Note: I’ve decided to release this piece as a single post. It’s not a short piece by any means, and clocks in at over 3,500 words. So don’t feel like you need to read it in one sitting. Hopefully, it will go down like a nice evening meal, but may take a little wine to digest. 😉 There’s a lot to discuss here, and the answers as to the best diet for optimal health are not always simple. I’m not a doctor, I’m just a man with a great deal of experience in the world of health and fitness. And one thing I’m convinced of: There IS a war on meat, and that war is actually a war on MEN. Happy reading.—P.R.
In a telltale sign of the times, Reuters recently reported that Beyond Meat Inc, a maker of plant-based burgers and sausages, said it expects to more than double its revenue, helping to send its shares up over 21 percent.
This is just the latest sign that the decades-long war on meat—particularly red meat—is only intensifying.
The average person has been convinced—by an onslaught of free vegan advertising via the media, high-profile entertainers and sports figures, academia, and others—that eating meat is evil and suicidal, and that eating vegan is not only the “ethical” choice, but downright healthy to boot.
The radical vegan organization, PETA, has been clamoring for a “meat tax” for some time, and quotes the United Nations as stressing that “a global shift toward vegan eating is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.”
Uh… okay… Understand that “combating climate change” is a fig leaf attempting to hide a great many attacks on freedom.
Meanwhile, we constantly hear about “low T,” (also known as “Andropause” (yuck!), and the commercials from men’s clinics who promise to fix it. Is it a coincidence that male testosterone is falling while the demand for meatless products is rising?
I think about the way my dad and his friends used to eat—lobster, steak, lima beans, potatoes, buttermilk, and “adult beverages.” In other words, “real food” as many of us would say. They also had masculine jobs—my dad was a plumber, his friends were firemen, trashmen (not “sanitation engineers”), cops, electricians, and so on.
A man would never be a nurse, for instance, in my father’s day. I’m not trying to offend male nurses. It’s just that being a nurse means being an assistant to a doctor. Men were more inclined to LEAD back in the day, and not be interested in following, or playing traditional women’s roles.
And no, I can’t imagine my dad eating a “Beyond Meat” burger…
Red Meat is Old School
Red meat is something that old school bodybuilders used to eat in abundance. One of the greatest—Vince Gironda—actually created an incredibly simple eating plan called the steak and eggs diet. Now we’re told how bad red meat is, often by people whose motives I question.
Red meat contains large doses of heme iron (reportedly quite usable by the body) and a good amount of Vitamin B12, as well as Vitamin B6, creatine, zinc, selenium, phosphorous, niacin, arachidonic acid (AA), which leads to the production of testosterone, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), creatine, and taurine.
And there’s this—red meat is the highest source of L Carnitine, which has numerous benefits for the body.
Can eating meat be problematic? The potential negative side of beef (pun definitely not intended!) can be due to the way it’s cooked (charred, for instance) or its source (grain-fed, hormone-injected vs grass-fed, natural, etc.).
Or eating too much of it. Overdoing anything can cause problems.
Many of those who are against the eating of red meat and other animal products aren’t interested in sorting out these details. They just want to demonize beef—period.
Red Meat, Red Wine, Heart Disease
Does the eating of meat increase the risk of heart disease? It’s a fair question, and many studies suggest that it does, but the evidence is inconclusive.
But there’s something else I’ve long pondered that I believe is the answer to part of the meat puzzle: I can certainly see a potential problem with excess fat in the system from fatty red meat. But the drinking of red wine with the meat has been found to reduce cholesterol buildup.
This is just common sense if you consider the way in which the alcohol and acidic nature of wine help to digest the meat. People—particularly men—have been using this combination successfully for thousands of years. Because it works.
In fact, I’d go so far as to suggest that red meat and red wine are really almost like one food! They are a combination that when put together are greater than the sum of their parts. People have been ingesting them separately with inferior results!
Think about wine by itself. I notice the effects of it right away. But when you drink it with a meal such as meat, the food soaks up the wine and lessens its effect on your mental state.
Of course, some people want a buzz, or to get drunk, but that’s not really the purpose of wine (sorry to burst your bubble!). Wine is a MEDICINE! It tastes like a medicine. So does olive oil, which is also a medicine! And the effectiveness of medicine is all about DOSE! Proper dosage is everything!
Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.Hippocrates
There are many health benefits to red wine, and one that isn’t talked about much, is how it can keep gut bacteria under control. I believe if people used red wine more strategically—as a medicine, with an appropriate dose—we wouldn’t have all the leaky gut and other related issues we see. I also believe we also wouldn’t need as many probiotics to keep the gut flora under control.
And not surprisingly, alcohol use is under attack by the World Health Organization. Alcohol is not evil! It is a tool. And as I said, depending on dose, it can be used for good or ill.
Two more points on alcohol—personally, I’ve always believed its greatest use is to break down meat. For vegans who are eating “clean,” it is likely not as important, as vegetation is not as dense and therefore hard to break down as meat.
Point number two: This shouldn’t have to be said, but in this day and age it can’t hurt to say it: If you don’t do well with alcohol—and there can be many reasons for this—then don’t drink it. I am just discussing what I believe to be optimal for a person in generally good health. Particularly someone who eats meat.
Demonizing Red Meat
So let’s discuss why someone would want to demonize red meat.
It doesn’t make sense. Or does it?
If you think that the goal of good nutrition is to make one stronger and healthier, you’d want to eat that which brings you closer to your goals. Typically that involves at least some amount of animal foods.
But what if you thought that strong men are actually a PROBLEM? And the stronger they are, the more likely they are to exhibit “toxic masculinity”?
For an easy-to understand analogy, think of what has been done to perfectly healthy boys in classrooms across America and around the world—boys who are a bit too energetic for their adult overseers. They are often diagnosed with ADHD and given medication to control them.
Per the Centers for Disease Control, boys are three times more likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis than girls.
The same thing is being done to men, only in a more subtle form so that men won’t catch on.
If society can convince men that eating meat, eggs, dairy and other animal foods with saturated fat (the eating of which leads to higher testosterone which means more energy, more potential for aggression—oh no!—and otherwise “bad” male behavior) is a bad thing, then society can CONTROL men with much more ease. It’s really that simple.
Remember the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Jack Nicholson? Nurse Ratchet had the men she hated lobotomized to make them controllable. That’s exactly what the anti-meat police are trying to do to men in America and worldwide. If you’ve a man and have ever gone on a green juice cleanse for a couple weeks or more, you know what I mean about starting to feel like you’ve been lobotomized!
Low-Fat to… Veganism
Back in the day, it was a given that men loved to eat red meat, eggs, potatoes, and other testosterone enhancing foods. That all began to change with the advent of the low-fat craze, starting with the March, 1984 cover of Time magazine.
Low-fat has been shown to cause lowered testosterone. And men need testosterone. I personally believe one can get carried away with fat too. It’s all about dose! When I eat too much fat, I get fat! I don’t care what anybody says. But we certainly need some.
A higher fat diet which has stood the test of time is the Mediterranean Diet. It utilizes fat from fish, olives, nuts, and cheese, which many consider “good” fats. And red wine is an integral part of the diet too.
Once the low-fat philosophy was accepted, it was easy to accept that we needed to cut down on our meat consumption, particularly red meat.
And after low-fat, then low-meat, came the rise of veganism. It was (and still is) promoted by what seems like just about every celebrity or “influencer” out there. You know when celebrities are promoting something, it’s almost always wrong. Just sayin’.
Studies have consistently shown that men’s levels of testosterone are much lower now than in previous generations. What is accounting for that? The answers are rarely presented in a clear-cut manner.
Just so you understand, I’m not against vegans or even veganism, as it apparently works for some people. I have actually gone out of my way to try to make it work for me. Why? Because I’m attracted to its simplicity, cleanliness, low cost (some vegan foods), some potential health benefits, and yes, I’d prefer to not to have animals killed for me (or kill them myself) to get my nutrients.
But my system just feels somewhat suppressed when I eat vegan. That’s the only way I can describe it. My mental clarity, mood, energy, and aggressiveness (there’s that word!) are just not up to par. I feel a bit listless.
One problem with veganism is that you have to make sure to eat certain foods or risk deficiencies such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, iron, calcium and omega 3. These can all be overcome, but it does take some attention to detail.
