(2283 words, 10 minute read)
Becoming a carnivore has been one of the most eye-opening and life-changing experiences of my life. I feel like I was brainwashed my whole life but now I finally see the truth, not only about nutrition and how the human body works, but livestock, agriculture and the environment. Everything we’ve ever been told is wrong.
I won’t waste time recapping how I came to the carnivore diet, you can read about that here. Long story short, I was incredibly ill with *ME/CFS, it felt like I was dying, I really was wondering how long it would be before I would need to be hospitalised. I just couldn’t eat anymore, I would eat a small meal once a day and I would suffer for it until the next day. I was eating keto, which did help to preserve muscle mass, but it can be a diet incredibly high in fibre and I was eating more plants than meat thinking I was doing the right thing. In reality I was poisoning myself. ME/CFS isn’t very well understood but it is generally regarded as an autoimmune disease. This is very much the case for me. I was suddenly intolerant to everything, I tried other elimination diets to no success, and then I discovered carnivore through the Joe Rogan podcast and I dived right in, desperate to find anything that would get me out of bed and remain conscious for more than a few hours. And it worked like a miracle, instantly my gut felt better and within a week I was going out without a wheelchair. I still have ME/CFS, but I am way more resilient now, I am no longer battling chronic inflammation and half a dozen digestive disorders. I don’t need a long nap every single day. Even my autism cleared up!
The photo at the top was taken November 30th 2018, I’m a little late for my anniversary, but I have a chronic illness, so it takes me a while to do anything. At the time I was too weak to do grocery shopping by myself, so I had it delivered and the delivery guy asked if I had dogs because he assumed there could be no other reason to buy this much meat. In the time since then, I’ve heard it all from cashiers: “Having a barbeque?”, “got a party planned this weekend?”, “only buying meat today?” I’m never shy about being honest, I say I can’t eat anything else without getting sick and they’re often amazed, such a thing is practically unheard of. I look around at other shoppers and I just see piles of carbs, bread, cereal, rice, junk food. Or I see people picking up pre-made salads. Internally I’m shaking my head, look at them all, constantly hungry, sick and tired but also constantly eating. And yet I’m the weird one?
I eat once a day, it can be anywhere between 2,000-4,000 calories, I eat incredibly nutrient rich and calorie dense foods and then I get on with my day. I seldom think about food at all. As I write this, I can smell the liver jerky dehydrating in the kitchen and my meal time is a couple of hours away. Am I dying? Not at all, I am my most productive in the morning, almost 24 hours since my last meal.
I documented my experience over the past year on my instagram, the initial reaction was generally supportive but I have had a few people criticise me. Either because they didn’t think it was a healthy diet or because I was now responsible for more animal deaths and more environmental harm. And at first, I did feel the same way, I thought of this as a temporary elimination diet, I’ll just eat meat for a month and then slowly reintroduce foods and find out what makes me sick. Turns out, it’s everything, literally everything makes me sick. Even decaf coffee and tea, I can only consume them maybe once a week before it starts wreaking havoc on my digestion. If I just stick to animal products my digestion is flawless. Turns out, it’s not normal to have flatulence, it’s not normal to have bowel movements several times a day. I won’t go into graphic detail, but it’s a much cleaner system now, I have a bowel movement once every two days, small dense droppings akin to a rabbit’s. I really don’t even need toilet paper, there’s no mess. And it takes about thirty seconds, if you need to take your phone into the toilet because you have enough time to get bored in there, you might want to reconsider how you’re doing things.
I also felt a little guilty about my impact on the environment, like a lot of people, I always enjoyed eating meat, but assumed the vegetarians and vegans were right, that we are horrible murderers and this isn’t the most ethical way to eat. Turns out, yes, yes it is. It’s just a matter of ethical farming practices. I used to tolerate vegans, it’s clearly a very unhealthy lifestyle, but good on them for doing their part for the planet, how selfless they are. No, not only is a plant based diet not ideal for the human body, at all, it does more harm on the environment than a meat based one. I know, how can that be? It’s a very lengthy topic, but if you would like to do your own research, I do have a handy masterlist of resources so you can see my sources. And here’s my list on agriculture specifically.
The truth was right in front of me all along, how on Earth would our ancestors get fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds all year around? To accomplish that now, we need to import them from around the globe, we need to breed them to be 10x their natural size, we need to grow massive crops and we need to kill all the bugs and animals that try to eat those crops. How could anyone who knows anything about agriculture be fooled into thinking otherwise? But you know what is available on every continent all year around? Meat. Hell, it’s even swimming in the sea and flying overhead. Throw a rock during the right season and you’ll get yourself some meat.
