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Humans weren't designed to eat meat?

by (508)
Updated about 4 hours ago
Created August 08, 2011 at 1:27 AM

I got into a discussion with a vegetarian friend of mine and was a little throw off by his arguments. Mostly when he said that humans weren't evolved to eat meat because we don't have sharp canines, we have teeth like a cow. I really didn't know how to respond to that. I did some digging around and came across this laundry list of reasons why humans weren't designed to eat meat. What would be your counter argument to these so I'm more prepared the next time this topic comes up? I'd prefer a straight-forward response that isn't too difficult to explain. (Sorry if this is a repeat question.)

When you look at the comparison between herbivores and humans, we compare much more closely to herbivores than meat eating animals. Humans are clearly not designed to digest and ingest meat.

Meat-eaters: have claws
Herbivores: no claws
Humans: no claws

Meat-eaters: have no skin pores and perspire through the tongue
Herbivores: perspire through skin pores
Humans: perspire through skin pores

Meat-eaters: have sharp front teeth for tearing, with no flat molar teeth for grinding
Herbivores: no sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding
Humans: no sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding

Meat-eaters: have intestinal tract that is only 3 times their body length so that rapidly decaying meat can pass through quickly
Herbivores: have intestinal tract 10-12 times their body length.
Humans: have intestinal tract 10-12 times their body length.

Meat-eaters: have strong hydrochloric acid in stomach to digest meat
Herbivores: have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat-eater
Humans: have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat-eater

Meat-eaters: salivary glands in mouth not needed to pre-digest grains and fruits.
Herbivores: well-developed salivary glands which are necessary to pre-digest grains and fruits
Humans: well-developed salivary glands, which are necessary to pre-digest, grains and fruits

Meat-eaters: have acid saliva with no enzyme ptyalin to pre-digest grains
Herbivores: have alkaline saliva with ptyalin to pre-digest grains
Humans: have alkaline saliva with ptyalin to pre-digest grains

Clearly if humans were meant to eat meat we wouldn't have so many crucial ingestive/digestive similarities with animals that are herbivores.

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0 · October 25, 2013 at 12:45 AM

Vegans and vegetarians switch from eating meat because we discover truth. We learned through our own research and the positive changes in our bodies when we switched. Our skin becomes more radiant and clear and many that had complications no longer do. You'll even see reverse signs of aging in your face and body. People on the Atkins diet experienced rapid premature aging. That doesn't mean that you don't still enjoy a cheese burger from the way you were raised. We just found an alternative thats healthier for our bodies.

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19120 · April 25, 2013 at 5:20 PM

This isn't really true. Some primates, like the gorilla, do ferment fibers in their gut and derive the fat they subsist off of from the fermentation of plants. Other primates like chimps, humans, and more do not have a great capacity for gut fermentation. Humans get about 7% of their nutrition from fats created by their gut bacteria. Cows and lambs get nearly 100% of their needs this way. So the statement "if necessary" is wrong - it's "as necessary" for a chimp to eat a snail as it is for the chimp to eat a fig.

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247 · March 07, 2013 at 11:14 AM

i love this comment!

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39841 · March 07, 2013 at 3:04 AM

That's pretty deep.

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1127 · November 15, 2012 at 6:18 AM

also Chimpanzees cooperatively hunt and kill monkeys.

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1127 · November 15, 2012 at 6:16 AM

Early primates were insectivorous and oh how convenient our incisors are for cracking through exoskeletons.

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12702 · August 28, 2012 at 12:31 AM

"The biggest, strongest and longest living animals don't eat meat". The biggest and oldest mammals are the blue whale and the bowhead whale, respectively. They eat mostly krill, which is totally meat. Fastest mammal: the cheetah, a carnivore. Smartest non-human animal? Debatable, common responses are dolphins and chimps. Both eat meat, dolphins eat lots. Not that any of that matters much to humans as Stabby pointed out in his response, I just thought I would point that out.

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 4:09 AM

Indeed. It's all about selection pressure. Our GI tract changed in response to the selection pressure of a meaty diet, however our hands didn't turn into claws because we used tools and that eliminated the selection pressure to have claws and increased the selection pressure to become better at using tools.

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 4:08 AM

Indeed. It's all about selection pressure. Our GI tract changed in response to the selection pressure of a meaty diet, however our hands didn't turn into claws because we used tool and that eliminated the selection pressure to do anything except for be better at using tools.

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:48 AM

I have posted my response as its own answer, because paleohacks comments simply aren't a good medium for this sort of dialogue. I tried and it didn't work out so well.

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:34 AM

They were more heavily burdened by pathogens, but got more exercise, for example. All we can do is speculate on whether or not there has been enough times to adapt. Evidence suggests that we have adapted to benefit from meat http://healthydietsandscience.blogspot.ca/2011/02/evidence-of-human-adaptation-to.html Humans synthesize certain molecules like carnitine, creatine, carnosine and others, but the highest and most beneficial levels are only obtained through eating meat. It’s a very complicated subject, I encourage you to look into the hard science of nutrition and wish you luck as a chimp.

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:31 AM

A very low protein diet can impair the ability of cancer cells to replicate. However a high animal protein diet is better for preventing cancer in the first place http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2010/09/curious-case-of-campbells-rats-does.html And I do not currently have cancer so I'm siding with protein sufficiency. Humans have been eating meat for over a million years. And there is no evidence that humans used to live longer than they do now, but speculating about differences doesn’t get us anywhere due to confounding factors.

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:28 AM

Your anecdotes of cancer survivors do not provide reliable evidence. I know people who ate a carnivorous diet to get over cancer. If people eating a raw vegan diet do survive cancer more frequently than people who do not this again isn’t necessarily an argument against any particular component of the diet, just that the entire protocol is more effective than doing nothing. There may actually be a reason why a vegan diet could help with cancer, and that is protein deficiency

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:25 AM

The strength of chimpanzees has little to do with diet, it has more to do with neuronal wiring. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330200829.htm Humans who eat meat and cholesterol are demonstrably stronger than humans that don’t by virtue of eating them. Anecdotes won’t save the vegan argument here, real science has demonstrated that eating animals improves strength. http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=3594

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:24 AM

of genomic differences. Clearly I know more about chimpanzees than you do, since chimpanzees do eat meat, not a lot of it but they eat it. And they are able to eat meat extremely efficiently http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=4035 of genomic differences. The strength of chimpanzees has little to do with diet, it has more to do with neuronal wiring. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330200829.htm Humans who eat meat and cholesterol are demonstrably stronger than humans that don’t by virtue of eating them. Anecdotes won’t save the vegan argument here, real science has demonstrated that

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:23 AM

paleo hacks. Cooked bananas are more palatable than raw ones to me and many others. Many people like plain cooked meat with nothing on it, but they develop preferences to more palatable combinations. It isn’t to “hide the taste” it is simply a preference. Cooked fruit covered in honey and cinnamon tastes better than plain fruit, this clearly isn’t an argument against eating fruit is it? Next you have tried to compare humans to other animals. Sorry but this is simply invalid, the genome determines which foods are optimal for an animal and differences in strength and longevity can also be funct

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:22 AM

These people invariably eliminated consumption of junk food, because it is good. Trans fats, frier oils, processed this and that, they restricted calories, they increased their micro nutrition, there are tons of variables that changed. To anchor on one of them is missing the bigger picture. In science we try to isolate single variables and observe them acting alone, that is how to know what causes what. If you want examples of people who ate a diet like you advocate and then simply added meat and improved their health, look through pale

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d
17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:22 AM

These people invariably eliminated consumption of junk food, because it is good. Trans fats, frier oils, processed this and that, they restricted calories, they increased their micro nutrition, there are tons of variables that changed. To anchor on one of them is missing the bigger picture. In science we try to isolate single variables and observe them acting alone, that is how to know what causes what. If you want examples of people who ate a diet like you advocate and then simply added meat and improved their health, look through paleo hacks.

