Your Brain on Vegetables

Have you heard about the new “groundbreaking” report on climate change?

“No one will escape global warming” the United Nations proclaimed.

Many of the articles and reports have a recommendation for “saving the planet”: Stop eating meat and become a vegetarian.

The vegeterrorists are at it again.

I love vegetables. I eat them every day. But the idea that replacing animals with vegetables is eco-friendly and “green” is completely backwards.

First, it’s unnatural for the environment.

If you avoid animals as your source of protein and calories then you become more dependent on annual grasses. These crops like rice, corn and wheat, and soy completely devastate the environment.

When you grow these monocrops you remove the ruminant animals from their native environment. Ecosystems with native ruminant animals like North America have the ruminants take over most of the biological functions of soil. They digest the cellulose and return the nutrients to the soil in the form of excretion.

But without ruminants, the plant matter will pile up. This reduces growth and kills the plants. The bare earth is now exposed to wind, sun, and rain. The minerals leech away. The soil structure is destroyed.

You can artificially reverse this by making nitrogen fertilizer using fossil fuels, but that can’t be sustained. You see, nitrogen is an essential component of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and of nucleotides (the building blocks of DNA), and consequently is needed by all living things. Normally, nitrogen is fixed into the soil by the nitrogen cycle. Then:

  • Plant and animal wastes decompose, adding nitrogen to the soil.
  • Bacteria in the soil convert those forms of nitrogen into forms plants can use.
  • Plants use the nitrogen in the soil to grow.
  • Animals eat the plants, then return the residue which contains nitrogen to the soil again, completing the cycle.

By removing the animals, the soil has no way to get nitrogen except artificially. Modern farming practices use fertilizer infused with nitrogen – by way of heating it to very high temperatures with fossil fuels – to fix the nitrogen in the soil. But this isn’t natural, and we’re going to run out.

All we’ll have is dead soil that can’t support animals or crops. An attempt to “go green” by replacing animals with single, annual crops, will kill everything. Monocrop farming is a dead end street.

Second, vegetarianism is unhealthy for our bodies.

Your brain can’t live on vegetables alone.

Did you know that our brains are twice the size they should be for a primate our size? Eating meat is what gave us the chance to develop the bigger brain we enjoy today, and become humans.

Eating more nutrient-dense foods like meat and animal fat leaves more energy for other processes to happen.1 Carnivores can eat less often and will stay well fed for a much longer period of time because of the sheer number of nutrients in the food.

But carnivores’ brains can’t survive on cellulose. DHA is the main constituent of cell membranes in the brain. A deficiency of it can weaken the brain’s architecture and leave it vulnerable to disease.

DHA is one of the two main components of omega-3, the fatty acid you can’t make, and can’t live without. Vegetables sources of omega-3s are in the form of alpha linolenic acid (LA) which then has to be converted to DHA in the body.

So our natural source of DHA must have come from someplace else. And it did – animal products. The best sources of DHA are fish, eggs and beef. Grass-fed beef has up to ten times the omega-3s of grain-fed beef.2

So besides devastating the soil, going vegetarian will destroy our brains.

I want to keep my brain for as long as possible.

I also supplement my DHA with the best omega-3 supplement in the world, and I’m going to tell you more about it in tomorrow’s Doctor’s House Call.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
Al Sears, MD

1. Eades and Eades. “Protein Power Life Plan.” Grand Central Publishing. May 2001. p 9.
2. “Scientific Research” section of the