Carnivore, Omnivore, or Herbivore?

Humans have always eaten meat… right? No, actually we haven’t. The best evidence for what we’re optimized to eat is our digestive system, so let’s examine it.

The teeth of a carnivore are long and pointed, for tearing raw flesh. Herbivores have flat teeth and flat back molars to grind their food. Carnivores do not have flat back molars at all.  Some herbivores do have small, what we call “canine” teeth for biting into tough plants (like apples) but these are nothing compared to the size and shape of a carnivore’s teeth. True omnivores’ teeth are most similar to carnivore teeth.

tigerteeth crocteeth

True Omnivores* (Bears eat fish and berries, Rats scavenge nearly everything from grains to veggies to meat):
bear_teeth rat_teeth

horse-teeth orangatang-teeth

Which look most like yours?

*By “true omnivore” I mean animals that naturally eat both plants and animals. For example, cats eat vegetables (in their commercial cat food, or maybe it’s handed to them under the table) but cats are not true omnivores, they are carnivores. In the wild, cats would eat birds and rodents, not leaves and berries.

The jaws of carnivores move up and down, but not side to side. The jaw motion of an omnivore is similar. They don’t chew. This is because carnivores tear off meat and swallow it whole. An herbivore’s jaw moves both up and down and side to side for grinding vegetation. Check your jaw and see what it does.

A carnivore or omnivore has small salivary glands in their mouth and their saliva does not contain digestive enzymes. Herbivores’ saliva is alkaline, containing carbohydrate digestive enzymes to pre-digest plant food. Herbivores also have large, developed salivary glands in their mouth. Human saliva is alkaline and contains digestive enzymes. And our salivary glands are large.

From an article by John A. McDougall, M.D.:

“Cats are obligate carnivores – they must live on a diet primarily of meat – and their taste buds reflect this by having abandoned the tongue sensors that respond to sweet-tasting carbohydrates.  Dogs are omnivores – they have retained both kinds of taste buds – those enjoying carbohydrates and amino acids.  Humans tongues respond pleasurably to sweet (carbohydrates), but have lost the taste for amino acids, placing us undeniably in the category of herbivores (plant eaters).”

Additionally, herbivores drink by sucking water up into their mouths as opposed to lapping it up with their tongue which all carnivores do.

A carnivore’s or omnivore’s small intestine is 3 to 6 times the length of its trunk. This is designed for rapid elimination of food that rots quickly. An herbivore’s small intestine is 10 to 12 times the length of its trunk, and winds itself back and forth in random directions. This is designed for keeping food in it for long enough periods of time to extract all the valuable nutrients and minerals before the food enters the large intestine.

A carnivore’s or omnivore’s large intestine is relatively short and simple, like a pipe. This passage is also relatively smooth and runs fairly straight so that fatty wastes high in cholesterol can easily slide out before they start to putrefy. (This is why it’s impossible for carnivores to get cancer or heart disease from high cholesterol and clogged arteries.) An herbivore’s large intestine, or colon, is puckered and pouched, an apparatus that runs in three directions (ascending, traversing and descending), designed to hold wastes that originally were foods high in water content. This is so that the fluids can be extracted from these wastes, now that all the useful nutrients and minerals have been extracted. Substances high in fat and cholesterol that have been putrefying for hours during their long stay in the small intestine tend to get stuck in the pockets that line the large intestine. (Vegetarians have lower rates of colon cancer.)

Care to guess which type of intestines we have? (Hint: Human small intestines are about 10 times our torso length and our large intestines are puckered.)

A carnivore can eat rotting, bacteria-ridden flesh completely raw without getting sick. They have stomach acids that kill the bad stuff and allow them to digest the rest without puking their guts up. Their stomach secretes powerful digestive enzymes with about 10 times the amount of hydrochloric acid than that of a human or herbivore. The pH of a carnivore’s stomach is around 1-2 (highly acidic) with food in the stomach. For herbivores and humans, the pH ranges from 4 – 5 with food in the stomach. Hence, man must cook his meats. Ever try to eat road kill? Or a freshly dead chicken, completely raw? Give it a shot and let me know how it works out for you. E. Coli bacteria, salmonella, campylobacter, trichina worms, parasites, or other pathogens would not survive in the stomach of a lion.

