The biological vegetarian, biological evidence - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-07-2007, 07:51 PM
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I am a Biology major and have always been a science type person. I started to think about it and I could not come up with a single adaptation in humans that is for eating meat except for the presence of enzymes that can help digest it (and as we all know, it still isn't good for us). Here is what it comes down to for me:



Dentition: Our teeth are designed for an herbivorous diet. Our molars and premolars have a classic herbivorous design. Our canines are nothing compared to carnivorous canines. Even out incisors are geared for herbivory. Even omnivores like bears and wolves have dentition very different from our own. Some will point out the lack of certain adaptations such as a strong side-to-side grinding motion used by animals like sheep, horses, and cows. They are eating hard to digest grasses, we are not. They are specialized in something that we are not, that does not mean we are not herbivores. It means nothing more than we are not as specialized as they are.



Digestion system: Our digestion system is long and follows the same pattern as other herbivores. Our appendix is reduced, but that does not mean we are not herbivores. One thing I find is that most people think of digestive systems as either carnivorous or herbivorous, they completely overlook the fact that not all of either are the same. There are different variations of carnivorous digestive systems, just like there are different variations of an herbivorous digestive system. Many vegetarian opposers point out the fact that we do not have a four-chambered stomach. Well, that is true, but we also don't plan on living off of grass. There are very specialized herbivores, just because we are not like the very specialized herbivores, does not mean we are not herbivores. Some will point out our forward facing eyes as a carnivorous adaptation. Well, in general it is, but in primates it is not always. Even our herbivorous great ape relatives have forward facing eyes. This shows that it in no way points to a carnivorous diet.



As a species we ate meat. However, that was a long time ago when we did not have what we have now, even then it was far from exclusive. We were hunter-gatherers who needed to eat. We adapted to include meat. Now with global markets we can grow food far and wide and ship it to meet the demands anywhere. We don't have to grow it on our own land and harvest it ourselves and barely make it by. We don't have to eat animals to keep a meal in the stomachs of our families. We need protein. We need certain types and we need a certain amount. In the past we did not have the constant supply of various vegan foods that met these needs. So we were able to adapt to a diet that included meat (if we werent already capable of it) and we got the protein we needed. Now we do have a supply of vegan protein that meets all the needs of the human body. Now we can take a step forward and leave a diet that includes meat in the past.



This is what I have so far. What are your guys' thoughts?
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#2 Old 10-07-2007, 10:32 PM
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I find that these kinds of points tend to fall on deaf ears. I think comparing dogs to pigs, cats to lambs, hamsters to fish etc. is far more effective.



I wouldn't cut a dog's throat and stand there while blood pours out so why would I do that to a pig.
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#3 Old 10-08-2007, 03:43 AM
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I disagree with Mr. Sun... I think that it was a very interesting read. =)
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#4 Old 10-08-2007, 05:44 AM
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Until very recently, the lifespan of a typical human was remarkably short. The best diet for optimizing long-term health may have little relationship to whatever diet was necessary to get historically short-lived humans to reproductive age. For example, hundreds of thousands of people will be killed this year by the protein myth - the meme that states you must consume animal-based foods to get enough protein. The fact that our human ancestors eagerly consumed meat is interesting but may not be relevant.
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#5 Old 10-08-2007, 06:17 AM
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My thoughts are that we can thrive both on a vegan and a non-vegan diet, and so we are not "designed" to eat in one way or the other. What matters is what is ethically the best diet, and I find the vegan diet to fit the bill.



I agree with Mr. Sun that questioning the inconsistency in our distinction between "pets" and "food animals" is one of the best approaches to take.

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#6 Old 10-08-2007, 07:18 AM
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It is important to be the most informed as possible. Some will simply state that 'many eat dogs, that is there choice, mine is chicken'. Many people take a 'scientific' approach, information like this can shoot it down.



The past human part of it is also important. It shows that hunter-gatherers of the past were forced to because that was the option. Now we have grocery stores and international shipping, as well as the knowledge to do a vegan diet correctly. If people are livign off of the land, off the grid, than tell them it is fien. But if they are shopping at a grocery store tell them they are nothing like the humans of the past who needed meat in their diet.



There is a problem with comparign one animal to another though. I see that if you tell people that pigs are actually smarter than dogs it helps break up that bias they may have. But if you get into the details of the species you will find lots of grey area. People think of dogs as carnivores, even though they are omnivores.



