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Found what looks like an extremely enlightening book:

 

The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100: Europe, America, and the Third World

 

From Amazon:

"Nobel laureate Robert Fogel's compelling new study examines health, nutrition and technology from 1700 to 2100. Although throughout most of human history, chronic malnutrition has been the norm, a synergy between improvements in productive technology and human physiology has enabled humans to more than double their average longevity and to increase their body size by over fifty percent over the past three centuries."

 

From a blog article on the Yupik Eskimo Diet :

http://tundramedicinedreams.blogspot.com/2007/01/yupik-eskimo-diet-and-obesity.html

In Fogel’s The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100, he argues that until comparatively recently, most people were battling a series of infections almost all the time, and that people (particularly children) expended a substantial amount of their calorie intake on fighting infection. It is a relatively recent development that we are so secure in our access to adequate calories that we can now concern ourselves with details of our diet.

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  • 2 months later...

http://goinside.com/99/4/food.html

 

 

Yesterday's Food

Will Become Tomorrow's Food

 

by Dr. David Ryde MB BS FRCP

 

April 8, 1999

 

Summary

The author speculates that Ancestral Man of 3 - 5 million years ago was a herbivore and an opportunist carnivore; man might also have been a coprophagist. Due to extensive regional climatic changes our ancestor totally adapted to the role of gatherer-hunter in order to survive and the use of fire later helped him in this adaptation. It is suggested that nutritional and alimentary diseases and degenerative changes - afflict meat eaters more than vegetarians. Reasons are given for what the author considers to be the human food niche, and these are used to justify a decrease in the consumption of meat and dairy produce. Palaeoanthropological studies support the National Advisory Council for Nutrition Education Consultative Report, better known as "NANCNE Report."

 

Discussion

New vegetarians are aware of less digestive discomfort after overeating compared to that caused by an excessive meat meal; they also feel less sleepy. This may indicate that plant products are easier to digest than meat with its fat content and Lucas (1979) records that 100 G plant protein requires 0.25 G hydrochloric acid to be digested in two hours, while 100 G animal protein requires twice as much acid to be digested in 3.5 hours. Since vegans and vegetarians are reported as having fewer peptic ulcers (Walker and Cannon, 1985) than other people there may be a correlation between meat - eating and peptic ulceration.

 

During periods of abundance most creatures eat a narrow range of appropriate foods. Lions flourish on zebra and wildebeest meat; song birds on worms, grubs, insects, berries', buds or seeds; waterfowl on pond weed; cattle, sheep, and horses on parts of different grasses; elephants and giraffes on leaves, fruits and twigs; apes largely on fruits and vegetables while the proboscis monkey flourishes on the leaves of a single tree. These niches tend to be transgressed only in time of shortage. What foods then has nature "programmed" for mankind to eat in order to maintain health, growth activity and reproduction? In this article I speculate on what our Pliocene ancestors ate and then relate current eating habits to the nutritional and alimentary diseases and degenerative changes afflicting mankind today.

 

Introduction

School book and museum art which depict early man as a hunter, may not be correct as once assumed. Jeffs (1969) discusses what humans were programmed to eat, and he concludes that it was naturally occurring foods such as meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and eggs. Boyd and Konner (l9kjB5) state that "from about 24 to 5 million years ago fruits appear to have been the main dietary constituent for hominids". They continue that since 4.5 million years ago "our ancestral feeding pattern included increasing amounts of meat".

 

Compared to other primates Modern Man eats a great range of foods, and this I believe relates more to his use of cutting and crushing implements and to the later control of fire. That raw meat is almost universally cooked to make it palatable, edible and 'digestible suggests that prepromethean man did not eat it in large amounts. Cooking denatures protein, melts out fat and breaks down the fibrous tissue, making it easier to digest. Carnivores gulp down lumps of meat, their sharpened molars tearing it like scissors for digestion to begin in the stomach. Herbivores with flatter molar-teeth crush the cellulose-walled plant cells, and begin carbohydrate digestion orally with ptyalin (amylase), as occurs in cows, pigs, rabbits and also humans. Today, foods may be pre-digested by cooking and refining, made more socially acceptable and palatable by packaging, flavouring and colouring, and preserved by freezing, additives and irradiation. These foods may already contain herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, hormones and antibiotics. However preservation, packaging and storage for transport and shelf life are social imperatives in today's world.

 

Biological Comparisons with Primates

Human teeth are omnivorous in design, yet more closely resemble primate teeth whose possessors live largely on fruit and vegetable plants. Carnivorous jaws tear vertically while herbivores and human jaws swing vertically to tear and laterally to crush. Carnivorous jaws do not have salivary amylase (Ptyalin). Compared to carnivores, herbivore bowel length is proportionately much greater than trunk length (about ten times compared to three times) and the human bowel length more favours herbivory. The appendix is almost exclusive to man, the higher primates, rodents and a few lower mammals and it is a vestigial, herbivorous caecum. Carnivores do not have a caecum.

 

The DNA differences between gorilla, chimpanzee and man are reported ( Cribbin and Cherfas, 1982) as under one percent. This is less than that between different species of horse. In a casual moment one could mistake illustrations of the gorilla digestive tract for that of the human tract and one may cautiously extrapolate that the human and gorilla digestive systems also function in a similar way. Humans apart, the highest primates, that is the chimpanzees and the gorillas, are described as herbivores and opportunist carnivores, eating mainly fruits and vegetables, but they may also eat eggs, insects, lizards and other small creatures if easily available or when really hungry.