Animal flesh is composed of the most highly complex type of protein and requires vast amounts of uric acid to process. Uric acid is released into the system in amounts necessary to break proteins down into amino acids. Uric acid is a toxic substance responsible for the aging process and must be flushed out and dealt with. That is one of the jobs of the liver. In relative terms, a carnivore’s liver is a tool designed with the capacity to eliminate ten times as much uric acid as the liver of man or other plant eaters.

Our anatomy and digestive system clearly show that we must have evolved for millions of years living on fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables.

Still skeptical?

Physical features
Carnivores and omnivores have physical characteristics which enable them to chase, trap, and kill. Speed, sharp teeth, and claws are tools meant to hunt, kill, and rend tough flesh. Examine your hand, fingers and fingernails. Is this an apparatus properly designed for catching, trapping, killing, and ripping apart cattle, hogs, chicken and fish? (How do they work for picking fruit from trees or harvesting vegetables?) Meat eaters have the speed and reflexes to catch prey. You do not. Try to catch an animal that doesn’t want to be caught (without tools or weapons) and you’ll get an idea of what type of hunter we naturally are.

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 cows, horses, zebras, deer, etc., spend much of their time in the sun gathering their food, and they freely perspire through their skin to cool their bodies.

Carnivores sleep the most, herbivores the least, and omnivores in the middle. Guess which group our own sleep correlates with.

Here are some charts from an article in Nature. They have stuck us (and other primates) in the omnivore group but notice that we’re at the extreme end of that chart, with nearly every other single omnivore sleeping more than we do. However, we fit nicely in the herbivore chart. A prominent dot for humans is added to the herbivore chart to show how we fit in at eight hours a night.

Carnivores (most sleep):


Herbivores (least sleep):

It is obvious that our natural instincts are non-carnivorous. Natural meat eaters find the smell of blood and dead animals attractive. How do you think they smell?

Carnivores kill without sympathy or remorse. Humans (obviously) do not.

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.”

Unlike other animals, humans can act outside of instinct. Other animals are programmed to know what food is. We are not. For us, it’s learned behavior. Or, in the beginning, guessed behavior. We can make choices about what we eat even if that’s contrary to good health (as millions prove every day when they eat at McDonald’s). When our ancestors ate meat, they were being human and making choices, rather than acting on instinct. Think about it: Do you really believe that cavemen were true experts about nutrition? If so, what other major decisions about your life would you like to put in the hands of a caveman?

In general, plant-eating creatures have the longest lifespans. Elephants, horses, and chimpanzees are at the top of the list while lions, tigers, and wolves are about half that. Humans’ lifespans are even longer than the elephants (even before modern medicine), providing more evidence that we’re in the plant-eating camp.

Science and medical evidence overwhelmingly shows that the more meat we eat, the sicker we get – heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and every other major degenerative disease. If eating meat were so natural, it wouldn’t destroy our health.

Dean Ornish, M.D. was the first person to prove that heart disease can be reversed, and he did so by feeding his patients a vegetarian diet. John McDougall, M.D. has also written extensively about how animal foods cause disease, and how people can regain their health by eating vegan instead. The esteemed T. Colin Campbell oversaw the most massive study of the relationship between diet and disease, the China Study, which the New York Times called “the grand prix of epidemiology.” His conclusions are the same as the other experts: we’re not designed to eat animal foods, because we get sick when we do.

The fact that health can be regained by laying off meat and dairy is powerful evidence that we shouldn’t have been eating those foods in the first place.

By now, the meat-eating reader already has objections.
Let me try to address some of these.

Objection 1: We’re capable of eating meat, therefore we’re omnivores.
Cats are also capable of eating both plants and meat.  In fact, some people feed their cats a purely vegan diet.  But cats are not omnivores, they are carnivores (as previously explained). True omnivores are not just capable of eating both plants and animals, but their bodies are optimized for it. Just because we can digest meat doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to. We can digest cardboard, but that doesn’t mean that we should.

Objection 2: Vitamin B12 is only obtained from meat, dairy, and eggs.
B12 isn’t made by animals, it’s made by bacteria. It’s found where things are unclean (and rotting flesh is dirty).  This easily explains why historically it’s been easy to get B12, because until recently we didn’t live in a sanitized environment. Pull a carrot out of the ground and don’t wash it properly, and there’s almost certainly some B12 there. Vegans should take a B12 supplement, not because veganism is unnatural, but because the modern diet is too clean to contain reliable natural sources of dirty B12.

