08 March, 2009

An Open Letter to Sam Neill

Dear Sam,

I'm pleased to see them repeating your series of short natural history films on how red meat contributed to human development.

However, I still have some questions.

Could you please explain how eating meat that has been grown, slaughtered, butchered, packaged and sometimes even cooked in advance stimulates our physical and mental development in the same way as it did for our ancient ancestors who had to hunt and kill their own food?

Anyone who follows natural selection knows that those who weren't fast enough to catch their prey, or strong enough to kill it, or smart enough to find easier ways of catching it and killing it would die out, therefore raising the average of the pack. Does eating farmed meat purchased from the supermarket or pie shop raise the average in the same way?

Finally, while I don't dispute the nutritional value of red meat as you put it, those animals have to be fed too, and it turns out that the grain we feed them has a higher nutritional yield than the meat we get out of it. Were we “meant” to do this? Is this the behaviour we should expect from “the most highly developed species on the planet,”?



  1. So well written! Thanks for speaking out against these stupid ads! I understand why people eat meat but anyone who has studied basic biology will not agree that it has or is making us smarter! Sam Neil has dissapointed so many fans. He has great acting ability but now I and many others will refuse to see anything that features his face in it!

  2. I remember the Working Dog crew talking about asking Neill to be in The Dish and how chuffed they were that he agreed. Perhaps his standards aren't as high as they thought.

    I'm sure it's his acting ability that the MLA was after. I'd hate to think such a good actor is so hard up that he has to do ads like this, but I'd hate even more to think that he believes this crap.

    You don't have to be a vegetarian to be offended by such blatant intellectual dishonesty.