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  1. #51
    cross barer
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    Default Re: evolution and the discovery of meat

    Quote Nivvie
    Regarding humans eating meat, I wonder how many of us would be vegan or have a problem with others eating meat if it was still a case of one deer falling at a time, a community sharing meat, people only eating a small amount and not on a daily basis, as opposed to factory farming and mass slaughter, today's supermarket aisles of flesh, McDonalds, KFCs....BBQ's....etc.
    In such cases (hunting etc) this involves the hunter taking responsibillity for their actions, and in the case of tribal/communal survival depending on what food is brought in by hunters (such as indigenous Aussie communities up until invasion) I respect their position as they are acting as 'part of' the ecosystem, rather than just consumers.

    While I would never be 'friends' with someone who chooses to raise, kill and eat an animal; I respect them more than anyone else (including my actual friends) who eat meat from McDeath or feed on the supermarket animal that is born in a styrofoam tray. These people have no connection with the life and death of the animal and in my opinion are hiding from the realities of animal suffering in order to continue with their selfish lifestyle.

    There is no reason that any adult in my country could not make an effort to find out what life is like for the animal before they eat it. All I ask is that people make an effort to understand our views by exploring the facts of animal farming.

  2. #52
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    Default Re: The Natural Human Diet

    Quote flower_meanings
    http://www.goveg.com/feat/NaturalHum...consumer_enews

    has a lot of good facts for those veggie vs. meat-eater arguments

    Here's an excerpt from that link:

    "You can't tear flesh by hand, you can't tear hide by hand. Our anterior teeth are not suited for tearing flesh or hide. We don't have large canine teeth, and we wouldn't have been able to deal with food sources that required those large canines."
    —Renowned anthropologist Dr. Richard Leakey


    According to biologists and anthropologists who study our anatomy and our evolutionary history, humans are herbivores who are not well suited to eating meat.

    Unlike natural carnivores, we are physically and psychologically unable to rip animals limb from limb and eat and digest their raw flesh. Even cooked meat is likely to cause human beings, but not natural carnivores, to suffer from food poisoning, heart disease, and other ailments.

    People who pride themselves on being part of the human hunter tradition should take a second look at the story of human evolution. Prehistoric evidence indicates that humans developed hunting skills relatively recently and that most of our short, meat-eating past was spent scavenging and eating almost anything in order to survive; even then, meat was a tiny part of our caloric intake.

    Humans lack both the physical characteristics of carnivores and the instinct that drives them to kill animals and devour their raw carcasses. Ask yourself: When you see dead animals on the side of the road, are you tempted to stop for a snack? Does the sight of a dead bird make you salivate? Do you daydream about killing cows with your bare hands and eating them raw? If you answered "no" to all of these questions, congratulations—you're a normal human herbivore—like it or not. Humans were simply not designed to eat meat.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  3. #53
    greenworlds
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Quote mysonvaughn
    This is irrelevent, but my meat eating husband says that humans developed the large brains that enabled them to advance so much is because they began eating fish. He sited some study somewhere....I don't pay him much attention since he takes every opportunity to tell me why being vegan isn't natural.
    Maybe they could done a study of why bears and members of the cat family and fish that eat fish, why havn't their brains grown? Maybe they would come up with something like Their brains have grown but in a different way to ours etc etc,The people that do this studies have to justify their liking for meat and their own warped use of their own intelligences etc etc...

  4. #54
    Pilaf
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    In my opinion, the "it's natural to eat meat" argument is weak and doesn't hold water.

    So what if our supposed evolutionary forefathers supposedly ate meat to increase brain size..

    Or from a more religious standpoint which some people see things by, if their God wants them to eat meat?

    It's the 21st century.. people do lots of "unnatural" things. We bathe..we shave, we drive automobiles and use computers. What's natural about all that?

    The fact is that, either through evolutionary or spiritual means, mankind has been gifted with a superior brain and the ability to choose how he lives his life, and excluding meat and animal products from one's diet is a great decision for the environment, for animal rights and a step in the right direction for eliminating world hunger and poverty.

  5. #55
    greenworlds
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    Default Re: evolution and the discovery of meat

    Quote John
    Animal protein gave us bigger brains and that's what made us intelligent? Think about the absurdity of that for a moment... So the vegetarian elephant must be smarter than humans because he has a bigger brain? And men must be smarter than women because we have bigger brains? And hunting animals boosted intelligence rather than the recognition, classification, and processing of edible plant species? Now I could see how hunting could make one a better athlete, but more intelligent?
    I have heard different percentages from different sources concerning brains use, between 1% and 10% in humans (not sure about other species). I have a theory that when ppl go vegan more of the brain is used..as certainly the compassionate part of the brain start to be used and even devoloped. Why not start spreading that around..I bet theres more truth in that then meat eating made us more intelligent with bigger brains. In fact I would say if meat - eaters used more of their brains they would probably destroy the planet very quickly whereas vegans would save and respect it.

  6. #56
    dsr25
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    Default Re: evolution and the discovery of meat

    Hi Guys

    I have found this debate very interesting and there are obviously some very well read people on this forum.

    I too have read about apes being herbivores until one group of them ate meat, and that they are the line we decended from, i.e., eating meat enabled them to evolve and stand more upright, ending up with us humans as the end result. I can't remember what article it was to quote it though, I am afraid...

    However, I also agree, as I have only recently switched to a vegan diet, and am now looking at my lifestyle, that eating this way feels more natural - I feel so much better too! For one thing, I sleep far better at night - in the last 2wks I have only woken once and that was due to a cat fight outside, and I have lost a few pounds too!

    I feel it is such a shame how we are brainwashed and hoodwinked every day of the week through the media/government on what is good and what is not..... If I had known how easy it was to move to a vegan diet, I would have done it years ago. Better late than never though - at 43 I should still save a few animals....

    I guess I am a slow learner...

