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Thread: "The Natural Human Diet"

  1. #1
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default "The Natural Human Diet"

    Link: The Natural Human Diet




    A short excerpt:
    When you see dead animals on the side of the road, are you tempted to stop and snack on them? 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 these questions, congratulations—like it or not, you're an herbivore.
    According to biologists and anthropologists who study our anatomy and our evolutionary history, humans are herbivores who are not well suited to eating meat. Humans lack both the physical characteristics of carnivores and the instinct that drives them to kill animals and devour their raw carcasses.

    HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY
    Although many humans choose to eat a wide variety of plant and animal foods, earning us the dubious title of "omnivore," we are anatomically herbivorous.

    TEETH, JAWS, AND NAILS

    Humans have short, soft fingernails and pathetically small "canine" teeth. In contrast, carnivores all have sharp claws and large canine teeth capable of tearing flesh.
    Carnivores' jaws move only up and down, requiring them to tear chunks of flesh from their prey and swallow them whole. Humans and other herbivores can move their jaws up and down and from side to side, allowing them to grind up fruit and vegetables with their back teeth. Like other herbivores' teeth, human back molars are flat for grinding fibrous plant foods. Carnivores lack these flat molars.
    Dr. Richard Leakey, a renowned anthropologist, summarizes, "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 require those large canines."
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  2. #2
    veganette's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Natural Human Diet"

    Interesting, I was an Anthropology major in school and I argued these points but my biological anthro professor denied them. Interesting that when we learned about Richard Leakey...we didn't learn this tidbit.

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    Mordechai's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Natural Human Diet"

    Ever tried to chase down a kangaroo, deer and would you want to take on a Auroch or wild bull moose?
    If you can catch up to one, Red Kangaroos can disembowel you. Deer I am sure something equivalent... why not lay next to them, give them a pat, and share the grass? Hypotheticals of course... and a little fun

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    MikeO's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Natural Human Diet"

    Quote Mordechai View Post
    Ever tried to chase down a kangaroo, deer and would you want to take on a Auroch or wild bull moose?
    If you can catch up to one, Red Kangaroos can disembowel you. Deer I am sure something equivalent... why not lay next to them, give them a pat, and share the grass? Hypotheticals of course... and a little fun
    You can catch all kinds of shellfish, frogs, snakes, insects, etc. and eat them. Native Americans would drive buffalo over cliffs before the arrival of horses (all of which is far more natural than discussing such matters on a computer). Whether it can be done, or not, is not a reasonable justification for doing so, or not. I'm sure your own reasons for being vegan go well beyond the practicality of it all. It might be better to simply argue those points hoping to persuade someone by your own conscience rather than trying arguments of desperation, no matter how tempting they may be. I don't mean to get on you as I am well guilty of making arguments of desperation myself.

  5. #5
    Consistency's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Natural Human Diet"

    Our intestines say frugivore/folivore and to live in a warm climate. We need Vitamin D in high amounts to regulate all organs. Our colon is half the size of other primates close to us which indicates not a lot of fermentation and our small intestine is twice the size of other primates close to us which indicates foods high in vitamins and minerals. Gastrointestinal tract is about the same length with primates close to us when comparing measurements from mouth to anus. Plus our colon isn't straight like an omnivore/carnivore which puts us at risk for appendicitis.

    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/11/3886S.full.pdf

    I don't believe we've evolved one bit on being able to digest meat thoroughly however I do agree that meat had a considerable importance in our evolution for survival and maybe increasing brain size. Hence the high levels of monounsaturated fats boosted testosterone levels in pregnant women which increased brain size.

    Do you guys believe the human race is evolving into eating meat?

  6. #6
    Muvesz's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Natural Human Diet"

    I think we are biologically mostly herbivores. If you think about it, there are some meats (bugs, frogs, fish,etc) that we can catch and eat raw (well, I don't actually know if you can eat frogs raw). I don't think that is an excuse to eat them. I feel that we have the intellectual capacity to understand compassion, and to realize we are perfectly healthy on a plant based diet.
    In my anthropology courses, we learned about the evolution of the human mouth and skull. Our canines have become blunt, our jaws have become smaller, but our craniums have increased in size (proportionately). I think we are evolving into a more logical, thoughtful way of life, and a less consumer based one.... If we don't kill ourselves off first.

