link to Youtube video)

    Its called uprooting the leading causes of death. I have tried to stick to a raw vegan diet but its not an easy thing to do in this world. But i did stick with it for a while or at least 85-95% raw for a few months and i felt the best i ever have in my life when i was getting all the good stuff like spinach and flax seeds. But than i started to not eat as much raw and ate a little more meat and my energy levels have gone down for sure. I am not as happy as i was when i was eating raw. And my bowel movements are way better than they have ever been in my life. The healthiest people in the world are vegan. And when you talked about the guy who lived till 83 only eating meat. Well the meat the average person eats today is just crap and you must know that. I can agree organic grass fed proper life would be a lot healthier than what the average eat. Also when eating as healthy as i have i have only been sick one times in the last 1.5-2 years and the last times was 2 weeks ago and i was eating kinda crappy. Just my two cents

  • eddie watts

    not JS but i will watch the video tonight…i am sure it will be hilarious.

  • Ray

    Eddie, Meat does cause colon cancer..forget about the color of the meat. There are numerous studies all over that show this…

    #2 I did some more research about the subject, and it turns out that one possibility might be from vegetarians who are not on an organic diet..because they are consuming alot of herbicides/pesticides etc. Raw vegans and anyone eating 100% organic i highly doubt are the ones with a higher risk of colon cancer..it just does not make sense..MEAT IS THE KILLER HERE…not fruits and veggies my man.

    #3 the video Daniel posted is on point, not hilarious. You cavemen are all backwards actually telling your self that meat is really healthy for you despite all of the studies, all of the evidence to back it up. at the end of the day this is just an argument between cavemen and the rest of us.

  • … anyone else smell it? BS? The weight of evidence is against any modern data – over 2.5 million years where if it was true that meat was not suitable, let alone outright dangerous, for human existence, we'd have stopped eating it … erm … years ago. It really is that simple.

  • Alex:

    First, let me be clear: feel free to eat whatever makes you happy.  The purpose of this article isn't to convince you to eat meat: it's to convince you that “meat rots in your colon” is a myth, and therefore not an argument to be used against eating meat.

    “As far as digestion goes, I would really like to know where you are pulling your science from because we are going to need alot more literature to actually prove we can digest meat.”

    I've linked all my references in the article: it's basic, uncontroversial human physiology, taught in any introductory course, and verified experimentally since at least the 1840s. 

    For example, see the “Mean Time Of Digestion” table on page 292 of this book, describing the 19th century experiments of William Beaumont on Alexis St. Martin, whose unhealed gunshot wound to the stomach allowed Dr. Beaumont to directly examine Alexis' stomach contents and figure out exactly how long various foods took to digest!  (Between 1 and 2.5 hours for everything from pigs' feet to parsnips.)

    More information on the Beaumont experiments can be found here.

    ” I’ve seen plenty of people do colonics and pass meat waste that has been in their colons their entire life.”

    I call bull feathers on that.  A google search for “colonoscopy pictures” shows lots of pink tissue, with nary a meat chunk to be found.  (I do recall seeing at least one corn kernel, though, and quite a few polyps and cancers.)  As I said above, the pictures of “mucoid plaque” look suspiciously like a mixture of psyllium husk and bentonite clay, squeezed into strange shapes by the spasming of a colon experiencing laxative overdose.  Add to that some necrosed pieces of the mucosal layer of your intestinal lumen (the yellowish “chicken skin”), and you're proving only that it's possible to slough off pieces of the only thing protecting you from enteric bacteria and food toxins if you kill it by scouring it hard enough with enough indigestible fiber.

    “I have not heard of anyone curing sickness or disease through a high meat eating diet (such as the paleo diet).”

    You're not looking very hard.  Mark Sisson alone features over 100 success stories just from his own readership.  There are dozens scattered throughout the comments on this site alone, and I personally know people who have freed themselves from gout, arthritis, allergies, and/or over 60 extra pounds!

    “Explain how vegetarians and vegans or people who eat less meat in general have way healthier colons?”

    They don't.  As I linked above:

    Am J Clin Nutr May 2009 vol. 89 no. 5 1620S-1626S Cancer incidence in vegetarians: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford). Timothy J Key, Paul N Appleby, Elizabeth A Spencer, Ruth C Travis, Andrew W Roddam, and Naomi E Allen

    “The incidence rate ratio for colorectal cancer in vegetarians compared with meat eaters was 1.39 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.91).”

    Go here for more information: Carnosine, Colons, and Cancer

    “If we truly digested meat we wouldn’t have any left overs clinging to our colon walls.”

    I've presented both pictorial and experimental evidence that it does not.  You'll also have to explain how our ancestors have been eating meat for at least 3.4 million years while being unable to digest it.



    Stop confusing the poor guy with facts…he's already made his decision.


    More soon.


  • […] phooey on that. I AM normal. I’m a carnivore. Being able to eat grains is a backup emergency system God gave me to protect me from starvation. The only real difference, digestively, between me and a wolf is I have a little amylase in my […]

  • Alex:

    First, let me be clear: feel free to eat whatever makes you happy.  The purpose of this article isn't to convince you to eat meat: it's to convince you that “meat rots in your colon” is a myth, and therefore not an argument to be used against eating meat.

    “As far as digestion goes, I would really like to know where you are pulling your science from because we are going to need alot more literature to actually prove we can digest meat.”

    I've linked all my references in the article: it's basic, uncontroversial human physiology, taught in any introductory course, and verified experimentally since at least the 1840s. 

    For example, see the “Mean Time Of Digestion” table on page 292 of this book, describing the 19th century experiments of William Beaumont on Alexis St. Martin, whose unhealed gunshot wound to the stomach allowed Dr. Beaumont to directly examine Alexis' stomach contents and figure out exactly how long various foods took to digest!  (Between 1 and 2.5 hours for everything from pigs' feet to parsnips.)

    More information on the Beaumont experiments can be found here.

    ” I’ve seen plenty of people do colonics and pass meat waste that has been in their colons their entire life.”

    I call bull feathers on that.  A google search for “colonoscopy pictures” shows lots of pink tissue, with nary a meat chunk to be found.  (I do recall seeing at least one corn kernel, though, and quite a few polyps and cancers.)  As I said above, the pictures of “mucoid plaque” look suspiciously like a mixture of psyllium husk and bentonite clay, squeezed into strange shapes by the spasming of a colon experiencing laxative overdose.  Add to that some necrosed pieces of the mucosal layer of your intestinal lumen (the yellowish “chicken skin”), and you're proving only that it's possible to slough off pieces of the only thing protecting you from enteric bacteria and food toxins if you kill it by scouring it hard enough with enough indigestible fiber.

    “I have not heard of anyone curing sickness or disease through a high meat eating diet (such as the paleo diet).”

    You're not looking very hard.  Mark Sisson alone features over 100 success stories just from his own readership.  There are dozens scattered throughout the comments on this site alone, and I personally know people who have freed themselves from gout, arthritis, allergies, and/or over 60 extra pounds!

