Vegetarian anatomy

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Wisdom_Seeker, May 23, 2011.

  1. Wisdom_Seeker Speaker of my truth Valued Senior Member

    Well, let's get the party started

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    I've noticed that many people here are against vegetarian-based diet, and since this is a Science forum, I would like to hear some informed answers. Let's stick to anatomy for this thread, I mean comparative anatomy.

    I don't want to hear: "I like the taste of it", or "fuck off veggie bastard", or "cavemen ate meat". I mean let's stick to biology and science.

    It is not a secret that you can tell what is the natural diet of an animal from his anatomy, so I would like to hear what do you think of this video, and the following summary taken from The comparative anatomy of eating?

    Facial Muscles
    CARNIVORE: Reduced to allow wide mouth gape
    HERBIVORE: Well-developed
    OMNIVORE: Reduced
    HUMAN: Well-developed

    Jaw Type
    CARNIVORE: Angle not expanded
    HERBIVORE: Expanded angle
    OMNIVORE: Angle not expanded
    HUMAN: Expanded angle

    Jaw Joint Location
    CARNIVORE: On same plane as molar teeth
    HERBIVORE: Above the plane of the molars
    OMNIVORE: On same plane as molar teeth
    HUMAN: Above the plane of the molars

    Jaw Motion
    CARNIVORE: Shearing; minimal side-to-side motion
    HERBIVORE: No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back
    OMNIVORE: Shearing; minimal side-to-side
    HUMAN: No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back

    Major Jaw Muscles
    CARNIVORE: Temporalis
    HERBIVORE: Masseter and pterygoids
    OMNIVORE: Temporalis
    HUMAN: Masseter and pterygoids

    Mouth Opening vs. Head Size
    CARNIVORE: Large
    HERBIVORE: Small
    OMNIVORE: Large
    HUMAN: Small

    Teeth: Incisors
    CARNIVORE: Short and pointed
    HERBIVORE: Broad, flattened and spade shaped
    OMNIVORE: Short and pointed
    HUMAN: Broad, flattened and spade shaped

    Teeth: Canines
    CARNIVORE: Long, sharp and curved
    HERBIVORE: Dull and short or long (for defense), or none
    OMNIVORE: Long, sharp and curved
    HUMAN: Short and blunted

    Teeth: Molars
    CARNIVORE: Sharp, jagged and blade shaped
    HERBIVORE: Flattened with cusps vs complex surface
    OMNIVORE: Sharp blades and/or flattened
    HUMAN: Flattened with nodular cusps

    CARNIVORE: None; swallows food whole
    HERBIVORE: Extensive chewing necessary
    OMNIVORE: Swallows food whole and/or simple crushing
    HUMAN: Extensive chewing necessary

    CARNIVORE: No digestive enzymes
    HERBIVORE: Carbohydrate digesting enzymes
    OMNIVORE: No digestive enzymes
    HUMAN: Carbohydrate digesting enzymes

    Stomach Type
    CARNIVORE: Simple
    HERBIVORE: Simple or multiple chambers
    OMNIVORE: Simple
    HUMAN: Simple

    Stomach Acidity
    CARNIVORE: Less than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach
    HERBIVORE: pH 4 to 5 with food in stomach
    OMNIVORE: Less than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach
    HUMAN: pH 4 to 5 with food in stomach

    Stomach Capacity
    CARNIVORE: 60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract
    HERBIVORE: Less than 30% of total volume of digestive tract
    OMNIVORE: 60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract
    HUMAN: 21% to 27% of total volume of digestive tract

    Length of Small Intestine
    CARNIVORE: 3 to 6 times body length
    HERBIVORE: 10 to more than 12 times body length
    OMNIVORE: 4 to 6 times body length
    HUMAN: 10 to 11 times body length

    CARNIVORE: Simple, short and smooth
    HERBIVORE: Long, complex; may be sacculated
    OMNIVORE: Simple, short and smooth
    HUMAN: Long, sacculated

    CARNIVORE: Can detoxify vitamin A
    HERBIVORE: Cannot detoxify vitamin A
    OMNIVORE: Can detoxify vitamin A
    HUMAN: Cannot detoxify vitamin A

    CARNIVORE: Extremely concentrated urine
    HERBIVORE: Moderately concentrated urine
    OMNIVORE: Extremely concentrated urine
    HUMAN: Moderately concentrated urine

    CARNIVORE: Sharp claws
    HERBIVORE: Flattened nails or blunt hooves
    OMNIVORE: Sharp claws
    HUMAN: Flattened nails
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  3. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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  5. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    One would assume we started evolving eating a chimplike diet...mostly plants, plus bugs and small animals...then we learned to hunt and cook.

