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Heidi Montag

Unpacking the weird alt-right propaganda behind the raw meat movement


TextGünseli Yalcinkaya

The radicalised diet plan of the alt-right associates red meat with alpha males and soy with emasculated cucks

Heidi Montag is papped snacking on a raw bison heart in the middle of LA. She claims that it will boost her fertility. A man chugs 100 raw eggs on livestream. It has over three million views. Joe Rogan thinks that cooking meat over an open fire will unlock ancient genetic memories (disclaimer: it will not).

Everywhere you look, carnivorous urges are infiltrating the mainstream. With roots in esoteric fitness circles and man-o-sphere blogs, health enthusiasts are swapping out smoothies for steaks in a bid to improve their wellness. “Billions of people suffer health issues from not eating our natural species diet: raw meat,” asserts @rawmeatexperiment, an Instagram user who posts daily videos of himself eating ox tongue and cow livers to his 122k followers. He later admits that his diet isn’t rooted in hard scientific facts: “Could I be wrong? Yes. But I have nothing better to do.”

Scroll online and you’ll find endless testimonials of people preaching the benefits of an all-meat diet. Podcast host Joe Rogan said that it helped clear his skin, while conservative pop psychologist Jordan Peterson claimed back in 2018 that his diet of beef and water cured his autoimmune issues and lifelong depression.

What’s missing from these carnivorous declarations, however, is the scientific evidence to back them up. “Consuming raw eggs or raw meats increases your risk for foodborne illness and food poisoning,” warns Roxana Ehsani, a registered nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Over consuming one food can be dangerous to your health, she continues, and limits you from consuming a balanced healthy eating pattern. “It’s best to not follow any type of diet that eliminates major food groups and only has you consuming one or two foods, that’s not sustainable for long term health.”

Salmonella and tapeworms aside, a deeper dig into the raw meat industrial complex reveals disconcerting connections to the alt-right and men’s rights groups. “Modern society has created the least masculine men in history,” a tweet by the Internet’s mysterious self-described “meat philosopher” Carnivore Aurelius reads. Another tweet asserts, “The Carnivore Diet is the red pill that wakes you up to reality.” An archetype of the Right Wing Bodybuilder, or RWBB – a term that describes a politically reactionary Extremely Online male whose politics is sublimated into a fitness lifestyle – internet figures like Carnivore Aurelius are part of a growing bodybuilding and fitness community epitomised through the idea: red meat is the red pill. 

With veganism on the rise, and the alternative milk market valued at over $3 billion, a growing number of traditionalists are pushing back against modern health alternatives, which they believe have created a generation of subservient, emasculated men (or “cucks”). To them, red meat is associated with old patriarchal systems and alpha males, in contrast to tofu-loving beta males. In short, they view the war on meat as a war on men.

The followers of RWBB typically consume raw meat and follow strict back-to-basics workout regimes. They are native to alt-right fitness forums and Twitter threads, spouting scientifically skewed facts about plummeting sperm levels and how “Big Soy” is responsible for “feminised” male bodies. They chug gallons of Raw Milk – unpasteurised milk that’s illegal to sell for human consumption in the US – and hate nu-milk brands like Oatly (the owner of GetRawMilk.com has written for RWBB website Herculean Strength). They even have their own critical theory, Raw Egg Nationalism, which helps them better connect to the traditions of the ancient world, with many adopting Roman and Greek historical figures as their avatars.

A key figure in the RWBB community is Bronze Age Pervert (BAP), whose Twitter account was suspended in 2021 for hate speech. Now active on Telegram, his posts span far-right memes featuring homoerotic images of ancient Greek bodybuilders to mind-melting rants on eugenics and ‘dirtbag leftists’. A self-described “Aspiring Nudist Bodybuilder” and “Free speech and anti-xenoestrogen activist” (read: woman-hating neo-Nazi), he regularly quotes Men’s Rights Activist rhetoric about ‘roasties’, AKA women who have multiple sexual partners, and regularly maintains that women should be reduced to breeding stock. It’s not a great association.

While it’s unlikely that Heidi Montag is familiar with the intricacies of RWBB, the rise of raw meat among fringe health circles is indicative of a wider move towards traditional ways of thinking. Whether it’s trading in Huel shakes for raw eggs, corporate scepticism in the forms of 5G and vaccines, people are pushing back against mainstream media narratives. Think of it like the California yoga mum to QAnon pipeline – though here’s hoping that they won’t get radicalised in the process.

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