    “Explain how vegetarians and vegans or people who eat less meat in general have way healthier colons?”

    They don't.  As I linked above:

    Am J Clin Nutr May 2009 vol. 89 no. 5 1620S-1626S Cancer incidence in vegetarians: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford). Timothy J Key, Paul N Appleby, Elizabeth A Spencer, Ruth C Travis, Andrew W Roddam, and Naomi E Allen

    “The incidence rate ratio for colorectal cancer in vegetarians compared with meat eaters was 1.39 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.91).”

    Go here for more information: Carnosine, Colons, and Cancer

    “If we truly digested meat we wouldn’t have any left overs clinging to our colon walls.”

    I've presented both pictorial and experimental evidence that it does not.  You'll also have to explain how our ancestors have been eating meat for at least 3.4 million years while being unable to digest it.



    Stop confusing the poor guy with facts…he's already made his decision.


    More soon.


  • daniel:

    I don't get my knowledge from videos, because it's so easy to misrepresent the facts when one can't easily click on links to Pubmed.  As Dr. Harriet Hall said in the article Alex linked:

    “These videos tend to fall into an easily recognizable pattern. They feature a charismatic scientist with an agenda who makes sweeping statements that go beyond the evidence, makes unwarranted assumptions about the meaning of studies, and omits any reference to contradictory evidence. I recognized this pattern by briefly sampling the video, and my initial opinion was only confirmed by watching it in toto.” –Dr. Harriet Hall

    The article itself lists several excellent examples — but the commenters catch some even more blatant factual distortions by Dr. Greger.  Personally, I can't be bothered…trying to debunk deliberately deceptive YouTube videos is like trying to hold back the ocean with a blue tarp and some rebar.



    Exactly.  I'm happy to let people eat whatever they want…but the veg*ans don't seem to extend me the same courtesy!



    Great find.  Thank you.



    “Eddie, Meat does cause colon cancer..forget about the color of the meat. There are numerous studies all over that show this…”

    Except for the ones that don't, one of which I linked above. 



    As we've seen, one can design a study to prove just about anything…and with millions of studies to choose from, one can cherry-pick a few sentences to say basically anything you want.

    I, too, feel much more secure working within our evolutionary context.  Other things may or may not be healthful…but that which shaped us from chimplike tree-dwellers with 350cc brains into modern humans is probably the way to bet!



  • Jay

    You need to let it go. You as an individual may not be able to process meat. Just because it is true for you, doesn’t mean its true for all. Just like everything on this site. There are NO blanket meal plans. For every food, there are people who cannot eat it. So, instead of feeling insecure about someone having an information contrary to what you have found works for you, why don’t you just agree that meat doesn’t work for you. That’s fine. Humans are, indisputably, evolved to eat meat. You can live fine without it. To much of it can make you sick, like anything else. Much meat is tainted. Hormones. Toxins. Antibiotics. Etc etc etc but impurities apply to ALL food sources in this polluted toxic hell of a world industrialization has caused. Your views are not exempt. But THAT is another conversation altogether. Any further nonsense you post is just seen as trolling.

  • […] of either side. Just a quick side note, meat does NOT rot in your gut… veggies however…. Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables! - GNOLLS.ORG Reply With […]

  • Jay:

    I find it amusing that veg*ans find it immoral to eat meat — but consuming a diet consisting almost entirely of herbicide and pesticide-soaked, genetically modified products of petroleum-based industrial agriculture is just fine.  I'm supporting local ranchers…they're supporting Monsanto, ADM, Cargill, and all the rest of the industrial food system required to turn birdseed into semi-edible hormone disrupters like “soy milk”.

    (As a vegan, you can buy all the organic veggies you want, but vegetables contain very little food energy…your calories are coming from soy, corn, wheat, and other birdseed — and perhaps bananas.)


  • eddie watts

    aw the trolls (or vegetrollians) have slowed down 🙁

    need to go elsewhere for my amusement now!

    i’ve also noticed the number of silly/spurious CICO fanatics have not shown up for the latest installments on the subject.

  • chassezac

    “This fact alone proves that humans, while omnivores, are primarily carnivorous”.

    This is false. Humans are NOT primarily carnivorous.

    While I recongnize that humans CAN eat meat (and I’m a vegetarian), writing that they carnivorous is just wrong. Our digestive system is very similar to the apes (which are our closest cousins), and apes are primarily vegetarians, some of them being omnivores due to environmental conditions. This is also science by the way. Humans evolved differently, that’s true, but still : we are a kind of primates, in which there are no carnivores (with the exception of the tarsiers which are primarily insectivorous), and our digestive system (including teeth) is closer to vegetarians rather than canorivores.

    We are omnivores because we managed to settle almost everywhere on this planet, including in parts of the world where only meat/fish was available. We are omnivores, because evolution gave us a greater range of adaptation to diffent environments. In other words : depending on opportunity.

    I think it’s good you try to debunk a myth, even vegetarian ones, but what’s the point if you do it by giving credit to another one?

    It would have been better to write that we are primarily omnivores.

    I also think it’s false to write that food of any kind “rots” in our digestive system. We digest food. There a several types of digestion, including with help of bacterias, from which we get nutriments by the way! Writing that vegetable food rots in the belly is just not true : we get vitamins, minerals and even proteins from them, this is not the definition of roting!

    Excrements are the result of the nutriments we can’t process, and even meat produces waste! Not to mention that digestion DO produce flatulence, which is merely a natural process of ANY kind of digestion.

  • chassezac:

    No, our guts are NOT similar to ape guts. There's plenty of veggie propaganda, but the archaeological evidence is solid: meat provided the overwhelming majority of our calories during evolutionary time, most particularly during the Paleolithic, where selection pressure for the ability to hunt, kill, defend, and digest meat changed our ancestors from little 65-pound savanna apes with 350cc brains into modern humans.

    Michael Ben-Dor's AHS 2013 presentation isn't up yet, but his slides are here.  I'll link the video once it's up.


  • You are not a Doctor. Your information is not credible and you are not a credible source yourself. This blog should immediately be taken off the internet due to its misleading information. I am leaving a website here from a real Doctor who explains the truth that MEAT ROTS in your intestines while taking 2-3 days to digest. Where as, fruits and vegetables only take up to twelve hours to digest. For more credible information, please go to Google scholar and do your research using credible up to date medical journals from experts who actually do the research. Everyone please email the sites moderator, to have this fraud removed.
    Also, for your information, I am not a vegetarian. I’m just tired of reading the tons of bull crap like this, that look professional. leaving innocent readers with a false impression.