    I'm vegan, but I'm drinking a soy protein smoothie ATM...not exactly a natural food substance...
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  7. Wisdom_Seeker Speaker of my truth Valued Senior Member

    I know the arguments, protein for brain development, B complex vitamins, iron, comparison to chimps, etc. ; nothing that can be countered with adding a few chicken unfertilized eggs to our diet. But I want to know the arguments against the comparison made in the OP. For example:
    - Is is true that our large intestine is one of the largest in the animal kingdom? (Being that a characteristic of a natural herbivore).
    And I would like to hear the argument against that with our bare hands, we are not able to kill a cow. Or that meat would essentially eventually poison us if we would eat it without coking it.
    Or that a human child would not start killing animals and eating meat if it's given the choice (eating meat is a learned behavior, or only possible under extreme circumstances).
    Taking in consideration that humans developed tools and fire only thousands of years ago, does it really counter-act with millions of years of evolution?

    And what about heart disease, colon cancer and other digestive disorders that have been linked to eating meat.

    I’m not arguing that our ancestors in some point in evolution had to start eating meat given the extreme circumstances of our environment, and without it we probably wouldn’t have survived. But is it really necessary to survive and evolve today? Given the fact that eating meat is one of the major causes of environment destruction and one of the most counter-productive diets in sustainable development, in this increasingly over populated world, I think we should really ask ourselves those questions.
  8. Wisdom_Seeker Speaker of my truth Valued Senior Member

    A vegan chimpkin

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    , hello fellow human.
  9. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Then why did you not use this as the OP instead of presenting spurious, un-scientific rubbish as your argument?
  10. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    That can't be said for certain without population studies...but my suspicion is that we *mostly* don't.

    Meaning some people may. Before I decide that for certain, I'd want to see more longitudinal studies on vegans.

    I think the China study followed people who still ate a tiny bit of meat, but very little due to poverty...and they were a lot healthier.

    That doesn't rule out some individuals needing meat.
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

    We started out as non-obligate vegetarians, as many animals do (i.e. a vegetarian diet with some eggs, bugs and whatnot thrown in.)

    Then, a few million years back, we gained sufficient intelligence and social ability that we learned to hunt. We then slowly began evolving to be true omnivores, animals that could eat both with good results.

    Then we became intelligent enough to protect our weaker members. We also started cooking. This threw things out of whack, because we stopped evolving to a large degree ("survival of the fittest" works only if you let the less fit die) and we also lost the need to have many of the adaptations that true omnivores have (like the ability to rip up meat with our teeth, and strong enough stomach acids to break down raw skin and tendon.)

    So now our anatomy supports a primarily vegetarian diet, with some beginnings of adaptation towards being omnivores. We are certainly not carnivores in the biological sense of the word; anyone who doubts this should try chasing down a cow and eating it. (With no tools, just your hands and teeth.) We're also not 100% vegetarians any more since we cannot synthesize all the vitamins we need from plants alone.

    This causes us problems since modern mostly-meat diets throws our lipid and calorie profiles way out of whack, and also causes issues since our mouths/throats are not designed for meat. Even cooked meat causes us problems; "choking on meat" is one of the more common ways to die here in the US.
  12. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    Some of the arguments fail because they try to treat humans like other animals. So we cannot be omnivores because our teeth are not like other omnivore teeth. This is total bulldust.

    Humans are omnivores. We are a very strange kind of omnivore, and that is because we have technology -the use of tools, weapons, and fire. We can hunt and kill using spears, arrows, guns etc., rather than teeth and claws. We cook our food.

    In fact, humans have the smallest gut for our body size of all primates. This is a result of evolution after we learned to cook. Cooked food requires less digesting, and a smaller gut reduces body weight, improving performance in hunting. Something our obese population has been trying to overcome!

    Some people on this forum are vegans. Fine. That is their choice, and they are welcome to make that choice. However, being a healthy vegan is more difficult than being a healthy omnivore. Non animal foods tend to be deficient in iron, vitamin B12, zinc, and some amino acids. Careful choice of the right vegan foods can get around those problems, but iron deficiency anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency anemia are both very common among vegans, along with some other health problems.

