When did Civilizations start eating meat? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-27-2006, 06:34 PM
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Any ideas?
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#2 Old 01-27-2006, 06:40 PM
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Humans have always eaten meat. We are an omnivorous species. There are multiple threads on this topic.
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#3 Old 01-27-2006, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverC View Post

We are an omnivorous species.



I disagree!



Show me prof please.



Did you know that about 80% of the people in the usa that are meat eaters will have rotting meat sitting in their colon!



We humans simply cannot digest meat.
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#4 Old 01-27-2006, 07:06 PM
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When we discovered fire? Uncooked meat takes too much energy to digest.



Not to say that we didn't eat bugs or anything before then...



Just guessing.
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#5 Old 01-27-2006, 07:08 PM
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Yes, yes we can. Hence the ability to extract calories and nutrients from it. This is well documented. Not even up for debate, really. Humans are omnivorous because we can and do eat animal and plant matter. Whether it's "natural" or not is a moot point.



Did you know that 76% of statistics are made up?
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#6 Old 01-27-2006, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Astarte View Post

Yes, yes we can. Hence the ability to extract calories and nutrients from it. This is well documented. Not even up for debate, really. Humans are omnivorous because we can and do eat animal and plant matter. Whether it's "natural" or not is a moot point.



Did you know that 76% of statistics are made up?



I see your point.



So let me ask you this, if something is not good for the human body, should we eat it?



Cocaine is not good for us but we can still snort it.
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#7 Old 01-27-2006, 07:25 PM
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Meat-eating started millions of years ago. The Neanderthals discovered how to make fire to cook their meat.
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#8 Old 01-27-2006, 07:31 PM
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Meat-eating started millions of years ago. The Neanderthals discovered how to make fire to cook their meat.



We didn't evolve from Neanderthals, so I don't know what that has to do with it. And they weren't around a million years ago.
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#9 Old 01-27-2006, 07:31 PM
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Meat-eating started millions of years ago. The Neanderthals discovered how to make fire to cook their meat.



So would you say before the neanderthal era we were vegetarian?
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#10 Old 01-27-2006, 07:41 PM
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Another thing,



If you look at the human body, teeth and digestive system are that of a vegetarian animal. Vegetable foods provide the ideal nutrition to build up our human sensitivities through a refined physical and astral body. We cannot readily break down animal tissues into the right components for human tissue. Instead of digesting and tranforming meat into the appropriate human tissue, its animal energies are preserved and become substituted for our human tissues.
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#11 Old 01-27-2006, 07:44 PM
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According to the info I've found, humans discovered fire about half a million years ago. I'd imagine before that we would eat insects and small amounts of other omnivorous fare like other primates. Fire and cooking just made it easier for humans to digest large, tough animals.



Who's saying that we should eat meat? I'm a vegetarian.. I certainly don't think we should, but I'm also willing to look at the evidence and determine that humans *are* an omnivorous species. We didn't pick this up a couple thousand years ago, but there are other concerns that we need to think about. Namely how our actions affect other conscious individuals.



Look at our closest relative.. chimps eat a largely vegetarian diet supplimented with small amounts of animal matter. This is probably a similar diet to the one that humans evolved on. Little bits of meat won't make you unhealthy. The fact that people tend to like it so much is a testament to its high fat and thus calorie content which was extremely important to our survival way back when.



Yeah, humans do best on a low/no meat diet, but there are a lot of reasons that it isn't going to happen as long as a lot of meat is available.
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#12 Old 01-27-2006, 07:50 PM
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normally people are vegetarians if they have no money to buy meat,

if they have extra money they will consume meat.



just like candy, no money no candy,

no money no junk food
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#13 Old 01-27-2006, 08:27 PM
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#14 Old 01-27-2006, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Astarte View Post

Yes, yes we can. Hence the ability to extract calories and nutrients from it. This is well documented. Not even up for debate, really. Humans are omnivorous because we can and do eat animal and plant matter. Whether it's "natural" or not is a moot point.



Did you know that 76% of statistics are made up?