Incidentally, our need for B12 is tiny: 3 micograms a day (not milligrams, micrograms). The amount of B12 you need for your entire life is smaller than four grains of rice.

Objection 3: Other primates eat meat.
Hardly. A chimp’s diet is 95-99% plant foods, and the non-plant food isn’t meat, it’s termites. We also have to remember that primates are intelligent and can make choices outside of instinct, just like humans do, so the tiny amount of non-vegetarian food they might eat could simply be due to choice, not instinct.

Others? Leave a comment.

Breakfast: An awesome smoothie! Banana, pear, kale, and hemp milk.

Lunch: Leftover vegan pizza, blueberries, and an orange
food 011

Dinner: Mexican food! Enchilada, vegan beef taquito, soy chorizo taco, and vegan queso (I add salsa to this recipe)

food 016 (2) food 018

99 thoughts on “Carnivore, Omnivore, or Herbivore?

  1. John

    The “Humans are herbivores” theory is bunk. We require B12, which in nature can only be obtained by eating animals (for humans). No, you cannot obtain B12 from dirty vegetables. This was a fallacious guess by TC Cambpell of the China Study note. He has since reconsidered. We have no rumin, and no enlarged caecum as other mono gastrics have. Sorry, we are not herbivores!

  2. A researcher

    I have serious doubts over the validity of this discussion. Clearly this is a biased perspective which is not based on facts.
    Fact! Ominivers do have digestive enzymes in their saliva. Oh and by the way the reference you refer to does not say anywhere that the saliva of omnivores does not contain enzymes. If you have made this up, I wonder how many more things you decided to conjure up.
    Fact! No-one in their right mind would assume that there is a clear relationship between amount of sleep and weight. Those plots look ridiculous.
    My suggestion would be to go back, do your research and come back with proper evidence.

  3. Fred

    Bears, pigs, chimps and humans all have omnivores teeth: Bunodont molars.
    You have been very selective with your data and your interpretation.

  4. stacie and lenny

    Great topic! We thought you did a great job of explaining everything and giving a lot of information about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores!

    More info has to get out there that we simply are NOT made to eat meat!!

    Thanks for writing this blog!! Go Veg!

  5. Randy

    Why do vegan/vegetarians like to eat beef flavored or Chorizo flavored foods? Do they crave the taste of meat? Why not just eat vegetably tasting things? Seriously…

  6. Powered By Produce Post author

    Randy, It’s not a craving for the taste of meat, it’s just eating something that you think tastes good. I think soy chorizo tastes good so I eat it, but if soy chorizo didn’t exist I would not have cravings for meat chorizo. I like vegetably tasting things as well and often eat those too (in fact, I MORE often eat vegetably things). Vegetably tasting things are delicious and humane, so I eat them. Soy chorizo is delicious and humane, so I eat it. And I don’t see why I shouldn’t.

    Think of it like this: Lots of people like to eat chocolate bars. But eating too many chocolate bars can be bad, so people eat other healthier chocolate-flavored things instead, like fat-free fudge bars for example. Would you tell these people that since they gave up chocolate bars, they should also give up their fat-free fudge bars just because they taste similar?

  7. Kay Lee

    I am amazed, this is one of the most comprehensive research article I have ever read. I do believe that early humans have chosen the path of eating natural plant foods over meat, the way the teeth are shaped is good proof.

  8. unknown

    If we are actually more vegetarian than we are omnivores, why do animals consider us as predators? The human body was actually made to digest more meat than vegetables because there are loads of plants we can not digest. Man was in the begining a a truer omnivore, but since fire was invented we started cooking our meat, first to see how it tasted and then we started losing our appitite for raw meat. We didn’t start out eating vegetables and then decide to try out meat. We ate raw meat in the begining. As for mans antipathy to killing animals, that idea is crazy. How many people i a year go and kill some animal to have the head as a trophy and because of the fun you get from it????

    Im 14, and if you have any thing to say specifically to me then you can contact me through my skype@ lonelyteen2. I dont use my email anymore so don’t email me.

  9. Tim

    I’m kind of with Fred on this one. This isn’t exactly a scientifically objective article and the correlations are weak. Primates have all the types of teeth. The only statistical evidence shown is that larger animals sleep more than smaller ones.

    The truth is that humans are scavengers capable of adapting to a variety of food sources, including dead meat and random plants when the opportunity presents itself. You think we got so clever by sneaking up on plants? We became clever stealing food from lions and getting away with it.

