"No wonder he's so smart," some meatless eaters claim. "He doesn't eat meat!"
Albert Einstein - genius, physicist, wacky-haired philosopher of science - is rumored to have been a vegetarian. Vegans and other plant-based eaters love to cite the scientist as an example of why abstaining from meat is the most intelligent choice. After all, if Einstein, arguably one of the most intelligent men in history, thought it was a good idea, then it must be pretty smart, right?
While this is partly true, as he was a vegetarian for a portion of his life, there's a lot that this narrative leaves out.
For one, it's out of the question that the source of his smarts was a meatless diet. Einstein was only a strict vegetarian for the last couple years of his life, decades after many of his most important scientific breakthroughs.
There are countless records of Einstein eating meat, well into adulthood. Phillip Frank recorded in his autobiography that he and Einstein once picked up calf's liver to eat for lunch. According to Frank, Einstein corrected Frank's wife on her method of boiling their meal, claiming, "You certainly know the boiling-point of water is too low to be able to fry liver in it."
On another occasion, it's recorded that Einstein's friends Maurice Solovine and Conrad Habicht bought him caviar for his birthday - quite the delicacy when compared to Einstein's other much simpler meals. Einstein, mindlessly forking bite after bite into his mouth, didn't seem to notice what he was eating at all - he was too engrossed in Galileo's principle of inertia.
"For goodness sake," he exclaimed when he had finished. "So that was the famous caviar!"
The famous scientist did, however, suffer from chronic digestive distress - his many health problems ranged from stomach ulcers to jaundice. Because of his maladies, his doctor mandated that he eat a balanced diet that included things like meat and simple carbohydrates.