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:22 AM

I have been accused of stating my opinions as fact by you, this seems ridiculous, as nearly everything you have said is an opinion and not a fact. Let's examine each of your points. 1. You claim that people go on a raw vegan diet and improve their health. I know many people who go on a 100% meat diet and improve their health. Clearly the argument from "I know a person" is not valid. If these people really did improve their health from eliminating "meat and other cooked food out of their diet", how can you say it had anything to do With meat and cooking?

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5201 · August 27, 2012 at 2:43 AM

Hmmm...finger nails can be pretty sharp, incisors (front teeth) are for cutting/tearing food, and the digestive tract is maybe 25 ft long--not 10-12 times body length. So-called "facts" are wrong, wrong, wrong.

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868 · August 27, 2012 at 2:25 AM

I was going to make the same recommendation. Just finished this book today, it was a quick and interesting read.

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8014 · July 27, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Go a couple of weeks without clipping your nails and you'll have something akin to claws.

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753 · July 15, 2012 at 4:53 AM

I live in (and love) Alaska. Not many vegans up here, ha. We all love to hunt wild game too much.

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2954 · June 19, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Humans also have more evolved brains so that they wouldn't make silly comparisons like these, specially they wouldn't forget to include omnivorous beings, plus you shouldn't forget the basics of science which I take you've been taught since elementary school.

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605 · May 01, 2012 at 10:45 PM

The idea that meat rots in your gut is one of the biggest lies vegans push. Animal products are almost exclusively the foods your body actually has enzymes to digest on it's own. The reason carnivores have such short digestive tracts is because animal products are digested quickly and efficiently, therefore there is no need for a long one. Plant based products are almost exclusively digested by bacteria in the gut, which takes longer and needs more room in the gut to handle the higher volume of food.

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14877 · May 01, 2012 at 7:54 PM

examining human bodies alone is not a good guide to our biological niche. One must also examine our institutions, social orders, and tools. This is why humans are so unique.

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1320 · May 01, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Human beings were not designed to do anything. Evolution is a process of adaptation. Hominid species evolved from great apes that were pressured from their forest habitats onto grasslands. This caused adaptation to new sources of food among other things (standing and bipedal locomotion). I imagine the rise of meat eating as a main stay in human diet began during this period.

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5356 · May 01, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Be the person who answers a question with a question. Ask them why it's ok for animals (better known as humans) to pick all these fruits and vegetable that they love so much, when they should be appalled at the conditions that humans are submitting to from ingesting/ breathing in pesticides, harsh sun exposure and accidents from farming equipment...ask why that is an ok animal cruelty. Though I'm sure they'll say they by NOTHING that comes from a conventional farm, I would eat my own hand if they were true. Truth.

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982 · May 01, 2012 at 6:48 PM

remember everyone Vegan and vegetarian are 2 different animals. Vegan is a race (as noted with caps) vegetarian is a diet preference.

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982 · May 01, 2012 at 6:42 PM

chickens and pigs eat meat..the last time I saw a pig with claws was....... and your friend has clearly omitted the omnivore..a little of both most apes.. great apes..certainly baboons..many birds..fish..eat meat or partly meat and fish do not have claws the last time I looked. The Innuit have lived on raw meat and fat for thousands of years..tell them they are not allowed!! did you know that there is actually no vegan natural culture anywhere in history. and very few if any vegetarian "cultures"I cannot think of one off hand.

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56616 · August 12, 2011 at 3:58 AM

lol humans weren't designed to do anything. We evolved!

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581 · August 12, 2011 at 3:02 AM

I agree that it's based largely on guilt... and guilt will only keep you alive & healthy & fully-functioning for so long.

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626 · August 09, 2011 at 11:46 PM

Opposing thumbs! Of course! Brilliant! First time I'd heard that we use our hands instead of big long canines but I guess you're right on!

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3614 · August 09, 2011 at 2:41 PM

They ate meat then, too.

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11152 · August 09, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Hahahaha! Okay, now I see them too. Creepy!

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3891 · August 09, 2011 at 2:01 AM

Digging his hairdo!

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837 · August 09, 2011 at 1:38 AM

I must have been working too long today. The A. boisei and a. garhi teeth seem to have little faces on them.

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17949 · August 08, 2011 at 7:21 PM

I'd take all the "vegetarian" sub-denominations you can. Except maybe not the poop-eating one. Sure, post your e-mail address and I'll exchange e-mails with you.

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13692 · August 08, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Last comment - I do agree there are benefits uniquely available in grass fed meat. I would love to talk offline about this if you are interested. Let me know

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13692 · August 08, 2011 at 7:09 PM

I agree Stabby (again). I think that there is a world of difference between vegan vs vegetarian - lacto, lacto-ovo, pesca-ovo, lacto-ovo-pesca, etc. And yes there is major confirmation bias in my statement. Denise Minger made this comment in her presentation at AHS. The gulf between vegan to any form of vegetarian is much greater than vegetarian to meat eat. I actually HATE the term vegetarian. If you only include dairy (lacto), you are eating an animal product and hence not a plant only eater. Oh well, such is life and the semantics of nutrition.

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13692 · August 08, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Last comment - I agree that there are benefits conferred by the consumption of grass-fed meat unavailable elsewhere.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7
13692 · August 08, 2011 at 7:06 PM

I agree Stabby (again). I think that there is a world of difference between vegan vs vegetarian - lacto, lacto-ovo, pesca-ovo, lacto-ovo-pesca, etc. And yes there is major confirmation bias in my statement. Denise Minger actually made this comment at AHS during her presentation. The gulf between vegan to any form of vegetarian is much greater than vegetarian to meat eater. I actually HATE the term vegetarian. If you eat butter, you are eating an animal product and hence not a plant-only eater (i.e. not a vegetarian). Oh well, such is life

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad
1061 · August 08, 2011 at 7:03 PM

grenadine - even more of your hyperbolic nonsense

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1936 · August 08, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Oak0y?? What are you talking about? I can't understand a single word that you posted. Jared's point is solid, veganism is a result of the luxury of modern society and anyone taken out of this luxury would quickly resort to omnivorism or die of starvation. This is true in just about every climate on the planet, most certainly true in Alaska (where I am from).

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17949 · August 08, 2011 at 5:19 PM

If we're just going after nutrition I would say that some grass-fed meat contains what can't be found in as large quantities in the fish, egg or dairy world. Carnosine, carnitine, and alpha-lipoic acid. So that's why I say it's not optimal to not eat meat. But I agree that there is a lot worse someone can do.

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78422 · August 08, 2011 at 4:19 PM

maybe you can comment on the early origin of the human. when its was warm and cosy*

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78422 · August 08, 2011 at 4:18 PM

respect the land the aniamls talk to the local indegenous tribes and learn in humble ness and shut up and listen to the people who knows since ages. If there are some vegans who wanna like to die for their own spiritual well being. this is better than making a surivor movie out of it.

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78422 · August 08, 2011 at 4:16 PM

good imagination. sad answers. why can this more divers and without coment. sadly the tv wont shows this cause its not a black dude. You know TV is capitalism so they wont show it. i think life is more divers and more real. I have also traveld north in europe and i met also vegans. Maybe some vegans would eat meat if not in the white mans power claim way . If they can feel more connected and gentle and meet native alskian people. or athabascan people and they get respect contact to the animal and land. veganism is more also about smashing white supremacy and patriachy. So all the drunk whit

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11152 · August 08, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Another teeth link: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~jel/512/news_primates/teeth_meat_Lucy.html

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13692 · August 08, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Stabby - I obviously am in agreement. I think there needs to be a clear distinction between SAD vegetarians and Paleo vegetarians. Forget about vegans because that's worlds apart. If a vegetarian avoids gluten, excess O-6, excess fructose and eats good sources of dairy and preferably eggs too, I think it is more than possible to be healthy. There are so many other factors that determine "optimal", and meat eating is but one of them. I know I am preaching to choir :-)

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13692 · August 08, 2011 at 2:15 PM

I agree G. Great comment!

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1724 · August 08, 2011 at 2:12 PM

And certain things -- chops, fish & chicken come to mind -- are really soooo much easier to just eat with your hands.