  10. melisa

    Predators have both eyes facing forward, not on the side of the head such as those who need to watch a broader spectrum in order to run for their life.

    Herbivores, need to feed all day, do to the low calorie diet. Therefore, If humans would have stayed in the pastures grassing with the rest of the herbivores we would have never had the time to elaborate plans and build our environments. (Maybe if we had stayed grassing we would not have engaged in all the foolish quarells and wars, but hey! check out the baboon gangs and their fierce territory fights, kidnapping, killing, mutilating)

    Carnivores get leisure time, lots of calories equals to lots of free time. When you have time, you develop other areas other from simply surviving from hunger.

    WHo knows…. Maybe Adams Apple was in fact a nice juicy burger.


  11. Lori

    I would add “true flesh eaters don’t need or use “manufactured tools” (ie. guns, knives, bows/arrows) to kill their prey. So glad I came upon this post, I will definitely use it to send to those who are convinced we are flesh eaters and need to eat it to survive.

  12. John

    I just had a vegetarian yesterday tell me humans are vegetarians. So at 50yrs old I have to forget 100s yrs of science and fact and all the museum displays are wrong. I’m going to eat metal call myself a metalouver and start a new cult and change all the facts to suit my metal lovers. Ill also twist the facts around so I can trick all the ignorant people. Forget phsyology and think enviromental and oppurtunisitic. I like how vegetarians are blurring tha facts in your favor. By the way there’s only 7 percent of you in the USA. One last thing I’m an omnivore everything in moderation. After weaning you don’t need milk but a little cheese on a bloody burger. Guess what I’ve adapted and evolved. I read some of your stuff and some of my stuff to understand the different angle and left myself as open as possible. I’m sticking to omnivore, you guys have a little food and exercise fetish and you want to change the world.

  13. Rubberducky

    Humans are omnivorous, i love animals, but we must eat them too survive.
    And You said Humans don’t make good hunters.
    Place a cow, and a human in the same habitat. The human could easily kill it.
    Also, we have canines. They just arent huge.
    And, put a Vegan, and a Normal diet human in Forest, Jungle, plains. Who dies first? The
    Vegan. Because, As humans, we cannot digest cellouse. And we can’t just bend down and graze. WHAT DO YOU THINK HANDS ARE FOR? If we were herbivorous, we would be on all fours, grazing.

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  15. Kathy

    I enjoyed your article. I have been interested in learning about ways to get and stay healthy for a while now. I have come across a lot of information, like yours, that says that humans are actually programmed to be plant eaters because of our body shape and physiology. And you know what? I think it is true. This is not something that we are hearing enough of. It almost seems like it is being hidden from us. We hear things like we have to eat meat to insure adequate protein intake or we have to get our calcium from dairy and that is not true. Apples have calcium and the trace mineral boron which enables it to be absorbed by our bodies. Almonds have the most calcium of all the nuts and they also contain magnesium which also helps us to absorb the calcium. The list goes on and on. But as I said before, this information is not getting out to the public. Elephants get all the protein they need from a vegetarian diet and it is the same for humans. The meat and dairy industries do not want us to eat a mainly plant based diet. I, for one, am opting for better health and more energy and am on the road to becoming vegetarian but am not there fully yet. At 70 plus years, it is late for me to be learning about this valuable information, but not to late to start changing. Thank you.

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  17. Flabbergasted

    It’s great to pick and choose millions of years of evolution to justify your vegan outlook. Thank you for that really narrow scope of the understanding of the human body and its evolutionary journey to get where we are now.

    You do realize that the only animal that has the almost-exact digestive system that we have is a pig, an omnivore? It’s not our closest genetic cousin (the chimpanzee…. which, by the way, is an omnivore). Who, by the way, can also move their mouths and jaws as much as we can.

    Also, kudos throwing away the actual facts about the human digestive workings. Considering we can digest raw meat in 1/8th of the time it would take for us to digest a carrot, where is the base fundamental proof that we started out as plant eaters? Nor the fact that we cannot break down starches and complex cellulose chains without cooking them. You’d think that if humans started off eating such things with no problem, we’d have kept on to that. Course, by your argument, we’d have one hell of a time consuming meat…. which we don’t.

