As we saw on Wednesday, there’s plenty of anti-meat “news” flying around out there in desperate need of context. Thankfully, today we came across a welcome reprieve from the typical drumbeat that feeds the “go veg” propagandists at animal rights groups. What’s the big news? NPR reports that eating meat is what allowed early humans to, well, become modern people:

Our earliest ancestors ate their food raw — fruit, leaves, maybe some nuts. When they ventured down onto land, they added things like underground tubers, roots and berries.

It wasn't a very high-calorie diet, so to get the energy you needed, you had to eat a lot and have a big gut to digest it all. But having a big gut has its drawbacks.

"You can't have a large brain and big guts at the same time," explains Leslie Aiello, an anthropologist and director of the Wenner-Gren Foundation in New York City, which funds research on evolution. Digestion, she says, was the energy-hog of our primate ancestor's body. The brain was the poor stepsister who got the leftovers. Until, that is, we discovered meat. …

As we got more, our guts shrank because we didn't need a giant vegetable processor any more. Our bodies could spend more energy on other things like building a bigger brain. Sorry, vegetarians, but eating meat apparently made our ancestors smarter — smart enough to make better tools, which in turn led to other changes, says Aiello.

So here’s an interesting mental exercise: If the animal-rights PETA activists built a time machine, would they stop early man from ever eating meat and becoming modern man? (Hmmm.) But anyway, it’s perfectly fine with us if the vegan activists at HSUS and PETA would prefer to "evolve" to a meatless diet, but they shouldn’t try to force the rest of us to follow suit. Meat has its place in today’s healthy diet—something that’s apparently been true for millions of years.