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Kurt Harris MD

An Archevore is someone who eats based on essential principles, and also someone who hungers for essential principles. Take your pick.

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« Media and Glossary links | Main | More on Grass Fed Bison »

"Lean" grass fed bison images

Once on Richard Nikoley’s blog, he had a link to some piece of vegan propaganda that contained a video clip of pigs being slaughtered and hung up. I knew I could never be a vegan when the video, intended to disgust me, instead made me salivate involuntarily.

This picture is like that. It will only look “pretty” to those who are comfortable, if not intimate, with where food comes from.

This photo is courtesy of reader Tara, and illustrates the copious mesenteric (inside the belly) fat in a “lean” grass-fed buffalo. She has more such beautiful images at her website linked below.

Tribe of Five


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Reader Comments (17)

Stop destroying so many paradigms, it's difficult to keep up some days. :D

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Csonka

Yep, there is no way I could ever be vegan.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRhys Morgan

Veganism is a religion, not a diet.

And like all religions, it is bereft in logical consistency and fact.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKarmaPolice

Nature is savage, we are savage creatures. The further we move away from that, and try to compensate by eating fake foods, the fatter and unhealthier we become. Love this site/blog, it is an excellent resource.


The funny thing about this "savagery" idea is that we hunters and butchers of animals are puzzled by it.

I don't feel savage or angry or pissed off or bloodthirsty, or any of those things when I kill or butcher an animal.

I think some in the "macho" part of the city-dwelling paleosphere like the transgressive nature of the killing and butchering as they are sick of listening to the stupid vegans blather on about animals and cruelty, etc. - rightfully so.

But to talk of eating animals as savagery is to grant vegans their main point. I don't see eating animals as "savage" at all.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNate Miyaki

"I think some in the "macho" part of the city-dwelling paleosphere like the transgressive nature of the killing and butchering as they are sick of listening to the stupid vegans blather on about animals and cruelty, etc. - rightfully so."

u put into words what i've been trying to to wrap my head around for the last few months. i live in dc and i've also noticed a certain element in the urban paleosphere that seems to get off on shocking people by using certain paleoisms as a form of nihilistic voyeurism. i understand being reactionary to vegan culture being that the culture is self-righteous, based in pseudo-science and so so wrong. but the dickish urban paleo dudes really are becoming just as unbearable as the vegans here. i know hunters and hang out with them and there's nothing about what they do that they would consider savage or malevolent.


Killing a mammal that is as big as you are has a lot of emotions associated with it when hunting. Excitement and anxiety of the chase, some sadness, poignancy, elation. Anger or malice is totally absent, in my experience.

Oh, and the sore back and arms from dragging a deer a half- mile.. priceless.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterderrick

Being one of those city-dwelling paleos, I went up to a local farm to help process their pastured turkeys two years ago. The whole getting closer to your food thing (plus a trial run for when we move away from the city). I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it before doing it, but the only real feeling I had when I did do it was that it was just work. It was something that had to be done by someone if you wanted to eat animals and eat well. It wasn't savage or beautiful or anything like that, it was just something to be done, and in some ways because of that it was a very calming experience. I've been back each year since then.

KGH: I never get the same intense feeling shooting wild birds like pheasants as when I hunt large game. Hunting wild turkeys is pretty thrilling, though.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRoger Chi

"Oh, and the sore back and arms from dragging a deer a half- mile.. priceless."

and kurt this is why we do deadlifts :)... funny how most of the good workout protocols that are coming out are mimicking some aspect of hunting. hopefully we're coming back full-circle. great posts and keep them coming because you're changing lives. one of these days i'm gonna send you the pics of my parents who have been PANU since new year's. my cancer surviving dad has dropped 60 lbs (first time under 300 in over a decade) and my mom has dropped 40- both in about 3 months. can't express my gratitude enough.

KGH: Fantastic - send before and after pics and I'll post...

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterderrick

Make me wonder why fat on an animal is good, but fat on a human is bad ... ;-P

I recall a Discovery Channel show (or was it "Dirty Jobs"??) where they went to a place where they strip the meat off of bones and turn them into display pieces for labs and education.

The guy they interviewed was asked which animal was the worst to work with, and he said "Human, because humans are very greasy". Wow.

I've been privy to a pig being butchered - stinky affair. Not a happily raised hog at all. Deer, on the other hand, while interesting in the way they smell, are not 'stinky' in my opinion. I've heard that most people are rather unpleasant smelling when opened up on the operating table ...

Wow - talk about a brain dump ... cleanup in aisle three!!!

