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Beyond Broccoli: Former Vegan Embraces Meat and Dispels Myths

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One of the perks of having a successful blog is that you sometimes get the opportunity to review some interesting books. I recently had the opportunity to read Beyond Broccoli by Susan Schenck. As a food and nutrition writer I am always eager to expand my knowledge in these areas, so I welcomed the opportunity to review Schenck’s book. What I didn’t expect was how much of an impact it would have on my vegetarian wife.

Beyond Broccoli is written from Schenck’s perspective, that of a former raw food vegan. She explains how she felt compelled to write this book after her experience with following vegan principles. After years as a vegan, she saw her and other vegans’ health decline. Her goal is to educate people and alert them to the dangers of vegetarian and vegan eating.

I must admit, after reading the book’s introduction and learning why she wrote it, I jumped in with both feet. You see, my wife has been a vegetarian for almost eight years and no matter how much we talked about the benefits of Paleo eating, I could not persuade her to give up vegetarianism. I hoped that the book would give me some new tools to help my wife see the light. I’m glad to say that Beyond Broccoli didn’t let me down.

Schenck begins her book by discussing the vegetarian mystique and dispelling the common myths behind vegetarianism. She discusses these issues with the intelligence of someone who has lived the life. Unlike other publications I’ve read, hers doesn’t belittle either side of the vegetarianism debate. In fact, she says that a vegan diet can work for you if you are the right body type.

The meat of this book is not to bash vegetarianism; rather it explains why vegetarianism doesn’t work for the vast majority of people in the long run. Part two of her book discusses the evolution of the human diet where she embraces Paleo Diet principles and provides a good summary of the benefits of Paleo eating.

In part three, Schenck explains how the proper balance is needed between fats, carbohydrates, and proteins for effective health. She spends almost 80 pages of the book detailing how vegetarianism doesn’t create the proper balance of fats, carbs, and protein and how eating animal protein combined with a low carbohydrate diet will lead to better health and overall weight loss. Unlike in some other books I’ve read, Schenck backs her claims with relevant annotated references.

While reading the last section of the book, I couldn’t help but think that Schenck still felt some vegan pangs of guilt for endorsing meat. She discusses the morality and sustainability of meat eating. I have friends who are vegan and I have heard these views many times so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised to read this here.

Beyond Broccoli provided a unique insight for me, a former vegan who turned to meat. The book reinforced my beliefs that following Paleo Diet principles is the way to go. More importantly, it has given my vegetarian wife a new perspective. It’s one thing to hear it from me that she shouldn’t be a vegetarian but to hear it from a former member of her own tribe had her open her eyes. She has read half the book and claims that she is starting to have doubts about vegetarianism. If she is still vegetarian at the end of the book, I don’t think Schenck will be disappointed, because she accomplished her goal. One more vegetarian has been educated.

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About Layne Pennell

  • Doh

    She needs to justify her weakness for meat that’s her problem but to lie and claim that a vegetarian diet cannot be balanced and healthy is ignorant or plain stupid.

  • I’m real interested as to the reasons she gives for a vegan diet not working for most people long term. She tried years of raw vegan and raw vegetarian but did she ever try including cooked foods, eg. beans and rice? How about getting enough B12, DHA/EPA?

  • Anonymous Coward

    I see. Fat and nutritionally largely unqualified man reviews dubious book from a dubious woman claiming to have seen the light – and it’s animal meat. After living a couple of years as a raw food vegan. What is viewed as “long term”. Sounds great. *groan*

    The thing is, when people (dubious woman) jump into any nutritional choice to feel ideologically superior, they tend to skip on the health part. It has to work, no matter what. In my experience those are the exact same people who resume their former eating habits after dismissing their plant-based approach as “unhealthy” and tout it to the world. Because they realized how stupid they acted before but are now way too proud to admit to their childish actionism. Instead they write a book.

    If your wife lets go of her vegetarian nutrition because of this book, there can’t be any deeper emphatic connection to feel the suffering of others (= animals) to being with. This strikes me as extraordinarily ignorant.

  • Melissa

    lol, I love the comments. I tend to agree I find many failed vegans/raw vegans write books which helps others feel better about their food choices. But morality or ethics aside, these people generally have one thing in common – which is an abiding lack of healthful living. You can be an unhealthy vegan, vegetarian or meat eater if you don’t eat enough calories, don’t exercise, don’t sleep enough, are completely stressed out and subsist on processed junk foods and fat and stimulants. I eat 811 raw vegan – fruit, vegetables and a few nuts and seeds, as nature intended, have done for three and a half years. But I believe it works because I apply it correctly. If I had to start eating all the packaged raw foods sold in the Organic shops, whether raw or not, they’re still processed in some manner. Still not something you’d eat out in nature. So yeah, your health is going to suffer. Embrace whole foods (whether vegan, raw or otherwise) and then let’s see. One should also not ignore the environmental cost of eating meat. I believe we should benefit all in our behaviour, not harm.