I don't know about anyone else, but I would question thrivability on a meat inclusive diet, which is shown to cause diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. That is the top 2 causes of death in the U.S. plus another from the top 10. That is not my definition of thriving. I will acknowledge that yes, it is possible to do 'quite well', 'relatively well', etc. on meat inclusive diets, but even then the less meat the better.



My main purpose in this is to give people a little ammuniton against people who think they know what they are talking about when they oppose a meat free diet. I also want to give a little more information about exactly what our bodies are adapted for.
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#7 Old 10-08-2007, 07:36 AM
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Many people take a 'scientific' approach, information like this can shoot it down.

If you mean the "look at our teeth, we are meant to eat meat" approach, I don't think that is really scientific. And that is not because science tells us that our teeth are those of a herbivore. Rather, it's because it is anthropomorphism to think that we are "meant to" do anything, since nature has no intentions.



What I'm saying is that I want to reject all questions about what we are "designed" or "meant to" or "made to" eat, based on our physiology. The only relevant questions are a) what diets we can be healthy on b) what diet is ethically the best one.

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#8 Old 10-08-2007, 07:51 AM
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I guess for me, I have to go by experience. I got one guy to switch over to being a pescetarian and he seems to have veganism as his long-term goal. When we first started talking about the different aspects of veg*nism and AR and it was all intellectual. I pointed out the human anatomy aspect of veg*nism as part of my presentation on why we should be vegan. The back and forth was respectful and went on for months. It stayed in the intellectual realm where we can examine the facts with a certain distance and coolness.



Then I showed him Peaceable Kingdom and he was moved. That did it.



I recall in the book Dominion by Matthew Sculley where he recounted the story of a group who was trying to get a judge to rule that primates should not be used in medical testing. All the deliberation went on and on and the lawyers on both sides did an excellent job of presenting the different legal arguments. The judge, though, says when she saw video footage of Booie, everything changed for her. She ruled in favour of those wanting to end testing on primates:



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Booie came to the Wildlife Waystation in October 1995, when he retired from a medical research facility. He arrived along with eight other chimps, all of whom have made contributions to the advancements of medical science.



Like all chimpanzees, Booie has his own, unique personality traits. He is known for his great sense of humor and is very talkative. Booie has actually learned to communicate using American Sign Language (the language of the hearing impaired). Booie finds that his language skills come in handy in making treat and drink requests and signaling when he wants to play chase or tickle. His skills made him a star interviewee on ABC TV’s “20-20” program, where his story caught the attention of a national audience.



Booie and his eight chimp colleagues will be among the first residents of a new “retirement village” being planned at the Wildlife Waystation.



http://www.wildlifewaystation.org/ww...item.php?id=24



I will say, though, fishguy, that it is good for people to know this info that you're giving just to show that we aren't all emotional tree huggers. We can examine other aspects of the veg*n diet and understand some basic human biology. It may stop an omnivore in his/her tracks when s/he starts spouting off about how obvious it is that humans must eat meat. But I think that must be secondary and used as a means perhaps to establish that we can engage in intellectual debate.
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#9 Old 10-08-2007, 08:39 AM
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Until very recently, the lifespan of a typical human was remarkably short. The best diet for optimizing long-term health may have little relationship to whatever diet was necessary to get historically short-lived humans to reproductive age. For example, hundreds of thousands of people will be killed this year by the protein myth - the meme that states you must consume animal-based foods to get enough protein. The fact that our human ancestors eagerly consumed meat is interesting but may not be relevant.



A couple of things -



1. Not sure what your point is about lifespan, but until very recently it was tied to prevalence of disease/infection.



2. Hundreds of thousands of people will die because they make poor lifestyle choices - smoking, drinking, eating too much fat, no exercise. You can be in poor health on a vegan diet as well (eating fries, chips, doughnuts, cookies, bread, etc). Eating meat has little to do with it, other than that is what tends to be more common to eat it. And a lot of people tend to eat large amounts of high-fat cuts rather than, say, half of a lean chicken breast or a 3oz piece of buffalo. To say "it's because of meat" is too simplistic and incorrect. And as a result discredits your stance because you come off as not understanding what you're talking about.
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#10 Old 10-08-2007, 09:12 AM
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That is true, but eating meat is one of the bad decisions. A said it depends on the amount of meat (as you also stated) and the less the better.



