Why humans are herbivores.

[deleted account] ( 440 moms have responded )

Are human beings anatomically more similar to natural carnivores or to natural herbivores? Let’s find out….

* Intestinal tract length. Carnivorous animals have intestinal tracts that are 3-6x their body length, while herbivores have intestinal tracts 10-12x their body length. Human beings have the same intestinal tract ratio as herbivores.
* Stomach acidity. Carnivores’ stomachs are 20x more acidic than the stomachs of herbivores. Human stomach acidity matches that of herbivores.
* Saliva. The saliva of carnivores is acidic. The saliva of herbivores is alkaline, which helps pre-digest plant foods. Human saliva is alkaline.
* Shape of intestines. Carnivore bowels are smooth, shaped like a pipe, so meat passes through quickly — they don’t have bumps or pockets. Herbivore bowels are bumpy and pouch-like with lots of pockets, like a windy mountain road, so plant foods pass through slowly for optimal nutrient absorption. Human bowels have the same characteristics as those of herbivores.
* Fiber. Carnivores don’t require fiber to help move food through their short and smooth digestive tracts. Herbivores require dietary fiber to move food through their long and bumpy digestive tracts, to prevent the bowels from becoming clogged with rotting food. Humans have the same requirement as herbivores.
* Cholesterol. Cholesterol is not a problem for a carnivore’s digestive system. A carnivore such as a cat can handle a high-cholesterol diet without negative health consequences. A human cannot. Humans have zero dietary need for cholesterol because our bodies manufacture all we need. Cholesterol is only found in animal foods, never in plant foods. A plant-based diet is by definition cholesterol-free.
* Claws and teeth. Carnivores have claws, sharp front teeth capable of subduing prey, and no flat molars for chewing. Herbivores have no claws or sharp front teeth capable of subduing prey, but they have flat molars for chewing. Humans have the same characteristics as herbivores.
http://www.tierversuchsgegner.org/wiki/i...

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/05/2011

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Me too Lisa...this is the first debate that I have enjoyed in a long ass time!

Minnie - posted on 03/05/2011

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Oh, yes, definitely- an omnivore diet has to have balance and I have absolutely NO problem with you being vegetarian or vegan.

I just like making a point :).

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/05/2011

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PS I don't know any human that goes out and scoops up a handful of ants, lizards, raw eggs...maybe in 3rd world countries? I don't know. Evolution has come a LOOOONNNNNGG way sice we were that simple.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/05/2011

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Lisa, you have a valid argument. I am stating the reasons that I chose my lifestyle, becouse many are and were attacking Julianne and her beliefs. I have many of the same beliefs, and I was aiding in the debate. Like I said, if we used the land and animals like the native americans once did, maybe I would not have such an issue. We are destroying our plantet with over consumption.

I will be back later...gotta go grocery shopping...get all the fresh veggies before all the meat eaters clean them out! ;)

Minnie - posted on 03/05/2011

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Again, I'll stand by the fact that we are INSANELY close genetic-material wise to the chimpanzee. We have the SAME digestive system. At one point human ancestors had large canines as well.

Yes, I'll give you that we did not chase down large ungulates on our two feet and tear into them with our teeth. But humans are more than capable of scooping up a lizard and having at it, raw, even with our small, sharp canines. Lizards, eggs, insects, those were likely what our ancestors ate. Yes, not red meat, but still animals. Raw. Just like our chimpanzee relatives.

Remember, we're not arguing for a high-animal protein diet, we all recognize that plant matter- namely fruits and nuts- should be in a very high proportion compared to that animal matter.

It really does make sense to look at those who are biologically closest to us.

Try not to compare dead meat that has been sitting for a long time and use that as an argument that we are not to eat raw meat. Animals scooped up with the hands would have been eaten immediately. Just like other higher primates do.

Jenn - posted on 03/05/2011

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Marina - if red meat is the culprit, I can accept that - but that is not the ONLY type of meat. So to try to argue that red meat is unhealthy, so we shouldn't eat meat is silly. There are so many other forms of meat that are NOT red meat. Anyway, I think we have sufficiently proven that people are NOT herbivores, which is what this post was about.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/05/2011

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Oops...forgot to mention how healthy consuming salmonella......my raw carrots may get it if it is sitting next to your raw chicken that you are consuming...if I am a dirty vegetarian and don't wash it before I eat of course.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/05/2011

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REALLY??? LOL....ok...lets talk about raw chicken shall we? Or raw eggs...or raw steak...how much bacteria, e colli...come on seriously? You are going to compare apple seeds to this? Really Cathy? Most people that are vegetarians do not eat seeds anyway. I don't even know why you are reaching for apple seeds as a staple to a vegetarians diet. You brought up eating raw meat...it is proven to make people wicked sick. Go suck down a raw steak or chicken if it is your thing, but trying to make the arguement that it is safe is just trying to pick a fight.

[deleted account]

I don't, I like my steak well done, but I know plenty of people who would complain about a steak getting more than 20 seconds grilled on both sides!

Arguing about how raw animals are going to kill you is as valid an argument as me saying that there are plenty of raw fruit and vegetables that will kill you ...

So don't go swallowing any apple seeds or cherry stones ... you know they are full of cyanide!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/05/2011

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Raw meat is not good for you..I am sure you do not eat raw meat on a regular basis Cathy, or anyone else for that matter. How often do you rip open a package of steak and just start chomping away?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/05/2011

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If red kidney beans are prepared incorrectly, they can be poisonous....I never prepare them at home. I don't eat lima beans or rhubarb. Also Cathy, I am sure that you can find many things wrong with being a vegetarian...I am not trying to convert anyone...I am deffending myself in this debate and deffending my lifestyle choice.

[deleted account]

To those (vegetarians) saying raw meat is poisonous .... how do you like your red kidney beans, lima beans or rhubarb?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/05/2011

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It is very easy to find info from doctors supporting all of my beliefs on being meat free. I am sure others can find plenty of MD's supporting meat consumption in small quantities...but I haven't found sufficient findings to change my lifestyle back to being a meat eater.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/05/2011

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Also, the article that Rebecca posted about the guy on his soap box trying to rationalize his reasons for not being vegan anymore seemed to me like he was making excuses for changing his mind. That is MY OPINION of how I read it. Some people get very deffensive when they change there lifestyles...and it seemed very deffensive to me.

If culture did not over produce, over consume, over farm, over hunt, and over populate our land, it would be a healthier world in general. If we lived off of the land like the Native Americans did, maybe I would not have such an issue with meat consumption...but we don't. We over due EVERYTHING!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/05/2011

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If you look at the food pyramid, meat is with dairy, eggs, and beans. this does not mean meat has to be eaten everyday....nor is it necessary. Red meat is not good for you, period. There are MANY studies backing this up...this is not a new FAD either. It is recommended to eat chicken or fish over red meat.

Yes, I will admit, gluttony of meat is much much worse...but even small amounts can be detrimental to peoples health. Anyone of you can debate this all you like, it is true.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/05/2011

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This has always been a part of my lifestyle from the day it started, not a fad. It is not a lifestyle for everyone. It can be very difficult and trying at times, but it is worth it in my life.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/05/2011

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Ok, first of all, Julianne has pulled up some wonderful points supporting being a vegan/vegetarian and the lifestlyle. Many of her points are scientifically backed up, much like many of the meat eaters points. You can find pretty much all this scientific data supporting either side. Just becouse you don't agree, and don't use this lifestyle does not mean we are WRONG!

Secondly, Rebecca...I see your point about the whole lifestyle choices, but I STRONGLY disagree. Being a vegetarian for almost 20 years effects many decissions throughout my day. The normal person eats every 2-3 hours...that is 6-7 times a day I think about what I am putting into my body. That includes going out to a restaurant and needing to find out if chicken broth is in the rice that they prepare, or making sure I do not get bacon on my salad....even pasta sauce sometimes contains chicken broth. I have to be so diligeant and concious about everything that I put into my mouth to assure it does not contain animal products that I choose not to consume for my LIFESTYLE. This also includes when I prepare meat items for my husband avoiding cross contamination. It is a HUGE part of my life, and hasn't dimished 1 lick for almost 2 DECADES...thank you very much.

Sharon - posted on 03/04/2011

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Kati - thats what I meant. Regular whole milk, not on sale is $4 a gallon. The last time I checked the organic brand name non homogenized was nearly $8 a gallon.

[deleted account]

I might be on the wrong tangent here but.... We aren't supposed to eat meat because we have to cook it? But most grains need to be cooked in some way to make them soft enough for our stomachs to metabolise. So we shouldn't eat meat or grains? We should live purely on fresh fruit and veges and minimal seafood that doesn't need to be cooked?

Rosie - posted on 03/04/2011

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i'm way late on commenting back since this thread has exploded since i last posted, lol. but walmart has their great value organic milk. the animals are fed organic feed, and they are on pretty massive farms. smaller than other huge ones, but still waaaay bigger than most organic farms. larger farms are harder to maintain the organic label, the cattle are probably treated worse, and confined more. but because they are fed organic feed, they are considered an organic product. i call that questionable processing, not the product itself being questionable,ya know? also like the homogenized thing, i found it interesting what homogenizing does to milk, never thought of it before, and it irritates me how much processing goes into food that is labeled organic-like the homogenizing. we do all these things to food to make it easier to use-peanut butter, people are to lazy to mix the oil, so they hydrogenate the shit out of it, and make it a thousand times less healthy for you. it's really irritating.

and sharon, the milk i was talking about (not homogenized organic) costs the same as other organic milk that IS homogenized. at least this brand does. organic is pretty much exactly twice as much as regular though, so it does get pricey.

Sal - posted on 03/04/2011

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rebecca you are so true, vegan is about what you eat not anything else and yes people with an agenda to push can and often do make everything they say or do about that agenda, i don;t think we should mix up the ethical reason for not eating animal produts with how our bodies are designed, i think the 2 are very seperate issues, many people eat vegan and are basically healthy, many people eat a very meaty diet and are healthy, most people are somewhere inbetween and again basically healthy.... you will find non smoking vegans with lung cancer and steak and chips men live to 90 with no issues, i'm not saying that diet isn;t an important factor in the health of many people just that it isn't the only factor, there will always be someone somewhere to back up any theory you want to push, if you love steak go forth and eat it, if the thought of eating a little baby lamby makes you sick don't eat it, just stop telling me i shouldn't t me personally i was a vegatarian for a few years mostly as meat made me feel ill, but i;m over that now and tonight i;m making slow cooked lamb shanks for dinner and my mouth is already watering,

Mrs. - posted on 03/04/2011

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Not to mention pretty much all of the percentages you quote say if you reduce the consumption of meat - not completely get rid of it. They kind of just back up the article I posted.

What are you saying Sharon - a man who named his kid Ocean could not be too wrapped up the vegan culture to see beyond the rhetoric?

The thing about changing my diet to an omnivore one that also came up is that, it is just the way I eat. It is not who I am. It does not make me a better human being, it does not make me smarter than anyone, it does not make me of a higher or lower class.

It reminds me of when my little bro came out. The first decade of him being out he was ALL OUT - everything was put through the filter of being a gay man. Every conversation, every book, every movie we watched was about the gay experience. Then he got older and he became himself again, being gay was just one aspect of his life and in itself not all that interesting. It's just the type of person he sleeps with.

This pattern seems to echo with young (as in only one decade or less in to a meat free lifestyle) vegans. Everything is ALL about being a vegan. There is no other cause, no other books, no other movies, no other way...to the point that bloggers are getting death threats from people who claim to never, ever eat a living creature (but they'll shot a person?).

Being vegan is just what you eat. It is about as apt to me as who you fuck. It does not make you better, smarter or anything.

So, if that's the case, if it doesn't seem to be good for some people's bodies. If they don't thrive without a small serving of heme protein each day - who cares?

Here's the deal though, I know that not many people who've been on either side of this ALL OUT food war between vegans and the regular consumer, not many of them seem to have the balls, even if their health is failing eating either diet, to try to find what is right for THEIR bodies- no matter where it leads them. That might mean they may not actually thrive eating a vege or main stream consumer diet and that is scary as shit. Almost as scary (for some) as flirting with someone of the same sex to see how it plays out....and personally I think that is really fucked up.

Iridescent - posted on 03/04/2011

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I'm curious, the guy that wrote that article or site you posted with all the stats - did he make up his own stats? I don't see any real confirmation. Each one I looked up proved he was lying.

Jodi - posted on 03/04/2011

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But Julianne, all that crap you just posted does not PROVE that humans are herbivores. It just shows all the arguments for being vegetarian. The moral argument, the argument of space used up and number of people who would not starve, they are moral arguments for becoming vegetarian, but they are NOT addressing the issue of whether we were meant to eat meat or not!!!

The cancer argument is purely correlation. Correlation is not proof. Correlation could mean that the corn the cows eat are a problem, or the pesticides we use is the cause. It proves NOTHING.

The antibiotic argument simply says we shouldn't fuck with our food (and rightly so).

Need I go on? They are ALL only arguments on why you, and others, choose to be vegan, and that is your choice, but in the debate about whether humans are herbivores or omnivores, it contributes nothing.

Sharon - posted on 03/04/2011

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The first five links are to his site true and the first lines are about his books.

I see nothing that supports his "science". I don't see the paleoanthropologist promoting their agenda? just their own study.

The other lapsed vegan - I didn't see them promoting their own agenda. neither of them is getting a dime out of this. Unlike your sites.

How about a link to a lifelong vegan blog? Someone who is in their 70s? or 80s? Someone who has made a study of their life choice and can back it up?

Iridescent - posted on 03/04/2011

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Working from the bottom up on your article...
Occupation with the highest rate of on-the-job-injury in the US - http://www.bls.gov/news.release/osh2.nr0... - laborers and freight, stock, and material movers. Highest death rate - loggers.
Highest turnover rate - retail, by a huge percentage. http://www.nobscot.com/survey/index.cfm
I'm not a breastmilk pro, so not addressing it.
Most people have staph infections as well - just get swabbed. This includes whichever doctor you have.
Too. Many. Stats.
Read Rebecca's article above. It very clearly states how ag and animals are related.
Part of the reason people are dying of famine is the fact that some countries will allow food to rot on trucks and barges before accepting charity - http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/afre...

Kate CP - posted on 03/04/2011

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How long would the farm land be sustainable for, Julianne? It's speculated that the reason the Anasazi left the Mesa Verde area is because they exhausted the region's natural farm lands: they over-cultivated and killed the land. If we farm and cultivate too much and too long we'll end up with another Dust Bowl.

Also, I am a firm believer that SOME red meat protein is essential to one's health. Why? Every time I see a new doctor and they find out about my immune disorder the first thing they ask me is "Are you vegetarian? Do you eat red meat? Have you had your B12 levels checked?"

Our bodies DO need some meat to survive and thrive. We are a species unlike any other in the way that we are so MUCH like many others. We are the only species that can choose to be vegetarian or omnivorous or carnivorous and NOT die. Our bodies have evolved so much and so well that we actually have body parts that don't serve any real function (the appendix, for example). How can any one say that eating one way for ALL PEOPLE will be the right thing for every one? Some people may thrive on a vegan diet while others may get sick. Just like some people can eat strawberries and others have a massive allergic reaction to it. So while I can commend you, Julianne, for being so adamant in your views I also have to wonder why you think all humans will fit in this mold you have cast?

Sharon - posted on 03/04/2011

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I couldn't find any studies that support your quotes of him. What I did find were a lot of sites calling his "science" bullshit. But those seemed opinionated rather than fact based and I didn't open them.

[deleted account]

Its stats, and arguing someone has their own agenda is a bullshit reply, Since EVERYONE that writes any article and EVERY study has its own agenda. To prove what they say is true. You know what i get when i google him. A link to his blog and information on food.

Cassie - posted on 03/04/2011

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Just throwing this out there... my exclusively breastfed daughter can clear a room with her farts. They are truly the stinkiest farts my family has ever smelled beating out my husband, father and brother (and that's saying a lot!) Her bowel movements have that sweet breastmilk smell, but her gas is repulsive! :P

Johnny - posted on 03/04/2011

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I don't want to read the whole 154 posts before me. I'll just completely agree with Sal's post a few back and leave it at that.

Sharon - posted on 03/04/2011

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AGAIN - you pick a person who has their own agenda to push! His books, his mantra, his website. thanks to googles new strict consumerism approach, rather than relevance - all I got were sales links for his shit.

