This is a new version of my Nutrition 101 post which I wrote a couple of months back. My views on nutrition are always evolving, and from time to time I try to write them down, as this helps me focus. I first thought about naming the post “Nutrition 102” but then I realized that I really want this to communicate how strongly I feel that meat is the basis of our diet, so I chose a variation of Michael Pollan’s classic phrase “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”. I have a lot of respect for Michael, and his recommendation is technically in line with the axioms I post here, but I do think that putting it on its head is better for most people, as strange as it sounds. Of course we both agree on minimizing ultra-processed food products (that’s what he means by “Eat FOOD”), so there is some overlap.
When looking at everything we know about human nutrition without the plant-based bias, we see that animal foods are the proper base for the human diet, and plant foods can only be seen as supplemental at best, if not detrimental. In what can only be described as the biggest scam in modern times, plant-based ideology has made us believe that plants are healthy and animal foods are not, when actually the reverse is correct. This is self-evident when looking at several lines of evidence, including evolutionary history, comparative anatomy and metabolism as well as the historical record of the religiously motivated plant-based movement. I think it is obvious that humans can thrive on a diet of infrequent, big meals of mostly meat. It may be entirely possible for many to also thrive on diets containing more plant foods and/or carbohydrate, but there are good arguments to think that the meat-based approach, if done properly, could be easier, healthier and also more beneficial for all the animals as well as the environment.
I am driven by evidence. I’ve always been a science geek. I’m a big fan of Richard Feynman, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and many other scientists who all have one thing in common: They promote(d) the scientific method. Unfortunately in the field of nutrition, and also to a significant degree in medicine, the scientific method is often not applicable. At its core the scientific method relies on experiments which can be conducted in principle by anybody, and which will either be compatible with a given hypothesis or contradict it. This is how scientific theories emerge: Someone formulates a hypothesis, this hypothesis makes a certain prediction, various experiments are conducted, and hopefully none of the experiments contradict the hypothesis, instead all confirm the prediction made. As time goes on, more experiments are done, and the longer the hypothesis survives uncontradicted, the higher our confidence in its validity.
In nutrition it is very hard to do the experiments which would be needed to establish hypotheses like “saturated fat clogs arteries”, “sugar causes diabetes”, “meat causes cancer”, “too much salt is bad for you” and so on. Such statements are usually agreed upon by committees, based on weak statistical data from epidemiological studies combined with mechanistical randomized controlled trials which focus on isolated parts of the supposed phenomenon, looking at surrogate endpoints rather than the actual ones. For example, for “saturated fat clogs arteries” rather than setting up a proper experiment where we give one random group of people more saturated fat over decades, and another one less, nutritional “scientists” will just rely on big heaps of statistical data gathered from food questionnaires and death certificates (real endpoints, but not a proper experiment) and mouse studies looking at markers like LDL cholesterol which in turn is only linked to the actual outcome (cardiovascular disease) through weak epidemiology.
Here’s what Richard Feynman himself said about nutritional science on a BBC programme in the 1980s:
“Because of the success of science there is a kind of a…I think a kind of pseudoscience, social science is an example of a science which is not a science. They don’t do scientific…they follow the forms…you gather data, you do so and so and so forth but they don’t get any laws, they haven’t found anything, they haven’t got anywhere yet, maybe someday they will but it’s not very well developed, but what happens is…even on a more mundane level we get experts on everything. They sound like a sort of scientific experts. They are not scientists. They sit at the typewriter and make up something like: “food grown with fertilizer that’s organic is better for you than food that’s grown with fertilizer that’s inorganic”. Maybe true but it hasn’t been demonstrated one way or the other but they sit there on the typewriter and make up all that stuff as if its science and then become experts on food, organic foods and so on. There is all kind of myths and pseudoscience all over the place. Now’ I might be quite wrong, maybe they do know all these things but I don’t think I’m wrong. You see, I have the advantage of having found out how hard it is to know something, how careful you have to be about checking the experiments, how easy it is to make mistakes and fool yourself. I know what it means to know something and therefore I can’t…I see how they get their information and I can’t believe that they know it. They haven’t done the work necessary, haven’t done the checks necessary, haven’t done the care necessary. I have a great suspicion that they don’t know that this stuff is…and they are intimidating people by it. I think so. I don’t know the world very well…that’s what I think”Richard Feynman
The point is that since the science of nutrition is in such a horrible state, I have decided to find a line of argumentation which works without long lists of referenced studies. That would just be a case of cherry-picking anyway. Instead I will formulate a list of observations about human nutrition, followed by some axioms that I feel comfortable basing my dietary decisions on.
