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Old 04-25-2008, 02:18 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,935 posts, read 22,198,202 times
Reputation: 9019

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewAgeRedneck View Post
arctichomesteader wrote:
Animals kill other animals, in much harsher ways than we use (wolves for example are pretty cruel killers, amazing hunters, but still rather cruel). Humans are (or were originally anyways, many in the developed world don't live as such) a part of the natural food chain, as omnivores.
Granted if I personally had a choice between being killed harshly or more gently, I'd choose the gentle option. Nonetheless, I'd still be dead either way. Same deal for the animals!



arctichomesteader wrote:
I think people have gotten too detached from the natural world and their proper role in it,
While I agree with you that people have gotten too detached from the natural world, it seems really arrogant to assume that the proper role of humans is to KILL animals. I also fail to understand how KILLING animals will bring us into better alignment with the natural world. It seems more proper that we would appoint ourselves as their caretakers rather than appointing ourselves as their executioners.

At one time in my life I had a dream that was somewhat similar to yours in that I had a strong desire to homestead in the wilds of Alaska or British Columbia. When it got down to the reality of having to KILL animals for my survival, I put that dream into permanent retirement. Instead I decided to live with a back to the land group for a few years. As a community, we grew most of our own food. For whatever reason, GROWING food just made more sense to me than KILLING animals. It intrinsically seemed like the best possible way to live in harmony with the natural world. But that's just me. You're a different person. Ultimately we all do whatever our hearts are guiding us to do. Best wishes with your endeavour. If you are successful, at least you will be doing your own KILLING rather than having someone else do the dirty work for you. If everyone who ate meat would do their own KILLING, far fewer animals would ever be KILLED, and this planet would be a less violent and much GREENER place to live.
It's a scientific fact that humans are omnivores, not solely herbivores or carnivores. Also a fact is that humans were originally hunter-gatherers, not farmers. Growing food (agriculture) is not at all "natural" to humans (though I do indeed plan to grow lots of vegetables and some fruit, but it doesn't change the facts). Humans were (and in some places still are) part of the food chain and the ecosystem--as high ranking predators (but not the top really in most places) who hunt and, of course, humans consumed plant matter--wild berries, nuts, etc. I've chopped up plenty of my own meat already, it's not always a very pleasant job (doing the butchering) but, that fact doesn't deter me, because I fully understand the place of humans, and I know what goes on in nature even without humans.

 
Old 04-25-2008, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Fort Mill, SC (Charlotte 'burb)
4,730 posts, read 17,763,523 times
Reputation: 1008
Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
It's a scientific fact that humans are omnivores, not solely herbivores or carnivores. Also a fact is that humans were originally hunter-gatherers, not farmers. Growing food (agriculture) is not at all "natural" to humans (though I do indeed plan to grow lots of vegetables and some fruit, but it doesn't change the facts). Humans were (and in some places still are) part of the food chain and the ecosystem--as high ranking predators (but not the top really in most places) who hunt and, of course, humans consumed plant matter--wild berries, nuts, etc. I've chopped up plenty of my own meat already, it's not always a very pleasant job (doing the butchering) but, that fact doesn't deter me, because I fully understand the place of humans, and I know what goes on in nature even without humans.
How come we must, for the most part, use tools to slaughter animals? We werent designed to just go out and catch a bull or a deer with our teeth and eat it. Yes, I know we have incisors, but they wont do much trying to eat a freshly killed cow, and the incisors are also neated for food that is beneficial to most, such as nuts/ How do you expplain Seventh Day Adeventists living longer, healthier lives, with virtually no instance of diabetes and cholestorol related-problems (cholesterol is only found in animal products.). How do you explain gall bladder problems being virtually a non-issue in cultures/countries that consume a primarily vegetable diet? Like I said,I am not a vegeterian, but overall a primarily vegetable diet is a much healthier option.
 
Old 04-25-2008, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,835,798 times
Reputation: 9316
I recall a film narrated by WIlliam Shatner from the middle 80's on the benefits of eating a vegetarian diet. In that film, there was an interview with one of the doctors from Loma Linda University ( 7th Day Adventists ). He had carried out a study that showed that the human digestive tract more closely resembled the digestive tract of animals who ate plants rather than flesh eating animals. I tried to find the study but came up empty handed. I did however find this page which says many of the same things sted by the Loma Linda doctor.

groove1, you raise a very good question which I never considered. If humans are indeed designed to be flesh eaters, it makes sense that we would have sharper, flesh tearing teeth, and more of them too.
 