  • John

    You are not a Doctor. Your information is not credible and you are not a credible source yourself. This blog should immediately be taken off the internet due to its misleading information. I am leaving a website here from a real Doctor who explains the truth that MEAT ROTS in your intestines while taking 2-3 days to digest. Where as, fruits and vegetables only take up to twelve hours to digest. For more credible information, please go to Google scholar and do your research using credible up to date medical journals from experts who actually do the research. Everyone please email the sites moderator, to have this fraud removed.
    Also, for your information, I am not a vegetarian. I’m just tired of reading the tons of bull crap like this, that look professional. leaving innocent readers with a false impression.

  • John

    You are not a Doctor. Your information is not credible and you are not a credible source yourself. This blog should immediately be taken off the internet due to its misleading information. I am leaving a website here from a real Doctor who explains the truth that MEAT ROTS in your intestines while taking 2-3 days to digest. Where as, fruits and vegetables only take up to twelve hours to digest. For more credible information, please go to Google scholar and do your research using credible up to date medical journals from experts who actually do the research. Everyone please email the sites moderator, to have this fraud removed.
    Also, for your information, I am not a vegetarian. I’m just tired of reading the tons of bull crap like this, that look professional. leaving innocent readers with a false impression.

  • Mike

    I am unsure if this a hilarious joke (it links to Oprah!) or a post by a vegan pretending to be otherwise. It did take John two attempts to get the link up, so I'm guessing vegan.


    No. This has to be a joke.


    Everyone should get their dietary advice from a fat bitch and a guy who wears his scrubs on TV so we can tell he's a real doctor.

  • M

    For anyone who thinks that we humans aren’t omnivores, please take a look at the history of the food we eat: Food Timeline
    Reading that with common sense and logic will show you that in the beginning, before we were even aware of food choices, our natural instincts guided us to eat primarily animal proteins. Now, one can easily deduct from that, that if we were meant to primarily eat vegetation, our bodies would have had different instincts that guided us to eat primarily vegetation in the beginning rather than primarily animal proteins. Saying we aren’t meant to eat meat is like saying that any other animal on this planet that started its evolutionary history by eating meat isn’t meant to eat meat today. It just doesn’t make sense.

    Also, I don’t know why anyone would think the sources here aren’t credible. The sources provided here are from universities and scholarly journals and are much more credible than mass media telecasters who are the ones that are actually trying to mislead innocent people.

  • allie

    All this is wonderful information and very informative as far as how the intestines work what it doesnt support on any level is just because a food is digestible, its affects on the health and well being of the person that eats it. There are numerous studies that show both the long term health benefits to the heart and the digestive system of people that consume large amounts of vegetables vs what the health of those on a high animal based diet. We know that heart disease and cancers thrive on high meat/milk based diets whereas vegetarians (vegans) have healthier cleaner digestion because of all that stuff that doesnt digest and cleans out the bowels etc. Maybe in a perfect world where meat and milk were different than they are now before the advent of corn fed high fat hormone laden animals, a meat based diet was healthier..but with the food sources we eat today….they are the fertilizer that feeds ill in our bodies

  • Ronnie

    This is a great website, by the way, thoroughly enjoyed this article and the comments. Allie makes a great point, you can’t eat that much meat these days unless it’s a “clean” meat, free of antibiotics, hormones and the animals are grass fed. Factory farmed animals are the norm. More, bigger, faster growing equals greater profit. Eating a factory farmed animal is dining on misery. Yes, I love meat, we need meat, but we need vegetables too. And we need to be more humane.

  • John:

    If you prefer to believe the word of Dr. Oz as conveyed through Oprah — as opposed to the peer-reviewed science cited and summarized in the articles I've linked, such as this one — I don't know what to tell you other than “Good luck.”

    And while I wouldn't put it as rudely as Mike did, I can't resist noting that Dr. Josef Mengele was also a medical doctor. 

    It's best to put your trust in the scientific method, not in authority.



    Keep it civil, please.  It's possible to note that Oprah has a multi-decade record of dieting failures without using those terms.

    And I don't care that Dr. Oz wears scrubs on TV.  I care that he misleads people into spending money on magic pills, powders, potions, and pseudo-foods instead of giving calm, consistent advice…and when he does give advice, it's usually wrong.



    Apparently you didn't read the BOLD-FACED WARNING ABOVE.  I'll reprint it here:

    1. The purpose of this article is to address one very specific topic: the claim that “meat rots in your colon”.  Making the general case for veg*anism vs. omnivory is not only a non sequitur, it's beyond the scope of one article — and most certainly beyond the scope of a comment.

    2. Please read, at the very least, my responses to comments before asking a question (or making a statement).  I have previously answered many of these questions: asking them again says, to me, that you're not interested in productive dialogue and are just spouting off.

    Yes, there are a lot of comments!  Deal with it.


  • Mike

    My apologies. Caught me in a crap mood. Regretted it shortly afterwards.

  • eddie watts

    hurrah more comments!
    sadly more of the same!

    i can only assume that someone is spreading this article around some vegetarian/vegan websites.

    think i will share this on my facebook tonight as it is a good article

    looking forward to the AHS2013 videos too 😀

  • Ronnie:

    “Yes, I love meat, we need meat, but we need vegetables too. And we need to be more humane.”

    I'm doing my best: having just eaten our way through a half beef, I'm picking up another half this week from a local rancher whose cattle feed on grass their entire lives.



    It happens.

    Yes, it's a bit dispiriting to do all this careful, patient work and then have someone tell you “But Dr. Oz said…”  Remember, though: for every commenter, there are thousands of readers — and while it's fun to throw insults, they'll be more impressed by calm and patient responses.



    Since “meat rots in your colon” is such a durable myth, this article sees a lot of traffic.  In most months, it's my second most popular article (after Eat Like A Predator).



  • Auggiedoggy

    To conclude that the diet of the Paleolithic period was the best for our species is as illogical and flawed as many of the vegan arguments I’ve heard. I prefer to look to the diets of healthy, long-lived populations such as the Hunza and the Okinawans. Both civilizations’ traditional diets are high carb, low fat, low protein. Okinawa has produced the highest number of centenarians per capita than any other country in the world. Also, the so-called Paleo Diet doesn’t even remotely mimic the true diet of our Paleolithic ancestors. I think the diet authors should really come up with another name for the diet.

  • Augiedoggy:

    I've already debunked the Hunza and Okinawa myths above — but since you didn't read the comments, I'll reprint my debunking here:

    The idea that the Hunza are either vegetarian, excessively long-lived, or even exceptionally healthy is baloney.  The book “Hunza – Lost Kingdom of the Himalayas” (PDF here, illustrations here), by a geologist who actually lived with them year round as a field doctor and teacher, illustrates this perfectly:

    “Each family owns so few animals that they can butcher but one or two a year, which they do at Tumushuling time in December. As one sheep lasts a family about a week, this means that the average Hunza gets meat for one or two weeks per year. Since visitors always come in the summertime, this also explains the ridiculous tale that Hunzas are vegetarians by preference.