I don't think the ability to extract calories and nutrients from meat necessarily makes us omnivores. Cows are natural herbivores yet for years we fed them meat and bone meal, a high-protein substance obtained from the remnants of butchered animals, including cows and sheep. Those cattle did not have a problem extracting calories and nutrients from meat. Yes over time they did develop problems like BSE and maybe if cattle were allowed to live a natural lifespan we may have found that eating meat affected their lifespan or long term health, but having grown up on a dairy farm I know that cattle consuming animal products did not interfere with their short term health.



That does not mean that humans are not omnivores, that just means that our ability to process meat alone, shouldn't qualify us natural omnivores unless you consider cows to be natural omnivores as well.
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#15 Old 01-27-2006, 08:45 PM
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One of the most ridiculous and persistent false claims made by armchair nutritionists, meatarian propagandists, and even academics, who really should know better, is that the human species is an "omnivore"; that is, it should eat both plant and animal matter.



In general, this error is based on the accidental, or perhaps intentional, confusing of the verbs "to be" and "to do". If the human "is" a natural omnivore, then we should have ALL the physical and biochemical equipment that is NECESSARY to run down, kill with our bare hands, tear asunder, eat, and properly digest, RAW animal prey, just as ALL natural omnivores, or carnivores, do. Just looking at our bodies will conclusively prove that we do not have the claws or talons necessary to catch and hold animal prey, and we do not have the sharp, shearing teeth necessary to tear, not chew, animal flesh. We are not fast enough to outrun and catch animals. Natural omnivores or carnivores do NOT chew their eaten flesh, they tear it into chunks and swallow them whole. We do not have the "constant tendency for the last upper premolar and the first lower molar to engage and form long longitudinal opposed shearing blades (the carnassials)", which are a common characteristic of natural carnivores and omnivores.[1]



No human cultural-carnivore kills its animal prey with his/her natural equipment, nor do they eat their animal prey raw. I have challenged countless meatarians to do so in the past 30 years, and NONE have shown the courage of their conceptual convictions and done so. Why? Simply because we are NOT an "omnivore". In fact, we have strong anti-killing instincts. Try to kill an animal with your bare hands to demonstrate this.



Any second-grader could differentiate between the verbs "be" and "do", yet this important distinction is totally ignored by cultural carnivores, and even academics with PhD's, who foolishly claim that because humans have been DOing cultural-carnivorism for a long time, that somehow (never explained) magically, we ARE "omnivores". They want to believe that DOing modifies BEing. They fail to understand the profound difference between Nature, and inviolable Natural Laws, and silly, self-destructive local cultural customs. By their absurd and faulty logic: because some humans DO murder, and because murder has existed throughout human history, ALL humans ARE born murderers.



If one wanted to produce a logical test to see if the human was a natural omnivore, the procedure would be:

1> produce a detailed physiological and biochemical inventory of all animal species that are natural omnivores,

2> list the commonalties among them,

3> test this list against natural omnivores and other species to determine its discriminative abilities; i.e. test the test, and finally, and only if the test has been verified to be accurate and correct,

4> see if the human parameters fit this test or not.



Of course, this quite obvious test mechanism has not been established, and any unsupported references to human "omnivores", regardless of the source, are confirmations that only cultural whims are being reported, certainly NOT the imperative physiological and biochemical attributes.



For more detailed analysis of the human "omnivore" mythology, and the bizarre distortions of fact and logic necessary to make this false claim, we can look to the always-amusing, misologistic BeyondVeg website. This site is produced by a crackpot who, apparently failing in his personal efforts to become a raw-fooder, has stolen the title of one of my articles for his web domain name, and has gone on a rampage to attempt to discredit plant-based diets in general by applied pseudo-science. His state of mental dysfunction is demonstrated by his repeatedly claiming in a vegetarian/vegan discussion list that he could read my "emotions" with his modem, and his bizarre claims that John Coleman and I are really the same person. This is quite a feat, as John lives in England, and I live in Florida. Co-location, perhaps?



One hears hollow claims that since "Paleolithic man" ate flesh, that modern humans are somehow "adapted" to do so. In fact, a Paleolithic diet cult is being developed.