  7. #57
    greenworlds
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    Default Re: evolution and the discovery of meat

    Quote dsr25
    Hi Guys
    However, I also agree, as I have only recently switched to a vegan diet, and am now looking at my lifestyle, that eating this way feels more natural - I feel so much better too! For one thing, I sleep far better at night - in the last 2wks I have only woken once and that was due to a cat fight outside, and I have lost a few pounds too!

    I feel it is such a shame how we are brainwashed and hoodwinked every day of the week through the media/government on what is good and what is not..... If I had known how easy it was to move to a vegan diet, I would have done it years ago. Better late than never though - at 43 I should still save a few animals....

    I guess I am a slow learner...
    Hi...I bet you probably will advice other people to stop eating meat etc..I wonder how many animals will be saved then?
    I saw an interesting tv programme a few years ago regarding our evolution and it was suggested that a certain ape left the trees/jungle and we started the up-right stance from there... If that was the case I wonder what that ape would of done for food in the winter times if there wasn't any fruit/veg around...I'm sure it would of had to eat other animals to survive.

    Anyway you sound like a good advocate for veganism to me.

  8. #58
    Jo1234
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    Default Are humans physically created to eat meat?

    Cardiologist William C. Roberts hails from the famed cattle state of Texas, but he says this without hesitation: Humans aren't physiologically designed to eat meat. "I think the evidence is pretty clear. If you look at various characteristics of carnivores versus herbivores, it doesn't take a genius to see where humans line up," says Roberts, editor in chief of The American Journal of Cardiology and medical director of the Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. © Stephen Kroninger

    As further evidence, Roberts cites the carnivore's short intestinal tract, which reaches about three times its body length. An herbivore's intestines are 12 times its body length, and humans are closer to herbivores, he says. Roberts rattles off other similarities between human beings and herbivores. Both get vitamin C from their diets (carnivores make it internally). Both sip water, not lap it up with their tongues. Both cool their bodies by perspiring (carnivores pant).

    Human beings and herbivorous animals have little mouths in relation to their head sizes, unlike carnivores, whose big mouths are all the better for "seizing, killing and dismembering prey," argues nutrition specialist Dr. Milton R. Mills, associate director of preventive medicine for the Washington, D.C.-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). People and herbivores extensively chew their food, he says, whereas swallowing food whole is the preferred method of carnivores and omnivores.

    Got Milk?

    Dr. Neal D. Barnard, PCRM's founder and president, says humans lack the raw abilities to be good hunters. "We are not quick, like cats, hawks or other predators," he says. "It was not until the advent of arrowheads, hatchets and other implements that killing and capturing prey became possible."

    Milk, another animal product, can also be problematic for people. That's why, in response to the popular "Got Milk?" ad campaign, Barnard's organization sponsored billboards this past summer that read, "Got Diarrhea?"

    "Dairy foods are definitely not a natural part of our diet," contends vegetarian dietitian and author Virginia Messina, who fields the public's nutritional questions at www.VegRD.com. "We only started consuming them about 10,000 years ago, which is very recent in our evolution. Our physiology suggests that we really did not evolve to consume dairy beyond early childhood."

    Three out of 10 adults are lactose intolerant, meaning they can't digest the sugar in milk. So they likely suffer gas or diarrhea when undigested lactose reaches the large intestine, according to an April report in the Nutrition Action Healthletter.

    While celebrities sport milk mustaches in ad campaigns, some research raises questions as to whether milk is a better source of calcium than, say, spinach or collard greens. Echoing the conclusions of research elsewhere, a Harvard University study of more than 75,000 nurses found no evidence that nurses who drank the most milk enjoyed fewer broken bones.

    Are We Omnivores?

    Milk's high protein actually could leach calcium from bones, according to Dr. Walter Willett, of the Harvard School of Public Health, speaking on the PBS program HealthWeek.

    "Drinking cow milk has been linked to iron-deficiency anemia in infants and children; it has been named as the cause of cramps and diarrhea in much of the world's population and the cause of multiple forms of allergies as well. The possibility has been raised that it may play a central role in the origins of atherosclerosis and heart attacks," writes Dr. Frank Oski, former director of the Johns Hopkins University Department of Pediatrics, in his book, Don't Drink Your Milk!

    As intriguing as these arguments may be, the idea that humans are natural vegetarians has "no scientific basis in fact," argues anatomist and primatologist John McArdle. Alarmed by this growing belief, McArdle, a vegetarian, says the human anatomy proves that people are omnivores.

    "We obviously are not carnivores, but we are equally obviously not strict vegetarians, if you carefully examine the anatomical, physiological and fossil evidence," says McArdle, executive director of the Alternatives Research and Development Foundation in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

    According to a 1999 article in the journal The Ecologist, several of our physiological features "clearly indicate a design" for eating meat, including "our stomach's production of hydrochloric acid, something not found in herbivores. Furthermore, the human pancreas manufactures a full range of digestive enzymes to handle a wide variety of foods, both animal and vegetable.

    "While humans may have longer intestines than animal carnivores, they are not as long as herbivores'; nor do we possess multiple stomachs like many herbivores, nor do we chew cud," the magazine adds. "Our physiology definitely indicates a mixed feeder."

    If people were designed to be strict vegetarians, McArdle expects we would have a specialized colon, specialized teeth and a stomach that doesn't have a generalized pH-all the better to handle roughage. Tom Billings, a vegetarian for three decades and site editor of BeyondVeg.com, believes humans are natural omnivores. Helping prove it, he says, is the fact that people have a low synthesis rate of the fatty acid DHA and of taurine, suggesting our early ancestors relied on animal foods to get these nutrients. Vitamin B-12, also, isn't reliably found in plants. That, Billings says, left "animal foods as the reliable source during evolution."

    History argues in favor of the omnivore argument, considering that humans have eaten meat for 2.5 million years or more, according to fossil evidence. Indeed, when researchers examined the chemical makeup of the teeth of an early African hominid that lived in woodlands three million years ago, they expected to learn that our ancestor lived on fruits and leaves. "But the isotopic clues show that it ate a varied diet, including either grassland plants or animals that themselves fed on grasses," reported the journal Science in 1999.