    Red meat is the richest source of dietary iron, and offals for vitamin B12. Dairy products are the best sources of calcium. Eggs supply all of those.

    Excessive consumption of meat has been suggested to be related to some health problems. Sure. That does not mean we should not eat meat. We should be a bit more careful about which meats we eat. Particularly bad are fatty meats, salty meats, and smoked meats. We should keep our meat consumption to reasonable levels.

    The creation of good health depends of a balanced diet, exercise and a few other factors. The balanced diet should, if possible, include animal protein. Small amounts of lean red meat, poultry, eggs, low fat milk, and fish. That is the way to maximise good health.
  13. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    Finally!! A truly logical, sensible and accurate post in this hashed-up thread - thank you very much.

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  14. John99 Banned Banned

    This old chestnut again?

    Let me guess: former fatty, squeamish former meat eater?

    Let me jusy say, for the record, humans are Omnivores. Anything else is a personal choice. To tell you, i know 2 vegetarians who are pretty hefty.
  15. kurros Registered Senior Member

    I eat plenty of meat, and I agree that the healthiest diet for us is probably going to include a certain amount of meat, yet I cannot disagree with wisdom seeker and with Einstein:

    "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." ~Albert Einstein

    Well except for the health part. Most of us should eat less meat for sure but none makes life a little more difficult. I would happily turn vegetarian if a large global movement began thus making it easier to be one.
  16. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

    This pretty much sums it up, moderation is key to keeping healthy. I find it ironic how many vegetarians love to be snooty to meat eaters about the health benefits whilst downing their 7th glass of wine.

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    How about some counter points that take into consideration the rest of our anatomy? Such as having forward facing eyes, like (gasp) predators?

    Oh go on then, just for kicks I'll bite -
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    ?? Fruit bats eat only fruit and have forward-facing eyes; eye placement is not directly linked to predation.
  18. Wisdom_Seeker Speaker of my truth Valued Senior Member

    How do you know that carnists are healthier than ovo-lacto-vegetarians? Are there any studies to support this?
  19. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    I find the Expensive Tissue Hypothesis (ETH) quite interesting. I reside in the Yukon and the people indigenous to these parts used to eat a diet that was largely protein, more meat, fat and fish than plants because of the climate. The Eskimo diet of old would kill most of the people on this planet, yet they survived and thrived in one of the most hostile climates on earth. Since switching to a largely carbohydrate diet of processed foods, the incidence of diabetes in these two population groups has sky-rocketed to considerably higher than the rest of North America.

    Just some things to keep in mind. It's a very large planet with many micro-climates and life adapts to the food supply of it's niche. Not to horrify you, but I was raise in the old ways and taught to procure and prepare small game for the table.

    Predators ingest considerably more plant food sources than many persons may be aware, observed by those who live on the land. Humans appear to be among the most omnivorous species on the planet, able to adapt to the widest range of habitats through choice and ability to also adapt the habitat to meet many of our needs.

  20. Wisdom_Seeker Speaker of my truth Valued Senior Member

    Never been fat in my life, actually I started gaining a little fatty on my belly after I started going veggy 3 years ago. But now I’m on the good track again (more aware of nutrition), hitting the gym, surfing, loosing fat and gaining body weight from muscle.
    I cannot be squeamish even if I wanted to, I was raised eating meat, my whole family does, and I really cannot judge them because they were also conditioned to eat meat. They were conditioned by society, their parents, advertising, etc.

    Being a carnist is also a personal choice dude, as eating meat is not necessary for survival today.
  21. Wisdom_Seeker Speaker of my truth Valued Senior Member

    LOL, I do love me some red red wine, but not in excess. I don't beef carnists man, they are my friends, my family, my people.
  22. Wisdom_Seeker Speaker of my truth Valued Senior Member

    You are absolutely right, although I don’t think such extreme climates are comfortable for humans; and people have adapted to live in such circumstances. But put an Eskimo to live in that weather naked and he would be in difficulty. I would never judge people for eating meat, there are circumstances that make us adapt to survive.
    Although most of us people in the planet not live in such circumstances; ergo is not a necessity for us and we eat meat just because of conditioning.
  23. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    Wins thread.

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