  • GoVegan

    I have been a vegan for 25 years. In all that time I have not had one single health problem. I have recently been tested. I lack no vitamins etc. My cholesterol level is perfect. Do not believe the myths out there. Go vegan.

  • Shemirah Brachah

    I was vegetarian for 12 years before going vegan more than 13 years ago for a total of 25 meat-free years, and it’s not just me: my whole family is vegan, and we’re healthy and happy.

    My ex-husband, on the other hand, has been a meat eater all his life and just got out of ICU after having his bladder removed due to cancer.

  • Sherry

    I also read this book. One thing you leave out of your review is that the author advocates eating raw or “lightly cooked” meat. She was still basically a raw foodist, just adding in some meat. The author also wrote books about the virtues of veganism and raw food diets before deciding those diets didn’t work.

  • RJ

    Vegetarians have smaller brains. It’s a fact.

  • I have been a vegetarian for the past 15 years of my life. Avoid all types of meat and even eggs. At 43 I can say that I have never been more fit or healthy in my life and also have the medical records to prove it. It needs something called will power to give up bad habits like smoking, drinking – similarly controlling the craving to eat meat also requires some self control. If you lack it admit that, don’t go about making such ridiculous claims.


    The Panel has detected false and/or misleading information on this page. The SOURCE of the misnformation has been traced to a false information spreader lodged in the comments identifying themselves as “RJ”.

    FALLACIOUS INFORMATION: Attempted by “RJ” at Oct 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm “Vegetarians have smaller brains. It’s a fact.”=WRONG.

    This is ruled False. What this user has done, is cited a known false article by a debunked individual by the name of “Chris Kresser” who has been found to be in league with a debunked nutrient doctor named “Barry Groves” who is linked to a front group known as the WAPF, which is now listed on QUACKWATCH.ORG for distributing false nutritional information.

    If you observe the actual study, it says NOTHING about vegetarians or vegans. And in fact, the people in the study which had smaller brains were meat eaters. Meat eaters had small brains.

    What he did was this: First, he got people to believe that vegans (and vegetarians) are all ‘deficient’ in Vitamin B-12 (which is false). Then he spread the false information that B12 is “only in meat” and vegans cant get it in a vegan diet(This is False, vegans can indeed fully obtain B12 in a fully natural vegan diet, it’s in Mushrooms. The “No b12” thing is scientifically debunked. And in fact, over 40% of MEAT EATERS have tested DEFICIENT in vitamin B12.) Then once the scammers got people to believe these myths, he simply cited an article that merely mentions B-12 deficiency. There is absolutely NO mention of vegans or vegetarians in the NIH study which this user is spreading, attempting to insinuate this disinformation. None.

    The users post been traced to TWO known discredited misinformation sources: Dr. “Barry Groves” and an extremist named Dr “Chris Kresser”. These are known scammers which have also been found pushing nutritionally deficient “paleo” diets, the now debunked so-called “caveman” diet.

    It has now been proven that Vegans CAN INDEED obtain B12. Observe the following scientific article:

    “Vitamin B12 the Active Corrinoid Produced in Cultivated White Button Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus)” -PubMed

    PROOF LINK: B12 is in plain ordinary MUSHROOMS.

    What this article says, is that it scientifically confirms that Vitamin B-12 was found in high concentrations in plain ordinary mushrooms, a wholly vegan source. It means that NO person can again say that B12 is not present in a vegan or vegetarian diet.

    This is exactly what this individual is attempting to do, spread that vegans cant get B12(false) and then attempt to use a b12 study to insinuate brain shrinkage, when in fact there is absolutely NO mention of vegetarians or vegans in the user RJ’s study, and the subjects by all rights may full well be Meat-Eaters. 40% of Meat Eaters have been shown B12 deficient. Not vegans, meat eaters.

    In summary: B12 is now proven in the Vegan diet. The article cited by this user is debunked, and the user is exposed as discredited and attempting to spread false information. If you ever see any user, here or anywhere, who is attempting to post the myth that B12 is only in meat or animal products, which is now shown false, that user and their posts can be garbaged and immediately dismissed. Utilize the link above and post it back to such a user proving that B12 is indeed fully available from wholly vegan sources, and that 40% of meat eaters actually tested positive for vitamin B12 deficiency.



    The “Paleolithic Diet” has been completely scientifically debunked, and exposed as a diet scam by Paleontologists. Huh! How?

    Keep in mind, that the absolute founding principle of these Paleo Diet book scammers, balances on the idea that stone age man did not eat grains(false). And the major underlying principle is telling people that humans did not evolve eating Grains. And the major founding tenet is telling people that mankind ONLY started eating grains only 10,000 years ago, and BEFORE 10,000 years ago cavemen were really healthy, and it was only AFTER 10,000 years ago that man became all sickly and diseased.

    What this means, is, IF stone age man is found to have been eating grains PRIOR to 10,000 years ago, this whole principle, the diet, the whole avoid grains thing, and the underlying foundation of the whole diet is debunked.