[deleted account]

The Hunger Argument
Number of people worldwide who will die as a result of malnutrition this year: 20 million
Number of people who could be adequately fed using land freed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%: 100 million
Percentage of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by people: 20
Percentage of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 80
Percentage of oats grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 95
Percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 90
How frequently a child dies as a result of malnutrition: every 2.3 seconds
Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on an acre: 40,000
Pounds of beef produced on an acre: 250
Percentage of U.S. farmland devoted to beef production: 56
Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce a pound of edible flesh from feedlot beef: 16

The Environmental Argument
Cause of global warming:
greenhouse effect Primary cause of greenhouse effect: carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels
Fossil fuels needed to produce meat-centered diet vs. a meat-free diet: 3 times more
Percentage of U.S. topsoil lost to date: 75
Percentage of U.S. topsoil loss directly related to livestock raising: 85
Number of acres of U.S. forest cleared for cropland to produce meat-centered diet: 260 million
Amount of meat imported to U.S. annually from Central and South America: 300,000,000 pounds
Percentage of Central American children under the age of five who are undernourished: 75
Area of tropical rainforest consumed in every quarter-pound of rainforest beef: 55 square feet
Current rate of species extinction due to destruction of tropical rainforests for meat grazing and other uses: 1,000 per year

The Cancer Argument
Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat meat daily compared to less than once a week: 3.8 times
For women who eat eggs daily compared to once a week: 2.8 times
For women who eat butter and cheese 2-4 times a week: 3.25 times
Increased risk of fatal ovarian cancer for women who eat eggs 3 or more times a week vs. less than once a week: 3
times Increased risk of fatal prostate cancer for men who consume meat, cheese, eggs and milk daily vs. sparingly or not at all: 3.6 times.

The Cholesterol Argument
Number of U.S. medical schools: 125
Number requiring a course in nutrition: 30
Nutrition training received by average U.S. physician during four years in medical school: 2.5 hours
Most common cause of death in the U.S.: heart attack
How frequently a heart attack kills in the U.S.: every 45 seconds
Average U.S. man's risk of death from heart attack: 50 percent
Risk of average U.S. man who eats no meat: 15 percent
Risk of average U.S. man who eats no meat, dairy or eggs: 4 percent
Amount you reduce risk of heart attack if you reduce consumption of meat, dairy and eggs by 10 percent: 9 percent
Amount you reduce risk of heart attack if you reduce consumption by 50 percent: 45 percent
Amount you reduce risk if you eliminate meat, dairy and eggs from your diet: 90 percent
Average cholesterol level of people eating meat-centered-diet: 210 mg/dl
Chance of dying from heart disease if you are male and your blood cholesterol level is 210 mg/dl: greater than 50 percent

The Natural Resources Argument
User of more than half of all water used for all purposes in the U.S.: livestock production
Amount of water used in production of the average cow: sufficient to float a destroyer
Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of wheat: 25
Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of California beef: 5,000
Years the world's known oil reserves would last if every human ate a meat-centered diet: 13
Years they would last if human beings no longer ate meat: 260
Calories of fossil fuel expended to get 1 calorie of protein from beef: 78
To get 1 calorie of protein from soybeans: 2
Percentage of all raw materials (base products of farming, forestry and mining, including fossil fuels) consumed by U.S. that is devoted to the production of livestock: 33
Percentage of all raw materials consumed by the U.S. needed to produce a complete vegetarian diet: 2

The Antibiotic Argument
Percentage of U.S. antibiotics fed to livestock: 55
Percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin in 1960: 13
Percentage resistant in 1988: 91
Response of European Economic Community to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: ban
Response of U.S. meat and pharmaceutical industries to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: full and complete support

The Pesticide Argument
Common belief: U.S. Department of Agriculture protects our health through meat inspection Reality: fewer than 1 out of every 250,000 slaughtered animals is tested for toxic chemical residues
Percentage of U.S. mother's milk containing significant levels of DDT: 99
Percentage of U.S. vegetarian mother's milk containing significant levels of DDT: 8
Contamination of breast milk, due to chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides in animal products, found in meat-eating mothers vs. non-meat eating mothers: 35 times higher
Amount of Dieldrin ingested by the average breast-fed American infant: 9 times the permissible level

The Ethical Argument
Number of animals killed for meat per hour in the U.S.: 660,000
Occupation with highest turnover rate in U.S.: slaughterhouse worker
Occupation with highest rate of on-the-job-injury in U.S.: slaughterhouse worker

The Survival Argument Athlete to win Ironman Triathlon more than twice: Dave Scott (6 time winner)
Food choice of Dave Scott: Vegetarian
Largest meat eater that ever lived: Tyrannosaurus Rex (Where is he today?)