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Natural Human Diet"

    I think we are biologically mostly herbivores. If you think about it, there are some meats (bugs, frogs, fish,etc) that we can catch and eat raw (well, I don't actually know if you can eat frogs raw).
    Hi Muvesz,

    We certainly "can" eat a lot of stuff, including poisonous plants etc. - and maybe "can" eat frogs, insects etc raw - but how does that make us only "mostly" herbivores?
    That we may do something doesn't mean that we er. are 'meant' do, need to or should do it. I guess it all depends on what your definition of herbivore or 'mostly herbivore' is.

    One major thing to look at would be: are we attracted towards eating raw insects etc? Cats - although they have been domesticated for many generations - are still interested in catching mice and birds, even if they don't need to. Most humans who see a worm on an apple would go for the apple, not the worm, don't you think?

  8. #8
    Muvesz's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Natural Human Diet"

    You didn't read the rest of my post, did you?

    Quote Muvesz View Post
    I don't think that is an excuse to eat them. I feel that we have the intellectual capacity to understand compassion, and to realize we are perfectly healthy on a plant based diet.
    That was also part of my statement (a more important part, actually). Pro tip: Don't start pointless arguments with people who generally agree with you

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    Consistency's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Natural Human Diet"

    Quote Muvesz View Post
    I think we are evolving into a more logical, thoughtful way of life, and a less consumer based one.... If we don't kill ourselves off first.

  10. #10
    Sadasius's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Natural Human Diet"

    I personally think the human race is heading into a very bad genetic curve. It used to be natural selection that weeded out the weak and made the strong grow and multiply. That mechanism is no longer there. Everything has warning labels and governments cater to keep it's populace extremely simple (especially in North America).

    For eating meat our colons are not the same as Carnivores as stated by Consistency. We are Herbivores. Look at the Gorilla....massive k-9's but used as defence. K-9’s mean jack! Our system is just not designed for meat and fat. Can we adapt over time? Perhaps but for now people are dying from type 2 diabetes and heart disease like crazy. I don't think we are adapting that well as a species to meat, especially with all the pollution that gets stored in the fat around the meat and then released when eaten. If anything I think the carnivores are going to get wiped out at the rate of pollution that we cause.

    In the end I think we will all have no choice but to be herbivores. We will have killed off too many animal species and the disease will prevent us from eating flesh ever. I think green energy will take over once the oil is dried up and we will all be vegetarians at the very least.

    My 2 cents.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: "The Natural Human Diet"

    I think the biggest problem for omnivores is just that we don't lead the same lives we used to. If you look at people that live off the land, it seems like they'll do ok eating meat. I think the reason for this is just because they work to live instead of live to work. If you look at a person in the average city, they don't live physically strenuous lives. I think the fact that people used to be constantly doing physical work burned off all the extra crap consumed from the meat, and the fact that there was less pollution in the meats as well.

    Now we have people eating probable more meat than before and eating less. It's like they're expecting that you can eat all the calories you want and they'll magically disappear.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: "The Natural Human Diet"

    I think exercise is a big part of the problem for sure however the people who live off of the land do not live longer lives either. Here is one for the Inuit who live off of the land. Life expectancy is 68. 10 years less than the average Canadian. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quoti...80123d-eng.htm

    Here we have the average life expectancy actually rising for the sedentary populace.
    http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tabl...alth26-eng.htm

    Here is another of it rising.
    http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quoti...10927a-eng.htm
    Last edited by Sadasius; Apr 2nd, 2012 at 10:22 AM. Reason: extra link

  13. #13

    Default Re: "The Natural Human Diet"

    Actually, where I live there has been a huge study about the health and diet of rural Minnesotans versus urban, and what they are finding is that rural Minnesotans on average are far less healthy and far more obese than urbanites, this includes farmers (warning very long so you may want to skim):
    http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/o...rce/status.pdf

    Factors such as food availability, transportation, eduction, health care availability, etc are taken into consideration in the study.

  14. #14
    Cacique's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Natural Human Diet"

    Lol I guess maybe that was just crap I heard. I think the original human diet was probably opportunistic. Plants would have been the biggest bulk as they are the easiest to eat, followed by insects, small animals, and eventually large animals like a mammoth as our brains evolved.

    It also seems like things started getting worse the more meat we ate. Fortunately, somehow, it seems more and more people are growing more empathy towards animals.

  15. #15
    thegreenjudy's Avatar
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    Default

    But remember that people are also being kept alive longer artificially with medication...often people in rural areas don't have the same access to medical help or can't be bothered...wonder how long a city person would be alive for with the same diet and sedentary lifestyle and no medication ...especially when they reach a certain age.also bear in mind,today's old generation doesn't really have the same diet as the younger generation and usually worked more physically throughout their life's..so let's repeat the study when today's young generation gets old

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