The "Paleolithic argument" runs something like this: The proto-human was indeed a frugivore (eating primarily fruit, such as modern chimps) 50 million years ago (MYA) to 2 MYA, when the "appearance of stone tools and cultures at this time" coincided with "increased meat-eating"[W1]. Well, that's the end of the argument, as its fatal flaw is revealed: the fact is that "increased meat-eating" occurred ONLY because of tool use, and since tools, including fire, are a product of culture, not Nature, cultural practices, such as those powerful self-destructive cultural practices of today, are totally unrelated to our natural nutritional needs, which are programmed at the genetic level.



Anthropologists' fantasies that humans commonly 'scavenged' dead, putrefying flesh left to rot by natural carnivores, or produced by the natural death of animals, are totally absurd. I would challenge any such confused academics to test their own theory by actually eating some rotting road-kill, raw, with their bare hands. With this simple test, said academic would immediately be forced to face reality instead of being hopelessly lost in vague, unsupportable, academic speculation. Let a group of academics who propagate this silly theory actually go to the field and fight off a pack of wild dogs or lions to get their leftovers, or chow down on a putrefying corpse crawling with maggots. Yummy!! The human is programmed at the genetic level to vigorously avoid rotting protein, and is particularly sensitive to such repulsive odors which produce instantaneous, powerful, gag and nausea reflexes in even the most stalwart meatarian. Yet, even 'educated' academics with PhD's can not deal with this simple and overwhelmingly obvious fact in their boundless zeal to reconstruct a long-lost past from infinitesimally small amounts of data; and worse, massage this virtually nonexistent data with their local culture's conditioned belief systems to produce wildly imaginative, yet obviously false, claims about the human being.



Although some cultural human may have, post-tool, consumed rotting animal flesh intentionally, the inherent repulsiveness of which was masked by the destructive, pyrolytic effects of fire, the fact is that the natural human would not have left any lingering evidence of its natural diet, just as the modern chimp does not leave any trace of its existence. Eat some fruit, drop the seeds on the ground, eat some leaves, eat some nuts -- where is the physical evidence that lingers for 10's or 100's of thousands of years?? None! So, all so-called Paleolithic "evidence" of human flesh-eating is merely a collection of self-selected, statistically-insignificant cultural artifacts, totally unrelated to our species' true nutritional needs.



Further, such physical evidence of human flesh-eating, such as tool-scarred bones or ancient fire pits, is found only in northern areas which are well outside of the natural ecological niche for our tropical ape species; thus, any evidence of cultural diets so remote from our proper ecological niche is totally irrelevant to any understanding of what the natural diet for our species is. This ecologically-relevant, and crucially-important fact is universally, and conveniently, ignored in any discussions of Paleolithic humans. Paleolithic (tool using) humans are not natural humans and are just as irrelevant as any modern cultural group and their modern self-destructive dietary practices.
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#16 Old 01-27-2006, 08:47 PM
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Further, "Because of the considerably harsher conditions and seasonal variation in food supply, hunting became more important to bridge the seasonal gaps, as well as the ability to store nonperishable items such as nuts, bulbs, and tubers for the winter when the edible plants withered in the autumn. All of these factors, along with clothing (and also perhaps fire), helped enable colonization of the less hospitable environment." clearly admits that such humans were well outside of their natural ecological niche which would provide the proper nutrition for our species, thus they were forced to consume highly foreign, non-natural "foods" just to survive. So, it is obvious that any claims as to the applicability of the Paleolithic diet to any understanding of the natural diet for our species are totally, and unavoidably, bogus. They are shams firmly based on lies and intentional distortions. They are merely other examples of how "curiosity killed the cat". See the movie: The Quest For Fire for a little insight into the perils created by abandoning our ecological niche.



If one can get a meatarian propagandist to actually admit that these incredibly recent, human flesh-eating practices are only a cultural artifact, then the ruse becomes: "Yes, it is not natural, but we 'adapted' or 'evolved' to eating animal flesh and products". This is another blatant, yet annoyingly popular, lie, and it can not be supported by current evolutionary theory. Where, indeed, are our claws, fangs, beaks, or talons?



Evolution happens because of small, infrequent, random mutations in the genetic material: most mutations are neutral and are never expressed, some very small number may be "beneficial" in that they allow better functioning in the environment, and some very small number may be deleterious, such as those that produce "genetic diseases". There must also be some "selective mechanism" to produce more survival success in those with the "beneficial" mutation, or it will not propagate throughout the species to produce a species-wide "adaptation". So, what are the "selective pressures" or "selective mechanism" that would cause the numerous and large-scale changes in dozens of separate biochemical pathways involved in human digestion, transport, and assimilation of a diet so radically different in chemistry as an alleged "adaptation" from plant chemistry to flesh chemistry? Note that dozens of biochemical pathways must change simultaneously in the same individual for such an "adaptation" to occur. There are none. Because a faulty diet does not kill its proponents outright BEFORE reproductive age, there is simply no way to "adapt" to a diet radically different in chemistry from the natural one for that species, even IF the dozens of required changes magically occurred in one individual. This is admitted in the BeyondVeg site: "The foods that humanity originally evolved to eat and those we now eat in modern civilization are in many cases significantly different--yet our basic underlying genetic inheritance remains basically the same as it was before, and has evolved only very slightly since then. Thus, many of the foods we now eat are discordant with our genetic inheritance."[W2]



Not surprisingly, all such claims as to the unsupported human 'evolution' from frugivores to omnivores conveniently do not mention the fact that neither the necessary sharp tools (teeth, claws), digestive biochemistry, fleetness of foot, nor animal-killing instincts have co-evolved with the alleged 'evolution' to omnivore. Why did the concomitant, and quite necessary, tools NOT co-evolve? People distorting evolutionary theory to make the evolutionary omnivore argument fall silent on those points.



In bizarre self-contradiction, BeyondVeg uses this evolutionary analysis to claim that modern grains and legumes are not a suitable food, with which I firmly agree, but it simultaneously, and perhaps intentionally, does not apply this understanding to the obvious fact that the human simply has not "evolved" to successfully consume animal flesh or other animal products. The epidemiological evidence that eating animal products causes all the currently popular "degenerative diseases" is conveniently overlooked in the presentation.[E1, E2, E3, E4] It gets even more amusing: "humans ... are in a transitional state from omnivory to obligate carnivory."[W3] This foolishly claims that humans are 'evolving' from frugivores, through cultural (not natural) omnivores to pure (obligate) carnivores, like the cat, dog, eagle, or alligator! This by a PhD, who most certainly does not kill and eat his/her animal prey raw and with his own natural physiological equipment; but, perhaps, has the initial appearances of claws and fangs, and is indeed on the cutting edge of 'evolution', such as to have such remarkable insight?



On the B-12 issue, the self-contradictions continue. "Cats can neither synthesize B-12 nor absorb it from their gut; consequently they have become wholly dependent upon animal flesh as their source for this essential nutrient."[ibid] Let's see, they can't absorb it from their gut, but eat flesh and then absorb it from their gut?



There is hope for the vegetarian/vegan, however: "Regarding possible B-12 synthesis in the small intestine above the ileum, the consensus of scientific literature indicates any amounts that may potentially be produced are not significant or reliable enough to serve as a dependable or sole source for most individuals.[ibid] MOST individuals? That means SOME individuals do produce and absorb their own B-12; could it be that the cause in the ones who can not is based on the fact that their intestines are ravaged by the toxic byproducts of putrefying meat, and that a healthy intestinal system in a healthy human is a reliable source of B-12? The practical solution to any concerns about B-12 is a simple and inexpensive supplement; which, given the precipitously declining quality of commercial produce, would be useful insurance anyway. The claim: "...demonstrate the human metabolic need for animal-based foods" ignores the fact that B-12 producing bacteria are abundant in the exogenous environment.[E5]



Interestingly, "In one study of vegans ... the [source of B-12] was due to eating unwashed vegetables that had been grown in gardens containing intentionally manured soils, from which the B-12 came. Ironically, the manure in this case was their own excrement, which as pointed out above harbors bacteria that produce B-12 in the human colon--where B-12 cannot be absorbed. Not unless, of course, it is reingested as in the unintentional coprophagy occurring in this instance, so that it can pass back through the small intestine again to the ileum where B-12 is actually absorbed."[ibid] Of course, it is unknown just how this study differentiated between the B-12 molecules coming from bacteria in the human colon and the B-12 coming from bacteria in the soil. It also ignores the fact, know by olfactory experience among vegetarians/vegans who are not eating huge excesses of protein, and totally unknown among meatarians who are eating huge excesses of indigestible proteins, that vegetarian/vegan feces is devoid of the common, malodorous, toxic amino compounds commonly found in meatarian feces: indole, skatole, putrescine, and cadaverine.



"In summary, the absence of the ability of humans to absorb bacterially produced B-12 in the colon, and the evidence that strictly behaving vegans will show negative TCII-carried B-12 balance even when total serum levels are in the normal range, is indicative of the long evolutionary history of animal-based foods in our diet."[ibid] Actually, it is more likely an indication of the rather recent deadly cultural practice of dousing commercial food with boundless amounts of toxic pesticides and herbicides which will kill the normal B-12-producing bacteria, and everything else, in the soil, coupled with the rather recent cultural sanitary hysteria which, also, will eliminate exogenous B-12 from food.







[1] McGrawHill Concise Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 2nd ed., p. 323.



http://www.ecologos.org/index.html
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#17 Old 01-28-2006, 06:21 AM
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Most human cultures have not been civilizations, most cultures have been hunter-gatherer. Hunter-gatherers are opportunistic eaters who tend to eat mostly plant material except in habitats where plant material is hard to come by, such as the arctic. Plant material is much easier to gather than animals are to hunt (fewer specialized tools are needed) so the bulk of the diet is plants. However, meat contains more calories per pound and so is valued for its energy, so meat is typically eaten whenever it can be obtained.
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#18 Old 01-28-2006, 08:45 AM
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If the human "is" a natural omnivore, then we should have ALL the physical and biochemical equipment that is NECESSARY to run down, kill with our bare hands, tear asunder, eat, and properly digest, RAW animal prey, just as ALL natural omnivores, or carnivores, do.[1]



Not quite so. How about vultures? They don't have much of a "bare hands" capacity for hunting. They get their food by picking up leftover scraps of meat, but they are a carnivorous animal. Does a carnivore or an omnivore necessarily have to kill the prey itself to be considered a proper eater of meat? Are vultures herbivores?



Spiders? Most species don't actually run down and kill with their bare claws/fangs. They build a trap and wait... very much like a lot of humans do. That spiders are physically built to create this trap isn't much of an argument against that, because humans are physically built to be intelligent enough to concieve of a trap using the materials they find around them.



I could pick up bugs with my bare hands (and eat them raw as well), if I wanted. Are bugs not considered omnivorous fare these days? I've seen people catch fish with their bare hands. It's easier with tools, for sure, but is it impossible? Certainly not. What about animals that use tools? Apes and corvids?



You seem to be very concerned with what's "natural" and what's not. It's really nothing but a fallacy. It's been stated time and time again around here, but "natural" and "unnatural" are entirely beside the point when talking about things like this. Are modern agriculture practices "natural"? Is it "natural" that you're sitting there at your computer? Is it "natural" to live in a house and have central heating so you stay warm in the winter? There's nowhere to draw the line. Either everything we do is natural or nothing is, and it's surely not an appropriate measure for right/wrong or good/bad.



About the cows being fed animal substances, that's probably a better point than the rest you've made, but still doesn't sit quite right. If an individual cow assumes an omnivorous diet, is it then an omnivore? Honestly, I think it is. The species may fall under the heading of herbivorous, but that seems to be more of a generalisation. Omnivore and herbivore may be better determined on an individual basis, and what's "natural" or not left out of the picture entirely. A vegan person is a herbivore. Most humans aren't vegans, so we as a group fall under the heading of omnivore. If humans as a species switched over to a vegan diet, we could call ourselves herbivorous in general.



But honestly, why should it even matter? I am physically capable of eating meat but I don't, because I consider the ramifications of my actions upon others. I don't care what's "natural" or not.
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#19 Old 01-28-2006, 10:58 AM
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Humans are "naturally" tool users (it's one of our salient characteristics), so it is completely "natural" for us to use tools to capture,kill, and prepare meat.
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#20 Old 01-28-2006, 11:22 AM
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Humans did not always eat meat.
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#21 Old 01-28-2006, 11:28 AM
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Humans did not always eat meat.