    So, the question remains: Are humans natural vegetarians? In the end, whether a person lives a vegetarian lifestyle has less to do with esoteric matters of anatomy and more to do with ethics and personal values. The architecture of the human body offers no simple answers.


    A Service of E/The Environmental Magazine. Copyright © 2002. All Rights Reserved.



    Comment

    From Lotus
    lilweed{at}esatclear.ie
    2-14-2

    Hello Jeff,

    I have been researching this issue for a while now, and would like to 'pick a few bones' in the latter part of this article.

    'Herbivore', 'omnivore' and 'carnivore' are not the only dietary biological adaptations. It was important to mention in the context of this essay 'Frugivores', which are species that eat primarily fruits.

    It is evident that early hominids were not pre-adapted to eating meat.- 'While comparable shearing crest length studies have not been conducted on early hominids, australopithecines certainly have relatively flat molar teeth compared with many living and fossil apes. These teeth were well-suited to breaking down hard, brittle foods including some fruits and nuts, and soft, weak foods such as flowers and buds; but again, they were not well-suited to breaking-down tough pliant foods like stems, soft seed pods, and meat. ..' http://www.cast.uark.edu/local/icaes/confe...ungar/satalk.ht m

    But humans have increased consumption of flesh foods over time, probably in order to survive in poor environments when there was a scarcity of fruits and nuts, and it has been our reliance on flesh that has allowed metabolic relaxation in the synthesis of taurine, although humans can still synthesize it from cystein in the liver and from methionine (veg' sources- beans, garlic, lentils, onions, seeds, soybeans) elsewhere in the body, as long as sufficient quantities of B6 are present (veg' sources- brewer's yeast, carrots, peas, spinach, sunflower seeds, walnuts, wheatgerm, avocado, bananas, beans, blackstrap molasses, broccoli, brown rice and other whole grains, cabbage, cantaloupe, corn, dulse, plantains, potatoes, rice bran, soybeans and tempeh).

    The truly "essential" fatty acids are Linoleic Acid (LA) and Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA). LA and ALA are used to produce other fatty acids, including; Gamma Linolenic Acid, Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), which in turn produce eicosanoids. We generally get an excess of Linoleic acid from foods containing vegetable oils, but very little of the omega-3s, Good plant food sources include flaxseed and walnuts. (Factors including the consumption of saturated and trans-fats, sugar, alcohol, the taking of prescription medications, viral infections, stress, and diabetes can inhibit the conversion of LA to GLA. Insufficient quantities of zinc, magenesium, Vit. c, B6 and niacin also slow the process.)

    Hydrochloric acid is necessary for the digestion of protein. Proteinous *nuts* require the hydrochloric acid of the stomach to provide an adequate medium for the enzyme pepsin to act on the protein. But true carnivorous (meat eating animals, and 'omnivores' are meat eating as well) have in their digestive tracts a highly concentrated hydrochloric acid, about 1100% more so than ours.

    Vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria. It is naturally present in a healthy natural environment, and consequently on healthy natural organic unwashed plant foods.

    I am mystified as to how John McArdle can state that humans are 'omnivores' and then go on to say; "the best arguments in support of a meat-free diet remain ecological, ethical, and health concerns (http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/omni.htm). If humans have really adapted to eating animal flesh, as are true omnivores (pigs, bears), then why would there be any 'health concerns'?

  9. #59

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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    From an evolutionary perspective, it's probably accurate to say that the earliest proto-humans were, like apes of today, mainly vegetarian. When the areas humans lived became less nutrient-dense, and when the climate changed (ice age), humans began hunting to avoid starving. Meat is, after all, one of the richest sources of calories.

    From a Biblical perspective, humans before the flood were commanded by God to eat only plants. He allowed meat-eating after, and I assume that was because (thinking from inside the story) many of the nutrient-rich plants around in the primordial earth would have been wiped out.

  10. #60
    John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    The way I see it, there is a good possibility that the first meat-eating that humans or hominids did was cannibalistic. Humans evolved in a time of mega-fauna; meaning that our ancestors lived on a planet teeming with huge animals, including huge predators. How could we have competed with them for prey. And after we killed something how could we have have protected this meat from large predators while we tried to eat it as fast as possible with our tiny mouths and blunt teeth. Notice how fast real predators gobble their food lest it be stolen. Those real predators also are much better at digesting old, putrid meat than we are.

    Yet somehow we evolved to be physically weaker than the other apes. That was probably because our ancestors were always the misfits and outcasts, often living on the fringes trying to live in lean times on bad land. Starving bands of humans or hominids must have always been fighting each other--and probably eating each other. Through this warfare they developed weapons and with them they would become hunters and spread out across the world. Eventually, farmers and herders would push the hunters themselves into the fringes.

    . . . Just a theory.

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  12. #62
    paulvegan
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    No

  13. #63
    Pilaf
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    It's sorta like asking if humans are "meant" to give oral sex or wear pink sweaters or play golf.

  14. #64
    Greenboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    As for "Did humans always eat meat?" I'd assume we've been doing it ever since it became easy; when we invented spears, knives, hatchets etc. [as someone else pointed out].
    Yes It was around this point, but even then "caveman" still only hunted for fun and often unsuccessfully and not neccesarily for food. Their staple diet still consisted of plant based nutrients.

  15. #65
    Klytemnest
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Quote realfood neil View Post
    Did humans always eat meat? Who cares! I am not interested in what we have evolved from, just what we are evolving to. And if you don't have to eat flesh, then why do it?
    Exactly. Eating meat is unnecessary for our survival. Therefore, I say, the deliberate killing of any sentient being is unjustified if it is unnecessary for human survival. And this is why I became a vegan.

  16. #66
    Klytemnest
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    Default Re: The Natural Human Diet

    According to biologists and anthropologists who study our anatomy and our evolutionary history, humans are herbivores who are not well suited to eating meat.