Old 04-25-2008, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,385 posts, read 37,689,162 times
Reputation: 22518
I was informed (at the time our daughter's appendix was removed many years ago) that its original purpose was for digesting grass, but that we've evolved away from that and thus it has become vestigial.

Again, we're not carnivores, we're omnivores, and our teeth reflect that. Plus, we are not the only animal to use tools to obtain our diet - chimpanzees, for example, will use sticks to make a tool to get ants from down inside the ant hill, otters use stones to break open clam shells, among other examples. So that's no indication that killing and eating animals is "not natural" to us.

Plus, we're also scavengers, and were not averse to cleaning up after a lion kill or some such (some folks still eat roadkill, come to that, if it's fresh enough). Again, part of our place in the great circle of life.

As for the person who thought that meat would be left to rot, I have to (after controlling my giggles) concur with the poster who pointed out that any meat left out unattended would most certainly NOT rot because it would be consumed too quickly.
 
Old 04-25-2008, 03:53 PM
 
3,698 posts, read 10,200,708 times
Reputation: 2609
We evolved to hunt in packs and to use tools. You can see chimpanzees hunting the same way, actually, and they use sticks and rocks to bring down their prey. We do have flesh-tearing teeth that herbivores don't have. We also have our eyes set to look forward with very good depth perception, another characteristic of predatory animals.

There was some happy accident way back before we were homo sapiens where our hunter ancestors discovered how nice meat tastes when it's roasted, and how much easier it is to eat and how it stays edible longer than if it were raw. What you see when you look in the mirror is the result of a thousands of generations of evolution after this shift.

Our brains grew more complex not only because of the benefit of the proteins and fatty acids we gained from meat but also nature selected for those most able to use tools and most able to work together as a team to bring down prey. We don't need the incisors to take down cows, because we haven't needed to take down prey with our bare hands for a hundred thousand years.
 
Old 04-25-2008, 04:05 PM
 
Location: CA
2,464 posts, read 5,809,186 times
Reputation: 2593
We are - for the most part - not a hunting and gathering society anymore. True, eating meat has been a part of the human condition for thousands of years, but does our past have to define what we are today? We didn't eat the massive quantities of meat we do now, that is a fairly recent phenomenon.
 
Old 04-25-2008, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,385 posts, read 37,689,162 times
Reputation: 22518
We're talking more about what our anatomy has evolved to eat, not our culture (though the latter does, of course, grow out of the former as well as, being such an adaptive creature, where our ancestors happened to be and what was most available there).

I'd be interested to see if there's a corrolation between (a) meat eating or vegetarianism throughout a culture with (b) population density with (c) poverty (as well as mortality figures as to age and cause). Surely this has been done - must google. (What did I ever do without google. Oh, wait, they were called libraries . . . )
 
Old 04-25-2008, 04:15 PM
 
3,698 posts, read 10,200,708 times
Reputation: 2609
Are there any cultures that are purely vegetarian?
 
Old 04-25-2008, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,385 posts, read 37,689,162 times
Reputation: 22518
India is predominantly, isn't it? (More googling . . . )
 
Old 04-25-2008, 04:40 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,935 posts, read 22,198,202 times
Reputation: 9019
Quote:
Originally Posted by groove1 View Post
How come we must, for the most part, use tools to slaughter animals? We werent designed to just go out and catch a bull or a deer with our teeth and eat it. Yes, I know we have incisors, but they wont do much trying to eat a freshly killed cow, and the incisors are also neated for food that is beneficial to most, such as nuts/ How do you expplain Seventh Day Adeventists living longer, healthier lives, with virtually no instance of diabetes and cholestorol related-problems (cholesterol is only found in animal products.). How do you explain gall bladder problems being virtually a non-issue in cultures/countries that consume a primarily vegetable diet? Like I said,I am not a vegeterian, but overall a primarily vegetable diet is a much healthier option.
You can't read it all without a subscription, but the portion shown summarizes it well: Cookie Absent (broken link)

And a brief summary also:

Inuit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So, it's been proven that a diet high in meat and fish is perfectly healthy, or at least, can be (clearly the average modern American diet is not healthy but the Inuit diet was).

As for tools, many animals and even insects use tools to get their food or create shelter/protection. Our intelligence was what made us able to survive as hunter-gatherers. It's been shown by various scientists that humans were originally hunter-gatherers, and that agriculture came along much later: Hunter-gatherer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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