Source = "Diet For A New America" by John Robbins

Sal - posted on 03/04/2011

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i haven't read the whole 8 pages so if i double up sorry, i think humans are omniverous, that is fruit/veg nuts mostly, meat and then grains, ( this is my opinion only and nothing except a few years of paleoanthropology many years ago to base it on) firstly we as humans are oportunity feeders, that is what ever we found we ate, and yes we were hunters that is julieanne marie "If you were designed to eat meat you would just run outside hunt one down and jump on the animal, take it down and start chewing" we then started to become organised hunters and learned to manage fire to cook it and due to the greater protiens in our diet our brains grew and we slowly became the modern human we are (anyone who dosen't go for the evoloution theory don;t jump in here this isn;t that debate start a new thread) over time our incisors got smaller as our use of hunting and eating tools increased, and as we were hunters and gatherers crops weren't farmed until long after we were accomplished hunters, and meat eating was the reason for cooking not bread, also garins aren;t as easy to digest uncooked so i don;t think they were a significant part of our original diet....

Stifler's - posted on 03/04/2011

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I'm going to claim ignorance on this one, I don't have a clue whether I've tasted a grassfed steak before or not. Everything around here is GRAIN FED MSA BEEF... etc.



I agree that we don't need that much meat at all, definitely not as much as people eat or at the level of fattiness people eat.. BUT I LOVE MEAT. There has to be a reason we love it so much.

Mrs. - posted on 03/04/2011

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I'm going to post the section of the vegan blog I referrenced because she explains a lot better than I why Albert's quote doesn't work today and JM you posted that quote way too quickly to have actually read what I posted in the links. I thought you might have missed it or dismissed it. I used to do that when I was a young vegan because I thought there was nothing the "meat eaters" could tell me that I didn't already know. I was a bit cocky that way.

"In one of those strange circumstances of serendipity that life is always throwing our way my veganism induced health problems coincided with a period of intense food justice activism in my own life. During this time in my work as a food rights advocate I had many, many discussions with agronomists, farmers, agroecologists, and global south advocates, and I learned how very wrong I was in my previous conviction that veganism would save the world. While veganism presents a very simple and easy to understand solution to the world’s problems, and has therefore become the go to politically correct strategy, it is at best a band-aid for the ecological and world hunger crises we are facing. The need for the entire world to go vegan in order to stop global warming or prevent chronic hunger is simply and irrefutably false.

As I learned while sitting at the metaphorical feet of the world’s leading revolutionary ecologists and food rights advocates, the only way for humanity to survive in any meaningfully sustainable way is for us to live entirely within our local food systems, eating the plants and animals that naturally live on our immediate landbase. And this most definitely does not include millions of acres of grains, the cultivation of which is amenable to only very small parts of the globe. To produce the vegan foods that I used to consider so cruelty-free; modern, industrialized agriculture forces land to grow crops that are alien and unnatural to it, robs the planet of its resources, destroys whole eco-systems, wipes out entire species of plants and animals, and creates a chaos of death and destruction as more and more wild land is needed to replace the devastated cropland.

This planetary devastation (and the resulting socio-cultural ramifications) has been going on far longer than the advent of factory farms, which were only introduced in the past several decades. Of course, just like any decent human being, I abhor the evil that is factory farming, and I stand opposed to their slavery, torture, and abuse. I also recognize that the massive production of grain is what led to the creation of factory farms in the first place; they simply would not have been possible otherwise. We do not grow so much grain because we want to have factory farms; we have factory farms because we are growing such an avalanche of grain. Veganism, while coming from a decent place of compassion, is ultimately short sighted and does not fix our problems. Truly local, preferably wild food is the only way we can live without causing devastation to this planet. And living truly locally, without massive consumption of monocrop industrialized grains or soy, in almost every part of the world necessitates the use and consumption of animals for us to be healthy.

As a vegan I didn’t like to think about the fact that without animals’ waste products, bones, and blood, farming is literally a zero sum game.