    Unlike natural carnivores, we are physically and psychologically unable to rip animals limb from limb and eat and digest their raw flesh. Even cooked meat is likely to cause human beings, but not natural carnivores, to suffer from food poisoning, heart disease, and other ailments.

    People who pride themselves on being part of the human hunter tradition should take a second look at the story of human evolution. Prehistoric evidence indicates that humans developed hunting skills relatively recently and that most of our short, meat-eating past was spent scavenging and eating almost anything in order to survive; even then, meat was a tiny part of our caloric intake.

    Humans lack both the physical characteristics of carnivores and the instinct that drives them to kill animals and devour their raw carcasses. Ask yourself: When you see dead animals on the side of the road, are you tempted to stop for a snack? Does the sight of a dead bird make you salivate? Do you daydream about killing cows with your bare hands and eating them raw? If you answered "no" to all of these questions, congratulations—you're a normal human herbivore—like it or not. Humans were simply not designed to eat meat. >>

    While I agree which just about everything in this quote, I think it is a mistake to argue that humans are not carnivores. Of course humans are not carnivores! Humans are omnivores. This is why it is a mistake to agrue for a vegan lifestyle by asserting that humans are not carnivores.

    Humans can and do eat meat. It's not good for them, ultimately, but it does not kill them immediately. Just just because humans CAN use flesh as nutrition, that does not mean that they need to, they ought to, it does not mean that this absolves them of all ethical considerations regarding the deliberate killing of an innocent animal. THAT is what needs to be at the forefront of the debate, I think. That, plus the fact that we can get all we need to survive and be healthy from plant sources. But arguing that humans are not carnivores and therfore should be vegans is a straw-man argument and weakens our position and credibility.

  17. #67

    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    PS. The Title of the Thread, "Did Humans Always Eat Meat?" is what I wanted to respond to as well, even though it's not part of the thread.

    I doesnt' matter what humans did as tradition or "naturally". What matters is that we don't need meat to thrive, and thus we are free to make a choice based on our ethics on the matter of whether to consume animals or not. Appealing to tradition is a well known logical fallacy, as is appealing to nature. Neither tradition nor what is en vogue as "natural" have any marker on what we "ought" to do. What is true is that we have a choice NOW.

    It is clear that appealing soley to tradition as a sole reason is problematic and illogical. Some traditions, like slavery, or rape, or alcoholism in family, etc, are not traditions worth keeping. Some traditions are worth keeping. But the reason for a tradition is not the fact that it is a tradition; it is some other reason altogether. We do family traditions because we've decided that those bring identity and shared experience to our family, not just because we did it last year or even for the last millenea. Those traditions that make no sense or are harmful to others we've discarded. That's why we don't eat Thanksgiving turkey... even though at one time that was a "tradition".

    Appealing to nature is akin to apealing to tradition or G-d. The "natural" is held to such an ideal that whatever is claimed as "natural" is assumed to be "good" or "ethical" when no such connection exists. What is assumed as "natural" one decade may be completely unethical behavior. At one point, some biologists claimed that non-whites were "naturally" stupid, and thus were "naturally" to be dominated by whites. This was "natural" reasoning for something that is unethical. Who is to say that what is deemed "natural" today is not wrong, or more importantly, what would make something "natural" more ethical?

    That's why a vegan diet being "natural" or "unnatural" has no ethical value. A vegan diet can be done in a way to allow humans to thrive in the current context, and that is what is important. That is why whether homosexuality is "natural" or "unnatural" has no context either, as we should treat people ethically regardless.

    Be on the lookout for Appeals to Nature or Appeals to Tradition. You'll notice them everywhere as fallacial and flawed "reasoning" for so many unethical (and occasionally ethical) activities. It is not good footing to base your reasons for even an ethical activity on flawed reasoning. It is even worse when flawed reasoning is given for a harmful activity. Be on the lookout!
    context is everything

  18. #68
    Klytemnest
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Quote xrodolfox View Post
    PS. The Title of the Thread, "Did Humans Always Eat Meat?" is what I wanted to respond to as well, even though it's not part of the thread.

    I doesnt' matter what humans did as tradition or "naturally". What matters is that we don't need meat to thrive, and thus we are free to make a choice based on our ethics on the matter of whether to consume animals or not. Appealing to tradition is a well known logical fallacy, as is appealing to nature.
    Music to mine ears!

    Neither tradition nor what is en vogue as "natural" have any marker on what we "ought" to do. What is true is that we have a choice NOW.
    I love it.

    It is clear that appealing soley to tradition as a sole reason is problematic and illogical.
    Yes!

    Some traditions, like slavery, or rape, or alcoholism in family, etc, are not traditions worth keeping. Some traditions are worth keeping.
    And the thing that makes them worth keeping is reason.

    But the reason for a tradition is not the fact that it is a tradition; it is some other reason altogether.
    Ah, there you have it. I should have read ahead.

    We do family traditions because we've decided that those bring identity and shared experience to our family, not just because we did it last year or even for the last millenea. Those traditions that make no sense or are harmful to others we've discarded. That's why we don't eat Thanksgiving turkey... even though at one time that was a "tradition".
    Exactly.

    Appealing to nature is akin to apealing to tradition or G-d. The "natural" is held to such an ideal that whatever is claimed as "natural" is assumed to be "good" or "ethical" when no such connection exists. What is assumed as "natural" one decade may be completely unethical behavior. At one point, some biologists claimed that non-whites were "naturally" stupid, and thus were "naturally" to be dominated by whites. This was "natural" reasoning for something that is unethical. Who is to say that what is deemed "natural" today is not wrong, or more importantly, what would make something "natural" more ethical?
    Right. Also, rape is natural. I watch in horror when every spring female ducks get gang-raped in the lake... There it is - nature at work. Rape would ensure that more of our genes would get passed on. But as natural as rape is, is it good? Is it ethical? Hell no!

    That's why a vegan diet being "natural" or "unnatural" has no ethical value. A vegan diet can be done in a way to allow humans to thrive in the current context, and that is what is important. That is why whether homosexuality is "natural" or "unnatural" has no context either, as we should treat people ethically regardless.
    Yep. Thank you for pointing our the irrelevance of whether or not a behavior is "natural."

    Be on the lookout for Appeals to Nature or Appeals to Tradition. You'll notice them everywhere as fallacial and flawed "reasoning" for so many unethical (and occasionally ethical) activities. It is not good footing to base your reasons for even an ethical activity on flawed reasoning. It is even worse when flawed reasoning is given for a harmful activity. Be on the lookout!
    Wow. Thank you for that. I swear to god, I am not just trying to kiss up cuz I pissed you off earlier. My esteem for you just grew quite a bit. This is what I call critical thinking! Bravo! [Take a bow, take a bow!]

    Hey, Rodolfo, not to change the subject too much, but what was growing up in Chile like? A friend of mine grew up there and when I asked him "what did they teach you in school about WWII?" he said that their perspective was that history had been entirely misinterpreted... If you care to respond, please send me a private message, lest we take this discussion too far off-topic. Thanks,

    Rami

  19. #69
    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Don't do too much 'critical thinking' though Rami..................it will drive you insane!
    A lot of OCD sufferers do this, it can be a very unpleasant pastime!

  20. #70
    Klytemnest
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    One supposes too much thinking can drive one insane. But why would critical thinking, reason and logic drive one insane more than so than delusion? Are you seriously cautioning me against seeing the world such as it really is?

  21. #71
    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    No, I see the world as it really is............that's enough to drive anyone insane!
    It's just that I have experience of OCD and a characteristic of it is to 'over-analyse' things.............there is a level one can reach where if you go further it becomes obsessive.

  22. #72

    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    That seems like good advice for someone with OCD, but I imagine that there are a lot of things that would be good for an OCD sufferer to avoid that those without could handle just fine.

    I think that for the vast majority of us, a good dose of logic and reasoning and examining of beliefs is a good idea. Heck, I know that I don't do it enough! I can still be a jerk when I really shouldn't, and I still have harnmful unexamined habits. (like the damn internet)

    I'm glad for your advice to OCD sufferers... but it should be clear that it is for those people, and not the rest of us who could use a dose of compulsion in our lives.
    context is everything

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    CATWOMAN sandra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    There is a degree of OCD in all of us.................I don't see anything wrong in 'a good dose of logic and reasoning and examining of beliefs' but some people, take it too far.
    Also, I think that some people like to argue for arguments sake, which is why I'm leaving this thread now because I am not one of those people.

  24. #74
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Hi,

    I just took out the 60-70 posts related to 'Did humans always eat meat?' and made a new thread out of them (this thread), and will rename the other thread.

  25. #75

  26. #76
    Jippia
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    To read it from a different angle you could check http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v5/i2/diet.asp. I only came across it recently myself and I found it quite fascinating.

  27. #77
    Klytemnest
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Quote Jippia View Post
    To read it from a different angle you could check http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v5/i2/diet.asp. I only came across it recently myself and I found it quite fascinating.
    Fascinating? Yes, it is indeed fascinating how people can use pseudologic, logical fallacies, blatant disregard of logic to rationalize their beliefs. The whole thing ends with this:

    One must, in humble obedience, simply believe God at His word. God, through His Word, clearly shows that the original, created creatures were to eat only plants.
    One MUST believe the Bible. Fine. Believe the literal truth of folk tales all you want. But then one should not pretend to be searching for true answers, if one does not accept answers that contradict the mythology with which one choose to delude oneself.

    Thanks for posting this link. It is yet another example of how faith derails conversation and our honest search for what is true. If we are going to simply act as if the Bible is a literal account of what happened, then let's not act as if we are honest in our quest for answers. If we insist that we are honestly interested in what is true, then all a-prori assumptions about God, the creation, the Garden of Eden, the Fall, Noah and the Ark, must be abolished from the conversation. Because they are not information. They are mythology masked as history.

    The answer to the question "Did humans always eat meat" cannot be found in the mythology of a barbaric, uneducated, largely illiterate shepherds from 3000 years ago. If we want answers, let us look for evidence, let us look for them in science - not in Genesis. Genesis has no answers. It only pretends to, in order to establish a foundation for the fear necessary to control the masses.

    Amen.

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    Default Dr. McDougall: Meat in the human diet

    Dr. McDougall: Meat in the Human Diet


    Some excerpts:

    Many scientists use the diet of our ancestors as the justification for what we should eat today. That may be a useful approach, but which ancestors are we to follow? Differences of opinion arise because throughout human history people have consumed a wide variety of foods. The early ancestors of modern humans, from at least 4 million years ago, followed diets almost exclusively of plant-foods. Beginning at least 250,000 years ago, many of the hunter-gatherer societies consumed meat as a large part of their diet.1 However, more recently, over the past 12,000 years of agricultural development, people’s diets have been mostly based upon starches, like rice in Asia, corn in North America, potatoes in western parts of South America, wheat in Europe and Northern Africa. In terms of the time line of evolution, 12,000 years, and even 250,000 years, is only a brief moment.
    Because many hunter-gatherer societies obtained most of their calories from the fat of meat does not mean meat is the ideal diet for modern people. Almost every scientist readily admits that the composition of wild game available to our ancestors was far different from the grain-fed domesticated high-fat meat people eat these days. Furthermore, even if humans have been eating meat for centuries, it has not been with the ease that wealthy Westerners acquire it today. Without refrigeration and other means of preserving meat in a near fresh state, consumption was limited to within a few days of the kill – until the meat spoiled. (With the advent of fire people learned to preserve meat by smoking it.)