From an anthropological perspective (scientific), yes, they did.



From a Biblical perspective (not scientific), no, they didn't (in the Garden of Eden).
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#22 Old 01-28-2006, 11:41 AM
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When "humans" as a whole were not eating meat I think it would be wrong to classify them humans. At this stage they were some sort of proto human.



One reason that humans could survive through harsh conditions is proto humans would eat almost anything. bugs, plants, etc in order to obtain energy.
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#23 Old 01-28-2006, 11:41 AM
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Did you know that about 80% of the people in the usa that are meat eaters will have rotting meat sitting in their colon!



We humans simply cannot digest meat.



Please do not keep myths alive and spread them. Vegetarianism is good enough that we don't need to spread false information about it. The truth is good enough.
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#24 Old 01-28-2006, 01:21 PM
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There is so much false info in this thread, it seriously makes my head hurt, froggy.



Asarte, very good post. Omnivores are not like carnivores. They aren't the lions out on the savannah. They're the raccoons, the bears, the possums. And yes, the primates!



The prey that most omnivores eat tend to be small: small mammals, birds, insects, fish, etc. There is also a great deal of evidence that early humans scavenged quite a lot. We only hunted larger prey when we developed the technology to do so.



All current, accepted scientific studies conclude that humans have always eaten meat. The species we evolved from ate meat, going back to the earliest shrew-like primates. We took what we could get, and its because of that ability to survive on a wide assortment of food, that humans and human ancestors were able to thrive all over the world.
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#25 Old 01-28-2006, 05:18 PM
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So would you say before the neanderthal era we were vegetarian?

The earliest human ancestors were vegan actually. They ate mostly berries and seeds/nuts.
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#26 Old 01-29-2006, 06:55 AM
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The earliest human ancestors were vegan actually. They ate mostly berries and seeds/nuts.





I'm sorry, but I'm not aware of this information. That pre-humans were vegan. By "earliest human ancestors" who do you mean? Ramapithecus? I think it is accepted that the great apes are and have been omnivores, primarily but not exclusively eating plants. Not vegans.



Please give a source for this claim about veganism.
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#27 Old 01-29-2006, 07:53 AM
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Cows are fed processed dead animal by-products. Since they can obviously live off of that crap I guess theyre now natural omnivores too.



Humans began eating flesh as scavengers, that makes them omnivorous but not in an extreme way. Probably wasnt overly healthy but it was enough to get them along. The advent of fire changed everything making raw flesh easier to chew and opened up whole new doorways to bloodshed.



The best description of original prehistoric diets would be "flexitarian".



http://www.harvard-magazine.com/on-line/050465.html
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#28 Old 01-29-2006, 11:02 AM
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But honestly, why should it even matter? I am physically capable of eating meat but I don't, because I consider the ramifications of my actions upon others. I don't care what's "natural" or not.



Well said, Astarte!



In my experience, people have a tendency to argue about "concepts" that do not have any reality to them. Also, two people may seem to be arguing about a single "concept" when they are in fact not, but arguing about differen't things.



In previous replies above, it was essentially argued that "academics hold the opinion that humans are omnivores, but we are herbivores, ..." What is to be said to someone like myself who doesn't believe in the concepts themselves? "All X's are Y's." type disputes rarely, if ever, make logical sense in regards to humans or pretty much any other aspect of reality.



Astarte got right to the point, and I agree with her.
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#29 Old 01-29-2006, 11:32 AM
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Recent book that may be of interest:



http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/081...lance&n=283155



I haven't read this yet, so can't provide a review of my own, but I've read several reviews and it looks worthwhile. If anyone else has read it, I'd be curious to hear your take.
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#30 Old 01-29-2006, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by froggythefrog View Post

Please do not keep myths alive and spread them. Vegetarianism is good enough that we don't need to spread false information about it. The truth is good enough.





edit: I'm not even sure how much information there is about early the diets of early homonids, since from some species, only a few bones were found at most. But my question is: why does it matter? If they were vegan, what does it have to do with the now living human race? If they were not, which is more likely, what difference will it make? Will it affect your choices?
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