Right.. since no one else opened up this discussion (That I know of.. and if this is a double up, please let me know so I can delete this) I thought I'd throw down on it.
Someone (I can't remember who) had a blog post on the subject, but it is a lot easier to debate things in the forums as opposed to blogs because we have the direct reply-to ability here.

So......Are humans carnivores, herbivores or omnivores?
For me, I think the answer is pretty simple.
I eat plants. I eat animals. I do so liberally, with no digestive issues. My parents did likewise. My grandparents did, too. As far back as recorded history goes, we've eaten both plants and animals. I've traveled the world, and can't think of a single culture that has ever survived as vegans.
I also eat raw meat without any trouble.
I love sashimi. I love all forms of carpaccio. It has never made me sick.

I'm a pretty green person, and I freely admit that meat eating is a huge burden on the earth. I try to balance it out by doing other things, such as walking to work every day instead of driving, ect.
I believe in buying the most responsible animal products possible. I do not condone entire lives lived in cages to produce eggs. The pork I buy comes from a creature that ran around on a farm during it's life. I hunt. I hunt only during hunting season. I don't waste food. It isn't financially or environmentally intelligent.
I don't eat as much meat as I used to, because I realize it is better for me and the entire earth to consume less.
I think that Jonathan Safran is a dick:
Jonathan Safran posits that consideration, as promoted by Michael Pollan in The Omnivore's Dilemma, which has more to do with being polite to your tablemates than sticking to your own ideals, would be absurd if applied to any other belief (e.g., I don't believe in rape, but if it's what it takes to please my dinner hosts, then so be it). (Taken from Natalie Portman's contribution to Huffington Post.)
I think he is a dick because he just compared my cheeseburger eating habits to a woman (or man) being sexually assaulted. For anyone that has ever been sexually assaulted, I'm sure it helps your healing to know that some dipshit out there just found your assailant on par with a kid that loves beef stew. He didn't vilify meat. He shushed down RAPE.
I've lived briefly as a vegetarian while visiting friends and didn't mind it. I feel a lot of respect for people that are willing and able to.
I've had blood tests done, and have absolutely no allergies to any dairy at all.
I like soy milk more than cow milk, and goat milk more than cow (unless it is with brownies, then I like cow milk better than the others.)
Saying humans are the only creatures to drink milk past childhood is laughable to anyone that has ever owned a cat. Lots of animals happily drink milk. We are just the only ones with thumbs to get it without nursing.
I wouldn't be opposed to cannibalism if it wasn't for diseases or law breaking. In fact, I think eating convicts would be a lot cheaper than a costly funeral after execution. (I'm also not strictly pro-death penalty, but only because it costs the state more to get such a punishment as opposed to life imprisonment.)
I've eaten dog.
And liked it both times.
I am very opposed to trawl fishing.
I helped write a textbook on scuba diving spear fishing.
I do not hunt for sport, only food. (If it was a 'sport' then I'd expect the doe to have a fucking gun, too.)

Um... ok. That is all I can think of now!

Put on your gloves and go to town!

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Neal, I haven't had a chance to read the whole thing yet, but I have watched a few of Pollan's lectures. I agree that his main concern is really the source and production of food rather than debating over the actual type of food. I really like his emphasis on whole foods. I think that it is where we all found common ground in this debate, that whole foods which are as minimally processed as possible are the ideal sources of nutrition. Pollan was also interviewed for Food, Inc., which was easily one of the best documentaries that I have watched in years.

Yikes, I'm kind of just rambling instead of contributing anything valuable about the book; I really hope to finally get it read when I take a semester off this summer. (Three years spent doing fall, spring, and summer semesters has seriously backed up my reading list, lol!) Overall, did you like the book, Neal?
Yay for vacation! :D Hmm, if Rules is a nice quick read, I'll have to pick it up the next time that I get a Barnes & Noble coupon.
Aside from everything else, I'll answer the first question you asked. If you look at our teeth, you'll see they evolved for an omnivorous diet. We lack the heavy grinders of pure herbivores and the stabbing, shearing teeth of pure carnivores. We have what's called a "differentiated tooth row" which makes us the evolutionary "children" of omnivores.

Also, take a look at the diets of chimps and bonobos, our nearest genetic relatives. They eat mostly fruits and vegetables, only killing and eating a monkey on rare occasions. (When that happens, they make a big PARTY of it!)

We eat the things we do partly because they taste good and partly because we're TOLD they're good for us.

"MILK DOES A BODY GOOD"....even though nature WEANS babies and we did NOT evolve drinking it. (We feed it to our cats--they don't eat/drink it naturally. Also, remember that domestic cats are NOT "natural" animals--we created them, in the same way we created dogs.)

We've been held hostage to the meat and dairy industries in this country--and it's causing us great harm.


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