#54: Dr. Anthony Chaffee – Neurosurgical Resident & Carnivore Advocate
Dr. Anthony Chaffee Podcast Transcript
Neil Dudley: All right, everybody, welcome to the show. I got Dr. Anthony Chaffee here to tell us all about carnivores and why humans are carnivores and his story. I’m excited to share it with you. I got to meet him shortly or briefly at KetoCon down in Austin, and through that lucky connection- Look, everybody, that’s why you want to go to shows. You have a chance to meet really experts in the field, really valuable education through relationships, and this is one of those I’m really excited for everybody to get a chance to access. So, thanks for coming on the show, Doc. And let’s tell everybody briefly who you are, what you do. And everybody, we’ll put some links in the show notes, so you can go really- I’m telling you right now, this guy’s an expert. You might not want to trust me; you might want to go out on the great wide web and find out for yourself. We don’t have forever; I don’t want to spend half the time just saying he’s smart and he knows what he’s talking about. I’m telling you, that’s true. And so, talk to us about how humans are carnivores, and then we’ll jump into some other stuff as we go.
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: Sure. So yeah, as you say, I’m an American medical doctor. I’m specializing in neurosurgery currently in my residency, but I’ve always had an interest in diet and nutrition, how that affects health and chronic disease and also athletic performance because I came from a professional rugby background. I played for 10 years at the top levels before medical school. I was an All American and then played professionally in England and all across the US and Canada. So, I was always very interested in how nutrition affected us and getting the proper nutrition for my body. And through various means, even just taking cancer biology and finding out how toxic plants were and how they had tons of carcinogens and how my professor like wouldn’t eat any plants simply because of this, and that influenced me to not eat plants 20 years ago, 22 years ago, to then looking into further research as to what kind of animal we are biologically. And all the best evidence shows that humans are animals, and the type of animal we are is a carnivore. And the reason that that’s important is because when an animal in the wild eats something that doesn’t normally eat, something that isn’t what it’s biologically adapted for, it can get quite sick because plants use toxins to defend themselves. And so, this is not what we’re adapted to eat, so we’re not going to get the most out of it, and we’re not going to be able to defend ourselves from these toxins. And you can look at the evidence of humans being carnivores in a number of different ways, but there’s just a ton of evidence, such as the fossil record showing through the stable isotope studies that we had a higher- stable isotope studies, just briefly, just show basically what an animal’s been eating. These isotopes sort of buildup up the food chain. So an herbivore would have sort of a low number, and an animal that eats herbivores will have a higher number, and then animals that eat the animals that eat the plants will have an even higher number. And so, our ancestors and early humans, early Homo sapiens, even more modern Homo sapiens, actually have a higher carnivore rating than even lions and hyenas, foxes, wolves alive at the same time because they were likely eating them as well because we were top of the food chain, apex predators. And so that means we eat animals below us. So, that’s just a major piece of that puzzle. But there’s so many other ways of looking at it. But the long story short is that humans biologically are carnivores. And that’s just the type of animal we are. And we benefit the most in our health when we eat that way.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, I mean, I know that just from being raised on a farm, or you can watch the show Alone, and when you get in the wilderness trying to survive, you eat any protein, fat you can scrounge up from mice to trout from the river. I mean, just all of those, that’s how you nourish your body in those situations. So, you don’t see- I mean, yes, they are digging up onions, wild onions and mushrooms and these kinds of things, but they really only thrive in those real survival situations when they’re able to find that high quality animal protein and fat.
