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Thread: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

  1. #1
    nakaniNumen
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    Default Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/r...-14-1999a.html

    "Without meat, said Milton, it's unlikely that proto humans could have secured enough energy and nutrition from the plants available in their African environment at that time to evolve into the active, sociable, intelligent creatures they became. Receding forests would have deprived them of the more nutritious leaves and fruits that forest-dwelling primates survive on, said Milton."

    This is some good material to ponder on. If eating animals was a neccessary catalyst into homo sapien evolution ( high-protein based diets were neccessary for us to develop large brains, and therefore great intellect ), what implications does this have on our vegan beliefs -- and how we can align our views to maintain consistency and not be hypocrites as vegan accuse many meat-eaters of being.

    I would seem to imply that nature is indeed amoral, and eating meat is in and of itself not wrong whatsoever. It makes sense to me that humans are simply a random animal that chanced upon high-protein diets and was in a favorable condition to evolve into intelligent beings. In fact, I view this occurance not as brutal, but beautiful. To think that human logic which created morality, by logic condemns the very process by which we gained logic.

    Nearly a catch-22.

    However I would argue that eating meat is indeed immoral by today's standards. We have transcended our primitive state, and I think the best way we can honor the lives of those beings which aided us in becoming rational beings is to NOT EAT THEM for no other eason than because we can. Not to mention, we now have the capacity to not only live off of non-animal diets, but to be healthier in doing so, and cheaper!

    Actually all of this reminds me of Seaside's awesome signature:

    Veganism originated from the idea that any sentient being has rights. In the sovereignty of nature these are ignored, but we're human, presumably- we've moved on and we respect life.
    ~Donald Watson

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    Default Re: Meat-eating was essential for human evolution

    Certainly we have seen our share of theories that humans "needed" meat to evolve. Debatable as that may be, I agree that veganism is today a choice that most humans can make. Those of us in developed nations have long ago mastered intensive farming of the land, making farming of animals obsolete and cruel. Why more people can't see this logic is beyond me.
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Geoff
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    Default Re: Meat-eating was essential for human evolution

    It IS only a theory and there are anthropologists, I understand, who take a contrary view.
    The title of this thread should be prefaced with 'Was' and a question mark added.

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    told me to Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat-eating was essential for human evolution

    Quote nakaniNumen
    This is some good material to ponder on. If eating animals was a neccessary catalyst into homo sapien evolution ( high-protein based diets were neccessary for us to develop large brains, and therefore great intellect ), what implications does this have on our vegan beliefs
    none whatsoever. Whether humans needed to have a source of protein during evolution and didn't have access to good plant based protein sources that we have today is irrelevant. I don't live in africa thousands of years BC and I do have access to several very well stocked supermarkets. If I had to eat meat to survive then I would, but I don't, so to suggest that I should do something based on what ancient ancestors did is farcical. As well as specism, I also don't beleive in practicing religious intollerance, racism, sexism and ageism - all things which my ancestors have done in the past.
    "Mr Flibble - forum corruptor of innocents!!" - Hemlock

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    ♥♥♥ Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat-eating was essential for human evolution

    I don't know why some veg*ns get so worked up over whether or not early humans ate meat. That shouldn't matter. What matters is how animals are treated today and they are treated poorly, so even if humans are designed to be omnivores that doesn't justify the reason for animal cruelty. I find no moral justification to eat meat or animal secretions so I don't know. I don't care if earlier hominid species ate meat for survival, it's a totally different world now.
    Peace, love, and happiness.

  6. #6
    Pilaf
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    Default Re: Meat-eating was essential for human evolution

    Here's the deal with me. I don't really care if it was essential to our evolution. It's not essential NOW.

    Having said that, here's my take on human history, thanks to reading and discovery channel. I believe that if one believes soley in science and no form of spirituality or religion, which we'll be disregarding since this is en evolution debate, then it could easily be argued that the human brain is a freak genetic accident. A 1 in one megatrillion occurance. Usually, the content of an animal's diet has little to no bearing on what form it takes, only the amount of food readily available. It's a fact that most modern apes, while omnivores, are mostly vegetarian and seem to function better eating plant matter. Compare the paw of a gorilla to a human hand and you see an eerily similar appendage. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that homosapiens are apes. If there's any doubt, please stop kidding yourself.

    Now, having said all that, I do believe that during the last Great Ice Age, man was forced to hunt and live almost soley off meat for a lengthy period of time. Was this the ideal diet nature intended for man? I don't believe so. Did man really have a choice at the time? No. Without hunting, man would likely have died out completely during the Ice Age. However, this lifestyle came at a heavy cost. Most skeletons and the few rare ice mummies recovered indicate these humans suffered from digestion problems and early aging, as well as signs of arthritis.