    One of the stories is true—they certainly eat the whole sheep! Brains, lungs, heart, tripe, everything but hide, windpipe, and genitalia! They clean a bone to a polish that would put a western dog to shame, and in conclusion they always crack the bones and suck the marrow. As their diet is deficient in oils and vitamin D, all Hunzas have soft teeth, and fully half of them have the barrel chests and rheumatic knees of sub-clinical rickets.“

    As far as the ridiculous claims for Hunza lifespan, that's a simple combination of lack of written records and a very, very poor (but smart) people eager to capitalize on the delusions of rich Western tourists.  Again, read the book.

    Continuing: the idea that the historical Okinawan diet is nearly vegetarian and low-fat is, as far as I can tell, a scam concocted to sell diet books:

    “The main meat of the diet is pork, and not the lean cuts only. Okinawan cuisine, according to gerontologist Kazuhiko Taira, “is very healthy-and very, very greasy,” in a 1996 article that appeared in Health Magazine. […] Okinawans eat about 100 grams of meat per day-compared to 70 in Japan and just over 20 in China-and at least an equal amount of fish, for a total of about 200 grams per day, compared to 280 grams per person per day of meat and fish in America. Lard-not vegetable oil-is used in cooking.” (link)

    And their lifespan has decreased remarkably in recent years as they've adopted a more grain-based diet.

    “Also, the so-called Paleo Diet doesn't even remotely mimic the true diet of our Paleolithic ancestors. I think the diet authors should really come up with another name for the diet.”

    I wrote that article long ago: “What Is The Paleo Diet, Anyway?” 


  • suck it

    this is the dumbest thing i have ever read

  • eddie watts

    i love nothing more than this well thought out argument

  • “suck it”:

    I'm always looking to improve my writing and communication skills.  Can you clarify whether you take issue with the science, or with my presentation of it?


    Heartwarming, isn't it?


  • Daria

    All you people and your “studies”. *eyeroll*

    What about a little firsthand experience with REAL people and not foggy “studies”? Studies are like spin-doctors. They’re seldom honest or accurate.

    Here is some firsthand experience based on MY OWN:

    1. I knew a good man, a neighbor of ours, who had a good family who enjoyed his steaks 3-4 nights a week. When he became 50+ years old, he was diagnosed with colon cancer and suffered a horrible death. That left a major impression on me as a young person.

    2. I knew another good family man, had a nice family, too, he was a peaceful guy, easy going. He had meat most days. Had a heart attack shovelling snow in his 50s. Luckily, they were able to resusitate him. He did not change his diet of meat eating, and within another year, this peaceful, easy going man suffered another heart attack and died.

    3. I knew a man who seemed to be in excellent shape – a construction worker. Slender waist, muscles — but a meat eater. He dropped dead at 42 of a heart attack suddenly with no prior history of illness.

    All 3 of these men ate meat almost daily, sometimes 2-3 times daily.

    I do agree meat has nutrients but too much clogs the arteries. I would say, have it no more than once a week. I have also observed that too much raw fruit and veg will wear the teeth down.

    So far, I think John McDougall’s philosophy is one of the best. He says save your meat-eating and rich food eating for “special occasions”.

    Ann Wigmore said: “It is what you eat on a daily basis that determines your level of health, not what is eaten of occasion.” (She was a raw foodist and was in her 80s and still in excellent health so far as anyone has said when she died of smoke inhalation from a fire.)

    Does anyone have any thoughts as to the BEST balance?

  • Jen W



    And what were those guys eating with their “meat”?  Processed junk?  Was it grass-fed/pastured or feed lot meat?  Also, take into account that muscle meat (most steak or roast cuts) isn't very nutrient dense, while organ meats or “offal” are quite nutrient dense.  These are all questions most people forget to ask when blaming heart disease on too much meat consumption. 

  • Dirigible

    Dana, please spare us with the non-grounded, non-scientific haranguing.

    It is a proven fable, akin to the stories of Jack and Jill and Old Mother Hubbard that red meat causes arteriosclerosis. Your pulpit is severely dilapidated.

    You cannot compare the putrid, deplorable meat that poor people buy at Von’s or Alberton’s to the grass fed/pasture raised meat that people who care about their health seek elsewhere at boutique or speciality grocery stores.

    Get a clue. We all know anyone succumbing to health issues eating copious amounts of red meat is clearly cheaping out.

  • […] Meat does not rot in your colon, beans and grain do […]

  • Blah

    We’re cutting down forests to feed people? Really? How much land does it require to raise livestock? If EVERYONE turned vegetarian, all the land we currently use to produce livestock in the United States would be more than enough to feed the ENTIRE WORLD. As far as eating meat, salt in our diets increases the hydrochloric acid level in our stomachs. As far as us being mostly carnivores, carnivores pant to release heat. Humans perspire. Carnivores can’t move their jaws side to side. Humans can (like omnivores/herbivores). Carnivores have a digestive track that is three times shorter than herbivores. Humans have a digestive track that’s most similar to herbivores.

  • Daria:

    Apparently you didn't read the BOLD-FACED WARNING which I repeated less than ten comments above. I'll reprint it here:

    1. The purpose of this article is to address one very specific topic: the claim that “meat rots in your colon”.  Making the general case for veg*anism vs. omnivory is not only a non sequitur, it's beyond the scope of one article — and most certainly beyond the scope of a comment.

    2. Please read, at the very least, my responses to comments before asking a question (or making a statement).  I have previously answered many of these questions: asking them again says, to me, that you're not interested in productive dialogue and are just spouting off.

    Yes, there are a lot of comments!  Deal with it.


    Now, since you haven't given me and my readers the basic respect of reading any of the comments, I'm going to be a bit short with you.

    1. If you want to play “dueling anecdotes”, I can cite Steve Jobs, Robin Gibb, and Sam Simon just off the top of my head — and they're public figures whose veganism and subsequent early deaths from various forms of cancer are verifiable facts, not unsourced anecdotes.

    2. Feel free to contribute actual evidence that meat “clogs the arteries”. 

    Note that a Standard American Diet of deep-fried, bread-encrusted spare chicken crumbs doesn't count as “meat clogging the arteries”.  Neither does a fast food “value meal” of large fries, large Coke, and a giant bun slathered in mayonnaise-like substances, with a tiny meat patty hiding in the middle.  Blaming the unhealthiness of these food items on the tiny scraps of meat they contain is silly…and you won't find anyone here advocating consumption of such “foods”.

    3. “Does anyone have any thoughts as to the BEST balance?”  Eat like a predator.  


    Jen W:

    Never play “dueling anecdotes”…anyone can just make them up.

    However, I note that studies that actually bother to check the difference have found that processed meat consumption is associated with heart disease…but not fresh meat consumption.  I'm not a fan of associative data, and what this says to me is that the sort of person willing to regularly eat lunchmeat probably does a lot of other things that are more harmful than eating lunchmeat…but it's a point to consider.



    I doubt it's even a consequence of failing to buy pastured beef…more likely it's a consequence of other unhealthy habits.  As I point out in this article, over 2/3rds of self-described vegetarians eat meat…but their diets are healthier in many other ways than self-described omnivores.