It brings up an important point though. Although technically someone may be a vegetarian and does not eat meat, I do not really consider them a vegetarian diet if they are not eating a healthy balanced diet. It still is technically, but if it is not proper I don't consider it a vegetarian diet, I consider it a meat free diet.



I am not worried about lifespan and the reasons why we are living longer, just that the times have changed and so should we.
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#11 Old 10-08-2007, 02:53 PM
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It brings up an important point though. Although technically someone may be a vegetarian and does not eat meat, I do not really consider them a vegetarian diet if they are not eating a healthy balanced diet. It still is technically, but if it is not proper I don't consider it a vegetarian diet, I consider it a meat free diet.





Well I guess you are entitled to define words the way you want to. For instance, someone can be riding a bike and you could say because it's not a 10-speed it's not really a bike. It kinda makes it hard to communicate with people if you don't accept the definitions of words that most people accept. But you aren't alone. There are "vegetarians" who eat fish and/or chicken.
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#12 Old 10-08-2007, 04:36 PM
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As a species we ate meat. However, that was a long time ago when we did not have what we have now, even then it was far from exclusive. We were hunter-gatherers who needed to eat. We adapted to include meat. Now with global markets we can grow food far and wide and ship it to meet the demands anywhere. We don't have to grow it on our own land and harvest it ourselves and barely make it by. We don't have to eat animals to keep a meal in the stomachs of our families. We need protein. We need certain types and we need a certain amount. In the past we did not have the constant supply of various vegan foods that met these needs. So we were able to adapt to a diet that included meat (if we werent already capable of it) and we got the protein we needed. Now we do have a supply of vegan protein that meets all the needs of the human body. Now we can take a step forward and leave a diet that includes meat in the past.



This is what I have so far. What are your guys' thoughts?

this last paragraph is really what's most important.



That we are "meant to eat meat" or we are "meant to be vegetarian" is teleological, and not in line with the theory of evolution. We evolve when various factors cause some genes to be passed on more than others through the non-random ability of individuals to successfully reproduce. There is no "meant" in the equation. We are what we are. Can we live as herbivores, yes, as omnivores, yes, not so much as carnivores. I think it is pointless to even get into this argument since it is irrelevant. All that matters is what we are able to eat and what we choose to eat now.



I agree with Runswithfoxes point- it's a very important one. We did not evolve to live long, happy lives, only to reproduce.



PS- the whole teeth argument always mentions canines. Well canines can serve many purposes, such as a social signal, or whatever, and yes, they aren't very good for meat. The focus should be on the specialized teeth carnivores, and only carnivores have. But anyone who says we can live on meat alone is ridiculous (and very constipated).
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#13 Old 10-08-2007, 04:41 PM
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If we wish to promote vegetarianism from a scientific standpoint (and I do!), it seems to me we should be scrupulously fair about it. We have a strong case; shading it to make it sound stronger than it actually is does nothing but hurt our credibility.



You make a lot of good points, Fishguy. But I was disturbed at how you blew right past the fact that we *do* have metabolic apparatus and appropriate anatomy to digest some meat. To me, our design points more to a mostly veg diet with some meat .... similar, say, to modern chimps ... than to a strictly vegetarian diet. That interpretation also is more in tune with how more 'ancestral' kinds of primates exist today.



I agree with other posters that historical accident should not rule us. We can do fine on plant foods; and a plant food diet is basically better environmentally and ethically than a mixed diet, so we should now eat a plant food diet.



*for whatever it's worth for credibility's sake, I teach Biology at a University*



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#14 Old 10-08-2007, 04:46 PM
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I would expect as a Biology major you would realise vegans are not herbivores. Herbivores only eat plants. Fungus is not a plant its in an entirely differnt kingdom. It mkaes me wonder about the rest of the science in your post.
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#15 Old 10-08-2007, 04:47 PM
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That we are "meant to eat meat" or we are "meant to be vegetarian" is teleological, and not in line with the theory of evolution.


"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#16 Old 10-08-2007, 05:26 PM
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Yes, there is no design or goal in evolution. So instead of 'designed for' I should have said 'allows for and therefore remained that way', sorry.



Again, sorry, we are not meant to do anything, we simply can or cannot. there is no design. We are much more capable of eating a vegan diet and it is healtheir for us. We have retained adaptations that suit is more for a vegan diet.



My whole point with the canines was that they are so small and impotent, not that we have them. the point, which apparently did nto come through as I thought it would, was that they are so different from carnivorous canines, I will have to specify that, thank you.



