Been asked many times regarding vegetarian eating in terms of athletics/athletes, so here’s my take on the issue. I cover the topic in greater depth, using what exists for data (which as mentioned in the vid is limited), as well as “real world” experience, in the Body Building Revealed Program.

In terms of vegans specifically, I cover that in great detail in an article HERE.

  1. Rick English 13 years ago

    I enjoy your clips and look forward to viewing and learning from them. I do disagre on our last clip that a vegiterian is not a healthier diet. Personally I have been a vegan for 2.5 years. And you are correct about creatinine. When I started taking it I noticed results almost immediately. I have never been a bulky guy but the diet has worked well for me and my goals of gaining mucsle mass. I have gained over 10 pounds while loosing two inches from my wastline. I never dreamed a 59 year old man could do this. I am not saying my gaines are any proof but I would appreciate it if you would watch these clips about what my type of diet has done for heart patients health.
    Thanks again for your service. Hope to see you at the Arnond Classic this year.
    Rick L English
    Rick English

    • Author
      Will Brink 13 years ago

      I cover what’s talked about in those clips, ergo, his diet vs “typical” American diet, which as stated, and we all know, is unhealthy. Best of luck with your own eating habits, sounds like it’s worked well for you. 🙂

  2. Alex 13 years ago

    Very good post Will,
    There are few studies but some first person experiences out there, for example not long ago Jason Ferrugia wrote on his 3 year vegan diet and why he had to quit it.. less srength, less muscle, and more fat, because you have to eat tons of carbs in order to get the required amount of protein for growth.. also some digestive problems.

    • Author
      Will Brink 13 years ago

      Thanx, did my best to be balanced, fair, and objective, but clear on where I stand on the topic.

  3. Angelique 13 years ago

    What are your views on a Pesca-Vegetarian Diet in terms of gaining muscle mass? (Eats Fish but no land-animal flesh)

    • Author
      Will Brink 13 years ago

      If one eats fish, they are not a vegetarian technically. The addition of fish to an otherwise vegetarian diet will be helpful in my view, as you have concentrated source of complete proteins, EPA/DHA (“fish oils”) and other nutrients not always easy to get as a vegetarian. However, no studies exist comparing that strategy vs omnivore vs vegan vs lacto ovo, so the exact answer is unclear at this time.

  4. ralph roberts 13 years ago

    Hi Will
    Would suggest that you check out. brendan brazier and rip esselsty, both superb athletic talent that both are vegatarians…….
    Numerous studies also show we were not meant to be meat eaters,,,,,,,,,Who you read and who you believe!! Keep well cheers Ralph.

    • Author
      Will Brink 13 years ago

      And I made my comment regarding vegetarian athletes. You may want to watch vid again. There no valid modern published studies demonstrating we did not evolve eating meat, none. If you can supply such a study, in a peer reviewed high impact journal (e.g. Nature et al), feel free to do so.

  5. Darcy 13 years ago

    In my opinion, people are not designed to eat meat. It is obvious by looking at our teeth and digestive systems.

    • Author
      Will Brink 13 years ago

      Darcy, unless you’re an evolutionary biologist, paleontologist, etc with expertise in that area, your opinion, carries little weight as a science based opinion. Not trying to be mean here, but I find only those who lack real understanding of human physiology, etc, make such statements. You will not find a scientist with expertise in the field who holds such an opinion. Vegetarians would do themselves a big favor in terms of validity by totally dropping the physiology angle and sticking with the moral/ethical/environmental aspects. If you are interested in the topic of comparative biology regarding issues of our digestive system to our closest relatives, fossil records of our eating meat, etc, that is science based, a good place to start is:

      • Hyo 13 years ago

        Hey Will,
        You are right now. A couple family members are vegetarians and often default to this “not meant to be meat eater” arguments in their quest to convert me. I’ve told them that they’d have better luck arguing the health benefits and “benefits” to environment instead. My teeth have no problems cutting into a medium rare, dry aged ribeye and my 29 ft intestinal tract seems to be able to handle it too. And in some case, better than beans.

