Subscribe now

Subscribe today make a saving of over 34% 


You Cannot Survive On A Vegan Diet, Says Tim Noakes

South African Tim Noakes is the face of the low carb, high fat (LCHF) diet, also called the Banting diet, and he makes no secret of the fact that he does not approve of vegan and vegetarian diets.


He has gone one step further now, saying that people cannot survive on a vegan diet.

Noakes told the Huffington Post South Africa: “There’s never been a society that can survive on a completely vegetarian or vegan diet. We have to have some animal products. Vegan people survive because you can get some of the nutrition you need from supplements, which means it’s not a complete diet.

“But you are still not getting adequate protein. You can survive on a 100% animal diet, but you cannot survive 100% on a vegan diet.

“We became humans when we started to eat animal produce. When we became carnivores we said it is much easier to eat an animal, than have to carry around this huge gut.

“Now what’s happening is that vegans and vegetarians are trying to convert the biology of humans to the way we were 3 million years ago, and we can’t do that. There is one species that tried, the Panda Bear, and it is one of the most unhealthy animals on earth.”


Noakes went on to say: “The only way we will save the planet is by going back to meat eating. By having farms where animals are eating grass, and manuring the land, means that all the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could return if they start more meat production.”

“Topsoil is disappearing due to plant-based agriculture, and I worry that you can’t continue like this much longer because the myth that livestock is driving environmental issues is driven by the fossil fuel industry and they are very powerful obviously.

“People like Bill Gates, and Richard Branson, are very powerful, and more people are saying they are going to be eating plant-based diets because of them, but the move against meat-based diets is unfounded, and irresponsible to promote at this stage.”




Posted in


  1. Mark on October 2, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    How transparent can this guy be? He clearly makes money from the Banting Diet which sounds very similar in concept to the Atkins Diet. And Dr. Atkins had a history of heart disease that he claimed had nothing to do with his diet…..yeah, ok.

    And what scientific study is he basing this on? “Topsoil is disappearing due to plant-based agriculture?” That is actually funny!

    • Gert on March 8, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      If you think it’s funny that billions of tons of topsoil get blown into the oceans every year due like he says due to irresponsible “plant based agricultural practises” then you have a very frightening sense of humour. Remember “dust bowl “ America in the 1930’s? No of course you don’t. Remember how the snow of the NZ alps was stained red from Australian top soil. No you wouldn’t. It’s a well known fact that the world’s top soils are disappearing at a frightening rate.

    • Claudette on October 5, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      Wow are you for real? Mark, I hope you don’t live in North America because if you do, and you weren’t taught about the Dust Bowl in school, then I worry for your education. It is not even slightly controversial at this point that inadequate crop farming practices cause desertification, and that most of the crops grown in the world today use these irresponsible practices. Plowing, leaving fallow fields bare to avoid “weeds”, and trying to run a farm with no animal inputs all contribute to topsoil loss. This is why even when organic farms are run by vegans, they will use animal manure. But somebody still has to raise the animals to produce that manure, Mark. Farms that raise both plants and animals on the same plot of land are the most efficient and environmentally-friendly way to retain fertility of topsoil. Effectively what you are doing is creating an ecosystem. You use the plants to enrich the animals, and use the animals to enrich the soil and by extension the plants. Then you reap whatever surplus is generated for your own needs. With plant-only agriculture, you take fertility and nutrients from the land and give nothing back, and eventually something has to give.

      Modern industrial animal agriculture is an environmental disaster, but so is modern industrial plant agriculture. The environmental problem is not creating in raising animals, the problem is created in industry trying to take shortcuts and calling it “efficiency”. In fact, if we were going to give up one or the other (plant or animal agriculture), it would be better to give up plant agriculture as responsible ranching can actually heal marginal land and turn it back into arable land. Plant-only agriculture can’t do that.

      Of course the best thing of all would be for people to eat animal products in smaller quantities than they do now in the West, but still continue to eat *some*. A diet that is mostly plants with a small amount of animal products is the healthiest and most environmentally-friendly, and what is most environmentally-friendly turns out to be what is best for the animals as well as ourselves.

  2. Toni Brockhoven on October 2, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    So South Africa is overflowing with the walking dead! At least I now know, that living vegan for 12 1/2 years means I died ages ago, despite no high blood pressure, no sugar diabetes, no heart issues, and good bone health. Does this man not know that that the vast majority of plants, world wide, are grown to feed animals, to turn them into burgers?
    What an embarrassment to the medical profession. This is also the man who described humans as being closest to carnivores, on television.

    • Kenneth on November 27, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      Humans can’t digest cellulose

  3. Nicola John on October 2, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    This guy’s an idiot. I actually laughed whilst reading this.