Of course my observations and axioms still need to be compatible with robust study findings, which to my knowledge they are. They should also be consistent with what we know from evolutionary biology, archeology, anthropology, biology, anatomy and so forth.
Observation: Animal foods are nutritionally complete.
There are many nutrients humans need to thrive. Most people focus only on vitamins and minerals, but there is a longer list of nutrients we call “essential”, which includes vitamins, minerals, some amino acids and some fatty acids. But even that is not the whole picture. As it turns out, many other nutrients are what we call “conditionally essential”, meaning that depending on what is happening in the body (exercise, pregnancy, breast-feeding, sickness) and how much of the essential nutrients we eat, other nutrients which our body can in principle make from the essential nutrients may temporarily become essential, because we need more than we can make. Examples for this would be many of the non-essential amino acids and compounds like carnitine, carnosine and creatine.
With all of that said, one key point is that none of these vital nutrients are only found in plants (in fact some are only found in animal foods), meaning that except for rare medical conditions there is never, ever a need to eat plant foods in order to achieve optimal nutrition. This should be a huge surprise for many people, since the common assumption is that plants are healthy, and meat is bad. This is simply not true.
There are of course many chemical compounds that are only found in plants and which some nutritionists claim are beneficial for us, most notably anti-oxidants and polyphenols. But that is simply not true, or to put it differently: That claim has never been robustly demonstrated to be correct.
One interesting nutrient is vitamin B12. It is only made by bacteria, and humans need to eat it. Animal foods contain trace amounts, which is sufficient for us as long as we eat enough of them. No plant foods contain B12.
Observation: Plant foods are nutritionaLlY deficient.
As we have seen, there is one nutrient which plants do not contain at all: vitamin B12. Is that all that plants lack? No, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Of course there are all the conditionally essential nutrients like carnosine, which are only found in animal foods. Then we have the issue of bioavailability. Although plants contain plenty of essential trace elements like potassium, calcium, iron and zink, they also contain compounds which prevent our digestive system from absorbing them. This is because the goal of plants, with the exception of fruit to some extent, is to not be eaten. Spinach is a good example. It used to be recommended because it contains a lot of iron. Today we know that most iron in plant foods is poorly absorbed, compared to heme-iron, which is the typical form of iron found in animal foods.
The other big problem is that when it comes to vitamins, not only do plants contain less of the B-vitamins, they also contain practically none of the fat-soluable vitamins. For some of those vitamins there are precursors in certain plant foods which we can convert to the actual vitamins, the most well-known of which is beta-carotene, which we can convert to vitamin A. But this conversion is more or less effective from person to person. The same goes for short-chain n-3 acids, which we can in theory convert to EPA and DHA.
Now you’re probably thinking “That’s all very interesting, but what about vitamin C”? Yes, at first glance plants seem to be the only source of this essential vitamin. But as a matter of fact, fresh meat, in particular liver, but also muscle meat, contains some vitamin C. Much less than you would get from plants, but when scientists looked closely at the metabolic pathways involving vitamin C, they discovered that glucose and vitamin C compete for the same receptor on cell membranes. This means that when you eat a lot of glucose (carbs), you may need much more vitamin C, or seen from the other perspective: When you eat mostly meat, the little vitamin C contained in the (rare) steak may be sufficient. And indeed, there are no reports of scurvy (the condition resulting from a lack of vitamin C) in the carnivore community.
OBSERVATION: Plant foods have drug-like effects.
It seems like at least for humans, animal foods are simply providing nutrition, while plants, even though they also provide some nutrition, act more like drugs. Of course there is a big difference between a strawberry and a pharmaceutical drug, but remember that most pharmaceutical drugs are derived from plants. Here the most well known example is probably Aspirin, which is acetylsalicylic acid, which was derived from tree bark, which was traditionally chewed on to relieve pain.
Processing plays a huge role here. Depending on how a plant food is processed, those effects can be reduced or enhanced. Most whole plants, again with the exception of fruit, can be toxic for us unless the proper processing is applied. A very good example for this are kidney beans. Eat them raw and you might die. Soak, rinse and cook them, and most people can tolerate them reasonably well. But even then most plant foods (including said kidney beans) can cause gastrointestinal problems like bloating, gas and irritable bowel syndrome. By irritating the gut lining, plant foods can change the permeability, causing plant compounds to enter the circulation, in turn causing all kinds of problems.