    And these weren't protohumans. By this time, they were fully homosapien. So the meat eating at this time wouldn't have effected brain size evolution in any way. Moving on, as soon as the Ice thawed and receded back to the poles, it's theorized man almost immediately began farming grain. Amazingly, it's deduced that the average lifespan shot up an additional 20 years at this time, and the population exploded.

    Let that sink in..man barely existed through a brutal ice age, suffering from chronic illness and dying young because he was forced to eat meat. Later, when man began eating more plant materials, man prospered and dominated the land. What does that tell us? Just a little food for thought.

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    ♥♥♥ Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Default Re: Meat-eating was essential for human evolution

    Quote Pilaf
    Here's the deal with me. I don't really care if it was essential to our evolution. It's not essential NOW.
    Agreed!
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  8. #8
    Pilaf
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    Default Re: Meat-eating was essential for human evolution

    Yeah. Of all my long winded post, that was the main point. Many things were "essential" to get us to this point. I doubt civil rights would exist if slavery never did, nor the countries we live in without war. But this is an age of enlightenment, of realizing "Hey...so what if we did (insert nasty, outdated thing) to get where were today? We're here and we know better now!"

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    Default Re: Meat-eating was essential for human evolution

    Wow, Pilaf, well stated. The discovery channel should be required viewing for all!
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

  10. #10

    Default Re: Meat-eating was essential for human evolution

    Pilaf, you are so wise. I wish I had been that clear-headed when I was your age!

  11. #11
    nakaniNumen
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    Default Re: Meat-eating was essential for human evolution

    Some good posts in here!

    Quote Pilaf
    Here's the deal with me. I don't really care if it was essential to our evolution. It's not essential NOW.
    I think we're at concensus on this which is what I figured would happen, but it's pretty interesting

    Usually, the content of an animal's diet has little to no bearing on what form it takes, only the amount of food readily available. It's a fact that most modern apes, while omnivores, are mostly vegetarian and seem to function better eating plant matter.
    Hrm I'd have to disagree with that. Amount of food suggests that calories are the only thing that matters. While calories are indeed important, it seems pretty clear that it isn't the only thing, as different foods contain different nutrition which will invariably alter a being's evolution. Certainly we all agree that protein is important in the development of muscle? The basis on which it can be speculated that humans evolved larger brains from eating meat (some anthropologists specifically point to bone marrow) is that protein was a crucial ingredient in that process.

    Compare the paw of a gorilla to a human hand and you see an eerily similar appendage. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that homosapiens are apes. If there's any doubt, please stop kidding yourself.
    I never understood why people think we aren't related to apes! it's so obvious... I guess it's just denial, we tend to be good at that

    And these weren't protohumans. By this time, they were fully homosapien. So the meat eating at this time wouldn't have effected brain size evolution in any way.
    Sorry if it wasn't clear but I wasn't posting about homosapien diets (by the time they're homosapien they've evolved larger brains anyways) but about protohuman diets and the role it played into their evolution into homosapiens

    Moving on, as soon as the Ice thawed and receded back to the poles, it's theorized man almost immediately began farming grain. Amazingly, it's deduced that the average lifespan shot up an additional 20 years at this time, and the population exploded.

    Let that sink in..man barely existed through a brutal ice age, suffering from chronic illness and dying young because he was forced to eat meat. Later, when man began eating more plant materials, man prospered and dominated the land. What does that tell us? Just a little food for thought.
    I can easily see the factor of having a reliable food source (as opposed to scavenging) being the main reason for the population/lifespan increase. Undoubtedly having a more varied diet would also help as well, but nearly as much. It would not suprise me at all if diseases often resulted from eating raw meat though, as there are tons of sanitation issues involved.


    Great post Pilaf

  12. #12
    nakaniNumen
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    Default Re: Meat-eating was essential for human evolution

    Quote Pilaf
    Yeah. Of all my long winded post, that was the main point. Many things were "essential" to get us to this point. I doubt civil rights would exist if slavery never did, nor the countries we live in without war. But this is an age of enlightenment, of realizing "Hey...so what if we did (insert nasty, outdated thing) to get where were today? We're here and we know better now!"
    Right on! I think it is the dumest argument ever to say that "because we did something in the past, we should do it now". Don't you agree? Then... you think about it and realize that that quote is the definition of tradition. This is why I think that tradition for the sake of tradition is stupid unless it's just fun and games (cultural things that aren't harmful). Otherwise it's just being stubborn.

    Some examples: slavery, canibalism, racism, absolute monarchies, ... capitalism??

