I consumed animal products for years, enjoying many a meal out, indulging & gorging my way through life without consideration. I have mentioned before, the dramatic physical, mental & emotional changes I have experienced since removing animal products from my diet. I used to suffer like the next man with regular bouts of illness, fatigue & far too many other ailments to possible list. These days if I fall ill once a year I am surprised, it is worth stating, my recovery period is rapid compared to the rotting flesh-eating days.
People who eat meat argue that it is “natural” for humans to consume animals. But is this true or just an excuse to ignore the horrific ways in which animals are killed for food? Are we really supposed to eat meat? Sure we can consume it, there are some interesting cases explaining how it assisted in our human evolution, for me, that does not mean it is our natural food source.
These days, now I have my own experiences to draw upon, (do you, or are you still being told what is right for you?) for me, it seems very logical, “I am not designed to consume animal products”
Here are a few reason why:
We Don’t Like Blood:
Most humans are revolted by the sight of blood, intestines, and raw flesh and can’t tolerate hearing the screams of animals being ripped apart. The bloody reality of killing and eating animals is innately repulsive to us.
We Don’t Have Carnivorous Teeth:
Humans have short, soft fingernails and small, dull canine teeth. All true carnivores have sharp claws and large canine teeth that are capable of tearing flesh without the help of knives and forks.
Real carnivores’ jaws move only up and down, enabling them to tear chunks of flesh from their prey. Humans can move their jaws up and down and from side to side, and we also have flat molars (which carnivores lack), allowing us to grind up fruit and vegetables with our back teeth like herbivores do.
Dr Richard Leakey, a renowned anthropologist, says, “You can’t tear flesh by hand, you can’t tear hide by hand. Our anterior teeth are not suited for tearing flesh or hide. We don’t … have large canine teeth, and we wouldn’t have been able to deal with food sources that required those large canines.”
Our Digestive System Doesn’t Like Meat:
Carnivores have short intestinal tracts that allow meat to pass quickly through their digestive system. Humans’ intestinal tracts are much longer, like those of plant-eaters. This gives the body more time to break down fibre and absorb the nutrients from plant-based foods.
Meat Can Cause Heart Disease in Humans:
Carnivorous animals in the wild virtually NEVER develop heart disease or suffer from strokes—ailments that humans can suffer an increased risk of developing due to their consumption of the saturated fat and cholesterol found in meat.
If humans were meant to eat meat, why do meat-eaters have a 32 percent higher risk of developing heart disease than vegetarians?
We May Be Getting Too Much Protein:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most Americans get plenty of protein without paying special attention to what they eat. We’re actually more likely to consume too much protein, resulting in nutritional deficiencies or insufficient fibre.
Eating too much protein may also increase your risk of developing heart disease and may worsen kidney function in people with kidney disease because the body can have trouble eliminating all the waste products of protein metabolism.
T. Colin Campbell—director of the Cornell-China-Oxford Project on Nutrition, Health, and Environment and author of The China Study —says, “In the next ten years, one of the things you’re bound to hear is that animal protein is one of the most toxic nutrients of all that can be considered.”
Didn’t Our Human Ancestors Eat Meat:
During most of our evolutionary history, we were largely vegetarian: Plant foods, such as yams, made up the bulk of our ancestors’ diet. The addition of modest amounts of meat to the early human diet came with the discovery of fire, which allowed us to lower the risk of being sickened or killed by parasites and bacteria in meat. This didn’t turn our ancestors into carnivores but rather allowed early humans to survive in areas and during periods in which plant foods were unavailable or scarce.
Modern Meat Consumption:
Until fairly recently, only the wealthiest people could afford to feed, raise, and slaughter animals for meat, but with the rise of the modern middle class, consumption of meat has almost doubled over the last 100 years.
Now, animal flesh is relatively cheap and easily available because of factory farming and government subsidies, and heart disease, strokes, cancer, and obesity are increasing worldwide.
Are Humans Supposed to Eat Meat:
Numerous studies have shown that meat is not ideal for the human body and may actually be making us sick and killing us. The human body is intended to function on plant-based foods that are full of fibre, antioxidants, unsaturated fat, essential fatty acids, phytochemicals, and cholesterol-free protein.
Meat May Cause Food Poisoning in Humans:
True carnivores gulp down chunks of raw flesh, relying on their strong stomach acids to break it down and kill the dangerous bacteria in meat that would otherwise sicken or kill them. Humans have much weaker stomach acids that are similar to those found in animals who digest pre-chewed fruits and vegetables. Without carnivorous stomach acids to kill the bacteria in meat, dining on animal flesh can give us food poisoning.
The study found that:
There are more than 500,000 cases of food poisoning a year from known pathogens. This figure would more than double if it included food poisoning cases from unknown pathogens.
Campylobacter was the most common foodborne pathogen, with about 280,000 cases every year.
The next most common pathogen was Clostridium perfringens with 80,000 cases, and norovirus was third with an estimated 74,000 cases.
Salmonella is the pathogen that causes the most hospital admissions – about 2,500 each year.
Poultry meat was the food linked to the most cases of food poisoning, with an estimated 244,000 cases every year, while beef and lamb were an estimated 43,000 cases).
Because of this, we must cook meat to make it easier to digest and to destroy bacteria, but there may be a link between cooking meat at high temperatures and the development of colon cancer.
Information courtesy of PETA.