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17949 · August 08, 2011 at 2:00 PM

This is the best answer. Props.

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10502 · August 08, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Three words: Tool-making omnivores.

Medium avatar
10214 · August 08, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Vegetarians tend to be cocky about holding the moral high ground (though this piece looks half-cocked). It's always worth reminding them that Hitler was a vegetarian. What you eat doesn't qualify you for sainthood.

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11152 · August 08, 2011 at 1:22 PM

I've done that as well. Using a fork and knife can be so tedious, plus it's easier to simply pull the meat away from the gristle and bone than it would be to cut it. Especially when you cook to med. rare, the meat is so tender!

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1936 · August 08, 2011 at 12:47 PM

+1 Opportunistic omnivores that had no way to turn grain into food.

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2028 · August 08, 2011 at 12:33 PM

+1 for making my day!

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24538 · August 08, 2011 at 11:28 AM

I didn't feel like washing a knife, so I did that with my leftover lamb steak for breakfast this morning. So freakin' fun and entertaining for my toddler too! Gave my teeth and jaw a nice workout. Lots of gnawing topped off with a nice little marrow snack from the leg bone.

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329 · August 08, 2011 at 9:00 AM

YES THIS! My front teeth are sharp as heck. Just last night since I was far too lazy to get a knife to cut up my steak, just used my teeth.

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919 · August 08, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Never underestimate a Raccoon

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1353 · August 08, 2011 at 6:34 AM

Damn stabby went into beast mode...good stuff

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8979 · August 08, 2011 at 6:22 AM

+1 grenadine. Lets stick to the facts.

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2427 · August 08, 2011 at 5:23 AM

Vegetarians are people who can't hear carrots scream.

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5136 · August 08, 2011 at 5:15 AM

not to mention that many apes are not only meat eaters but also regular eaters of other apes. isn't it a bitch when people confuse natural design with subjective moral choice?

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3631 · August 08, 2011 at 5:00 AM

I was a long-time vegetarian and I found this to be influential: http://www.westonaprice.org/abcs-of-nutrition/myths-of-vegetarianism

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3631 · August 08, 2011 at 4:50 AM

Pfffft. Absurd. I was a vegetarian for nearly 20 years and have A+ perfect teeth; nary a cavity nor trace of tartar was found in any of my 3 dentist visits in that time. And I look 10 years younger than most people my age. I'm not saying a veg*n diet is optimal (obviously), but this is hyperbolic nonsense.

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508 · August 08, 2011 at 4:09 AM

That link is excellent, thank you!

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508 · August 08, 2011 at 4:01 AM

Actually, he has been a vegetarian for 20+ years, looks good for his age (late 40s) and runs marathons. His teeth look fine too so on the surface he appears to be quite healthy.

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11986 · August 08, 2011 at 3:57 AM

Purely anecdotally: I live in a town full of veg*ns, and between the lack of sunshine and the lack of meat, a lot of the folks over forty are looking pretty bad. Many of them have a squishy, watery look, even the slender ones. But I haven't looked closely at their teeth, lol.

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11986 · August 08, 2011 at 3:38 AM

Plus one million for "go hunting." And an animal that has been hunted has lived and died exactly as animals have since the proverbial dawn of time. There's no reason to feel guilty; even while living, we are food too, and each of us will eventually become nothing more than food. I'm okay with that; I like the universe.

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2226 · August 08, 2011 at 3:14 AM

Barry Groves addresses this topic pretty well here: http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/carn_herb_comparison.html (See especially part four.)

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2226 · August 08, 2011 at 3:13 AM

Barry Groves addresses this topic pretty well [here][1]. (See especially part four.) [1]: http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/carn_herb_comparison.html

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17949 · August 08, 2011 at 3:01 AM

Yeah Aravind I don't see vegetarianism as optimal but if one does it right one can avoid the inevitable cognitive decline of straight veganism.

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17949 · August 08, 2011 at 3:00 AM

Aravind, do you eat eggs? If not, eat eggs. For the sake of your brain eat eggs!

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11152 · August 08, 2011 at 2:56 AM

Thank you for the link, Rose, that is freakin' cool! Saving that one in my Bookmarks folder :)

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11986 · August 08, 2011 at 2:53 AM

Very nice! And here's a little additional info on root structure (albeit unreferenced, sadly): http://forum.dirtycarnivore.com/index.php?topic=1169.0

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17949 · August 08, 2011 at 2:42 AM

omg I'm not going to sleep tonight. Yikes

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11986 · August 08, 2011 at 2:40 AM

I will gladly contribute to your "Dawkins for Vegans" fund.

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1960 · August 08, 2011 at 2:26 AM

+1 very informative (and witty!)

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13692 · August 08, 2011 at 2:21 AM

Nice rebuttal Mister Raccoon. Good thing you limited your bashing to vegans :-)

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453 · August 08, 2011 at 2:13 AM

upvote for the "vegans would be smarter" comment. I guess stupid people don't know they're stupid.

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4059 · August 08, 2011 at 2:11 AM

Go hunting. Actually hunting. If you are successful, you will feel something much more than guilt: you will feel awe and gratitude. You will feel the sacredness of the life you eat. It is a complex and wondrous thing to eat meat, and we humans know exactly how to do it.

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183 · August 08, 2011 at 1:56 AM

it is definitely guilt.. I eat meat and I still feel guilty sometimes.. I try to buy free range/grass fed meat at least.. I do feel bad though.. I'm such a wuss.

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17949 · August 08, 2011 at 2:06 AM

Meat-eaters: have claws Herbivores: no claws Humans: no claws

Humans have tools. Richard Dawkins the evolutionary biologist coined the term "meme" meaning an object or idea that is not part of an organism's genome but affects its evolution. Humans didn't have to evolve claws because they had tools to do that for them, thus there was no selection pressure

(still contemplating my "Dawkins for Vegans" charity fund)

Meat-eaters: have no skin pores and perspire through the tongue Herbivores: perspire through skin pores Humans: perspire through skin pores

Plenty of omnivores perspire through their skin, humans are one of them.

Meat-eaters: have sharp front teeth for tearing, with no flat molar teeth for grinding Herbivores: no sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding Humans: no sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding

Memes, again. And they're plenty sharp, they're pretty diverse, actually.

Meat-eaters: have intestinal tract that is only 3 times their body length so that rapidly decaying meat can pass through quickly Herbivores: have intestinal tract 10-12 times their body length. Humans: have intestinal tract 10-12 times their body length.

Cooking is a meme and shaped our digestive tract. And one of those figures is made up, because humans have by far the shorter GI tract of all apes.

Meat-eaters: have strong hydrochloric acid in stomach to digest meat Herbivores: have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat-eater Humans: have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat-eater

Apparently nobody digests raw meat. Quickly, we must warn the raw paleos before it's too late! Oh wait they're pretty healthy. You vegans are the ones who can't digest meat because your body is falling apart.

Meat-eaters: salivary glands in mouth not needed to pre-digest grains and fruits. Herbivores: well-developed salivary glands which are necessary to pre-digest grains and fruits Humans: well-developed salivary glands, which are necessary to pre-digest, grains and fruits

Learn the word "omnivore", please. Not all meat-eaters are carnivores. You are confusing meat-eater and carnivore, they're not the same. A carnivore eats meat...oh forget it.

Meat-eaters: have acid saliva with no enzyme ptyalin to pre-digest grains Herbivores: have alkaline saliva with ptyalin to pre-digest grains Humans: have alkaline saliva with ptyalin to pre-digest grains

Again, no distinction made between meat-eating omnivores and carnivores.

Clearly if humans were meant to eat meat we wouldn't have so many crucial ingestive/digestive similarities with animals that are herbivores.

They don't really. Look at how short our GI tract is compared to other apes, many of which are not herbivores but omnivores. Memes, yeah, blah.

And there you have it. Clearly if humans, a contemplative and ingenious animal were meant to be vegan, vegans would be smarter.

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11986 · August 08, 2011 at 2:40 AM

I will gladly contribute to your "Dawkins for Vegans" fund.

