Ok, so I've had a lot of people asking me questions after they've watched the 'What the Health' documentary (if you haven't, I recommend it IF you keep an open mind). I've watched it and I have some pretty strong feelings about it that I'm not going to get into here!! I want to answer the specific question of if human beings need to eat animal proteins and to what extent animal products should be in our diets?
This will come as no surprise to you but, yes, I do think that human beings should be eating meat. What may be surprising is that I am not an advocate for a high protein lifestyle.
In the documentary, they talk about how terrible the meat and dairy industries are and that the human race needs to turn Vegan in order to survive for the long term. Now, I'm not about extremes and, yes, some meat and dairy farming techniques are violent and cruel, but, if you source and consume meat from animals that have been treated (and killed) humanely, I believe that it is an important part of our daily diets.
I do think that as a society we consume far too much animal protein though. While I believe it to be necessary in our diets, for all the benefits of muscle repair and growth and stabilizing blood sugar levels, I think there is too much of an emphasis on consuming large amounts of protein, especially within the fitness industry.
Our organs, tissues, muscles and even hormones are all made from proteins so my belief is that we do need to consume it at levels to stay healthy, but the body responds perfectly well to a moderate amount of protein daily, getting more of it's fuel from plants. Yes, I do believe in a largely plant-based diet!
As you know, I advocate for a high fat, moderate protein, low carb lifestyle, and most of my fats actually come from plant items - avocados, seeds, nuts, oils. I eat 6 small portions of protein per day (not always animal protein), 6 large portions of greens per day and 6-8 portions of fats per day and my body is operating at a level that I have never experienced before! While nutrition is a topic that is very individualized (not all things work for all people), I can only speak authentically to my own experience and I ate a salad the other day without adding animal protein to it and, last time I checked, my muscles are still here! The fitness industry puts up a lot of information about the intake of animal protein that is just incorrect - check out some of the Vegan bodybuilders on Instagram and you'll se what I mean!
Again, I don't fall under the umbrella of people that watched 'What the Health' and are now exploring a vegan lifestyle, but I do advocate for consuming lots of plant foods on a daily basis. If you decide to go Vegan for ethical reasons, more power to you, but don't do it because you think it's the healthiest option.
That's just my (very) humble opinion.