    During difficult times meat provided more benefits than harms, but in a society where food is plentiful and life is physically easy, meat can become a serious health hazard. A traditional Arctic Eskimo, living in a subfreezing climate, could expend 6000 calories and more a day just to keep warm and hunt for food. The high-fat animal food sources – fish, walrus, whale, and seal – from his local environment were the most practical means of meeting the demands of those rigorous surroundings. Modern Eskimos living in heated houses and driving around in their climate-controlled SUVs, still consuming a high-meat diet, have become some of the fattest and sickest people on earth. Of course, they now use a “green lure” (a $10 bill) to catch their fish (sandwich).
    Our dentition evolved for processing starches, fruits, and vegetables, not tearing and masticating flesh. Our oft-cited "canine" teeth are not at all comparable to the sharp teeth of true carnivores. I lecture to over 10,000 dentists, dental hygienists, and oral specialists every year, and I always ask them to show me the “canine” teeth in a person’s mouth – those that resemble a cat’s or dog’s teeth – I am still waiting to be shown the first example of a sharply pointed canine tooth.

    If you have any doubt of the truth of this observation then go look in the mirror right now – you may have learned to call your 4 corner front teeth, “canine teeth” – but in no way do they resemble the sharp, jagged, blades of a true carnivore – your corner teeth are short, blunted, and flat on top (or slightly rounded at most). Nor do they ever function in the manner of true canine teeth. Have you ever observed someone purposely favoring these teeth while tearing off a piece of steak or chewing it? Nor have I. The lower jaw of a meat-eating animal has very little side-to-side motion – it is fixed to open and close, which adds strength and stability to its powerful bite. Like other plant-eating animals our jaw can move forwards and backwards, and side-to-side, as well as open and close, for biting off pieces of plant matter, and then grinding them into smaller pieces with our flat molars.

    In a failed attempt to chew and swallow pieces of food, usually meat, approximately 4,000 people die each year in the U.S.14 They choke on inadequately masticated chunks that become stuck in their throats. The Heimlich maneuver was specifically designed to save the lives of people dying from these “café coronaries.”14.

    Cholesterol is only found in animal foods – no plant contains cholesterol. The liver and biliary system of a meat-eating animal has an unlimited capacity to process and excrete cholesterol from its body – it goes out, in the bile, passing through the bile ducts and gallbladder, into the intestine, and finally, out with the stool. For example, you can feed a dog or cat pure egg yolks all day long and they will easily get rid of all of it and never suffer from a backup of cholesterol. Humans, like other plant-eating animals, have livers with very limited capacities for cholesterol removal – they can remove only a little more than they make for themselves for their own bodies – and as a result, most people have great difficulty eliminating the extra cholesterol they take in from eating animal products. This apparent “inefficiency” is because humans have evolved on a diet of mostly plant foods (containing no cholesterol), and therefore, they never required a highly efficient cholesterol-eliminating biliary system. The resulting cholesterol buildup, when people eat meat, causes deposits in the arteries (atherosclerosis), in the skin under the eyes (xanthelasma), and in the tendons. Bile supersaturated with cholesterol forms gallstones (over 90% of gallstones are made of cholesterol). About half of all middle-aged women who live on the Western diet have cholesterol gallstones. (See my April and May 2002 Newsletters.)

    When plants have been for eons a plentiful and reliable part of the diet, an animal can become dependent upon specific nutrients found in these foods. For example, ascorbic acid – found preformed and ready to use in plant foods – is called vitamin C in the diet of people. Insufficient amounts of this vitamin cause scurvy. Vitamins are essential micronutrients that cannot be synthesized by the body; and therefore, must be in the food. Because ascorbic acid has not been reliably available to them, meat-eating animals have retained the ability to synthesize ascorbic acid from basic raw materials found in their meat diet – therefore, it is not a vitamin for them. (In other words it is not “vital” or essential to be preformed in their food supply.)

    Because humans have lived throughout most of their evolution on diets with very little animal matter, they have had to develop or retain the ability to synthesize some substances they need that are abundantly found in meat. For example, humans, and other plant-eating animals, have the ability to make vitamin A from a precursor found in large quantities in plants, called beta-carotene. Carnivores cannot utilize beta-carotene as a precursor of vitamin A. They have no need to; throughout their evolution they have always had a plentiful supply of preformed vitamin A (Retinol) found in the meat.



    Our Instincts Are for Plants

    For most enlightened people in modern Western nations, the idea of chasing down and killing an animal is revolting; and the thought of consuming that freshly killed flesh is repulsive. (And to eat decaying flesh, as a vulture does, would be next to impossible.) Even when meat is cooked, most people are disgusted by the thought of eating a slice of horse, kangaroo, rat, or cat. Cows, chickens and pigs are acceptable to most Westerners only because we have eaten them all of our lives. Yet even then, to make meat palatable, its true nature must be covered up with a strong flavored sauce made with salt, sugar, and/or spices – like sweet and sour, marinara, barbecue, or steak sauce.
    People do not have a negative reaction to unfamiliar fruits and vegetables. Consider, I could ask you to try an unfamiliar “star fruit” from the tropics for the first time and you would eat and enjoy it without hesitation. Why? Because your natural instincts are to eat fruits and vegetables.
    Our hands are made for gathering plants, not ripping flesh. We cool ourselves by sweating, like most other plant-eating animals. Carnivores cool their bodies by panting. We drink our beverages by sipping, not lapping like a dog or cat. The exhaustive factual comparisons of our body traits with that of other animals prove we have evolved over eons in an environment of plant-based foods – the only real contradiction is our behavior.

  29. #79
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Did human always eat meat? Friedrich Engels wrote in 1844 that only the best paid workers could afford meat, and if we look at the planet as a whole, today, 'developing' countries have a much lower rate of meat consumption than the 'developed' countries (47 g per person/day, vs. 224 g per person/day). In Africa, the average daily meat consumption is only 31 g per person/day.



    It's pretty safe to assume that the overall African population generally lives closer to how humans and our ancestors used to live than the population in eg. USA.

