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Posted: 16 July 2012 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Are Humans “meant” to be vegetarians, or are we Omnivores?

I often have discussions about that with vegetarians, and some of them cant differentiate between ethical decisions and biology, so what do you think (or know through facts) about that?

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Posted: 16 July 2012 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Those who eat meat and veggies are omnivores, and those who don’t eat meat are vegetarians. Humans or any other animal aren’t meant to be anything. It’s a lottery. If my guts have evolved to make the consumption of meat possible (which they have) but my brain has evolved to find meat disgusting (which it has), then I am not going to eat meat and that’s the end of it.

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Posted: 16 July 2012 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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George pretty well pointed out both the biological and ethical factors determining one’s dietary decisions.  While we evolved to eat whatever was easily available, our minds also evolved to the point of some of us recognizing the value and feelings of other species and having empathy for them.  This must be a factor in our dietary decisions.  I grew up eating meat so I don’t have the disgust George does, but I’m delighted that there are so many sources of vegetarian products that are excellent replacements for meats.  My daughter turned me on to a local market chain’s selection of Italian, German, French, and Mexican sausages based on tofu that are surprisingly good.  Over the years I’ve been able to phase out meats more and more without feeling any loss.  I’d guess that in the future humans will reduce and finally eliminate animal products from their diets.  There is a spectrum of people from near 100% carnivores to vegans.  I’m guessing that I’m about 20% while George is about 10% (since he may eat dairy products).

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Posted: 16 July 2012 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The question hinges a bit on what you mean by “Meant” to eat X. As pointed out, we evolved eating a variety of plant and animal foods based on what was available in our environemtn. And depending on where one lived, one ate what was there. Few veggies for the Inuit, not much seal blubber in the Serengeti.

What is the optimal diet is a different question, and one which evolutonary arguments can be made to answer in favor of all sorts of different diets, with little real evidence that these are the healthiest diets. Probably a basically healthy diet can involve a variety of mixtures of plant and animal foods or even strict veganism if done carefully, but nobody really knows what is the optimal diet for any indiviual.

What we should eat, from an ethical point of view, is yet another question. I don’t eat birds/mammals/reptiles, but I do eat fish and invertebrates and animal products like eggs and milk. This set of choices comes from a balance between ethical concerns, health concerns, and pragmatism about what is available and how much effort I want to put into eating the “perfect” diet (if such a thing even exists).

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Posted: 16 July 2012 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It is remarkable what adaptebility human have to a variety of foods, we’re almost like goats, we’ll eat anything once we cook .... it cheese

But seriously, most animals are designed for a fixed set of allowable or available food species, (Panda, Polar Bear) but humans are remarkable that we actually have free choice in the selection of survival foods, from meat to vegetable, from fish to fowl.  Perhaps this is what makes us such a dangerous species. We can go anywhere on this earth and deplete the natural resources of that area in a few years. The problem is that we use all the available resources and thereby wipe out local monodiet species which rely on a specific and limited resources. They had a function in that foodchain cycle, and now that function is broken. What to do.

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Posted: 16 July 2012 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I believe that morals and ethics should be based on empirical evidence. There are no natural restrictions for man to use any or all the natural resources, as long as they maintain the local ecosystem.  No one forbids meat, vegetables, fish, fowl, dairy, but humans tend to indulge and we are growing at an alarming rate for a species which is a species with the highest rate of physical sickness on earth.

Imagine an ant hill maintaining a place for the ill and infirm ants. Inconceivable, ants are very efficient at maintaining minimum social services, such as feeding the queen.
This is a human excellence, but unfortunately also an extra responsibility. I believe that we can enjoy all the varieties of sustenance, but we cannot have all of IT. That would be an offense against that region. Everything we do to nature should be reasonably restricted based on the potential impact.
That is an ethical question.
IMO, eating meat, vegetables, fish , fowl, or dairy is not a moral issue, what we do is not of a priori importance in nature, HOW we do it is. Do we leave a permanent scar or do we heal the wound?

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Posted: 16 July 2012 07:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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As far as i know some Ants take care for hurt ants, i even heard that long ago in school.

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Posted: 16 July 2012 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Alexander80 - 16 July 2012 10:20 AM

Are Humans “meant” to be vegetarians, or are we Omnivores?

I often have discussions about that with vegetarians, and some of them cant differentiate between ethical decisions and biology, so what do you think (or know through facts) about that?