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: Yeah. And that’s really what you see in the indigenous populations, hundreds, if not thousands of years. People, when they explored Australia and North America, they found that people were largely carnivorous, if not purely carnivorous, and they were marveling. It was like, well, why don’t these guys eat any plants at all? They don’t do any crops or whatever. It was marveling about that. And the missionaries and explorers that went through there and chronicled their interactions with natives in Australian and North America, they were all talking about this. There’s always a chapter from these early explorer books about diet and how they just exclusively ate meat. They didn’t get the diseases of the West, which we just call normal now, we just call chronic diseases. And they said that they knew what plants they could eat if they were starving or to use medicinally. But when they had meat, they like exclusively ate meat. And just to illustrate your point, when you get lost in the woods, you don’t just eat any random plant because most plants will cause serious harm. They make you very, very sick or even kill you. You have to know what’s safe. And so, there are certain edible plants or certain inedible plants. The vast majority of plants are inedible, meaning that they will make you very, very sick or even kill you. So, the edible plants, it’s not that those edible plants don’t have poison in them, it’s just that we have more defenses towards those poisons than we do towards, say, Hemlock, and so we are a bit more protected from that. But because we came from an herbivorous past millions of years ago, we have some protections and certain populations had exposure to the agricultural revolution 8 thousand years ago. And so, we have some more protections than, say, the Australian Aboriginals or the Native Americans. When the Native Americans or Australian Aboriginals eat a Western diet, they get much more sick than a European population would. In fact, when I was a kid, I learned that when eating a Western diet, Native Americans were four times as likely to get obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and all the rest. And I remember thinking like, well, doesn’t that mean the food is causing the disease? Because if they don’t eat the food, they don’t get the disease. We eat the food and we get the disease just at a lower rate. And what’s a nonwestern diet? What are they eating that we’re not? They didn’t say it at the time, but they were high fat carnivores. Just think of the Innuits; they just eat blubber, a ton of fat. They don’t eat the organs; they give those to their dogs. So it’s really just fatty meat that they’re eating, and that’s what they’ve lived on generationally for forever.
Neil Dudley: I’m going to reference Alone a lot because it’s a thing I’m watching lately, it is front of my mind, it really represents to me sensible logic. Like, I’m not a doctor. I’ve not studied the all the data. I kind of live along saying, okay, cool, this is just my experience. I feel good when I eat meat and fat. And I mean, I’ll even throw in some vegetables; they don’t hurt me that bad. But I think the real fun debate becomes when okay, so you just said the Innuits, they threw away the organ meat. If you’d have asked me, I’d say the organ meat is the best stuff to eat. That’s what a lot of people would eat first. So how do we reconcile this difference between populations and life experiences? Or should we even bother with it? Like, we just need to live our best life, and if the vegans want to eat vegan, cool. I have this tendency to want to talk some sense into them, but they probably feel the same way about me. Like, they probably think, dang, I wish I could talk some sense into that cowboy. He doesn’t get it.
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: Or just this cowboy’s evil is destroying the planet.
Neil Dudley: Well, yeah. I mean, I don’t go that way really. Do you feel like that is a bigger piece of it than even nutritionally? It’s more morally and global, I don’t know what the word would be for it, but just protecting the environment?
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: Well, I’ve certainly spoken to a lot of people that they would even agree that eating meat is the best way to go. But because just they’re so convinced that animals just destroy the environment, that they’re just, oh, I just can’t do that, I can’t justify doing that. And that’s a very responsible position to take. I just think it’s misguided. I think it’s wrong. I think the evidence is very clear that animal livestock, livestock agriculture is extremely vital and necessary for not only plant agriculture, but just the planet in general. I’m preaching to the choir here. But as you well know, animals recycle the nutrients of plants. And so, you’re eating down sort of the dead plant material, and you’re breaking those down, using those energy and recycling the nutrients that the next generation of plants really need, and it regenerates the soil. This whole concept of regenerative agriculture, this takes animals and people using fertilizers for their crops. Where does that come from? It comes from the manure and the bodies of animals. So, it’s very, very important, and I think it’s just a bit misguided. But I think their hearts are in the right place. The vegans that I know are generally, by and large, very conscientious people that have really put a lot of thought into this. And unfortunately, I think they’ve just been led down the wrong path. And there are certainly people who are a bit more mischievous, and just they’re pushing an agenda. And so, they’re trying to sort of cherry pick data and try to convince these well-meaning people of something that’s not true to fit their own motives, whatever those motives are. But I think, by and large, people are very conscious about their health, they’re very conscious about the world around them, and they want to do their part. And so, it’s just providing the information, the actual information, and the actual hard facts on the matter, both nutritionally, environmentally, and even ethically, I think makes a big difference. And I’ve had very good experiences speaking to vegans, even vegan doctors, vegan nutritionists, and lay people and just talking to them about these things. And when you lay out the facts as they are and answer their questions and say, well, what about this? What about this? Yeah sure, here’s the answer, they’ll come around. I have sort of 100% conversion rate at the moment for vegans that actually engage. There are people that come across like, oh, that’s just ridiculous, blah, blah, blah, they just walk off. Fine; there’s just no, there’s nothing’s going to happen with those people. But the people that have engaged, even engaged aggressively like, oh, no, you’re wrong because of this, this, and this, as long as they’re willing to actually have a discussion, I can get them because the facts are there.
Neil Dudley: Have you ever experienced the opposite where you were pretty solid on a thing and got in the debate, and you’re like, ah, okay, cool? Isn’t that education? Isn’t that actually learning? That’s how it works.
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: Yeah. So, I’ve had that in certainly discussions with people – oh what about this, and maybe they’ll convince me around. But major topics, just reading Thomas Sowell. That guy’s brilliant. I love that guy. Do you know Thomas Sowell?
Neil Dudley: No, I don’t, I’ll have to check him out.
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: He’s prolific. I honestly think he’s one of the most brilliant and well-developed thinkers America has ever produced. Reading his books is just a masterclass on how to think and how to process information and what to look for. And it’s also brilliantly written; it’s not dry stuff. But he’s a world class economist, and he came through very, very tough times and brought himself up. He’s a black guy born in the deep south in 1930, during Jim Crow, during the Depression, and went to school in Harlem during World War II, went through serious hardship in this country and became one of the most prominent and brilliant economists ever. And his books are just incredible. And so, reading his books, I’ve had certain beliefs in certain ways, but he just lays things out in such, it’s just hard facts and logic. You’re just like, yeah, okay, that’s what that is. And I’ve sort of traveled around quite a lot when I was younger just with rugby, coming from a professional rugby background.
Neil Dudley: Oh, by the way, what position did you play in rugby?
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: Yeah, usually back row, so seven and eight. But I played a lot of sevens as well. So sometimes I would like just run, hop in the back so I could play like center or wing, and just terrorize people.
Neil Dudley: I mean, I’ve stood next to you, and for those folks who are listening or watching, they can’t really experience the size of Dr. Chaffee. I mean, you’re just a tall, strong guy. I mean, and that makes me want to listen to you. I mean, it’s like I think that’s valuable to you. Would you say that’s valuable to you? Do you find that truth in your physique, your way you take care of yourself, all those things, helps you get an audience?
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: Yeah, I mean, I think that certainly at least speaks to the diet, me being in good shape and still being athletic and having an athletic physique. I’m 42, so I don’t fit the typical dad bod sort of physique. And I don’t even actually work out that much. It’s just that eating a carnivore diet helps me maintain the musculature that I have, and when I do work out, I get a lot more out of it. And so that has helped. People are saying, why are you taking diet advice? Don’t take diet advice from somebody you don’t want to look like. And just like they say never trust a skinny baker, you probably shouldn’t trust a fat dietician. It’s just like if your advice was so good, why isn’t it working for you? And in fact, I’ve actually spoken to PhDs in nutrition who were following the textbook advice and they were overweight and sick. And they were like, what the hell is going on? They just can’t- they think oh, it is just not exercising enough or something like that. And then they came around to a carnivore diet, and wham, everything changed. And so, it does make a big difference. When you’re sort of walking the walk as well, it does help people listen to you. Just to go back to the question, has anything ever convinced me, yeah, definitely. Like things with reading Thomas Sowell. I’ve gone around living Europe debating people because everyone tries to trash the US everywhere around the world. It’s very common. I hear people saying Americans are ignorant, America is this, America is that, and it just really bothered me because I love my country and I think there’s a lot of good things about it. And obviously, nothing’s perfect, nothing humans ever do will be perfect. But the things that they were saying about us were just false. They were verifiably false. And so, I wasn’t one of those people that would go along to get along. And I would just get into debates with people all over the world where a lot of other people would just be like, oh, I just don’t want to talk about it, yeah, you’re right, America is horrible. So I really had to sort of know my stuff, and I really started looking things up. And Thomas Sowell was one of the best resources for that because he was showing just hard evidence and hard facts for all these things that I sort of knew were true, but I didn’t have like all the data to back it up. And I was reading him, I’m like, oh, this is awesome. Like, I’ve just got all this ammo. But I came across things that he showed specifically to do with the legalization and criminalization of drugs, and actually Milton Friedman argued this as well. Milton Friedman is a Nobel Prize winner in economics, and he was one of Thomas Sowell’s mentors and then colleagues for 50, 60 years. It’s actually showed that the criminality in drugs actually got worse. After they criminalized it, it became much more expensive. Instead of just going and getting like a case of beers or something like that and just hanging out for the day, you had to like go to a drug dealer. And it would be a lot more expensive because this cartel was having to fight against a government. And that raises costs. There’s all this crime and all these things related to it. So they painted out a very clear, logical picture. I’m like, okay, crap, all right, maybe this isn’t as cut and dry as I thought it was. So, it’s something that was very surprising to me. But yeah, I’m always happy to be proven wrong. But you got to prove it.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, sure, sure. And I think it’s true that even when somebody is proven wrong, it takes a little while to truly accept it because you got to say, okay, cool, that didn’t feel real good. Because we all like to be right. It occurs to me there’s a good chance most people listening to this probably already agree with us. So, I mean, what value are we adding to this group of people? Maybe it’s just now they have a little more information to take into conversations with their friends, families, coworkers that might help somebody. I was sitting at a conference, a guy got up there and convinced me that going vegan saved his life. I mean, wow, that guy, that all makes a lot of sense, sounds like- And then I start running it through my own filter. Okay, what do I know? How do I live? What’s my expectations? And after that, I was kind of like, cool, it worked for him. It’s not my thing. It’s not going to be what I choose. I like the guy. I still kind of stay connected with him on LinkedIn. I think he’d be a great person to have on the podcast to talk from that perspective. I don’t want to be this guy that just kind of preaches this one thing, and everybody’s like, dude, I can’t stand that guy. If I have a differing opinion or what I would like to put on the table as my logic, he never allows it. Okay, no, I want to be sure you get to put your logic on the table. Now, one more thing, though, I want to- I like this opportunity to talk to a doctor. And I heard it said, I can’t remember the guy’s name, but he’s a really cool guy. I like paying attention to him. He said something like he was in doctor school, or medical school – I guess it’s not called doctor school. Anyways, they said something like, “Well, don’t you want to do surgeries and prescribe medicine? And that’s what a doctor is.” And he said, “Well, no, I think doctors are the ones that try to get people off of all that stuff.” What’s your take on that? Do you like that stance? That sounds really right to me, but I’m not a doctor.
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: No, I 100% agree with that. I think that we’ve gotten far too into the mindset of like here’s a problem, here’s a pill. And that was not medicine for thousands of years. Maybe you have some little herbal remedies or medicinal plants or tinctures or whatever that people could make, and it could help in certain circumstances. But by and large, that wasn’t what it was. I have a practice outside of neurosurgery as well, which is called Functional Medicine where it is more like preventative medicine where you’re trying to get people healthy and stay healthy, so that they can come off the medication so that they don’t need the surgery in the first place. I’m a surgeon who would rather not have to do surgery because when you’re doing surgery, you are necessarily damaging someone’s body. You are cutting into them, you are damaging structures that don’t necessarily heal perfectly. And most people will be better off if you select your patient criteria correctly then otherwise, but there are some people that can be seriously damaged by these surgeries. And also, if you don’t need to do it, then don’t do it. And especially in people with chronic pain, they have pinched nerves in their spine, so they need surgery to decompress the bones off the nerves, and they’re in so much pain, they’re just in agony, that is an indication for surgery. However, we are seeing that people that go on a carnivore diet are experiencing far less pain. And so, it is reducing the inflammation, it’s reducing the pain, and they don’t need surgery. Dr. Shawn Baker, who you know is sort of the carnivore Godfather, he’s one who’s really popularized this sort of way of life and way of eating in recent years. He’s an orthopedic surgeon. And he was the head of his practice for years. And he found that through diet and lifestyle modifications that he made on his own, he was losing a lot of weight, his joint pain was much better, he was feeling much better. And he was recommending this to his patients. And he was getting ready to do joint replacements on someone, and they were like bone on bone arthritis, like very, very bad scans and a lot of pain. All of a sudden, they came back like a month before the operation and just said, “Yeah, Doc, I’m not in pain, I don’t need surgery.” And so even with that severe amount of disease, they didn’t need anything done. They could avoid surgery, which is great. And Dr. Baker was thrilled about that. He was happy.