One of the ways to ensure abundant nutrients through veganism is through sprouting, which I believe is one of the most under-utilized food preparation methods available. But I’m not personally into the taste of most sprouts, except for alfalfa.
Wild greens are another great way to up your vegan nutrient content. Almost anyone with reasonable access to natural greenery (if undisturbed by chemicals and other pollutants), with some instruction and intelligence, can find edible wild foods. These foods are almost always far more nutritious than what you can buy in a supermarket.
If I HAD to eat vegan, I believe I could pull it off in good health. I’ve experimented with using the sun to cover my Vitamin D needs (at least during the warmer months), and leaving a little soil on veggies to hopefully cover my B12 needs (I’m not into injections or pills, and I had a horrible reaction in my head to nutritional yeast—one of the few vegan sources of B12—when I tried it). But I’m not interested at the moment in actually attempting to eat this way, so why do it?
I know there are conscientious and intelligent vegans whom I have no doubt are quite healthy. For instance, here’s one raw vegan who looks fantastic at his age, and who gives what I believe is sound advice—at least regarding raw vegan eating. But it’s fair to say that the average vegan is weaker than the average meat, eggs, and milk products eater.
If you’re a believer in the classic stories found in the Good Book, then this story of vegan beginnings and the introduction of meat eating goes back to the the book of Genesis, and the Garden. In this pristine environment, the vitamins and nutrients in the soils undoubtedly brought out the best in the vegetation.
And I have seen examples of incredibly rich soil, even today, such as I recently wrote about when watching The Biggest Little Farm Movie.
In addition, perhaps not having to “work by the sweat of thy brow” allowed Adam and Eve to get by without needing the concentrated nutrients found in animals.
But once God kicked them out of the Garden, and particularly after the Flood, all bets were off, and mankind had to scramble for its sustenance. And God sanctioned this, because he made man in His image, and made them higher than the animals.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.Genesis 1:26 KJV
It has been historically understood (until quite recently) that mankind is above the animals. We are not equal to the animals as many radical vegans claim, and we are “permitted” to eat them.
God’s son, Jesus, believes the same. The “Apple” doesn’t fall fall from the “Tree,” right?
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.Matthew 10:31 KJV
The Biblical view has been an underlying basis for allowing the eating meat for thousands of years. But the rise in atheism and Biblical illiteracy today has helped give rise to a new “religion”—veganism.
In the modern hustle and bustle world, could the eating of all organic produce be enough to satisfy the nutritional needs of mankind (or “peoplekind”—as Justin Trudeau would say)?
Or perhaps not. At least those who aren’t conscientious. Read this post about the missing nutrients in the average vegan diet.
This article was written Georgia Ede MD. In the “comments” section, she is pummeled by vegans via their weapon of choice, a ton of CAPS! Check out some of her other works on the positive effects of animal products, including the carnivore (all meat) diet, which I will discuss a bit later in this post.
Every Body Needs…
I have noticed mostly positive changes in my health since adding in more animal foods. One of these foods is good ole (or evil ole—depending on your perspective) full-fat cow milk.
I had essentially dropped milk products (milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, kefir) for several years due to skin breakouts. But in the meantime, my teeth have given me problems. I lost one and almost lost another, before doing the research and making the necessary changes.
I needed to up my calcium, phosphorous, Vitamin K and other nutrients. It can be done with vegan foods, I believe, it just takes more attention to detail, as I say. Eating (or drinking in the form of smoothies) more greens always helps.
Attempting to get around eating milk products, I even tried tofu, which has abundant calcium, but potentially some negative hormone issues for men. Eating the tofu did help my teeth. But to improve overall well being, I ended up drifting back to milk products, and have not regretted it. I still have some skin issues with milk products, but I mitigate them by keeping my intake reasonably low.
My problem with full-fat milk is it puts a “full fat” belly on me! Though I appreciate it’s tooth enamel-rebuilding capabilities, to get rid of my milk belly, I’ll either have to switch to low-fat milk, or just stick to cheese products, which have less sugar than milk anyway, and therefore a better health bet for anyone with sugar issues.