    Apparently you didn't read the BOLD-FACED WARNING which I repeated less than ten comments above. I'll reprint it here:

    1. The purpose of this article is to address one very specific topic: the claim that “meat rots in your colon”.  Making the general case for veg*anism vs. omnivory is not only a non sequitur, it's beyond the scope of one article — and most certainly beyond the scope of a comment.

    2. Please read, at the very least, my responses to comments before asking a question (or making a statement).  I have previously answered many of these questions: asking them again says, to me, that you're not interested in productive dialogue and are just spouting off.

    Yes, there are a lot of comments!  Deal with it.

    “If EVERYONE turned vegetarian, all the land we currently use to produce livestock in the United States would be more than enough to feed the ENTIRE WORLD.”

    It's unfortunate that most vegetarians (including yourself) understand so little about food production that they believe statements like yours are true! 

    First, only 19% of the land area of the USA is arable (suitable for growing crops) — and much of that is only due to unsustainable depletion of underground aquifers, like the Oglalla, and massive irrigation from ecosystem-destroying dams.

    In contrast, animals can graze nearly everywhere.  Grazing animals don't take away from agricultural land…the only reason we feed corn to cows is because of destructive government subsidies that make it artificially cheap.  In reality, cattle graze in places where it's not economically feasible to grow crops.

    (If you think you can grow crops on any of the ranches I buy my beef from, go right ahead and try it!  I'll watch and laugh as you try to puzzle out terms like “water allotment”, “acre-feet”, and “estimated annual rainfall”, and finally realize why no one grows corn or soybeans out West.)

    Second, let's do a thought experiment.  There were somewhere between 40 and 90 million bison living on the Great Plains previous to the European invasion and the agricultural takeover.  That's before we cut down the forests that covered the rainy parts (Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, etc.), which were far more productive and would sustain tens of millions more.

    Third, current agricultural yields are totally unsustainable, depending on massive applications of fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and GMO hybrid seeds.  3-5% of world natural gas production is burned just to make fertilizer! (via the Haber process)  Farming is far more environmentally destructive than grazing…cattle grazing on grass are actually a carbon-negative system that restores the soil.

    “Humans have a digestive track [sic] that's most similar to herbivores.”

    Do humans have a rumen, like cattle, sheep, and goats?  No, we don't.

    Do we have a dramatically enlarged cecum, like pigs and horses?  No, we don't.

    Our guts are even tiny compared to chimpanzees…our closest relatives.


    (Hint to veg*ans: comments like these are not helping your cause!)


  • […] I don’t want to post all of it as it is a long article.  Please read the rest of this article here. […]

  • Marko

    Hi Mr. Stanton,
    I’m just delving into veganism after eating meat like mad for 25 years. Your column convinced me meat is not rotting in our colon, but maybe meat is not suited for us anyway? Note I’m just reading similar columns to yours, where each have his own view. One of most important parts is this:

    “Hydrochloric acid is necessary for the digestion of protein. Proteinous *nuts* require the hydrochloric acid of the stomach to provide an adequate medium for the enzyme pepsin to act on the protein. But true carnivorous (meat eating animals, and ‘omnivores’ are meat eating as well) have in their digestive tracts a highly concentrated hydrochloric acid, about 1100% more so than ours.”

    This exceprt is taken from:

    I’m not “pro meat” or “con meat”. I’m just trying to understand if we are omnivores or herbivores, and if our body really needs meat.

  • Marko:

    Thank you for asking a pertinent question!

    “But true carnivorous (meat eating animals, and 'omnivores' are meat eating as well) have in their digestive tracts a highly concentrated hydrochloric acid, about 1100% more so than ours.”

    That's a blatantly false statement.  I'll explain why.  (It's not your fault: I've seen variations on it repeated many times in veg*an propaganda.)

    pH, the common measure of acidity, is a logarithmic scale: each unit of pH represents a 10-fold decrease in hydrogen ion concentration.  (Acids have low pH: water has a pH near 7; bases have high pH.)  Therefore, for a carnivore to have “1100% more concentrated” stomach acid than ours, the pH would have to be just over 3 points lower than ours.

    Since our stomach acid has a pH of about 1.5 to 3.5, depending on what we're eating, this means a carnivore's stomach acid would have negative pH…

    …which is impossible, since pure hydrochloric acid has a pH of 0.

    In fact, most carnivores have a stomach pH between 1 and 2…right at the lower range of our own.  So for a wolf or lion to have “1100% more” stomach acid, our stomach pH would have to be between 4 and 5.

    Tomato juice has a pH of 4.  It won't cause you second degree burns, like stomach acid does.  And even horses have a stomach pH below 4!


    Yes, humans are absolutely omnivores.  For some of the fossil evidence for meat consumption, check out my article series in progress here…and I haven't even covered the last couple million years yet!


  • Aimee

    Your article on the digestion tract is not accurately indicative to the populaton of meat eaters in today’s society. if you are speaking of a young, absolutely healthy colon, maybe, but check a meat eater’s, especially a red meat eaters, colon later on in life. Look into the meat production process from the start. Bottomline: Meat eaters of white meat, beef, or pork have a 30-40% higher risk of getting colon cancer. Meat eaters that include processed meat in their diet (lunch meat, hot dogs, canned meats, etc.) are now at a 50% higher risk of getting colon cancer. In a healthy digestive tract & colon, yes, meat can digest in 6hrs. but it can take up to a month in a weaker colon. Look up colon impaction. Trust that what you put in causes things to happen to your body down the line that can be avoided today. If you do eat meat you better look at the treatment of the animal your meat came from & you better add some fiber to your diet or some type of vegetable cleansing because otherwise you could have 5lbs. of meat rotting your colon with some colon cancer.

  • […] their fundamental nature as human beings–who were designed so that they absorb nutrition most easily from meat and fat. You can’t get away from the fact that one definition of being physically human is that while […]

  • Aimee:

    “if you are speaking of a young, absolutely healthy colon, maybe, but check a meat eater's, especially a red meat eaters, colon later on in life.”

    There are hundreds of thousands of colonoscopies done each year.  Go ahead and find me a picture of these diseased meat-eater colons: you won't find any, because that's a veg*an legend with no basis in reality.  The damaged ones are either cancerous or from celiac patients — whose problems stem from eating wheat, not meat.

    “Bottomline: Meat eaters of white meat, beef, or pork have a 30-40% higher risk of getting colon cancer.”

    FALSE.  Meat-eaters have a lower risk of bowel cancer, as I've linked multiple times above.

    Am J Clin Nutr May 2009 vol. 89 no. 5 1620S-1626S Cancer incidence in vegetarians: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford) Timothy J Key, Paul N Appleby, Elizabeth A Spencer, Ruth C Travis, Andrew W Roddam, and Naomi E Allen

    “The incidence rate ratio for colorectal cancer in vegetarians compared with meat eaters was 1.39 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.91).”