Neil Dudley: I didn’t have to do a surgery to get paid. Or even if I had to do a surgery to get paid, I don’t need the money that bad. I mean, that’s a real good- it’s kind of a truth in making bacon, which is kind of- it is what I do for a living. I mean, I don’t know, it can be argued that I talk to people and make friends for a living, too. But when you’re around that, I don’t want to do something for the money. Yes, money is necessary. Sustainability requires cash flow, income, profitability, all these things. But I don’t want somebody who, for any reason, doesn’t want to eat our product, I don’t need the money that bad is kind of what I’m trying to say. Then we touched on, we went by it pretty quick, but I want to go back to it, the legalization of drugs. Let’s just say that for a big kind of broad topic. And I think about the medical field this way, and I don’t know that I have any right to think about the medical field, but I can’t help it, I do it. I listen to a lot of kind of experts, and it turns out they are doctors typically in some kind of practice. Another guy put it like this, he said, “I’m not actually- all I am is more of a counselor because in truth, the humans have to go implement these things.” You can’t do it for them. You could give them pills, if they don’t take the pills, you can give them education about their diet and exercise, all these things, if they don’t choose to do that. So, it’s kind of crazy how educated and smart and good doctors generally are. 99.9% of them are really out here to help you make your life better. They really get into the business because they care. I would imagine the job is so hard and even the education. Like you don’t do that- you’re not ever going to make enough money to go through that toil; you have to really have a heart for others. So, what do you think about that perspective? Is it ultimately like if we make drugs legal, it’s fine, who cares? They’re legal. The people have to be smart enough not to do them.
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: Yeah, I mean, I fully believe in people’s ability to run their own lives. And I think by any objective measure and metric, which Sowell and Milton Friedman and others have shown, it does work better, society works better when people are allowed to just run their own lives. Because why is it that someone who’s never met me knows what’s better for me on a day to day basis, who doesn’t live here, doesn’t know me, and doesn’t know what I’m going through every single day, doesn’t know the decisions that I have in front of me. As far as drugs, I mean, we have a ton of drugs that are legal. Sugar is a major drug. That’s in everything. And that is highly addictive, and it causes huge problems, causes huge burden of disease, and yet, we’re pushing this all over the place. The government’s pushing all this stuff through their backing of different industries. And obviously, cigarettes and alcohol, marijuana has been legalized. But the data shows, and people can look up the work of Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell, and I encourage them to because they’re going to explain things much, much better than I will, that before we criminalized drugs, there was a fairly low rate of drug use, there was a fairly low rate of drug abuse, and a very low rate of overdoses. And then after that, when you criminalize the stuff, it made it more difficult to get, so that dropped usage for a second, but then when the supply chain started picking up, then that just went right back up. And just like in Prohibition when there was, initially, there was a drop in alcohol consumption, once the supply caught up, it was actually overconsumption. So, more people were drinking, more people were drinking to excess, more people were overdosing. And it was low quality and people were going blind because they’re getting wood alcohol. And that happened with drugs as well. So, now instead of going from at the drugstore, and you’re getting something that you know this is the dose, you know this is clean and pure, now you’re just getting it off the street, and it’s dirty, you don’t know the dosages. And so, it’s easy to overdose. And it’s easy to binge because you’re like, oh my god, I really better make the most out of this because I could get arrested and go to jail. It became much more expensive. Instead of somebody working a normal job and being able to support an opiate