        • Author
          Will Brink 13 years ago

          The teeth argument is a no go, and easy to debunk and just plain silly to boot. You wanna see some really big pointy teeth? Look at a chimps teeth…

      • Elissa 13 years ago

        There are lines of evidence that go beyond the digestive system. For example ( ), humans preferentially absorb heme iron and are the definitive (reproductive) hosts for Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm) and Taenia solium (pork tapeworm) – which suggests extensive co-evolution/adaptation.
        Here’s a good graf on the subject (from ):
        “Emergence of the genus Homo has been linked to climatic fluctuations and habitat disruption about 2.5 – 2.0 Myr ago coinciding with the initial transition of forests to open grassland in Africa (Stanley 1992; Vrba 1994; De Menocal 1995; Larick & Ciochon 1996). A proliferation of savannah-adapted antelopes (Vrba 1985) resulted in diversified food resources for hominid scavengers exploiting bovid prey taken by large felids and hyaenids (Larick & Ciochon 1996; De Heinzelin et al. 1999; Sponheimer & Lee-Thorp 1999) (table 1). An omnivorous diet, dependent on scavenging, for pre-human hominids would have promoted sharing of parasites within a guild of carnivores and their bovid prey, thus providing the ecological context for the evolution of Taenia specialized in human definitive hosts.”
        Sure, intestinal parasites don’t make for pleasant conversation. But the point is that the history of meat-eating by humans has been the focus of considerable scholarly research, that has left few stones (or fossils) unturned (if you can bear one more example, here’s a current one: ).
        The unmistakable conclusion is that humans are indeed “meant” to eat meat, in the sense that it was part of the diets early humans evolved on. That does not mean that we must eat meat, or that vegetarian diets cannot be healthful or nutritionally adequate, but the biological reality – as we currently understand it – is what it is.

        • Mike D' 13 years ago

          Great conversation Will!
          You go with your bad self Elissa! I love the documentation!
          It’s all about the science and the facts! Thanks, all good food for thought, while I finish up my Porterhouse and wash it down with a bag of spinach!

          • Author
            Will Brink 13 years ago

            As my old proff used to say “facts alter emotions, but emotions don’t alter facts.” You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him THINK! 🙂

        • Darren 13 years ago

          Great comment Elissa. It’s nice to see someone actually back up what they’re saying with some factual documented information instead of just blurting out an uninformed opinion. You rock

      • Trent 13 years ago

        I left a comment at the bottom that I would just like to see your opinion on but a bit of physiological evidence that we are not meant to consume meat nearly as much as a typical american or even a typical american bodybuilder can be found by researching Jane Goodall. She studied Silver Back Gorillas for many years and even though they have much more muscle and are far stronger than a human they have a very small amount of meat in their diet. What say you 🙂

        • Author
          Will Brink 13 years ago

          Trent, did you read some of the links supplied here? They cover the topics of comparative biology well. Jane Goodall studies Gorilla’s, she didn’t didn’t publish papers comparing human to Gorilla, and making nutritional recommendations to humans from her research with Gorillas as far as I know. If she did, it would be at best speculation on her part… I’d start with some of the supplied reading if you are truly interested in the topic.
          I find most vegetarians are not interested in reading anything that may alter their preconceived notions – usually based on false/outdated info as pointed out above – vs actually being interested in what the actual science shows us. I hope you are not of that ilk, and I’m glad to hear your workouts are going well as a lacto ovo vegetarian.
          Keep up the good work! 🙂

          • Trent 13 years ago

            My reasons for being a vegetarian do not sit in the realm on being healthier although i feel that I am healthier than many americans as you stated. I am a vegetarian because of the meat industry and the plethora of negatives that can be associated with them. I have read a lot of research suggesting that anything found in meat aside from creatine (which I supplement with) can be found in a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. One has to understand that animals are made up mostly of what they take in.
            I will read what you provided but we also both have to think about the fact that by and large we both can find studies backing our claims probably in equal amounts. Some siding with you and some siding with me. I will get back with you with some Jane Goodall research and after I read your provided research.

