Humans Can Survive Without Meat... But How Will They Evolve?

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Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evolve?

Postby Sewn » Nov 18, 2010 8:38 pm

I've got an argument to make. Here are my major precepts:

(please don't respond to the precepts unless it relates directly to my final argument)

1) Humans are animals. Animals like any other. Intelligent, yes, but ultimately vulnerable to our instincts. For example, the instinct to survive.

2) Humans are predominantly carnivorous. We have been eating meat for a very long time. Probably much more in the past than the amount we consume today. Neanderthals (our close cousins) were entirely carnivorous.

3) Humans surviving on vegetarian diets are evolutionarily novel. There is no precedent. The vast majority of humans include meat in their diet. We simply do not know the long-term (that is, how-your-kids-evolve-long-term) effects of an animal-free diet.

4) Carnivores tend to be smart. Intelligence really helps a predator out. It takes more intelligence to hunt (or even raise livestock) than it does to, say, pick berries.

5) Our primate cousins are also omnivorously adapted, though not as carnivorous. They lack the tool use and social community that enable humans to obtain meat so effectively.

So, here's where my argument gets going...

Many of our primate cousins will eat meat whenever its available. They go (pun ho) ape-s*** over the stuff. And they don't kill as cleanly as many carnivores or carnivorous omnis do. Spinal-cord targeting? Major artery hits? "I ate it all in one bite?" Stun-bolts and gas chambers? Sorry, none of the above. Primates barely even endorse pack-hunting tactics or much of a concept for sharing.

No, primates do it dirty.

I mean multiple, clumsy, flailing blows. Beatdowns. Tearing the belly out. Tearing it limb from limb. Drawn-out fights while the prey animal suffers from inflicted wounds. It's very gruesome stuff compared to what carnivores or even humans do. To most other animal-eaters, it's a matter of kill-quick-and-divide (somewhat) reasonably. Why waste energy on the kill? Why waste energy fighting over it? These topics are considered more evenly among the more carnivorous.

My argument is that any human society that continues a veg*an diet risks a strong possibility of:

A) Losing a great deal of their intelligence.
Meat consumption is possibly linked to intelligence. If not meat, then the intelligence prerequisites to hunt or raise livestock.

B) Returning to meat-eating.
What happens when intelligence wanes? When the edible plants run out? Gotta eat something.

C) Being very violent in how they procure their meat.
Like other primates, as described above. Such could have been our past. Could it also be the veg*an future?

Interested to hear your thoughts, please.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby AndyBa » Dec 7, 2010 1:24 am

A) Losing a great deal of their intelligence.
Meat consumption is possibly linked to intelligence. If not meat, then the intelligence prerequisites to hunt or raise livestock.


Writing and reading is linked to intelligence. Exchange of information is linked to intelligence. Science is linked to intelligence.
Food in comparison to what I wrote above has very little to do with intelligence.


B) Returning to meat-eating.
What happens when intelligence wanes? When the edible plants run out? Gotta eat something.

Why would intelligence wane?
Even if there is something in meat that makes our brains work faster with our current knowledge we could find what it is and manufacture it without killing billions of innocent animals for this.

C) Being very violent in how they procure their meat.
Like other primates, as described above. Such could have been our past. Could it also be the veg*an future?


Why would a HUMAN vegan society that tries to minimize the suffering of animals be violent? :)
Because apes are violent? What's your logic?
Eventually humans will start growing In Vitro meat so no violence will be involved at all.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby Trev » Dec 8, 2010 4:58 am

What information or research are you basing your argument off of Sewn?
Last edited by Trev on Dec 8, 2010 9:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.
'Need it be added that it would imply too accepting the spectacle of a grown man attached to the udder of a cow as a dignified and rational intention on the part of Nature!'
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby Sewn » Dec 8, 2010 2:48 pm

Writing and reading is linked to intelligence. Exchange of information is linked to intelligence. Science is linked to intelligence.
Food in comparison to what I wrote above has very little to do with intelligence.


Who writes, reads, exchanges information and uses science?

Humans.

What do most humans eat? Meat.

See the possible connection?

Why would intelligence wane?
Even if there is something in meat that makes our brains work faster with our current knowledge we could find what it is and manufacture it without killing billions of innocent animals for this.


I explained why already. But I'll break it down into the simplest I can get it:

Humans have obviously eaten meat for a long time. Humans are also very intelligent.

Other primates (our evolutionary relatives) have also eaten meat for a long time. But not as much meat as humans do. They are not as intelligent as humans, either.

See the possible connection? Less meat, less intelligence.

As for the "something in meat," yes, it is possible that we may discover it in time. And we could manufacture it, true. As of now, however, we do not know and it is not true.

As for eating manufactured foods, I would hope we are in agreement that it is risky thing to do. Refined sugar is what brought us into a state of escalating obesity, diabetes, and maybe more.

The safest route is to eat foods that are found in nature and tampered with the least.

Why would a HUMAN vegan society that tries to minimize the suffering of animals be violent? :)
Because apes are violent? What's your logic?
Eventually humans will start growing In Vitro meat so no violence will be involved at all.


Why would they be violent? Because they have no other choice.

I remind you that carnivory and minimizing the suffering of animals are not mutually exclusive. Animals can be killed humanely.

I explained my logic already. I do agree that it is not the sturdiest. I am proposing the idea.

In vitro meat is plausible, but I direct you to my argument against manufactured foods. Doesn't exist yet. Also novel and risky to eat.

*****

What information or research are you basing your argument off of Sewn?


Read my precepts. They are all well-documented, although you are free to argue against them. I am merely presenting a theory here. Connecting the dots in my own way.

If you have a counter-argument, then I would be pleased to hear it.

By the way, you linked to an article that has nothing to do with intelligence. The article argues that humans are omnivores. That is, we are well-adapted to eating meat. The article goes on to explain that meat is, in fact, a necessary part of a healthy human diet because of our need for vitamin B12 and that animals were the only reliable source of this nutrient.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... ntent;col1

From the article:

As intriguing as these arguments may be, the idea that humans are natural vegetarians has "no scientific basis in fact," argues anatomist and primatologist John McArdle.


...people have a low synthesis rate of the fatty acid DHA and of taurine, suggesting out early ancestors relied on animal foods to get these nutrients. Vitamin B-12, also, isn't reliably round in plants. That, Billings says, left "animal foods as the reliable source during evolution."
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby Trev » Dec 8, 2010 4:39 pm

Okay my friend, I see what you are doing. I was just trying to show that there are two sides to every argument.

Why do you come to a vegan forum and protest your anti-vegetarian beliefs? Why not go to a carnivores or omnivores forum and share your philosophies there?


I will give you the benefit that your argumentative skills are much better and more developed than mine, i simply do not want to battle with your opinions as i am out of aspirin and don't think i could deal with the headache, kudos to Andy. Listing that link to that article was a poor and shallow choice i made, honestly i only read the first 2 sentences of it.
Last edited by Trev on Dec 9, 2010 1:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby Sewn » Dec 8, 2010 6:47 pm

Oh, I readily admit there are as many sides to an argument as there are opinions.

I came to a veg*an forum expecting the strongest and most intelligently constructed counter-arguments here. I thought if anyone had given careful thought to the human dietary requirement of meat, it would be those who willfuly choose to not eat meat.

Thanks for the suggestions. Had not considered presenting my idea to carnivores. Dimly even aware that carnivore forums existed.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby Trev » Dec 8, 2010 9:17 pm

I'm sorry for my rudeness to you, i let my personal feelings and beliefs influence some of my words towards you and another member, i'm not trying to argue with you as I can see where that will lead.

That you believe meat consumption is a necessary part of evolution is completely a personal opinion.

As for your arguments about intelligence, I would hate to see how many Asian people's would react to those comments who came from lineages that did not consume any meat or animal products stretching back tens of thousands of years.

By the way why are you posting Anti veg in a Pro veg forum section? Are there no mods on this site? I think some of my comments in other threads should have been moderated lol they were offensive to say the least.
Last edited by Trev on Dec 9, 2010 5:03 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby sable » Dec 8, 2010 10:54 pm

There were some good points you made. However, I am an "exception." As a lesbian and a female who dislikes kids, I'm never going to have any. Also as a "selfish misanthrope," I do not care if the next human generation survives or not.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby Trev » Dec 8, 2010 11:38 pm

LOL sable, interesting ideology. I for one am more than confident I would be able to raise extremely bright and gifted children on a vegan diet.