And this, together with the nutritional deficiency, is the problem with the plant-based diet. In order to make it nutritionally complete you have to combine a variety of whole plant foods applying minimal processing (to preserve the desired nutrients), but you would have to process them much more to eliminate all the anti-nutrients. And you will still always have to supplement, at the very least with B12. How could this ever have been an appropriate diet for our species?
Observation: We Have a Canine-like Digestive System
Comparing the digestive system of humans to that of animals like dogs, cats, cows and gorillas is quite revealing. From that list our closest genetic relative is the gorilla, so one would expect that our digestive system is most similar to that of gorillas. But surprisingly, it isn’t. Gorillas are hind gut fermenters and spend most of their life eating plant matter which gets fermented by microbes in their gut, creating short chain fatty acids, which are the primary fuel for gorillas.
Humans on the other hand have a much smaller large intestine and colon, a low stomach pH, as well as other features which are much more similar to a dog’s digestive system and point to an adaptation to digesting meat. And not only small portions of meat along with a big salad. Just like dogs, our GI tract is optimally suited for eating a huge amount of meat in one sitting. That is why we have a gall bladder, which fills up between meals and then releases a big amount of bile when we eat a meal, to increase the absorption of fat.
Observation: Hunter Gatherers EAT twice as much protein as we do, Preferably From Animal Sources.
Traditional hunter-gatherer societies have been studied extensively, and they consistently eat more protein than people in modernized societies do. They eat about 25% protein on average, while modern diets average at about 14%. Those hunter-gatherer diets vary a lot in terms of composition – some eat more animal foods, some less, some more plants, some less. But all of them eat a substantial amount of animal foods when they are available.
As an interesting side note, to my knowledge there are no, nor have there ever been any hunter-gatherer cultures which thrive on salads. The whole practice of eating salads (leafy greens) seems to be a very new addition to our diet which probably originated from the plant-based/vegan movement which I address later in the text. Needless to say that there is no reason to assume that one needs to eat plant leaves to be healthy.
Observation: Humans Do Not Need To Eat Fiber.
There is a nice study that demonstrates that contrary to popular belief, increasing the amount of fiber in the diet does not improve constipation. Paul Mason talks about it, you can find his lectures on YouTube if you’re interested.
But in the spirit of not focusing on studies too much, think about it: Fiber is indigestible plant matter. It is a very important nutrient for species which derive their energy from fermenting fiber in the gut. The prime example for that would be ruminant animals like cattle and sheep. As we have seen, the human digestive system is totally different. We do have a large intestine, and it is true that when we eat fiber, we ferment some of it there and derive a small amount of short chain fatty acid from that process. Proponents of plant-based diets claim that this feeds the cells of the gut lining and is therefore essential.
I don’t think that’s correct. We have to make a distinction here: For people who eat mostly starchy plant foods, fiber may indeed be beneficial. Fiber seems to act like an antidote to the sugar and starch consumed, and on a high-carb diet the liver does not produce a lot of ketone bodies, which might indeed mean that those people need the SCFAs generated from the fermentation of fiber, to feed the gut lining. But those who are on a mostly carnivorous diet enter a state called ketosis, which means that the liver produces ketone bodies, which feed the gut lining “from the inside”. On a keto diet there is by definition no need for a carb antidote.
This means that fiber may be beneficial when you eat a lot of starch, but it could be detrimental when you’re not. You may ask yourself, why detrimental? Turns out that fiber is, for many people, one of the many plant anti-nutrients which irritate the GI system. This is why even those who recommend a high-fiber diet advise against increasing the amount too much in too short a timeframe.
One other aspect of fiber is the claim that we need to eat it in order to poop. Advocates of plant-based diets claim that meat “rots in the colon”, and that fiber is necessary for “moving things along”. That is nonsensical. First of all, meat is absorbed almost completely in the small intestine. If you eat a large amount of meat, then it will be moved more slowly “automatically”, controlled by nutrient sensors in the intestinal wall, to allow for maximum absorption. This fact is easily demonstrated by people who had their large intestine removed, having a bag attached to the small intestine. The fact that if these people eat only meat almost nothing comes out of their small intestine doesn’t mean that the meat is somehow rotting away in there because of a lack of movement. It means that since meat consists entirely of nutrients we need, it is simply all absorbed.