addiction, people just completely bankrupt themselves, they criminalized- they go into criminal acts, they rob people, they prostitute themselves. They’re getting involved in very, very serious and dangerous activities that didn’t exist before that. I mean, think about the fentanyl issue that’s going on now. And they try to push this on doctors, and that really pissed me off because this is not coming from doctors over prescribing opiates. If anything, we’re prescribing less now because everyone’s really afraid of this and getting the stigma of being a push – oh, my God, you can’t do these opiates. Like opioids have a real role, have a real use in medicine, especially when someone’s recovering from surgery. And I have to talk to like my interns and younger residents when they’re sending someone home, they just had brain surgery, we just took off half their skull and carved out a big chunk of their brain to get this tumor out of them. And they like sending them home with like five pills of buprenorphine, which is like an opiate. It’s like five pills. And then all of a sudden, they’re coming back in the emergency department going they’re getting crazy pain, we’re worried about infection, we’re about this or that. And it’s like, oh, no, it just turns out they had inadequate pain relief. It’s like, what the hell are you doing? So, they try to blame that on fentanyl prescribing from doctors. But we don’t prescribe fentanyl going home. That’s a hospital drug. That is a very strong drug. It’s injection medication. You don’t send someone home with a prescription of fentanyl unless they’re palliative cancer patient and they have a very special means of supplying that to themselves. So, this comes from street drugs. And this stuff is coming in, then it can come from wherever, and you don’t know the dose. You’re getting like a little baggie, and you buy this many grams of whatever you’re getting, and it has a varying amount of fentanyl in it. And so, you take the same amount in your dose that got you the high that you wanted last time. And often, there’s 10 times the amount of fentanyl – bam, you’ve overdosed. And so that makes it much more dangerous as well. When this is regulated, and people say like, oh, just make it legal and tax the hell of it. No, no, no, don’t tax the hell out of it because that will keep the illegal markets in running because the marijuana- that’s what happened in marijuana. Those are like sort of the illicit sort of avenues for marijuana. It was still cheaper to produce these things and sell them from street as opposed to the regulated, clean sort of source of these things. So, you just want to let these things go on an open market, and you want to have these things be regulated for safety and for purity, and then make it age restricted and let people get on with their damn lives. If people are allowed to drink alcohol, if they are allowed to smoke cigarettes, if they’re allowed to eat sugar, you should be able to do other things. You should be able to live your own life. And I think that’s sort of a rundown of it. But Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman have written very, very clear evidence-based dissertations on it. And so that’s a great place to look if people are interested.
Neil Dudley: Doc, I had one more question. Really, what I’m curious about is tell us a little bit about your service in refugee camps and where did that- Did you have something in your life? Like, I’m not doing that. I mean, I’m scared of stuff like that. What makes you go right to the frontline of just sad things and tough things? Where does that come from?
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: Well, it’s more that I’ve just always felt that if you have the ability to help someone, you have an obligation to. And so, obviously, you don’t need to sacrifice- if someone doesn’t have a house, you don’t have to give them your house. But if you can do something, and it’s not going to screw up your life, you should probably do something. If someone needs help, if a lady drops her bags and she’s struggling to pick it up, like you just go pick that up. If you can help them, you should help them. And this is obviously a bit more than that.
Neil Dudley: Well, tell everybody what it is because I don’t even know for sure. It’s just information I’ve got from kind of googling you and listening to other conversations you’ve had. Tell everybody a little bit about that.
