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Old 10-07-2007, 11:57 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weave
Do humans naturally eat meat?
Well, chimps do, so I suppose (if you believe in evolution) that it's natural for humans to as well. And, yeah, I agree with Sithy--canine teeth, enough said.

Have to say though that the PETA video you linked us to is just bloody awful, but it does show the reality of the corporate farming industry and the consequences of hiring minimum-wage (or less if they're illegal or only casual workers), untrained farm laborers to produce cheaper eggs, dairy (which includes cheese and ice cream, mind), and meat for mass consumption. Having been brought up on a farm (and currently living on one,) I can honestly say that I have never seen such horrible treatment of animals as was shown in that video, whether it be chickens, pigs, or cows. What's shown in that video isn't in any way, shape, or form 'industry standard'.

I am particular where I buy my food, and try to buy local as much as possible and free-range or organic when I can't. For example, I *know* my eggs are free range, because I buy them from the farm down the road. I don't mind paying a bit extra for certain items, and if people don't want factory farms to continue, then they should vote with their wallets when it comes purchasing those 'cheap' factory farmed meat, poultry, and dairy products.

((I do have to wonder though why PETA didn't include farmed fish in its video. Fish is 'meat', too, after all. And I imagine that some of the 'farmed' fish (catfish, trout, salmon, etc.) are kept in rather cramped conditions. But I guess it's pretty difficult to show a fish as cute and cuddly.))

As for protein alternatives, I'm very wary about soy and actively try to avoid it. (Hard though when it seems to be in *everything* nowadays.) I'll get my protein from fish, egg whites, cheese, milk, and the occasional lean Angus-beef steak, thank you very much.


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Old 10-07-2007, 01:29 PM   #42
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Well let me point out (again) that I support that it is somewhat natural...
As for eating mammoths (early on) I doubt that was ever natural and that we adapted to eating meat: which was influenced by our ability to choose what we eat. I'm saying that, originally, humans were bourderline herbivore/omnivore...

Sure, we have canine teeth... but those are small... for small animals. We've adapted to eating large animals which I don't think is natural to begin with. The appendix's usefullness is something we threw off during adaptation.
I'm talking about what we probably originally consumed before our many evolutionary changes. I accept the belief that small animals and perhaps a few medium sized ones (to fall back on during harsh times) were eaten... but eating larger animals? I doubt that was originally part of our diet.

As for fish... I have a pretty good video here.


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Old 10-07-2007, 10:17 PM   #43
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Actually, if anything, we adapted to eating plants.

Before we could farm, we hunted. And I'm fairly sure it doesn't take 5 dudes with spears to "kill" a tomato.


Unless it were the attacking killer kind.


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Old 10-07-2007, 11:15 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Sitherino
Actually, if anything, we adapted to eating plants.

Before we could farm, we hunted. And I'm fairly sure it doesn't take 5 dudes with spears to "kill" a tomato.


Unless it were the attacking killer kind.
*Jae breaks into song--"Attack, of the Killer To-maaaa-toes! Attack, of the Killer To-maaaa-toes!"*

To be honest, we can make some educated guesses on this, but I don't know if we'll ever definitively know unless there's just some incredible archaeological find, and I suspect even if we found that, it'd still be very specific to that culture.
The only real decision we get to make is whether we eat as vegetarians or not.


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Old 10-08-2007, 02:40 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Sitherino
Actually, if anything, we adapted to eating plants.

Before we could farm, we hunted. And I'm fairly sure it doesn't take 5 dudes with spears to "kill" a tomato.


Unless it were the attacking killer kind.
Uh... no.