    Well, guess what. Archaeologists and Paleontologists found that CAVEMEN ATE CARBS! Stoneage man ate grains, and did it 30,000 years ago. This is BEFORE 10,000 years ago. Which means ancient hominids were eating grains at the exact time when virtually every single Paleo scam diet pusher is telling the public (you) that man was “healthy”, healthy at the same time they were pounding down the grains. This is in direct contradiction to virtually every Paleo scam diet pusher, and debunks them. How bad? Paleontologists actually found pieces of Grains and plants IN THEIR TEETH. They found grains stuck in the teeth in skulls of ancient man, tens and tens of thousands of years before these DVD pushers are telling people they never did. Thus, the very founding principle of virtually every PrimalDiet scammer is now exposed as scientific bunk. Including this book by Susan Schenck. If you or anyone you know is on a Paleo diet, you will now live with the fact that you now know it is base on a lie.

    Witness the following Scientific Information:

    Keep in mind! The
    paleo scam diet
    tells you dont eat grain because “Paleo man” never ate grain. GO LOOK.

    NEWS: Prehistoric man ate flatbread 30,000 years ago: study
    “Starch grains found on grinding stones suggest that prehistoric man may have consumed a type of bread at least 30,000 years ago in Europe, US researchers said.”
    Tue 19 Oct 10 from PhysOrg

    NEWS: Cavemen ground flour, prepped veggies
    “Dirty ‘kitchen’ tools reveal that cavemen were grinding their own flour and preparing vegetables for meals at least 30,000 years ago, according to new research.”
    Mon 18 Oct 10 from ABC Science

    NEWS: The Stone Age Food Pyramid Included Flour Made From Wild Grains
    Tue 19 Oct 10 from Discover Magazine

    Got it? Mankind did indeed evolve eating grains thousands and tens of thousands of years PRIOR to 10,000yrs ago.


    Ok, now witness every single one of these Paleo Diet authors, pushing the scientifically debunked false information telling you never eat grain and that nobody ate grain until 10-thousand years ago.(lie)

    LOREN CORDAIN (DEBUNKED): “Grains did not exist in the human diet until about 10,000 years ago” Dr. Cordain’s ThePaleoDiet =Cordain is Now revealed as False.

    CAVEMAN DIET (DEBUNKED): “These foods have only been around for 10000 years” -from the Caveman Diet=Now exposed as Fallacious.

    PRIMAL DIET (DEBUNKED): “If it was not on the table 10000 years ago, don’t eat it!” -Primal Diet=Debunked. Carbs and processed grain were ‘on the table’ 10,000 years ago.

    30DAYS OF PALEO (DEBUNKED): “Grains were not a substantial part of the human diet prior to the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago”-30daysofPaleo=Yes, they were. Debunked.

    ROBB WOLF (DEBUNKED)”the human brain has been steadily shrinking for the past 10000 years (9:10)-Robb Wolf=Another reference to the false 10,000 years Discredited.

    CROSSFIT (DEBUNKED): “The last 10000 years, the time in which we transitioned from hunting”-CrossFit=Wong. Paleolithic man began “transitioning” long before that, as shown in the lab. Crossfit is now debunked by its own statements. Crossfit is now regarded as Fallacious. (Not that it was ever regarded as fact by any actual knowledgeable top athletes to begin with.)

    THE PALEO SOLUTION (DEBUNKED): “10000 years ago, in the beginning of agriculture”-The Paleo Solution=False.

    PALEO PRIMER (DEBUNKED): “grains and dairy – only showed up about 10,000 years ago”-Paleo Primer=Evidence now shows that grains were eaten by Paleo man long before 10,000 years ago. Thus the entire claim by the Paleo diet primer is now exposed as Fallacious.

    DR. BARRY GROVES (DEBUNKED): “Since the advent of agriculture about 10000 years ago”-Dr. Barry Groves=Scientific evidence now reveals man ate grains and vegetables, plants, and processed carbs, including ‘bread’ even further than 10,000 years ago and 10,000 years ago was not the advent of agriculture. Thus Groves insinuating man was healthy before that means that he has just admitted man was indeed healthy eating grains, carbs, and bread. Thus, Dr. Barry Groves has just debunked himself.

    MICHAEL EADES (DEBUNKED): “Strong, robust Cro-Magnons who settled into a life of agriculture circa 10000 years ago”-Dr. Michael Eades, Paleo Diet=National Academy of Sciences now shows that early man ate grains long before 10,000 years ago. Michael Eades is now Debunked.

    PALEOLITHIC DIET (DEBUNKED): “The Stone Age Diet or Hunter-Gatherer Diet, and the Paleolithic Diet are all based on the principle that people were much healthier 10,000 years ago”-Livestrong, Paleolithic Diet. It means that the Paleo Diet is based upon the founding assertion that man was healthy 10,000 years ago, and then goes around telling people to eat amounts of Fat, Meat, and tells people that early man avoided carbs, and didn’t eat grains, which is now all shown to be FALSE. In other words, evidence now proves that during the exact times Paleo authors are touting that man was so healthy–man was eating grains, plants, and carbs. Rendering the entire foundation of virtually all Paleo author claims debunked.