          • Trent 13 years ago

            So here is a study on some of the findings with chimps. Although this is not Goodall research this is something I found while searching for information. Notice that although they do eat meat it is relatively low compared to everything else they eat and that 60% of meat consumption occurs at a certain point of the year and the drops down significantly for the rest of the year.
            As a side note research like this makes me question the supposed protein demands for bodybuilders and powerlifters that are present today.

          • Trent 13 years ago

            I think that it is obvious that people can eat meat the question is how much. Americans are greedy in the fact that once they get a taste for something they are likely to eat it to the BRINK of extinction 🙂
            We as humans need to learn to control our eating habits so that we can protect our planets species and I do not beleive that we are primarily meat eaters. A good example of this is the rapidly declining tuna population due to overeating and most of that is coming out of america. LIke I said above we can eat meat but it doesnt mean we should eat 6-8 fist sized servings a day. This being a view many bodybuilders and strength athletes have.
            Another Point is that research is always contridicting itself one year you will hear one thing the next you will hear the opposite and it has always been this way. Will said it himself when he suggested we not use outdated material. the problem is that research is constantly outdated just like the new computer you just bought. We can also find just as many valid studies suggesting that people should have a vegetarian diet as you can find for a meat eating diet which also shows the conflicting views of science in the world and more specificaly the world of nutrtion.

          • Trent 13 years ago

            I posted some research but it looks like it has been deleted. I saw it on the board so I dont know what happened. Is there any way to get it back or do I need to find it again?

  6. ralph roberts 13 years ago

    Hi Again Will
    Would suggest to your last post HYO to read THE MAD CowBOY by HOWARD LYMANN…
    An ex rancher with a up close and personal journey through cancer of the stomach directly related to years of eating beef,,,,,,,,,,,interesting read,,,,was on Oprah a few years ago….The meat industry in America is Awful,,,,,,,,,,,Your reader may not be old enough to have experienced the ill affects YET,,,,,,,,,,,,but it will happen for sure,,,Cheer Ralph

    • Author
      Will Brink 13 years ago

      An ex rancher who got stomach cancer has zero to do with this topic Ralph. I know vegetarians with cancer…You also stated “Numerous studies also show we were not meant to be meat eaters” and I asked you to supply just one valid modern study.

      • Elissa 13 years ago

        FWIW, I’m not even sure what “meant to be a meat eater” even means. “Meant” implies some sort of intention or design – concepts that belong to pseudosciences like creationism, not biology. Since the evidence is quite clear that modern humans evolved on omnivorous diets, it’s quite clear that we’re well-adapted to eating meat/animal products.
        This is not to say that there aren’t negative consequences to either a) over-consumption; or b) eating meat prepared in ways that enhance the formation of potentially hazardous byproducts (such as nitrosamines or PAHs). But that’s not the argument you’re making, of course.

        • Marlene 13 years ago

          Pseudoscience? Is there even such a thing? Sounds more like ridicule then hard based evidence.
          Not to say that I don’t have enormous respect for you and your knowledge I have looked to you for advice in the past before. That being said I certainly would expect more respect if not tolerance from someone as educated as yourself towards people who cant support their opinions with some facts as easily as you do.
          Meat eaters rule.

          • Author
            Will Brink 13 years ago

            Not sure if you are talking to me or Elissa, but i fail to see a lack of tolerance, just firm and factual responses to comments made by some that need to be corrected by those still using debunked hyperbole pushed by some in the vegetarian community. Is there such a thing as pseudoscience? Of course:
            “Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but which does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status.[1] Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories.”