    Not that there's any reason to copy the lifestyle of our ancestors as such, but it's interesting that those who claim that we should meat because 'humans always ate meat' probably never consider using the low intake of meat in the past as a reason to cut down drastically on their meat consumption.

    They often seem obsessed with copying what our ancestors did, or copying what 'our closest relatives' do, but I wonder if these people stop using toilets if they are reminded that our ancestors didn't have WCs?

    Where does the obsession with copying another species come from? Is it derived from the human over-imitation tendency, seen here...

    [YOUTUBE]pIAoJsS9Ix8[/YOUTUBE]

    ...or are they simply fascinated with our closest relatives' live style in general?

    Don't watch this if you're in the middle of your breakfast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ot6cG...eature=feedrec
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  30. #80
    IslandVegan IslandVegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    As I said before, I love The Renagade Health Show and this may not necessarily be true, but it was interesting. Definitely, food for thought.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyOZb...ext=1&index=26

    Enjoy!
    Bethany
    IslandVegan, Bethany

  31. #81

    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    I'm not going to read this thread...

    ...but it is RIDICULOUS that anyone points to protein as a need for brain growth.

    The brain is mostly FAT. At least 60% of the brain is fat. Brain size is NOT due to eating meat (or else lions would be geniuses), but more IMPORTANTLY, due to environmental selection.

    Brains are big in humans because of our CULTURE. We grew large brains to deal with the complex society and network needed to thrive. We have large brains so that we can gossip, create society, and deal with other humans. It matters not what we ate, but rather how stimulating our social lives were as "cave people".

    IMO, the folks who argue that we changed due to diet don't really understand natural selection.
    context is everything

  32. #82
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Humans CAN eat meat (cooked I might add... how many other omni animals need to cook their meat... and have you seen THEIR teeth?) however they shouldn't. Humans SHOULD use their capacity for compassion and moral reasoning and CHOOSE to evolve past mindless and unnecessary slaughtering. Just my opinion.

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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    It doesn't really matter if we've always eaten meat. We've always done lots of stuff that's now considered unethical. The questions are whether we need to eat meat (the evidence says we don't), and if not, whether there are other compelling circumstances restricting our choices (for most people, the answer is no).

    As vegans, we ought first to focus on the fact that it's a choice, not an obligation, regardless of what our ancestors did or didn't do.

  34. #84
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    Default Re: Dr. McDougall: Meat in the human diet

    I wish his book was required reading for all nutrionists and dieticians.

  35. #85
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    From http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animal...-is-predatory/ :

    Link: "Why Be Vegan When Nature Is Predatory?" (by Dr. Will Tuttle, educator and author)

    A short-ish excerpt:

    Now, moving to consider flesh eating, it’s important to note several important points.

    First, the overwhelming majority of land animals are herbivores, with a relatively small number of carnivores that prey upon them. So carnivorism is the exception rather than the rule.

    Second, the percentage of non-carnivorous animals who actually die by being eaten alive is relatively small. Most live out their natural life cycles, contrary to the made-for-TV “nature” shows that glorify the kill-and-eat scenes that are popular viewing fare for human meat-eaters.

    Third, animals that are designed to eat the flesh of other animals are very different from us physiologically in terms of dentition, jaw structure and strength, taste buds, salivary and digestive enzymes, gastric acidity, intestinal length and structure, and circulatory system fat tolerance, as well as psychologically. We are the only animal with a decidedly non-carnivorous physiology that consumes animal flesh, and not just in small amounts, but in the case of the wealthy industrialized cultures, voraciously.

    Finally, our appetite for flesh and dairy products is destroying habitat for other nonhuman animals at a completely unsustainable rate. We are destroying an acre of Amazonian rainforest every second, and the primary driving force behind this activity is grazing cattle and growing soybeans as feed for hyperconfined cows, pigs, chickens, and factory-farmed fish. We are also severely overfishing the oceans for fish, not just for human consumption but even more for fishmeal to feed livestock who are not naturally fish-eaters, or even carnivores.

    All this is causing the largest mass extinction of species in 65 million years as habitat is eliminated, with biologists estimating that about we’re losing about 200,000 species annually from our Earth. This loss of genetic diversity, along with the climate devastation linked conclusively with animal agriculture, threaten not only the survival of birds, mammals, fish, and other animals, as well as entire ecosystems, but also our own survival as well.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  36. #86
    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Something that occured to me on the old 'eating meat is natural' (i.e. veganism is not natural so must be the work of Satan) front ..

    Not much else in the lives of people who fall back on that old chestnut is even remotely naturaly. Is it?

    Like walking instead of driving is natural. Having to see people to talk them instead of phoning/texting is natural. Not being able to 'bump uglies' like barbary chimps without having 24 children is natural and near freezing to death every winter is entirely natural too.

    Logical conclusions:

    1. These flightless turkeys clearly and demonstrably have absolutely ZERO genuine interest in what is natural for humans and what isn't.

    Ergo ..

    2. Anyone who presents facts about what is natural, and what isn't, to such people is simply swallowing more 'red herrings' than a whole troupe of performing circus seals.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  37. #87
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    I think that neophobia (the fear of new experiences or things) may be the reason why some people are skeptical about living on a plant based diet, not the diet itself. They simply don't like change. This makes it comfortable for them to assume not eating meat is something 'new', while the problem actually is only is that it's new for them.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    I guess eating a balanced omnivorous hunting / foraging diet is fine ...





    .



    .



    .


    ... if you run 20 miles a day through the savanne with your spear and hunt/forage it all yourself, and it is the only way to get your calory requirements fulfilled

    Everybody else can eat tofu and vegan hamburgers.

    Best regards,
    Andy

  39. #89
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Quite, Andy.

    What allowed humans to evolve IMO was being able to adapt to different circumstances, not keeping on doing the same thing because "we've always done it this way" (in fact there's a school of thought that says that's what wiped out Neanderthal humans). So it shouldn't be so hard to "adapt" to not eating animal products now

  40. #90
    100% sure – I'm going vegan! acrosstheaether's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Hunting wasn't even natural. Just because we've done it for millions of years doesn't make it what we're meant to do.

