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Canada Idle Science

Feeling Upset? Look At Some Meat 155

Meshach writes "A study out of Canada claims that seeing meat actually calms a person down. From the article: 'Contrary to expectations, a McGill University researcher has discovered that seeing meat makes people significantly less aggressive. Frank Kachanoff, who studies evolution at the university’s department of psychology, had initially thought the presence of meat would provoke bloodlust, believing the response would have helped our primate ancestors hunt. But in fact, his research showed the reverse is true.'" I can see all the "Make Steak, Not War!" protest signs already.


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Feeling Upset? Look At Some Meat

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  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:49AM (#34196168)
    They will show you some very calming asparagus shoots.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by CFBMoo1 ( 157453 )
      Usually it isn't the asparagus that helps me feel better so much as the lady holding it.
    • by BStroms ( 1875462 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:59AM (#34196292)
      The article makes sense to me. Nothing like sitting down for a meal and being presented with a plate full of vegetables to send you into a rage. A nice roast turkey or the like, however, will have you thinking of little next to how much you're going to enjoy your meal.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by sznupi ( 719324 )

        Yeah, such preference might have made evolutionary sense for most of time our species exists (plus those leading to us...), when meat was much more scarce. seems like a lot of people still fall into that instinct, of course. Daily, many times a day... (similar with alcohol probably; out of three fruits: fresh, fermented and rotten - two are better. Which means beings with some preference towards alcohol might have slight evolutionary advantage, thanks to additional calories now and then. But now eff

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by lordmetroid ( 708723 )
          A calorie is only the same as the next calorie if you put it a substance on fire. In the body however, substances are not lit on fire, instead different substances have different metabolic paths. Alcohole is metabolized in the liver and requires you to expand energy in order to dispose of the poison and turn it into the harmless fats that can be stored on the outside of your belly and other fatty tissues.
          • by sznupi ( 719324 )

            But some random fermented fruit would most likely give more energy than its alcohol content "burns", don't you think?

          • by khallow ( 566160 )

            Alcohole is metabolized in the liver and requires you to expand energy in order to dispose of the poison and turn it into the harmless fats

            Not that I'm here to fight, but that still may be a net energy gain.

            • Hence why he said it's being stored as fat. I thought he was making a joke.

              Alcohol consumption raises the levels of cortisol in your system - which makes you store more fat around the belly area; it also reduces testosterone levels, making it harder to build muscle. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to cortisol levels too since at least some of them are broken down by the liver.

              • by Xtravar ( 725372 )

                Alcohol itself is not stored as fat. Only a small percentage of it would actually directly turn into fat. It's the fact that alcohol energy takes precedence over other sources of energy that causes fat to be stored.

          • by Thing 1 ( 178996 )

            Alcohole is [...]

            My mouth you insensitive somethingorother.

      • ironically (Score:2, Interesting)

        by unity100 ( 970058 )
        vegetables are what is used to actually give taste to REAL dishes, even for dishes made with meat. because, meat, always tastes like, well, meat. you have to have vegetables to make something different out of it.

        think : its no different than eating potatoes all the time. same and same. but, we are conditioned by the society to think that we are actually eating well, because, well, we are eating meat. this is reminiscent of the earlier centuries in which meat was hard to find, and therefore considered a r
        • by cawpin ( 875453 )
          The only way that can be considered true is if you're counting spices as vegetables. If you aren't, then you need to get some good meat.
        • Re:ironically (Score:5, Informative)

          by geekprime ( 969454 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @01:19PM (#34198026)

          You cannot taste the difference between different kinds of meat? beef pork lamb etc...!?

          Let alone the difference between a flank steak and a porterhouse?

          Really? Wow!

          I can tell you that there is an obvious difference in the flavor of the meat on the two sides of a porterhouse steak.
          Is there a test for tastebuds? I think you may be missing something.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            I know plenty of people who claim this and it's for the same two or three reasons every time.

            1: They smoke, and have done so for so long that they cannot taste much of anything.

            2: They are the people who drown everything in salt, pepper or some other spice so that the natural flavor or the dish gets overwhelmed no matter what they are eating

            3: Bad cooking, they grew up with a bad cook and never learned how to do it on their own so now they just ignore the flavor of what they eat without thinking about it

        • by orlanz ( 882574 )

          I disagree. Unless you consider vegetables as equal to non-meat and state that there is more variety of taste in the former.

          Various meats taste quite differently. And I am not even talking about the cooked kind. Various sushi taste quite differently. Heck the same fish has a different taste based upon where it grew up and how old it is. Same applies for oysters. Even going into boiled, fired, fried, baked, salted, and smoked changes based upon age, feed, location, cooking medium, and type of prepwork

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Gulthek ( 12570 )

          I was raised a vegetarian and I was the last holdout when we all decided to actually start eating meat. I see where you are coming from.

          But you are absolutely, completely wrong. Meat is an expansive world full of an incredible range of complex flavors.