          • Elissa 13 years ago

            Insofar as “ridicule” is concerned… Where I come from, words have meanings… precise meanings. “Meant” is the past-tense of “mean” – which Merriam-Webster defines as:
            “1. a: to have in the mind as a purpose: INTEND… b: to design for or destine to a specified purpose or future.”
            Thus, my points above… which are critical/analytical, not mocking/derisive (both of which are textbook synonyms for “ridicule” btw). I offered “creationism” as an example of pseudoscience, and the shoe certainly fits, since it posits both “intent” and “design” – as I noted above. It also works as an example, since many people cannot tell the difference between genuine science and counterfeits like creationism/”intelligent design.”

      • Elissa 13 years ago

        Oh, forgot to mention, Howard Lyman had a spinal tumor – not stomach cancer. His own site ( ) refers to it as “rare.” Given the fact that meat-eating is pretty common, you’d think if there was a connection to diet, such tumors would be much more prevalent.

    • Hyo 13 years ago

      Hey Ralph,
      Just echo Will, not sure that one person, rancher or otherwise, getting a terrible disease out of the billions of meateaters and hope to be meateaters drives home any point other than that one person got cancer. It’s anecdotal and not terribly relevant. And what would my age have to do with it. I’ve been a carnivore for the vast part of my 50 years. Is 50 not old enough to feel the “ill affects YET.” Will it happen when I turn 75. What’s with the scare tactics? It’s almost like the “be good or go to hell” routine. If being good is worthy, then argue that without the “going to hell part.” If a vegetarian diet is worthy, argue that instead a rancher getting cancer and I, at 50, am not old to experience the “ill affects YET, but oh boy, will if you don’t convert now.” Kinda of a rant, sorry, didn’t mean to me – the patronizing tone irritated me, but I’m sure you meant the best Ralph.
      You have a good one.

  7. Debi 13 years ago

    Hi Will. I appreciate your view and was wondering if you could make a comment on whether or not a breast cancer survivor should not eat meat. I get lots of info telling me how bad it is for me. Would you have info on this as well? I would appreciate hearing it.

    • Author
      Will Brink 13 years ago

      As part of a balanced diet, why not?

  8. Shannon 13 years ago

    It has been my observation clinically that the best choice of proteins for human performance often is dictated by blood grouping. While I don’t necessarily agree with blood group diets per se, I must admit that A/AB patients of mine generally prefer and respond better to plant based proteins, while O blood groups in particular naturally prefer and respond better to animal meats.
    I have performed salivary and blood pH studies on these people randomly over the past 11 years which has generally confirmed a higher alkalinity when people eat according to their blood groups, possibly responsible for optimistic composition alterations.
    Just wanted to throw this in the mix!!

  9. Jeff 13 years ago

    tons of evidence that ancient humans and pre-humans ate meat…I can’t find the link but I recently read an article about analyzing teeth residue of ancient humans and evidence of meat was found. Here’s some more interesting stuff…

  10. Darcy 13 years ago

    Debi, Will is not a doctor, “therefore he carries no expertise in that area. His opinion carries little weight as a science based opinion”. You would be better off seeking the advice from a medical professional. Animal products most often contain hormones and could have an adverse affect on one’s health. Congratulations on being a survivor!!!

    • Author
      Will Brink 13 years ago

      Darcy, She did not ask for medical advice, she asked my personal opinion, and I gave it. If she was asking a specific medical question, I would advise her to speak with her doctors. Two, your comments borders on disrespectful toward me, and I’ll only warn you once not to play that here. If you enjoy my site and the info it supplies, you are welcome here and don’t have to agree with me on everything. However, although the ‘net may be a democracy, my site is not, so tone it down or get banned.