  13. #13
    Pilaf
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    Default Re: Meat-eating was essential for human evolution

    Tradition is oftentimes counterproductive. I think that each generation should strive to free itself from the traditions that don't make sense to it. This is the very essence of "Generation Y". You tell a guy my age group who has half a brain that something's right or wrong, and we won't smile and nod obediently. We'll say "Why?" or "Says who?"

    Saying that we should continue to eat meat just because it's a tradition or it makes some people a lot of money is absolutely assenine and unintelligent. I'm sure child labor makes a few people very wealthy, too, as does the trafficking of methamphetamine, or pimping out prostitutes on a street corner. Oh? What's that? An Omnivore just spoke up..telling me it's not the same. How is it not the same, Mr. Omnivore? Please tell me..let me bask in your infinate wisdom. Oh? It's alright because EVERYONE does it..oohhhh I gotcha.. so something becomes right when the majority believe it to be so, is that what you're saying?

    Well, guess what? I'm not a sheep, and I'm not gonna follow nor obey that line of thought any longer. There's no way this hompsapien will ever go back to eating meat again. I know my options. I know the facts. I made decisions based on the facts. Knowing what I know now about the meat industry and the treatment of animals, I couldn't NOT be a vegan.

    I couldn't really care less if it's "natural" at this point. I believe that as a human, my higher brain grants me the capability to defy nature if need be. It's not natural to shave or take hot showers either, now is it? Is clothing natural? No... but most Omnis shave, shower and wear deodorant. Most omnis drive cars, and eat processed foods. But when it comes to their meat..HO HO..it's "natural" and it's what we're "supposed" to eat. Guess what, omnis? It's hypocricy. Nature isn't infallible, and neither is any god or holy book. I personally believe needless killing is wrong, and that's just what the meat industry is based on. Endless murder..horrific nightmares without end. Even the almighty "nature" never intended any animal's food source to be reduced to this... horrific bastardization of life. This blatant disregard of other living things and their rights.

    In closing, mankind may have once ate meat to "evolve his brain". That's fine..at the time, man was still a dumb animal. Man did what he needed to do to survive. He didn't know better. Mankind may have turned to meat during the ice age, because he was starving to death. Are we evolving any more? No...evolution at this point is impossible, and redundant. Why? We live comfortable lives..there's no need for evolution. It's a process which happens over a long time when a species is in dire need to adapt to its surroundings. Humans don't adapt..we modify our own surroundings to suit our bodies. This is what seperates us from the other animals. We're not better, but we're different. We think differently..we manipulate, and we create. We create morals, and we create lifestyles. People created veganism to say "Know what? Screw nature. I want to be a better person. I'm not living in the past, I'm paving the way for the future"

    That's about the extent of my feelings at the moment.

  14. #14
    Gliondrach
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    There's another theory that early hominids started eating fish, which helped to increase their brain size. This is just another theory. But if those early human-like animals needed meat to evolve into modern humans and develop their brains, you would think that vegan babies born to vegan mothers would be underdeveloped in some way.

    During the Ice Ages the tropics - our natural home - stayed ice free.

    Whatever the answers are it doesn't matter. As others have said, we are not condemned to follow the actions of our ancestors. We can benefit from their past actions without having to repeat them. Many large companies and quite a few towns owe their prosperity to the slave trade. The people of Liverpool, say, shouldn't feel any personal shame about the slave trade.

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    peasant terrace max's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Some people's idea of evolution is inextricably tied up with notions of human superiority and 'progress'. Hence they argue that meat-eating allowed us to become civilised, without realising that you could equally well argue that meat-eating caused, say, the torture at Abu Gahraib prison...

    To believe we're civilised or to believe we got here by killing other sentient beings is a lazy crock of shit.
    We are saved in the end by the things that ignore us. Andrew Harvey

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    cross barer
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Comparisons between the brains of different animals shows that the tissue that has developed around the primitive interior which all animals share is increasingly larger with greater social group size. Humanoids have the largest social groups, and the largest cereberal cortex of all animals. It is believed that this organ developed in order to solve the porblems of living in large groups.

    Agriculture would be good evidence of this, farming crops and domesticating animals in order to provide for larger groups in one area. It is clear that eating meat was essential to the development of where we are now, out digestive system is not the same as an herbivore. The question now is how to solve the problems that our solutions have caused in terms of the impact agriculture has on the environment etc.

    It is easily possible that humans will become completely carnivorous in the future, as genetic engineering strives to load animals with all the vitamins and nutrients we require from plants. I think this is probably the economic goal as there will be greater profits made from animals which may be housed indoors and don't depend on rainfall for successful development as even GM crops do now. I don't think it's unlikely that science will provide a single superfood animal with all the nutritional answers in one hideous form.

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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    On the other hand AA if the majority does goes herbivorous and there is any link between the omni diet and human brain development, the earth may benefit - afterall apelike humans are bound to be more friendly to other sentients than homo sapiens!

  18. #18
    Seaside
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Fossil records show that Homo habilis, believed to be the earliest representative of our genus (Homo), was a tool user, and there is evidence that this creature used these tools to crack bones and extract the marrow. At the same time, the brain size of H. habilis showed an increase in size beyond that of his ancestor, Australopithecus. Scientists therefore infer that there was a cause and effect relationship between the two phenomena, and the favored relationship amongst meat-eaters is that H. habilis wouldn't have enjoyed an increase in the size of his brain, and the accompanying increase in intelligence, if he hadn't begun to ingest animal protein in the form of scavenged bone marrow. There is the possibility that the brain's growth might have been caused by something else, and the fact that H. habilis started eating bone marrow during this increase in brain growth is simply coincidental. But there is no evidence in the fossil record to suggest another cause for the increase in brain size. H. habilis was not living in the complex social groups that later species formed. He was a scavenger, and there is the theory that scavenging is what helped our tiny ancestor develop the intelligence required to steal these sorry leftovers from the true hunters and scavengers without being killed himself.

    Evolving a larger brain by using bone marrow in what was becoming an increasingly colder and harsher environment is no justification to me for our modern-day overindulgence in completely unecessary and detrimental animal products. If the climate had not changed from a warmer, more tropical one our brains might still have evolved on a very different source of easily digested plant protein. Its just that when the climate change altered the environment, easy to eat tropical plants died out, and species had to adapt to what was available or die out too. H. habilis adapted to a very different environment than our modern one, and survived.

    There is no reason for modern day Homo sapiens to behave as though we are still living in an environment that made the scavenging of bone marrow essential for survival. Thanks to the reversal of the Ice Age we are again living in a climate that allows an abundance of easy to digest plant foods to thrive. By analogy, people who are stranded in isolated areas by plane crashes or shipwrecks may be temporarily forced during times of extremity to eat the bodies of their dead companions or die. This does not imply that when they are rescued and returned to a more benevolent environment that in order to survive they must continue to cannibalise human beings (though I have seen a few horror films concerning that very subject!).

    Evolution is not a straight line process, with the point of origin being considered inferior to the present stage of development. It is time that we directed our own evolution back to a plant-based diet. Western people have already caused a noted decrease in jaw size by relying more and more on the softer textures of cooked foods for easy digestion, and wisdom tooth extraction is becoming commonplace as our jaws evolve to become smaller and weaker due to our elimination of tough, fibrous raw foods. Our ancient ancestors had the tooth and jaw strength to eat flesh without cooking it, which enabled them to survive on what was obviously a poor substitute for the plant based diet our genus originally evolved eating. That they did eat animals is more a testament to the ability of our ancestors to survive less than optimal conditions than a requirement for our development.

  19. #19
    Seaside
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    There will be a quiz on the preceding a week from Tuesday.

  20. #20
    Seaside
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Here's another thread on this subject.

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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    "Without meat, said Milton, it's unlikely that proto humans could have secured enough energy and nutrition from the plants available in their African environment at that time to evolve into the active, sociable, intelligent creatures they became.
    There are animals that have eaten way more meat than humans, and that has not developed the skills we have. Humans always refer to how intelligent we are - after all, but we are the single species that has caused most harm to the earth - how intelligent is that? It is us, and not lions or deer, who are responsible for the ecological situation the planet is. Humans can talk, read and laugh, and animals can do lots of things we can't... I'm not always sure who (humans vs. other animals) who are most intelligent. Anyway - I think the question that is being raised is... wrong, at best.

    Of course, everything we ate - and eat - influence our development. Maybe science one day will discover that if I eat brains of certain animals, the eyes of certain fish or the testicles of certain monkeys, I will become more handsome, make less spelling errors or make more money. If this cruel super-diet will be discovered, mankind can look back on these discoveries in a few thousand years - if we are still around - and claim that these brains, eyes and testicles was an essential part of evolving humans into be looking better, eliminate the need for spelling checkers or being incredibly rich. But.... so what? I'm sure there are extremely nutritious parts of animals that humans can benefit from (and vice versa). But we know that it's possible to live a healthy life without killing others - we are not looking at animals at someone who is there to make us 'better'. I find it very likely that if humans would have been eating more plants and less animals in the past, we would have experienced less of all the problems our species struggle with today.

