In recent years, vegetarianism has evolved from personal preference to an almost cult-like phenomena brimming with political ramifications. When it comes to abstaining from meat, there are some pretty strong arguments coming from all sides of the camp – the meat eaters
, the plant eaters, plus a bunch of alphabet agencies that have a dog in the fight. But forget about politics and business for just a minute.
No matter what stance you take on vegetarianism, you may be surprised to know that some of the world’s greatest geniuses were herbivores. Yes, that seems to be the case. Even before eating meat was considered barbaric in some circles, the early pioneers of genius were chowing down on fruit and vegetables and foregoing meat.
Here are some examples:
Thomas Edison wrote, “Vegetarianism has a powerful influence upon the mind and its action, as well as upon the health and growth of the body. Until we stop harming all other living things, we are all still savages.”
Albert Einstein was also a fan of the vegetarian lifestyle. It was his belief that evolving to a vegetarian diet would benefit human health
and increase the chances of surviving on earth more than any other alternative.
It’s even said that Sir Isaac Newton went vegetarian in his later years. Leonardo da Vinci is said to have felt so strongly about eating anything that has a face he would buy caged chickens only to set them free. The list goes on and on.But does being a vegetarian really make you smarter?
According to a report from Psychology Today
, that could very well be the case. At least in Britain, that is.
The study reports that British people who are vegetarian at age 42 have a much higher childhood general intelligence than those who were not vegetarian at the same age. The vegetarians have a mean childhood IQ of 109.1 whereas the non-vegetarians have a mean childhood IQ of 100.9. While this may not seem like a huge difference, it is and seems to be highly statistically significant.
This holds true for both men and women. Women vegetarians have a mean childhood IQ of 108 while the female meat eaters have a mean childhood IQ of 100.7. When it comes to men the vegetarians had a mean IQ of 111 and the non-vegetarians had a mean IQ of 101.1.Why is there a larger difference among men?
First you have to consider the historical division of labor between men and women. Throughout evolutionary history, it’s been the men who hunted for animals while women patiently gathered nuts, berries and other plant food. So becoming a vegetarian, evolutionarily speaking at least, should be more unnatural for men than for women. This is supported by the fact that women are 60% more likely to be vegetarians than man.
Studies done in America didn’t report quite the difference in IQ among vegetarians and meat eaters. As of yet there hasn’t been a response to the discrepancy. So, why would there be such a difference among the British yet not among Americans? I guess we’ll have to wait for a vegetarian genius to figure it out.