Lions eat meat, so we should too

Picking one animal at random and then comparing ourselves to them is not science! We might just as well argue that elephants are herbivorous, so we should be too.

Lions evolved to eat meat—they have the claws, teeth, bloodlust, speed, and a digestive system that allows them to catch and kill prey, and to thrive on the raw flesh. They do not push a cart around Walmart and pick up butchered, flavored, and plastic-wrapped pieces of animals to take home and put on the grill.

How many of us have the desire or motivation to harm an animal with our bare hands? And if we look at those hands, it’s clear that neither our “claws” nor our “fangs” are up to the task. Our hands are perfect for picking fruits from trees, but not so good at slashing at flesh. Our teeth are perfect for grinding down fibrous matter but not really sharp enough to tear muscle from bone. Even if we could somehow muster the bloodlust and had the right biological equipment, how would we catch our prey? Not many of our fellow humans would be fast enough to keep up with a gazelle or strong enough to bring one to the ground. No, we are most definitely not lions.

As for our guts, if you were able to stretch them out, you would see that ours are long like a rabbit’s, which allows us to digest all the lovely fibrous vegetable matter we eat. A lion’s intestines are short because they must digest the meat quickly before it putrefies in their digestive tract and kills them. Have you ever wondered why it’s animal products that are so often associated with fatal food poisoning in people?

So, of course, lions, and tigers eat meat—they’re carnivores! At best, we can tolerate a little bit of meat in our diets, but our bodies thank us when we eat plant-based foods, and reward us with a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and some cancers.

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