Carnivore or Herbivore ???
I seem to have created some debate. I guess I stepped on a sacred cow or better yet the sacred Big Mac. Debate is a good thing. It is how most of us became atheists in the first place. We began to question the wisdom of the established religions. We began to cast doubt where slavery, sexism, bigotry, and ignorance are supported by dogma.
This is an argument that goes back and forth; all kinds of answerer's are given on both sides of the debate. There is a way to find out and that is to examine the evolutionary anatomy of the human body to see how its digestive track has evolved. This is short compilation of physiology findings concerning carnivores and herbivores. I used the charts provided on.

Here is an answer to the question as to whether or not humans are herbivores or carnivores. Milton R. Mills MD. is the author of "The Comparative anatomy of eating" I suggest that you visit the link to see his chart,
Comparative physiology shows how the human body has evolved. The idea that primitive man ate a diet of primarily of meat appears to be flawed. At best early man was an omnivore with the greatest part of his diet being plant based like we see in gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees.
Let’s look at comparative anatomy of herbivores and carnivores. There are many similarities, but there are very distinct differences. First off herbivores have no claws; Carnivores have claws, and long sharp teeth on the end of a long snout for ripping and tearing hide and flesh. Herbivores molars are not pointed but flat for grinding. Herbivores jaws have the ability to move sideways to aid in their mastication. Carnivores and omnivores have very little sideways jaw movement and swallow their food whole. Herbivores have pores in their skin to perspire through; Carnivores perspire through the tongue to cool down their bodies. Carnivores have evolved very acid saliva with no enzymes for digestion. Herbivores have alkaline saliva with ptyalin enzymes to help digest fruits and grains. Carnivores have very strong hydrochloric stomach acid to help digest flesh. Herbivores have evolved stomach acid twenty times weaker than carnivores. Carnivores have evolved a relative short digestive track to pass the material through quickly so as to not absorb too many fats. Herbivores have evolved very long digestive tracks in order to aid in extracting nutrition from plants.
Now let’s look at human anatomy and see how the human has evolved. Humans have no claws, their teeth are flat and their jaws move sideways for grinding and chewing their food before swallowing. Humans have pores in their skin that they perspire through to cool themselves. Humans have evolved hydrochloric stomach acid twenty times weaker than carnivores. Humans have alkaline saliva with ptyalin enzymes for digesting fruits and grains. Humans have evolved a very long digestive tract like other herbivores.
When you examine how the human anatomy has evolved it appears that we are herbivores. There is a lot of evidence but one of the most notable is that humans will generally become ill or dye when eating uncooked flesh like a wild carnivore. Humans do not contain the stomach enzymes that kill harmful bacteria and parasites that carnivores do. Also all carnivores produce enzymes that neutralize the uric acid in their diet, humans produce no such enzymes. When a human eats a diet high in animal products they suffer a number of heath problem associated with uric acid. Gout, kidney stones, kidney failure, arthritis, certain cancers, cardio vascular disease and now uric acid has been connected to chronic brain ischemia.
Humans do not digest animal proteins well, and animal based foods cause many detrimental health problems for humans over time. Second because humans are anatomical herbivores we thrive on plant proteins. Comparative anatomy shows herbivore physiologic evolution in humans. Dennis Renner

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Comment by Prazzie on November 28, 2009 at 9:15pm
"When you examine how the human anatomy has evolved it is obvious that we are herbivores."

No. Current scientific consensus is that humans are omnivores. Which sources did you use for the information in your post?
Comment by Jeff on November 28, 2009 at 9:35pm
Omnivore +1
Comment by Dennis Paul Renner on November 28, 2009 at 10:01pm
In answer to Prazzie
Human digestive physiology is clearly herbivore. One only needs to compare the digestive tract of humans to other species to clearly see that we are not carnivores. There are numerous web sites all referencing the same scientific findings.
Comment by Galen on November 28, 2009 at 10:14pm
You pointed out many fine example of how we have evolved the more complex systems required to digest plants. This makes perfect sense, considering that we evolved eating both plants and meat. We wouldn't have been naturally selected to have a digestive system indicative of animals who don't eat plants, since we DO eat plants.