In high school I ran cross country with a kid whose parents were vegans and raised vegan kids since they were infants. I can say from direct experience that this kid grew up to be extremely talented as an athlete and far above average intelligence (we went to a private school that required academic superiority to attend) I also have known many vegan families of much higher intelligence than say your average fatso tv watching fast food family (sorry for the bias).

Please don't think I'm saying vegans are of higher intelligence than anyone else, just that there are alot of intelligent ones lol. The capacity for intelligence is inherent in all properly functioning human beings regardless of diet so long as it is nutritionally complete.

In my experience throughout late high school into college, I grew more intellectual and started thinking clearer when I went vegetarian, and even more when I cut the dairy. I can vividly remember after my first 2 or 3 weeks of going vegetarian it was almost like a fog was lifted from my head, in the sense that i was able to perform mental functions smoother and process my thoughts more fluidly. As for anxiety and tension, it dissappeared almost completely, and i was a very anxious person back then lol. I attribute this to all the toxins and antibiotics in meat and animal products. I can perform on a physical level much higher than I could when I wasn't a vegetarian. My body repairs faster and I now workout (intensely, i am a hardcore athlete) 7 days of the week without getting overworked sickness as where before my muscles would need at least a couple days of rest and to repair between intense training sessions.


Evolution is a theory. Not everyone believes it, and it certainly can't be proven unless there is some way to extend the lifespan of a person to thousands and millions of years so they can actually observe it lol. Who is one person to say where people came from and how they got here?
'Need it be added that it would imply too accepting the spectacle of a grown man attached to the udder of a cow as a dignified and rational intention on the part of Nature!'
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby greenmomma » Jan 22, 2011 1:23 am

wow.
I have to respond that I am from a lineage that has not eaten meat in tens of thousands of years.
Many of the most intelligent people I have ever met come from similar lineages.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby frank911 » Mar 7, 2011 10:44 am

being a vegan or not is about personal choice. religion and heritage has little to do with it.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby philosopher » Mar 8, 2011 1:26 am

frank911 wrote:being a vegan or not is about personal choice. religion and heritage has little to do with it.


Actually, religion has a lot to do with it. Many religions believe in pacifism. Many mennonites, Seventh Day Adventists, and Hindus are vegan.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby AdamD » Mar 11, 2011 1:42 pm

Sable that is an extremely well constructed idea. With some experts in the field to back it up your idea would develop even better than it already has.

Bravo sir, you've obviously put a lot of time and thought into the construction of your ideas and it really shows. Well done!
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby CrystalMV » Mar 11, 2011 2:07 pm

Just because meat has mutagens, it doesn't mean that humans can't evolve without it. If meat eaters are so intelligent, why didn't they manage to invent a light bulb or scissors? For sure, they have invented many other things, but they wouldn't have done that without the help of vegetarians. Finally, if only meat eaters evolve, why couldn't they discover that such thing like evolution exists?
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby clearwood » Mar 12, 2011 11:27 am

frightfully sorry to reduce an argument to mere facts, but the idea that our forebears were carnivorous is incorrect. Therefore the entire following argument is meaningless.
Sorry about that!
It's just as well really, puncturing a balloon is a lot less work than taking it to pieces.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby clearwood » Mar 12, 2011 12:30 pm

Trev wrote:...Evolution is a theory. Not everyone believes it, and it certainly can't be proven unless there is some way to extend the lifespan of a person to thousands and millions of years so they can actually observe it lol. Who is one person to say where people came from and how they got here?

