Humans Are Ominvores

Discussion in 'Black Health and Wellness' started by Ralfa'il, May 14, 2005.

  1. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Humans are Omnivores
    Adapted from a talk by John McArdle, Ph.D.

    Introduction
    There are a number of popular myths about vegetarianism that have no scientific basis in fact. One of these myths is that man is naturally a vegetarian because our bodies resemble plant eaters, not carnivores. In fact we are omnivores, capable of either eating meat or plant foods. The following addresses the unscientific theory of man being only a plant eater.
    Confusion between Taxonomy and Diet
    Much of the misinformation on the issue of man's being a natural vegetarian arises from confusion between taxonomic (in biology, the procedure of classifying organisms in established categories) and dietary characteristics.
    Members of the mammalian Order Carnivora may or may not be exclusive meat eaters. Those which eat only meat are carnivores. Dietary adaptations are not limited by a simple dichotomy between herbivores (strict vegetarians) and carnivores (strict meat-eaters), but include frugivores (predominantly fruit), gramnivores (nuts, seeds, etc.), folivores (leaves), insectivores (carnivore-insects and small vertebrates), etc. Is is also important to remember that the relation between the form (anatomy/physiology) and function (behavior) is not always one to one. Individual anatomical structures can serve one or more functions and similar functions can be served by several forms.
    Omnivorism
    The key category in the discussion of human diet is omnivores, which are defined as generalized feeders, with neither carnivore nor herbivore specializations for acquiring or processing food, and who are capable of consuming and do consume both animal protein and vegetation. They are basically *opportunistic* feeders (survive by eating what is available) with more generalized anatomical and physiological traits, especially the dentition (teeth). All the available evidence indicates that the natural human diet is omnivorous and would include meat. We are not, however, required to consume animal protein. We have a choice.
    The Great Apes
    There are very few frugivores amongst the mammals in general, and primates in particular. The only apes that are predominantly fruit eaters (gibbons and siamangs) are atypical for apes in many behavioral and ecological respects and eat substantial amounts of vegetation. Orangutans are similar, with no observations in the wild of eating meat.
    Gorillas are more typically vegetarian, with less emphasis on fruit. Several years ago a very elegant study was done on the relationship between body size and diet in primates (and some other mammal groups). The only primates on the list with pure diets were the very small species (which are entirely insectivorous) and the largest (which specialize in vegetarian diet). However, the spectrum of dietary preferences reflect the daily food intake needs of each body size and the relative availability of food resources in a tropical forest. Our closest relatives among the apes are the chimpanzees (i.e., anatomically, behaviorally, genetically, and evolutionarily), who frequently kill and eat other mammals (including other primates).
    Evidence of Humans as Omnivores
    Archeological Record
    As far back as it can be traced, clearly the archeological record indicates an omnivorous diet for humans that included meat. Our ancestry is among the hunter/gatherers from the beginning. Once domestication of food sources began, it included both animals and plants.
    Cell Types
    Relative number and distribution of cell types, as well as structural specializations, are more important than overall length of the intestine to determining a typical diet. Dogs are typical carnivores, but their intestinal characteristics have more in common with omnivores. Wolves eat quite a lot of plant material.
    Fermenting Vats
    Nearly all plant eaters have fermenting vats (enlarged chambers where foods sits and microbes attack it). Ruminants like cattle and deer have forward sacs derived from remodeled esophagus and stomach. Horses, rhinos, and colobine monkeys have posterior, hindgut sacs. Humans have no such specializations.
    Jaws
    Although evidence on the structure and function of human hands and jaws, behavior, and evolutionary history also either support an omnivorous diet or fail to support strict vegetarianism, the best evidence comes from our teeth.
    The short canines in humans are a functional consequence of the enlarged cranium and associated reduction of the size of the jaws. In primates, canines function as both defense weapons and visual threat devices. Interestingly, the primates with the largest canines (gorillas and gelada baboons) both have basically vegetarian diets. In archeological sites, broken human molars are most often confused with broken premolars and molars of pigs, a classic omnivore. On the other hand, some herbivores have well-developed incisors that are often mistaken for those of human teeth when found in archeological excavations.
    Salivary Glands
    These indicate we could be omnivores. Saliva and urine data vary, depending on diet, not taxonomic group.
    Intestines
    Intestinal absorption is a surface area, not linear problem. Dogs (which are carnivores) have intestinal specializations more characteristic of omnivores than carnivores such as cats. The relative number of crypts and cell types is a better indication of diet than simple length. We are intermediate between the two groups.
    Conclusion
    Humans are classic examples of omnivores in all relevant anatomical traits. There is no basis in anatomy or physiology for the assumption that humans are pre-adapted to the vegetarian diet. For that reason, the best arguments in support of a meat-free diet remain ecological, ethical, and health concerns.


    http://www.purifymind.com/HumansOmnivores.htm
     
  2. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The above article is adapted from a talk by John McArdle, Ph.D., who is a vegetarian!
     
  3. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Aqil

    Whether or not John is a vegetarian has little to do with the fact that human beings are by nature OMNIVORES.
     
  4. SAMURAI36

    SAMURAI36 Banned MEMBER

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    LOL!!

    Excellent point. Besides, this gentleman is not the only expert around, regarding dietics and human physiology.

    PEACE
     
  5. SAMURAI36

    SAMURAI36 Banned MEMBER

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    Also, this portion of McArdle's exerpt:

    Is not totally accurate.

    The whole "hunter-gatherer" notion is more Europeanism, since original Africans have been practicing various aspects of agriculture since the early Mesolithic Age.

    In contrast, it was the White man who spent most of his time scrounging for food, and practiced the Neanderthal lifestyle (because that was what he was) of hunting and killing.

    Don't get caught up with the "PHD" at the end of someone's title; that doesn't always (if at all) make them an "expert".

    PEACE
     
  6. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    According to Wikipedia, omnivores are organisms that consume both plants and animals. At one time the word "omnivore" was used to designate the pig family...

    Human beings are vegetarian by nature. Our teeth are designed to masticate vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains, whereas the teeth of carnivorous animals – which are tusk-like – are best adapted for flesh-tearing, and are also grown apart, so as to prevent the lodgement of particles of decayed flesh in the animal’s mouth.

    Our intestinal tract is also more complicated, and nearly three times as long as the intestinal tract of animals that live on flesh. Besides the shortness of the intestinal tract of carnivorous animals, it is also very smooth, while our intestines of have numerous folds and pouches.

    The intestines of beasts of prey are constructed so that their diet of flesh – which quickly decays – may be eliminated in the shortest possible time. The liver of these animals is also of enormous size, and is very active, thus fully capable of neutralizing and eliminating twelve to fifteen times as much acid as the human liver...
     
  7. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Here is an excerpt from a speech by the renowned theosophist Annie Besant (1847-1933):

    "When we recognise that unity of all living things, then at once arises the question - how can we support this life of ours with least injury to the lives around us; how can we prevent our own life adding to the suffering of the world in which we live?

    We find amongst animals - as amongst men - power of feeling pleasure; power of feeling pain; we see them moved by love and by hate; we see them feeling terror and attraction; we recognize in them powers of sensation closely akin to our own; and while we transcend them immensely in intellect, yet in mere passional characteristics our natures and the animals' are closely allied.

    We know that when they feel terror, that terror means suffering. We know that when a wound is inflicted, that wound means pain to them. We know that threats bring to them suffering; they have a feeling of shrinking, of fear, of absence of friendly relations, and at once we begin to see that in our relations to the animal kingdom a duty arises which all thoughtful and compassionate minds should recognize - the duty that because we are stronger in mind than the animals, we are, or ought to be their guardians and helpers, not their tyrants and oppressors, and we have no right to cause them suffering and terror merely for the gratification of the palate, merely for an added luxury to our own lives.

    There is one other thought closely allied to this. What of our duties to our fellow men? And here I appeal particularly to my own sex, because women are supposed to be rather the standard in the community of refinement, of gentleness, of compassion, of tenderness, of purity. But no one can eat the flesh of a slaughtered animal without having used the hand of a man as slaughterer. Suppose we had to kill for ourselves the creatures whose bodies we would rather have on our table...is there one woman in a hundred who would go to the slaughterhouse to slay the cow, the calf, the sheep or the pig?

    But if we could not do it, nor see it done; if we are so refined that we cannot allow close contact between ourselves and the butchers who furnish this food; if we feel that they are so coarsened by their trade that their very bodies are made repulsive by the constant contact of the blood with which they must be continually besmirched; if we recognize the physical coarseness which results inevitably from such contact, dare we call ourselves refined if we purchase our refinement by the brutalization of others?...and demand that some should be brutal in order that we may eat the results of their brutality? We are not free from the brutalizing results of that trade simply because we take no direct part in it..."
     
  8. SAMURAI36

    SAMURAI36 Banned MEMBER

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    Not only that (good info by the way), but the 3 main enzymes in our bodies only break down plant cell material. They do absolutely nothing for meat organisms.

    I asked our resident "Genius" here :rolleyes: if he knew what those enzymes are, and of course he couldn't answer.

    So here they are:

    AMYLASE (Salivic and Pancreatic)......

    TRYPSIN......

    And

    CHYMOTRYPSIN

    These enzymes are used for breaking down STARCHES (which are plant bi-products), plant proteins anf fatty acids from legumes.

    PEACE
     
  9. Nisa

    Nisa Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    im an herbivore..me and animal products are like oil and water...my teeth are nowhere near tusk like..i have small teeth :fairy:
     
  10. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    :teach:

    Shokran aqi...
     
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