You bring up the canines: I'll bring up the mollers. Used for grinding down plants. We were hunters AND gatherers. We gathered plants. Eating plants alone sustains you more than eating meat alone... that's a fact of ALL omnivorous creatures. Where meat has about 3 important nutrients: Protein, Vitamin B12, and Iron... Plants/Fruits, etc... have countless important nutrients. Being carnivourous would never sustain us completely... we HAVE to have some sort of plant nutrients... which is still true today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
To be honest, we can make some educated guesses on this, but I don't know if we'll ever definitively know unless there's just some incredible archaeological find, and I suspect even if we found that, it'd still be very specific to that culture.
The only real decision we get to make is whether we eat as vegetarians or not.
Tis' True. Still... debating never hurt, eh?
*plus, conversion scheme was somewhat successful *
-cough- -ahem-
Being a one-man army defending bourderline herbivore/omnivore is tiring too.

Thread closed then?


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Last edited by Weave; 10-08-2007 at 02:50 AM.
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:08 AM   #46
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Well if you want the archaeological theory, we were originally a hunter-gatherer species. That means hunting (meat) and gathering (other foodstuffs), for those who find this stuff difficult to follow. Omnivorousness seems likely. Besides, have you ever tried an all-meat diet? The medieval/early modern European monarchs were into it. Not. Healthy.



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Old 10-08-2007, 09:29 AM   #47
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Originally (read: 3 million years ago) we supposedly were omnivorous gatherers/scavangers living in the forests. We only came out of the forrest when there was nothing to find (like small animals, insects, eggs but also fruits, nuts, roots, other eatable parts of plants) to seek for these things in the savannah/grasslands. Most probably we also found (and ate) bigger dead animals and what carnivores left over.

Later it seems, we left our secure home more often (also due to climatic changes causing the rain forest to disappear with the time) to strive through the grasslands and also developed tactics to scare even relatively big animals off their dead prey, so the quality of what we got got better. Basically we weren't hunters but thieves who stole other animals' meals. But in the end this seems to be the small but needed change in our diet (more, better meat, and thus more proteins) that caused our brain to develop and change rapidly (in evolutional terms).

The next step (also a result of the meaty diet) was that our tools and weaponry became so good that we, instead of just scaring them off, were able to hunt down other, if not all, even carnivorous animals.

Since that point we were hunters. Hunters by the means of "Four legs but not table, couch or chair? *stab*mnyumyumhumnumomnomnomnomnom*burp*!!"

As for the "relatively small canines" which were supposedly only good for "relatively small prey", we've never really used them to hunt down whatever sized animal, but used them to eat whatever sized animal. Also, it's not uncommon that teeth for instance grow back with the time when they are not necessary for a species to survive. But since we (still) have them, and it's pretty obvious what these are used for, we were "meat" eaters from the begin with (omnivorous, but still).



[edit]

Ok, I did some further research and found something interesting:

It is believed that we somehow developed from the Australopithecus, whose ancestors seemed to be "fruit eaters" only. As mentioned earlier, due to climate changes it happened that the rain forest slowly disappeared and the environment changed towards being Savannah/grassland offering only harder to eat and digest nuts, roots, seeds instead of juicy fruits and leafs of the rain forest.

Current theories support the idea that there were different genetic lines of the Australopithecus. Some, like Australopithecus africanus (believed ancestors of the species homo), became omnivorous, and some became herbivorous (like Australopithecus robustus) and specialised to being able to eat hard roots and the like, which was for that climate and environment a perfect "move". However, climate changes happen to be of a somewhat static nature, and thus the very specialised herbivorous line was not able to adapt fast enough and accordingly at some point and went extinct.

What does that mean? The ancestors of our ancestors were most probably herbivores specialised to eat fruits (only). But our (direct) ancestors only had the chance to make it because they were able to eat omnivorous, and with that had the better diet compared to hard and dry plants. Is it naturally to eat meat? Yes. And without we would most probably not be here discussing this.



Last edited by Ray Jones; 10-08-2007 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:06 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Jones
Originally (read: 3 million years ago) we supposedly were omnivorous gatherers/scavangers living in the forests. We only came out of the forrest when there was nothing to find (like small animals, insects, eggs but also fruits, nuts, roots, other eatable parts of plants) to seek for these things in the savannah/grasslands. Most probably we also found (and ate) bigger dead animals and what carnivores left over.
Seems to support my belief of bourderline herbivore/omnivore since we were scavengers who ate mostly small kills.