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1353 · August 08, 2011 at 6:34 AM

Damn stabby went into beast mode...good stuff

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17949 · August 08, 2011 at 5:19 PM

If we're just going after nutrition I would say that some grass-fed meat contains what can't be found in as large quantities in the fish, egg or dairy world. Carnosine, carnitine, and alpha-lipoic acid. So that's why I say it's not optimal to not eat meat. But I agree that there is a lot worse someone can do.

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453 · August 08, 2011 at 2:13 AM

upvote for the "vegans would be smarter" comment. I guess stupid people don't know they're stupid.

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1960 · August 08, 2011 at 2:26 AM

+1 very informative (and witty!)

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17949 · August 08, 2011 at 3:00 AM

Aravind, do you eat eggs? If not, eat eggs. For the sake of your brain eat eggs!

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5136 · August 08, 2011 at 5:15 AM

not to mention that many apes are not only meat eaters but also regular eaters of other apes. isn't it a bitch when people confuse natural design with subjective moral choice?

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13692 · August 08, 2011 at 2:21 AM

Nice rebuttal Mister Raccoon. Good thing you limited your bashing to vegans :-)

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17949 · August 08, 2011 at 3:01 AM

Yeah Aravind I don't see vegetarianism as optimal but if one does it right one can avoid the inevitable cognitive decline of straight veganism.

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13692 · August 08, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Stabby - I obviously am in agreement. I think there needs to be a clear distinction between SAD vegetarians and Paleo vegetarians. Forget about vegans because that's worlds apart. If a vegetarian avoids gluten, excess O-6, excess fructose and eats good sources of dairy and preferably eggs too, I think it is more than possible to be healthy. There are so many other factors that determine "optimal", and meat eating is but one of them. I know I am preaching to choir :-)

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17949 · August 08, 2011 at 7:21 PM

I'd take all the "vegetarian" sub-denominations you can. Except maybe not the poop-eating one. Sure, post your e-mail address and I'll exchange e-mails with you.

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919 · August 08, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Never underestimate a Raccoon

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13692 · August 08, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Last comment - I agree that there are benefits conferred by the consumption of grass-fed meat unavailable elsewhere.

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13692 · August 08, 2011 at 7:06 PM

I agree Stabby (again). I think that there is a world of difference between vegan vs vegetarian - lacto, lacto-ovo, pesca-ovo, lacto-ovo-pesca, etc. And yes there is major confirmation bias in my statement. Denise Minger actually made this comment at AHS during her presentation. The gulf between vegan to any form of vegetarian is much greater than vegetarian to meat eater. I actually HATE the term vegetarian. If you eat butter, you are eating an animal product and hence not a plant-only eater (i.e. not a vegetarian). Oh well, such is life

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13692 · August 08, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Last comment - I do agree there are benefits uniquely available in grass fed meat. I would love to talk offline about this if you are interested. Let me know

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13692 · August 08, 2011 at 7:09 PM

I agree Stabby (again). I think that there is a world of difference between vegan vs vegetarian - lacto, lacto-ovo, pesca-ovo, lacto-ovo-pesca, etc. And yes there is major confirmation bias in my statement. Denise Minger made this comment in her presentation at AHS. The gulf between vegan to any form of vegetarian is much greater than vegetarian to meat eat. I actually HATE the term vegetarian. If you only include dairy (lacto), you are eating an animal product and hence not a plant only eater. Oh well, such is life and the semantics of nutrition.

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684 · August 08, 2011 at 2:02 AM

You should have bit him and then asked if he still didnt think your teeth were sharp...

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24538 · August 08, 2011 at 11:28 AM

I didn't feel like washing a knife, so I did that with my leftover lamb steak for breakfast this morning. So freakin' fun and entertaining for my toddler too! Gave my teeth and jaw a nice workout. Lots of gnawing topped off with a nice little marrow snack from the leg bone.

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329 · August 08, 2011 at 9:00 AM

YES THIS! My front teeth are sharp as heck. Just last night since I was far too lazy to get a knife to cut up my steak, just used my teeth.

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2028 · August 08, 2011 at 12:33 PM

+1 for making my day!

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1724 · August 08, 2011 at 2:12 PM

And certain things -- chops, fish & chicken come to mind -- are really soooo much easier to just eat with your hands.

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11152 · August 08, 2011 at 1:22 PM

I've done that as well. Using a fork and knife can be so tedious, plus it's easier to simply pull the meat away from the gristle and bone than it would be to cut it. Especially when you cook to med. rare, the meat is so tender!

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11152 · August 08, 2011 at 2:49 AM

We don't have claws because we evolved from frugivores (Australopithecus). Each successive evolution of primitive man included more and more animal protein in its diet. This was achieved by scavenging the kills of top predators in the African savannah. For that, claws are not needed, just the ability to be quick.


Our sweat glands are different from those of herbaceous (hoofed) animals. We have what's called eccrine sweat glands, which are unique to primates and are most developed in humans. This form of cooling has evolved along with our bipedalism and hairless skin.

Hoofed animals have apocrine sweat glands which utilize a different form of secretion. Humans have these glands too, but only in the armpit and groin regions. They don't serve as a cooling mechanism for us in the way that eccrine glands do.


Actually our front teeth are pretty sharp. Carnivores have teeth designed to grab and hold onto prey, hence their large canines. But we never needed those in the first place. We have these amazing things called "opposing thumbs" that can grab, pull and lift. If you compare the jaws structure and teeth of our predecessors, they started out to be very large and flat, with heavily muscled jaws designed primarily for plant consumption. The teeth of a vegetarian. Our teeth and jaws became smaller over time because meat is so much easier to masticate than vegetation. A. boisei (now re-classified as Paranthropuus boisei) was 100% vegetarian, but he was also an evolutionary dead-end. When a species develops a specialized diet, it becomes vulnerable to extinction. If there were severe droughts and wild fires, omnivorous animals such as early man had an advantage or his vegetarian cousins. They couldn't go far from the trees and grasslands, whereas we could range far as long as there was protein of some kind.

humans-weren't-designed-to-eat-meat?


Pertaining to the digestive tract, I'll embed a link that discusses it in greater detail.Overview of Digestive Systems of Primates/Humans


Where the strength of our gastric acid is concerned, I'd like to know where they get their information from. I can't find any data relating to the specific parts per million of HCI, potassium chloride and sodium chloride of HCI found in carnivores. I think they're full of shit. We have zero problems breaking down meat, if we did people would probably be dropping like flies.


They also must have forgotten to mention that human salivary glands also secrete salivary lipase (a more potent form of lipase) to start fat digestion. We have slightly alkalized saliva, average pH is 7.4. The average saliva of ruminants is significantly more alkaline at 8.5--they need that alkalizing buffer so the bacteria in their rumens isn't killed off by acidic spit. But we don't have rumens or multiple stomachs that are needed to most efficiently break down plant matter, now do we? Cats and dogs (one an obligate carnivore and the other a predominantly carnivorous omnivore) have an average salivary pH of 7.5 (cats) and a range of 7.34-7.80 (dogs). What does that tell you? Our saliva is actually MORE acidic than a carnivore's!

Sorry, forgot some references:

Studies on Ruminant Saliva

Nutrient Requirements of Cats & Dogs--go to page 7 for info on saliva

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11152 · August 08, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Another teeth link: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~jel/512/news_primates/teeth_meat_Lucy.html

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11986 · August 08, 2011 at 2:53 AM

Very nice! And here's a little additional info on root structure (albeit unreferenced, sadly): http://forum.dirtycarnivore.com/index.php?topic=1169.0

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17949 · August 08, 2011 at 2:00 PM

This is the best answer. Props.

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11152 · August 08, 2011 at 2:56 AM

Thank you for the link, Rose, that is freakin' cool! Saving that one in my Bookmarks folder :)

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837 · August 09, 2011 at 1:38 AM

I must have been working too long today. The A. boisei and a. garhi teeth seem to have little faces on them.

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11152 · August 09, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Hahahaha! Okay, now I see them too. Creepy!