    • Elissa 13 years ago

      Whoa Nellie… or Darcy, to be specific. Doctors are, of course, highly trained professionals and are the proper folks to consult for medical advice within their specific areas of specialization. But one does NOT have to be a doctor to understand science, nor to express a “science-based opinion.” If an opinion is based on solid science; is logically-derived and properly referenced, then it should carry weight, regardless of the holder’s lack of advanced credentials.
      Ironically, while doctors do study science, there are science professionals who don’t consider doctors, per se, to be scientists (see: for an example). And I get where they’re coming from: there’s a big difference between using scientific information – as doctors do – and analyzing/creating it – which is what researchers do. Sure, the lines can cross (I’ve known a few MD/Ph.D.s and other physician-researchers) but they’re distinct groups, nonetheless.

    • Jeff 13 years ago

      Whoa Darcy, that was a slam. Saying that someone has no expertise just because they don’t have an MD, or saying someone HAS expertise just because they have an MD is making a careless assumption.

      • Author
        Will Brink 13 years ago

        She’s attempting to do a spin on what I said to her (note what she put in quotes) above regarding in her opinion “people are not designed to eat meat” which all the science shows it clearly not the case, but hyperbole and mythology some vegetarians can’t seem to let go of, no matter how much evidence piles up to the contrary.
        That’s the “don’t confuse me with the facts” approach to a topic, which is par for the course with emotionally charged topics such as politics, religion, challenging peoples long held beliefs, and so forth.
        So, unable to supply any actual real science to the contrary, she decided to use word games to make her point, which didn’t (in my obviously biased opinion) work out so well. So far, the pro vegetarian posters here have made various claims (eg, “Numerous studies also show we were not meant to be meat eaters”) which – as expected – are not supplied by those making such claims, and the vast majority of modern science shows otherwise. Hence, as stated above, Vegetarians would do themselves a big favor in terms of validity by totally dropping the physiology angle and sticking with the moral/ethical/environmental aspects.
        I’m actually trying to help vegetarians strengthen their position by helping them focus on that aspect if of which can be defended! 🙂

        • Elissa 13 years ago

          In fairness to the veg folks who feel science is on their side, there’s a fair amount of pro-veg/vegan stuff out there, that certainly has the form/feel – and sometimes even substance – of science. Off the top of my head, I can think of the China Study; Neal Barnard and the PCRM’s publications, and the work of Dr. Dean Ornish – who, incidentally, has a pretty decent publication record in the peer-reviewed lit in addition to his popular books (Note: Ornish’s diet permits minimal amounts of meat if you absolutely must have it, but is predominantly veg in its pure form). Unfortunately, critiques of these pubs works/authors aren’t nearly as popular or widely-read as the originals. Ornish in particular seems to struggle with the concept that “my diet = good” doesn’t automatically translate into “my diet = the one true diet.”
          Are there studies out there that implicate meat-eating (particularly red/processed meat) in various diseases? Of course there are… but as you note in your vid, these are nearly always about eating meat within the context of “average” diets – not the high-fiber/veg/fruit, minimally-processed, balanced diets advocated in BBR/FLR. Certainly my own health and blood chemistry panels have given me no reason to think I’d be better off with a strictly veg diet, despite the fact that I’m now well past the half-century mark. Sure, this is an “n = 1” observation, but it tracks with feedback we’ve gotten from forum members who report improvements in blood lipids, blood pressure, body comp, etc. (if anyone’s health has gotten worse after following your advice, they’ve certainly kept mum about it). While such feedback isn’t particularly scientific, it is what it is… unfortunately, there are no studies of the BBR/FLR diets (the closest in spirit might be the DASH and/or Mediterranean diets).

      • Darcy 13 years ago

        No slam, just a direct quote from Will. He can dish it out, but he sure can’t take it. Opinions are opinions. Take them or leave them. And not to worry Will, I won’t be back here. Why participate on any blog where those with different opiions are ovbviously not welcome.