Yes, vegans eat things besides plants, sorry. That does not negate the truth of the rest, that simply means I should not have equated vegans with herbivory.



My personal definition of vegetarian is simply to share, sorry. I do use vegetarian as its common meaning though, not by my personal definition, so it really doesn't effect my communication at all.



What all adaptations allow for us to eat meat?



This is a work in progress, part of the reason of posting was to get feedback, the other was even more information on why a meat free diet is better for humans and to share my personal thoughts on why it makes since.
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#17 Old 10-08-2007, 05:47 PM
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I have been in one of these arguments before and man can it go on forever because there are good points to both sides of the argument wether or not you include religion or evolution into the mix. Both sides are equally convicing.



I have discovered though that if you tell most omnis that were weren't designed by________(fill in blank) to eat meat/supposed to eat meat they don't care anyway. Now talk about all the great things an veg diet can do healthwise and you got yourself an audience.
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#18 Old 10-08-2007, 07:02 PM
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Yes, there is no design or goal in evolution. So instead of 'designed for' I should have said 'allows for and therefore remained that way', sorry.



Again, sorry, we are not meant to do anything, we simply can or cannot. there is no design. We are much more capable of eating a vegan diet and it is healtheir for us. We have retained adaptations that suit is more for a vegan diet.



My whole point with the canines was that they are so small and impotent, not that we have them. the point, which apparently did nto come through as I thought it would, was that they are so different from carnivorous canines, I will have to specify that, thank you.



Yes, vegans eat things besides plants, sorry. That does not negate the truth of the rest, that simply means I should not have equated vegans with herbivory.



My personal definition of vegetarian is simply to share, sorry. I do use vegetarian as its common meaning though, not by my personal definition, so it really doesn't effect my communication at all.



What all adaptations allow for us to eat meat?



This is a work in progress, part of the reason of posting was to get feedback, the other was even more information on why a meat free diet is better for humans and to share my personal thoughts on why it makes since.



I like you fishguy. People are pointing out flaws in what you've written and you don't seem the least bit defensive. You are considering the points and making adjustments as you go. That's awesome. Maybe I'm just jaded because not everyone is like that.
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#19 Old 10-08-2007, 07:10 PM
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I have been in one of these arguments before and man can it go on forever because there are good points to both sides of the argument wether or not you include religion or evolution into the mix. Both sides are equally convicing.



I have discovered though that if you tell most omnis that were weren't designed by________(fill in blank) to eat meat/supposed to eat meat they don't care anyway. Now talk about all the great things an veg diet can do healthwise and you got yourself an audience.



I find that the health arguments can also go on forever. I guess I'll never be convinced that a small amount of meat (especially certain kinds) is bad for you. It seems to me that not a small amount of veg*ns who switched for health reasons have ended up eating fish and/or chicken and/or bison because a new health study says it's good for you. So we end up with fish being suffocated or tortured with a hook, chickens being slaughtered without even a stunning (not that that's much better) and bison being bled to death after a nasty cut in the throat.



I still think it's good to know some of these facts but only to establish that we aren't total morons who choose veg*nism because we're to emotional and lacking in logic.



For instance I love to compile data on veg*n athletes just to jolt someone out of their assumption that veg*ns fade away to 90 pound weaklings. But I always go back to comparing Vick to the average meat eater and start the discussion there. I think it's most effective in the long run.
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#20 Old 10-08-2007, 07:18 PM
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That we are "meant to eat meat" or we are "meant to be vegetarian" is teleological, and not in line with the theory of evolution.



Gee, I though "teleological" was going to be some term describing a complicated theory. But right away when I started reading it sounded just like a thread I started on Aristotle and this idea that certain human beings were meant to be slaves. Everything is created for a purpose and those certain human beings were created for that purpose.



The thread is very popular: https://www.veggieboards.com/boards/s...ad.php?t=77669



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But anyone who says we can live on meat alone is ridiculous (and very constipated).



I'm pretty sure that the Inuit ate such a high proportion of meat that they would've been considered to be on a carnivorous diet.
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#21 Old 10-08-2007, 07:21 PM
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Q Citrus fruit does not grow in the Arctic, so how do the Inuit (Eskimos) avoid scurvy?