    "Natural" hunting is done for survival and the predator uses solely their natural weapons e.g. claws to chase down their prey and tear apart the flesh, eating it raw including fur and eyeballs.

    Predators are not better than prey, they rely on them, and it is a fair system.

    By the time humans invented manmade weapons out of wood and stone, such as spears, we were already exercising a sense of superiority.

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    Default Re: Dr. McDougall: Meat in the human diet

    Excellent in depth explanation. It's funny how blindly obvious it is that we are designed as herbivores from our flat teeth. Even still, that is the power of how we have been marketed. As bloody carnivores, lol.

    I am sickened by the fact this kind of basic biology is not taught on a grade 5 level. If it was how many carnivore humans would we have?

  42. #92

    Default Re: Dr. McDougall: Meat in the human diet

    Interesting, thanks for this.
    http://veganchefsteph.blogspot.co.uk/ http://yo-yo-itfinallyhappened.blogspot.co.uk/
    vegan love to all! *^-^*

  43. #93
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    How would of they been able to think about the design of a primitive fire and cooking the meat to get that protein that makes them smarter? Unless all the meat was raw. And if we did evolve from apes why wouldn't we of eaten bananas and fruit like the monkeys and apes, everyone thinks they were meat eating apes

  44. #94

    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Well, some chimpanzees occasionally sharpen sticks with their teeth to spear smaller mammals, so it may have happened before humans could be said to have 'evolved' moral agency - unless chimapanzees are moral agents (can there be degrees of moral agency)? Rival troupes of chimps also engage in behaviour that resembles ethnic warfare.

    Neither of which justifies humans carrying on these practices, of course, since we can't extrapolate norms from nature.
    "Eventually, I realised that the reason I was so angry was because I want people in the world to be well." - Ian MacKaye

  45. #95
    Pea-utiful... Peabrain's Avatar
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    Default Re: evolution and the discovery of meat

    Quote DianeVegan View Post
    Wouldn't it be great if we had national holidays to honor all the fallen animals in our past? They would be our heroes. We could have statues of them in public places and chapters about them in history...
    Lovely!

    .............................

    I must say, I'm heartened to see that I'm not the only one who has had changing views, or even uncertainty about this, but has since decided that forward evolution is more important than past evolution... I was actually holding a secret worry that I wasn't 'vegan enough' if I didn't automatically condemn the whole of human existence for eating meat when it 'wasn't supposed to' and therefore project an image of evil upon every person, including my previous non-vegan self, and any/all of my loved ones who eat meat.

    I think the reason the question of past human consumption of meat comes up, is because it's inextricably linked with the question of perceived need, rather than simply being about tradition. It seems the biggest reason given by far for meat eaters to eat meat is that most genuinely think we need it. Who knows? Maybe we did need it at some point in our evolution? But now, that I can see that my conclusion that the past doesn't have to predict the future, is the right way to address this particular conversation piece...

    I think in future, I'd say to non-vegans; however we reached this point in our development, we should take full advantage of our present advanced intelligence, capacity for compassion, and manual dexterity to carry on our cruelty free diets and lifestyles... Ie. we can fortify foods with vitamins (and B12 in this form does not need to be converted for absorption by our stomach acids and therefore we utilise it better this way), we can make non animal derived food, clothing, toiletries etc, so it's no longer important or even relevant to say we need/needed any type of food that came from another being suffering.

    It may explain why "we've always done it this way", but it doesn't mean we must continue to.
    Last edited by Peabrain; Jan 21st, 2013 at 04:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    I recently watched this video about the 'paleo diet', it's very interesting http://www.drmcdougall.com/video/diet_wars.htm
    “Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”

  47. #97
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Quote Peabrain View Post
    It may explain why "we've always done it this way", but it doesn't mean we must continue to.
    I think the idea that "we've always done it" is sometimes just an excuse for not changing: a variant of what they sometimes call the "golden rationalisation" - it must be OK because everyone does it.

    However I think there is often a genuine fear that there may be some health risk to not eating animal products, so reassurance on that front might be what's needed for a lot of people.

  48. #98
    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Nods to all those who have pointed out that intelligence must have preceded meat.

    One possible flaw in that though: It may take a degree of intelligence to be a hunter/predator but it takes little to no intelligence to be the carrion eating type of carnivore.

    To this day carrion is all that, in any significant quantity, the human body has evolved to be able to eat.


    Not, imho, the pinnacle of highly evolved intelligence when the vultures think they're lions.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  49. #99
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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    The argument 'but our ancestors ate meat' makes no sense. Our ancestors probably flung feces at each other and dragged women into their caves by the hair to rape them repeatedly. Our ancestors ate their children sometimes. We've evolved, and so should our diet.

    I posted that link because it shows that our ancestors actually ate mostly starches (grains, potatoes) rather than anything else. Besides this, we know some of our ancestors ate meat, but you can't be sure they all did. In cold areas it makes sense to eat meat because there isn't much else. People lived on cardboard for weeks because there wasn't anything else, some people live on crisps and energy drinks, that doesn't make it an ideal source of nourishment. The human body is just very adaptable.
    “Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”

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    Default Re: Did humans always eat meat?

    Quote hedi View Post
    the argument 'but our ancestors ate meat' makes no sense. Our ancestors probably flung feces at each other and dragged women into their caves by the hair to rape them repeatedly. Our ancestors ate their children sometimes. We've evolved, and so should our diet.

    I posted that link because it shows that our ancestors actually ate mostly starches (grains, potatoes) rather than anything else. Besides this, we know some of our ancestors ate meat, but you can't be sure they all did. In cold areas it makes sense to eat meat because there isn't much else. People lived on cardboard for weeks because there wasn't anything else, some people live on crisps and energy drinks, that doesn't make it an ideal source of nourishment. The human body is just very adaptable.
    correct!

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