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626 · August 09, 2011 at 11:46 PM

Opposing thumbs! Of course! Brilliant! First time I'd heard that we use our hands instead of big long canines but I guess you're right on!

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11986 · August 08, 2011 at 2:35 AM

Just a note on canines: plenty of herbivores have daggers in their mouths; they're for threatening competitors. Here's an ordinarily gentle Gelada baboon that dines mainly on grass:

humans-weren't-designed-to-eat-meat?

Peter Ungar, arguably the premier researcher of the evolution of the human diet as revealed (or not) by dentition, says, "The more we learn about dental functional morphology and food fracture, the more unknowable the details seem to become. Perhaps this explains why we have been unable to get beyond basic ecological categories." In other words, we don't really know, and neither do the vegetarians.

EDIT/update: This just in. No conclusions yet, but it's nice to know there's another tool in the toolbox.

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17949 · August 08, 2011 at 2:42 AM

omg I'm not going to sleep tonight. Yikes

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3891 · August 09, 2011 at 2:01 AM

Digging his hairdo!

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15443 · August 08, 2011 at 1:47 AM

Humans have been eating meat for thousands (probably tens of thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands depending on your view) of years, have both canines and the metabolisms needed to chew and digest meat, and evolved to capture their meat using their brains instead of claws. Thiis much is plainly obvious.

There are numerous cultures throughout history that have lived primarily or solely on animals, but NONE that have lived primarily or solely on vegetables. From this it should be clear that humans have evolved to have at least SOME meat in their diet.

The justification for vegetarianism is based primarily on guilt... don't be drawn into it.

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183 · August 08, 2011 at 1:56 AM

it is definitely guilt.. I eat meat and I still feel guilty sometimes.. I try to buy free range/grass fed meat at least.. I do feel bad though.. I'm such a wuss.

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4059 · August 08, 2011 at 2:11 AM

Go hunting. Actually hunting. If you are successful, you will feel something much more than guilt: you will feel awe and gratitude. You will feel the sacredness of the life you eat. It is a complex and wondrous thing to eat meat, and we humans know exactly how to do it.

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2427 · August 08, 2011 at 5:23 AM

Vegetarians are people who can't hear carrots scream.

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11986 · August 08, 2011 at 3:38 AM

Plus one million for "go hunting." And an animal that has been hunted has lived and died exactly as animals have since the proverbial dawn of time. There's no reason to feel guilty; even while living, we are food too, and each of us will eventually become nothing more than food. I'm okay with that; I like the universe.

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581 · August 12, 2011 at 3:02 AM

I agree that it's based largely on guilt... and guilt will only keep you alive & healthy & fully-functioning for so long.

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1936 · August 08, 2011 at 1:03 PM

**Warning, oversimplified answer with no research, read at your own risk**

It is actually pretty easy to tell what we were "meant" to eat. Plop any human down in a remote wilderness area and see what they try to eat. The hungrier they get, the more diverse their food choice will become (mmm grubs). Of course, what they eat will depend on what is available in the area, but there are a few things we know they will not try to eat. Grain.. nobody is going to try and eat grain in a survival situation. Why? It isn???t edible.

They will eat fruit, nuts, eggs, bugs, fish, tubers, and will desperately try to find MEAT. When they do manage to kill and animal they will eat it like there is no tomorrow. They will start with the organs because those will rot the soonest and can be eaten the easiest.

Here are some cool pictures of the Hadza tribe going about their daily lives. This is the rest of my (the) answer.
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/12/hadza/schoeller-photography

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3614 · August 08, 2011 at 2:10 PM

New reality TV show:

Survivor: Ice Age Vegan

The Setting: Northern Alaska in the winter.
Stipulations: They have to find shelter, clothing, and food for themselves in any way possible.

The inevitable conclusions for all participants would be:

  1. Death
  2. A new found appreciation of an omnivorous lifestyle
  3. Donner party action

Imagine the RATINGS!!!

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78422 · August 08, 2011 at 4:16 PM

good imagination. sad answers. why can this more divers and without coment. sadly the tv wont shows this cause its not a black dude. You know TV is capitalism so they wont show it. i think life is more divers and more real. I have also traveld north in europe and i met also vegans. Maybe some vegans would eat meat if not in the white mans power claim way . If they can feel more connected and gentle and meet native alskian people. or athabascan people and they get respect contact to the animal and land. veganism is more also about smashing white supremacy and patriachy. So all the drunk whit

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1936 · August 08, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Oak0y?? What are you talking about? I can't understand a single word that you posted. Jared's point is solid, veganism is a result of the luxury of modern society and anyone taken out of this luxury would quickly resort to omnivorism or die of starvation. This is true in just about every climate on the planet, most certainly true in Alaska (where I am from).

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78422 · August 08, 2011 at 4:18 PM

respect the land the aniamls talk to the local indegenous tribes and learn in humble ness and shut up and listen to the people who knows since ages. If there are some vegans who wanna like to die for their own spiritual well being. this is better than making a surivor movie out of it.

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753 · July 15, 2012 at 4:53 AM

I live in (and love) Alaska. Not many vegans up here, ha. We all love to hunt wild game too much.

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13635 · August 08, 2011 at 1:48 AM

The term Meat-eaters includes omnivores. Our teeth are hybrid. We can cut and tear and crush and grind. This makes our food choices more diverse.

I don't think our human ancestors cared about what they were "designed" to eat. They hunted and gathered whatever they could. We were designed to be opportunistic omnivores.

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1936 · August 08, 2011 at 12:47 PM

+1 Opportunistic omnivores that had no way to turn grain into food.

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3614 · August 08, 2011 at 1:58 PM

If humans were not "designed" to eat meat, what exactly did our "vegetarian" ancestors eat during the most recent 100,000 year long Ice Age?

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78422 · August 08, 2011 at 4:19 PM

maybe you can comment on the early origin of the human. when its was warm and cosy*

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3614 · August 09, 2011 at 2:41 PM

They ate meat then, too.

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:56 AM

To Tony:

I have been accused on stating my opinion as fact. This is rather ridiculous since the accuser has offered mainly opinions and not facts in retort. I will try to respond point by point.

Firstly, it seems absurd to argue that because your friends report experiences then it is evidence that can be used to try to convince others. I know many people who have switched to a 100% meat diet and have improved their health. So clearly anecdotes aren???t a basis for argumentation, are they?

But let???s assume that your friends really did improve their health on a raw vegan diet. Does that mean it has anything to do with meat and cooking? Does that mean that if they added meat their health would not improve? These people invariably eliminated their consumption of junk food, because it is cooked, and therefore bad due to that fact, apparently. Trans fats, frier oils, processed this and that, all of that pathological junk was gone from their diets. Grains and most legumes too, all of it gone. They restricted calories, they increased their micro nutrition, etc. There are tons of variables that changed. To anchor on one of them is missing the bigger picture. In science we try to isolate single variables and observe them acting alone, that is how to know what causes what. If you want examples of people who ate a diet like you advocate and then simply added meat and improved their health, look through paleohacks.

Your next argument is basically asserting that meat is not palatable if it isn???t cooked and prepared so humans aren???t adapted to eat meat. I thought I covered the fact that cooking is a meme that has shaped human biology. Humans generally prefer cooked meat, they prefer all sorts of foods cooked. That is because we get more calories from cooking food, both plants and animals. Cooked bananas are more palatable than raw ones to me and many others. Many people like plain cooked meat with nothing on it, but they develop preferences to more palatable combinations. It isn???t to ???hide the taste??? it is simply a preference. Cooked fruit covered in honey and cinnamon tastes better than plain fruit, this clearly isn???t an argument against eating fruit is it? Some people hate plain fruit and need to dip it in chocolate. It is a mistake to believe that one???s own conditioning and preferences are an example of the essential biology all peoples. Take the Inuit who love raw meat, or any number of hunter-gatherers who insist on consuming meat, even if it isn???t salted and spiced. It takes a while to unlearn a preference, but if all I had was plain cooked rabbit that would become very palatable. It has happened with lamb during the time I mistakenly thought that salt was unhealthy. Plain lamb tastes great and I am happy to eat it if I don't have salt and spice.