Earlier this century, Vilhjalmur Stefansson argued that it was possible for people of European stock to live for long periods on a traditional and entirely carnivorous Inuit diet, and that many Arctic explorers had developed scurvy (caused by lack of vitamin C) because they would not follow the Inuit and trust their instinct and experience. He and a colleague volunteered to subsist on nothing but meat, under medical supervision in New York, for one year starting in February 1928. They each consumed between 100gm and 140gm of protein a day, with the remaining calories coming from fat. Both men remained in good health and showed no sign of scurvy. It has been estimated that a traditional, daily Inuit diet, even without any plant material, would contain 40mg of vitamin C, enough to avoid scurvy. But some flora - including rose hips, a good source of the vitamin - grow in areas where the Inuit live.



http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...8/ai_n14156403
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#22 Old 10-08-2007, 07:31 PM
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Yes, there is no design or goal in evolution. So instead of 'designed for' I should have said 'allows for and therefore remained that way', sorry.



Again, sorry, we are not meant to do anything, we simply can or cannot. there is no design.

I would agree and I think your view of that came across in your last paragrah, though.



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We are much more capable of eating a vegan diet and it is healtheir for us. We have retained adaptations that suit is more for a vegan diet.

I'm not sure I totally agree.



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My whole point with the canines was that they are so small and impotent, not that we have them. the point, which apparently did nto come through as I thought it would, was that they are so different from carnivorous canines, I will have to specify that, thank you.

No, I understood you, I was commenting on how it seems that pro-meat people seem to make that into an issue when I don't think it should be at all.



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What all adaptations allow for us to eat meat?

Actually, I would say our brains and our hands which allow us to use tools for hunting and fire for cooking. Not digestive, but I think that answers the question vegetarians ask, "could you kill and eat an animal with your bare hands?" No, but humans don't have to, we have other methods.
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#23 Old 10-08-2007, 07:37 PM
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This sin't supposed to change anyone's opinion, it is just more support for a meat free diet.



Many people will not accept the idea of a healthy meat free diet no matter what information you provide them, so that really isn't a goal. Most will agree that science explains things. Most people disagree with things they don't understand. So when people don't understand the nutrition and evolution involved, they are less likely to agree with it. If you have some good science to back it up (not just what is presented here in this thread, but all the facts about ecological impacts, health, etc.) you may people able to get the attention of reasonable people. And even if they don't change their minds and become vegans, they may have a better understanding, and that is a good thing (as we may all agree, not necessarily 'good enough').



One of the best conversations with a meat eater about being vegetarian was when he said something to the effect of 'well, I can't really argue against it, you obviously have done more research on it than I have'. He recognized that he may not have an understanding of it and rather than regurgitate the typical anti-vegetarian stuff that many do, he admitted he had no room to say more.
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#24 Old 10-08-2007, 07:38 PM
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Gee, I though "teleological" was going to be some term describing a complicated theory. But right away when I started reading it sounded just like a thread I started on Aristotle and this idea that certain human beings were meant to be slaves. Everything is created for a purpose and those certain human beings were created for that purpose.

Yep, that is one of the reasons I so strongly object to all teleological reasoning: teleological thinking has a very bloody history. Another good example of that is the way that people think sex is "meant to" be between man and woman, which they then use to justify homophobia. Or the way in which some think the "purpose" of women is to care for children or whatever. Etc.



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The thread is very popular:

You crack me up. Maybe I'll post something there (despite the fact that maybe you would want someone else to comment too )

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#25 Old 10-08-2007, 07:42 PM
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1. Not sure what your point is about lifespan, but until very recently it was tied to prevalence of disease/infection.



2. Hundreds of thousands of people will die because they make poor lifestyle choices - smoking, drinking, eating too much fat, no exercise. You can be in poor health on a vegan diet as well (eating fries, chips, doughnuts, cookies, bread, etc). Eating meat has little to do with it, other than that is what tends to be more common to eat it. And a lot of people tend to eat large amounts of high-fat cuts rather than, say, half of a lean chicken breast or a 3oz piece of buffalo. To say "it's because of meat" is too simplistic and incorrect. And as a result discredits your stance because you come off as not understanding what you're talking about.



1. The point is the best diet to increase the odds of getting to age 90 may be quite a bit different than that necessary to get to age 15 and start reproducing. Evolution is mostly (but not entirely) blind to what happens after we stop reproducing.