    Go here for more information: Carnosine, Colons, and Cancer

    “In a healthy digestive tract & colon, yes, meat can digest in 6hrs. but it can take up to a month in a weaker colon.”

    Only in veg*an fantasy land.  In the real world, which the rest of us live in, nothing identifiable as “meat” spends any time in the colon, because it's been digested by our stomach acids and pepsin.  Go read the article again, especially the part “Can Humans Digest Meat?”

    “Trust that what you put in causes things to happen to your body down the line that can be avoided today.”

    Absolutely!  That's why I eat like a predator.


  • Aquaria

    Oh, don’t be sure that vegans aren’t eating junk food and French fries. I just had the misfortune of having to take a business trip with a militant vegan, and he got French fries with nearly ever meal he ate. He also ate potato chips, corn chips, and wheat chips. In fact, if it was a vegetable that was deep fried and salted, he was eating it. He ate anything junk that wasn’t made with animal products–and there’s a lot of that stuff out there.

    He also spent more on his food during that trip than I did, and I splurged for a meal by myself at Morton’s. This is because he was constantly eating, constantly stopping at convenience stores for chips, trail mix, cereal or other junk, and of course constantly having to go to the bathroom. I’ve never known a vegan who didn’t live in the bathroom.

  • Aquaria:

    Yes, there are plenty of junk food vegans: I've known a few, and they were monumentally obese. 

    However, in general, the statistics say that veg*ans tend to eat less junk food than omnivores.  Paleo is successful and rapidly growing…but it's a very recent trend and therefore won't be represented in statistics even if it were significant enough in size (which it isn't).


  • Nick

    Excellent article, thank you for posting.

  • Kristina

    the author of this article is nuts. And certainly not a doctor. Eating meat is not only unhealthy but you are causing a living, feeling domesticated farm animal a horrible amount of suffering. If you as a meat eater, want to hurt another soul, so that you can eat it, instead of eating the vegetables and plants that God put on this earth, then you are a cruel and heartless individual. I hope you come back as a cow or a pig. No joke intended. And where do you think you’ll be going when you die, anyway?

  • Jen W

    Its okay to kill a vegetable and/or fruit but not an animal?  Reading comments make me want to post the picture of a piece of broccoli screaming when its “children” are about to get eaten Laugh

  • Once again, we're drawn away from the purpose of this article, which is simply to debunk that very daft notion that “meat rots in your colon”. It doesn't, and so that little snippet of v*gan propaganda continues to remain absolutely worthless.

    This article was not an open debate on the rights and wrongs of eating meat, but I will add this …

    Paleo eaters are VERY concerned about the plight of the animal during its life. Yes, the animal will be killed, butchered and eaten. Personally, I am also VERY interested in exactly how that animal was killed and where I cannot find the detail, I simply will not eat the meat. Whoa! What? Paleo Veggie? Yeah, well, Pesce-Paleo in the main.

    Morally, I see nothing wrong with eating flesh. It is something that we can eat, have done for millennia and seem absolutely suited to. Yes, we are adapted, modern and free thinking humans now who have a choice. Personally, I respect any person for making a choice of their own, but they MUST have the full facts in their hands.

    Discount flesh, go v*gan and you really are setting yourself up for ill health. I sympathise. I do. If I could eat just veggies, I would, but I would not be in my prime of health … and that it the key. I do not want to be a weak human. Soy, grains and beans generally are quite simply not good for human health. Yes, folks can live convincingly on them for years and claim to be strong and healthy, but it just ain't going to last.

    Finally, who commented that J is not a Doctor … and so his opinion must be worthless? Well, I actually rejoice that he is not. I have nothing but contempt for Docs, GPs and medics, generally … for their medical advicel they're fine fellows, otherwise.

    I don't get ill, but if I did, the last person I would consult advice from is a Doc. The LAST person.

  • Kristina:

    Apparently you didn't read the BOLD-FACED WARNING which I've repeated many times, the latest just ten comments above. I'll reprint it here:

    1. The purpose of this article is to address one very specific topic: the claim that “meat rots in your colon”.  Making the general case for veg*anism vs. omnivory is not only a non sequitur, it's beyond the scope of one article — and most certainly beyond the scope of a comment.

    2. Please read, at the very least, my responses to comments before asking a question (or making a statement).  I have previously answered many of these questions: asking them again says, to me, that you're not interested in productive dialogue and are just spouting off.

    Yes, there are a lot of comments!  Deal with it.

    To continue:

    Eating plants kills far more animals than eating animals.  When I eat a cow, the only animal that dies is that cow — and a properly managed pasture is a living ecosystem.  In contrast, clearing land for agriculture kills everything that used to be on that land.  Some are poisoned by rodenticides, fungicides, and herbicides; some are plowed under and killed; most simply starve to death because the food chain has all been diverted into human mouths.

    You cannot disappear on this Earth.  No matter how you live, hundreds of other animals have died so that you may exist.  I choose to honor that by maximizing my potential as a human, instead of by shrinking into myself.


  • eddie watts

    “Once again, we’re drawn away from the purpose of this article”

    when people change the main topic mid argument you can count on the fact that they know they’ve lost it

  • Like Godwin's Law … we should have a Stanton Law for nutritional discussion.

  • […] and high quality protein is a solid win, but many people are suspicious of eating meat. Does it rot in our systems? Does being vegetarian save the planet? Neither here nor […]

  • anoymnous

    It’s interesting how herbivores can evolve to eat something, they were not designed to eat in the 1st place. Ultimately as long as you can get all the essential nutrients in your diet which can be got through either diet as well as exercise brain and body you’ll be healthy. The rest is simply opinion, all data is bias

  • Alex

    Considering that the Earth's original lifeforms were single celled organisms, no animal today is eating according to the first place design.

  • anoymnous

    Alex, I know this is off topic but I love your profile picture

  • Alex

    That's a pic of Bilitis, a sweet, unbelievably stupid cat who devoted her life to eating kibble and being around me. She was never sick a day in her life until the morning when her lungs filled with fluid as her heart gave out; she was 14. That's the face she would make at me through the glass door when she wanted me to let her in.

  • anoymnous

    :-0 aawwww

  • Robin

    LOVED this!! I can’t wait to wave it around to a certain vegetarian friend who loves to spew garbage like what you’ve debunked here. Of course said vegetarian has also tried telling me eating a protein heavy diet will make me fat… Um…yeah. Not. Thanks for the awesome digestion fun!!!

  • Robin:

    It's like when you have to finally tell your child that there's no Santa Claus: expect a few tantrums.


  • Me

    Even as a vegetarian teenager, I never believed the silly myth about meat rotting in the gut. It just makes zero sense and sounds completely foolish.

    OK, so someone eats some meat, and then later on a salad with some corn. Well, clearly the salad and corn come out the backside within the expected transit time. Is there a passing lane or something to permit the meat to stay behind while the vegetable matter passes?

