The Futile Rebellion of Nature’s Most Complex Herbivores: The Delusional Meat Myth of Humankind and its Troublesome Consequences
Paige Gilmar | 10/23/15 2:15pm
| Updated 10/23/15 2:16pm
Disclaimer: The author of this article is a vegetarian
Working as yet another subtle, but influential element to the modern anti-environmentalist movement that has spread so fiercely throughout the U.S. populous, the question of whether human beings were and are naturally omnivores has been subject to great bouts of heated debates and passionate discussions between ecologists and anti-naturalists alike. Those for the consumption of both meat and vegetative diets claim that human’s continual meat-eating is “natural” and “part of the human process.” As stated by American actor, writer, producer, singer, and comedian, Denis Leary, “Not eating meat is a decision, eating meat is an instinct.” However, Neal Barnard, an American doctor, author, clinical researcher, and founding president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, counters such a point by writing, “Meat consumption is just as dangerous to public health as tobacco use… It’s time we looked into holding the meat producers and fast-food outlets legally accountable.”
With such differentiation in opinions, it may be quite confusing to discern whether human beings are truly the self-proclaimed “omnivores” we so willingly parade around as being. Are human beings really supposed to eat meat?
The Cowardly-Lion Complex
Speaking broadly, a great deal of the human population is repulsed by the sight of blood, intestines, and raw flesh as well as unable to tolerate the screams of animals being ripped apart and killed. Those who do enjoy such violence, in psychological terms, are categorized as mentally ill, allowing such diagnostic descriptions as “sadistic personality disorder” to flourish. With such a generalized personality type, it would be quite difficult for these supposed omnivores (i.e., humans) to triumph in accomplishing their diet of fatty, juicy meats in the wild, especially when said cowardly lions are afraid of the hunt.
However, true carnivores thrive upon the intensity of the hunt, relishing in the tearing of raw flesh and the feast of the raw meat that follows. Whether it be an African wild dog or an Ethiopian wolf, such types of meat-eating beings acquire the physical and mental capabilities to hunt and kill any animal. While the blood reality of eating meat is innately repulsive to us, carnivorous creatures are stimulated by the scent of blood and the thrill of the chase.
The Body of a Scavenger, the Mind of a Hunter
On the matter of physical ability, one must also remember the physical barriers that prevent human beings from being the supposed “hunters” we so thirstily desire. With soft, short nails and dull, tiny canine teeth, it seems quite illogical to imagine that we are reminiscent to that of great, omnivorous creatures of today, such as the clawed black bear or the spike-toothed crocodile.
Moreover, while only real meat-eaters’ jaws move up and down with unflattened molars in order to tear and consume chunks of their prey in a speedy and efficient fashion, human beings acquire jaws similar to that of herbivores that move up and down and side to side with flattened molars, allowing them to grind up fruit and vegetables with their back teeth. With such blunt and edgeless canines, it is hard to imagine human beings as the menacing, wild king that tops the food chain.
Pepto Bismol for the Carnivore Kings
Lastly, one final bodily characteristic of human beings throws away the American lust for red meat: humans’ digestive tracts. Unlike carnivores, human beings obtain long intestinal tracts that give more time in order to break down fiber and absorb the nutrients from plant-based foods. Carnivores, in stark contrast, hold short intestinal tracts and colons that allow meat to pass through their digestive system relatively quickly, before it can rot and cause illness.
Therefore, when human beings consume excess amounts of meat, bacteria of said food products gain excessive amount of time to multiply during their long trip through the digestive system. Meat will actually begin to rot during its trip through the human intestine, increasing the risk for colon cancer. Furthermore, as human beings do not have strong stomach acids to kill off the bacteria that breeds from meat-eating, animal flesh causes human beings to also suffer the traumas of food poisoning. Every year in the U.S. alone, food poisoning sickens more than 48 million people and kills more than 3,000.
In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, meat is a sizable factor of foodborne illnesses in America as it’s often contaminated with bacteria dangerous for human citizens, such as E. coli, listeria, and campylobacter. Every year in the U.S. alone, food poisoning sickens more than 48 million people and kills more than 3,000. Dr. Richard Leakey, a renowned anthropologist, summarizes, “You can’t tear flesh by hand, you can’t tear hide by hand. Our anterior teeth are not suited for tearing flesh or hide. We don’t have large canine teeth, and we wouldn’t have been able to deal with food sources that require those large canines.”
The Concluding Chapter of Meat Mythology
With such staggering evidence, the idea of human beings as “omnivorous” shatters indefinitely. Nevertheless, there are a great deal of the American populace who still do not believe in such scientific evidence. Dr. William C. Roberts, editor of the authoritative American Journal of Cardiology, sums it up this way: “Although we think we are one and we act as if we are one, human beings are not natural carnivores. When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.”
What’s your opinion? Should human beings be categorized as herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores? Why do you think so?
It is with great optimism that such questions will eventually quell this longstanding debate over humankind’s history with its appetizing, but deadly friend, meat.