 

Hamilton and Busse (197 have presented a chart of twenty one primates which largely shows that their animal food consumption is inversely related to body weight. The small primate weighed sixty five gram and ate 70% dietary animal matter, the two largest the gorilla and orang-utan weigh respectively 126 and 58 kilogram. They consume one and two percent animal matter; and the human primate stands between the gorilla and orang-utan in weight.

 

Walker as reported by Griben and Cherfas (1982) has been using the electron microscope to study miniscule abrasions on the teeth of living species and fossils. Walker has shown that the characteristic marks on fossil teeth indicate that Australopithecus robustus ( ancestral man of four million years ago) like the modern chimps was not an omnivore but a fruit eater.

 

It seems reasonable to suggest that one higher primate was able, several million years ago when the climatic chips were down and the forests receding, to increase its food gathering repertoire by applying its knowledge and skills to hunting away from tree cover. While 1 speculate that homo-sapiens is a more efficient herbivore than carnivore crushing and cooking makes meat more digestible for him. It also enables him to consume amounts in excess of his needs.

 

In a personal communication Amiel Bennan, Professor of Herbivore Zoology, Jerusalem, writes that “the natural sex and adrenal steroids as well as adrenaline and thyroxine are oxidised in cooking and lose a large part of their biological activity”. Presumably cooking also oxidises most of the injected steroid given to beef-up cattle before slaughter. If some people, women in particular, are sensitive to minute steroid residues, perhaps in “rare” undercooked meat, then the concern I felt on theoretical grounds is supported by Sylvia Lewis an electrologist of 30 years experience. Mrs. Lewis, having pondered the matter for five years, states that if a client goes vegetarian then over one to two years her hirsutism diminishes considerably, the coarse hair becoming downy. Also she has many clients who became hirsute on taking steroid contraceptive pills.

 

Climatic Changes

Pliocene climatic changes of ice age and drought rendered food-gatherings less plentiful and to survive Early Man began to adapt towards a gathering-hunting existence about three and a half million years ago. Probably Man slowly migrated from Africa and adapted to temperate regions by consuming more high-energy fat foods. The discovery of how to harness fire about half a million years ago, further increased Man's alimentary options and proved to be a great social and nutritional revolution as was agriculture about ten thousand years ago.

 

Current Views

Monographs on vegetarians and vegans ( Doyle, Lueas, Moran, Sussman, Yntema) report that these people enjoy their food, are generally slimmer than meat eaters, live a little longer and suffer less alimentary and degenerative diseases. Pixley et al. (1985) report that gall stones occur only half as often in vegetarians as in meat eaters, and Robertson et al (1979) show that the incidence of renal calcium stone disease is related to the consumption of animal protein. Further there is a low incidence of late onset diabetes in vegetarians, and German soldiers fighting on the Russian front-line who, short of supplies had gathered adequate amounts of fresh vegetables had a lower incidence of stomach complaints than home-based soldiers. Indeed colon cancer, hypertension, strokes, heart disease, diverticulosis, tooth decay, piles, peptic ulcers and varicose veins from a larger list of complaints mentioned in the NACNE Report (Walker and Cannon 1985) have all been implicated an modern food related diseases.

 

Athletic Endurance

Vegetarian nutrition is in no way contrary to an athletic and endurance career, and Paavo Numi is one name among many vegetarians greats. Pritikin (1985) recounts many such endurance records, and it is feasible that endurance prowess is related to the high carbohydrate content of vegetarian food. This is akin to the carbohydrate loading of modern marathon runners. Sussman (1978) writes of a ploughman who once said he needed plenty of meat to give him the strength and endurance to handle his plough all day, yet the ox in whose furrow he trod lived on the grass of the field. In the wild, grazing animals may not have the same turn of speed as their predators but they usually have greater endurance and manoeuvrability.

 

Nutrition

Yntema (1960) both from personal experience and an extensive literature search states that vegetarian nutrition is compatible with all childhood needs; she adds though “a monthly supplement of Vitamin B12 is desirable". Sussman in discussing longevity in several quasi-vegetarian societies, quotes medical sources that nutrition rather than genetics is probably responsible and that individuals lead vigorous lives with little degenerative disease in old age. I suggest that vegetarianism may not promote longevity, rather western nutrition may promote the earlier onset of degenerative disease and brevity of life. Herein may lie a practical approach to the exponential increase of enfeebled old age that is afflicting Western society. Biologists have reported that rats with a restricted food intake, which extends the period of immaturity, live twice is long as rats whose food was freely available. The biological time clock it seems is accelerated by fat rather than by carbohydrate (Pritikin) 2.

 

Weight Reduction

If traditional advice for weight-reduction were effective, there would be few overweight people. By advising patients to eat differently, not less, the author ( Ryde, 1982) has enabled a fair number of patients (regrettably unquantified) with obstinate obesity to lose weight gradually and with little trouble, including an effortless five stones in one year in a female patient. Chewing plentiful amounts of fresh raw food means that people are more likely to achieve satiation. Though half the English population at the age of fifty is overweight, the secretary of a vegetarian society estimates that only three of its one hundred and fifty members axe overweight. That weight-conscious people who become vegetarians are more successful in slimming than their omnivore peers is my experience.

 

Health and Disease

After a consultant nutritionist confirmed to me in April 1985 a report that four angina patients in America had all lost their symptoms within four weeks of becoming vegans (a cholesterol free diet) I suggested veganism to a patient with a fifteen year history of angina and unable to walk one hundred yards. In one month the angina had almost gone and the patient felt marvellous. After three months he regularly walked four miles. As a side effect he had lost twenty pounds in weight and his systolic blood pressure dropped 55 points. The chronic varicose ulcer in a grossly obese male healed within 3 weeks, being accompanied by a rapid weight loss. This was partly a diuresis since a vegans salt turnover (without bread) is under 1 G daily, compared to the 12 G of an average eater.

 

After accepting near veganism an obese elderly male reported that the breast tenderness he had experienced daily for 5 years had disappeared within four days and had not returned four months later. These and other rewarding anecdotes relating to late onset diabetes, persistent indigestion and hypertension do not constitute proof but since veganism with supplements and vegetarianism are harmless, there is every reason to explore and exploit them. Not often will patients accept a dramatic food change, but for those who do or partially so the results are often sufficiently rewarding for me to now offer such advice increasingly and sometimes without conventional medication. However, much water will flow under the bridge of experience before such anecdotes may become accepted wisdom.

 

Are Supplements Necessary?

The deficiencies of veganism are reported as being the B vitamins, particularly, B12, and also vitamin D, and the minerals Calcium and Iron. That vitamin B12 is present in animal but not plant tissues is used to support arguments favouring human carnivory though Fossey (1985) writes that “the eating of excrement occurs among most vertebrates, including humans, who have certain nutritional deficiencies. Among gorillas coprophagy is thought to have possible dietary functions because it may allow vitamins particularly B12 synthesised in the hind gut, to be assimilated in the fore gut”. Not a tasteful subject but human coprophagy is rational in man the primate. Even so supplements before stools seems a social preference. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D relates to body clothing not to vegan inadequacy.

 

Pritikin 3 (1985) writes that ”the high protein intake which is common in the developed nations causes a negative mineral balance, drawing calcium from bone, to neutralise the acid products of protein metabolism”. It is those who eat meat who need extra calcium.

 

Childbirth occurs about once every four years in the Kung people (Leakey 1978) one of the few remaining gatherer-hunter societies. Menstruation in gorillas recurs about 2 years after parturition but may be delayed a further two years by continued breast feeding (Fossey, 1985). It is not unreasonable to extrapolate this to Pliocene women. Kung children are breast fed for two and a half years at least and usually longer. Since menstruation whilst breast-feeding is rare, a major cause of iron deficiency is removed. Fossey states that “free living gorillas giving birth to live offspring eat most if not all of the placenta. They may gain dietary benefits from this as also from eating their infant faeces". Modern carnivorous society then imposes abnormal conditions on vegetarians and vegans and it is realistic for them to compensate with supplements. Supplements are given in pregnancy and are added to bread and margarine anyway, for everyone’s benefit.

 

Conclusions

I have woven together strands of personal belief, speculation and fact into a hypothesis with perhaps some fruitful implications for a health-conscious society. My hypothesis is that Pliocene man was a herbivore food gatherer, an opportunist carnivore and perhaps a coprophagist. Adverse climatic changes of ice age and drought forced man to adapt towards a gatherer-hunter existence, and the control of fire increased his carnivore options. Currently mankind is adapting, for better and for worse, to the nutritional changes deriving from the creation of agriculture, animal husbandry and a food industry.

 

Sadly Modern Man neither gathers nor hunts but adopts a sedentary lifestyle which leads his system into a slow atrophy. The evidence offered is not conclusive but hopefully it will promote interest in the recurring question of what foods are appropriate for mankind. Increasing awareness of the human food-niche raises questions such as:

 

* Which plants are most suitable for humans to eat?

* Are the foetus and breasted child adversely affected by modern nutrition?

* How do we best acquire vitamins, minerals and -trace elements?

* How digestible is raw meat?

* Is salivary amylase an indicator of herbivory?

* What effect does cooking have on animal hormones and might they affect people?

* Does veganism alter mood?

* Might fish breeding with unnatural foods, change a fishes unsaturated fat?

* Of what significance are vitamins in human faeces?

* Concerning human size and weight, does bigger mean better?

* What happens to humans when they chronically breach their food niche?

* What role should cereals and dairy produce have in human nutrition since both are recent, but significant alimentary acquisitions?

* Why are “recent foods" (cereal grains and dairy produce) more allergic than original foods?

 

To answer the question posed by the title of this article is only to make an informed guess. I believe our Pliocene ancestors were 'programmed to eat a variety of plant foods such as leaves, fruits, buds, berries, bark, seeds, stalks, tubers, fungi, pulses and nuts, later adding meat and sea food, according to need and locality and occasionally perhaps their own stools. Fire increased man's options in carnivory and cellulose foods, and agriculture created a food surplus leading to food storage and the growth of societies and so the need to develop a food industry. Originally food did not contain colouring matter, sweetener preservatives, pesticides, antibiotics or hormones; though modern food production and distribution would not be possible without some form of preservation, processing and packaging.

 

Ancestral Man experienced a different lifestyle to his descendant, hence the need for caution when making comparisons between living then and now. Modern Man's destructive and addictive habits and his minimal physical activity are unphysiological, productive of excess weight and disease and leads to early degenerative changes. The civilised human lifestyle bears comparison to that of the domesticated animal. If people reduced their animal protein, salt, sugar and fat consumption and compensated with appropriate fresh plant produce they would be closely following the NACNE recommendations. In conclusion I submit that ”yesterday's food will become tomorrow's food."

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great post. thanks. i firmly believe in the premise of the selfish gene, and i've argued with fellow vegans before, with them insisting that humans are exclusively frugivores, and me maintaining that humans are generalists - just like rats and roaches.

 

we can and do eat damn near anything to keep us alive long enough to raise a litter or two to self sufficiency. 'nature' couldn't care less about our optimum health or longevity, in fact, once we're past our reproductive years, 'nature' (the gene) would rather died so as not to take resources better used by those that can still reproduce.

 

i want to get that book!

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Another great article:

 

http://www.european-vegetarian.org/evu/english/news/news962/omnivore.html

 

 

European Vegetarian Union

 

Omnivorous or Vegetarian?

What famous naturalists think about it

 

by Professor Luis Vallejo Rodríguez

 

Deutsch - Español - from EVU News, Issue 2 / 1996 - Français

 

Professor. Luis Vallejo Rodríguez, Secretary of the Canarian Vegetarian Association

 

Nowadays it is extensively claimed that man must eat meat to have a balanced diet containing proteins of good quality. Furthermore this is what is said by outstanding doctors like Dr. Francisco Grande Govian who has recently died, considered as the greatest authority on nutrition in Spain. To this we have to add that the Ministry of Health recommend eating meat and that most people eat it and consider to be good food. However, considering all this it is surprising that the most famous naturalists in humanity were vegetarians or, at least, they declared one after the other that man is vegetarian by nature.

 

We have to consider that the words 'vegetarian' and 'vegetarianism' first appeared about 1838 so before that date they do not appear in any writing and for this reason they speak about vegetable food or vegetable diet. The inexistance of these words makes investigation difficult.

 

Furthermore we have to add that to know whether or not a famous naturalist was a vegetarian we must read the biographies of each of them. Biographies difficult or impossible to obtain as not all of them have been written. If biographies have been written about famous artists, very little has been written about scientists. To this difficulty we have to add another one: the scarce or no importance which biographers pay to the eating habits of the people they write about. So for example Colin Spencer complains in his book The Heretics Feast that among 60 biographies about Leonardo Da Vinci only two of his biographers mention that he was a vegetarian. Even with all these difficulties the declarations of the most famous naturalists of humanity have had one very clear message and as proof you can read what they have said: John Ray (1628-1704) was called the father of English Natural History and in his honour a society was founded which carries his name: The Ray Society. According to John Ray: "There is no doubt, that man is not built to be a carnivorous animal". And furthermore he declares:

 

1. "What a sweet, pleasing and innocent sight is the spectacle of a table served that way and what a difference to a make up of fuming animal meat, slaughtered and dead! Man in no way has the constitution of a carnivorous being. Hunt and voracity are unnatural to him. Man has neither the sharp pointed teeth or claws to slaughter his prey. On the contrary his hands are made to pick fruits, berries and vegetables and teeth appropriate to chew them."

2. "Everything we need to feed ourselves and to restore and please us is abundantly provided in the inexhaustible store of Nature. What a sweet, pleasing and innocent sight is a table frugally provided and what a difference from a meal composed of fuming and slaughtered animal meat. In short our orchards offer all the delights imaginable while the slaughter houses and butchers are full of congealed blood and abominable stench."

 

Another famous naturalist was Carl Linnée (1707-1778), a doctor of the Swedish Navy, president of the Academy of Science and professor of Botany at Stockholm and the University of Upsala. Linnée created the method of natural classification of plants and animals that is still used today although more than two centuries have passed. Linnée wrote:

 

1. "Edible fruits and plants constitute the most appropriate food for man."

2. "According to his anatomy, man has not been physiologically prepared to eat meat."

3. "Fruits are the most adequate food for man according to that demonstrated by the analogy of quadrupeds in the structure in his teeth and digestive apparatus.

 

The French naturalist George Louis Leclerc, more commonly known as Count Buffon (1707-1788) was member of the Academy of Science, administrator of the Garden of the King and with several collaborators wrote 'Natural History' in 36 volumes. Buffon stated that:

 

"Man could live on vegetables alone. However the whole of nature is not enough to satisfy his intemperance and the inconsistent variety of his appetite. Man by himself consumes and devours more meat than all the other animals together and not out of necessity but as a form of abuse."

 

A collaborator of Buffon was Dr. Luis Maria D'Aubenton, more commonly known as Daubenton (1716-1799). He was a professor of Minerology at the Garden of the King and of Natural History at the School of Medicine. D'aubenton said, that:

 

"It is to be presumed that man, while he lives in a natural state and a graded climate, where the earth spontaneously produces every type of fruit, he feeds himself with these and does not eat animals."

 

George Cuvier (1769-1832) was a French naturalist, anatomist and geologist. He was a professor at the School and Museum of France, Secretary of the Academy of Sciences and Chancellor of the University. He created the theory of Compared Anatomy and Palaeontology. Thanks to his studies we have been able to reconstruct species which have disappeared. Cuvier received the distinctions and titles of Baron and grand official of the Legion of Honour and was honoured by Napoleon I, Louis XVIII and Louis Philip. Cuvier stated in his work: Lessons of Compared Anatomy, that:

 

"The compared anatomy shows us that man in every way is like the frugivorous animals and no way like the carnivorous animals... Disguising the dead meat by culinary preparations, the outward appearance is changed and tenderised because the sight of raw and bloody meat only exited horror and in man."

 

Lets look at some statements made by Cuvier:

 

1. "According to the constitution of mans principle organs, it has been demonstrated that his nourishment should not consist of any other thing than vegetables."

2. "Mans natural food, judging from his structure, should consist of fruits, roots and vegetables."

3. "The whole of the human body even down to the slightest detail is destined by nature for an exclusively vegetable diet."

4. "Man appears to be organized to feed on fruits, roots and the succulent parts of vegetables. His short mandibles of medium force, his canines of the same length as his other teeth, and his tuberous molars do not permit him to chew grass or devour meat without preparing these foods through cooking. His digestive organs are formed in accordance with the disposition of his teeth. His stomach is simple and his intestine canal is of medium length and very well fixed to his large intestine."

 

Alexander von Humbold (1769-1859) was a German naturalist, explorer and geographer. He carried out studies on magnetism and supported the theory of the igneous origin of rocks. He is considered to be the founder of Climathology, Terrestrial Morphology, Physical Geogrophy of the Oceans and the Geography of the Planets. He wrote a book in 30 volumes entitled Cosmos and Trips to Equimoctial Regions of the New World. Humbold stated that:

 

"Eating animals as food is not far away from athropophagy and cannibalism. The same amount of land used to graze and feed cattle could feed ten people, if however we cultivated it with lentils, kidney beans or peas it could feed a hundred people....The Orinoco basin can produce sufficient bananas to feed the whole of mankind comfortably."

 

Richard Owen (1804-1892) was an English naturalist who studied with Cuvier, catalogued the Hunter Collection of the British Museum and organized the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. He studied anatomy and compared Physiology and Palaeontology. He wrote A Course in Compared Anatomy and Palaeontology and Physiology in Vertebrae. Owen stated:

 

1. "The anthropoids and all quadumanous derive their nourishment from fruits, grains and other succulent vegetable substances and the strict analogy between the structure of those animals and man clearly demonstrates their natural frugivorousness."

2. "The apes, whose dentition is almost equal to that of man, lives principally on fruit, seeds, nuts and other similar kinds of savoury textures of nutritious value which are elaborated by the vegetable kingdom. The profound similarity between the dentition of quadrupeds and that of humans demonstrates that man was from his origins adapted to eat fruit from the trees in Paradise."

 

Of course, the most famous of all British naturalists also agreed with the other naturalists. I am referring to Charles Darwin (1800-1882) who at the age of 22 years started on a journey around the world which lasted 5 years. On this journey Darwin collected material which served to publish his most famous book in 1859: The Origin of Species by Natural Selection: Darwin was a member of the Royal Society of London and after his death he was buried in Westminster Abbey with great funeral honours and diplomatic representatives from many great nations were present at his funeral. Darwin wrote:

 

"The grading of forms, organic functions, customs and diets showed in an evident way that the normal food of man is vegetable like the anthropoids and apes and that our canine teeth are less developed than theirs and that we are not destined to compete with wild beasts or carnivorous animals."

 

In his book The Origin of Man he tells us:

 

"Although we know nothing for certain about the time or place that man shed the thick hair that covered him, with much probability of being right we could say that he must have lived in a warm country where conditions were favourable to the frugivorous way of life which, to judge from analogies, must have been the way man lived."

 

Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) was an English doctor and anthropologist who supported Darwin's theories and became the president of the Royal Society. Among other books he wrote Zoological Evidences as to Man's Place in Nature and Compared Anatomy. Let's look at some of Huxleys' statements:

 

1. "Man came before the axe and fire so he couldn't be carnivorous."

2. "The length of mans digestive tube is 5-8 meters and the distance between the mouth and the coccyx is 50 to 80 centimetres, which gives us a result of 10 as in other frugivorous animals and not 3 as in the carnivorous or 20 as in the herbivorous animals."

3. "The only animal with probable omnivorous morphology that exists, is the bear, which has some pointed teeth and others that are flat."

 

Sir Arthur Keith (1866-1955) was a famous English anatomist and anthropologist. Together with Martin Flack he discovered the sinoauricular nodule which is where cardiac contractions originate. He was Rector of Aberdeen University and wrote: Instruction to the Study of Anthropoid Apes Ancient Types of Man and Essays about Evolution of Humans. This anthropologist tells us that:

 

"Chimpanzees and gorillas have the same digestive mechanisms as man does. That is the proof of compared anatomy in favour of a diet of crude vegetables which permits the fermentation to produce several disposals daily, soft and free from putrefaction."

 

These are the researches by the most famous naturalists that mankind has had. We have to observe that their studies were frequently supported and made reference by comparing the anatomy of man to that of other mammals, especially the ape family, and speak to us about the formation of teeth and digestive tubes of these animals. In this way all these famous naturalists arrived at the same impressive conclusion: man is vegetarian by nature, and if the word vegetarian does not appear in their writings, it is because the word did not exist before or until 1838 and the studies of all the famous naturalists were written before that date.

 

We could argue against vegetarianism that the pictures of pre-historic man on the rocks the cavern show him as a hunter. However this does not necessarily mean, that meat is the ideal form of food for man. Furthermore, we have to take into account, that the anthropologist Alan Walker of John Hopkins University, when studying the grooves of fossilized teeth, found a diverse assortment of different foods. He claimed that our first human ancestors did not live predominantly on meat, nor seeds, buds, leaves or grass, neither were they omnivorous. It seems that they subsisted principally on a diet of fruit. Exceptions have not been found. Each tooth was examined and those coming from hominids of the period twelve million years ago, which are in direct line to Homo Erectus, proved to be fruit eaters.

 

In conclusion I want to ask the reader the following question: Is man by nature a vegetarian? Nowadays most doctors tell us, that he is not, but the most famous naturalists have all deduced, that he is.

 

If this is really so, only a small minority of the population of developed countries, the people we call vegetarians would be eating correctly, whilst the great majority of the population would be eating incorrectly.

 

Dr. Luis Vallejo Rodríguez

Secretary of the Canarian Vegetarian Association

Apartado 3557, Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain

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Chimpanzees (our closest relative) eat meat, sometimes eggs too, and insects! I don't at all believe we are vegetarian, the fact that we have people eating vegan and mostly carnivorous today proves that..

 

I don't think there has ever been a time when man has lived on a vegan diet, aside from possibly pre-evolutionary times, but who knows even back then. Anyways, we are way past that now.

 

That being said, I think a vegan diet is good for us, but it would never be possible without modern-day civilization/agriculture. Humans eat what's around, we really have no diet, and never really could worry about it until recently now that we have the luxury of an abundance of many types of food.

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Well, i firmly believe that human animal is fruitarian biologically speaking. You can live and thrive by eating fruits and nuts only. Try doing this eating only animals and animal byproducts and scurvy will appear. Human IMO is not an omnivore too. All kinds of degenarative diseases and immune system failures derive from unnatural eating habits (and environment pollution of course).

 

People started feeding off animals during the ice age when there were no fruits or trees alive. it was a matter of survival. after that, eating animals remained as a dietary habit with the respective body evolution. however, this evolution wasn't that dramatic so to change our true connection of our body with our natural food (that is fruits). Meat can only be tolerated by our digestive system but if one tries to constantly eat their meat raw, i don't believe they'll have a positive outcome healthwise.

 

Anyways that's only MY opinion witch derives from what i've read and my personal ordeal and health problems i had, being an omnivore...

 

 

p.s. to everyone who believes that eating meat is natural for human animal i dare them to go spot a cow and try to eat it alive with their teeth and without any help from tools. their success might prove their natural inclination to animal eating but i very doubt that anyone could win the cow in the circumstances i mention... ...unless they're Hannibal Lecter of course hehehehe

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Well, i firmly believe that human animal is fruitarian biologically speaking. You can live and thrive by eating fruits and nuts only. Try doing this eating only animals and animal byproducts and scurvy will appear. Human IMO is not an omnivore too. All kinds of degenarative diseases and immune system failures derive from unnatural eating habits (and environment pollution of course).

 

People started feeding off animals during the ice age when there were no fruits or trees alive. it was a matter of survival. after that, eating animals remained as a dietary habit with the respective body evolution. however, this evolution wasn't that dramatic so to change our true connection of our body with our natural food (that is fruits). Meat can only be tolerated by our digestive system but if one tries to constantly eat their meat raw, i don't believe they'll have a positive outcome healthwise.

 

Anyways that's only MY opinion witch derives from what i've read and my personal ordeal and health problems i had, being an omnivore...

 

 

p.s. to everyone who believes that eating meat is natural for human animal i dare them to go spot a cow and try to eat it alive with their teeth and without any help from tools. their success might prove their natural inclination to animal eating but i very doubt that anyone could win the cow in the circumstances i mention...

 

Human is not a fruitarian species, I don't know about pre-evolutionary times, but humans have always been omnivorous.. Show me a long term fruitarian that hasn't binged or gone back to some form of food that is not fruit or nuts? Biologically speaking we are similar to chimpanzees, they are omnivores, if we were fruitarian we would not have canines... Our digestive system can handle many different types of food. In fact, the most accurate theory of human brain development (to me) is that the human brain developed from coastal living due to the DHA and EPA fatty acids in seafood (Also seaweed).. Fruit, aside from hemp and walnuts (even though it's only ALA) if you want to call that fruit, really does not contain fatty acids needed by the brain. To say we are a fruitarian species when we have the biological need for things like Omega 3's, Vitamin B12, is just not really true I don't believe. To accept the fact that we are fruitarian, you have to assume that all the fruits and nuts that modern fruitarians eat were available in the same place, and they were not..We have never been a fruitarian species within any part of our evolution, fruits do not contain fuel that the brain needs, especially to make such a dramatic evolutionary change to be as intelligent as we are today.

 

As far as eating the cow raw thing, I do believe humans probably ate raw meat at a time, just as a chimpanzee will do, I don't think there would have been any objection to it until after fire was discovered, and a new taste/easier digestion was noted.. There is a lot of evidence to the theory that our brains developed because of cooking/meat based foods. The brain requires a lot of fuel...

 

The smartest primates are the ones that do eat meat/omnivorous diets...

 

I believe we are better suited to plant-based foods, only because of the convenience of civilization/agriculture today. It is the way to achieve optimal health, but in the past optimal health was not our concern or a luxury we had, it was survival. I think fruit can sustain life for some time, just as meat/dairy do, but it is not healthy in the long run. A raw diet with Vegetables/Fruits/Nuts/Seeds I think can be a great thing though, if you feel optimal on such a diet.

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we obviously disagree.

 

 

Show me a long term fruitarian that hasn't binged or gone back to some form of food that is not fruit or nuts?

I know people and families living with fruits veggies and nuts (i include raw vegans) for more than 10 years. honestly i'm not lying.

 

 

 

if we were fruitarian we would not have canines...
ok this is said by omnivores to back up their diet but really do you think it's really canines for cutting flesh? come on.. it's way different than other omnivores' canines (like dogs f.e.)

 

To say we are a fruitarian species when we have the biological need for things like Omega 3's, Vitamin B12, is just not really true I don't believe.

 

Omega 3 can be found in abundance in flaxseed and others (which i can't recall right now).

Concerning Vitamin B12 as a bacteria which is naturally sinthesised in the intestine and the relative deficiency, i should remind that many omnivores have B12 deficiency too. Also, not all vegans (for more than 5 years) have B12 deficiency at all. There are theories that support the idea of the disability of B12 sinthesis in our intestine due to cooked food and higly sterilized environment and soil in our modern time. Many raw vegans and fruitarians have no such deficiency at all! try checking this if you'd like http://www.rawfoodexplained.com/why-we-should-not-eat-meat/the-vitamin-b12-hoax.html

 

the theory that our brains developed because of cooking/meat based foods.
there is also the theory that all sickness and deseases are due to animal products eating without leting the body heal iitself using its natural food

 

When it comes to survival and there are no fruits and veggies around, i agree with you. But otherwise i believe it is mostly not natural to eat animals and their milk (which by the way is meant by nature for calves and baby goats etc. just like another mammal i know which is called Human).

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we obviously disagree.

 

 

Show me a long term fruitarian that hasn't binged or gone back to some form of food that is not fruit or nuts?

I know people and families living with fruits veggies and nuts (i include raw vegans) for more than 10 years. honestly i'm not lying.

 

 

 

if we were fruitarian we would not have canines...
ok this is said by omnivores to back up their diet but really do you think it's really canines for cutting flesh? come on.. it's way different than other omnivores' canines (like dogs f.e.)

 

To say we are a fruitarian species when we have the biological need for things like Omega 3's, Vitamin B12, is just not really true I don't believe.

 

Omega 3 can be found in abundance in flaxseed and others (which i can't recall right now).

Concerning Vitamin B12 as a bacteria which is naturally sinthesised in the intestine and the relative deficiency, i should remind that many omnivores have B12 deficiency too. Also, not all vegans (for more than 5 years) have B12 deficiency at all. There are theories that support the idea of the disability of B12 sinthesis in our intestine due to cooked food and higly sterilized environment and soil in our modern time. Many raw vegans and fruitarians have no such deficiency at all! try checking this if you'd like http://www.rawfoodexplained.com/why-we-should-not-eat-meat/the-vitamin-b12-hoax.html

 

the theory that our brains developed because of cooking/meat based foods.
there is also the theory that all sickness and deseases are due to animal products eating without leting the body heal iitself using its natural food

 

When it comes to survival and there are no fruits and veggies around, i agree with you. But otherwise i believe it is mostly not natural to eat animals and their milk (which by the way is meant by nature for calves and baby goats etc. just like another mammal i know which is called Human).

 

I agree a Raw vegan diet can be healthy, one that includes vegetables... The talifero's are one of them. www.thegardendiet.com.

 

Dogs can eat a lot of food, but they are similar enough to wolves, wolves eat flesh.. We can eat flesh, but much more, hence the fact we don't have a digestive tract purely for digesting meat..

 

As far as the Omega 3 issue, yes you can find them in flaxseed. But if you're proposing our natural diet is fruit and nuts and seeds, what are the chances of finding all the components of the modern fruitarian diet, which is what you're talking about, outside of civilization, not likely, we can "survive" on a fruitarian diet because of agriculture today..

 

I pretty much agree with you on the b12 thing, no argument there.

 

 

there is also the theory that all sickness and deseases are due to animal products eating without leting the body heal iitself using its natural food

 

How does that relate to brain development? Like I said, health was never able to be our concern until the convenience of modern life.

 

Also, I agree dairy is completely not natural, no argument there either. I think dairy is the worst thing going for humans, more than meat..

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As far as the Omega 3 issue, yes you can find them in flaxseed. But if you're proposing our natural diet is fruit and nuts and seeds, what are the chances of finding all the components of the modern fruitarian diet, which is what you're talking about, outside of civilization, not likely, we can "survive" on a fruitarian diet because of agriculture today..

 

If we were fruitarians, outside civilazation, we would be forced to search and find the fruits seeds and veggies that we need in the nature according to every specific season... We adobt to the external circumstances for our survival that's why people started eating meat one day. But that's not an evidence that we're omnivores biologically speaking. An animal can do alot of things to survive. even eating each other...

 

cucumbers , tomatoes, kale and others were not man's inventions. there were wild in nature too.

 

How does that relate to brain development? Like I said, health was never able to be our concern until the convenience of modern life.

 

it doesnt. i just wanted to say that there are alot of theories of which some we believe while others not. I dont believe the theory that man's brain evolved because of eating animals. that's all..

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If we were fruitarians, outside civilazation, we would be forced to search and find the fruits seeds and veggies that we need in the nature according to every specific season... We adobt to the external circumstances for our survival that's why people started eating meat one day. But that's not an evidence that we're omnivores biologically speaking. An animal can do alot of things to survive. even eating each other...

 

Searching out such a diet would be unrealistic and require large amounts of caloric expenditure, which fruits can't provide. We would need the knowledge of what to seek out too, which is simply not realistic.

 

You can see things how you want, but there really isn't enough evidence for a fruitarian diet being our natural diet.

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fruits are a great source of calories. i imagine calorie expenditure would be significantly less picking fruit than chasing and killing a live animal or gathering large amounts of grains, grinding them, cooking them, etc.

 

as far as knowing what to eat - that's why you were given a thumb, color vision, a sense of smell and tastebuds.

 

by the way, chimpanzees are classified frugivores, not omnivores. yes, even though they have been observed eating small quantities of flesh.

 

there is a big difference between dogmatic "fruitarian" versus biological frugivore. that being said every animal is an opportunist.

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fruits are a great source of calories. i imagine calorie expenditure would be significantly less picking fruit than chasing and killing a live animal or gathering large amounts of grains, grinding them, cooking them, etc.

 

by the way, chimpanzees are classified frugivores, not omnivores. yes, even though they have been observed eating small quantities of flesh.

 

there is a big difference between dogmatic "fruitarian" and frugivore (*majority* of fruit). that being said every animal is an opportunist.