    And now you know. And anyone that continues to follow the Paleolithic scam diet after seeing the above scientifically debunked information, is continuing to live a lie. These are generally people who base things on wild emotion, and don’t believe in Science, merely choose to blindly follow baseless “fad diets” based only on emotion.

    QUOTE: “You see, my wife has been a vegetarian for almost eight years and no matter how much we talked about the benefits of Paleo eating, I could not persuade her to give up vegetarianism.”=YOUR WIFE IS EDUCATED AND KNOWS WHAT SHE IS DOING. CONGRATULATIONS. Any individual attempting to ram the paleo diet down her throat, or persuade her with known debunked books such as Susan Schenck, or any of the false Paleo authors above, attempting to sway her away from the safer and scientifically healthy vegetarian diet, is causing your wife harm.

    It is not ONLY the case that these Paleo Diets are based on a lie, it is also the case that they are nutritionally deficient, the paleo diet is harmful, the meat recommended is linked to bladder cancer, unprocessed grassfed steak linked to colo-rectal cancer, diabetes, heme iron in the meat linked to hypertension, red meat linked to pancreatic cancer, bacon linked to urinary tract infections, processed meats linked to kidney damage, gall bladder disease, and meat diets linked to dementia, infectious diseases, trichinosis, and all cause human death.



    Except for a few lingering “Kling-ons” hanging onto it despite its being now completely debunked, and a few less schooled “crossfit zealots”, no fully educated persons are following or believing this diet anymore. Except for a few lingering “Kling-ons” hanging onto it despite its being now completely debunked, and a few less schooled “crossfit zealots”, no fully educated persons are following or believing this diet anymore.

    Please be aware of it. The Paleo diet has been found debunked.



    STUDY: “In tests, the brains of those fed Atkinslike diets, high in [animal] protein and fat and low in carbs [like Paleo] were 5% smaller”

    “Low-meat lowfat diets packed with fruits and vegetables [such as vegan & vegetarian diets] reduced the risk of dementia,” said researchers.

    In addition, in those on the meat-based low grain diet some areas of the brain were “under-developed”.

    “It is thought that large amounts of [animal] protein may make the brain more vulnerable to the brain damage by Amyloid Plaques, speeding up cell-death.” and memory loss.

    – SOURCE: Results scientifically confirmed and currently published in the Journal of Molecular Neuro-Degeneration. To confirm it yourself, put “Diet may shrink brain and boost alzheimers” into any search engine.



    The paleo diet pushes imitating supposed “ancient humans” becoming a hunter-gatherer and going out in the wild and killing and eating supposed “natural” meats. Some more irresponsible paleo-deit pushers, such as the debunked Susan Schenck actually goad people into eating pieces of un-cooked raw meat which can cause human death due to infectious diseases, parasitic worm egg larvae, tapeworms, and animal diseases such as scabies that can be gotten by following these less-educated paleo diet “gurus”. This exact behaviour, precisely that touted by the Primal Diet, to go around acting like a supposed hunter-gatherer, and eating supposed natural meat, is exactly what unleashed the AIDS virus.

    HIV is the “Human immunodeficiency virus”. H for Human. SIV is the Simian Immunodeficiency virus. Simian means primate. SIV is the version found in exactly these wild animals. Plants do not contain zoonotic (human-transmissible) viruses. You cannot catch ANY pernicious virus from any plant. However, you CAN obtain a virus from animal blood and meat. The pursuit of this supposed “natural” meat, gathered by hunters, precisely as touted by the Paleolithic Dieters, is what unleashed HIV AIDS on all mankind. Men who were in pursuit of eating meat, went out and killed and slaughtered chimps. This “naturally obtained” meat is what contained the SIV virus. When these paleo-like hunter gatherers butchered these animals, the SIV virus jumped to mankind. SIV became HIV, mutated into the Human-infectious form, and spread HIV/AIDS onto the Earth.

    Researchers have now confirmed it through DNA analysis, and traced the first infections to hunters who went after meat in the Congo. The scientific results are reported in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.

    NAT GEO QUOTE: “Transmission of the virus, the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), to humans was the result of Blood exposures from the handling of chimps killed by hunters.” for their Meat. In other words, it was meat-eaters hunting and going after eating meat that unleashed HIV/AIDS on ALL mankind. The very behaviour cheered in the Primal Diet.

    Don’t think so? Go see it for yourself.

    Paleo style hunter-gatherers in pursuit of a meat-based diet unleashed AIDS on mankind which has now killed over 25 MILLION people.