Ok, then you might ask yourself, how, or rather what, do people poop on an entirely carnivorous diet? The answer is simple: We excrete dead bacteria and intestinal cells. Turns out that you don’t need to eat fiber to feed the microbiota in the large intestine, it is always there and feeds on the small amount of matter that enters the large intestine. Carnivorous humans typically have regular bowel movements, just not as frequently and voluminous as plant eaters. In fact, I would stipulate that they are more regular than plant-eaters precisely because they don’t eat so much indigestible plant matter which is simply transported out the other end.
We’re still not done with fiber, there is one last claim that people make: Fiber is necessary for satiation. This is a big pet peeve of mine. Unfortunately people seem to be conflating satiety, satiation and stomach distension. The latter is simply the sensation of your stomach being filled completely. If you are regularly eating huge salads, this is invariably a sensation that you get, and which you will probably miss at first when you eat a big carnivorous meal like a steak instead. It takes a while for your salad to move into and through your small intestine. Great! But after that, at least if the salad contained only low-calorie food like beans, peas, corn and low-fat dressing, you will be hungry again. So you can eat another salad, and another one. If you only eat those kinds of meals, this will maximize the bloating as well as the number of times you go to the toilet per day. What carnivorous meals offer in contrast is satiety. Both carnivorous meals and huge salads give you satiation, which is the feeling of not wanting/needing to eat shortly after the meal. But satiety is a longer-absence of hunger, which is one of the greatest benefits of carnivorous meals.
What if you combine a big steak and a large salad? I suspect that this is a bad idea, because in order for the steak to be absorbed it needs to pass slowly through the small intestine, but the fiber from the salad speeds things up. This is pure speculation, but in my opinion this could be the cause for undigested meat/protein reaching the large intestine and causing problems. If you still want your salad on a carnivorous diet (unlikely), you should probably build your meals so that you don’t combine a lot of meat with a lot of salad.
Observation: Humans didn’t eat three meals a day Plus Snacks
Have you heard about breakfast being the most important meal of the day? Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and so forth. That is nonsense. If we look at eating habits throughout the ages and across all societies, it becomes obvious that homo sapiens does not have a genetic predisposition for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Especially breakfast is a curious practice. Prehistoric people most likely didn’t eat breakfast, having no refrigerator, no kitchen, not even a house. Most likely the thing you did after waking up was to be active and get some food, eating it in the middle of the day or later. In fact, dinner is probably the most common meal time overall.
Snacking is also a very new addition to our diet. Of course prehistoric people would have eaten fruit or honey as they came across these foods, or they might have taken some dried foods on a hike. But as we’ve seen, our digestive system is much better suited to processing sparse big meals rather than a continuous supply of food. Ruminant animals are much different, they must eat constantly to keep the microbes happy.
Axiom: Humans are facultative carnivores.
Based on all these observations we can now postulate the first axiom: Humans thrive on largely animal food based diets. That’s what the term “facultative carnivore” means – humans are of course omnivores, meaning that we can digest a variety of foods, including animals and plants. But we seem to be part of a subset of omnivores which, when given the choice, gravitates towards animal based foods when they get the chance. Those are the foods which provide optimal nutrition while causing no gastrointestinal problems.
Another interesting term is “hyper-carnivore”. Humans fit that description as well: We thrive when we get at least 70% of our nutrition from animal foods. Of course there are people who also do very well on a lower percentage, but as a rule of thumb, the more high-quality animal foods we eat, the easier it becomes to achieve nutritional completeness. The less animal foods we eat, the harder it becomes to thrive, documented by the fact that no vegan hunter/gatherer societies have ever been found.
Axiom: The OPTIMAL fuel for humans is fat.
People often claim that carbohydrates are the “preferred” fuel for the body. Do you know what is even more preferred? Alcohol. As soon as we ingest alcohol, our liver essentially puts most other tasks on hold and tries to get rid of it by converting it into other nutrients which we can metabolize for energy. Does that mean that we should switch to an alcohol-based diet? Of course not.
Then why do people recommend a carb-based diet? The answer, in my opinion, is multifactorial. I suspect that it is a combination of tradition, plant-based myths and lobbying that led to this belief. Veganism is a relatively new movement which has its roots in the 7th day adventist church, which, after one of its prominent figures (Ellen G. White) had a vision, proclaimed that all meat was sinful. That happened in the early 19th century and since then, generations after generations of nutritionists and doctors slowly absorbed this idea that meat is generally bad for us and is best avoided or at least reduced in the diet, and plants are inherently healthful and always preferable to animal foods.
