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Old 10-09-2010, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Appalachian New York, Formerly Louisiana
4,409 posts, read 6,540,027 times
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Huh...

Here's how I test it.

I look at the broccoli. I look at the steak. I eat the steak.
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Old 10-09-2010, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,731 posts, read 9,944,608 times
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It's not just the name of our "canine" teeth, but the shape and placement that indicate their use as ripping teeth. Now, that could be ripping flesh from an animal or ripping flesh off the rind of a fruit... and in fact, we use them for both. If they were flat-bottomed, then they'd be for ripping and grinding. But there are many mostly herbivores who have large "canine" teeth for defense... but those animals have MUCH stronger jaws than we humans currently do, so biting isn't one of our best defense tools.

I don't think anyone is trying to say that humans are exclusive carnivores. Omnivores can and do eat meat, have mouth parts capable of ripping and tearing meat, stomach/intestines capable of digesting meat, and metabolic systems that require some nutrients provided (only or better) by animal sources... regardless of the amount of meat they normally consume. A chimp or a pig may eat almost an exclusively vegetable diet but it doesn't mean they aren't omnivores. A cat may occasionally eat some grain in the stomach of a prey animal but that doesn't mean they aren't carnivores. A sheep may occasionally eat a bug or an earthworm while grazing but that doesn't mean they aren't herbivores.
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Sango, TN
24,868 posts, read 24,382,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I agree with almost all of your post except the part I highlighted in bold. Quite a few mammals are herbivores: rabbits, deer, elk, moose, cows, horses and zebras, elephants, giraffes, gorillas, and the various kinds of antelopes (such as gnus and impalas, etc.).
You know that Rabbits are the evolutionary children of meat eaters? The reason a rabbit has to eat its food, poop it out, and eat the poop, is because their digestive system was evolved from eats meat eating great great grandparents. They can't digest the plant matter the first time through.

I do know that many mammals don't eat meat. However, many of the most successful do.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,232 posts, read 46,649,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieSkoon View Post
Huh...

Here's how I test it.

I look at the broccoli. I look at the steak. I eat the steak.
Given the choice between the two, I'd eat the broccoli. Now, if they grind that steak up, I'd eat it, as long as it wasn't too expensive.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:20 PM
 
46,946 posts, read 25,979,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaada View Post
Our so-called "canine teeth" are "canine" in name only. Other plant-eaters (like gorillas, horses, and hippos) have "canines", and chimps, who are almost exclusively vegan, have massive canines compared to ours
Humans are natural plant-eaters -- in-depth article
As far as I know, we've never encountered an indigenous people that lived a purely (or close to it) vegetarian lifestyle. Do any humans living in a "natural" state or close to it eschew meat when it's available?

Until we developed agriculture of some sort, we were hunter-gatherers. Meat (and seafood - settlements of my Danish forefathers can be located by the mounds of oyster shells) is handy protein, and letting protein get away uneaten is not how you outcompete the neighbor tribe. Also, of course, meat is almost universally edible. Discerning edible plants, on the other hand, takes considerable local knowledge. (This is why we train soldiers to stay away from local plant life in a survival situation.)
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Pensacola, Fl
659 posts, read 1,085,115 times
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They could at least have tried to hide the bias in this article a bit better.

Humans are natural vegetarians? I'm sorry but that's just not true. If you simply look at the structure of our teeth, it's pretty obvious that we are Omnivores. Animals that are mainly plant eaters (such as cows, horses, and other hoofed animals) have flat blunt molars perfect for grinding plants down to mush. They also have very specialized and extensive digestive systems to fully extract the nutrients from their food. For example, the cow has four stomachs and it can take 24 to 72 hours for cows to completely digest their food and remove the waste from their system. Animals that are mainly meat eaters (such as dogs, cats, wolves, and other animals from order Carnivora) have very sharp and somewhat jagged molars perfect for slicing meat up into tiny pieces so that it can be digested. Another example, in dogs, the average digestion time is around 12 hours, much shorter than that of cows (I'm not sure, but, my hypothesis on this would be that it doesn't take as long to digest meat as it does plants).

Humans (which are omnivores) have the best of both worlds. Our molars are blunt and round, perfect for grinding down those veggies, and our pre molars and canines are better suited for tearing through meat and chewing it to little pieces. That is what makes us suited for both eating meat and veggies. Our digestion time varies around 24-48 hours. A good 12-36 hours more than it would for a dog, but a good deal shorter than the longest time it would take for cows to digest their food.

Another point is that our bodies are not well suited for digesting plants. Fiber is important in our diet (it helps as fiber is needed during defecation), but our body cannot break down fiber at all. There may have been a time when we were strictly vegetarian - the appendix is considered a vestigial organ that was useful in breaking down cellulose (which is fiber!) - but as we found food that was easier to digest, the need for the appendix slowly disappeared.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 38,774,074 times
Reputation: 7185
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaada View Post
Our so-called "canine teeth" are "canine" in name only. Other plant-eaters (like gorillas, horses, and hippos) have "canines", and chimps, who are almost exclusively vegan, have massive canines compared to ours
Humans are natural plant-eaters -- in-depth article
Chimps aren't really accurately described as "almost exclusively vegan". They scavenge meat and, while not particularly adept hunters, do kill and consume other mammals whenever the opportunity presents itself. On top of that, insects (which don't qualify as vegan as far as I'm aware) represent a sizeable percentage of their diet.

I do like the "cruelty free triceps" caption in the article, however.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:58 PM
 
1,719 posts, read 4,181,377 times
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Yeah, that's why we have canine teeth.

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Old 10-11-2010, 06:58 PM
 
131 posts, read 439,747 times
Reputation: 138
I don't care how my ancestors looked, ate, evolved! I am a natural born carnivore!

Whenever I can, I grab a big hunk of boney meat, burn it on the outside, don't care about the inside, and tear every last trace of the flesh from the bone. My teeth seem to be eminently suited for this task in every respect! None of my internal organs have ever complained and I enjoy perfect health.

Yes, I do throw in the odd bit of veggie/fruit but every meal is MEAT TIME!

Remember, "A day without meat is a day without sunshine!"
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:29 PM
 
Location: San Diego North County
4,803 posts, read 8,748,694 times
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I'm a vegetarian. I choose to eat this way because I feel that it's better for my health.

But I'm also a scientist. To state that Homo sapien sapien evolved to eat a vegetarian diet is without scientific merit. Additionally, such unequivocal nonsense does a great disservice to the enormous amount of evidence to the contrary and the actual research that went into it.

Might I suggest a little light reading? The Expensive Tissue Hypothesis, by Leslie Aielo, does an excellent job of explaining the role of meat in the evolution of H. sapien. Of course H. sapiens evolved as omnivores, but the eating of meat played a huge role in the brain development of early hominids, the ancestors of H. sapien.

Brazilian Journal of Genetics - Brains and guts in human evolution: The Expensive Tissue Hypothesis
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