    Both the planet and humanity as such is in a rather miserable condition... For example, a very high percentage of the human population develop non-curable cancer or other diseases we don't know how to cure. Maybe, at some point, certain elements in the diet of our ancestors made us develop faster into certain directions, but at the price of also developing us into a species that today suffer from severe health problems, both physically and mentally.

    We have large brains, but maybe we as a species simply have become 'too brainy'? Is the criterion for success the ability to discuss whether or not we are successful? If we are unhappy, sick, or destroying our planet, should we really brag about that we are intellectual enough to discuss all our problems, using an advanced language that other animals can't understand?

    Or should we look somewhere else than at our brains to figure out how great a success or species represent? There a animals/birds that can see things we can't see, smell things we can't smell, hear things we can't hear, that can fly and do many things humans only can dream about. They have instincts telling them to leave an earthquake area before the earthquake appears, and they can fly thousands of kilometers and find make to their holiday resorts, every winter - for free - not even using GPS. What are we so proud about?


    This is some good material to ponder on. If eating animals was a neccessary catalyst into homo sapien evolution ( high-protein based diets were neccessary for us to develop large brains, and therefore great intellect ), what implications does this have on our vegan beliefs -- and how we can align our views to maintain consistency and not be hypocrites as vegan accuse many meat-eaters of being.
    This has no implications for our vegan viewpoints at all. The ongoing development of species and races is not a contest where 'everything is allowed' as long as it make us taller or faster or whatever. (Not that we are the tallest or fastest...) The vegan viewpoint is the opposite: other species are not here for us to exploit, even if exploiting them would imply some benefits.


    I would seem to imply that nature is indeed amoral, and eating meat is in and of itself not wrong whatsoever.
    'Nature'? Some people say that 'nature is violent' - which is nonsense. There are some animals that are violent, there are some humans that are violent, and there are even events happening in nature that are violent. Part of the nature is 'destructive', and other parts, other species, are not violent. Deer don't kill for food. Lions do. Does this tell us that 'nature is violent', or that 'nature is immoral'? No. It tells us that lions kill for food, and that deer doesn't. It does not tell us that we shall look at the lions and be as violent as they are.


    It makes sense to me that humans are simply a random animal that chanced upon high-protein diets and was in a favorable condition to evolve into intelligent beings.
    If it was the protein levels of animal diets that were responsible for human development, why didn't the same level of 'intelligence' (I prefer to call it intellectuality) occur in other species on high (or higher) protein diets? And why wouldn't the same development happen if we got our proteins from protein rich plants?


    nakaniNumen, why would what you refer to imply that 'eating meat is in and of itself not wrong whatsoever'? Despite all the high protein stuff my ancestors ate, I'm not intelligent enough to understand this....
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    peasant terrace max's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Quote Korn
    Does this tell us that 'nature is violent', or that 'nature is immoral'? No. It tells us that lions kill for food, and that deer doesn't. It does not tell us that we shall look at the lions and be as violent as they are.
    This is such an important point. It's a monumental conceit to look at nature and its processes and declare what it 'means' in terms of its implications for human beings. (Perhaps there is a vestigial religious/faith component in the Darwinian determinism on show elsewhere in this thread?)

    A rejection of anthropocentric thinking means finally acknowledging that nature is disinterested and uninterested and we need to accept a way of seeing which ignores the monumental human ego - which is where Andrew Harvey comes in (see below).
    We are saved in the end by the things that ignore us. Andrew Harvey

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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Seaside do tell us more of those brighter times: when humans were harmless scavengers, who rarely ate flesh, had not yet begun farming animals, still worshipped women and most importantly were eco-friendly - someone send me a time machine!

  24. #24
    Seaside
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Quote Suedehead
    Seaside do tell us more of those brighter times: when humans were harmless scanvengers, who rarely ate flesh, had not yet begun farming animals, still worshipped women and most importantly were eco-friendly - someone send me a time machine!
    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was
    upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon
    the face of the waters.
    And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
    And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the
    light from the darkness.
    And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called
    Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
    And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the
    waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
    And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were
    under the firmament from the waters which were above the
    firmament: and it was so.
    And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the
    morning were the second day.
    And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered
    together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it
    was so.
    And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together
    of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
    And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb
    yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his
    kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
    And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed
    after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in
    itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
    And the evening and the morning were the third day.
    And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the
    heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for
    signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
    And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to
    give light upon the earth: and it was so.
    And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the
    day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars
    also.
    And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light
    upon the earth,
    And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the
    light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
    And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
    And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving
    creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth
    in the open firmament of heaven.
    And God created great whales, and every living creature that
    moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their
    kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that
    it was good.
    And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and
    fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the
    earth.
    And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
    And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature
    after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the
    earth after his kind: and it was so.
    And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle
    after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth
    after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our
    likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
    and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over
    all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth
    upon the earth.
    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
    created he him; male and female created he them.
    And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and
    multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have
    dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the
    air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
    And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing
    seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree,
    in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it
    shall be for meat.
    And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air,
    and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there
    is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was
    so.

    And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was
    very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
    Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host
    of them.


    Where did we go wrong, Suedehead?

  25. #25
    Suedehead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Quote Seaside
    And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing
    seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree,
    in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it
    shall be for meat.
    And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air,
    and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there
    is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was
    so.
    I can't help thinking The Bible has been mis/reinterpreted, edited and re-written many times to suit many readers. This meat mentioned above is clearly nothing to do with the meat as we sadly know it today.

  26. #26
    Seaside
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    You are right, Suedehead. The only parts of the Bible I like are the above, and "Thou shalt not KILL." What more does anyone need?

  27. #27
    Seaside
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Quote terrace max
    Originally Posted by Korn
    Does this tell us that 'nature is violent', or that 'nature is immoral'? No. It tells us that lions kill for food, and that deer doesn't. It does not tell us that we shall look at the lions and be as violent as they are.

    This is such an important point. It's a monumental conceit to look at nature and its processes and declare what it 'means' in terms of its implications for human beings. (Perhaps there is a vestigial religious/faith component in the Darwinian determinism on show elsewhere in this thread?)

    A rejection of anthropocentric thinking means finally acknowledging that nature is disinterested and uninterested and we need to accept a way of seeing which ignores the monumental human ego - which is where Andrew Harvey comes in (see below).
    The orginal statement was that nature is amoral, which is absolutely correct.

    Quote nakaniNumen
    I would seem to imply that nature is indeed amoral....

  28. #28
    Gliondrach
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Quote Suedehead
    I can't help thinking The Bible has been mis/reinterpreted, edited and re-written many times to suit many readers. This meat mentioned above is clearly nothing to do with the meat as we sadly know it today.
    The word 'meat' originally meant just 'food'. The translation is from Elizabethan times when many words had a different meaning to today. Not much earlier than that 'silly' was more of a compliment.

  29. #29
    greenworlds
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    Smile Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Quote COLOR=Red
    And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing
    seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree,
    in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it
    shall be for meat.
    And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air,
    and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there
    is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was
    so.[/COLOR]
    and God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it wasvery good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
    Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host
    of them.
    What is also interesting here is that the writer also included all the animals when using the word 'meat' the Hebrew word for food. I'm sure most would agree,ideally it would be great!

    p.s Korn I don't necessarily want to carry on with this subject, but if any sensible comments etc are made. I can't see any reason why anyone should be offended as we are talking about the bible here

  30. #30
    Seaside
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Its a happy dream, greenworlds, but unlikely to become reality in this world.

  31. #31
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?


  32. #32
    Seaside
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Whoa!!!!!! Here's my favorite part of that article!^^^

    Quote Dr Katherine Milton
    From: "Dr. Katharine Milton" kmilton@socrates.Berkeley.EDU
    To: "John Coleman" jsc@eloi.nildram.co.uk
    Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2002 1:04 AM
    Subject: Re: A Hypothesis to Explain the Role of Meat-Eating in Human Evolution

    Look--if you're so smart you teach here and I'll retire and eat
    fruit. I don't have time to debate with every individual eating some
    odd diet who reads my work and wants to take up my time with his/her
    opinions. My work is all peer reviewed and if you don't like it,
    then please ignore it! KM
    Katharine Milton
    Dept. ESPM, Div. I.B.
    201 Wellman Hall
    University of California
    Berkeley, CA 94720-3112 "
    Now THAT's scientific and unbiased!

  33. #33

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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Great link, Korn.
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

  34. #34
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Was meat-eating essential for human evolution?

    Quote DianeVegan
    Great link, Korn.
    Yes, there's a lot of interesting reading at http://www.ecologos.org ...

  35. #35
    DancingWillow's Avatar
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    Default Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    We all know that humans are not meant to eat meat and dairy, and that ingesting these "foods" causes serious consequences (heart disease, cancer, and so on). Yesterday, I was thinking about this, and then a horrific thought struck me: most people in our society keep stuffing themselves with meat, eggs, and dairy, and will probably continue doing so generation after generation, long into the future...what if humans evolved so that we do have carnivore characteristics and anatomy?