Interesting point of view!
It's more than a hundred years out of date though. "Everyone", that is the whole of science, accepts the evolution of living species as fact. There is no alternative biological picture, none whatsoever! Now some people may want to claim that all the professional and academic biologists in the world are wrong about biology, but I think that would be a foolish stance.
Evolution by natural selection is a process that is inevitable, given genetic variation within populations that compete or select for reproduction. How could it not be? Of course understanding scientific ideas does involve a bit of study, it's not as easy as just saying random things!
:flower:
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby AdamD » Mar 17, 2011 10:41 am

Picking on the guy who clearly said he didn't want to get into an argument due to his self professed like of argumentative skills.
Stay classy.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby clearwood » Mar 20, 2011 5:07 pm

so you've got nothing to say?
why bother to type nothing?
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby AdamD » Mar 23, 2011 5:48 am

Just highlighting the distinct lack argumentative skill exhibited when arguing with someone who clearly doesn't want to argue back.

It's like pushing over a puppy. Whyyyyyyyyyy?
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby VBryan » Apr 29, 2011 1:14 am

From just a “science” perspective the following may be said.
It is clear to me that humans are plant eaters by nature of their evolution and this is fairly clear when we look at the biology of us and our ancestors. It is also clear that meat consumption was an act of survival elected by some of our "recent" ancestors by nature of their intelligence. Recent in evolutionary scales is well before our little bunch of cavemen in known geographical areas.
In terms of eating meat – this can be seen in my view as an act that enabled some survival at various historical times but was a choice based on intelligence that goes against what we should be eating as compared to what we can eat. We should be eating plants straight from the ground / trees. Not washed, full of insects, faecal matter and whatever else covers all those plants out there in the real wild world. B12 for example would in these circumstances is not an issue. All that muck we would inadvertently consume will be a great source of it I can assure you.
So here we are – mostly living as omnivores with bodies that should be eating plants from the natural world. The results are hence problems with the environment, our health, natural cycles/trees/networks ...
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby banana » Apr 30, 2011 9:52 pm

I hope the robots are happy with batteries.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby AdamD » May 2, 2011 1:07 pm

VBryan could you please clarify what you are trying to say?

Sure some primates eat mainly herbivorous diets but most if not all primates are to varying degrees omnivorous by nature.

Back to people (human beings), our body is by no means herbivorous. We have several biological factors which indicate that we are 'meant' to have an omnivorous diet. For starters our canines have grown as a result of our species need to tear apart meat. Some may argue that canines are for killing animals and that our mouth shape makes that impossible. But they are ignoring the obvious, our evolution of arms and the opposable thumb. We don't need to bite directly into other animals because we use our hands to kill them, it's just the way we work. Also, our stomach is made very well to process a mixed diet of both plant and animal substances. If we were to digest only plant life our stomach would be much longer so that it could digest down the plant parts more effectively (like the cow) whereas in actuality we have a relatively small stomach suited to meat as well as fruit and veg.

Human beings are, have been and should always be omnivores, it's the way we're made to be and this is made evident by the fact that there are NO surviving vegan societies.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby DotoverI » May 29, 2011 9:53 am

Humans undoubtly have evolved due to swithching from plant based diet to meat based apart form other reasons like cooking food. It is now when we have a wide variety of plant foods available, there are lots of scientific studies on nutrition, thus we can manage on vegan diet.

Some articles on the issue to google:

- Mann, Meat in the human diet: An anthropological perspective, Nutrition & Dietics, 2007
- Gibbons, Food for thought, Science, 2007
- Leonard, Food for thought, Scientific American, 2007

A great collection of research besed articles on vegetariansim including those on relationship between human diet and evolution one can find at beyondvegdotcom.

An especially revalent article to the discussion is The Expensive Tissue Hypothesis (1995) by Aiello. Shortly: our brain size decreased 11 % since last 35.000 years. Perhaps due to drop in animal food in diet from nearly 50 % to 10 %. However, it seems absurd that the most dramatical development of our society, our knowledge, technology, culture and everything occured in the last several thousands years. How could it be??