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: So, in 2017, there was an actual genocide in Burma, now called Myanmar. The government there – unofficial numbers – slaughtered about 200,000 people in about a month and a half. And then about a million people fled across the border to southern Bangladesh. And they sort of went elsewhere as well, but the majority of them went to Southern Bangladesh into an area called Cox’s Bazar. So, they were just in desperate, desperate conditions. They were increasing every day. There’s about a thousand people crossing the border every hour. And some of these people were quite hurt. Some of these people had escaped being shot, being tortured, being burned. I mean, there were some like Holocaust level evil things going on here. You can’t massacre 200,000 people in a month and a half without those sorts of tactics. And so, it was absolutely dreadful. I was taking some time off. At the time, I actually left my original residency program for a family emergency. My parents were unwell, and they needed some help, and so I just decided that I needed to be there for them. And so, I was taking some time off to help them. Because I was a bit of a free agent and had some time off, just a friend of mine that worked for an organization called Direct Relief, which is an international nonprofit that goes and helps different areas like this, she contacted me just said, “Look, they really need doctors over here, it’s the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, just no one is really able to go or the doctors that are able to go, they can go for a week and that’s it. But you have a bit of time off, would you consider that?” And I think that when you get a call like that, you sort of have to say yes. There were a lot of people that were in desperate need, and there was not enough help because it wasn’t one of like the sexy humanitarian crises, like Haiti or Nepal, where it was just like everybody and their mother was just flooding over there. It was actually too much because they were taking up resources, and they were just getting in the way, and it was actually screwing things up. This was not one of those. This didn’t really make the news. And so, it wasn’t one of those. It was just a real one. It was a real humanitarian crisis. And Bangladesh is incredibly dangerous on a good day, and this was a very bad day. This was ISIS was very active at the time in Bangladesh. There were a lot of attacks. They ere blowing up buildings and cafes. They blew up a hotel with everyone in it because there was one American staying there, and they’re like, “We got to get that guy,” and killed around 80 people, maimed 160 plus others, and blowing up cafes and restaurants that were in international sort of areas that international people would go to, taking them hostage and executing anyone who couldn’t recite the Quran in Arabic. And even those who could, if they didn’t do what they were told, they would get shot as well. And so, there were plenty of stories of these. I remember looking at the US Embassy website because you always register with an embassy when you’re going into an area like this, and sort of reading it and there’s just all these stories about all these just attacks and horrible things happening. And a lot of times when there’s like a dangerous area that you’re going into, it’ll say, “Use extreme caution. Don’t go unless you absolutely have to. Try to wait this out,” all these things. This was just a lot more simple than that. It just said, “There are all these attacks. There’re all these dangers. It is not safe here. Do not come. Your life will be in constant danger, and you will likely be killed.” Literally said that on the US Embassy website – you will likely be killed.
Neil Dudley: And you just went ahead; okay, that sounds like me.
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: That was the thing, I was like I don’t want to just walk into a death trap, but I think I feel very compelled to go because there was just no one there. And I emailed the embassy and just asked them, I was like, “Hey, I’m a doctor. I’m trying to get down to the refugee camps and help out. Is it really that bad? Or are you just sort of airing on the side of caution with these recommendations? What’s the story?” The only reply I got back was, “We stand by every word of that statement. It is not safe here. Do not come.” So, I went. It was harrowing. I mean, it was absolutely the most intense period of my life. And it was exactly as dangerous as it sounds. It was very difficult logistically because this is a developing country. And so, it was just a problem to get interpreters. I can’t do anything without an interpreter. It’s so limiting when you don’t have proper communication as a doctor, you can’t even find out what the hell’s wrong. And so, you have all these people like lining up, just hundreds of people lining up, because there are people that are hurt, there are people that are sick, they’re people that have escaped a horrible situation, they need acute care. But there’s also just a million people. And so, this is a sizable city worth of people that just need normal care and help, and there are accidents and there are traumas and people get run over by cars all the time because there’s just like one lane roads with two directions of traffic, and they’re hauling ass. And people would just get smacked all the time. That’s fine. That’s easy. You can just, okay, look at this, I’ve got this body. I’m going to like just you’ll suss it out and do a trauma assessment.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, you don’t necessarily need to hear their explanation.