    I know evolutionary changes take a very looooong time, but given that there are no signs of meat-eating stopping any time soon (despite more and more people converting to veganism), is it possible that it will continue long enough to cause such changes?
    You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
    ~John Wooden

  36. #36
    Toxic Vegan Lydia_Sorrow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    Excellent point! What if (another theory) we evolve into two seperate animals? Vegans tend to bring up vegan kids and the same with omnis. What if we evolve through generations into a much more herbivourous animal with lower need for protein and calcium and perhaps other traits while other humans evolve with large canines and claws etc.

    Weird eh? We could become hunted!

  37. #37
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    People stuffing their faces with meat and dairy will be too obese to hunt.

    Plus vegans and vegetarians will not only outrun them, but outsmart them too.

    Maybe in true survival of the fittest, the omnivore human will in time become extinct as, as mentioned, the vegans will be bringing up vegan children who will be healthier and stronger than the omnivore children. What animal will mate with a sick animal? Omnivores will attempt to mate with vegans as opposed to their own kind. Vegans will convert them as part of the mating ritual.... Vegan race emerges!


  38. #38
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    This is an interesting proposition. However, it seems to me that the only motivation in evolution is reproduction. Eating animal protein speeds up maturation and reproduction, making it favored over plant-eaters. However, what is good for the species in this case is not good for the individual.

    Evolution doesn't naturally select for longevity so much as reproduce as much as an individual can, thus helping propagate the species. Just my 2 cents.

  39. #39
    Free & Wild Tray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    Let's start saying that i don't agree about the fact that humans are not meant to eat meat.. but I won't talk about that because it's OT.
    I'll also make a precision: If we continue living this way I doubt that we'll have the time to evolve.. our planet is already going to collapse..
    Anyway I doubt that we'll evolve in 2 different species because the majority of the omnivores eat meat and dairy but they don't hunt animals, so they aren't going to need jaws, they cook meat so they don't need the canines.. Maybe if there's going to be a changement it'll be only in the digestive system but not in the physical appearence...

  40. #40
    antony abrennan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    It's unlikely that we will evolve in that direction. as you say "We all know that humans are not meant to eat meat". I agree with this. I think that the humans who are eating flesh, etc, are maladaptive and according to the law of the theory of evolution they will die out because they are not adapting appropriately.

    1. I have heard that in the next 10 years in western countries their will be a bowel cancer pandemic, caused by wrong food choices. That means lots of people will begin to die of this awful degenerative disease. 2. Omnis are destroying the environment at an alarming rate, accelerated by their food choice, and if the balance is tipped too far it could be curtains for a lot of us.

    Hopefully there will be some vegans to carry on the human race.

    Quote DancingWillow
    We all know that humans are not meant to eat meat and dairy, and that ingesting these "foods" causes serious consequences (heart disease, cancer, and so on). Yesterday, I was thinking about this, and then a horrific thought struck me: most people in our society keep stuffing themselves with meat, eggs, and dairy, and will probably continue doing so generation after generation, long into the future...what if humans evolved so that we do have carnivore characteristics and anatomy?

    I know evolutionary changes take a very looooong time, but given that there are no signs of meat-eating stopping any time soon (despite more and more people converting to veganism), is it possible that it will continue long enough to cause such changes?

  41. #41
    Maisiepaisie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    I think the omnis will die out fairly soon. Human overpopulation is getting to be a real problem and nature usually finds a way to deal with such problems. This planet cannot sustain the ever increasing human population who are destroying everything with their diet and lifestyle choices so something is going to have to change soon. It would be fantastic if only vegans were left. A vegan world, how wonderful

  42. #42
    Pilaf
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    Evolution simply does not work that way. It is caused by slight genetic mutatons over many generations, and usually when a species is struggling to survive and find its niche. Humans are almost fully evolved and won't evolve any farther unless put into an extreme survival situation. So the people who eat lots of flesh will continue to be sick and die young from preventable diseases, but probably won't evolve.

    Oh, and since meat can cause impotence and such, maybe "evolution" will actually begin to favor us studly, virile vegan males.