    Plus, you left out the fact that almost every evolutionary scientist & researcher will attest to….. animal fat & protein led to the expansion of our brains, which led to our evolutionary skills of creating tools to hunt rather than using our hands.

    And meat is not murder. It’s survival. Just as how you would classify the consuming of vegetable matter (which is a living, breathing organism that has to die in order for you to consume it).

  18. CHERYL

    Flabbergasted! Of course eating meat is murder as WE DO NOT need to kill animals to survive! You cannot compare killing animals to killing plants as animals have a nervous system and plants do not. You need to research on veganism and how producing meat for a massive human population is killing the planet, even if you do not agree that we should eat plants only for our health’s sake. One big difference to carnivores or wild animal omnivores is that they only kill animals that they need to satisfy their hunger. They do not mass kill animals to feed a huge number of mouths!!

  19. William Gradin

    There are a lot of tangential things going on here. Mass meat production is both horrible and wrong but it doesn’t address whether as humans we’re designed to eat meat. Humans have been cooking food for almost 2 million years which puts us into an entirely different category as other animals. Cooking food vastly minimizes the needs for chewing and digestion and 2 million years is plenty of time for people to actually adapt to eating meat.

  20. Dr. Heath Motley

    In the stomach, hydrochloric acid and various pepsinogens are produced by cells in the lining and act together to form pepsin. The purpose of pepsin is to digest COLLEGEN, which is the substance that makes up the connective tissue of meats.
    Also produced in the stomach are tributyrase, which digest butterfat, and gelatinase, which liquefies the protoglycans of meat.

    Collagen, butterfat, and meat proteoglycans are not in plants, yet humans have special enzymes for digesting them.
    Various enzymes digest triglycerides, which are primarily fats from animals.

    This process involves the emulsification of fats by bile acids and lecithin.
    Finally, humans have an enzyme called cholesterol ester hydrolase for the sole purpose of digesting CHOLOESTEROL. Remember that cholesterol isn’t found in plants.

    If humans were designed to use plants as a food source, why are there so many enzymes for digesting the parts of animals in the normal human digestive system?
    If humans were designed to primarily eat plants, why doesn’t our digestive system have an enzyme for digesting cellulose, the primary building block of vegetation.
    Realize that our digestion works more like a tigers that a cow. One stomach, lots of acid, stomach empties fast.

    Unlike a Herbivore which has little to no acid, multiple stomach which never empty, and need to fermentate due to the lack of acid.

  21. Unknown

    Gorillas Wouldn’t Be Alone in Eating Monkeys

    If gorillas do eat meat, they wouldn’t be the first great apes to do so.

    Chimpanzees and their bonobo cousins are known to hunt and eat other mammals, including monkeys. (See “‘Loving’ Bonobos Seen Killing, Eating Other Primates.”)

    Plus, “most herbivores can digest meat quite well,” said study co-author Michael Hofrieter, a geneticist also at the Max Planck Institute. “It just does not work the other way around.”

  22. DrJohnTheRipper

    Humans are frugivores – fruit eaters, not root vegetable eaters or grass eaters (herbivores), that’s why carrot and cellulose are difficult to digest (no cellulase enzyme), those are not meant to be eaten by humans, just as meat is not meant to be eaten by humans (no uricase enzyme).
    Only psychopaths eat raw meat anyway. Think about a human biting the head off a live chicken and tearing it apart licking the blood – that is crazy! You don’t see that at KFC.
    “Place a cow, and a human in the same habitat. The human could easily kill it.” How? Are you going to punch it to death? You would break your hands before you did any damage. Plus the bull would ram his horn up your arsehole.
    A vegan in a jungle would do great, just be hanging around in trees eating easily acquired sweet tasty fruit all day, while the omnivore attempts to hunt and suffers injuries from the animals defending themselves. Hands are for picking fruit & peeling it, gently squeezing it to test for ripeness. Look at the blueberries and orange in the photos, they are visually appealing whereas a bleeding carcass is not.
    I say evolution due to animal fat and protein is a load of shit.

  23. BiasedVegansLOL

    Here again, we have an author of a Vegan article that is blatantly subjective and biased, who comes in and makes one subjective response to a question (the one about craving/wanting meat substitutes asked by Randy).

    Why do you disappear and why can you not objectively debate with the other posters who raise very strong points such as Rubberducky, Flabbergasted, and Dr. Heath Motley?

    Well? Hello?