    Silly vegan propaganda is all this myth ever was.

  • Me

    There’s a complicating factor why many people become vegetarians: BECAUSE MEDIA/SCHOOL/GOVERNMENT/MEDICINE/”SCIENCE” SAYS IT’S “HEALTHY”!!!

    Without the constant drumbeat of pro-vegan pseudoscience, there’d probably be a lot fewer vegetarians.

    I initially became a vegetarian at the age of 15 due to ethical concerns about animals, but soon clung to it in the belief that vegetarianism was healthier.

    Eventually, I became a pre-diabetic and obese vegetarian who felt constantly wiped-out, then figured it was time to try something else… I feel let down by the cheerleaders I used to trust, and now have become more skeptical about just about everything in life…

  • Bobby

    I’m not saying you’re wrong about anything, but I was curious about what you wrote and decided to see if there was any research done(if it even is research..) that could possibly challenge yours.. So here is a site where this man talks about how humans are more alike herbivores: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/09/are-humans-carnivores-or-herbivores-2/

    I would like to know your thoughts about it please, as I’m curious to find a definite answer. That is if there is such an answer for something like this.

    Thank you! =]

  • Me:

    “Is there a passing lane or something to permit the meat to stay behind while the vegetable matter passes?”  That's classic!

    ” I feel let down by the cheerleaders I used to trust, and now have become more skeptical about just about everything in life…”

    Me, too.  I wasn't vegetarian for nearly as long as you, but as a result of the propaganda, I felt guilty about being omnivorous for much longer…and I ate far too much birdseed (e.g. Kashi, “soy nuts”) under the illusion that it was good for me.

    I agree that the vegetarians have hijacked nutritional discourse!  Here's the article I wrote about that.

    I think you'll find that most of the paleo community shares the same skepticism: in order to eat and live the way we do, we've all had to swim against the current of popular and scientific opinion.

    Welcome home.


  • eddie watts

    Bobby: the site starts with the wrong premise immediately.
    humans are not herbivores or carnivores, we are omnivores.

    that we have greater similarity to herbivores is not surprising: we evolved from fruit eating apes!

    but that was millions of years ago

    and if we go back far enough we would all be herbivores as plants seem to have been around first.

    but this does not make tigers and lions herbivores because hundreds of millions of years ago their ancestors were.

    facts aside: i am pretty sure i could make a spurious list “proving” humans are more similar to carnivores by using similar (and overly simplistic) arguments, strawmen etc. just like that author has

  • Imp

    This article or writer seems to neglect some things about meat eaters of nature? Meat eaters transpire tru their tongue. How can u say we are more carnivores then even omnivores? No matter how many studies or articles arises, any1 stating a human is a meat-eater, thus needing to kill another living thing, which is alike you, also alive by the divine breath of spirit?

  • Imp

    And it seems by reading some comments that most meat-eaters are not aware of the transpire fact..

  • Alex

    It's funny how vegans have to ignore what actually happened during the last 3 million years of hominid evolution and insist on a rigid set of dietary rules set forth by other animals. And even then, they can't even get their facts straight. Dogs cool themselves by panting, and they're actually omnivores. Cats rarely pant, and they're obligate carnivores.

  • Bobby:

    I've seen variants on that Steve Pavlina article in many different places, and all the versions contain a large number of trivially false statements. 

    Stated less diplomatically, they're bunk.  To demonstrate this, I'll go through the first three items.

    Quoth Steve Pavlina: “Carnivorous animals have intestinal tracts that are 3-6x their body length, while herbivores have intestinal tracts 10-12x their body length. Human beings have the same intestinal tract ratio as herbivores.”

    Trivially false.  The length of a human GI tract depends whether you remove it from the body and stretch it out (~30 feet), or whether you measure its length in the body (~20 feet).  That's between 3.5x and 5.2x average body length, not 10-12x — the same as carnivores.

    In contrast, the GI tract of an average horse is just shy of 100 feet long, which is indeed 10-12x body length.

    Quoth Steve Pavlina: “Carnivores’ stomachs are 20x more acidic than the stomachs of herbivores. Human stomach acidity matches that of herbivores.'  Trivially false.  As I footnoted above:

    Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Dec;34(11-12):1269-81. Systematic review: the use of proton pump inhibitors and increased susceptibility to enteric infection. Bavishi C, Dupont HL.
    “Parietal cells secrete hydrochloric acid at a concentration of pH 0.8 and maintain a median daily pH in human stomach around 1.4.”

    Furthermore, as I noted above:

    A dog has a stomach pH of 1-2, rising to 3 with digestion on a raw diet and 6 on a diet of dry dog food (source).  (Note that meat increases stomach acidity for both carnivores and omnivores.)

    And unfortunately for the herbivore/carnivore theory, a cow's abomasum (stomach) has a pH of 2 (source).  It turns out that digestion works best at low pH no matter what you're digesting…so Pavlina's propaganda is wrong in all respects, and the comparison isn't even meaningful.

    Quoth Steve Pavlina: “The saliva of carnivores is acidic. The saliva of herbivores is alkaline, which helps pre-digest plant foods. Human saliva is alkaline.”

    Trivially false.  As I noted above, human saliva has a pH between 6.0 and 7.4 (7.0 being neutral), so if anything, it's a very weak acid on average.  And guess what?  Dog saliva is slightly more basic than human saliva! (source)  Again, Pavlina's propaganda is wrong in all respects…and the comparison isn't even meaningful.

    And I've only covered the first three items in his list!

    I don't have time to cover the rest — but they're bunk, just like the first three.



    Antelope don't sweat — they pant.  Does that mean they're carnivores?



    Even if some of these purported distinctions were true, they're not important — because the difference between a carnivore and an herbivore is that the carnivore eats meat, while the herbivore eats plants.  To suggest that (for instance) whether an animal sweats or not is related to whether it eats meat or not is silly.  (Bonus factoid: horses are, AFAIK, the only herbivore that cools itself primarily by sweating…antelope can't get “lathered” like a horse can, which is why it's possible to hunt old male kudu by persistence.  So the distinction is prima facie invalid…yet another bunk veg*an myth I'll have to write an article about someday!)



    If you'll recall that veg*anism is religious in origin, it'll make a lot more sense.



  • Robin

    None of the great apes is carnivorous, in fact all monkeys are herbivorous or omni. And they are our cousins by anatomy. Why humans should be such extreme exception? I don’t believe it.

    Last year I’ve changed my diet to vegan one, and for a first time in my life i am regular in the toilet, i go every day. This never happened before when i ate mostly meat & cheese…
    No constipation, once I cut all animal products. Also my sinuses cleared, my skin too I feel better in general.
    I allow my self to eat meat sometimes – but only if it is from homegrown animals. Gladly, I dont have cravings anymore – i love beans and potatoes now 🙂

  • Robin:

    Humans are indeed omnivorous…but the archaeological evidence is clear: hunter-foragers (whose diet, even today, is comprised on average of 2/3 animal products and only 1/3 plants) are always in better health than the agriculturalists who came after them and depended primarily on grains.