  43. #43
    antony abrennan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    "Oh, and since meat can cause impotence and such, maybe "evolution" will actually begin to favor us studly, virile vegan males. "

    That's what I'm trying to say

  44. #44
    Seaside
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    Actually scientists don't view evolution as slow and gradual. The fossil record doesn't support such a view. What usually happens is that some event takes place, which opens new niches, or empties out old ones, and boom, there are brand new species found in them. What will probably happen is that we will cause the next major extinction event, permanently change the composition of the atmosphere, (its happened before) and a whole new order of life will emerge (this happens a lot too). If humans are to survive this, there will have to be people who have already mutated an ability to live on low or no oxygen, and tolerate higher temperatures, and be able to live off whatever else has already mutated an ability to thrive under the new conditions. This usually does not happen, though. I can't remember how many times 99% of all known species during any geological age has gone extinct (I should find my geological calendar), but it has happened many times, and will happen many times in the future. Some of us may be unhappy to find that we appear to be "destroying" our mother earth with our activities, but everything that is happening now has happened many times before. What takes a matter of perhaps hundreds of years for us is instantaneous change from the point of view of the earth itself, and someday someone looking through our fossil record in the stone 500 million years from now will be as mystified at what happened to us as we are about what happened to the dinosaurs.

  45. #45
    antony abrennan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    Some people think there have been five major extinctions and we are headed for the sixth. The interesting thing about the sixth extinction is that WE have caused it.

    http://www.well.com/~davidu/sixthextinction.html

    http://www.actionbioscience.org/newf...eldredge2.html

  46. #46
    Pilaf
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    I doubt the Earth would miss us. Humanity must seem like an annoying visitor who uses up all the groceries in the fridge and won't go away.

  47. #47
    Seaside
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    Quote abrennan
    Some people think there have been five major extinctions and we are headed for the sixth. The interesting thing about the sixth extinction is that WE have caused it.

    http://www.well.com/~davidu/sixthextinction.html

    http://www.actionbioscience.org/newf...eldredge2.html
    Thanks for those links, Antony. They are interesting!
    Here is the Geologic Time Scale. Pretty much everywhere there is a change from one era, epoch, or period, there has been a major extinction event. That's how they decide where to end one time period and start another. Even if it takes us a thousand years to end all known life on this Earth, this will seem an instant in geological time.

    And no, Pilaf, I don't think the Earth will miss us either.

  48. #48

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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    We all know that humans are not meant to eat meat and dairy ...
    Tray - it is a bit OT, but this error is made so many times it needs to be corrected when it can.

    "Meant" implies there is some authority out there that allows or disallows what we can do as a species. Evolution has no goal. What a species is capable of doing it will do and if it can't do it (e.g. elephants and flying) it won't do. Humans can eat meat and some of them can digest diary into adult hood and that's all there is to it.

    Arguing that biologically we should not eat meat is absurd when we blatantly can. We would laugh at any one arguing with an elephant that they are not meant to fly. But arguing that culturally there are activities we should not do is a completely different game - murder, rape, stealing, eating meat, speeding, dropping litter etc.

    It is only by the fact that vegans choose not to eat meat that they can we can claim any moral authority.

    In short, never put forward "its natural" or evolutionary arguments when promoting or defending veganism (or meat eating). The two are unconnected.

    If we did evolve into creatures that had to eat meat we could find no objection to it in exactly the same way we do not object to tigers following their prescribed diet with all other things being equal.

    Another confusion comes from mixing up ideas of evolutionary biological with those of cultural traits. Veganism is purely cultural - it is not a biological dietary category. There are no vegan species and there are no vegetarian species and there never will be.

    There are herbivores but they have made no choice about their diet, it is not cultural. To say a sheep is a Vegan is as silly as calling it a Conservative or a Christian or an atheist.

    There are no vegan genes. Vegans to not give birth to baby vegans, they given birth to humans the same as our meat eating counterparts and no matter how we raise them they will still be omnivores.

    For there to be any notion of "vegans" becoming a different species we would have to change our chromosomes to a point where we could not mate with other humanoids. But we would still not be a vegan species we would be a herbivore species and no longer human.

    We would also have to show some evolutionary advantage over those eating meat, but with our social structures and technology there would be little hope of that ever being an issue.

    Even if we evolved to be a meat eating species we could still choose to be vegans.

    If we had concrete evidence that meat eaters lived a little longer than vegans would we stop being vegans - no. If we had concrete evidence that tortures lived a little longer than their victims would we all become tortures - no.

    Vegans choose their diet on compassionate grounds not on the amoral whims of evolution.

  49. #49
    Russ
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    Quote Maisiepaisie
    I think the omnis will die out fairly soon.
    It would be nice, but take a look at the world. Not going to happen.

  50. #50
    Maisiepaisie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegans, Omni's, and Evolution...

    Quote Russ
    It would be nice, but take a look at the world. Not going to happen.
    I'm confident it will. Cancer and heart disease are on the increase. The population is increasing and so is the demand for animal products which will lead to more genetic manipulation and god knows what methods of tampering with nature to increase meat and dairy production. Mad cow disease has not gone away either and I'm sure there will be more new diseases. Factory farming is a crime against nature that will not go unpunished.

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