        • Mike D' 13 years ago

          No disrespect but this blog, if you look at the posts, are trying to gain a healthy perspective on the facts. All your comments have more to do with your emotional opinions and thoughts about teeth and digestive systems that are exclusive to you. Your quote at your first post: “In my opinion, people are not designed to eat meat. It is obvious by looking at our teeth and digestive systems.” Can you back that up?
          I am not an MD but … here is something to consider… Our “appendix” evolved initially to help rid our digestive system of the bacteria we once ingested by eating rancid meat. That was before we had the modern technology of making “fire” to cook our meat.
          Since our ability to harness fire making, we have been cooking our meat and as a result our appendix is virtually obsolete. That’s why we can have it removed with no ill effects.
          How do you then explain we even have one? It wasn’t because we were designed or evolved to be vegetarians.
          It is cool that you have an emotional affinity for the vegetarian way of life. And I personally know and love plenty of them. But let’s stick with the facts. Please do some research and contribute some valid science based concepts for us to consider before throwing Will under the bus. I am sure Will can handle some thoughtful science based considerations for the topic we are discussing.
          Let us know what you come up with!
          Keep in mind, no moral/ethical/environmental aspects as they are all “thought” induced, not fact. Thought = Drama. Facts = Science.

        • Elissa 13 years ago

          Au contraire – I’ve known Will personally for 7+ years. Over that time, we’ve disagreed on certain issues, but I’ve never found him to be thin-skinned. In my experience, he can dish it out… AND take it.
          But “Opinions are opinions. Take them or leave them.” implies that one’s publicly-expressed opinion should be sacrosanct… or at least not subjected to any critique or challenge of the ideas expressed. Readers have only two choices: to agree or ignore. Unfortunately, but that’s not a concept I recognize – not from scientific research/publication; not from political/historical writing; not from movies, music, art or a hundred other disciplines I could name. And it certainly doesn’t apply on the internet – as a quick perusal of many blogs, forums and listservs will reveal.
          And rightly so. When you publish an opinion (and clicking “leave a comment” is publishing it), it’s not yours anymore. People are free to agree, disagree or post a rebuttal – which Will did. This has nada to do with making people feel either welcome or unwelcome – it’s how the real world works… arbitrary “take them or leave them” rules notwithstanding.
          What Will said to you at the top was largely true and not delivered with any particular animus. Your response to him, however, was a) off the mark (as I pointed out above); and b) was a clear (if ham-fisted) attempt to draw blood. It may have been a “direct quote” – but it was a slam, nonetheless.

        • Author
          Will Brink 13 years ago

          Sad thing is Darcy, you do a great job of supporting the vegetarian stereotype; a person who allows their emotions and pseudo science to base opinions, unable to use critical thinking skills and objective reasoning. You do more harm to the cause then you can possibly realize. Good luck! 🙂

  11. Ryan 13 years ago

    Hey Will,
    I used to be ovo-laco vegetarian for 13 years (age 13 to 26). I started bodybuilding in this time. Creatine made a massive difference! I also seemed to get incredibly large pumps (probably due to my high carb intake?).
    Then got introduced to stats.. scientific principle, evolution and solid sports nutrition. I also found that the more I lifted weights, the more I craved meat – and became a ‘secret’ meat eater… oh the shame 🙂
    I now utilise meat as a primary source of protein, but still don’t like the idea. I only eat chicken breast, lean mince, and occasionally light tuna or hake. I still eat my soya vegetarian sausages!
    I enjoyed your view. Thanks!

    • ralph roberts 13 years ago

      Hi All,,,,,,,,,,while I cannot come up with any studies of proof that we were not meant to eat meat, I have to fall back on the fact that the beef and poultry industry is known for the way it raises it’s product for consumption……
      I refer to Howard Lyman the rancher, apparently he has a site out there and he details the way beef is fed and the antibiotics , steroids and other drugs that are used to bring the animal to market weight.
      not to mention the poultry industry,,,,,,,,,,,,,, it was not too long back that several million eggs were recalled because of a salmonella outbreak in the hen house where these birds were raised … that is because , of the way they are raised in extremely unsanitary conditions that breed disease
      if your source of protein is raised in humane conditions and clean feed is supplied then go ahead and chow down,,,,,,,,,,,but if it is not,,,,,,,,,,,,then what is in their flesh is now in your body!!!!!
      I am 68 years old and workout 6 days a week, been a vegatarian for about 15 years and never have an
      inclination to cheat………not after reading about the way they are raised…
      This has been an interesting debate,,,,,,,,,,,hope everyone remains healthy and well cheers Ralph.