Next you have tried to compare humans to other animals. Sorry but this is simply invalid, the genome determines which foods are optimal for an animal and differences in strength and longevity can also be functions of genomic differences. Clearly I know more about chimpanzees than you do, since chimpanzees do eat meat; not a lot of it but they eat it. And they are able to eat meat extremely efficiently http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=4035 The strength of chimpanzees has little to do with diet, it has more to do with neuronal wiring. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330200829.htm Humans who eat meat and cholesterol are demonstrably stronger than humans that don???t by virtue of eating them. Anecdotes won???t save the vegan argument here, real science has demonstrated that eating animals improves strength. http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=3594

Your anecdotes of cancer survivors do not provide reliable evidence. I know of people who ate a carnivorous diet to get over cancer. If people eating a raw vegan diet do survive cancer more frequently than people who do not, this again isn???t necessarily an argument against any particular food, just that the entire protocol is more effective than doing nothing at all.

There may actually be a reason why a vegan diet could help with cancer, and that is protein deficiency. A very low protein diet can impair the ability of cancer cells to replicate. However a high animal protein diet is better for preventing cancer in the first place http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2010/09/curious-case-of-campbells-rats-does.html And I do not currently have cancer. So I think that I will side with protein sufficiency.

Humans have been eating meat for over a million years. And there is no evidence that humans used to live longer than they do now that has been established, however even if there was there would be no use in speculating about differences between populations due to confounding factors. They were more heavily burdened by pathogens, but got more exercise, for example. All we can do is speculate on whether or not there has been enough time and ability to adapt to a food. Evidence suggests that we have adapted to benefit from meat http://healthydietsandscience.blogspot.ca/2011/02/evidence-of-human-adaptation-to.html Humans synthesize certain molecules like carnitine, creatine, carnosine and others, but the highest and most beneficial levels are only obtained through eating meat. It???s a very complicated subject, I encourage you to look into the hard science of nutrition and wish you luck on your tree-swinging adventures.

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400 · August 16, 2011 at 6:02 AM

Humans weren't designed at all.

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247 · March 07, 2013 at 11:14 AM

i love this comment!

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5232 · August 08, 2011 at 8:09 PM

I cannot digest vegetarian protein.

I did try -- I tried in earnest, desperately. Gluten, soy, dairy, legumes? No. My body flat-out rejects them and goes into high-alert-immune-system-response-mode and I become very ill. For several years, I suffered for my ideals, and was rewarded with chronic pain and lived in misery.

Simply stated: I am a human being, and I was designed to eat meat.

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1061 · August 08, 2011 at 3:19 AM

As I have said on another post(s?)

Vegans, and vegetarians, do NOT live longer than meat eaters, they just LOOK OLDER than meat eaters.

I have also heard from a number of former 15 to 20 year vegans that their teeth start to ROT and FALL out - almost ALL of them. Veganism did NOT give them sufficient nutrition to maintain healthy teeth. So, JessInSD ask your vegan associate to come back after he has been one for 20 years, and have him show what is left of his teeth.

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508 · August 08, 2011 at 4:01 AM

Actually, he has been a vegetarian for 20+ years, looks good for his age (late 40s) and runs marathons. His teeth look fine too so on the surface he appears to be quite healthy.

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3631 · August 08, 2011 at 4:50 AM

Pfffft. Absurd. I was a vegetarian for nearly 20 years and have A+ perfect teeth; nary a cavity nor trace of tartar was found in any of my 3 dentist visits in that time. And I look 10 years younger than most people my age. I'm not saying a veg*n diet is optimal (obviously), but this is hyperbolic nonsense.

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11986 · August 08, 2011 at 3:57 AM

Purely anecdotally: I live in a town full of veg*ns, and between the lack of sunshine and the lack of meat, a lot of the folks over forty are looking pretty bad. Many of them have a squishy, watery look, even the slender ones. But I haven't looked closely at their teeth, lol.

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8979 · August 08, 2011 at 6:22 AM

+1 grenadine. Lets stick to the facts.

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13692 · August 08, 2011 at 2:15 PM

I agree G. Great comment!

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1061 · August 08, 2011 at 7:03 PM

grenadine - even more of your hyperbolic nonsense

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982 · May 01, 2012 at 6:48 PM

remember everyone Vegan and vegetarian are 2 different animals. Vegan is a race (as noted with caps) vegetarian is a diet preference.

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3450 · May 01, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Refer him to the book Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham.

It points out that our dental structure and digestive tract are unique in the animal kingdom. We don't have the teeth or digestive system of a carnivore. On the other hand, we don't have the teeth or digestive system of a herbivore. On top of that, our teeth and digestive system don't look like they typical omnivore's.

Our teeth and digestive systems are unique, because they have become adapted to a diet that is unique to humans: cooked food. And, in particular, we're physically adapted to eating cooked meat.

However long ago it was that humans tamed fire and started cooking food, it was long enough to allow humans to evolve to the point that we're designed to eat cooked food as our primary food source.

The book points out a number of evolutionary/survival advantages associated with eating cooked meat, so it makes sense that humans that adapted to eating cooked food would end up dominating over time.

The bottom line is: the basis of his argument is flawed. The fact that our teeth aren't the same as the typical carnivore's is because the typical carnivore is adapted to eating raw meat, and we are adapted to eating cooked meat.

If he continues to argue his point, ask him why we don't resemble the typical herbivore either. Our mouth is small (the opening and volume it can hold), or teeth (particularly the moalars) are small, our jaw muscles are small and weak, our stomachs empty quickly, our intestines are short, and food travels through our intestines quickly. All of these are the opposite attributes than you would find in the typical herbivore.

They are the adaptations you would expect to find in an animal that was evolved to eat cooked food (particularly cooked meat) as it primary food source.

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868 · August 27, 2012 at 2:25 AM

I was going to make the same recommendation. Just finished this book today, it was a quick and interesting read.

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2004 · August 09, 2011 at 5:38 PM

We evolved on eating animal protein of any kind we could lay hands on - you don't need to be a saber tooth tiger to catch and eat insects and little critters. And you can easily chew meat with our typical primate's dental formula: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dentition#Dental_formula - as the chimps do too.

Look at the difference of the dental formula between herbivores and carnivores:

humans-weren't-designed-to-eat-meat?

If the vegetarian's teeth look like those on the left picture - he should see his dentist...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dentition#Dental_formula

And you don't need any teeth to gulp down sea food... just suck the oister out of her shell...

Our ancestors survived with a maritime diet throughout a tight spot in evolution when they would otherwise have gone extinct:

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/332828/title/Water%E2%80%99s_edge_ancestors

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11111 · August 08, 2011 at 5:44 AM

Ya we have teeth like a cow - lmao!!

Humans are omnivores - we eat anything but our advantage is our big brain and hands with those great thumbs - like someone said we are opportunistic omnivores. The fact that we can think and reason out solutions to problems allow us to not rely on claws & sharp teeth, we are able to manipulate our environment as well. It is why we are the apex predators of this world and we are so successful that we are actually destroying our own world.

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2688 · March 08, 2013 at 4:00 AM

One often overlooked piece of proof we are evolved to eat meat and the fat associated with it is the gall bladder.

Herbivores don't need large amounts of bile and some of them like the rat for example do not have gall bladders.

The gall bladder in humans is proof that we are evolved to eat large amounts of fat and by implication meat.

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743 · March 07, 2013 at 2:24 AM

Meat eaters... Plant eaters... Humans?

More like: Carnivores... Herbivores... OMNIVORES!

What a crock of @#$%. Skewed vegan BS, as always.

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14877 · May 01, 2012 at 7:51 PM

The differences in features are because tools and fire were a MAJOR part of human evolution. So, of course we do not need claws, canine teeth, or digestive tracts like those of pure carnivores because we hunt animals with weapons, process, and then cook the meat prior to consuming it.

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14877 · May 01, 2012 at 7:54 PM

examining human bodies alone is not a good guide to our biological niche. One must also examine our institutions, social orders, and tools. This is why humans are so unique.