Omnivores is what we have evolved to be.

Some people have the ability to force themselves to not eat meat for ethical reasons, I’m not sure if everybody has that ability.  Those vegans who claim a biological destiny to become vegan are full of woo though.

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Posted: 16 July 2012 10:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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We have been omnivores probably from the earlieast hominid. Scavengers, opportunists, hunting organization are already present in our closest cousin the chimp.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 04:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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mid atlantic - 16 July 2012 08:11 PM
Alexander80 - 16 July 2012 10:20 AM

Are Humans “meant” to be vegetarians, or are we Omnivores?

I often have discussions about that with vegetarians, and some of them cant differentiate between ethical decisions and biology, so what do you think (or know through facts) about that?

Omnivores is what we have evolved to be.

Some people have the ability to force themselves to not eat meat for ethical reasons, I’m not sure if everybody has that ability.  Those vegans who claim a biological destiny to become vegan are full of woo though.

I am not an omnivore. I didn’t force myself into anything (I seldom do grin ). Just like Occam, I grew up eating meat but I never liked it.

Actually, to say that we evolved to do X but force ourselves to do Y sounds pretty dualistic to me. Who or what exactly is doing the “forcing”?

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Posted: 17 July 2012 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Some people have the ability to force themselves to not eat meat for ethical reasons, I’m not sure if everybody has that ability.  Those vegans who claim a biological destiny to become vegan are full of woo though.


IMO everyone has the “ability” to be a vegetarian if they choose. My wife and I tried it once by replacing meat with soy for burgers and chili. There was a subtle change in taste but not enough to switch back. My energy level seemed to be effected somewhat but that was the only effect. I’m still an omnivore however and trying to cut back on the meat eating more fish and chicken and less pork and red meat but that’s largely due to my blood pressure. Lifestyle seems to be the biggest determiner in what you eat and George is the first human I’ve run into who doesn’t like meat for the taste. I do try to eat more fruit and veggies because I like the taste but find a strict diet of same much less filling than including some meat. BTW, from what I’ve read, we weren’t “programmed” to eat anything in particular; just what was available like our simian ancestors, mainly fruits and vegetables until we found carrion which took longer to chew until cooking was invented. From Homo Erectus to Burger King the rest is history.


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Posted: 17 July 2012 05:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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George - 17 July 2012 04:33 AM
mid atlantic - 16 July 2012 08:11 PM
Alexander80 - 16 July 2012 10:20 AM

Are Humans “meant” to be vegetarians, or are we Omnivores?

I often have discussions about that with vegetarians, and some of them cant differentiate between ethical decisions and biology, so what do you think (or know through facts) about that?

Omnivores is what we have evolved to be.

Some people have the ability to force themselves to not eat meat for ethical reasons, I’m not sure if everybody has that ability.  Those vegans who claim a biological destiny to become vegan are full of woo though.

I am not an omnivore. I didn’t force myself into anything (I seldom do grin ). Just like Occam, I grew up eating meat but I never liked it.

Actually, to say that we evolved to do X but force ourselves to do Y sounds pretty dualistic to me. Who or what exactly is doing the “forcing”?

You’re right, bad choice of words on my part.

Some people are compelled to not eat meat, that’s why they don’t.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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FWIW, I enjoy meat; the thought that another beast died in order for me to be fed is attractive to me.

To me, almost all fruit is totally disgusting, and I can only stomach fresh vegetables.  Store bought produce is so old, tasteless, and loaded with crap, it’s ridiculous that they expect the public to buy it.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 17 July 2012 05:06 AM

Lifestyle seems to be the biggest determiner in what you eat and George is the first human I’ve run into who doesn’t like meat for the taste.

It’s not so much the taste, Jack, that disgusts me as is the idea of eating an animal. I am not really sure why I feel that way. People may fool themselves by calling a dead cow “beef” and a dead pig “pork,” but I could never do it.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 07:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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That’s an interesting take on meat George; too many people fail to realize that that delicious steak was once a living, breathing animal. A trip to the slaughter house would probably change many people’s minds. We’re programmed not to think about what went into that burger, just the sexy model quality gal, slowly eating the giant burger with tarter sauce dripping from her pouting lips.  cheese


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Posted: 17 July 2012 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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mid atlantic - 17 July 2012 05:39 AM

FWIW, I enjoy meat; the thought that another beast died in order for me to be fed is attractive to me.

That’s ....disturbing.

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