Add to that the fact that in the 1970s the USA commodified the production of corn and soy, high fructose corn syrup was invented, and vegetable oil production was increased. There was, unfortunately, a confluence of factors, which then led to the USA recommending a high-carb diet in 1980 as well as villifying saturated fat and cholesterol, and the foods containing it, which were foods which had previously been regarded as the healthiest foods on the planet: Beef, eggs, high-fat dairy. Ever since the public all over the world has slowly been shifting away from these foods and towards a diet of ultra-processed convenience foods, culminating in abominations like the vegan Whole Foods donut, Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burger.
But I digress. Coming back to why people think that carbohydrates are the preferred fuel, I think it is due to the fact that when we are on a high-carb diet, whenever we eat the carbs, similar to the process I outlined with alcohol, the body reduces fat metabolism. The naive thinking goes like “hey, whenever I eat carbs, the body immediately uses them, they must be just what it needed”. Combine that with the fact that when the body is used to eating carbs all the time, which is the case in our plant-biased world, whenever it runs out of carbs it enters a state of withdrawal, which has been described as “hangriness”. Athletes also find that on a high-carb diet they need to be careful to always keep their carb tanks full. That’s because these tanks are relatively tiny compared to the vast amount of fat cells we carry under our skin and around our organs. Whenever we run out of carbs (or more precisely: when we lower liver glycogen storage below a certain threshold), our body has an energy crisis and tries to shift to burning primarily fat. We always burn both carbs and fat, but when we run low on carbs, it takes some time to mobilize the fat and to begin burning it in greater amounts, especially for people who are always keeping their glucose tanks full.
Which brings me to the actual preferred fuel of the body: fat. Think about it: Why would the body store it in vast amounts, for times in need, if it was bad for us to burn it? The obvious advantage of fat as a storage form of energy is that compared to carbs, it is much more efficient in terms of amount of energy per weight. But it is also a cleaner burning fuel, and most importantly, like mentioned before: In the absence of carbohydrate, the liver generates ketone bodies from fat. People with epilepsy may put their seizures into remission on a ketogenic diet, which is possible because on a ketogenic diet the brain shifts mosts of its metabolism to burning ketones, and the seizures seem to be related to a malfunctioning glucose metabolism. Other tissues of the body also appear to run better on ketones, including the heart as well as the previously mentioned cells of the gut lining.
But can athletes perform equally well on fat than they do on carbs? Yes and no. I’m not the world’s foremost expert on sports nutrition, but my take on this is simple: If you are trying to break world records, carbs MAY give you an edge, or put another way: Carbs may make it easier to achieve those goals. But – and that’s a big but – this may come at a price. It should go without saying that performing at this level is not exactly healthy. If an athlete settles for “very good in their age group”, I think that it’s entirely possible, in any sport, to achieve these goals on a ketogenic diet, and there are many athletes who are continually proving that. There are quite a few reports of high-carb marathoners who became type 2 diabetics in their 40s, which is hardly surprising given the fact that they kept overloading their glucose metabolism over decades.
So why isn’t everybody eating mostly meat? I think that’s mostly because of the stigma that meat carries in our increasingly plant-biased society, and because such a diet is considered to be extraordinarily dangerous, stupid and “faddy” by most people who are just casually stumbling upon it. But maybe this short-ish text has at least made you a little bit curious about carnivory, and hopefully also a little bit doubtful of the plant-based propaganda in the media.
Axiom: We Prefer “few sparse big” meals over “many frequent small” meals
This should be clear from what we discussed earlier. One big determinant of how easy it is for an individual to eat fewer, but bigger meals is the amount of carbohydrate they eat. Exercise also plays into this, so I should say that the more carbs someone eats, and the less that persons compensates for those carbs with vigorous exercise, the more their metabolism will be dependent on a steady supply of carbs, and the harder it will be for them to eat fewer meals.
Other than that, I have made the experience that the body gets used to new meal patterns relatively easily. If you make a change, be prepared for intense feelings of hunger at the time where you used to eat, but also know that these “hunger pangs” will subside, and your body will adapt to the new timing.
Meal size is also something the body becomes accustomed to. So if you try to eat bigger meals, you might at first have problems eating so much. This usually changes quickly, so hang in there.
Guideline: Eat Fatty Ruminant Meat as a foundation
So what should one eat, according to all I’ve said? Fatty ruminant meat is the simple and obvious answer. Thousands of carnivores are doing that already. Some of them are certain that this is all you need – I am not so sure. It might be true. Especially when we look at hunter/gatherer cultures, it becomes evident that many thrive on a mixed diet. But the fatty meat is the foundational food which should always be the basis.
