Frugivore / omnivore / carnivore

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Postby RAZ » Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:50 pm

[quote="tofuPUNK"]Francis Morre Lappe explains in her book "Diet for a Small Planet" that humans are predisposed to be mainly herbavores, based on anotomical traits such as the way are teeth, fingers and fingernails, and digestive systems are set up. Once man began using tools and was able to cook and kill animals as food, then I believe the dietary choices of humans began to change. However, not enough time has elapsed in history to allow the human body to evolve to fit this new diet. One question that I still have is, that they say the appendix was used at one time to digest raw meat which might throw a wrench in Lappes theory. (--mental note to self to re-read the book).

As far as evolution and creation, I can sum up in three words:

Ontogony recapitulates phylogeny."


I don't believe that stuff about humans only starting to eat meat once we had the tools to kill and cook them. Look and most ape/monkey species. They may have a vegetable based diet, but they all occassionally eat animals without killing-weapons or cooking the animals first. Some do it when something is lacking in thier diet but others appear to enjoy the thrill of killing. I imagine that early desendants of humans were much alike.

I believe we evolved as omnivores but I'm glad that we have evolved far enough that we can now chose for ourselves a better way of living.
I'm a herbivore and happy to be one!
"Drink some concrete and harden up"
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Postby pelicanAndrew » Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:55 pm

When human's did first start killing animals to eat, they were only able to catch them about once a month or so. So they still had a mainly herbivore diet.
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Postby JP » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:29 pm

[quote="veganmike"]It has definately varied across the globe and throughout time, but I don't really see how are species could have survived without easily accessible and nutrient-dense animal foods.


survived? yes, but evolved, thats a different story. For early humanoids animal foods certainly were not easily accessible, but a result of hard work which often consumed more calories than produced. But this would mean that we would categorise insects and some opportunistic animal foods to the gathering category rather than hunting.
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Postby grant » Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:02 pm

"Look and most ape/monkey species. They may have a vegetable based diet, but they all occassionally eat animals without killing-weapons or cooking the animals first. Some do it when something is lacking in thier diet but others appear to enjoy the thrill of killing. I imagine that early desendants of humans were much alike. "


Chimps tend to hunt for socialistic/political reasons not dietary needs. They use flesh in return for sexual favours. I have also heard that they may kill other primates such as monkeys, at certain times of the year, because they are seen as competition for food. They are highly frugivorous by nature as are a lot of monkeys hence to the possible conflict in times of food shortage.

These are just the interpretations of differing 'experts' of the behaviour they observe though. Not to be taken as gospel. Can you seriously imagine humans hunting without tools?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEFZx7VWMJs

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Postby Dave Noisy » Thu Aug 10, 2006 6:52 pm

Personally, i think if we're eating non-plant foods, we seem most cut-out to eat insects and eggs...we don't seem fast enough to catch most larger animals, and our fingers seem to work pretty well for this work...

That's just my own perspective, and i ain't no anthropological recapitulation specialist.
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Postby tofuPUNK » Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:50 pm

Exactly. If we were meant to kill and eat other animals for food we would have sharp claws and teeth like cats, bears, and the t-rex. :wink:

But we dont, we have flat fingernails, and molars and bicuspids so that we can grind plant matter for easier digestion. Like cows :shock: .
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Postby veganmike » Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:53 pm

This is rather too simplistic. You don't need claws when you can easily catch smaller animals in your hands and when you've got brain big enough to come up with cooperation, hunting tools etc.
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Postby grant » Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:17 pm

[quote="veganmike"]This is rather too simplistic. You don't need claws when you can easily catch smaller animals in your hands and when you've got brain big enough to come up with cooperation, hunting tools etc.



Have you tried catching 'small animals' in your hands? A rabbit for example? There was a time before 'tools', no? Besides, i thought the propaganda of the meat-head was that our brains somehow, illogically, became 'bigger' due to eating meat? How does one possess the ability to 'cooperate' and use 'hunting tools' without having the 'brain big enough' to do this in advance?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEFZx7VWMJs

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Postby grant » Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:20 pm

[quote="tofuPUNK"]Exactly. If we were meant to kill and eat other animals for food we would have sharp claws and teeth like cats, bears, and the t-rex. :wink:

But we dont, we have flat fingernails, and molars and bicuspids so that we can grind plant matter for easier digestion. Like cows :shock: .



I dont believe us to be anything 'like cows'. Our teeth seem to be frugivorous in adaptation, more like the fruit-eating apes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEFZx7VWMJs

"Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side."----Goethe
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Postby JP » Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:00 pm

not all predators have claws, take snakes for instance, or are very fast, etc. There are no universal "predator" qualities, apart from being able to process the food. And since humans can process it, we must be omnivorous as far as i can see.

In the book i am readin they also suggest that humans animal food sources are mainly from scavenging and oppostunistic.
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Postby grant » Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:47 pm

[quote="JP"]not all predators have claws, take snakes for instance, or are very fast, etc. There are no universal "predator" qualities, apart from being able to process the food. And since humans can process it, we must be omnivorous as far as i can see.

In the book i am readin they also suggest that humans animal food sources are mainly from scavenging and oppostunistic.



Cows can eat meat. I dont know whether there is any examples of them voluntarilly choosing to do so, but they can 'process' it to some extent at least. Rabbits are also known to consume slugs/insects yet are categorised as herbivores. The 'design' of these species is primarily suited to consuming grass (in the case of cows) and grasses/other vegetation (in the case of rabbits) regardless of what else they can in theory or even reality, derive some form of nourishment from.

All predators have the ability to be predators without the need of artificial aids. Snakes are very quick. What happened to the instinct to 'scavenge' ? Why wont meat-eaters consume road-kill, for example?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEFZx7VWMJs

"Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side."----Goethe
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Postby Dave Noisy » Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:45 pm

[quote="JP"]not all predators have claws

I dunno, there are certain qualities, mainly something to 'puncture' and 'tear the flesh' of their prey..so a snake may not have claws, but they certainly have teeth.
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Postby veganmonk » Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:38 pm

We can be anything:

-inuits - carnivores
-vegans - herbivores
-others - omnivores

However, if you compare the health of the human being along with our physical attributes, we are clearly herbivores.

Our closest relatives, the bonobos and chimpanzees, are omnivores, but less than 3% of their diet comes from non herbivore sources. The next closest such as Gorillas and other apes are herbivores.

Inuits are carnivores and have lesser health along with the shortest lifespan, whereas herbivores have the longest and greatest health.

Based on the fact that we lack the natural capabilities to be true carnivores, and that our health is greatest when being a herbivore, and the mere aspect that we have supposedely evolved into rational thinking beings that now understand that being a herbivore is the compassionate decision for animals, the ethical decision for our planet, and the wise decision for our health, there is no reason that we should not deem the human species as herbivores.

Also, a recent study entitled "Man the Hunted", was conducted and published that provides evidence that we indeed originated from and evolved as social cooperative herbivores, and not hunter/gatherers:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 190551.htm

Additionally, obligate diets mandate that specific diet for nutrition. So animals that are true carnivores, cannot subsist on non-carnivore diets. For example, lions and other cat species become ill without the natural occurance of taurine and flesh based diets. They can become blind and get other problems such as urine tract or kidney disease. This is clearly not the case for human beings - as we are actually healthier without any flesh in our diet at all. So carnivore is definately out, and as a result, so is omnivore, based on lack of need for such nutrition in our diets.

Not to mention instinct. We do no have the instinctive nature within us to kill animals with our bare hands/mouths and eat them raw and bloody. You can base this on the studies done in Man the Hunted for our ancestors, or base it on our current evolved perspective, and in both cases carnivore/omnivore advocates will be firing blanks. Give it a try sometime if in doubt :P
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Postby grant » Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:26 pm

[quote="veganmonk"]We can be anything:

-inuits - carnivores
-vegans - herbivores
-others - omnivores

However, if you compare the health of the human being along with our physical attributes, we are clearly herbivores.

Our closest relatives, the bonobos and chimpanzees, are omnivores, but less than 3% of their diet comes from non herbivore sources. The next closest such as Gorillas and other apes are herbivores.

Inuits are unhealthy and have the shortest lifespan when compared to ominvores, and herbivores have the longest and greatest health.

Based on the fact that we lack the natural capabilities to be true carnivores, and that our health is greatest when being a herbivore, and the mere aspect that we have supposedely evolved into rational thinking beings that now understand that being a herbivore is the compassionate decision for animals, the ethical decision for our planet, and the wise decision for our health, there is no reason that we should not deem the human species as herbivores.

Also, a recent study entitled "Man the Hunted", was conducted and published that provides evidence that we indeed originated from and evolved as social cooperative herbivores, and not hunter/gatherers:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 190551.htm

Additionally, obligate diets mandate that specific diet for nutrition. So animals that are true carnivores, cannot subsist on non-carnivore diets. For example, lions and other cat species become ill without the natural occurance of taurine and flesh based diets. They can become blind and get other problems such as urine tract or kidney disease. This is clearly not the case for human beings - as we are actually healthier without any flesh in our diet at all. So carnivore is definately out, and as a result, so is omnivore, based on lack of need for such nutrition in our diets.

Not to mention instinct. We do no have the instinctive nature within us to kill animals with our bare hands/mouths and eat them raw and bloody. You can base this on the studies done in Man the Hunted for our ancestors, or base it on our current evolved perspective, and in both cases carnivore/omnivore advocates will be firing blanks.



Terms such as "carnivore" and "frugivore" refer to biological adaptations not foods eaten by choice. A human using cultural aids such as agricultural tools could *choose* to eat only grains, but this would not make them "gramnivores" as they would still retain their inherant biological 'design'. 'Traditionally' living populations would be better called "gatherer-hunters" anyway, as the vast majority of them eat far more foods that are a result of gathering than foods that are a result of hunting. They also tend to be dictated to by availability as far as food 'choices' are concerned. The inuit, living in subfreezing temperatures, dont really have much 'choice' but to eat the way they do.

I am not sure about the quality of health of the inuit, incidently. I have heard conflicting stories. They do appear to age quickly though, at least according to anecdotal evidence. As for average life expectancies, are these from birth? If so, then high infant mortality rates need to be taken into account. The adults in any population could live reasonably long but if infants are dying en-masse then this will distort the longevity figures somewhat. I dont believe, for example, that any 'traditionally' living people's have a situation whereby none of them live past thirty as is often stated. An average life expectancy (from birth) of thirty years is not the same thing.

But anyway, i appear to have gone a little off track. Interesting study. I have long felt that humans probably invented weapons for protection originally rather than aggression.

Are you using the term "herbivore" to simply refer to a plant-eater? It can be somewhat vague and misleading as ruminants, a type of "herbivore", are clearly not the same as rabbits, another type of "herbivore" or apes, which are generally classified as "frugivores" anyway, such as chimps, which are highly frugivorous, unlike gorilla's that lean more towards leaves, in some environments at least.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEFZx7VWMJs

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Postby veganmonk » Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:37 pm

I guess we need to clarify what stage of humanity we are talking about. Past, present, somewhere in-between? Also the region.... All of those factors affect the type of diet available and the stage of evolution.

I meant herbivore as a plant based diet, so one that does not eat animals or animal products (but omitting insects, as there are insects on all vegetation, which herbivores in nature do consume).

I guess my points were kind of a whack of everything lol. Sorry..
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