Or at least why doesn't the meat from other meat-eaters (carnivores or omnivores) feature very heavily in modern day diets? Is eating carnivores Paleo?
Off the top of my head I think of dogs (Koreans) and snakes (in parts of the mid-west and Asia), but even when they do appear, I think they tend to be speciality dishes rather than staples (although that might just be my ignorance).
Is it because we evolved to eat things that didn't bite back? I can believe that is partially true, but there must have been opportunities to wing the occaisional carnivore and take it home for supper.
Is it a neolithic remnant? It must be easier to farm herbivores than livestock that were liable to eat each other or require a constant supply of live food.
Or is it a biomagnification thing? But then aren't things like mercury pollution modern concerns? Would they have been such a big problem for our ancestors?
I'm not sure if it's apocryphal, but won't eating the livers of carnivores (such as polar bears or alligators) give you Vitamin A poisining? That seems to be a clear indication that we haven't evolved to eat them.
What would happen if I completely replaced the ruminants in my diet with the meat from carnivores? Would it have a deleterious affect on my health?
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I would assume a big reason for this is work vs return. Carnivores tend to be reclusive, travel large distances in smaller packs, and weigh much less. It is much easier to track and selectively kill animals from a herd of buffalo for instance where there would be several hundred animals weighing a ton or more than to track a pack of 15 or so wolves each weighing around 150 pounds.
Carnivore "meat" has a very distinctly metallic gamey taste, in a way that is different than the gamey taste of venison, for example. I have had bear and cougar, both were not something I would seek out to eat again. So, food preferances on the palate could be one explanation. Not a lot of demand for the taste.
I honestly think it's an accessability thing. Why raise animals just to be eaten by other animals so you can eat that animal? Cut out the middle man. (Raise pigs to be eaten by wolves to be eaten by people or just raise pigs and feed them to people??) Just seems like you get a better bargan by cutting out the middle step.
Your premise is flawed. We eat many carnivorous fish.
Cod, for example, is a carnivore. Also, its liver is a prized food.
I find them to be to gamey as well as elitist and grass fed or not...a terrible sense of humor...but then, I've never wrapped one in bacon, so I could be converted. Truth.
There is some validity to eating things that don't pose a threat. However, humans eat a lot of food sources that are carnivores. Heck, the biggest source of protein in the human diet, around the world, is likely chicken and fish. Carnivores.
This is an informative read for those curious.
Wikipedia - taboo food and drink http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taboo_food_and_drink
While poultry may be omnivorous, birds of prey (entirely carnivorous) like hawks, eagles, vultures, owls are forbidden food for Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Hindus (about 3 billion people - or around half the world population), and other cultures. Notice birds of prey are often attributed in sacred contexts - the hawk as the symbol of Zeus, or in shamanic contexts (tribal and traditional religions), Horus - falcon-headed god in ancient Egypt, owl associated with Hindu goddess Laksmi, etc. Since many spiritual beliefs systems share this idea of a human soul taking flight like a bird - particularly a bird of prey this taboo might make sense.
If you're not interested in a spiritual explanation -from a practical point of view - hunting birds of prey is much more difficult then other birds.
Squid, fish (tuna, swordfish, shark), crocodiles, alligators, snakes, frogs are a few. Maybe the main reason we don't eat this stuff in America is because it is uncommon to hunt for it in the local supermarket :D
Also, regular predators who eat meat are likely solitary individuals or in small packs, as noted above. Things like cattle, sheep, and bison are easier to raise in a domestic setting because they can graze on grass. And as I've seen on other websites now while researching this, yes it can lead to a problem with "hypervitaminosis A" if you eat carnivore livers long term.
I think aside from, say a bear or mountain lion potentially killing you during the hunt, it's not deleterious to eat them. It's cheaper and easier to, say, grow grass for ruminants than to feed meat to meat eaters then eat them. As to eating dogs, I see nothing wrong with it. For cultures other than some Asian ones, dogs have become more of a working or companion animal so we tend not to eat them. And, again, I think for what you would feed them vs the amount of meat you would get, you'd be better off eating lamb or fish.
Consistent with the fact that cats and other carnivores in nature don't eat eachother... I think it has something to do with the fact that we need the nutrients in grass and other plant life... and when you eat a ruminant, that has those nutrients in its fat and organs because it has done the work of digesting them from the plants which a pure carnivore cannot do. This is the advantage of being a carnivore, is eating something that is 'pre-formed' for you.