As a matter of fact, you can and should eat various animal foods in the beginning, should you choose to give this a try, and find out what you feel best with. Milk and other forms of dairy can be problematic for some people, either because of lactose intolerance or because if you overconsume it, the amount of carbs will prevent ketosis. For some people dairy, or cheese in particular, is a trigger for overeating. Most people who claim to have been successful on a carnivorous diet say that they feel best on a diet of primarily fatty ruminant meat, so don’t be surprised if that’s what you end up eating the most.
Guideline: Optionally supplement with properly processed plant foods
As a general rule of thumb I’d say that the more plant food you add, the more difficult the diet becomes to manage. You will have to find out what’s right for you through experimentation. You have the basic choice between starchy plants and low-starch plants, and depending on that your diet will be ketogenic, low-carb or moderate or even high carb. For all of those modalities there are examples of healthy populations (most notably the Kitavans for high-carb), again, you have to find out for yourself.
I’m a big fan of Penn Jillette’s book “Presto!”, where he described how he lost 100 pounds on a plant-based diet. He claims that the reason it worked was because it was extreme. And indeed, it started with two weeks of eating just plain potatoes. I think that while the plant-based diet will probably fail him in the end, the extreme approach is very effective, if only to reset your perception of what is “normal” or “extreme”. So if you choose to try eating meat-based, one useful approach could be to make it just steak in the beginning and then, after a couple of weeks, experiment with adding more types of food rather than starting with a bunch of new foods, which also makes the diet more complicated to implement.
Tip: If it only tastes good with sauces or spices, yoU’re Better Off Not Eating It
This may sound either trivial or much too restrictive for you, but I think it is a powerful tool for keeping you grounded. This applies to whole foods. Think about it: Does a salad taste good without any dressing? Maybe the tomatoes and gucumbers, but what about the leaves? Kale?
Cooking meals from a dozen ingredients is a relatively modern concept. Especially in the plant-based/vegan community spices, sauces and food-combining are generally overused. Even on a meat-based diet they are a bad thing in that they lead to overconsumption. They simply increase the palatability of the meals.
So no more sauces or spices forever? No, I think that you can always make exceptions, it is up to you. Just be aware of the problem, and at least for me it has been very helpful to make most of my meals spice/sauce free. People give me strange looks when I eat sardines out of a tin for lunch, or just six hard-boiled eggs. But if you really think about it, chances are that it will be more nutritious, more satiating and also cheaper than what they will eat in the cafeteria.
Tip: Meat is best digested on an empty stomach
This is just a suspicion I have, so take it with a grain of salt. You probably heard that regardless of which diet you’re on, you should always drink a lot of water. That’s a topic for another day, but regardless of your preference there, if you’re eager to try the carnivorous diet, you might want to make sure that when you eat a huge meal of meat, you eat it on an empty stomach. Also wait a little while, at least an hour, before drinking something again. The reason for this is simple. In order to digest a lot of meat properly, your body needs to secrete a lot of stomach acid, and your gall bladder needs to release a lot of bile. If you drink a lot of water before the meal and it’s still in the stomach, the acid will be diluted and it will take much longer to prepare the meal for entering the small intestine. The volume will also probably be higher, diluting the bile downstream. Likewise, if you drink something after the meal, you disturb your stomach, again diluting the acid.
So if you have heard carnivores say that they can eat so much meat without feeling bloated, remember that timing fluid intake properly around the meal might be important.
Just in case you were wondering, meat is also not so bad for the planet as vegans often claim. Pastures and forests sequester carbon, and if we converted some of our plant-crop fields back to those alternatives, we would help reverse climate change. Don’t buy the statistics thrown around by vegans, like the perpetual myth that animal agriculture causes more greenhouse gas emissions than transportation, the opposite is actually true. If you’re interested in the actual numbers, look for Frank Mitloehner on YouTube, or look up the figures on the governmental pages directly.
Also, if you happen to be vegan primarily to fight against the suffering of animals, it may interest you to know that especially eating grass-fed ruminants is more beneficial than eating plant-based. Why? Think about all the animals, big and small, which are harmed while raising a cow on a pasture. Now imagine all the animals, big and small, that are harmed on a big field of corn. Insects, rodents, birds – not only are they decimated while harvesting the plants, but also throughout the entire lifecycle, either manually by hunting them down, or through the use of pesticides. In the end nobody sees any of that suffering on their plate, but at least as far as I am concerned, I would rather kill one cow (and that killing happens in a much less cruel way than what you would see in propaganda movies by animal rights activist organizations), than a thousand other sentient creatures.