Quote:
As for the "relatively small canines" which were supposedly only good for "relatively small prey", we've never really used them to hunt down whatever sized animal, but used them to eat whatever sized animal. Also, it's not uncommon that teeth for instance grow back with the time when they are not necessary for a species to survive. But since we (still) have them, and it's pretty obvious what these are used for, we were "meat" eaters from the begin with (omnivorous, but still).
Another thing that supports that we were (and still are) only specialized for a mix of an omnivorous/herbivourous diet is how our teeth don't grow back after we loose our permanents.

Quote:
It is believed that we somehow developed from the Australopithecus, whose ancestors seemed to be "fruit eaters" only. As mentioned earlier, due to climate changes it happened that the rain forest slowly disappeared and the environment changed towards being Savannah/grassland offering only harder to eat and digest nuts, roots, seeds instead of juicy fruits and leafs of the rain forest.
Fruit eaters only, eh? Haven't heard that one before.

Quote:
Current theories support the idea that there were different genetic lines of the Australopithecus. Some, like Australopithecus africanus (believed ancestors of the species homo), became omnivorous, and some became herbivorous (like Australopithecus robustus) and specialised to being able to eat hard roots and the like, which was for that climate and environment a perfect "move". However, climate changes happen to be of a somewhat static nature, and thus the very specialised herbivorous line was not able to adapt fast enough and accordingly at some point and went extinct.
Interesting.

Quote:
What does that mean? The ancestors of our ancestors were most probably herbivores specialised to eat fruits (only). But our (direct) ancestors only had the chance to make it because they were able to eat omnivorous, and with that had the better diet compared to hard and dry plants. Is it naturally to eat meat? Yes. And without we would most probably not be here discussing this.
Is it natural to eat meat? Some meats are very natural: while others are artificially put into our diet. Still, all this supports that we are specialized in eating small animals, due to the size of our canine teeth, and lots of vegies, due to our many dull teeth such as the mollers. So, it definitely supports that we're carnivorous to a certain extent: hence my theory, weak omnivore/herbivore. Meat seems to be much more of an evolutionary trait than eating plants.

Either way, thanks for the research ! Especially the tid-bit about fruit eaters... never knew that. It's odd too since eating too many fruits now-a-days isn't really good for us. Then again... if we all excersized a bit more... that probably wouldn't be too much of a problem
Plus, we may have thrown off much of the "yolk" that depended on eating fruit as time passed. blah blah blah [/rant]


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Old 10-08-2007, 03:19 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weave
Seems to support my belief of bourderline herbivore/omnivore since we were scavengers who ate mostly small kills.
Scavangers usually do not kill at all. And borderline herbivore or not does not matter, since it was the ability to eat something else than plants that brought us through, not the other way around.


Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray
Also, it's not uncommon that teeth for instance grow back with the time when they are not necessary for a species to survive. But since we (still) have them, and it's pretty obvious what these are used for, we were "meat" eaters from the begin with (omnivorous, but still).
Another thing that supports that we were (and still are) only specialized for a mix of an omnivorous/herbivourous diet is how our teeth don't grow back after we loose our permanents.
I think my language was somewhat bad, because what I had in mind was "develop back", not "grow back".

Also, I don't think the fact that our teeth are only growing twice has nothing to do with our diet, since mammals, regardless of their diet, usually grow teeth only twice. Fishes and reptiles grow their teeth more often.


Quote:
Is it natural to eat meat? Some meats are very natural: while others are artificially put into our diet.
"Artificially put into our diet?" I don't think so. Like everywhere else around the world, what can be eaten goes down the throat. Any tiger will, when hungry, not stop at your neighbour's dog just because he's not at his 'natural meat' list. Of course, usually any hunting animal will not attack something much bigger than its own size, but zebras and gnus are not necessarily smaller than the average lion is. The reason why we attacked mammoths is not to artificially put something on our diet, but because we were able to and one mammoth gave food for months and useful materials like its fur, bones and teeth for weapons, tents and ornaments. If a lion could hunt down an elephant, he would do. Also, even the biggest animal, if not ripped apart by any scavangers, will be eaten by pretty damn small things without any form of teeth: bacterias.