    I’m still waiting…

  24. Joe D

    There are not true herbivores – even deer and cows eat animals if they can catch them – regardless of how much grass/hay is on the ground.

    Oh, and chimpanzees hunt monkeys and eat them. They even have evolved complex hunting strategies to do so.

    One last thing – eating insects is still eating an animal. All primates are at least omnivores because all of them at least eat insects.

  25. Melissa Pain

    The facts on the human stomach are incorrect. “Normally the volume of the stomach fluid is 20 to 100 mL and the pH is acidic (1.5 to 3.5). These numbers are converted to actual acid production in units of milliequivalents per hour in some cases.”

  26. Draciron

    We are clearly omnivores. We would not have incisors for example if we did not rip flesh. We DO have taste buds which are set to taste meat. Veggies often have bitter tastes and people with higher numbers and lower numbers of taste buds both find veggies bad tasting or worse. Our skill at running long distances, the way our eyes are set and our higher level of intelligence all speak carnivore. Elephants may be the only intelligent species on earth not descended from carnivores or omnivores. Herbivores tend to live SHORT not long lifespans. There are exceptions. Some tortoises for example may live very long life spans, but over all the life of a herbivore is quite short, where most omnivores and carnivores live 10+ years. The side to side motion described in this article is relatively weak in humans and I suspect in apes in general. It is very pronounced in grass eaters and necessary. We lack the ability to even digest most types of plants. They are purely fiber (indigestible garbage. Essentially cardboard who’s only function is like dogs eating grass, to clean our digestive tract.). Not all carnivores are nocturnal, in fact quite a few are diurnal and evolutionary logic dictates we would avoid top tier predators by using a diurnal rather than nocturnal lifestyle. B12 is just one of many supplements a Vegan should take. Prior to the last 200 years humans could not live or live well on a vegan diet because native plants simply did not provide all of the essential nutrition. A modern vegan survives on a mixture of plants from all over the world, many of which grow poorly or will not grow at all in the region which they live. fruits are a great source of nutrition but before we learned how to preserve fruits, they were available for only very brief times in the year in most parts of the world. No fruits and malnutrition sets in without meat. Analysis of the diets of our ancestors has shown very clear evidence of a high protein consisting of heavy meat intake as well as high levels of plant ingestion as well. As for illnesses, most of these can be attributed to a lack of exercise rather than specifically what we eat. If you do not exercise you will suffer heart disease no matter what you eat. Plants produce plaque and cholesterol as well. We make fat, our bodies are designed to better make fats from meat than plants which actually proves we ARE designed to eat meat. As for cancer, more and more it is being found that many cancers are the result of infections. HPV being a classic example. The damage done by the virus to the cells causing protected mutations. Meat does not cause cancer, but a diet too high in certain plants can destroy organs through an overload of certain vitamins and minerals. A diet that would be necessary without preservatives, world trade and modern farming techniques for many people to live on a vegetarian diet.

  27. Jayme

    Our canines are meant for eating flesh… Right. I would love to see someone walk up to a cow and try to take a big bite of it. We are capable of eating small animals. We could actually catch and consume them without tools. But at the end of the day, we are primarily herbivores. If we were built to eat flesh, our canines would be spread out to stop meat from getting caught in our teeth, like other natural meat eating animals out there. Just because we CAN do something, doesn’t mean we SHOULD.

  28. Jenny Ball

    I am a vegeterian – no dairy- but not true vegan. I am nearly 60, extremely healthy and have no desire to eat someone else’s flesh – have been tempted sometimes by ignorant humans but that’s another story. I just don’t see why living things have to suffer just so I can have a big steak, or why should a cow go through pregnancy after pregnancy and have her baby ripped from her so I can have a milkshake.
    People should have the right to eat what they like but I think if you eat meat you should at least visit an abbatoirs once, if you eat ham or pork, hear a pig in its last moments and tell me it doesn’t know what is about to happen. Listen to a cow and a calf when they are separated – you have a big time frame to hear this as I have heard their distressed lowing for over 24 hours.
    Then again if you think you are on the top of the food chain, eat your dead animal quickly so you can get lots in before the planet is totally ruined.

  29. eric

    The majority of comments on here are pretty stupid.. if you want to refute or rebut an argument, why wouldnt your comments be backed up with facts and references as well?

