Debunking Meat-Heavy Diets in 200 Words

Drop the turkey leg and step away from the ButcherBox…

Erik Devaney
2 min readAug 12, 2022


They have names like the Carnivore Diet, the Caveman Diet, the Savage Diet, the Primal Diet, the Sapien Diet, and the Look-at-Me-Daddy-I’m-a-Big-Muscly-Boy-Now-Daddy-Because-I-Eat-All-My-Meats-Are-You-Proud-of-Me-Daddy? Diet.

Okay, so maybe I made that last one up.

But do any of these carbohydrate-restricting, meat-intensive diets, which are intended to mimic the diets of our pre-Agricultural Revolution ancestors, actually have anything to offer humanity?


  • constipation (thanks to the low fiber);
  • increased LDL (bad) cholesterol, putting you at risk for heart disease;
  • and with processed meat in particular (like bacon) comes the risk of high blood pressure, kidney problems, and some types of cancer

(source: Cleveland Clinic)

Risky Diets Based on Sloppy Science

Le Moustier Neanderthals (Charles R. Knight, 1920)
Le Moustier Neanderthals (Charles R. Knight, 1920)

While the peddlers of meat-heavy diets may genuinely believe they are following in the dietary footsteps of our Paleolithic, hunter-gatherer predecessors, there are three main problems with that assumption:

  1. Diets varied greatly by region during the Paleolithic era. In some regions, like Scandinavia, early humans ate lots of fish and meat. In other regions, they didn’t.
  2. The archaeological record favors meat consumption. Bones last a lot longer than rinds, cores, and other leftover bits of fruits and vegetables.
  3. Male-dominated academia has historically favored studying the hunters, not the gatherers. To quote anthropologist Dr. Jeanne E. Arnold: “People ate probably more non-meat foods than meat foods in every era in human history.” (source:



Erik Devaney

Full-time stay-at-home dad, part-time ghostwriter, retired pub musician, recovering marketer