 

What I meant by that was it is unrealistic to think you can get all the different types of fruits he is talking about in one place without agriculture.

 

If a chimp is a frugivore, why does one eat leaves/buds/flowers/bark/meat/insects/occasional eggs? If it's frugivore doesn't that mean it's diet should be fruits only?

 

"omnivore: Animal that feeds on both plant and animal material. Omnivores have digestive adaptations intermediate between those of herbivores and carnivores, with relatively unspecialized digestive systems and gut micro-organisms that can digest a variety of foodstuffs. Omnivores include humans, the chimpanzee."

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What I meant by that was it is unrealistic to think you can get all the different types of fruits he is talking about in one place without agriculture.

 

i guess you've never had a fruiting tree... you have to send all your friends home with baskets of fruit. in our natural environment, a tropical environment, fruits are plentiful and easy... much more so than any alternative.

 

If a chimp is a frugivore, why does one eat leaves/buds/flowers/bark/meat/insects/occasional eggs? If it's frugivore doesn't that mean it's diet should be fruits only?

 

simply, no! it means they have the anatomy and are biologically adapted to digesting those foodstuffs. it predominates their diet but i am not aware of any frugivore which consumes only the sweet flesh of fruit.

 

i promise the chimpanzee doesn't closet binge or feel any guilt when breaking the fruitarian religion by seeing what those tiny crawlers taste like.

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I was pretty much just talking about the few sources of omega fatty acids in a fruitarian diet, and how they were not centrally located in pre-agricultural times and it would be unrealistic to expect them all to be in the same place.

 

 

 

simply, no! it means they have the anatomy and are biologically adapted to digesting those foodstuffs. it predominates their diet but i am not aware of any frugivore which consumes only the sweet flesh of fruit.

 

i promise the chimpanzee doesn't closet binge or feel any guilt when breaking the fruitarian religion by seeing what those tiny crawlers taste like.

 

 

I've never seen any well documented information that classifies a chimp as anything other than an omnivore. If they consume meat and plants, they are omnivores, to me frugivore would be fruits/nuts..

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I've never seen any well documented information that classifies a chimp as anything other than an omnivore. If they consume meat and plants, they are omnivores, to me frugivore would be fruits/nuts..

 

open any textbook or your home encyclopedia. modernly, the term is erroneously thrown around, as you just exemplified by saying, "if they consume any meat", or "could survive eating meat". thats just not the case.

 

it has more to do with anatomy and physiology of the animal, and what predominates its diet. there is a big difference between an omnivorous bear and a frugivorous primate, and their diets. the 3-6% calorically consumption of meat in a chimpanzees diet is insignificant.

 

a personal question, does your recent passionate justifications of a non-frugivorous diet have anything to do with recent attempt at a fruitarian regimen and desire not to continue? please remember that a chimpanzee being classified frugivore has nothing to do with the diet that is best for you. only you can determine that.

 

i'm not even suggesting it's the best for humans, nor am i pro fruitarian dogma, nor is the original post of this thread. i'm just regurgitating science classifications and logic as my textbooks list it.

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a personal question, does your recent passionate justifications of a non-frugivorous diet have anything to do with recent attempt at a fruitarian regimen and desire not to continue? .

 

No, I just don't believe we nor chimpanzees are frugivores. I do think that fruitarian diets have a justified place in healing and cleansing however, just not our natural diet as I see it.

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No, I just don't believe we nor chimpanzees are frugivores. I do think that fruitarian diets have a justified place in healing and cleansing however, just not our natural diet as I see it.

 

 

Zack, i respect your opinion and beliefs.

 

i just happen to have a different opinion because in the past i was really sick and nothing from the contemporary "chemical" doctors and their drugs did me no good. Now i'm healthy because of a nearly raw vegan diet and i simply cannot forget this.

 

peace

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  • 3 weeks later...

Who's to say what's natural at this stage in human history.

Humans have a natural curiosity for trying new things. It often gets us into trouble. But meat is not important to eat.

 

Zack, are you including nuts as fruit?

Have you read this page about how fruitarianism works? http://www.charliesgym.info/wst_page2.html

 

“you have to assume that all the fruits and nuts that modern fruitarians eat were available in the same place, and they were not.

The first humans wouldn’t have stayed in the same place (as other primates don’t). They wandered around (light exercise), and ate what they came across. Also, humans’ natural habitat was in the hot regions where fruit, veggies and nuts were everywhere.

 

The brain requires a lot of fuel

 

But digesting meat, grain, and cooked food also requires a lot of fuel. So I think it balances out.

Edited by New World Vegan
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i think what's natural, speaking at the species level here, is for humans to do whatever it takes for them and their progeny to survive - including eating vegetables, fruit, animals, other humans, and even non food items like leather, grass, and dirt. all of those have happened.

 

people will murder, lie, cheat, and rob to stay alive.

 

our mission, at the genetic level, is to make copies of our genes whatever the cost.

 

for every one guy that'll take a bullet for his non-related friend, there are 1000 that'd grab an unrelated baby, and use it as a human shield.

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i think what's natural, speaking at the species level here, is for humans to do whatever it takes for them and their progeny to survive - including eating vegetables, fruit, animals, other humans, and even non food items like leather, grass, and dirt. all of those have happened.

 

people will murder, lie, cheat, and rob to stay alive.

 

our mission, at the genetic level, is to make copies of our genes whatever the cost.

 

for every one guy that'll take a bullet for his non-related friend, there are 1000 that'd grab an unrelated baby, and use it as a human shield.

 

Very well said.

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