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vegetarianism vs non vegetarianism

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vegetarianism vs non vegetarianism

Postby swami1959 » Sun, 12 Jun 2005 11:24 am

Most people still mistakenly believe that humans are meat-eaters by design. However, an objective comparison between the characteristics of naturally vegetarian animals and naturally carnivorous ones, as shown below, reveals that this belief is false:
Why Humans are Natural Vegetarians
Straight Talking from an Expert

In 1990, William Clifford Roberts, the distinguished editor in chief of The American Journal of Cardiology, wrote:

Although human beings eat meat we are not natural carnivores. We were intended to eat plants, fruits and starches! No matter how much fat carnivores eat, they do not develop atheroschlerosis. It's virtually impossible, for example, to produce atheroschlerosis in the dog even when 100 grams of cholesterol are added to its meat ration. (This amount of cholesterol is approximately 200 times the average amount that human beings in the USA eat each day!) In contrast, herbivores rapidly develop atheroschlerosis if they are fed foods, namely fat and cholesterol, intended for carnivores...

Thus, 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.

Humans are Not Designed to Eat Meat

Just because you can digest animals does not mean you are supposed to. You can digest cardboard. That does not mean you should eat it. And it also does not mean that you digest it well.

Our closest relatives are primates. Very few eat animals, and those who do typically stick to things like insects, not cows and pigs. Jane Goodall, famous for her extensive study of apes while living with them, found that it was very rare for the primates she saw to eat other animals.

As another author said, "The human body was not designed to catch or eat animals. You have no claws. Your teeth do not rend flesh. Your mouth can not seriously wound nor is it made to really get a good bite into an struggling victim like true carnivores can. You are not fit to run fast to catch prey. Meat-eaters have fast enough reflexes to ambush or overtake a victim. You do not. Try catching a pig or a chicken with your bare hands; see what happens

Carnivorous animals, including the lion, dog, wolf, cat, etc., have many unique characteristics which set them apart from all other members of the animal kingdom. They all possess a very simple and short digestive system -- only three times the length of their bodies. This is because flesh decays very rapidly, and the products of this decay quickly poison the bloodstream if they remain too long in the body. So a short digestive tract was evolved for rapid expulsion of putrefactive bacteria from decomposing flesh, as well as stomachs with ten times as much hydrochloric acid as non-carnivorous animals (to digest fibrous tissue and bones). Meat-eating animals that hunt in the cool of the night and sleep during the day when it is hot do not need sweat glands to cool their bodies; they therefore do not perspire through their skin, but rather they sweat through their tongues. On the other hand, vegetarian animals, such as the cow, horse, zebra, deer, etc., spend much of their time in the sun gathering their food, and they freely perspire through their skin to cool their bodies. But the most significant difference between the natural meat-eaters and other animals is their teeth. Along with sharp claws, all meat-eaters, since they have to kill mainly with their teeth, possess powerful jaws and pointed, elongated, "canine" teeth to pierce tough hide and to spear and tear flesh. They do NOT have molars (flat, back teeth) which vegetarian animals need for grinding their food. Unlike grains, flesh does not need to be chewed in the mouth to predigest it; it is digested mostly in the stomach and the intestines. A cat, for example, can hardly chew at all.


Grass-and-leaf-eating animals (elephant, cow, sheep, llama, etc.) live on grass, herbs, and other plants, much of which is coarse and bulky. The digestion of this type of food starts in the mouth with the enzyme ptyalin in the saliva. these foods must be chewed well and thoroughly mixed with ptyalin in order to be broken down. For this reason, grass-and-leaf eaters have 24 special "molar" teeth and a slight side-to-side motion to grind their food, as opposed to the exclusively up-and-down motion of carnivores. They have no claws or sharp teeth; they drink by sucking water up into their mouths as opposed to lapping it up with their tongue which all meat eaters do. Since they do not eat rapidly decaying foods like the meat eaters, and since their food can take a longer time to pass through, they have much longer digestive systems -- intestines which are ten times the length of the body. Interestingly, recent studies have shown that a meat diet has an extremely harmful effect on these grass-and-leaf eaters. Dr. William Collins, a scientist in the New York Maimonedes Medical Center, found that the meat-eating animals have an "almost unlimited capacity to handle saturated fats and cholesterol". If a half pound of animal fat is added daily over a long period of time to a rabbit's diet, after two month his blood vessels become caked with fat and the serious disease called atheriosclerosis develops. human digestive systems, like the rabbit's, are also not designed to digest meat, and they become diseased the more they eat it, as we will later see.

