According to the experts, it’s not.
Let’s start with someone who knows a lot about the real paleo diet. Dr. Richard Leakey, renowned paleontologist, notes that “[y]ou can’t tear flesh by hand, you can’t tear hide by hand … We wouldn’t have been able to deal with a food source that required those large canines” [of carnivores].
Dr. Milton Mills, Critical Care Physician, Inova Fairfax Hospital, says, “All your life, you’ve been told that you’re an omnivore. You’ve been misinformed. You are not an omnivore. You are an herbivore.” He goes on to explain that, like other large herbivores, humans:
- Are optimized for foraging during the day.
- Are attracted by beautiful food.
- Tend to live much longer than carnivores.
- Are designed for walking while foraging.
- Have a long gestation period, and deliver large, typically single, open-eyed infants.
- Have facial muscles, jaws, mouths, and teeth that are optimized for batch feeding on plants.
- Have digestive tracts that are optimized for digesting starches and fiber, as well as protein and fat.
Dr. Neal Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, explains in his book, The Power of Your Plate, that “early humans had diets very much like other great apes, which is to say a largely plant-based diet, drawing on foods we can pick with our hands. Research suggests that meat-eating probably began by scavenging — eating the leftovers that carnivores had left behind. However, our bodies have never adapted to it. To this day, meat-eaters have a higher incidence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other problems.”
Dr. T. Colin Campbell, professor emeritus at Cornell University and author of The China Study explains that “the birth of agriculture only started about 10,000 years ago at a time when it became considerably more convenient to herd animals. This is not nearly as long as the time [that] fashioned our basic biochemical functionality (at least tens of millions of years) and which functionality depends on the nutrient composition of plant-based foods.”
Dr. William C. Roberts, editor of the American Journal of Cardiology, explains, “Although we think we are, and we act as if we are, 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.”