    Note that this is not all, virtually every damaging Zoonotic viral disease can infect mankind from pieces of meat. An example is Bird Flu, comes from touching chicken, and has killed hundreds of people. The SARS virus was unleashed by the same method. Someone went out and killed and ate a Civet, a type of wild animal meat. Children died from this. H1N1 is “swine” flu. It has killed children. It incubated in pigs. *(Vegetarians & Vegans do not have this problem. You can’t catch a deadly human virus from any plant.) Animal meat is the medium which can be teeming with pernicious viruses which can leap to and infect humans. Either by eating it, or even touching it. Hong Kong flu, Spanish Flu, Avian Flu, Swine Flu, SARS, and HIV/AIDS are all examples of diseases infecting humans from this type of behaviour. This is a basic tenet cheered by the Paleo diet. It has resulted in literally Millions of Human Deaths, including victimizing families, wives, and ones children.


  • Regarding the Factcheck Commission’s comment # 11, the commission quotes several sources that state that early man processed and ate grains as early as 30,000 years ago, which in their opinion invalidates the diet.

    What the commission doesn’t take into account is that the Paleolithic era occurred between 250,000 BP and 10,000 BP. This argument does not discount the other 220,000 years of evolution.

    They should also not confuse the processing of some wild grains in the modern agricultural complex. There is no doubt that Paleolithic people ate some wild grains as they traveled through fields but grain consumption didn’t come close to the levels of grains eaten by modern civilization.

    Frankly the commission’s reference to AIDS in comment 13 is nothing but verbal diarrhea. It is trying to make a connection between an evolution based diet and a disease that appeared in the late 20th century. Give me a break!

    I invite the Factcheck Commission to provide anthropological evidence that early hominids processed grains during the other 220,000 years of the Paleolithic era. Until they do, their debunking argument doesn’t hold water.


  • Not so fast.


    Paleo-Anthropologists now confirm that Human Paleo Hominids were enjoying grain all throughout the Paleolithic era.

    Archaeologists have now revealed that they have actual physical evidence in hand, which now completely debunks the “paleolithic diet” which was erroneously painted by a small group of largely un-scientific diet-book authors as having something to do with evolution. It does not. And is now largely ridiculed by many Scientists, Paleo-Anthropologists, and Archaeologists as paleo dieters simply gullible enough to believe in fantasy.

    One such paleo diet “believer” scribed:
    “The commission doesn’t take into account is that the Paleolithic era occurred between 250,000 BP and 10,000 BP. This argument does not discount the other 220,000 years of evolution…I invite the Factcheck Commission to provide anthropological evidence that early hominids processed grains during the other 220,000 years of the Paleolithic era.”

    [Remember! Virtually EVERY one of the now debunked Paleo diet-book authors is ON record insisting merely on the figure of 10K years, so ALL of them are exposed as wrong the moment the evidence of 30K years was posted. All of the scientific affirmation below is just rubbing it in further, that’s all. Nearly every Primal Diet author has already been exposed as having lied, the diet is Not based on evolution, and in fact can cause horrible damage to human health to anyone who had been duped into believing the now exposed Paleo Diet.]

    “I invite the Factcheck Commission to provide anthropological evidence that early hominids processed grains during the other 220,000 years of the Paleolithic era.”

    OK. We shall.

    SCIENCE: “Humans Found Eating Grains 105000 Years Ago”

    -The evidence is now officially confirmed and appears in the prestigious scientific Journal “SCIENCE” and the findings published in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN.


    Note: This was actually a bit too easy. We actually knew about this prior to publishing the previous post. We already had the evidence above ready, and more than just what’s above as well. And we had intentionally mentioned only the 30,000 year old proof of human processed carbs & grain eating hoping to lure just such a zealous paleo diet ‘believer’ “out of their cave”, as bait.

    And it did not disappoint! Caught one!

    What will happen next (we’re hoping), is another “Og the caveman” will come out of his cave and post ‘You now only have 105000! Not 200000!’ (which we already have lying in wait as well), so when those that still refuse to believe in actual evolutionary science attempt that, we will simply debunk them again. This is called date “creep”. (When confronted with the evidence, they’ll simply attempt to creep back the date further, get debunked, then say it must have been before that, get debunked again, and creep it back further in a losing proposition. Remember, hominids were vegetarians going back at least 18 million years, and evidence now shows up to 80 million) But it’s amusing to see the date creep coming out constantly flip-flopping and insisting on a new date. Watch for it.)

    Sorry if any paleo diet believers are now mad or upset by this News. It’s not us, but rather science and facts that have debunked the paleo diet. If you’re feeling all frustrated and getting emotional, or still in denial that you got taken in and refusing to believe it, don’t blame this post. Blame the paleo authors, the debunked crossfit workout and paleo diet book hawkers that purposely lured you into buying their book and buying into their plan. And keep in mind, it’s not US you need to debunk, you will need to debunk the NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE. You’ll be a paleo-dieter who read a dietbook, attempting to argue against actual Paleontologists.

    Oh, and just so you know, Loren Cordain (the individual now identified as the perpetrator of the paleo scam diet) has now admitted what he has written was wrong. He now admitted all his talk stating not to eat grain because ancient humans didn’t eat grain at all and only started 10,000yrs ago is wrong. He’s now on record acknowledging the grain evidence we just posted above, including the 30,000 year old grain processing, and the eating of carbs by paleo man. So before you go on, be fully aware that the perpetrator behind the paleo diet has now admitted it. Sorry if you believed it and are now very sad it was against science. You’ll just have to learn to live with it and accept it. But, …


    • Paleo Huntress

      You gotta love a vegan zealot.