        • No. Spices and sauces are the primary "give taste" factor (except for the connoisseur differences in quality behind grades of the base food), regardless if it's a meat dish or vegetable.

    • Personally, I prefer the PETA angel ... []

      Or if you the anti-python ad... []

    • by daemonenwind ( 178848 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @04:19PM (#34200238)

      It would explain why those PETA folks are always so pissed off.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:50AM (#34196176) Journal

    (which of course are not meat, but skin-covered fat.) Much more calming.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 )

      Strange. I find them exciting.

      I guess we are all different.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I find them very calming also. Even though since I was weaned, I have so far only have a chance to interact them during sex, I would still associate them more with nutriment than arousal. The warm feeling of two soft breasts against ones skin during a loving or even a friendly embrace feels as comforting as another pair of arms around one's body. I have heard that the association of breasts with sexuality is strongest in men who were not breastfed, I guess because having something associated with ones mothe
        • In other mammals breasts only exist for one purpose: Feeding the baby. Once the baby is grown, they shrivel and all-but-disappear.

          It is only in humans that permanent breasts have developed, as a way to entice men ("Yes dummy I'm a woman - you can tell by my chest.").

    • "If a woman shares with me her breasts, I tend to leap at them. RAWR! Because they might go away..."

      -- Lewis Black

    • by Genda ( 560240 )

      That udderly fascinating...

    • I'm more of a leg/rump man, big hooters were never that big a deal for me, when I was young they were usually bound up in armor plated bras, so that they even looked pointy! A sleek, fit, athletic young woman is what I would consider the (ideal).

      As to looking at meat being calming, a dry-aged steak, on a plate with a potato and a bottle of 57 sauce will calm me down right away!

  • Hmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <<megazzt> <at> <>> on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:51AM (#34196178) Homepage
    I wonder if it matters if you're vegetarian or not?
    • It does. I am never pleased to find a piece of meat in my broccoli with tofu. It has happened, and I usually don't get calmed down until they refund my money, take the food back, and provide a new meal.

  • beef curtains always makes me feel better

    • by Yewbert ( 708667 )

      Came for the inevitable pr0n/"I'm thinking Arby's!" post, leaving somewhat satisfied and somewhat,... distracted.

  • by QuantumBeep ( 748940 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:53AM (#34196206)

    I'm sure there won't be any dirty jokes made about this at all.

    • by NtwoO ( 517588 )
      Only heterosexual women and homosexual men are appeased by looking at meat. (and not being denied their wishes)
  • by chemicaldave ( 1776600 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:53AM (#34196210)
    Will looking at some spinach put you into a rage then? It certainly seemed that way for Popeye.
    • by Machtyn ( 759119 )
      Did Popeye go into a rage at seeing the spinach or was he already enraged and then went for the spinach. Personally, I like fresh spinach. The canned stuff is just blech!
  • damn (Score:3, Funny)

    by aquabat ( 724032 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:53AM (#34196212) Journal
    missed first roast!
  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:53AM (#34196214)

    Show her your meat!

    Keep a copy of TFA for when the cops show up.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:55AM (#34196246) Homepage

    Of course. Why do you need to be "aggressive" when it's Thanksgiving? You've already got your kill and you are about to chow down. You and the rest of your extended family doesn't have to worry about starving for awhile. You can relax a little. This is about "being fat and happy" rather than "fight or flight". Of course "plenty" is going to be relaxing.

  • by plopez ( 54068 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @10:57AM (#34196268) Journal

    and a teetotaler. Do you need more proof? :)

  • by VoiceInTheDesert ( 1613565 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @11:02AM (#34196310)
    ...was just trying to make us all feel better? That was nice of her.
  • makes sense (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ico2 ( 817589 )
    It makes perfect sense. If you can see meat then the hunt is over.
    • and it's time to relax and eat.
    • by sznupi ( 719324 )

      Or a fight. Also if it's your meat - you might as well relax ;p (though I'm not sure how that trait would be passed on - unless relaxing helps in survival of serious wounds, somehow...)

      Might be not such a useful thing with shelfs in shopped overfilling with the stuff...

    • "It makes perfect sense. If you can see meat then the hunt is over."

      So THAT is what the hole in the partition is for!

  • anger managemeat
  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @11:06AM (#34196360)

    I've got a bone to pick with that pork-barrel study, but after we chew the fat together, I won't have a beef with them anymore - unless they're too chicken, in which case something fishy may be going on.

  • Meat is a conspiracy by the Freemasons and the Illuminati to calm down the sheeple population so that they don't protest against our reptillian overlords. See to be enlightened; free your mind, bro.
  • by balaband ( 1286038 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @11:12AM (#34196430)
    WTF IS THIS SHI.....oh look at the pretty picture.....mmmm.......BBQ......what was I on about.....ah yes......why do I have to hate M$ so much? And apple closed source is actually good for the users....

    I'm gonna go and open Facebook account now.
  • What possibly could be remotely important about this study?