Quote:
Still, all this supports that we are specialized in eating small animals, due to the size of our canine teeth, and lots of vegies, due to our many dull teeth such as the mollers.
Really? My point would rather be that we don't have bigger canines because we're specialised to find ways to make big animals small so we didn't need to develop bigger ones. And again, we were more specialised for a carnivorous diet, since vegetation became pretty bad food, and that was our advance compared to the other, more towards herbivorous diet specialised Australopithecus.


Quote:
It's odd too since eating too many fruits now-a-days isn't really good for us.
Do not forget, it's not us humans. It's more like pre-pre-humans from 4-3 million years ago or something. That is *a lot* of time to change and to adapt.

I mean we're not looking exactly like a 4' hairy something either.



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Old 10-08-2007, 04:19 PM   #50
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Yes, it's natural. In fact, we've been eating meat for so long it is natural.

Weave - Your argument about building up a tolerance to meat rests upon sloppy foundations. Most of your evidence is anecdotal at best. In fact, to your hypothesis about it being a biological element, I believe it to be psychological. The rejection is a result of your mind telling you it's wrong to eat meat thus the body responds accordingly.

Being omnivorous, I think, gives humans a great advantage in terms of survivability in every possible environment as D333 pointed out. When you look at the species that are the least affected by a change in the ecosystem, most if not all are omnivorous. Roaches for example, can eat absolutely anything and they've outlived almost everything.

Then there's the question of overpopulation. Simply putting in on the back of a single factor is highly simplistic. On one hand, the industrial production brought food stores to an incredible high, which ensured a bigger population. Then again, this holds for the western countries, as southern and eastern populations also saw a rise in their population without the incredible technological advancement to back it up. Famine still swept those regions, yet they outnumber the westerners today.
The humans also don't have any predator to keep its population in check. In fact, with our ability to cure diseases, there is literally nothing to properly balance out our population. The advances in medicine contribute to the greater lifespan of humans in our modern world.

So meat being a factor of overpopulation? I don't think so.


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Old 10-08-2007, 11:15 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weave
Uh... no.

You bring up the canines: I'll bring up the mollers.
They grind and chomp anything. For instance, I use my molars to chomp and grind the flesh of lesser creatures.



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Old 10-08-2007, 11:56 PM   #52
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The size of the canines is irrelevant. When was the last time you tried to take down, say, a pig with your teeth? The answer, of course, is never. When was the last time you heard of someone taking down a pig with their teeth? Probably never. Our teeth aren't weapons...usually. With the ability to take down an animal and then pull it apart, the need for large teeth is near-nonexistent. Can you imagine having your face stuffed full of the kind of teeth you see on animals similar to normal human weight? We'd need a completely different jaw structure.

Anyway, Humans are Omnivores. This is readily apparent. You can't eat meat if you can't digest it, and you can't eat plants if you can't digest them. Well, you can, but you won't get much in the way of benefits and you probably won't enjoy it. I can't really see how, assuming humanity at some point ran out of gatherable food, they were able to sustain themselves on meat they couldn't digest until they were able to evolve, and a Pre-Human who mutated meat-eating teeth wouldn't know what to do with them, unless the mutation also rewrote his instincts.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:36 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
Well if you want the archaeological theory, we were originally a hunter-gatherer species. That means hunting (meat) and gathering (other foodstuffs), for those who find this stuff difficult to follow. Omnivorousness seems likely. Besides, have you ever tried an all-meat diet? The medieval/early modern European monarchs were into it. Not. Healthy.
Good point Insidious. I think it would be kinda hard to go on an ALL meat diet nowadays.

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