      I can’t but wonder where you get these facts you’re checking… is it while standing in line at the supermarket?

      If you’d ever read anything Cordain has written, you’d know better. You’ve never checked a fact in your life.


    NEWS: Large Study Confirms Daily Red Meat Raises Diabetes Risk -SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN
    “People who eat as little as one serving of red meat a day, whether it is processed or unprocessed, have an increased chance of getting type 2 diabetes”-Scientific American

    NEWS: “Study Reveals Link Between Unprocessed Meat and Diabetes”
    “Un-processed Red Meat such as..steak, pork or lamb can shoot up the risk of Diabetes”

    [Note the fact that this is medically tying plain, ordinary, lean red meat to damage to human health. Watch for an uneducated reply to this trying to say only processed meat is bad, and they eat only ‘lean red meat’ or grassfed or somesuch thing. Such replyers instantly debunk themselves. This now shows a direct correleation to human health damage from plain steak, un-processed red meat. This applies to beef, grassfed meat, corn fed, wild game, hunted meat, lean meat, and all the meat explicitly recommended to everyone by the paleo diet. If anyone tries to reply saying its only hotdogs, or bacon, or sausages, or that the meat ‘they’ eat is ‘different’, that post is immediately debunked. Processed meats are even worse, but this applies to ingesting fresh, red meat. In other words, red meat itself is now confirmed associated with diabetes and damage to human health.]



    US NEWS: Green, Leafy Vegetables Linked to Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk -USNEWS & WORLD REPORT
    “Analysis of research suggests that eating more green, leafy vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes”-US News & World Report

    WEBMD NEWS: “Vegan Diet Good against Type2 Diabetes. Vegan diet beats regular diet in lowering Heart Disease Risk” -WEB MD
    “Oct. 1, 2008 — A vegan diet may do a better job of reducing cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients than a diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), according to a new study. “The results of this study suggest that, if followed for the long-term, a low-fat vegan diet may be associated with a reduced risk of major chronic diseases, particularly cardiovascular heart disease.”-WebMd

    MEDICAL SCIENCE: “Type 2 diabetes and the vegetarian diet”
    Source: Clinical Nutrition Center Toronto

    SCIENTIFIC STUDY: “There is reason to believe that vegetarian diets would have advantages in the treatment of type 2 diabetes..The use of whole-grain or traditionally processed cereals and legumes has been associated with improved glycemic control in both diabetic and insulin-resistant individuals.”

    “Long-term cohort studies have indicated that whole-grain consumption reduces the risk of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

    “In addition, nuts, for example almonds, viscous fibers for example grains oats and barley, soy proteins, and plant sterols, which are part of the vegetarian diet, reduce serum lipids.”

    “In combination, these plant food components may have a very significant impact on cardiovascular disease, one of the major complications of diabetes. Furthermore, substituting vegetable proteins for animal protein may also decrease renal kidney hyperfiltration, proteinuria, and renal acid load and in the long term reduce the risk of developing renal disease in type 2 diabetes.”

    “The vegetarian diet, therefore, contains a portfolio of natural products and food forms of benefit for both the carbohydrate and lipid abnormalities in diabetes. It is anticipated that their combined use in vegetarian diets will produce very significant metabolic advantages for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications.”

    CONFIRMED NIH: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12936955

    A Vegetarian diet has significant advantages in protecting against Type 2 Diabetes – SOURCE: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Sep 78(3):610S-616S.
    -National Institute of Health

    Paleolithic Diet is nutritionally deficient in grains and lacks protective effects.

    See Companion Story: “Paleo Diet zealot attempts to convince wife after reading bogus PaleoDiet book and hurt his own wife’s health risk of Cancer and Diabetes”


    • Dixie88

      I eat red meat. My cholesterol levels are Optimum. My BP is always low/normal. My glycemic index levels are excellent. I do not drink soda pop. I do like sweets like cake. Everyone’s DNA is different. It’s not healthy to eat Only meat. Or Only veggies. Or Only cake. A diverse diet is healthy.

    • Paleo Huntress

      The Paleo diet isn’t a “meat diet”. The paleo diet is plant based in the ACTUAL sense of the word, that it is BASED on plants, and it also contains animal foods.

      The Paleo community is FULL of former vegans who were failing to thrive.

  • Lisa O.

    I’m so tired of reading about books like this. I’ve been vegetarian for 17 years and vegan for five, and I’m in great health. Many of my friends are vegan as well, and they’re athletic, energetic, and rarely get sick.

    I’m vegan for ethical reasons, but the health reasons are a nice bonus. Many doctors and nutrition experts have weighed in on this issue, and it’s been firmly established that vegan diets full of whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits, are very healthful. Just pop a B12 tablet and maybe some DHA every once in awhile and you’ll be in much better shape than the vast majority of Americans.