Anyway, commercial production of cultured meat would benefit animals and us all from nutritional point of view and, especially if meat eating really has anything to do with our further evolution.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby VBryan » May 31, 2011 1:16 am

Canines in humans are quite equivalent to many herbivores, even horses have better ones than us :lol:
Our small mouth and teeth are quite supportive of the herbivore idea. We have pursued every environment and “learnt” to supplement diet with meat to exist. Living as an omnivore does not mean best to be one or genetically evolved to be one. I did point out that you do by nature of living in natural environments as a herbivore ingest a lot of animal matter and this can be seen as a natural part of a herbivores diet.
Thumbs, hands – just great for gripping branches, (and tablet styluses) is the reason, not as natural weapons of mass destruction :blackeye:
Digestive tract, rather than stomach are many,many meters long in humans and fine for living with plants/fruits as diet intake. People have been doing it and living so no debate there. In the evolutionary scale of things there is recent ingestion of meat broadly amongst human beings but much debate about how much meat has featured in much of our evolutionary ancestry on the true evolutionary scale. One ancestor was a very heavy grass eater recent evidence suggests.
Last edited by VBryan on Jun 6, 2011 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby banana » Jun 4, 2011 10:31 am

I would rather keep my canine teeth than have them cut straight to make them look nice.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby CrystalMV » Jun 6, 2011 1:56 pm

If meat eaters evolved, they would have discovered evolution, but they didn't. Also, humans are herbivores and this is made evident by the fact that there are no societies where everyone eats meat.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby AdamD » Jul 3, 2011 7:22 am

CrystalMV wrote:If meat eaters evolved, they would have discovered evolution, but they didn't. Also, humans are herbivores and this is made evident by the fact that there are no societies where everyone eats meat.


Actually that proves that we're omnivores. Learn your vores mate :)

Meat eating is more efficient so people have evolved to eat meat using a combination of our mouths (canines) and something which is very unique to humans, our hands. We don't need to huge canines of animals like wolves to rip meat from an animal, we have our hands and tools to do that. Claiming that because our canines are small we are meant to eat plants is a very simplistic view of anatomy as it ignores some of the most prominent features of human anatomy, the hands and arms.

From an anthropological perspective, every existing human society is omnivorous. This indicates that humans are meant to be omnivorous.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby AndyBa » Jul 21, 2011 6:42 pm

AdamD, the question is how will Human evolve without meat?
And the answer is, humans will not evolve because of diet. They will "evolve" if something bad will happen to earth and most people will die and only some mutated humans will remain that will be fit to live in new conditions. That will be evolution.

Considering current Globalization random micro-evolution due to gene drifting is very unlikely it can happen only in small populations.
So what is left for us in terms of evolutions is development: Development of culture, development of science, development of ethics.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby AndyBa » Jul 21, 2011 9:28 pm

Sewn wrote:Who writes, reads, exchanges information and uses science?
Humans.
What do most humans eat? Meat.
See the possible connection?

LOL :)
Who writes, reads, exchanges information and uses science?
Humans.
What do All humans eat including Inuits and Eskimos? Vegetables and Fruits.
See the possible connection?

There is no connection! I can make the same connection between masturbation and intelligence.
Since humans masturbate much more often than primates and we are the "most intelligent" following your logic means that we evolved our brains when we started to masturbate which is total BS.

Humans have obviously eaten meat for a long time. Humans are also very intelligent.
Other primates (our evolutionary relatives) have also eaten meat for a long time. But not as much meat as humans do. They are not as intelligent as humans, either.
See the possible connection? Less meat, less intelligence.

Why compare with other primates why not compare with tigers or crocodiles which definitely ate more meat for longer periods of time?
And how do you know that other primates have not eaten as much meat as human ancestors did?
How do you know how much meat human ancestors ate because the evidence is really scarce? It was more like they ate meat 2-3 times per month like the tropical tribes do in the present days with better hunting tools. It is more likely that they ate cooked tubers more often than meat. Other primates like Neanderthals clearly ate more meat than our ancestors and they disappeared for some reason.

Here is a satiric example:
During the last 100 years humans started eating much more meat, also during the last 100 years a scientific revolution happened.
See the possible connection? Eating more meat, leads to revolution in science.
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Re: Humans can survive without meat... but how will they evo

Postby CrystalMV » Aug 19, 2011 2:37 pm

AdamD wrote:From an anthropological perspective, every existing human society is omnivorous. This indicates that humans are meant to be omnivorous.

You just proved that you can't even compare adequately. You say there are no societies where everyone is vegetarian and ignore the fact that there are no societies where no one is vegetarian. SOME people eat meat and that doesn't prove anything.
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