2. We've known for 30 years the connection between saturated fat consumption, elevated blood cholesterol, and atherosclerosis. However, vast numbers of people choose to ignore this causal chain or rationalize it away. It is these folks to whom I refer. I'm not interested in getting into a discussion of "lean" meat vs. "fatty" meat, except that there's a good chance that carnies who consume so-called "lean" meat may be fooling themselves (much like folks who consume so-called 2% milk are actually consuming 25% of calories from fat).



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#26 Old 10-08-2007, 07:47 PM
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Yep, that is one of the reasons I so strongly object to all teleological reasoning: teleological thinking has a very bloody history. Another good example of that is the way that people think sex is "meant to" be between man and woman, which they then use to justify homophobia. Or the way in which some think the "purpose" of women is to care for children or whatever. Etc.



Well, we all know gays are responsible for breaking up marriages. I think they like beat men's wives and interfere with communication between spouses. So homophobia is justified.



Quote:
You crack me up. Maybe I'll post something there (despite the fact that maybe you would want someone else to comment too )



Yeah, that whole forum is pretty slow. But did you noticed in the dissection thread I put a link in for your thread about that vet who did all her studies w/o using animals in a way that would harm them. I love that story and it always sticks in my head.
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#27 Old 10-08-2007, 07:50 PM
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Just so it is out there, evolution is not just getting to reporductive age and reproducing. And it is not just about how much you reproduce. It really comes down to successful reproduction which is how many of your offspring go on to successfully reproduce, which means they have successfully reproducing offspring and so on. So there could be a significant difference in the success if the parent lives to be 15 and if they live to be 80. That extra life can be used to make the offspring more successful, and even their offspring. This doesn't really change or contradict anything previously said, but it just helps to keep things in perspective.
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#28 Old 10-08-2007, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Fishguy2727 View Post




One of the best conversations with a meat eater about being vegetarian was when he said something to the effect of 'well, I can't really argue against it, you obviously have done more research on it than I have'. He recognized that he may not have an understanding of it and rather than regurgitate the typical anti-vegetarian stuff that many do, he admitted he had no room to say more.



Right, and when he ran out of silly things to say about what we're "meant to eat" you can start talking about the ethical considerations of the vegan diet. I think what your thread is about here has it's place and that's to shut up those who say "we're meant to eat meat and if we don't we'll become unhealthy". Clearly that is not true.
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#29 Old 10-08-2007, 07:51 PM
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Hi again.



I'm not here to argue with you, Fishguy ... that'd be silly since we agree far more than we disagree. But your question of what adaptations allow us to eat meat seemed aimed at my response, so I'll address that.



The short answer is, All of them. Since many humans do reasonably well (not optimally well, but reasonably well) on a high-meat diet, there is nothing in our design that prohibits us from using meat.



What I was thinking of though were a dental set that resembles those of other 'mixed diet' creatures, with cutting incisors and grinding molars but not skulls and musculature adapted for serious chewing, a relatively generic digestive tract in terms of length and complexity, a first chamber acidic enough to kill off the germs that are not abundant on plant material, and the ability to get by on a relatively low residue diet.



To clarify, when I say 'adapted to allow meat eating' I'm not thinking of big game. Clearly we need tools and fire to deal with that. I'm referring more to small animals and insects, such as make up most of the non-plant matter in the diets of other primates. We can't tear up a bison with our teeth, but we could easily munch grubs or crayfish.



On the other hand, I'm also so designed as to make it quite possible for me to beat up on small children. That doesn't make it the appropriate thing for me to do.
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#30 Old 10-08-2007, 08:04 PM
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What exactly about our dentition? My understanding is that our incisors and molars are more adapted to an herbivorous diet, not omnivorous. We have incisors unlike other omnivores, much more like herbivores. Our molars are also like an herbivore's, not an omnivore's.



Do herbivores have a stomach acid higher than that of a carnivore's and our's?



In case it did not come across this way, I fully acknowledge that we are capable of not only dealing with meat in our diet, but making use of it. My understanding of this is mainly that we have enzymes that can break it down so we can absorb it, not so with herbivores who lack any meat in their diet.



My understanding of our digestive tract is that it reflects that of plant-eaters, not those specialized in certain foods like grasses, but a more 'generic' or 'standard' herbivorous digestive system (not that one is more generic than others). We may not have a digestive system as complicated as many herbivores, but that those with more complicated digestive systems are animals who specialize in certain foods that we do not. If this is wrong, or not quote right I highly appreciate assistance in better understanding it.
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