I only glanced through your entry, but one glaring inaccuracy jumped out at me.

humans will generally become ill or dye when eating uncooked flesh like a wild carnivore. Humans do not contain the stomach enzymes that kill harmful bacteria and parasites that carnivores do

Actually, it is the artificial man-made processing of meat which makes it unsuitable for raw consumption. Humans CAN eat raw meat straight from a fresh kill, like any carnivore. I wouldn't recommend it, though. As you point out, it would make us ill. Not deathly ill, the way eating raw processed meat would, but it would not be a comfortable experience.

Natural selection is not perfect. If we really were intelligently designed by some grand creator, then perhaps out digestive tract would be equally capable of processing both meat and plants. And while we're talking about digesting plants, how about the hell of a time that so many people have with tomatoes? They give me the shits and terrible heartburn, how 'bout you? I love 'em, and so do many other people, but our digestive system clearly has a difficult time with them. And there are MANY other fruits and vegetables that the same can be said for. Perhaps this is solid evidence that we're not evolved to eat plants? HAHA, of course not. That would be silly...
Comment by Joann Brady on November 28, 2009 at 10:45pm
well, there has never, not one time, in the millions of years of our history, been even one genertion of humans that lived ( and survived) without some animal foods. There are no completely vegan human groups thriving in the world.
There is the odd vegan here and there today, but there has never been a group of them ( say a tribe somewhere) who survived for generations without animal foods
Comment by Prazzie on November 29, 2009 at 6:13am
Thank you for providing sources for your findings. It is as I suspected - your sources are simply poor. You are not evaluating scientific findings, you are reporting the (incorrect) interpretations of people with agendas.

Steve Pavlina - an American self-help author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. - yeah, no bias there...
The Health blog has a disclaimer: "content Comes from the Internet, if a violation of your copyright, please contact us, we will remove." - no actual citations in the actual posts
Aaaand WikiAnswers.

No. This is not good research. Use Google Scholar, at least, if you do not have access to any scientific journal databases. This is not a difficult question. Humans are, to this day in some areas of the world, HUNTER GATHERERS. What do you think the hunting refers to? Apples?

It does not make sense for you to say "At best early man was an omnivore" - humans evolved from plant-eating ancestors and started incorporating animals in our diets right from the beginning of our history, therefore it doesn't follow to say the process was (ancestor) plant-based diet, (early man) plant + animal, (modern man) adapted to plants only. If our early ancestors started eating meat and we've only increased that habit, we should be better adapted to digesting meat today (as we are).

Reconsider what you've posted here critically. What purpose does it serve to compare the anatomy of herbivores and carnivores when we are omnivores? You're going about this all wrong.

You wrote (or pasted?) "There is a lot of scientific evidence". Find it. Show it to us. I've looked, I can't find any scientific sources to corroborate your statements. I don't mean wiki answers or wellness blogs or he said she said, I mean give me the link to the actual paper with the research in it that shows how they got to it, or at the very least a link from Scienceblogs where an actual scientist reviews one of these papers.

Real science, please!
Comment by Dan on November 29, 2009 at 7:26am
Comment by Reggie on November 29, 2009 at 11:46am
Carnivore or Herbivore ???

Or...False dichotomy?

Omnivore +1
Comment by Reggie on November 29, 2009 at 11:49am
And as Dan said, debates are better in the forums where there is an ability to "reply" and it is easier to follow and understand the conversation flow.
Comment by Prazzie on November 29, 2009 at 12:39pm
As far as I'm concerned, there is no debate here. That was just one more thing Dennis got wrong.

It's just one guy posting fractal wrongness and me requesting a sample of the scientific evidence he says he's examined. (Once again, Dennis, the websites "referencing" the "scientific evidence" don't actually reference the science...there are no links there to show that they didn't just make stuff up.)


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