As a center for holistic and integrative medicine specializing in alternative cancer treatments, our doctors and therapists are frequently asked whether eating meat is good for health. A lot of times, the subject of meat eating comes up when we think, talk and read about cancers, clean eating, healing, naturopathy and detoxification.

Diets such as the Paleo diets have become famous today because they allow us to eat like our ancestors supposedly did, but many scientists, historians and ancient medicine experts are proponents of plant-based diets. In reality, our ancestors such as the Neanderthals started eating meat only when they starved because of unavailability of vegetarian food because they did not not know how to grow food until then. Studies have shown how human bodies are not meant to eat or digest meat. The only type of meat perhaps that man can eat, and digest easily is fish.

What are Humans Supposed to Eat?

The anatomy and physiology of animals, birds and humans defines how we eat or should eat. A wild animal like a tiger or a lion that depends on other animals for food, is meant to survive in the jungle, has sharp teeth, has a long tongue and thin lips. Such animals have an acidic saliva and their jaws typically move only up and down because chewing meat for a good digestion needs that type of movement. Another feature of carnivores and omnivores such as bears, dogs, rats and gorillas is that they can kill, tear and cut another animal easily before eating it. Carnivores have short and straight intestines. Meat decays quickly and should be digested quickly after being eaten so that it gets out of the body quickly.

Herbivores such as elephants, horses and cows have relatively blunt and flat teeth. They were meant to pluck, open and cut fruits and chew easily on grass, leaves and vegetables. They also have cheeks; their tongues are short, and their jaws move side to side to allow them to grind. Herbivores have long intestines, so the food takes a long time to digest. Do you see how humans are like herbivores than carnivores and omnivores anatomically?

Now, most of us will say that the early man hunted down, ate raw meat and even digested it perfectly. True, but man started eating meat when there was less availability of vegetables and fruits and animals were found easily. By nature, we are meant to plant seeds, grow crops, do agriculture, cook, make and or create our food because we humans have advanced brains than all the animals. Also, a human being must rely on tools to kill and cut animals unlike wild animals who can catch and kill other animals without any tools. We also don’t get attracted to animals as food when we see them in their living form. Ever thought about why we only get attracted to cooked or dead meat which is of course made to look like it is something completely different from how it really looks? Like sausages, steaks, grilled chicken maybe? Do our mouths water if we see a pig or cow or a chicken being cut? Well, with carnivores, their saliva does secrete when they see other “living” animals and that is why they can attack the living animals and eat them as-is. Humans have found advanced ways of killing and processing meats so that we can cover up our emotions. Another example of how we have modified our psychological perception is by naming animals and meat cuts by names such as steak, sausages and pepperoni! If you quickly glance at both pictures in this article, you will know which picture does not make you feel better versus the one that makes you feel lively.

Why Humans Should Not Eat Meat?

Human bodies are meant for a plant-based diet and typically have difficulty digesting meat as compared to plant-based foods. When we eat meat and especially red meat, it takes a long time to digest it and the decay process starts inside our guts. This can lead to a host of problems with colon, which are very common in today’s world and as we know, colon issues can in turn create other health conditions in the long run. Studies have shown that having plant-based, vegetarian and even vegan diets have helped in prevention of cancers, strokes and other health conditions.

Many people want to know how they can get enough protein and B12 being on plant-based diets but that is not at all difficult if you follow plant-based diets correctly. Lentils, beans, nuts, organic and non-GMO tofu and tempeh can be great sources of meatless protein. People in many countries around the world have been surviving on plant-based diets for thousands of years and reportedly have lower rates of health conditions that we face today. In the beginning, it can also be difficult to follow a plant-based or vegetarian diets but doctors and therapists at Gentle Wellness Center recommend drastically cutting down on processed meats such as deli meats, canned meat, hot dogs, sausages, cured, smoked and dried meats that are considered as carcinogens by the World Health Organization, while increasing the intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains.