Pottenger’s Cats, A Study in Nutrition

This is another article I have no compulsion in reproducing. We were told about Pottiengers Cats in 2012 by Caron McGregor on her visit from NSW. I have read the article from Dr Pottenger and studies done by students, two of which I have added to Dr Pottengers original.

So much can be attributed to how we feed dogs and what litter sizes are and health In life “you only get out what you put in”. Afterall dogs are from wolves and natural scavengers and killers should the need take.

Please note how the studies swing into human breeding and what if’s and buts!!

Pottenger’s Cats — A Study in Nutrition

by Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., MD

From 1932 to 1942, Dr. Francis Marion Pottenger, Jr. (frequently misspelled Pottinger) conducted an experiment to determine the effects of heat-processed food on cats.

This ten-year cat study was prompted by the high death rate among his laboratory cats undergoing operations to remove their adrenal glands. At that time, there were no chemical procedures to measure the strength of adrenal extract. So, manufacturers used cats. Cats die without their adrenal glands. So, the amount of extract the cats needed to keep them alive allowed the manufacturers to calibrate the strength of their product.

Dr. Pottenger fed his cats a diet of raw milk, cod liver oil and cooked meat scraps, which included liver, tripe, sweetbreads, brains, heart and muscle. This was considered the optimum diet.

Concerned with the cats poor postoperative survival, Dr. Pottenger noticed the cats showed a decrease in their reproductive capacity and many of the kittens born in the laboratory had skeletal deformities and organ malfunctions.

By a quirk of fate, since the number of cats donated by his neighbors in Monrovia, California kept increasing, he couldn’t handle the demand for cooked meat scraps. So, he ordered raw meat scraps from a local meat packing plant, including the viscera, muscle and bone. Always a scientist, Dr. Pottenger fed these raw meat scraps to a segregated group of cats so that he could observe any change. Within a few months, this group appeared healthier, their kittens more vigorous, and they had a higher survival rate after their operations.

The contrast between the two sets of cats was so startling, it prompted Dr. Pottenger to perform a controlled experiment to verify these facts scientifically.

The experiment included 900 cats over four generations and was well documented by Dr. Pottenger. The cats were divided into five groups. All the groups were supplied the same basic minimal diet, but the major portion of the diets were varied. Two of the groups were fed whole foods (raw milk and meat – real foods for cats). The other three groups were given processed foods: pasteurized, evaporated and condensed milk.

All four generations of the raw meat and raw milk groups remained healthy throughout their normal lifespans. The first generation of all three processed food groups developed diseases and illnesses near the end of their lives. The second generation of all three processed food groups developed diseases and illnesses in the middle of their lives. The third generation of all three processed food groups developed diseases and illnesses in the beginning of their lives and many died before six months of age. There was no fourth generation in any of the three processed food groups. Either the third generation parents were sterile or the fourth generation cats died before birth! Remember, all four generations of the raw food groups were healthy throughout their normal lifespans.

As for applying his results to human nutrition, Dr. Pottenger said, “While no attempt will be made to correlate the changes in the animals studied with malformations found in humans, the similarity is so obvious that parallel pictures will suggest themselves.”

Does this give you an understanding of why so many children are now developing cancer? Why there were no fertility clinics 30 years ago?

There is no similar experiment in medical literature. The findings were supervised by Dr. Pottenger along with Dr. Alvin Foord, professor of pathology at the University of Southern California and pathologist at the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena. These studies met the most rigorous scientific standards of their day.

” Making a Difference in YOUR Future!”

The Pottenger Cat Experiments illustrate the genetic tendency principles.

In the 1940’s Francis M. Pottenger (not Pottinger) M.D. began a ten year study using 900 cats to determine what effects processed foods have on the body, and to examine the genetic propensity of passing degenerative disease traits from generation to generation. The cats were divided into five groups with two of the groups fed raw whole foods and the other three groups cooked enzymeless foods. The cats were observed over a four generation period and the following results were documented by Doctor Pottenger:


FOOD FEDRaw meatRaw milkPasteurized milkEvaporated milkCondensed milk
1st GenerationRemained healthyRemained healthyDeveloped diseases and illnesses near end of life
2nd GenerationRemained healthyRemained healthyDeveloped diseases and illnesses in middle of life
3rd GenerationRemained healthyRemained healthyDeveloped diseases and illnesses in beginning of life; many died before six months of age;
4th GenerationRemained healthyRemained healthyNo fourth generation was produced: either third generation parents were sterile, or fourth generation cats were aborted before birth
Source: Pottenger’s Cats, a Study in Nutrition

Pottenger’s cats study gives insight into why children today are getting degenerative diseases that used to only show up in humans at an age of 50 years or older.

What’s alarming about this study is that the levels of health get progressively worse with each generation. The four generations of cats were observed over ten years. It takes approximately 20 years to beget a generation of humans so the same study would take over 80 years in people . Of course no such study is being done, but it’s easy to observe that there is a tremendous increase in heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases over the last eighty years. There is however a decrease in infectious disease so we may be living slightly longer. Let’s look a little closer.

Diseases are not inherited; rather only the tendency or potential of a disease is passed on from parents to offspring. The disease tendency is transferred by way of the genetic code. A genetic tendency is only a potential disease though. A genetic weakness does not have to manifest as a disease unless there are factors that exploit that weakness (poor diet, for example).

These genetic weaknesses will get worse with each succeeding generation if they continue in a enzymeless nutrient poor diet. The study proved that genetic weakness becomes more evident with each generation, but more importantly, that there comes a point when it becomes totally out of control. This is evident in the fourth generation.

Here’s what Dr. Pottenger said, “While no attempt will be made to correlate the changes in the animals studied with malformations found in humans, the similarity is so obvious that parallel pictures will suggest themselves.”

Proper Feeding from Pottenger’s Cats

Written by Michelle T. Bernard   Monday, May 11, 2009 06:22 PM

Page 1 of 2

The findings from a ten-year feeding study of cats conducted a little over 70 years ago by a doctor in California reveal that feeding cats raw food had a dramatic and positive impact on their health and well-being when compared to cats fed cooked meat.

Between 1932 and 1942, Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., M.D. researched the use of adrenal hormones in respiratory complaints such as asthma. Because cats cannot live without their adrenal glands they were used as laboratory animals to standardize the extracts. Pottenger maintained his cats on what was considered to be a high quality, nutritionally complete feline diet. The cats were fed cooked meat scraps, consisting of liver, tripe, sweetbreads, brains, heart and muscle, from a local sanatorium, raw milk and cod liver oil. Commercial cat food did not appear on the markets until the 1960’s. In Pottenger’s time, domestic cats either hunted for their food or were fed table scraps.¹

Compared to the stainless steel cages laboratory cats live in today, Pottenger’s cats dwelt in agreeable quarters. They lived in large outdoor pens overlooking the San Gabriel Valley. The outdoor area was covered with chicken wire for adequate sun exposure. They had a trench filled with clean sand for a litter box. The back of the pens was sheltered and contained a wooden floor and bedding. Caretakers removed the cats’ uneaten meat and bones and cleaned and refilled the water containers daily.²

Even though they received such good care, Pottenger could not understand why the cats were such poor operative risks. Many died in surgery or recovered slowly.³

When the cats donated to Pottenger’s study outnumbered the food available from the sanatorium Pottenger placed an order at a local meat packing plant for raw meat scraps, again including the viscera, muscle and bone.⁴

Pottenger fed the raw meat scraps (including raw milk and cod liver oil) to a segregated group of cats, keeping the remainder of his cats on the cooked meat diet. Within a few months the differences between the cats fed raw meat and those fed cooked meat became evident. The raw meat fed cats and kittens were more vigorous and survived surgery better than the cooked meat fed cats.⁵

The difference between the health of the two groups of cats prompted Pottenger to conduct a ten year study involving over 900 cats including at least four generations to discover why cats fed raw food were healthier than those fed cooked food. The cats in Pottenger’s study were used to study the effects of heat-processed food to benefit human nutrition. The latest and most rigorous scientific standards were applied for these experiments with their protocol consistently observed. Each cat’s clinical chart included notes for its entire life. At the end of ten years, 600 of 900 the cats studied had complete, recorded health histories.⁶

The raw meat fed cats were uniform in size and skeletal development from generation to generation. Over their life spans, they were resistant to infections, fleas and various other parasites and had no signs of allergies. In general, they were gregarious, friendly and predictable in their behaviour patterns. They reproduced one homogeneous generation after another with the average weight of the kittens at birth being 119 grams (4.20 ounces). Miscarriages were rare and litters averaged five kittens with the mother cat nursing her young without difficulty.⁷

The cats fed the cooked meat diet reproduced a heterogeneous strain of offspring, each kitten in a litter different in size and skeletal pattern. Health problems ranged from allergies to infections of the kidney, liver, bones and reproductive organs. By the time the third deficient generation was born, the cats were so “physiologically bankrupt” that none survived beyond sixth months, thus terminating the strain.⁸

Picture shows mealtime at Balletcor.

Cooked meat fed cats showed much more irritability. Some females were dangerous to handle. The males, on the other hand, were docile, often unassertive and lacked sex drive or were perverted.⁹

Pregnant females aborted, about 25 percent in the first deficient generation to about 70 percent in the second generation. Deliveries were generally difficult with many females dying in labor. Kittens’ mortality rate was also high because they were either stillborn or too frail to nurse.¹⁰

Many females had pregnancy and infertility problems. The average weight of the kittens born of cooked meat fed mothers was 100 grams (3.4 ounces), 19 grams less than the raw meat nurtured kittens.¹¹

Raw-meat fed males of proven virility were used for breeding, therefore, the experimental results primarily reflected the condition of the mother cat.¹² Most deficient cats died from infections of the kidneys, lungs and bones.¹³ If modern-day antibiotics had been applied, these infections would possibly have been eliminated as a cause of death. The use of antibiotics to treat infections would have allowed the cats to reveal their ultimate degenerative fates.

Many of the deficiencies experienced by the cats fed the cooked meat diet were due to inadequate taurine. Cooking meat makes taurine less available to cats. Pottenger’s study demonstrates that cats thrived and reproduced for years on a very simple raw food diet.

With the advent of commercial cat food, scientists employed by pet food manufacturers conducted feed trials to determine the minimum daily requirements for the domestic cat. Laboratory cats, kept in small stainless steel cages, are fed a purified diet with different nutrients withheld until a deficiency emerges. With the Pottenger Cat Study records available, pet food manufacturers did not need to conduct their own feed trials. Pottenger’s raw meat fed cats survived for years without the need for veterinary care. Why would there be a need to feed a cat any differently? Where did the public lose its way in feeding cats?

People Who Read This Article Also Read:

Michelle Bernard, has spent nearly a decade digging into what makes cats bloom naturally with excellent health. A freelance writer who breeds and shows American Shorthairs, she has been keeping her own cats vibrantly healthy using a raw meat diet and plain common sense since 1993. “Early Lessons in Proper Feeding from Pottenger’s Cats” is a full chapter excerpt from her book, Raising Cats Naturally: How to Care for Your Cat the Way Nature Intended and is posted here with Ms Bernard’s kind permission.

  1. Francis M. Pottenger, Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition, 2nd ed. Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, 1995, 1.

  2. Pottenger, 5.

  3. Pottenger, 1.

  4. Pottenger, 1.

  5. Pottenger, 1.

  6. Pottenger, 1.

  7. Pottenger, 9-11.

  8. Pottenger, 9-11.

  9. Pottenger, 11.

  10. Pottenger, 11.

  11. Pottenger, 11.

  12. Pottenger, 6.

  13. Pottenger,11

Dr Yourself.Com   From The Health Homesteading  Site

IMAGINE THAT YOU ARE A JUNIOR HIGH school science teacher. Scary thought though it be, I was one. Now let’s say you want to try nutritional experiments with animals in a seventh grade biology class. Let me clue you in: you can forget about any hopes you might have for either control or objectivity. Take two cages of hamsters, mice, Guinea pigs or what have you, and feed one group a really good diet and the other group a really bad diet. You, the teacher, know exactly what results to expect. So do the students. The moment you are not looking, they will smuggle nuts, raw vegetables and probably vitamin tablets into the “deficient diet” cage. They cannot stand to see those little mammals suffer the ravages of malnutrition, and they will make quite certain that it does not happen.

Junior high students, like everyone else including even the youngest of children, know that junk food leads to junked bodies. Yet these very same kids will eat the most gosh-awful food they can find in the school cafeteria, if they eat anything there at all, when so many schools still have competing snack and drink vending machines.

Knowing clearly does not make it so. Consider food preparation. We know that animals in the wild never eat cooked food, yet we feed nothing but to our dogs and cats. If it’s in a can, pouch, bag or box, that pet’s food has been cooked.

And along with it, perhaps its goose as well.

Between 1932 and 1942, Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., M.D., conducted his now classic ten-year, multi-generation nutrition study on cats. This decade of data has been neatly condensed into a concise, inexpensive 119-page book entitled Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition, also incorporating summaries of some two dozen of the doctor’s nutrition papers.

Pottenger’s cat experiments were, in a nutshell, a decade-long, scientifically controlled “Supersize Me” experiment. Basically, there were two groups of cats: the cats who daily ate the kitty equivalent of Burglar King and McNothing foods, that is, nothing but cooked food. The other group was fed raw food.

What do you suppose was the result?

OK, class; let’s not always see the same hands.

Yes, you’re right. The raw food cats thrived. The cooked food cats did not, and there were no merciful middle-schoolers there to save them.

I have a cat; her name is Dolly. She is asleep on my lap as I write this. Dolly was cast off in a rural store parking lot. We brought her home hungry, and to this day she retains the most amazing kitty appetite I have ever seen. We have repeatedly discovered that she is inexplicably partial to fresh Italian bread. She will energetically eat cooked green beans, zucchini squash, and beets. As for raw vegetables, she is famous in cyberspace as the Carrot Cat (photos at http://www.doctoryourself.com/cat1.html). The Carrot Cat will eat raw carrot pulp left over when I make carrot juice. (Of course, she is also fed a variety of animal foods.) As I write these very words, she is using her forehead to lift my hand away from the keyboard and go feed her. Again.

Even for the cat-lovers among us, the larger question must be, To what extent do the Pottenger Cat Experiments apply to people? Chapters 11 and 12 specifically address this, focusing on children’s skeletal development. Chapter 9 provides an excellent validation for breastfeeding. I am particularly intrigued with Pottenger’s observations that cats fed on cooked meat and milk develop “all kinds” of allergies, and hypothyroidism. When fed raw foods, the cats’ symptoms go away. (p 33) I personally have seen a case where a 67-year-old woman, who was on a prescribed low dose of Synthroid, no longer needed it after just a few weeks of raw vegetable juicing. She is 87 now and her doctors have confirmed that still does not require any thyroid supplement.

At the very least, the Pottenger Cat Experiments show what an unsupplemented lifetime diet of cooked meat can do to a carnivore. But the more important message of the experiments is that they also show recovery on a raw-food diet. I think we can reasonably infer that this applies to people. And for those bound and determined to go Atkins, well, maybe you’d better consider eating your meat raw.

Repellant though this thought be, I’d better be careful what I say. Once I had a reader who took an offhand comment like this seriously. He wrote to me that he’d started eating wild game, uncooked. While, in truth, he also claimed he’d never felt better, I cringe at the bacterial and parasite load one might incur in eating raw animals.


Though Pottenger does recommend “raw beef hors d’ oeuvres three times weekly” (p 105), it would be inaccurate to imply that Dr. Pottenger expected people to eat meat raw. His instructions for cooking brains are on page 108; recipes for cooking kidneys, p 109; preparing heart and tripe, on p 110. He advocated minimal cooking (p 103), but even that is difficult to avoid seeing as a philosophical inconsistency in his writing. Minimally cooked is still a far cry from raw.

More to my taste is raw bean and grain sprouting, of which Pottenger said, “To enhance their protein value, sprout before cooking.” (p 106) There it is again: cooking. However, he also recommended uncooked sprouts for salads. (p 111) Dr. Pottenger advocated clean, raw milk. As a former dairyman and college clinical nutrition instructor, so do I.

Just how lifeless is cooked food? Well, Dr. Pottenger even tested the value of cat excreta as fertilizer. Guess what? He found that plants would not grow in the presence of waste from cooked-food cats and cooked milk cats.