    Basically, the researcher made a completely arbitrary "evolutionary" assumption that the view of meat provoked "blood lust", despite any evidence to that. And then he stood corrected after wasting funds on that largely irrelevant issue. Blood lust didn't help our ancestors hunt, hunger did. It would seem way more logical to most people - except to that researcher, obviously - that the view of meat would calm them, since it meant "dinner's (almost?

  • Is this why I don't get frustrated playing Super Meat Boy?

  • By the time you turn an animal into meat, you don't need to fight or run any more as long as there isn't to much competition within your group.

  • I'm sure... (Score:2, Funny)

    by pahles ( 701275 )
    if I show people my meat, they will get upset. Well, some of them...
  • by The Raven ( 30575 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @11:33AM (#34196666) Homepage

    Once you can see MEAT, the hunt is over. Time to calm down and eat. Makes sense to me. We're not jackals, who fight for carrion; or lions who compete for who gets to eat the kill. We're a cooperative species, so once the hunt is done and the meat is out, time to stop producing adrenaline from the hunt and get to the business of sharing the meat out to the group.

    • "We're not jackals, who fight for carrion; or lions who compete for who gets to eat the kill."

      Well, we don't compete with each other for food in the modern world. Were that situation to change I'd have no problem killing other human competitors to survive, or to eat them if that's the only option.

      The taboos against that are for tribal convenience (well, most tribes!) and may be disregarded in extremis. []

    • I am not sure about lions, I know they have some order (for example the male(s) go first).
      and I believed they are similar to a wolf pack with a strict pecking order, as any pack of animal is likely to form.
      SO I am not certain, but I do not think they fight over it. The important ones might push the less important away, but it is not a fight because both of them know who is the boss.

  • Wrong images. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @11:41AM (#34196754) Homepage

    You don't see the raw meat until after you've caught and killed the animal and are ready to eat. Bloodlust is not appropriate at that point. He needs to redo the experiment with images of prey animals running away.

    • by L3370 ( 1421413 )
      Well many humans no longer have to look for the prey, so watching a gazelle hopping around probably wouldn't spark aggression in us.

      But hey, maybe this is why silly things like cow tipping and cock fighting are still around. Since our food source is domesticated, this may serve as release for our natural tendencies.
      • Well many humans no longer have to look for the prey, so watching a gazelle hopping around probably wouldn't spark aggression in us.

        You're right, we need to modernize this experiment to allow for any potential environmental influences on instinctive human behaviors.

        Have test subjects sit in a waiting room for a few hours so they'll be hungry. Then they're given a coupon for a McDonald's burger, and told not to open it until they get outside.

        As soon as they leave the McDonalds the subject is distracted by a text message while a hexacopter with a cargo hook picks up the burger and flies away. The subject is then observed for any aggressiv

    • I've seen the reaction a big Yellow M has on child passengers in a car. Clearly images of pray, possibly escaping, can trigger in them a bloodlust.

  • can i haz cheezburger pic?
  • If our primitive ancestors were seeing meat, it meant hunting was done, and they didn't have to worry about getting trampled by a wooly mammoth for a few days. Talk about your stress relief...
  • Certainly, seeing meat "could have" caused bloodlust, and certainly that's the easier hypothesis with which to start testing, so I'd have done the same thing. But it certainly makes more sense that it'd be calming.

    When seeing a wild turkey, bloodlust would help the hunter. After killing it, and stripping it, now staring at the meat, the hunting is done, the bloodlust isn't required. What's more, we need to turn into digestive mode -- which in humans is a very energy-intensive task.

    Not to mention, there a

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Thursday November 11, 2010 @01:05PM (#34197836)
    It makes you feel relevant because you have a steak in your future.
  • Am I the only one that saw "McGill University" and thought it said McGrill?
  • Great! I can just imagine a new PsyOps tactic in Afghanistan.

    Spraying the aroma of slowly simmering meat all over a suspected Al Queda camp. Cover a whole mountainside or carpet (bomb) an entire valley with the sweet smell of roasting meat.

    Instead of “Daisy Cutter” munitions, spread dissension among the opposing side by starving them out (or requiring them to get much better mobile kitchens to run their recruiting.)

    That’ll drive the enemy mad trying to figure out where the ovens are.

  • Sorry, I must be "evolved". This meat does nothing for me.

    Calming Images:
    A pile of classic arcade game cartridges [].
    Earth as seen from the mother ship [].
    Our place in the known universe [].

  • Looking at Lady Gaga at the MTV Awards in her butcher shop couture [], made me a lot of things... but calm and sedate weren't among them. She should have made her purse out of a barf bag.

  • "had initially thought the presence of meat would provoke bloodlust, believing the response would have helped our primate ancestors hunt."
    That makes no sense.
    Why would it be a good thing for are primitive ancestors to want to hunt when they already have caught and butchered meat lying around?
    So it is just the opposite, because it would help out ancestors out to get agitated and go hunt when the food runs out.

  • I can't speak for anyone else, but I know if -I'm- looking at a nice juicy steak, I'm pretty calm and content. :3

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain