The Human: Carnivore or Herbivore?

I know that when I look at Sydney (my bird) and I’m hungry- I don’t automatically go into licking my lips and imagining what she would taste like.  My cat does.  When I see dead animals on the side of the road, I am not tempted to stop and snack on them.  I do not day-dream about killing and eating raw animals.  I might be a Herbivore…

Humans 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.

  • Intestinal tract length. Carnivorous animals have intestinal tracts that are 3-6x their body length.  This is a tool designed for rapid elimination of food that rots quickly.  Herbivores have intestinal tracts 10-12x their body length. Human beings have the same intestinal tract ratio as herbivores.    This is a tool designed for keeping food in it for long enough periods of time so that all the valuable nutrients and minerals can be extracted from it before it enters the large intestine.  Having longer intestines also make it dangerous for humans to eat meat.  The bacteria in meat has extra time to multiply during the long trip through the digestive system, increasing the risk of food poisoning.  Meat actually begins to rot while it makes its way through human intestines, which increases the risk of colon cancer.
  • Stomach acidity. A carnivore’s stomach secretes powerful digestive enzymes with about 10 times the amount of hydrochloric acid than a human or herbivore. The pH is less than or equal to “1” with food in the stomach, for a carnivore or omnivore. For humans or other herbivores, the pH ranges from 4 to 5 with food in the stomach. Hence, man must prepare his meats with laborious cooking or frying methods. E. Coli bacteria, salmonella, campylobacter, trichina worms [parasites] or other pathogens would not survive in the stomach of a lion. Every year in the United States alone, food poisoning sickens over 75 million people and kills more than 5,000.
  • Saliva. The saliva of carnivores is acidic. The saliva of herbivores is alkaline, which helps pre-digest plant foods. Human saliva is alkaline.
  • Shape of intestines. A carnivore’s or omnivore’s large intestine is relatively short and simple, like a pipe. This passage is also relatively smooth and runs fairly straight so that fatty wastes high in cholesterol can easily slide out before they start to putrefy. Man’s, as well as other herbivore’s large intestines, or colons, are puckered and pouched, an apparatus that runs in three directions (ascending, traversing and descending), designed to hold wastes that originally were foods high in water content. This is so that the fluids can be extracted from these wastes, now that all the useful nutrients and minerals have been extracted and the long journey through the small intestine is over. Substances high in fat and cholesterol that have been putrefying for hours during their long stay in the small intestine tend to get stuck in the pockets that line the large intestine.
  • Fiber. Carnivores don’t require fiber to help move food through their short and smooth digestive tracts. Herbivores require dietary fiber to move food through their long and bumpy digestive tracts, to prevent the bowels from becoming clogged with rotting food. Humans have the same requirement as herbivores.
  • Protein.  Animal flesh, composed of the most highly complex type of protein that exists, requires vast amounts of uric acid to process. Uric acid is released into the system in amounts necessary to break proteins down into amino acids. Uric acid is a toxic substance responsible for the aging process and must be flushed out and dealt with. That is one of the jobs of the liver. In relative terms, a carnivore’s liver is a tool designed with the capacity to eliminate ten times as much uric acid as the liver of man or other plant eater.  We consume twice as much protein as we need when we eat a meat-based diet, and this contributes to osteoporosis and kidney stones. Animal protein raises the acid level in our blood, causing calcium to be excreted from the bones to restore the blood’s natural pH balance. This calcium depletion leads to osteoporosis, and the excreted calcium ends up in the kidneys, where it can form kidney stones or even trigger kidney disease.  Consuming animal protein has also been linked to cancer of the colon, breast, prostate, and pancreas.
  • Teeth. Carnivores have sharp front teeth capable of subduing prey, and no flat molars for chewing.  These are tools that are useful for the task of piercing into flesh. Herbivores don’t have sharp front teeth capable of subduing prey, but they have flat molars for chewing. Humans have the same characteristics as herbivores.   These are useful tools for biting, crushing and grinding.
  • Jaws. A carnivore’s jaws move up and down with minimal sideways motion. The jaw motion of an omnivore is similar. These are tools that are useful for the tasks of shearing, ripping and tearing flesh and swallowing it whole. Omnivores swallow their food whole and/or with simple crushing. Man’s, as well as other herbivore’s jaws cannot shear, but have good side to side and back to front motion. These are tools that are useful for extensive chewing, crushing and grinding of grains and other high fiber foods.
  • Nails. A predator has a gait, large paws and claws, which enable him to hunt, chase and trap his prey.  Man’s gait is designed only for mobility- like herbivores. Examine your hand, fingers and fingernails. Is this an apparatus properly designed for catching, trapping, killing and ripping apart cattle, hogs, chicken and fish? How does this work for picking fruit from trees or harvesting vegetables? The foods your hands were meant to gather are typically, high in water content, high also in fiber to sweep the wastes out of those intestines, and collectively contain every vitamin and mineral necessary to sustain human life.
  • Frame of Mind.  A carnivore’s frame of mind is totally geared for hunting and killing. Man’s frame of mind is compassionate, friendly and reveres life. When the lion spots another furry animal, something might instinctively click in his head that tells him to hurry up and get dinner. When man spots a furry animal, rather than show his children how to take its life and eat it, a more likely instinct is to pull over, get the camera out and take a picture. Put a young baby chick and an apple in a crib with a six-month-old baby. What will he instinctively attempt to eat and play with?

If it’s so unhealthy and unnatural for humans to eat meat, why did our ancestors sometimes turn to flesh for sustenance?

During most of our evolutionary history, we were largely vegetarian. Plant foods like potatoes made up the bulk of our ancestors’ diet. The more frequent addition of modest amounts of meat to the early human diet came with the discovery of fire, which allowed us to lower the risk of being sickened or killed by parasites in meat. This practice did not turn our ancestors into carnivores but rather allowed early humans to survive in periods when plant foods were unavailable.

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3 thoughts on “The Human: Carnivore or Herbivore?

  1. Thanks for putting this up, Im vegetarian not vegan but I often find myself lost for words trying to defend myself against critical family members! A more scientific approach is definitely the way forward. Really interesting to read and I definitely learnt a few new things! x

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