Evidently, neither did bones, jaws and teeth. Malocclusion was prominent among the defects and disorders Pottenger saw in cooked-food fed cats. The problem has not gone away. A MEDLINE search for “malocclusion cats” brings up a dozen and a half papers on the subject . . .and 133 papers on the condition in dogs. You can see more at these web locations:

Orthodontics for housepets

Specific techniques involved:


Specifically for cats


When it comes to people, I strongly support Pottenger’s stance in favor of a whole food, whole grain, low sugar diet. However, I do have a bone to pick with the good doctor, and here it is:

In recommending his High Protective Diet, Pottenger calls for an adult human to consume 225 grams of fat per day, and an equal amount of protein (p 103). I am tempted to try to dismiss this as a misprint, but it is not, as he has previously presented this opinion on page 94. Pottenger states (p 99) that “Fat is the energy fuel of the body.” There are many complex-carbo fans who would sharply disagree with this statement, especially to the tune of 225 grams of fat per day. For an adult, 60 to 80 g/day total dietary fat is usually recommended. According to the US government, even an eating machine such as a teenage boy, chowing down a 3,000 Calorie/day diet, should get no more than 100 g/day. (http://www.fda.gov/fdac/special/foodlabel/dvs.html) Dr. Pottenger would seem to suggest that we should eat well over twice that amount of fat, every day.

There is, in fact, no US RDA for fat. Technically, we do not need to eat much fat at all; we do need some to help absorb fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D and E. What we absolutely must have are the essential fatty acids: linolenic and linoleic acid. To his credit, and to my relief, Pottenger says, “The primary source of man’s fats is vegetable; the secondary source is animal.” (p 98)

My interpretation of Pottenger’s work is this: It is not about eating more meat and fat; it is about eating more raw food. Raw for cats and carnivores means raw meat. Raw for people, who cannot be reasonably expected to eat raw meat, must emphasize foods other than meat.

Differences aside, I submit that Pottenger’s essential and enduring message might best be expressed in his own words:

“We have shown that allergic manifestations and dental disturbances comparable to those seen in human beings result from changes in food preparation. . . We find animals that receive raw meat show consistent facial development and normal dentition. . . We also find the converse to be true. Those kittens that receive cooked meat instead of raw develop all types of malformations of the face, jaws and teeth. . . (When) cats put on the cooked meat diet and are allowed to become pregnant, their kittens’ skulls show marked variations from the normal . . . (O)nce such deficiencies are produced and maintained by a faulty diet, they become progressively worse through the second and third generations. . .  The cats fed cooked food may produce a premature or full term litter of stillborn kittens. One cat proves unable to deliver her kittens even after 72 hours of labor. If a mother cat is kept on cooked food for more than two years, she usually dies during delivery. Delivery complications such as these have not been found in cats placed on raw food.

“Deficient cats exhibit progressive allergic symptoms from generation to generation. They show most of the common respiratory, gastrointestinal and constitutional problems as well as various skin disorders. . . Hypothyroidism is prevalent and contributes to marked disturbances in the osseous development of some deficient cats and to apparent disturbances in their reproductive efficiency.

“The elements in raw food which activate and support growth and development in the young appear easily altered and destroyed by heat processing and oxidation. . . All tissue enzymes are heat labile and so destroyed. Vitamin C and some members of the B complex are injured by the process of cooking and minerals are made less soluble by altering their physiochemical state.” (pages 39-42)

Surely these observations demand our most serious consideration. They are a powerful argument in favor of minimal food processing, maximal raw food intake, and in my opinion, the use of vitamin supplements. I would like to see a new 10-year cat study in which one multi-generational group of cats gets cooked food with supplements, another group raw food with supplements, another cooked and no supplements, and another raw and no supplements.

In a way, this experiment is already underway, and you and everyone you know are part of it. But in our unintended, uncontrolled, world-wide version of the study, we find that even Pottenger’s all-cooked-food test animals had advantages over us: 1) they did not eat junk food; 2) they did not eat sugar; and 3) cats (like practically all other animals) make their own vitamin C. We have none of these advantages.

What this means is that the unsupplemented human race’s health can be expected to be even poorer than Pottenger’s sickest cats.

And it is. The lesson of Dr. Pottenger’s work, over 60 years ago, is yet to be learned.

Pottenger FM Jr. Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition. Elaine Pottenger, editor, with Robert T. Pottenger, Jr. Lemon Grove, CA: Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, 1995. (http://www.price-pottenger.org)


In my June 20, 2003 Doctor Yourself Newsletter http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v3n15.txt I wrote:

“Cornell University’s extensive nutrition studies in China have shown that people eating little or no animal protein are less likely to get either cancer or heart disease. “These diets are much different from the average American diets, containing only about 0-20% animal

based foods, while the average American diet is comprised of about 60-80% animal based foods. Disease patterns in much of rural China tend to reflect those prior to the industrial revolution in the U.S., when cancers and cardiovascular diseases were much less prevalent.” (http://www.nutrition.cornell.edu/ChinaProject/results.html )

“Decades earlier, researchers such as Dr. Francis Pottenger and Dr. Weston Price (http://www.price-pottenger.org/articles.htm )

(http://www.westonaprice.org/splash_2.htm ) have repeatedly shown that “primitive” peoples or laboratory animals eating a natural, nearly vegetarian diet simply do not have serious diseases.”

For this, I caught a little flack. Here’s a typical reader’s comment:

“Dear Dr. Saul: I am sure you will get lots of e-mails about your comment linking Weston Price with vegetarianism. You must be kidding! All of Dr. Price’s writings, from years of traveling the world and finding out why people were healthy or sick clearly point out the

fact that animal foods are essential and the prerequisite to good health. Vegetarians are not healthier, they don’t live longer, and the fact that you are a vegetarian doesn’t

change these facts. I enjoy your newsletter as you provide tons of good information, however this one is a boo-boo.”

Readers’ feedback shows a genuine interest in attempting to keep me honest, and I appreciate receiving it. Though my use of the word “vegetarian” is presumably the source of contention, I think my use of the qualifying word “nearly” must be the focal point for discussion.

The Cornell China studies clearly support near-vegetarianism (“0-20% animal-based foods”), which is my preferred long-term dietary maintenance plan. And I would be pleased if everyone followed Pottenger’s dictum and ate pretty much raw everything, especially raw milk, which I have long advocated. My reading of Price’s work says to me, “eat unprocessed foods.” If people want to eat the seafood and organ meats that Dr. Price advocated in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, they will do well nutritionally to do so.


Dr. Pottenger’s emphasis was on the nutritional value of raw foods, and he got it right. Pottenger knew that carnivorous animals, normally, would never be in a position to hunt a cooked meal. His studies were primarily on cats, and most felines are carnivores. But even “carnivores” are not strictly carnivorous. Lions and similar predators gobble up the predigested vegetable material from an herbivorous prey animal’s digestive organs in preference to any other part of the kill. I caught my cat up on the kitchen counter the other day. She was eating carrot pulp left over from the morning’s juicing. Plain carrot pulp. Years ago, I had a cat that would stand up on her hind legs and beg for cooked green beans. But this is in addition to an appropriately-meaty kitty diet.

For humans, if a vegetable, fruit or dairy food can be eaten uncooked, then it should be. As for raw meat, well, no thank you. The Natural Hygienists have what is at heart the same message: eat fresh and raw. I admire and seek to emulate such knowledge to the maximum practical extent. However, I do not apologize for having a stove. A whole-food, good food diet including legumes (peas, beans, lentils), grains and potatoes clearly needs some cooking. But there is definitely no need to make one’s home on the range.


Americans consume at least twice as much protein as they need. Worldwide, 30 grams of protein daily is usually adequate. The US RDA of protein is about 60 grams daily for a man and about 50 g daily for a woman. We generally eat over 100 grams of protein daily, mostly from meat. Chronic protein excess can overload and irreversibly damage the kidneys by middle age. (Williams, S. Nutrition and Diet Therapy, 7th ed, Mosby, 1993).

When in doubt, eat like other primates do. Chimps, gorillas, orangutans and that crowd are very strong, very smart, and mostly but not entirely vegetarian. By moving TOWARDS a vegetarian diet, you automatically reduce your too-high intake of protein, fat and sugar. It is just that simple. There is no diet plan to buy. I think dairy products and eggs and fish must remain occasional options for most of us. My kids did so well as lacto-ovo-vegetarians that they never had a single dose of an antibiotic, not once. Had they NOT been healthy, the State and the school board would have been on our backs instantly.