    • Beth Walker on August 19, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      Same!! I’m not even annoyed, this is absolutely stupid.

  4. Ann Woolley on October 2, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Oh please, give me a break!! Tim, you need to do more research and stop trying to promote that stupid, unhealthy Banting diet! You clearly know nothing about plant-based/vegan eating!! LOL!!!!

  5. Athena n'ha Lee on October 2, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    Yow… about COGNITIVE DISSONANCE–Ye Gods and little fishes!
    ….Did someone forget to tell the hundreds of thousands of lifelong vegans the world over to quit being healthy and long- lived, and to “just lay down and die, dammit?!!”

  6. Julie on October 3, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Am at a loss why you would share such an article which just infuriates Vegans (I’ve been vegetarian for 28 years and vegan for 4!) and gives some ignorant meat eaters more ammunition to throw at us. Please continue to do what you do best and educate people with the benefits of a vegan diet!

    • Patric Hamilton on October 4, 2018 at 2:29 am

      I became a total vegetarian in 1971. Forty-seven years later I’m still alive……or maybe I’m actually a zombie!

    • Wendy Anne on November 1, 2018 at 3:52 pm

      Meat eaters aren’t ignorant. I happen to be one and proud of it. I was a vegetarian and vegan for years, but it didn’t sustain me. I did it right, but I was always hungry and felt so weak. My health was really suffering. It is a very depriving way to eat and not healthy because you are never going to get all the nutrients you need on a vegan diet. I’m glad I’m not a vegan anymore because I hate how vegans are. They put people down who don’t follow the vegan diet and they think they are better than everyone else.

      • DKD on November 5, 2018 at 4:15 pm

        Well you certainly are ignorant, uneducated and a liar. It is very unlikely you followed a healthy vegetarian diet, and being lazy means it’s much easier to blame a lack of meat instead of blaming your self for being too lazy to put a real effort into eating the proper vegetarian diet w proper exercise.

      • Carrie on November 12, 2018 at 7:27 pm

        You obviously didnt do it right. There are various types of greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli, the list goes on, that have MUCH more nutrients than any type of dead animal flesh could ever have. There is NOTHING depriving about a vegan diet, other than you don’t get the clogged arteries, heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and many other diseases correlated with animal products. Between vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits, a vegan diet lacks absolutely no nutrition.

      • Jake on November 29, 2018 at 6:10 am

        Maybe you ate an unhealthy vegan diet full of junk food. One still needs to eat sensible as a Vegan as with any diet.

        It is ignorant to say that healthy, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and legumes cant give you energy, but dead, tortured food (meat) can… blows my mind!

  7. Shari on October 3, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    WHAT!? Celebrating my 15 year vegan anniversary in 2 days’ time and never once needed to visit a doctor or been ill. And been meat-free/vegetarian for 28 years in total.

  8. Dean Weston on October 3, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Next time, Tim Noakes explains how smoking more cigarettes is the best way to improve lung function.


  9. Sarah on October 4, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    It’s so laughable (the article) that it looks like a spoof article! I think the “reporter” had the intention of making Prof Noakes look like a real idiot?! What a load of absolute nonsense! The tragedy is that the unthinking public will think it’s true. Hardened meat eaters will be quoting this with glee! I think we should report Huffington Post to the media ombudsman for publishing fake news!!

  10. JHa on October 4, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Topsoil is disappearing because of all the crops grown up feed his meat.
    Eating meat has definitely done nothing to this guy’s IQ.

  11. sandra bell on October 5, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Clueless morons roam the earth. Here’s another one spouting off clap-trap. I was a vegetarian for the first 38 years of my life and a vegan for the past 34. I never had a bite of flesh in my life and never even one headache or pharmaceutical. I have been a strong athlete since age 14 and still teach grueling exercise classes. I have no illnesses or degenerative diseases. Never get the “flu” and never had a vaccine. There you go.

  12. Riaan De Winnaar on March 8, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Guess we then have to disregard the peer reviewed research that shows how plant based diets are actually health promoting for your ignorant opinion that’s not backed by any research.

  13. Riaan De Winnaar on March 8, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    And here physicians are advised to recommend plant based diets for the health benefits associated with this lifestyle.

  14. Riaan De Winnaar on March 8, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    “The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the professional organization of dietitians, released a position statement on vegetarian diets, saying appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets “are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes.” They go on to highlight the benefits of plant-based diets, including a nice explanation of specific nutrient concerns and non-concerns as well as the environmental impact of food choices.”

  15. […] This is is a syndicated post. Read the original at […]

  16. Son Lyme on July 17, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    While I appreciate the morals behind a Vegan diet, to dismiss the opinion of one of the world’s foremost research professors as badly informed or mercenary is to allow bias to cloud judgement. We are all free to eat as we wish, but let’s not let that obfuscate scientific fact.