  30. Amanda

    You do realize that most of your, “facts” are incorrect, right? Some are partially correct like that the pH of our stomach acid raises when food is present. However, this is why our gastrin production also increases when there is food in the stomach. Most of our food is not highly acidic and will raise the pH of our stomach acid. This is called dilution. The longer the food stays in the stomacg the less diluted the acid becomes due to the production of gastric acid by our parietal cells. This action works to reduce the pH of our stomach contents to be closer to 1.5 or 2.

    Please try opening a textbook once in a while.

    Info from Visual Anatomy and Physiology 2nd ed

  31. Amanda

    Also, no cat owner will be a cat owner for very long while feeding their cat a vegan diet…this is because cats are obligate carnivores and cannot survive on vegetables alone.

  32. Amanda

    Found another mistake:
    A wild elephant’s natural lifespan is between 60 and 70 years.
    A human’s lifespan before modern medicine was closer to 30-40.

  33. Amanda

    Also, I find myself wondering if you (the author) are male or female. I find that it’s easier to understand just how we crave meat if you are female. Males do not have phases where they need more iron like females do. Now, this is only anecdotal, so take it as you will, but I always have an intense craving for meat during menstruation.

  34. MetroAndroid

    “Found another mistake:
    A wild elephant’s natural lifespan is between 60 and 70 years.
    A human’s lifespan before modern medicine was closer to 30-40.”


    The reason why *average* lifespan was so low (30s to 40s) for so long was because of the frighteningly high childhood mortality rate bringing down the average. In actuality most people who made it past adolescence (20-25+) would typically live into their 60s and 70s, and going back for millennia, the idea of someone “dying of old age in their 30s or 40s” was unheard of. Think about how many books and paintings at those times had the “white-haired old man” trope? Why would that trope be so common if living past your 40s was so *incredibly* rare?

    “Life expectancy increases with age as the individual survives the higher mortality rates associated with childhood. For instance, the table above listed the life expectancy at birth among 13th-century English nobles at 30. Having survived until the age of 21, a male member of the English aristocracy in this period could expect to live:

    1200–1300: to age 64
    1300–1400: to age 45 (due to the impact of the bubonic plague)
    1400–1500: to age 69
    1500–1550: to age 71”

  35. Declan

    I’m just gonna type what I feel about this.
    Killing animals for food is not murder but is survival, unless we kill them in huge masses. People inject growth hormones into those animals to make them grow faster to meet the growing demand for meat products such as burgers.
    Growing these animals such as cows require space to graze and causes deforestation to make way.
    All those people that eat like ten burgers a day should cut down on their diet as it makes them FAT and unhealthy. Cutting down on the amount of meat we eat will
    decrease the demand for meat products and a huge difference will be made in the amount of animals killed for these meat products I can admit that I love burgers but I regulate myself for one every seven days
    There are many companies who make fake meat that takes exactly like meat. These are made of soy usually. In conclusion , with evidence from other comments too, I say we are omnivores.

  36. juan

    Dear self proclaimed “carnivores” and “omnivores”,

    please do not stop eating meat. eat as much as you can every chance you get. breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. dont ever fast. just eat up. get it over with so we can make some progress. future generations wont have a choice but to be vegan thanks to you. this is where youd say god bless, im pretty sure.

  37. callum

    Yeah but….

    Some of this is wishful thinking , some of it rhetoric, some of it very biased , and definitely not scientific,(but then again fuck science), anyway… with currant tech, I think we could easily survive without eating meat, and maybe we should think about eating more insects… but I do like to eat meat, for me the best is raised and slaughtered by the person who eats it.

  38. callum

    Oh yeah, and I think we are kind of like pigs, eating wise , so anything we find that goes down alright, thus we are omnivores ,and that by instinct.

  39. Justin

    There are MANY things wrong with your article. As a hunter, I want to posit that thought MOST people today are unable to run after their food and kill it – humans are EXCEPTIONALLY well designed, through evolution, to build and use projectile weapons.

  40. myoc

    there is a meat eater and and vegan…who lives longer? the vegan the meat eater got cancer so it went to the jungle to try be one with nature but it saw a big cat and all those burgers they ate clogged up there arteries so when they saw this big cat the meat eater had a heat attack and died.

  41. reeve

    I’m certainly not an herbivore, i can hardly even stomach vegetables.i can eat a burger just fine, but put tomato or lettuce on it and i’m done after about 3 bites. Some fruits are fine but unless it’s diced or something, my digestive system doesn’t handle plants well

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