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: Well, sometimes you can’t; they’re just unconscious. And so. you just need to figure it out. And everything else, there’s just the normal stuff, you do need to speak to these people, like you have to talk to them. And so, if you don’t have an interpreter, you’re a bit screwed. And I remember once I was in the camps, and they weren’t able to get like a proper interpreter for me. And you’re playing a little game of telephone because it was the Rohingya that were coming across from Burma. And now we’re in Bangladesh. And so, Bangladesh, they would typically speak Bengali. But the Rohingya would speak a different language and different dialect. So, you needed someone who could not only speak English, but would also speak Rohingya, and not a lot of people did that. So, there was this time I had someone who spoke English and Bengali, and another person who spoke Bengali and Rohingya. And so we played this game of telephone with two people in between me and the patient. And you have to ask very specific questions in medicine, like, what is the characterization? Is it sharp pain? Is it a dull pain? They’re like, “Yeah, it hurts.” I’m like, god dammit, no. And so, it was difficult. It was very, very difficult sort of dealing with those logistical side of things. And then just the safety side of things. It was exactly as dangerous as it sounded. But I just felt that because there wasn’t really anyone else able to go, or at least not enough people able to go, that I really felt obligated to go. And I sort of waded out a bit probably colder then maybe most people would, but I just thought the amount of people that I would see there, the amount of people that I would help – you’d be seeing however many, 30, 60, 90 people a day, my record was like 96 people in a day – that those people would not get seen otherwise. And so, I could be helping dozens of people every single day. If I’m there for months, then that’s thousands of people that wouldn’t get really treated otherwise. And I just, I really couldn’t justify that. I thought, if I died, that’s one person. But if I don’t go, this is potentially thousands of people that are going to be seriously affected by that. So, I felt that I just had to go. And so, I did.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, well, my hat’s off to you. I’m glad we got to fit that piece of the conversation in, your journey, your story. For listeners, for anybody who doesn’t know, there are people just like Dr. Anthony around the world, a lot of them are in our military, a lot of them are our first responders, that just show up and do that. And it kind of makes me feel like small or nothing because I don’t do those things. And I’m going to get over that. I mean, it’s not like I’m going to go into depression over it, but I don’t have a story like that. I mean, I help people in my own way. But dude, that took some bravery. It gives a me a lot of respect for you. And I hope everybody listening just goes and learns more about the carnivore diet, Dr. Chaffee, what he does, and this industry really. Go get educated, and I hope this conversation gets you inspired to do that.
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: Well, absolutely. And the thing is, what I did there is an isolated incident. I mean, I do a lot of other things, and that’s just something that I went and did, but that certainly isn’t my whole life. And the major effects that we have on each other just through our day to day lives, and what you’re doing, providing regenerative agriculture and food, and what I would argue is absolutely hands down the best nutrition for people, I think that’s a huge thing. And I think it’s very, very important to have people like yourself that are fighting the good fight and getting good, high quality meat products out there. Because that is what keeps everyone healthy. That’s what keeps everyone well. And just as a doctor, seeing all these chronic diseases that I argue are not diseases, per se, that they’re actually toxicities from these plant toxins and malnutrition from not getting enough meat and animal fat, that this causes a huge burden of disease. This causes a lot of harm, diabetes, heart disease, even cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, even neurodevelopmental delays such as autism have very strong links to diet. And so, getting people eating properly and getting that at a good price that people can afford, I honestly think that that is one of the most effective things that we can do for the health and wellness of humanity. So, my hats off to you, sir.
Neil Dudley: All right, cool. Well, good, man, I appreciate that. And a lot of times, that’s true. Like, when you’re just living day to day, you don’t realize, you don’t slow down enough to say, hey, this is really something good we’re doing here. So, I appreciate that and your time, coming and having this conversation with me. I mean, I’m selfish – I love these conversations, I learned something. Even if it was nothing more than getting to know you better, that’s still super valuable to me. So, I appreciate your time, allowing me that access, allowing the listeners that access, and just keep it up. If there’s anything I could ever do to help you in whatever way it might be, don’t hesitate to reach out, and that really goes for anybody listening too. I just want to kind of be a resource, add value. And this is one way we can do that.
Dr. Anthony Chaffee: Well, thank you very much, sir. I appreciate it.
Visit us online at www.PedersonsFarms.com
(0:30) – Introducing Dr. Anthony Chaffee & the Carnivore diet history
(7:41) – How do we reconcile differences between people who pursue different diets?
(14:11) – Does your physique help grow your audience and bolster your argument for Carnivore?
(15:41) – How Dr. Chaffee approaches debating anti-Carnivore people
(19:22) – Do you like the stance of the fact that it’s a Doctor’s responsibility to get people off medication?
(23:25) – The Legalization of Drugs
(30:22) – Dr. Chaffee’s service in refugee camps in Myanmar
(40:41) – Final Thoughts
The Pederson’s Farms podcast is produced by Johnny Pdocasts & Root and Roam.