    Also, keep in mind that the average veg*an diet is far healthier in many ways than the Standard American Diet — in the short term.  In the long term, the vitamin, mineral, and protein deficiencies tend to catch up unless you supplement with great care, and you'll probably find that a paleo diet (which looks a lot like a raw vegan diet, plus eggs and meat) will allow you to succeed in the long term.

    Anyway, as I've repeatedly stated, making the general case for omnivory vs. veg*anism is far beyond the scope of this article, which exists only to debunk the specific claim that “meat rots in your colon”.


  • […] with what u want to believe. sometimes self-efficacy outweighs the pros and cons of your actions. http://www.gnolls.org/1444/does-meat…nd-vegetables/ __________________ Communication Acceptance Honesty Love. Last edited by aaur4man; […]

  • […] 2-3 days — and that it effectively "rots" in your intestines there. But then, we can discuss whether something "rots" or not in there, and there's great breakdown of how meat and […]

  • Donna

    I just ran across your blog. This is the only article I’ve read so far and I am amazed at the length of time you have been answering questions. I am diabetic and just learned last year that eating a very low carb diet helps. You have reinforced my lchf (low carb/high fat) program. You are amazing. Thank you so much.

  • Donna:

    I'm glad you're seeing success!  It's always mystified me that the ADA's “solution” to a disease of uncontrolled blood sugar is to eat more sugar.  

    Feel free to explore the rest of my articles at your leisure: I hope they're useful to you.


  • […] Does meat “rot” in the colon, like so many vegans claim?  No! […]

  • AC

    “The average Ethiopian woman has nine children”


  • AC:

    The number is somewhat squishy, since it's based on estimates…and apparently the figure has been revised since I last looked it up.

    Today's estimates: the figure as of 2009 (the comment you're referring to is three years old) was seven children, which has decreased to 6.4.  (Source: United Nations.)  The crude birth rate is apparently falling even faster, but improvements in life expectancy are counterbalancing that to some extent…so the good news is that things are improving — though they're a long way from sustainability.


  • AC

    Yeah, I don’t think “squishy” means what you think it means.

    The term you’re looking for is grossly exaggerated, wildly inaccurate, or completely worthless.

    Pro tip: squishy made-up numbers that are passed off as “the real problem” don’t really contain any science.

  • AC:

    The estimate of TFR in Somalia indeed depends where you get it from: the UN, CIA, or the World Bank.  (Or Wikipedia, which claims to reprint the UN statistics, though their tables seem to be incorrect.) 

    Here's the link to the World Bank statistics, which estimate the fertility rate at 7.0 per woman as of 2009 — the last year that would have been available three years ago in early 2011, when I made the original comment.

    In contrast, the CIA estimated it at 6.1 in 2009 (source), and the UN estimated it at either 7.1 (source) or 5.5 (source).

    So yes, I feel justified in calling the number “squishy”.

    I will admit that I don't remember where I got the “nine children” figure from: the figure appears to be seven.  Mea culpa.  If you believe 9 vs 7 is “wildly exaggerated” relative to a replacement rate of 2.1 (and a worldwide TFR of ~2.8 in 2002), go right ahead.

    Meanwhile, the inverse relationship between per-capita GDP and fertility, and the even stronger inverse relationship between the development index and fertility, are strongly established.  If you're going to imply that I don't know what I'm talking about, you'll have to swim against a very strong tide of evidence — and you'll have to propose your own replacement theory.  

    What do you suggest?


  • Ana

    I planned a couple of times to be a raw vegan planning to eat omnivorously occasionally, but it didn’t lasted more than 2 days. Why? Because fruit, vegetables, and all of those, as we call them, sweet and delicious, juicy fruits – lost the taste and appeal to me, just like when you follow the advice to drink, I don’t know, 8 glasses of water a day, the water that once drenched your thirst so deeply satisfyingly, now becomes dull and nauseous. And I don’t want to give those NATURAL pleasures up for something that works only in theory, at least for the majority of us.

    And I believe many raw vegans experience the same on a daily basis, but don’t have the objectivity to admit it.

  • Ana:

    Our tastes are often a useful guide — so long as we limit their choices to natural foods. 

    It's well-known that people lose weight on any sufficiently monotonous diet, due to the effect of sensory-specific satiety (discussed here).  I believe this is because most individual foods only contain a subset of the myriad nutrients we need to live…and once we've got all we need, our desire for that particular food drops dramatically. 

    In the case of raw fruit and veg, we can eat them for a while…but finally our tastes tell us “Better go eat some meat and fat.  We've got plenty of carotene and K1, and there's no protein, choline, A/D/E/K2, or essential fats in this stuff.”


  • […] Have you ever heard this myth? It’s a horrible thought isn’t, that wonderful perfectly tender and juicy steak you had for dinner, just sitting there rotting on your colon. In order to discern whether or not this is true, you must first understand the human digestive system. And then we can find out what foods really rot in the colon. Here’s a hint, it’s not meat and in fact it just might some of the very foods those who perpetuate this myth tell you to eat. Click To Keep Reading […]

  • David Green

    This is a pretty biased report.

    Meat may not ‘rot’ as you so apltly put it. However, it does stay in the human gut for far longer transit times than fruit and veg. Look at epidemiological studies by the British Journal of Nutrition. Meat takes an average of 1 day (24 hours) longer to digest.

  • Chris O

    Well put together piece but does not address the key concern with meat consumption, inflammation which is the real threat to well being.


  • Jackie

    I want to know your opinion about my problem. I have the runs when I eat meat, raw veggies and too many grains. I eat mostly fish. Its the only meat I can eat. I can eat as much as I want and stay good. I am suspecting a lack of bile in my system tho and possibly a lack of enzymes. If I take enzymes and ox bile I can digest more. I also have to take tons of billions of different kinds of probiotics, alfalfa and papya enzymes (papya enzymes are amazing but make u feel hungry after it takes your stomach ache away). Plus my stool isn’t an odd orange color while taking ox bile pills. I haven’t eaten meat in years and actually went through withdrawals when I first had to stop eating it. I recently spoke with a doctor who also suspected my adrenal glands (would explain my heart problems too). She also stated a good point. We don’t all have the same ancestors and not enough time has past for us to completely evolve away from how they ate. In my opinion, my ancestors had to have eaten fish and light fruit because that’s all I can tolerate (avacados are a staple for some reason). My digestive issues I’m sure play a part too in that I’m sure I don’t have enough bile or enzymes or good bacteria for that matter. Also, I heard an interesting theory about blood type. Apparently certain blood types can digest certain foods more easily. I read that type A has a harder time with meat than other blood types. Looking at my family, it totally fits. Most of us have a hard time with some meat, not all. My family is mostly a chicken and turkey family. However, there are some who devour beef and pork like nothing and it just so happens that we all fit into the blood ty