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Being charitable to Nate, he is perhaps trying to co-opt the language used by Vegans &etc to dis-empower it. If you don't get a sense of the transgressive while viewing pictures like the one above and salivating, then there is a strong disconnect between you and culture-at-large. That is probably a good thing, but it's part of why you find it "funny" to hear hunting or graphic pictures of animals being slaughtered being described as savage.

That said, I enjoyed the pictures immensely, salivated, and they are making me look forward to picking up my Marin Sun Farms meat CSA this afternoon (with an extra 10lbs of grass fed beef fat added to the order as I am running low on tallow).

KGH: It is because I have a real sensitivity to actual savagery, like mass rape in the congo or starving your baby or political torture that I find it funny. But I realize that savagery has many meanings, and I was not trying to knock on Nate. Nature is cruel and savage, but eating animals does not feel like savagery to me.

"there is a strong disconnect between you and culture-at-large."

The disconnect is between cultural elements that value animals as much as humans and nature itself.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Seeing the animal fat like this makes me wonder about the seasonal variability in fat content. If harvested in the fall, then I'd expect a great deal of fat, whereas they'd likely be much leaner at the end of the winter/early spring.

Just offering an alternative explanation for the discrepancy between Dr. Cordain's observations on the leanness of wild animals vs. grain-fed cattle, that doesn't involve dishonesty on his part. Hopefully he'll come around to be more accepting of "non-lean" meats.


I commented on that in earlier posts. You must not have read that. And I never said Dr. Cordain was dishonest. I said his theory that paleo man could not have had high fat consumption based on supermarket-style cuts of meat is wrong.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Yeah, I didn't mean "savage" in a bad way, but I absolutely see what you mean.

I don't get the Vegan argument against animal proteins from a nutritional standpoint. We have essential amino acid and essential fatty acid needs, and those nutrients exist in the right proportions and ratios in certain types of animal foods. Can't say the same about vegetable or grain sources. I think the Jolly Green Giant is so jolly because he is sneaking some grass-fed meats into his diet.

KGH: I understand how you meant it, but was just making some observations off of that.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNate Miyaki

Ah, gotcha. I haven't yet had time to read through all of your older posts (although I'll get there eventually).

I suppose I was trying to avoid calling Dr. Cordain incompetent (which I'm not sure is avoidable if he is so easily proved wrong on such an essential point).

As an aside, I like the new site name.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

When I'm involved with taking the life of an animal, I always feel profound gratitude. My ethnic heritage includes Metis so whether it's because of that or just my own inner workings, we are always sure to say a little blessing over the animals we have killed. It's a feeling of intimate connection, to the animal, to nature, and to my authentic self. There is a 'rightness' in being responsible for the quality of the life AND the death of an animal that will feed our family.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTara

If the fat isn't yellow, does that mean that I've actually purchased beef that is grain-finished? Or is there some season variation? I cannot recall the fat from "grass-fed" beef I've bought from Whole Foods or Trader Joes ever being that color (until I season it with tumeric!). Either way I'm definitely looking into options for getting better grass fed beef in Los Angeles. Knowing more about what truly grass fed beef looks like is a big help, so thank you for the information and link to the pictures!

KGH: Good question. My grass fed is unquestionably yellower, almost green. The mesenteric fat you see is usually more intense in color in general, but the muscle fat can be assumed to have more carotene and n-3 if it has more color.

April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPK

PK: I suspect it depends on whether the animal was finished on fresh green forage (producing the yellow/green fat in the pictures) - or on dry grass or hay, which would produce paler fat.

In Southern California, the grass is only green during winter and early spring due to the seasonal rains. And I suspect a lot of large-scale "grass-fed" beef production depends on hay.

The grass-fed beef I eat has never been that bright yellow color...but it's never been the bright white color of supermarket beef, either.


April 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJ. Stanton

I like your comments on how hunting/killing does not have to do with anger or savagery. A lot of people don't seem to know that it's LOW testosterone rather than high, that makes you more prone to anger (and depression, irritability, and lack of focus). That's widely written about, like here, for example:

April 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHilary McClure

I'm reminded of Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dillemma and his boar hunt at the end. He is from Brooklyn, so his nervousness and ignorance of the wild seemed very strange to me, from a very quiet suburb in Texas. But people where I'm from hunt and fish and someone you know has always got a bit of venison or whatever in the freezer...


I am sure you have a good explanation for why you prefer the people's republic of massachusetts and vitamin D deficiency to texas: )

April 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Deans
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