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 4:09 AM

Indeed. It's all about selection pressure. Our GI tract changed in response to the selection pressure of a meaty diet, however our hands didn't turn into claws because we used tools and that eliminated the selection pressure to have claws and increased the selection pressure to become better at using tools.

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 4:08 AM

Indeed. It's all about selection pressure. Our GI tract changed in response to the selection pressure of a meaty diet, however our hands didn't turn into claws because we used tool and that eliminated the selection pressure to do anything except for be better at using tools.

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982 · May 01, 2012 at 6:45 PM

I most say I am wholly impressed at the thoughtful and lengthy responses of so many carnivores!! Well done meat eaters!

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289 · March 08, 2013 at 12:19 PM

WooW don't take this the wrong way vegetarian is a little bit like a cult.Ok I sorry, what I mean is I think that when people go vegetarian they get the added effect of the placebo effect. So when they only eat 30 bananas a day if they believe that they are getting healthier they do plus the fact that they believe that they are saving the world. With out having to leave there hemp arm chairs. So with the believe that this vegetarian diet will make the person healthier it does because of the placebo effect.

Like when a tribe of people go hunting for a animal they will always go for the liver or the heart.The person making the documentaries will always say into the camera "these people believe that the liver/heart of this animal will make them stronger" And it does because it the highest nutrient base foods.

Hmm it's funny that.

Sorry I thought I bring up a different argument.

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17412 · August 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM

We aren't "designed" to eat meat. That's a true, but very misleading statement. We're EVOLVED to eat meat. Bugs the hell out of me to when I see folks who claim to embrace science over that "other" path use a word like design when they should say evolved, or anthropomorphize forces such as nature/evolution into "mother nature." It's like they're working for the other team.

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1127 · November 15, 2012 at 6:16 AM

Early primates were insectivorous and oh how convenient our incisors are for cracking through exoskeletons.

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10 · July 27, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Perhaps some people are more adapted to their genetics than we know. Maybe dr. Adamo, "Eat for Your Blood Type"* was on to something...Also, I don't think my ancestors scottish/Irish lived very long....what about that? Think the life span was much shorter than now...due to weak immune systems? Unclean ways to prepare food? Famines?

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581 · August 09, 2011 at 8:14 AM

That's probably why humans are omnivores...

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0 · September 22, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Absolutely humans are not designed to eat meat.

In Genesis 1 we read 29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

But then in Genesis 9 we read "3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. 4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it."

God originally created us to be vegetarian. It wasn't until after the flood that he gave us permission to eat meat.

So, while we are not designed to eat meat, we are capable of eating meat, and permitted to do so by our designer.

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0
0 · January 26, 2014 at 3:09 AM

Humans were not designed period.

Humans adapted to eat anything. We do not need meat to survive but it is certainly beneficial. Vegans are morons in assuming we are "supposed" to eat plant matter only, just as people who call humans carnivores are fucking idiots too.

People have an agenda on so many sides it becomes laughable.

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0 · January 26, 2014 at 3:04 AM

The very simple answer is we weren't designed, we evolved, design or creation is a religious term, make a point of remembering that, paleo is a recognition that we evolved, all the evidence points to meat based diet, scientific evidence beats anecdote and religious dogma any time.

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0 · October 25, 2013 at 12:30 AM

In the Bible it says the original plan by God for man was to be vegetarian. We started in the Garden of Eden. But after the flood when all the vegetation was destroyed, God permitted man to eat clean meat. The Bible explains what meat is clean and what meat is unclean. Things change after we sin, like being ashamed of our naked bodies when we were't before and losing our paradise "Garden of Eden". Because of sin we lose some of the gifts God gave us that were meant to be and instead now suffer. Instead of having the things we were meant to eat being fruitful at our hands, they were drowned out. We were then forced to find food from animals or starve. The Bible is a very old book and when study matches the bible that just might mean something... also with that there are several studies explaining what meat does to our bodies and how unnatural it is to us. Said in the Beauty Detox Book written by Kimberly Snyder, CN a celebrity nutritionist and best selling author, The main protein in cows milk is casein, making up 87 percent of cow's milk protein. Casein is the one that most consistently and strongly seems to promote cancer. The long-term, in depth research of the China Study, which was funded by such prestigious organizations as the National Institute of Health, the American Cancer Society and the American Institute for Cancer Research, found a strong correlation between protein intake and cancer growth.

Digesting animal protein creates all sorts of by products in the body, like purines, uric acid and ammonia by- products. These toxins are absorbed into your bloodstream through the colon and circulate all around your body. When your blood is clogged with toxins, it can't transport as many beautifying minerals, and these toxins can age and clog the skin cells of your face. furthermore, excessive protein consumption overworks the liver and kidneys.

Our bodies don't need as much Protein as we think. It doesn't take that much to get what we need from plants. Children and people paying for an education are being taught about nutrition by the actual meat industries. American doctors are not educated to prevent you from getting sick but to treat you when you are already sick. Education is all but nonexistent in medical schools. only 30 percent of the medical schools have a single require course in nutrition. A recent senate investigation revealed that the average physician in the united states receive less than 3 hours of training and nutrition during four years of medical school. That's not 3 semester hours. Thats 3 hours total. Doctors are exposed to the same propaganda promoting meat, eggs, and dairy products as the rest of us and they don't have the education in nutrition that would enable then to evaluate these messages anymore intelligently than we can. The meat, eggs, and dairy industries even try to directly educate doctors themselves.

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0 · September 30, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Wow... that's an either-or fallacy.

Humans cannot properly digest fiber. Too much fiber can cause rectal bleeding during bowel movements. Carnivores do not digest fiber. Does this make humans more likely to be carnivores? There are carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Humans are omnivores. Humans are a superior species. While we do not have claws, we have developed tools for cutting. Tools give us an edge over other species. We have incisors and canines for tearing meat, but also molars for crushing. We don't have all molars (like a herbivore should) nor all sharp piercing teeth (like a carnivore might). Instead, human predigestion uses a combination of tearing and mastication to mechanically break down food before it hits the stomach for digestion. Basically, I see the argument as leaving out the option of a balanced diet. Humans can eat whatever they want. Having the proper balance between meat and vegetables is what is healthiest for people.

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0 · September 30, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Wow... that's an either-or fallacy.

Humans cannot properly digest fiber. Too much fiber can cause rectal bleeding during bowel movements. Carnivores do not digest fiber. Does this make humans more likely to be carnivores? There are carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Humans are omnivores. Humans are a superior species. While we do not have claws, we have developed tools for cutting. Tools give us an edge over other species. We have incisors and canines for tearing meat, but also molars for crushing. We don't have all molars (like a herbivore should) nor all sharp piercing teeth (like a carnivore might). Instead, human predigestion uses a combination of tearing and mastication to mechanically break down food before it hits the stomach for digestion. Basically, I see the argument as leaving out the option of a balanced diet. Humans can eat whatever they want. Having the proper balance between meat and vegetables is what is healthiest for people.

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45 · April 26, 2013 at 12:01 AM

I love when vegetarians say we were not meant to eat meat while they take a bite of their soy filled tofu cheese burger.

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0 · October 25, 2013 at 12:45 AM

Vegans and vegetarians switch from eating meat because we discover truth. We learned through our own research and the positive changes in our bodies when we switched. Our skin becomes more radiant and clear and many that had complications no longer do. You'll even see reverse signs of aging in your face and body. People on the Atkins diet experienced rapid premature aging. That doesn't mean that you don't still enjoy a cheese burger from the way you were raised. We just found an alternative thats healthier for our bodies.

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150 · March 08, 2013 at 1:55 PM

A lot of points here raised about digestive tracts, tooth structure, etc... Just wanted to raise another in the pro-omnivore camp. Some time (like few years) ago I watched a documentary that happened to mention that it is pretty much agreed among anthropologists that humans need meat in their diet - the evolution of our large brain was due to an increase in protein intake, and the amounts involved simply could not be possible on an all-plant diet. I can't offer more info than that since that's all I remember, but this may be one area to look at the next time someone pulls you in for a discussion.

