The Rare Norm a couple of months ago Share Tweet Pin Share Wrong. Humans have evolved to eat meat. Eating meat has made us human. As a new study in Nature makes clear, not only did processing and eating meat come naturally to humans, it’s entirely possible that without an early diet that included generous amounts of animal protein, we wouldn’t even have become human—at least not the modern, verbal, intelligent humans we are. On average, they found that it required from 39% to 46% less force to chew and swallow processed meat than processed root foods. Slicing worked best for meat, not only making it especially easy to chew, but also reducing the size of the individual particles in any swallow, making them more digestible. For OSUs, pounding was best—a delightful fact that one day would lead to the mashed potato. Overall, Zink and Lieberman concluded, a diet that was one-third animal protein and two-thirds OSUs would have saved early humans about two million chews per year—a 13% reduction—meaning a commensurate savings in time and calorie-burning effort just to get dinner down. Now that’s not to say the industrial meat farming is safe, healthy, or ethical. But humans are supposed to eat meat. We’re omnivores, meaning humans are healthiest when their nutrition comes from multiple sources, from both plants and animals. There’s nothing wrong with being vegetarian or vegan, but to say we don’t need meat is unscientific and wrong. Until lab grown meat is affordable, and abundant we have no choice.