So now I feel totally armed with the truth, and I absolutely can’t stand idly by when people spread misinformation. People’s lives are literally at stake here, the planet is at stake here. We’ve got really unhealthy ingredients being unnecessarily added to foods, like hydrogenated oils, maltodextrin and vegetable gums, and the average consumer will not even understand what those are. We’ve got vegan parents abusing and even killing their children. We’ve got doctors prescribing insulin and statins that kill people, they know nothing about diet, they don’t care about preventative medicine. This has affected me personally, instead of looking into my diet, I was prescribed more and more and more medications for my IBS, acid reflux, bloating, cramping, inflammation, headaches, and there’s probably more I’m forgetting. Doctors absolutely failed me, now I’m the one schooling them, they still think my diet is absurd and goes against nature, but my perfect health, (apart from the ME/CFS) and perfect blood tests speak for themselves.
It’s hard for me not to be that guy that lectures about nutrition, but honestly I am so passionate about it now. I try to lead by example, I never give anyone unsolicited advice, I think how I look and feel speaks for itself. I have come a long way from where I was a little over a year ago, I was virtually on death’s door.
What other benefits have I experienced?
- It’s a very cheap diet, I buy a fortnight’s worth of groceries at once, which fits into one of those personal insulated shopping trolleys. On average I spend between $120-$160aud in total, although that includes other household goods and food for my pet rabbit. I might have to pick up more eggs during that period, but otherwise I am sorted.
- It’s a very low effort diet, it takes less than 10 minutes to fry up some steaks and eggs. I’m not messing around with a dozen ingredients.
- I know I am incredibly fortunate to live in Australia where meat is as cheap as it gets. My friends in Europe and America are paying double what I do for less than I get. If you’re able to, try to get meat at its source, go to a farm.
- Meat and dairy is very filling so I can comfortably get by with one meal a day, this means I waste less of my limited energy on eating, cooking or cleaning.
- I never have to plan my day around food, I never have to worry about finding a decent restaurant or trying to organise food with other people. I never have to worry about limited options. I have total control over what I eat.
- I feel much more connected to nature, to the way human beings are supposed to be, I have more respect for livestock. Cows are miraculous animals.
- I broke an addiction to food I didn’t even realise I had. I hate eating, always have, I just want to get it over and done with. But on a standard western diet and even on the keto diet I got into bad habits, I would have cravings, I would eat simply because I had been conditioned to eat at certain times of the day.
- I can barely exercise but I somehow feel stronger and look more muscular and more masculine than I did on a standard or keto diet.
So are there any downsides? I’m struggling to think of anything. I am not at all bored eating the same thing every day, I have a theory that we get food cravings or we get sick of foods purely due to nutritional deficiencies. I eat very simply, steak, bacon, scrambled eggs, cheese, yoghurt, it might seem bland, but with all the salt and fat, it satisfies that need for “supernormal stimuli”. That said, I would love it if I could handle non-carnivore foods without it making me so incredibly sick. Some tomato in my scrambled eggs or some lemon on my fish, I can’t even do that anymore. And if I go out to eat I’m so paranoid that they’ve added something that will ruin me. That’s not exactly a flaw with the carnivore diet though.
On keto I was just beginning to really enjoy cooking and learning all these new techniques. Now days, there’s really nothing to challenge me, although some of the recipes on this site are examples of the kinds of things you can create entirely, or almost entirely, from animal products.
I very rarely went out for meals even before I got sick, most of my friends are too poor for that anyway. If you are someone who enjoys dining and socialising, it might be restrictive, but it’s not impossible. You can get a steak almost anywhere. Really it’s fasting that puts a very exact window on when you can eat which is optional, but most carnivores find they’re just not hungry more than once or twice a day.
Do I think everyone should go carnivore? Not really, I believe it is the optimal diet in terms of health, longevity, nutrient density and all of that. Plants serve no real function in terms of nutrition, we simply do not need them. But most human beings are not machines, they enjoy food, they desire variety and flavour, they want to have fun and experiment in the kitchen. As such I really do not see the harm in using plants as flavouring or as side dishes or treats. If you don’t have an auto immune disease, why deny yourself coffee or chocolate or peanut butter? I think a low carb diet with about 90% animal products is ideal.
I would absolutely recommend everyone give it a go at least once, you never know how it will improve your life until you try it. You may find minor complaints, like sleep or mood problems are actually just caused by diet. It’s even been known to cure depression, just look at Mikhaila Peterson. Sure there’s not a whole lot of studies, especially long term studies on the carnivore diet, but it’s the flawed scientific studies (manipulated by parties with ulterior motives like the 7th Day Adventists) that got us into this mess in the first place. I know I sound like a conspiracy theorist here, but when it comes to your health, you can’t always trust your government, your doctors, or even the scientific studies. You have to make those discoveries for yourself.
And what’s the worst that can happen? You might have a bit of trouble in the adjustment period if you go from one way of eating to another too quickly, an upset stomach, or keto flu, but otherwise, there is really no danger at all.
I am living proof that you don’t need carbs, you don’t need fibre, you don’t even need vitamin C. It’s funny how I used to see this as some temporary elimination diet. Carnivore is my life now, I’m just grateful I live in a time where I have access to the Internet, otherwise I really may have died following the advice of the supposed authorities.
*Myalgicencephalomyelitis formerly or more commonly referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome. It can develop from a variety of causes, in my case, it is a post-viral condition. It is thought to be a mitochondrial dysfunction.