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20 · March 08, 2013 at 8:13 AM

There are good examples of vegan cultures thriving and i think there are enough human races capable of thriving on a vegan diet...

humans aren't the same , I def feel much better on a mostly vegetables,fruit,250gram max fish and for kcal sweet potatoe or rice or even oatmeal.

i felt weak and slow for weeks on a heavy meat diet..

things like pure fat or pork in general just make me feel slow.

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0 · March 07, 2013 at 1:34 AM

I believe we are like a empty cup, what ever we put inside us we are. we eat meat we are this and that... we eat greens we are that and this...

Medium avatar
39841 · March 07, 2013 at 3:04 AM

That's pretty deep.

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0 · August 27, 2012 at 1:49 AM

Where are you getting your evidence to argue the fact that humans are meant to eat meat? Obviously you've "prepared" yourself to argue against vegans but it seems more opinion than fact. I always say the proof is in the pudding. I know many raw vegans. When they cut meat and other cooked food out of their diet, their health improved ten fold. Most if not all of them never get sick. Your argument would have more validity if you admitted to killing your animal and eating it raw while the enzymes are still intact. If you were starving on a deserted island and came upon a tree of bananas and a rabbit, which would you be more inclined to devour? Would you salivate over a rabbit? If humans were meant to eat meat, why to we cook it, prepare it in different ways and add spice/condiments to hide the flavor? Another overlooked fact: the biggest, strongest and longest living animals don't eat meat. (Chimps, Elephants etc.) If you notice, when these animals eat greens and plants, they're constantly chewing which converts the plants into a paste that can be digested. I've known over a dozen people that cured all types of cancer by switching to a raw vegan diet. How can you dispute proof like that? People say that our lifespan was shorter 100 or so years ago. However, if you go way way back, humans lived longer than we do today. WHenever someone argues what our diet should be all you have to do is try different ways of eating and take note how you feel and look. The proof is in the pudding :)

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:25 AM

The strength of chimpanzees has little to do with diet, it has more to do with neuronal wiring. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330200829.htm Humans who eat meat and cholesterol are demonstrably stronger than humans that don’t by virtue of eating them. Anecdotes won’t save the vegan argument here, real science has demonstrated that eating animals improves strength. http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=3594

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:48 AM

I have posted my response as its own answer, because paleohacks comments simply aren't a good medium for this sort of dialogue. I tried and it didn't work out so well.

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:24 AM

of genomic differences. Clearly I know more about chimpanzees than you do, since chimpanzees do eat meat, not a lot of it but they eat it. And they are able to eat meat extremely efficiently http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=4035 of genomic differences. The strength of chimpanzees has little to do with diet, it has more to do with neuronal wiring. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090330200829.htm Humans who eat meat and cholesterol are demonstrably stronger than humans that don’t by virtue of eating them. Anecdotes won’t save the vegan argument here, real science has demonstrated that

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:22 AM

These people invariably eliminated consumption of junk food, because it is good. Trans fats, frier oils, processed this and that, they restricted calories, they increased their micro nutrition, there are tons of variables that changed. To anchor on one of them is missing the bigger picture. In science we try to isolate single variables and observe them acting alone, that is how to know what causes what. If you want examples of people who ate a diet like you advocate and then simply added meat and improved their health, look through pale

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d
17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:22 AM

These people invariably eliminated consumption of junk food, because it is good. Trans fats, frier oils, processed this and that, they restricted calories, they increased their micro nutrition, there are tons of variables that changed. To anchor on one of them is missing the bigger picture. In science we try to isolate single variables and observe them acting alone, that is how to know what causes what. If you want examples of people who ate a diet like you advocate and then simply added meat and improved their health, look through paleo hacks.

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:23 AM

paleo hacks. Cooked bananas are more palatable than raw ones to me and many others. Many people like plain cooked meat with nothing on it, but they develop preferences to more palatable combinations. It isn’t to “hide the taste” it is simply a preference. Cooked fruit covered in honey and cinnamon tastes better than plain fruit, this clearly isn’t an argument against eating fruit is it? Next you have tried to compare humans to other animals. Sorry but this is simply invalid, the genome determines which foods are optimal for an animal and differences in strength and longevity can also be funct

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:28 AM

Your anecdotes of cancer survivors do not provide reliable evidence. I know people who ate a carnivorous diet to get over cancer. If people eating a raw vegan diet do survive cancer more frequently than people who do not this again isn’t necessarily an argument against any particular component of the diet, just that the entire protocol is more effective than doing nothing. There may actually be a reason why a vegan diet could help with cancer, and that is protein deficiency

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:34 AM

They were more heavily burdened by pathogens, but got more exercise, for example. All we can do is speculate on whether or not there has been enough times to adapt. Evidence suggests that we have adapted to benefit from meat http://healthydietsandscience.blogspot.ca/2011/02/evidence-of-human-adaptation-to.html Humans synthesize certain molecules like carnitine, creatine, carnosine and others, but the highest and most beneficial levels are only obtained through eating meat. It’s a very complicated subject, I encourage you to look into the hard science of nutrition and wish you luck as a chimp.

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:22 AM

I have been accused of stating my opinions as fact by you, this seems ridiculous, as nearly everything you have said is an opinion and not a fact. Let's examine each of your points. 1. You claim that people go on a raw vegan diet and improve their health. I know many people who go on a 100% meat diet and improve their health. Clearly the argument from "I know a person" is not valid. If these people really did improve their health from eliminating "meat and other cooked food out of their diet", how can you say it had anything to do With meat and cooking?

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17949 · August 27, 2012 at 3:31 AM

A very low protein diet can impair the ability of cancer cells to replicate. However a high animal protein diet is better for preventing cancer in the first place http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2010/09/curious-case-of-campbells-rats-does.html And I do not currently have cancer so I'm siding with protein sufficiency. Humans have been eating meat for over a million years. And there is no evidence that humans used to live longer than they do now, but speculating about differences doesn’t get us anywhere due to confounding factors.

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12702 · August 28, 2012 at 12:31 AM

"The biggest, strongest and longest living animals don't eat meat". The biggest and oldest mammals are the blue whale and the bowhead whale, respectively. They eat mostly krill, which is totally meat. Fastest mammal: the cheetah, a carnivore. Smartest non-human animal? Debatable, common responses are dolphins and chimps. Both eat meat, dolphins eat lots. Not that any of that matters much to humans as Stabby pointed out in his response, I just thought I would point that out.

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1127 · November 15, 2012 at 6:18 AM

also Chimpanzees cooperatively hunt and kill monkeys.

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1443 · June 19, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I can get a whole list of why we're carnivores too. Anyway, we are omnivores. 1. Our teeth proves we're omnivores. It's neither vegan or purely carnivorous by nature. 2. Our digestive system is closer to the carnivore's. Vegan animals have four stomachs. 3. And Inuits would be dead by now if humans weren't designed to eat meat. Most of their food is animal based. Vegans are culturally biased.

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4 · August 16, 2011 at 2:22 AM

Here is a good video on meat: http://carnism.com

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-1
-2 · April 25, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Most vegans are not vegan for health reasons, they do it because they don't want to support the torturous conditions most animals used for meat and dairy are raised in.

If you want to compare humans to any animals it should be primates. Primates in generally have a mostly vegetarian diet but will eat meat if necessary. This is how I feel the healthiest human diet is as well. Mostly plants with small amounts of meat. I just wish cattle and other farm animals were treated better. That's where the guilt comes from.

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19120 · April 25, 2013 at 5:20 PM

This isn't really true. Some primates, like the gorilla, do ferment fibers in their gut and derive the fat they subsist off of from the fermentation of plants. Other primates like chimps, humans, and more do not have a great capacity for gut fermentation. Humans get about 7% of their nutrition from fats created by their gut bacteria. Cows and lambs get nearly 100% of their needs this way. So the statement "if necessary" is wrong - it's "as necessary" for a chimp to eat a snail as it is for the chimp to eat a fig.

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-1
78422 · August 12, 2011 at 3:32 AM

Here is a good video on meat: http://meat.org

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