Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by pluto2, May 2, 2009.
come on jmpet, did you actually sit down and think about what you wrote?
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Well, no, we aren't carnivores. We're omnivores.
I feel like this would be relatively easy to resolve with data from the calorie sources of modern stone age tribes. I haven't found any with a preliminary google search.
Well okay, my intention is not to split hairs. Humans were never obligate carnivores like lions, eagles, seals, sharks, alligators and sperm whales, unable to extract nutrients from plant tissue. But we're omnivores only to the extent that bears, crows and coyotes are omnivores: we can extract the calories from the sugar and starch in fruits, nuts and seeds, but we cannot extract the calories from raw cellulose, the most abundant plant tissue, because we don't have the enzymes or acids to break it down. And we cannot use plant tissue as a source of protein because we do not have the long intestine loaded with bacterial culture to convert starch into amino acids.
Some omnivores get their protein from animal tissue by scavenging the leftovers in the kill of other predators; dogs, jackals, vultures, hyenas and raccoons make a lifestyle of it. Others get it by spending a lot of time digging up insects, licking up grubs and maggots, and various other unsavory activites; bears do a lot of that.
But humans don't have the constitution for that. Dogs have such a highly acidic digestive tract that their saliva was used as an antibiotic by a few primitive tribes. They can thrive on bugs, the garbage the bugs were eating, and three-day old road-kill. We can't.
Humans have to get their protein from meat--or at least we did until around 8000BCE when we finally had access to the amino acids in cooked, cultivated grains.
As for sheer calories, well sure, when fruit is in season and the size of your tribe is pretty small, you can get a lot of your calories from wild-growing fruit. But the rest of the year there isn't an adequate natural source of digestible sugar and starch, so you have to get a significant portion of your calories by eating the meat of the herbivores whose bacterial cultures have conveniently turned the cellulose in grass and leaves into protein.
Modern Stone Age tribes are a little too "modern." They have the technology of fire so they can cook roots and tubers, turning them into nice sources of digestible starch. They also raid the farms on the outskirts of their territory so they can add cooked grains to the vegetarian portion of their diet. Cooked grains combined with nuts or seeds provide a perfect balance of amino acids and are the reason today's vegans can survive on their milkless, eggless and meatless diet long enough to reach the age of reproduction. (Legumes like soybeans don't do it; beans are seeds and have a similar amino acid profile.)
Nah. Our stomach produces hydrochloric acid when food is ingested, because chief cells in the lining release H+ and Cl- ions, which form HCl. It brings the pH to like 1. That's acidic enough. And we extract protein from plants as well as calories.
Protip: Dog saliva (and human saliva) is not acidic. It's basic. Dogs' more basic than ours, even.
You truly have no idea what you are talking about, do you?
Which does not necessarily negate the fact, in and of itself, since strong bases have a similar effect on matter as strong acids. Dog saliva, being stronger (as you say) would have similarly stronger anti-biotic properties.
Out of curiosity, have you demonstrated that the bulk of his statements aren't true, especially regarding the history of human digestion? Or do you just see fit to nit-pick over the PH balance of a dog's saliva?
I think Saven just figures that if he postures with a condescending attitude, readers will mistake his confidence for actual arguments.
That is not what he said, my friend. He said that a dog's digestive tract was "so highly acidic that its saliva was used as an antibiotic" or some such. He directly linked it to its acidity. But since you brought up strong bases acting as antibiotics, I'll just let you know that saliva isn't strongly basic enough to do such things. It's weakly basic, with a pH of 8.
And yes, most of his statements are untrue or irrelevant, or they don't actually contradict me. Saying that we've become more adapted to digest meat (his point) doesn't somehow negate the fact that we were and are omnivores. He's also ignoring that humans have the enzyme amylase in their saliva, designed to break down starch (plant sugar) and nothing else, we have back molars, which carnivores never have because molars are used to grind plant substances, and that we're equipped with everything we need to digest plant fruits and vegetables in ways that carnivores cannot. Clearly, our bodies *are* designed to digest plants and meat alike, making us omnivores. Case closed. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
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I don't push the "submit" button until I triple checked the authenticity of my words- how dare you callously insult me!
Fraggle- give it up- you can't win. We are not animals hunting other animals for their flesh- we're intelligent beings who can decide what we eat to live on.
How else do you explain me- someone who has had no flesh for seven years and is still here to defy you? Whoop tee doo- I think I will run the cycle for 20 km in your name- I have so much energy and drive and all of it from NOT EATING FLESH.
I think the distinction between the sort of "carnivores" we are, and the obligatory carnivores cats and dogs are, is a meaningful one. We have large, flat molars, a taste for sweets, and a very broad range of foods. The fact that we can enjoy many different foods is strong enough evidence that we aren't carnivores any more than a bear is.
You mention bears, which really aren't that carnivorous. Other than scavenging kills or small game, brown bears get the majority of their calories from fish and berries, while black bears get the majority of their calories from insects, fruit and berries.
In some places, grizzlies will get upwards of 20% of their calories from cow parsnip, a type of celery that grows 7ft tall, in the summer.
As omnivores, we are capable of rounding out or diet from multiple sources, and while meat is the easiest and cheapest way for us to get calories and nutrients, it is in no way the only source. Given what we know about nutrition and the capabilities animals have to experience pain and discomfort, there are no moral or ethical justifications (if you have a bunch of feelings and care about the sort of bullshit Saven does) to eat as much meat as we do, save that our convenience and utility supercedes that of non-human animals.
Great. The rest of us carnivorous health-nuts will do our workouts while thinking of you vegetarians. That--I guess--is our right.
You eat only meat...?
That's not what carnivorous means....
You eat almost only meat..?
Why..? Eating almost only one food is never a good thing.
primates do hunt kill and eat each other. "The Common Chimpanzee has a varied diet that includes predation on other primate species, such as the Western Red Colobus monkey"
also, some primates' teeth seem better suited to a carnivorous diet. i'd argue humans have the teeth, anatomy and dietary requirements suited to an omnivore.
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Some days ago I read about a person (an entertainer) in my home country whose one of her legs should be amputated because of diabetes and gangrene (both are interrelated). I then look up about it and found this information:
This is probably the most common misconception about diabetes. If you have diabetes, you do need to watch your sugar and carbohydrate intake to properly manage your blood sugar level with the help of your registered dietitian. However, if you do not have diabetes, sugar intake will not cause diabetes. What is known is that a diet high in calories, being overweight, and an inactive lifestyle are the main risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.
Increased diabetes risk appeared to be most pronounced for frequent consumption of total processed meat especially bacon and hot dogs.
In 2003, 47,309 participants in the Women's Health Study aged 45 years or older who were free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes completed validated food frequency questionnaires that documented the onset of type 2 diabetes in 1,558 cases over 8 years and found positive associations between intakes of red meat and processed meat and the risk of developing diabetes. Those who ate bacon at least twice a week had a 17% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate it less than once a week. The results for frankfurters were even more troubling. Those who had hot dogs at least twice a week upped their risk by 24%.
The results are surprising, since most of us associate diabetes with foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar - not protein-rich foods. Researchers aren't yet sure how eating these meats leads to diabetes, but say it may be nitrates and nitrites, preservatives and additives that can be toxic to pancreatic cells (damage to these cells is a hallmark of type 2 diabetes). Your diet is the single biggest influence on your diabetes condition.
So, watch out for your meat consumption, Pluto!
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