Book Excerpts & Recommendations, Health

Aren’t Our Bodies Designed to Eat Meat?








This is an extract from our latest book, Say No to Meat, by Amanda Strombom and Stewart Rose.  For more information about the book, or to purchase online, see

Aren’t our bodies designed to eat meat?

Just ask yourself this question: Can you or anyone you know run out into a field, chase down a cow, and with nothing but your teeth and your fingernails, kill it, cut through its hide, and eat its meat raw? Do you know anyone who can even chase down a squirrel? Now ask yourself this question: Do you know anybody who can’t pull a carrot out of the ground or an apple off a tree? The only way we can eat meat is because we have developed tools and weapons to do for us what our bodies could never do on their own. While we can use our brains to obtain all kinds of unnatural food, our health is best when we follow a more natural diet.

            Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what William Clifford Roberts, MD, editor in chief of the American Journal of Cardiology has to say: “Although we think we are one, and we act as if we are one, human beings are not natural carnivores. When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.” The fact is that the human being is designed to be an herbivore (a plant-eater), but many people think that we are omnivores (creatures that can eat animal or plant foods).

            It may take some time to get used to the idea of humans being natural herbivores, but if you compare our anatomy and physiology to those of carnivores (meat-eating animals), such as cats, and to omnivores, such as dogs or bears, you’ll see that we are quite different. Our back teeth are flatter for grinding, our front teeth are small for nibbling, our finger nails are more like hooves than claws, and our intestines are ten to twelve times our body length, just like many other herbivores such as gorillas, elephants, horses, and sheep. True carnivores and omnivores all have intestines that are only four to six times their body length, quite different from ours. Take a look at the chart above for comparison.

Just to make sure, medical researchers conducted an experiment where they fed meat to different animals. Despite being given huge amounts of meat, dogs and cats never got clogged arteries. But when an herbivore such as a rabbit was given meat regularly, it started to develop clogged arteries in a very short time. By comparing our bodies to those of carnivores and omnivores, and by observing the effect meat has on our bodies, we can see that we were not designed to eat meat.




About Vegetarians of Washington

Vegetarians of Washington is a large non-profit vegetarian society based in Seattle, WA. We encourage people to discover the advantages and experience the pleasures of vegetarian food. We welcome everyone, whether you're an experienced vegetarian, a beginner or just curious. You don't have to be a vegetarian to join our organization, or to follow our blog! We run the largest vegetarian food festival in the country, Seattle's Vegfest, held in the Seattle Center in March each year. We also host monthly dining events and give free nutrition and cooking classes. We've written several nationally published books, including our latest book "In Pursuit of Great Food: A Plant-based shopping guide", which provides valuable information on what to buy and how to choose great food. Our other books include "Say No to Meat" which gives the information and real-world advice that new vegetarians need the most, in an easy question-and-answer style, the fact-filled "The Vegetarian Solution", and a wide range of delicious recipes in "The Veg-Feasting Cookbook". All our books are available in local bookstores, and via our website or


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