It broke my vegan heart to learn how unavoidably essential it is for humans to stop the use of fossil fuel fertilizers and reintegrate animals back into farm life. As a vegan I didn’t like to think about the fact that without animals’ waste products, bones, and blood, farming is literally a zero sum game. Without organic matter to feed the plants and the hungry soil, the precious topsoil will die and nothing can grow, a fact of life we are seeing play out around the globe as the millions of fossil fuel dependent farms collapse. When we expend resources like water and food on animals we are repaid tenfold. Not only does the water and food get used again in the form of manure that nourishes the soil in a way simple water never can, but the animals are eaten by us, and the remnants of their bodies used to feed the hungry earth. It was shocking to realize I had been expounding on the need to transform agriculture and farming without even knowing the bare minimum of what it takes to keep an ecosystem healthy. I now realize that the statistics I used to quote about environmental devastation, grain and water consumption, pollution, and ill health, were all based on numbers from factory farms, not from the realities of traditional land base specific farming, which is the only kind of farming that can heal our planet and us.

From now on I will choose the deaths that keep me and the planet healthy.

When I stopped merely talking about food advocacy, and started listening to people living on the front lines of the global food justice struggle, I had my eyes irrevocably opened. I realized that in many ways veganism removes us from our place in the natural scheme of things, denies our necessary participation in the food cycle, and makes the natural world into an alien realm that we can no longer fully understand. Vegans like to say that it is our intentions that matter, but I ask ‘matter to who?’ I now believe that instead of arbitrarily deciding that the deaths caused by veganism are okay, while the deaths caused by omnivores are unforgiveable, and that some animal deaths should be prevented at all costs while others are a necessary evil, we have to abolish the entire fabricated hierarchy we have constructed and come to terms with the cycle of life and death. We are all of us on this earth connected, and ultimately, death is a necessary, unavoidable part of life. Whether it is the animal deaths caused by a vegan diet that forces the planet into an unnatural and unsustainable cycle of production while failing to provide many of us with necessary nutrients, or it is the deaths caused by a close looped animal integrated farm cultivated to grow its natural bounty in traditional ways, there will always be death on our plates. From now on I will choose the deaths that keep me and the planet healthy.

I do not believe the planet cannot support 7 billion people in any meaningfully sustainable way, vegan or not. Therefore, an integral part of us being able to live in a genuinely environmentally respectful way is not for us all to go vegan, but for us to lower the birthrate and the population so we can live truly locally. First and foremost this will require the advancement of women’s rights and the global empowerment of women. (It really is amazing just how much feminism can accomplish!) As for world hunger, all of you who have read my world hunger articles know there is already more than enough food produced to feed everyone on the planet generously. Capitalism has turned food, and especially grains, into a commodity, a weapon of war, and a way to make a profit, instead of the inalienable right it should be. The way to prevent hunger is not to feed the starving masses the food we currently feed to animals (excess food production and the resulting food dumping is one of the causes of hunger in the first place), but for the chronically hungry people to throw off the shackles of neo-imperialism and to gain back control of their local food systems.

Most ecosystems on this planet simply cannot support annual grain agriculture, and the urging by vegans for the inhabitants to adopt a vegan lifestyle anyway is damning them to an eventually desiccated land base and inevitable starvation."

Jodi - posted on 03/04/2011

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Have a read of this study....an *actual* scientific study that has concluded "In physiology and biology this quicker, more ample response to meats than to breads seems to confirm the popular belief that man is fundamentally more carnivorous than herbivorous"
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/articl...,9171,732262,00.html

Iridescent - posted on 03/04/2011

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I am glad you can see the need for the dictionary use. I am reading your statement to me -
"amy, not CAUSES gas, creates foul smelling gas, worse than that of a person who only eats vegetables"
and cannot figure out why the word causes is incorrect, or how this statement is accurate.

Isobel - posted on 03/04/2011

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The list I posted, Julianne was not about the amount of gas that was created by those foods, it was about the level of odor that they caused within the flatulence.

Iridescent - posted on 03/04/2011

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The original link posted by Sharon Grey was much more compelling (in my opinion) in regards to this issue. The choices aren't simply carnivore or herbivore; omnivore is also present. And you went on to state humans do not have small bowels, which only carnivores and omnivores have, yet humans do have them. You need to know this to pass Anatomy 101.

Iridescent - posted on 03/04/2011

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caus·es
1. To be the cause of or reason for; result in.
2. To bring about or compel by authority or force

cre·ates
1. To cause to exist; bring into being.
2. To give rise to; produce

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