The health impact of milk is not unlike meat, in that how it is prepared can have a great deal to do with how healthy it is. For instance, raw milk from grazing, grass-fed cows is a different “animal” (yes, some pun intended on that one!) than homogenized, pasteurized, hormone-laden, grain-fed milk. Most natural health enthusiasts would tell you that raw milk is a much healthier product. But in today’s America, it’s not even legal to drink in many states! Oh, freedom!
So you can’t compare raw milk and highly-processed milk if you’re having an honest discussion about the nutritional value of milk. And you better believe that raw milk was quite popular with bodybuilders and physical culturalists of old.
I also supplement now with cod liver oil, which also helps my teeth.
I’m beginning to sleep better, for the first time in years, and my energy, mood, and mental clarity are also improving. I attribute this to the increase in milk products, as well as adding other forms of animal protein and fat into my diet (but only to a point, remember?!).
Are A Lot of Vegans Irrational?
Ironically, radical vegans have made it harder for the average person to be content with a vegan diet. Too many vegans are angry, irrational people. The kind that you have to protect yourself from—partially by eating animal products to keep yourself fit and strong!
Now which came first, the chicken or the egg? (no pun intended on this one!). Are they angry and irrational because they’re not eating meat, or are they the kind of people who live off of judging others as being morally inferior? Maybe there’s some truth in both.
Notice that the same people who hate men (angry women and weak males) are often at the forefront of the anti-meat movement. That can’t be a coincidence.
Many are also incredibly inconsistent. They’re attempting to take away the right of other adults to eat meat by using “moral” arguments. Yet typically they themselves demand, for instance, the “right” to kill unborn children!
So it’s not okay to kill animals to nourish our bodies and minds, but it IS okay to kill unborn children for convenience? Please!
The Carnivore Backlash
All extreme movements, such as radical veganism, develop backlashes against them, and the carnivore diet is the most obvious yang to veganism’s yin.
One man claimed that he and his family ate nothing but meat for nearly twenty years. He went public a few years ago and was attacked mercilessly. The man felt a need to hide from the public eye to protect his family.
What is so threatening about what this man said? I’ll tell you—the fact that others would follow his example.
We live in an upside-down society, where foods that make men weak are promoted, and those that make them strong are discouraged.
It is time we reject this insanity, and begin to embrace the best aspects of the traditions that have survived thousands of years of use. Red meat, eggs, and dairy products—builders of testosterone in men— are part of these lasting traditions. We must demand unfettered access to the fuel that keeps us smart and strong.
It’s been said that “meat is murder.” I would counter by saying that LACK of meat may be slow suicide.
Do an Internet search, and you’ll be shocked at the amount of pro-vegan propaganda and activism being waged with the sole intent to reduce the consumption of, and eventually eliminate the eating of beef. This is being pushed using both health and environmental arguments. Sadly, there seems to be almost no organized momentum to STOP this radical tide.
If we don’t wake up quickly, we will find that we will have been voted out of our rights by an active minority hell-bent on taking them. So please—get informed, get vocal, and get active, unless you plan on living like a modern-day serf.
A good starting place to educate yourself about the value of traditional foods is The Weston A. Price Foundation.
It’s time for men to act like men again, and part of acting like a man is EATING like a man. That may not necessarily involve eating red meat and other animal products, but it at least means that if you’re going to eat vegan, do your homework, and have a plan to guard against the most likely deficiencies.
Please don’t fall for anyone’s propaganda. The most powerful thing to do is your own research. Through experimentation, you’ll soon enough know which foods work well for you and which don’t. Do what is necessary to get or remain strong in body, mind, and spirit. If that involves eating meat—even red meat—and other animal products, then do what you must, and to hell with the “moral” arguments of radical vegans.
It is time to act in our self-interest, and to stop appeasing those who all too often do not have our best interests in mind.
Patrick Rooney is the Founder of OldSchoolUs.com, a website that believes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Its focus is Health, Success, and Freedom—yeah, in that order. Patrick is the author of GREEK PHYSIQUE: The Simple, Satisfying Way to Sculpt Your Body—Even if You’re Old, Weak, or Broken Down; and is also the creator of Greek Yoga™ and the Greek Yoga for Beginners video. To reach Patrick, email him at [email protected].