    • Ken 11 years ago

      Ryan, you brought up a good point ( crave meat ). As a long distance runner my mind / body connection tells me what I need to eat. If I need animal protein I crave it , carbs ? , crave them, electrolytes ? crave them. After years in the sports I eat what my bod needs. An example would be : if I crave animal protein I skip burgers and hotdogs but eat sardines in olive oil or a chicken breast or make a whey protein powder drink. Whatever works for an individual.

  12. Trent 13 years ago

    Iam actually a vegetarian I have been working out for two and a half years I dead lift 405lbs I DB press 100lb for eight reps I row 225 and I squat butt to the ground 225 for eight reps. These are just stats to show you that a vegetarian diet can accomplish bodybuilding and powerlifting goals. I don’t believe that meat is necessary for muscle mass or gains. One last stat is that i am a lean 185 and I am 5′ 11″. I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian

  13. Maged 13 years ago

    hi will i wont my body like you what can i do
    note my wt 120 kg and my lin 180 cm

  14. Terry Steckman 13 years ago

    Hey Will–have you read “The China Study”? There is some very consistent data, from a variety of studies, that would appear to support better health with “plant based protein” as compared to animal based protein. I don’t think the “omnivore” diet followed by most affluent societies contributes to good health, and based on the information in the book, even a “purposefully healthy omnivore diet that includes animal protein” may not be the best for health. Check it out and let me know what you think. I am still an omnivore, but have decreased the quantity of animal based protein in my diet–I feel great and my blood chemistry values have all improved–time will tell.

  15. fairlane 12 years ago

    Wait….Elissa’s over 50? You wouldn’t know that looking at her profile pic, unless she’s a master at
    Photoshop – HAHAHAAHAHHAAH!
    Oh ok, I’ll stop 😉
    Great article Will. I will have my lovely ovo-vegetarian wife watch it, hopefully it will help her better convey the notion that you don’t need to be an omnivore to just hit the weights.. I can’t seem to get it to sink in 🙁
    I won’t retort on the whole comments section back and forth in regards to history, evolution etc, etc…
    All I know, and don’t ask me to provide proof, all I remember was watching a Nature show on cable that it was actually WOMEN who hunted, and not the men, millions of years ago. I think the show was focusing on female anthropologists and their concern about the male bias in anthropology and their published works.. Interesting show indeed..
    Moving on…I think there is some merit in trying to change the meat industry’s practice of how they treat the animals from birth to slaughter..I find it abhorrant – but I still eat them, to my wife’s bewilderment of that knowledge.. I think Claire Danes said it best as portrayed in Temple Grandin that “the animals may have been put on earth to be eaten, they still should be treated with respect, even when we know they are going to be slaughtered”. Good Movie too. My point being, it has been suggested that animals slaughtered in big slaughterhouses (I’m sure Elissa will correct me if I’m wrong) tend to be not as nutritious as say, meat produced on small, independent farms.. hence, the industry conglomerates should rethink their practices.. Ok enough of that fun stuff..
    Anyway, thanks for the video, Will, as always, you’re work is very insightful if not inspiring..