    There is an issue with current farming techniques and volumes eroding top soil, and the evidence for reducing carbohydrates in the western diet is becoming undeniable.

    How one achieves this remains of course a matter of personal choice.

  17. Charlie Stone on July 27, 2018 at 6:17 am

    I believe most of the hyperbolic vegans chanting their mantras in the comments are too slow witted to grasp his meaning. He’s speaking of naturally in the wild, without stores shipping produce and nuts and seeds and beans and supplements and fruits. If you were in a temperate climate with a variety of fruit and seeds and vegetation, maybe you could do okay. But you’re not going to survive in the majority of environments. A meat eater can get complete nutrition from an animal. You are not a plant. If you’d like to challenge your philosophy for real I challenge any vegan to a five year adventure in the mountains of Pennsylvania with only basic camping equipment and no food at all. And we’ll begin in winter. Anyone? That’s his point. Topsoil erosion is a problem, and over farming land to support the “trend” of veganism is destructive. And “you” site cognitive dissonance?

    • Thomas on August 31, 2018 at 6:50 pm

      Charline Stone… Please tell me more about how supporting the “trend” of veganism is more destructive than supporting omnivorism with beef, pork and chicken. Meat which requires much more land and water than the veganism trend..

  18. Melanie Taren on September 18, 2018 at 5:45 am

    I’m vegan, and I don’t disagree with a coupe of the points made in the article although I have to say though as a side, using terms like “hyperbolic vegans chanting their mantras” is so fatiguing. Really, can we have a conversation with differing points of view without having to throw insults? That just NEVER works. My god I’m so beyond tired of that rhetoric. State your point without the rest of the vitriole. This applies to everyone who starts a sentence that way. My reasons for becoming vegan have nothing to do with hysteria or mantra. An estimated 8% of Australians are now vegan, are we still going to use this outdated commentary that all vegans are the same?? The levels of suffering and damage both to the animals and this planet are enough for anyone to at least consider it. Wanting to prevent that damage is a very sane, rational reasoning.

    I’m an intelligent person. And I’m vegan. And interestingly I’m still alive. The heading is patently misleading, and it is so by design. He’s not saying you can’t be a vegan and remain living, he’s talking about an environment totally different to the one we live in. Which makes me wonder what the purpose of the article even is given this is not an environment most of us inhabit – and by that I mean the most of us who are considering our culinary choices to this degree. We don’t live on the land, and if we did maybe we’d need to eat meat to survive. I’m not in contest to this point, I don’t know whether it’s true or not. But we don’t live in that world, we live in a world where people want 30 different types of meat / cuts available to them at any given time of day because god forbid they couldn’t get their crocodile sausages for their weekend BBQ, and therefore the animal agriculture required to support this is untenable. If people at what they needed, great. They don’t. They eat animal products in almost EVERY single meal of the day, every single day, and it’s screwing up this planet and every animal involved in it.

    Totally agree about topsoil issues (as much as I can be by researching as best I can), although the comment of over farming land to support a “trend” of veganism being destructive – is ridiculous. How can you even compare the damage caused by plant based practices and animal agriculture?? It’s totally ludicrous. Firstly Veganism isn’t a “trend”, it’s a shift in the way modern people are now starting to understand the implications of industrial animal farming on multiple levels – animal welfare, environmental impacts, health etc. To call it a trend just shows there’s not real understanding of the legitimate and lasting reasoning behind it. The problem with this article is it’s pointless. Topsoil is a problem? So is animal agriculture (now considered the largest environmental threat we have). There’s no legitimate comparison here and all it does is give people eating meat a tiny fragment of non contextual information which they can use to blow up and throw back. Most of us in the western world (where most of the damage is created) are living around the corner from Coles. This is the reality. We should be looking at where we live and which is the healthiest and least impactful way to live in THAT environment. We can’t say hey I’d better keep eating meat every meal seeing as I wouldn’t make it through a Pennsylvanian winter without it, while living at the beach in Sydney.

  19. Rory Wade on November 30, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Wow okay so when I was eating meat before I became allergic to it (wow that’s an actual thing that can happen) and am allergic to dairy so therefore am forced to be a vegan by default; I was forced to take vitamins because I had sever B12 deficiencies. I think that shows that vegans actually can survive on this earth even vegetarians exist. So there is a problem in his faulty studying because I exist in this world with severe allergies to where I can go into anaphylactic shock if I eat any meat.

Leave a Comment


Join the Vegan Life Newsletter

We will keep you updated with the latest vegan news and interesting items.