  • Trudy

    Hm, I hear a lot of anger and strong emotion in the comments. I think the truth is human beings have always been opportunistic in their diets. I.e. of course paleolithic folk ate grains and veges, but also ate meat and animal products. What is certain, however, is that paleo individuals didn’t eat processed white flour or processed sugar. Heck, most people didn’t eat processed white flour and sugar a mere two hundred years ago. Also, paleo persons may have eaten grains opportunistically, but not in the form (processed) or the quantity eaten today.

  • Mori

    I do not believe All that she write is true. But she is right about the whole problem with B12, vitamine D and omega 3 dha epa in vegans long term. It is a problem for most people. But eating a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet should solve the problem. She is right about that there are no groups of people in history who has been able to live completely vegan. There are people like the hunza who lives close to an vegetarian diet, with a little Meat here and there. and im sture others. But All include dairy and eggs

  • John Klepac

    The only way meat eating can be rationalized as being healthier than veganism is by comparing health-conscious meat-eaters who exercise frequently, get enough sleep, and drink low amounts of caffeinated and carbonated drinks (besides being a very low percentage of the population, these people are more likely to become vegetarian anyway) against vegetarians and vegans who are overweight and slovenly about their health. There is a small amount of overlap, i.e. area in which meat eaters surpass vegetarians and vegans in health, but it’s unrealistic and ignorant to assume that people will jump into that window and be healthful omnivores. Once you decide to eat meat and other animal products, it is difficult to keep up the motivation to only eat (relatively) healthy ones. On the other side of the coin, it’s not as though vegetarians and vegans can’t get enough calories in a fast-food-obsessed society like our own. This woman is calling us ignorant? Give me a break.

    • Dixie

      I eat meat & a high-fat diet due to a genetic problem. Without high fat/protein, I have seizures. I have tried, with great focus, to be vegetarian. Became very ill each of 5 times. Lived in a vegetarian commune. Found I am allergic to tofu & many beans (terrible bloating, digestive disorders). Also allergic to peanuts (throat closes up). So fewer options than many people. Have thyroid disease so much limit intake of all cruciferous veggies. I do not drink soda pop. I sleep well (8-9 hours/night). I walk 20 – 30 min. daily or work out with an exercise video. Read a lot. Have done many volunteer “good works.” In college, I worked on an organic Mennonite farm & took care of goats (grown for milk, not meat). Learned a lot from those kind people. I hate eating meat but hate seizures worse.

  • Sugar Shane

    There’s nothing wrong with killing animals and eating them. But the meat can only be good for you if it is preservative/chemical free and the animals are fed their natural diet.

  • Andrew Ward

    The first thing that makes me dislike you is that you’re seeking to change your wife’s diet, what happened to respecting your partners choices?

  • Layne Pennell

    I’m shocked that Andrew Ward can dislike a person based on a couple of hundred written words.

  • Maria

    There are plenty of health reasons to start eating meat again. I was a conscientious vegetarian for 12 years, then went on a balanced weight-loss diet that included eating small portions of meat 3 to 5 times a day.

    That’s when I realized how vegetarian-related health problems crept up on me over time without my being able to connect them with my diet. As a vegetarian, I had been so drowsy that I was narcoleptic, my hair and nails were brittle, and hair falling out. Now that I’m eating meat again, I’ve gotten my energy back, and my hair’s even growing back.

  • Maria

    The other thing I’ve noticed since I’ve started eating meat again is how dogmatic and self-righteous vegetarians/vegans are about their food choice. It’s like a cult. I cringe thinking back to how I must’ve sounded to my friends and family when I chose to eat that way.

  • Day 1 Vegan

    I became Vegan today. After just one day of educating myself about the connection meat and dairy have to heart disease and cancer and how our food is prepared. It was originally my intention to still include a small amount of organic meat and dairy in my diet, until I was exposed to farming practices and slaughter house processes, let alone the environmental impact of large scale farming worldwide. I can’t unlearn what I’ve seen. I will never in my life again put a meat product in my mouth. I’m not doing raw food, but I’m also not eating ANY processed foods. I recommend Forks Over Knives and the Engine 2 Diet to anyone who isn’t sure if what they are doing is healthy. There are too many myths out there, most of which are propagated by the people who profit from the farming industry.

    • Lucky Joestar

      Not all meat comes from CAFOs. There are plenty of meats from freely grazing cattle.

  • youjustturnedmepaleo

    Re factcheck
    Thanks for all the info. You made up my mind to give Paleo a try.

  • youjustturnedmepaleo

    Strange how you hear of pleny of ex vegetarins feeling much better after going paleo but dont hear any saying how great they felt after going from paleo to veg/vegan. And i dont mean going from normal diet to vegetarian (anyone would feel better) i mean paleo to vegetarian.