  16. Jeff 12 years ago

    Fairlane — to your point on animals raised on small independent farms, I have also read that grass fed beef for example is more nutritious and better than feedlot cattle for many reasons. I found a local supplier and bought a quarter of a Red Angus, now I have great beef all year stored in my chest freezer.
    from, where I get my beef…
    Grass-fed beef is one-third to three times leaner than conventional grain-fed beef, and as a consequence has fewer calories, too.
    Grass-fed beef has two to four times more essential omega-3 fatty acids than feedlot beef. It also contains more beta carotene, vitamin E and folic acid.
    Researchers have found grass-fed beef contains two newly discovered ‘good’ fats: conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and trans-vaccenic acid (TVA). CLA shows great promise in lab animal studies of helping fight cancers and cardiovascular disease.
    Grass-fed beef has no extra hormones or traces of antibiotics. The animals also live a low-stress life, grazing outside on pasture, in contrast to the stinking, dusty, shadeless conditions in most commercial feedlots.
    Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or more commonly, mad cow disease), has not been found in grass-finished animals. And grass-finished cattle are also less likely to be contaminated with acid-resistant forms of E. coli, a serious food-borne bacteria..

    • fairlane 12 years ago

      @Jeff. All good stuff Jeff, that’s awesome you can get better quality beef that way.. how does it taste? From a culinary standpoint, some have complained the beef doesn’t turn out well after cooked – presumably because of the lack of fat marbling in the resultant cuts. My take is I’d rather have it lower in fat and try to come up with alternative cooking methods to attain the desired tenderness of said cut than stick to feedlot raised beef. But as Will and Elissa say; I’m just n=1. 😉

      • Jeff 12 years ago

        I’ve only tried the hamburger and stew meat and so far it tastes almost the same as feed lot beef — maybe a bit meatier in flavor. The stew meat I would have expected to be tough, but it was actually very tender.

        • fairlane 12 years ago

          Jeff..tenderness can be a heated argument among culinary folk: Some swear that the older the animal is before being killed, the more tender. Others say the younger the animal (veal, young chicken) the more tender. Terminology, especially chicken types and how they are graded, differ between the FDA, farmers, chefs, etc.. its hard for any consumer to know what to do; My feeling is the more the animal uses its muscles, they tend to be more tough – but, with the proper cooking technique, you can make it tender; others claim it doesn’t matter; if its not tough to begin with, no method of cooking will make it tender, and there are just too many variables… Ultimately, for me anyway, I’d be more at peace I guess, knowing the animal had a “good” life, and wasn’t stuck in a pen all of its life before being slaughtered.. Its too bad we can’t wait for them to die naturally, before shipping them off – we’d all go hungry! But that’s another show. 😉

  17. Ella 12 years ago

    Surely it also matters if the meat is of a good quality or not. As mentioned, a vegetarian diet can be lousy (pizza , ice cream) and meat quality varies a lot, too.

  18. Ella 12 years ago

    Question: A friend of mine who is a vegetarian not vegan) had a colonoscopy and a doctor said “typical vegetarian intestine”. What does it mean- a typical vegetarian intestine? How does it differ from an omnivore’s intestine? How long does it take for the intestin/ colon to change?
    I grew up omnivore, then (after a fast) I became vegetarian for 17 years ( with short bouts of being vegan) and then I started to eat meat again (ca10 years ago). Lately I tend to eat less meat again ( I eat fish and chicken mostly and I count that as a meat).
    Do such changes affect body’s ability to absorb nutrients?

    • Author
      Will Brink 12 years ago

      I have never heard of a “vegetarian intestine” so you’d be best asking the doctor what he/she meant by that comment 🙂

    • Ken 11 years ago

      Ella, even though fish, chicken, pork, whatever are in a category you are correct as counting fish and chicken as meat. Any creepy crawly thing non plant is animal. There are good meats and bad meats for sure.

  19. Ken 11 years ago

    Another honest and super video. I go vegan on occasion for a whole body detox and when I go back to animal protein it is sardines, wild salmon, and whey protein powder. As a long distance runner I am not trying to bulk up but want good muscle and endurance. I do many other exercises in addition to running. Will, your videos are the best.
    Ken, the exercise dude since age 10 years 6 months.

  20. avi 11 years ago

    hey will,
    what are the goals of eating flesh for athlets ?
    is it as fuel and energy or as protein supplier ?
    why the animals protein is superior ?

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