Fruit-eaters include mainly the anthropoid apes, humanity's immediate animal ancestors. The diet of these apes consists mostly of fruit and nuts. Their skin has millions of pores for sweating, and they also have molars to grind and chew their food; their saliva is alkaline, and, like the grass-and-leaf eaters, it contains ptyalin for predigestion. Their intestines are extremely convoluted and are twelve times the length of their body, for the slow digestion of fruits and vegetables.

Human Beings

Human characteristics are in every way like the fruit eaters, very similar to the grass- eater, and very unlike the meat eaters, as is clearly shown in the table above. The human digestive system, tooth and jaw structure, and bodily functions are completely different from carnivorous animals. As in the case of the anthropoid ape, the human digestive system is twelve times the length of the body; our skin has millions of tiny pores to evaporate water and cool the body by sweating; we drink water by suction like all other vegetarian animals; our tooth and jaw structure is vegetarian; and our saliva is alkaline and contains ptyalin for predigestion of grains. Human beings clearly are not carnivores by physiology -- our anatomy and digestive system show that we must have evolved for millions of years living on fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables.

Furthermore, it is obvious that our natural instincts are non-carnivorous. Most people have other people kill their meat for them and would be sickened if they had to do the killing themselves. Instead of eating raw meat as all flesh-eating animals do, humans boil, bake, or fry it and disguise it with all kinds of sauces and spices so that it bears no resemblance to its raw state. One scientist explains it this way: "A cat will salivate with hungry desire at the smell of a piece of raw flesh but not at all at the smell of fruit. If man could delight in pouncing upon a bird, tear its still-living limbs apart with his teeth, and suck the warm blood, one might conclude that nature provided him with meat-eating instinct. On the other hand, a bunch of luscious grapes makes his mouth water, and even in the absence of hunger he will eat fruit because it tastes so good."

Scientists and naturalists, including the great Charles Darwin who gave the theory of evolution, agree that early humans were fruit and vegetable eaters and that throughout history our anatomy has not changed. The great Swedish scientist von Linné states: "Man's structure, external and internal, compared with that of the other animals, shows that fruit and succulent vegetables constitute his natural food."

So it is clear from scientific studies that physiologically, anatomically, and instinctively, man is perfectly suited to a diet for fruit, vegetables, nuts, and grains. This is summarized in the table above.

Early Humans

Many scientists believe that early humans were largely vegetarian. See articles by David Popovich and Derek Wall.

Dr. John McDougall asserts that our early ancestors from at least four million years ago followed diets almost exclusively of plant foods. Of the races that followed them, many of which consumed meat, McDougall notes:

"Undoubtedly, all of these diets [meat-containing] were adequate to support growth and life to an age of successful reproduction. To bear and raise offspring you only need to live for 20 to 30 years, and fortuitously, the average life expectancy for these people was just that. The few populations of hunter-gatherers surviving into the 21 st Century are confined to the most remote regions of our planet &endash;- like the Arctic and the jungles of South America and Africa &endash;- some of the most challenging places to manage to survive. Their life expectancy is also limited to 25 to 30 years and infant mortality is 40% to 50%. 5 Hunter-gatherer societies fortunately did survive, but considering their arduous struggle and short lifespan, I would not rank them among successful societies."

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