Ie, a cow is made of meat and fat, but he has this huge digestive system that takes up alot of space in his body and energy dedicated to converting the nutrients in plant life into something he can use, meat and fat. A carnivore is made of meat and fat and he eats meat and fat. He still needs the nutrients in the grass, but the work has already been done by the ruminant.
This is probably why other carnivores do not taste good and why they are not as nutritious.
we don't eat carnivore mammals. i limit my intake of mammals in general because of the ease with which viruses and bacteria can pass directly or mutate to survive in a similar mammalian host.
i would bet that we haven't hunted them in most cultures because we have admired and even deified many aggressive and predatory animals.
On the fact that carnivores taste bad, one of my uncles was captive in a German PoW camp during WWII.
In order to supplement their rations, they used to catch local domestic cats (or maybe strays) and eat them. They quickly learned that cat meat is so sweet that they were not able to stomach it. Through trial and error they worked out that you have to boil the cat twice, completely changing the water before boiling it the second time.
Does it taste bad because we haven't evolved to eat it, or is it that we have just become accustomed to eating herbivores and anything else tastes weird by comparison?
Alligator is delicious! Seriously. Also, expensive. Snake is just ok.
I knew a fish monger that would sell alligator meat, raw. Otherwise I order from here: http://www.cajungrocer.com/fresh-foods-alligator-c-1_15_16.html?limit=all
And not very paleo but alligator boudin is the bomb.
Predators are fast. We are slow. If the predator decides to turn us into game we don't stand a chance. Bear vs Hiker With Rock never ends well in Alaska.
I imagine Grop didn't care whether or not he ate carnivores or herbivores, but herbivores are easier to tame and domestocate, and very often carnivores are scavengers that eat carrion or other rotting things that may cause disease, and duringt the Neolithic period, avoiding carnivore meat became a stay-well measure. If you think about it, there are no exclusively carnivorous land animals that are kosher.
This is not only about humans. Other animals don't eat meat-eaters either. Lions never eat dogs and dogs never eat cats. I'm not sure for fishes, reptiles and insects, but in general, at least mammals don't. The only exceptions are domesticated animals ... fed by ... humans; and as stated above; that's probably why most religions forbid pork meat. Some years ago, in the UK, they were so stupid to feed cows and sheep with molded bones. After only one or two "cycles", terrible diseases as Creutzfeldt???Jakob were the result. They had to eliminate many thousands of "mad cows".
Also, it is not about carnivores ?? it is about animals eating meat. That's why Chinese and Korean people do eat dogs. Those dogs are fed with rice, not with meat. And that's why cats were eaten at the end of the war. Those cats didn't at any meat at all for over a year.
Personally, it may be more of a food chain/sustainability/availability thing. As far as fish goes, it's more sustainable to eat the smaller fish lower on the food chain. Making predatory fish like salmon, shark, a tuna a big part of all humankind's diet would be unsustainable and irresponsible. It makes more sense to go after the herbivores and omnivores. There's a lot more of them to go around.
I think in the wild, chickens are to the carnivorous end of the omnivore spectrum. They eat mostly insects and small animals.
I have eaten most things that run, fly, swim or crawl - everything from crickets & caterpillars to giraffe, alligator, lion, dog, snakes, shark, bears. Carnivore meat tends to have a unique flavor overall and I just prefer cow, bison, pork, etc.
For some interesting reason carnivores are unpalatable and herbivores taste the best.
Carnivores and other meat eating animals also contain the parasite that leads to trichnosis when consumed undercooked. It's a disease that can show symptoms after 2-7 days including nausea, heartburn and diarhea, which may be another reason why it's not so popular today.
I figure it's to allow more nutritious meet, as those nutrients pass up through the food chain less and less.
When we only eat omnivores and heribivores on the otherhand, this allows the meat to maintain more nutrient value for us.
In America we don't eat anything we consider a pet, cute, or gross. So dogs, cats, snakes, insects and many birds are out. In many cultures carnivorous creatures are more common than in America and Europe, though some are scavengers, like dogs. A friend of mine was stationed in Korea. He said snake, rat, cat and dog were common. Most of the fish we eat are carnivorous, salmon, tuna, cod. In Louisiana gator is becoming more common. In many countries you can get scorpions and other carnivorous insects.