Your Brain is Shrinking! (hopefully not as a result of reading this…)

12 Jun

Lions eat meat.

A fact that very few logical people would contest. For hundreds of thousands if not millions of years ( My Young Earth Creationist friends stay with me!), lions and their predecessors evolved to thrive on a diet consisting solely of meat. If you were to feed a lion a vegetarian diet would you expect it to retain its health and vigor? Probably not. And he would probably be angry enough to eat off your face.

Most logical people would agree with this line of thought. Now… substitute lion for human. What happens then?

“Humans don’t live solely off of meat, silly! They run on low-fat bran muffins and tofurkey burgers!”

Um. No. Sorry.

When you remove the “beautiful and unique snowflake” equation (ala Tyler Durden) from humanity, are we not just another animal? Albeit highly evolved and extremely intelligent. Does our intelligence somehow make us immune to biology? To the ill effects of a complete dietary 180?

Let me paint you a brief picture of human history. Close your eyes and relax as we go back 1.9 million years. Wait…open your eyes, you will need them open to continue… unless reading this has caused you to scourge them from your head. In that case, close the laptop and seek immediate medical attention.

Try to imagine what life might have been like for you as one of our earliest human ancestors…

You’ve just found out about this really awesome invention called fire. You can use it to scare off predators, cook meals and tons of other cool stuff (like set stuff on fire. duh). It’s so much more useful that four-sided thing they call “the wheel”. Agriculture won’t exist for another 1,890,000 years give or take ( sorry no bran muffins) so you and your immediate family work together as a tribe of hunter gatherers. Women would nurse/ care for younger children while gathering wild edibles. Men and older male children would partake in hunting large and small game and supplement by gathering wild vittles as they tracked animals.

The average daily calorie expenditure for a hunter gatherer is somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000-3,600 calories a day. That’s a lot of treadmill time! Chances are ( Vegans cover your ears!) you would be eating A LOT of meat and fat. The amount of food you would have to pound away in order to acquire 3,600 calories from vegetation alone is just staggering. Uncooked legumes (beans) have made you massively ill on more than one occasion so you do not eat them ( sorry no tofu)! It’s safe to say that the lion’s share (pun intended) of calories came from proteins and fats  while carbohydrate intake would remain relatively low. Don’t get me wrong. Lots of vegetables were consumed and they were a critical part of our development but depending on what part of the world you live in, you may not eat significant amounts of vegetables for months at a time ( winter) or hardly ever (Inuits). Nuts, seeds and fruits were eaten when in season but once again availability depends on your distance from the equator.

This was the human diet for nearly 2 million years. Meat, eggs, fish, nuts and seeds, tubers, and seasonal fruit.

“Yeah, but how do we REALLY know? I mean, it’s not like there are cavemen walking around that we can ask.”

Not cavemen per say but there are still a few ancestral societies in existence today that have been going about business as usual for the last couple hundred millenia. These are robust, active people who enjoy vibrant health well into their 60’s and 70’s (with NO modern medicine, vaccines, routine checkups, etc.). Diabetes, Cancer, and Heart Disease is virtually non-existent. Perhaps even more compelling is the isotope analysis of Paleolithic human bones revealing…. you guessed it. Lots of meat ( you are indeed what you eat).

Fast forward 1,980,000 years to the advent of agriculture. Humans figured out they could cultivate cereal grains and other crops and produce ample amounts of food. Everyone lived happily ever after.

Not quite.

The grain based diet paled in comparison to the nutrient dense, hunter gatherer diet that our bodies evolved to depend on. Did you know that Dr. Temperance Brennan can determine whether or not a skull belongs to a modern human that lived pre-agriculture or post-agriculture within seconds of examining it? After the advent of agriculture, humans became smaller and weaker, unable to fight of infections and diseases as well as our more robust paleolithic ancestors. Disease grew rampant and infant mortality rates skyrocketed. Even the human brain has steadily decreased since the dawn of agriculture.

Lions eat meat. A fact that few logical people would contest.

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3 Responses to “Your Brain is Shrinking! (hopefully not as a result of reading this…)”

  1. Michael L. June 12, 2012 at 4:48 am #

    You should do this professionally.

  2. thecoreyackerman June 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Haha! Thanks Mike! That would require someone dumb enough to pay me. I’m just hoping that social services doesn’t show up to take the kids and throw my ass in the psych ward. You probably should not encourage this behavior.

  3. Missy June 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Lol…love the humor bits! Another great one! As the girls say….”I’m so glad we’re cavemen.”

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