Humans are naturally herbivores
Why are we so sick? Why are 40% of the planet’s humans obese, which is an allergic reaction of the body? Why are so many millions getting cancer? What have we done so terribly wrong? Why is it considered normal to be ill? Why are the largest selling drugs in the world digestives and anti-allergens?
Could it be that our food is entirely inappropriate? Something that tastes good to a perverted body need not necessarily be good – white sugar, for instance. When the body is clean of all pollutants, then the body rejects sugar, even taste wise.
For centuries man has been encouraged to eat meat by anthropologists and then by dieticians on the basis that he is an omnivore – an assumption based purely on the fact that we have canine teeth.
But what does the evidence actually show? I have taken my arguments from a brilliantly erudite article by Michael Bluejay.
Here is a chart made by Dr Milton Mills which explains the human anatomy:
The only way to come to the conclusion that we are not exclusively plant eaters is to ignore the anatomical evidence. Regarding our canines – even chimpanzees, our closest relatives, have large ones. And they are 99% vegetarian; 1% eat not meat, but termites. Our canines, which are not sharp or pointed but short blunt and slightly rounded, have evolved to process starch, fruit and vegetables, not to tear flesh (which is why meat has to be boiled till it is soft and edible). Have you ever seen someone eat meat with his corner teeth, the canines? Horses and hippos have canines as well. They are exclusively plant eaters.
Most plant eaters eat small amounts of non-plant food like insects – that does not make them omnivores. If chimps are considered omnivores, because of the 1% addition of insects, then we are the same – not the omnivores who eat 50% meat and the rest plants / cereals. Cats are carnivores. But they eat a lot of plant food, and some people even keep them as purely vegetarian. Does that make them even omnivores – no scientist would agree.
The next argument which says that we are omnivores just because we are capable of eating meat is one of the stupidest ever made. We are capable of eating cardboard or leather. One of the commonest reasons for choking is eating meat. Carnivores / omnivores don’t have that problem. A true omnivore would have a body optimized for eating both plants and animals.
Then comes the B 12 argument. “B 12 is not found in plants. Humans must have B 12. Ergo humans must be meat eaters.” The truth is that B 12 is not made by animals. It is a bacteria. It is found in animal foods because meat has so many bacteria in it. Unwashed plants also have bacteria. Lakes have B 12 – before water is sanitized. All human faeces has B 12 in it. Fermented soya has it. Getting B 12 is easy. So the idea that humans eat meat because of a single vitamin made from bacteria in the soil is not sensible. In any case, both meat eaters and vegetarians lose the ability to absorb it as they age and so both are advised to take B 12 supplements.
Let us use the tired and disputed argument that our ancestor the caveman was prehistorically a meat eater. All animal are programmed to know what their ideal food is. Humans are not. They act through ideas rather than instinct. We learn our behaviour. And we make choices every day that are contrary to our own health. If our ancestors ate meat, they were making choices as humans do rather than acting on instinct. You should eat meat because a caveman ate it? What other major decision of your life would you put into the hands of this caveman?
The best evidence is not some supposed historical diet but our own bodies. If our ancestors were such huge meat eaters then our bodies would have evolved over the millennia to adjust; longer teeth, shorter intestines, more acid in our PH? But we have not evolved over 30 million years. Could it be because our ancestors were vegetarian? The world’s foremost expert on the relationship between diet and disease, Dr John A McDougall, certainly thinks so. Biologist Robert Dunn, writing in Scientific American, says: “The majority of food consumed by primates today- and every indication is for the last thirty million years – is vegetable not animal. Plants are what our apex and even earlier ancestors ate: they were our paleo diet for most of the last thirty million years during which our bodies and guts in particular were evolving.”
I have tried explaining simple anatomy to meat eaters. The first reaction is “I don’t want to know. I like eating meat”. It is human nature to want to do what is right and logical. But when we are confronted with evidence that makes a belief wrong, we are uncomfortable with both the evidence and the messenger. So we try and ridicule both to begin with – see all the jokes on vegetarians and specially vegans – and then we argue angrily on the basis of half-baked information and finally we outlaw it ( Canada has had to pass a law making vegetarianism a right!) on the grounds that it threatens an industry. When the human searches his mind to sidestep any uncomfortable overwhelming evidence, seeing it as a challenge instead of dealing with it reasonably, psychologists have a name for it: cognitive dissonance. Do you suffer from this?
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