  • TheChinaStudy…

    What is easy to miss (whatever your views on ancient human diets and I’ve not read the evidence myself but assume it to be perhaps similar to native American plains diets or rural Asian diets) is….what is the actual hard, recent scientific evidence on diet on a mass scale? I think the only relevant large scale study is The China Study by Dr(s) Campbell. This is the only large nutrition study that correlated near vegan (rural Chinese diets) to the incidence of disease (cancer and heart disease). The problem with western studies (like Harvard and nurses health, womens heath) is they compare high animal protein diets (vegetarian or carnivore) with…wait for it….high animal protein diets….something wrong here! whilst changing one or two variables, say fat intake, a certain nutrient. Needless to say if the animal protein is the problem these western studies are not going to pick up any issues statistically. The China Study found, very very reliably, that animal protein intake (dairy and meat) correlates with higher heart disease and cancer. By the way I am a middle of the road carnivore but I am going to change now I am aware of the actual science.

    • Paleo Huntress


      Are you familiar with any of Denise Minger’s work discussing The China Study? (Which wasn’t a study, BTW, but a book. As such, it is not subject to peer-review, which is the cornerstone in the determination of scientific validity and an extremely important piece of the scientific method).

      If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading Minger’s review of The China Study. I won’t claim that it’s the end-all or be-all of vegetarian debunking, but whether you agree with her analysis or not, you’ll have a much more comprehensive understanding of what the data cited in the book actually indicated rather than just Campbell’s interpretation of it.

      Ms. Minger also links to Campbell’s rebuttal, then to her counter to that rebuttal again. When you mention her analysis in vegan circles you invariably get someone throwing down Campbell’s counter-argument as if her analysis was “smacked down” and that’s the end of it. It just isn’t. There is a more in-depth analysis too for those who are more science-savvy and understand the methodology and language. Nothing is hidden. She displays links to all counter-arguments for anyone to review and decide for themselves. And I hope that you will, regardless of what that decision is.

      As for you being a “middle of the road carnivore”, unless your diet is plant-free you are an omnivore, like most people in the world. The standard American diet is not meat-based, it gets 2/3 to 3/4 of its calories from plants– making it plant based in the true sense of the term, rather than the definition given by those who highjacked the term for their own purposes.

      Campbell’s own data, meaning the studies he actually carried out himself, showed nothing at all about actual meat. ALL of his data was collected using isolated casein to represent animal protein and he never once fed meat to any of the subjects in his trials. And what you probably don’t realize is that he doesn’t demonize animal protein over plant protein, in fact, he found plant protein was much more highly correlated with disease than animal. Instead, he says that it is protein in GENERAL that he believes causes disease, and he chooses a vegetarian diet because it is naturally low in protein. He is against the use of ALL protein supplements, even plant-protein supplements used by vegan athletes to improve the rates of muscle repair and performance.

      You may also be shocked to know that since his data on the diets in different regions of China is observational, and because he observed that wheat consumption correlated with disease at a rate of 4 times that of meat, that his conclusions that meat was responsible for disease can’t be supported by the data he collected. And interestingly, the regions in China that eat the most meat, also eat the most wheat, making it impossible to know which factor is responsible for the disease.

      I leave with these 2 studies that conflict with your beliefs about Campbell’s data and about the healthfulness of “plant-based” diets.

      The first study doesn’t look at vegans specifically, but researchers tracked nutrient intakes and found that the vegetarian group consumed significantly less protein, saturated fat and cholesterol than the omni group, meaning that if your hypothesis is correct, they should should have better health than the omnivores, even if it could potentially be better still if they went vegan.

      The second study is a cohort comparing metabolic features in over 10,000 vegans, pescovegetarians, lactovegetarians and nonvegetarians over the course of ten years.

      Vascular Dysfunction in Chinese Vegetarians: An Apparent Paradox?

      “The nutrient intakes of vegetarians and omnivore control subjects were comparable, except that vegetarians had significantly lower intake of protein, saturated fatty acids, and cholesterol.”

      “This study showed that vegetarians had greater carotid intima-media thickening and less effective endothelial function than the age- and gender-matched omnivore control subjects, raising concern, for the first time, about the vascular health of vegetarians.

      The mean blood pressures and serum creatinine of this group of Chinese vegetarians were significantly higher than those of control subjects.”

      Vegetarians had significantly lower plasma vitamin B12 and higher homocysteine concentrations, which might also be associated with greater carotid IMT and decreased brachial artery FMD. This suggests that vitamin B12 deficiency in vegetarians might have adverse effects on their vascular health.”

      “In summary, contrary to common belief, vegetarians, at least in the Chinese, might have accelerated atherosclerosis and abnormal arterial endothelial function, compared with omnivore control subjects. The increased risk could only be partially explained by their higher blood pressure, triglyceride, homocysteine, and lower vitamin B12 concentrations.”

      Veganism Does Not Reduce the Risk of the Metabolic Syndrome in a Taiwanese Cohort

      “[T]he vegan diets did not decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome compared with pescovegetarian, lactovegetarian and nonvegetarian diets in a Taiwanese cohort.