Opinion: Guilt-free animal protein

George King, 23/03/2023

Surveys of city folk suggests about 2 percent of them are vegan, a further 5 percent identify as vegetarians.  Of the 5 percent ‘vegetarians’, 46 percent of them say they eat meat from time to time?

As protein producers, we have 98 percent of the population who we should be engaging with.

George King

If I may digress for a moment to discuss the history of humans eating animal proteins.  About four million years ago we were predominantly vegetarians living in a rainforest area of West Africa.  A significant climate change event took place in the Pliocene era which dried the rainforest out into open woodlands.  About this time our primitive ancestors began scavenging nutrition by using stones to access bone marrow and brain tissue from animals which had been eaten by prey.  Over the next 3.5 million years our brains began to grow, our digestive system adapted a non-functioning cecum which means humans are incapable of digesting cellulose.  Our intestines shortened meaning we have become physiologically dependent on animal foods in our diet to provide a range of nutrients essential to growth, development and life.

The essential nutrients which are bioavailable from animal products are:

  • Balanced intake of amino acids (protein type)
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B12
  • Omega 3 fatty acids.

Vitamin B12 is not available from any plant foods, it is made by bacteria in the lower GI tract of herbivores.  B12 is essential nerve and brain structure and function of cellular methylation reactions.  In other words you need B12 to prevent neurological complications, cognitive impairment, decline and brain atrophy.  If you have wondered why vegans are a bit strange…

Plant-based foods artificially add iron, zinc and vitamin B12 into their chemistry mix but it is not bioavailable to humans, regardless of how much they can make it taste like meat it is not meat.  The latest fad is protein from insects, we have not evolved to eat insects, they contain Chitine (a carcinogenic polysaccharide), metamorphic steroids and Ecdiisterone.   It’s not mammal food.  Only birds and fish can safely process insect into food, we should be feeding this to fish and chickens and then eating them like a normal human being.  Planet Earth cannot provide a healthy diet to humans without animals.  Healthy diets protect against malnutrition as well as non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

As farmers who produce animals which are destined for human food we should be enormously proud of our contribution to civilisation.  In the real world there is no such thing as a death free meal, a pure vegan diet kills up to 25 times more sentient beings per kilogram of protein produced than a conventional animal based diet.  Modern cropping to grow vegan food displaces and kills whatever biodiversity was living in that field.  Eating Australian beef you are assured that the animal was ethically raised, during it time on grass it was helping the environment by converting cellulose into protein and drastically reducing the grass volume to be absorbed by the soil, they were handled calmly and professionally under the best biosecurity protocols in the world and then killed in the most humane and pain free way possible.

What is ethically abhorrent in the food production system is imperialist groups who are pushing to remove animal agriculture.  They flag animal rights in a country which has the highest standards in the world whilst completely invalidating human rights.  Half the women in Australia suffer from Iron deficiencies, some our most vulnerable women and children in society struggle to provide enough protein to live a healthy, content and happy life and these deranged fringe groups are calling for an essential food to be scrapped whilst offering no economic or realistic alternative.

If you want to live a healthy, balanced, sane and satisfying life you have to have animal products in your diet.  We cannot turn the clock back 4 million years to a time when the human population was measured in thousands and we lived in an isolated rainforest about midway along the food chain.

Credit. The Good Meat Summit, MLA, AMIC, Professor Neil Mann & Professor Candace Croney.

  • George King is a cattle producer from NSW and sits on the Board of Cattle Australia. 


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  1. Martin Birch, 29/03/2023

    This is a fascinating, informed read and has in particular piqued my interest in the nascent insect protein industry in Australia.

  2. Franca All, 25/03/2023

    I totally agree with this article we have human rights and sovereignty we must stick together and say no to changes that do not benefit the people we have the power

  3. Paul D. Butler, 24/03/2023

    ‘If you want to live a healthy, balanced, sane and satisfying life you have to have animal products in your diet.”,,,,,,,,,EXACTLY

  4. Will Cannon, 23/03/2023

    Great article G K.

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