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Why The Desire To Eat Meat Is So Ingrained In Humans

Why The Desire To Eat Meat Is So Ingrained In Humans

Our relationship with eating meat goes back for millenia. Thinking about the very first meat eating humans can really get the imagination going - what a revelation that first bite must have been. Scientists think that it may have been as a result of a drastic climate shift which made the Earth much hotter and dryer.

This had a two-fold effect on the ancient predecessors of humans who were living at the time. For one, they had been foraging for nuts, fruits, roots and tree barks in the lush forests that were their habitat. As the climate shift continued to increase in intensity, these ancient forests could no longer be sustained.

Also Read: Why Organ Meats Are Amazing

Why The Desire To Eat Meat Is So Ingrained In Humans - Beck & Bulow


A tipping point came when there were far more open plains on Earth than before. The new climate lent itself to tall grasses and open expanses. This led to the evolution of more large grazing animals who were able to thrive in these environments. Simultaneously, ancient hominins were being forced to find new sources of food.

The forest with its rich abundance of plants was no longer an option for foraging. Enter the saber toothed tiger, one of the most fearsome predators that ever walked this planet. That’s right, the earliest occurrences of our ancestors eating meat were because they learned to be scavengers.

It sounds pretty dangerous to scavenge from the kill of a saber toothed tiger, but it seems that the will to survive is stronger than fear. Perhaps these brave hominins figured out a way to scare off the lethal cats. Another possibility is that they waited until the tigers were finished and had moved on, leaving whatever bits of meat behind that they didn’t want.

What a relief that we progressed beyond scavenging for food from the leftovers of massive carnivores. A stark contrast to the modern day convenience we enjoy of having meat and other groceries delivered to our doorsteps.

Also Read: How I Became a Carnivorous Yogi

Why The Desire To Eat Meat Is So Ingrained In Humans - Beck & Bulow


As I’ve discussed in previous blogs, human evolution required our ancestors to begin consuming nutrient dense meat in order for our brains to evolve. Long story short, ancient hominids started cooking their meat when they discovered fire and were able to consume calories even more efficiently, allowing us to become the intelligent, complex creatures that we are today.

This is part of the reason that we’re still so wired to desire meat as modern day humans. It became a very high priority to consume meat, because it had such evolutionary potential for us as a species. When we eat meat consciously today, we can continue this age old tradition begun by our courageous ancestors.

There’s many reasons why eating meat continues to be so important for many humans. For one thing, who’s to say that we couldn’t take another major evolutionary leap sometime in the future? If meat helped us do it one time, it’s possible that it could happen again. On top of that, there’s a lot of cultural significance of eating meat.

For thousands of years, the rich had meat while the poor seldom did. It became a symbol of wealth and abundance. Since eating quality meat can really contribute to health and well being, maybe there was some dark strategy to this difference in diet. Depriving large groups of society of meat could have been a significant power play.

Also Read: Cooking Meat: From Stone Age Forest Fires to Your Kitchen

Why The Desire To Eat Meat Is So Ingrained In Humans - Beck & Bulow


Eating meat is also significant to people because of the role it can play in culture and tradition. Many traditional dishes for holidays, festivals and ceremonies across the globe involve meat of some kind. Food evokes strong feelings and memories, and many of us know the special sentimental value a grandmother’s recipe can hold.

We pass these foods down from generation to generation, and keep the tradition alive by continuing to prepare and feed them to our families. The ritual of sacred foods is a primal way of connecting that we have been practicing for millennia.

Many native cultures hold certain animals sacred and consuming their meat can be a very important aspect of the relationship. Eating meat is part of the way we fit into the rhythms of the earth, as long as it’s responsibility sourced and raised with respect.

When you order from Beck & Bulow, you know you’re receiving the best meat available. We care about where our meat comes from. We only work with local butcher shops who cut all of our meat with precision and care. This results in more visually appealing and tastier products. Check out our selections of bison, elk, lamb, beef, wild boar and chicken today.