To avoid all animal products makes one a vegan. I am most certainly not a vegan, and I do not universally advocate it. I have many good friends who utterly and totally reject animal products. For this I admire them. I also observe that their conviction is, at times, more admirable than their health is. Ethical issues aside, veganism truly is an excellent transition diet. As limited-term treatment for overweight, constipated, drug-soaked people, veganism cannot be beat. I think a few months without animal products is worth a therapeutic trial for most illnesses. But long term, for most people, I think some animal foods are necessary as the decades pass. 

The majority of vegetarians are actually near-vegetarians, eating some animal products, such as milk products. My readers know I am something of a cheese and yogurt fan. As a former dairyman, what do you expect? I also use eggs now and then for cooking, and I make a mean broccoli quiche. But I am not really much of a milk-drinker, and typically do not go through even half a dozen eggs in a month.

Albert Einstein wrote, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”  Evolution, a key word, means gradual change with time. “Vegetarianism” is a process, not an absolute.

For my children, the process began in infancy. http://www.doctoryourself.com/Toddler_Health.html

Okay, so they were not fed meat. What exactly DID they eat? Here’s an example of some basic meal plans, on which you can (and we did) build a tasty meatless meal.


Meatless most certainly does NOT mean “zero animal products.” The two are far, far apart. And when considering the moral arguments on the dialectics of dietetics, we are humbled when we recall that Mahatma Gandhi ate dairy products, and Jesus ate fish.

I regularly took my three-year-old son with me when shopping at the local supermarket. We inevitably passed through the meat department. My son pointed to the blood-red packages and loudly asked me, “What’s that Daddy?” I replied, much more quietly, “That is meat.” He then said, just as loudly as before, “We don’t eat meat, do we, Daddy!” He was correct, of course, and I told him so. He smiled, and in a voice that could easily be heard in the Produce department on the other side of the store, declared for all to hear:

“We don’t eat meat! We’re not Italian!”

I think he meant to say, “We’re vegetarian,” but I kinda like it better his way. And very few three-year-olds can say, “We’re lacto-ovo-vegetarian, aren’t we, Daddy!”

In truth, I cannot even be described as an lacto-ovo-vegetarian (eggs and dairy), for I also eat seafood. Not often, and usually not directly in front of my aquarium.  But I maintain, in the face of animal-rights adversity, that fish and their oceanic roommates are valuable nutrition sources. After millennia of changes to human civilization, the world’s number one animal protein source in 2003 is still seafood. By the time we come up with a definition of “fishatarian,” we are very close to the natural animal-products percentages that Price found again and again in his travels amongst “primitive” (aka “healthy”) cultures back in the 1930’s. I have no shame whatsoever in eating like a south sea island native.


I am quite willing to eat along the dietary lines of other traditional cultures that Dr. Price visited and wrote of. Price found that isolated, healthy Swiss communities ate cheese and raw milk daily, plus a lot of whole-grain bread.  But they only ate meat once a week. The basic foods of the islanders of the Outer Hebrides, Price wrote, “are fish and oat products with a little barley. Oat grain . . . provides the porridge and oat cakes which in many homes are eaten in some form regularly with every meal.” (p 44) Even traditional Eskimos, often held up as the ultimate example of human carnivorism, also eat nuts, “kelp stored for winter use, berries including cranberries which are preserved by freezing, blossoms of flowers preserved in seal oil, (and) sorrel grass preserved in seal oil.”

In short, most vegetarians are not, and most carnivores are not. Optimum human diet is not to be found at either extreme. The issue is natural food more than where it comes from. Unprocessed foods, whether animal or plant origin, are the healthiest. This is the enduring message of Price and Pottenger.


Dunderbeck, oh Dunderbeck

Oh how could ye be so mean

To ever have invented

The sausage-meat machine.

Now all the rats

And puddy-cats

Will never more be seen;

For they’ll all be ground

To sausage meat

In Dunderbeck’s machine.

(Author unknown, fortunately)

Andrew Saul, who is not a poet, is however the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews athttp://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )

For ordering information, Click here

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