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Vegan Debate - Are we truly Herbivores or Omnivores.

13

Replies

  • LiveLoveFitFab
    LiveLoveFitFab Posts: 302 Member
    I think we are human beings who are lucky enough to live in a world where we can choose what we put in our mouth and have the intellectual ability to know how make any diet we want to work. Human's also have the ability to feel compassion, which is lacking in most, if not all other animals.

    All herbivores in the wild, will eat meat if given the chance and easy access, with a few exceptions.

    I'm a vegetarian, but I realize that I am coming from a place of privilege to be able to eat like this and still meet my dietary needs. If there was ever a break down to the systems that allow me as a Canadian to access the food I need to be healthy as a vegetarian, i would resort back to eating meat. (I'm talking like war or famine or zombie apocolypse) I practice Buddhism, but even the Dali Lama eats meat because A)There was no vegetables in Tibet due to poor growing conditions and B) He has a medical condition.

    Now, if I lived somewhere like India where I could access beans and grains and vegetables all year round, I could easily continue on, no matter what. It's all relative.

    Humans can survive under the conditions in any part of the world it seems. Our way of surviving and living depends on the place, or the ability to truck in food.
  • Tweaking_Time
    Tweaking_Time Posts: 733 Member
    I am going to take a stab at answering this based on historical information.

    Early man, think way back to neanderthals, died out about 40,000 years ago. Homo-sapiens, as a species, has been around for almost 200,000 years. Archaeological evidence points to them being HUNTER/GATHERERS. Hunting and gathering was humanity's first and most successful adaptation.
    i.e. - yup - early man were definitely omnivores

    About 12,500 years ago homo-sapiens domesticated some plants which gave birth to the invention of agriculture. Hunter-gatherers who did not change were displaced or conquered by farming groups in most parts of the world. Hunting did not go away, but rather farming and was added to our diet.
    i.e. - Yup - still a bunch of omnivores

    I am going with we always have been and always will be, at least for the foreseeable future, omnivores
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    Can a human exist at optimal health on a herbivore diet with no supplements? No? Well, there you go.

    We are omnivores, but I don't think this is a valid argument for proving it. The question would have to be could humans ever exist at optimal health on a herbivore diet. It's quite possible that at some point in time we could.

    I would argue that some people are doing it now, although I'm not quite sure how we'd answer whether an individual is at "optimal health" or not.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,968 Member
    edited October 2017
    Carlos_421 wrote: »
    3bambi3 wrote: »
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    OK, stupid guy asking stupid question... but where did the idea that we were herbivores come from? That seems ridiculous to me...

    Well it's a debate. Just like there are a group of people that believe the earth is flat. I'll refrain from calling you names though. Thanks for the comment.

    No one called you names. Saying an idea seems ridiculous isn't the same as saying you are ridiculous. And this, much like the question of whether the Earth is flat, isn't a debate. There are facts, and people who choose to ignore those facts.

    I think there was a misunderstanding on who was being referred to in the "stupid guy asking a stupid question" part...seems @jjpptt2 was referring to himself while it came across that he meant the OP.

    I guess that what happens when you don't have your morning coffee. LOL, updated my response. :)

    Not picking on you but early omnivore humans didn't drink coffee and that fact doesn't affect anybody's choices.
  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,430 Member
    The internet-where debating things that aren't debatable is an everyday occurrence.
  • Lavelle1980
    Lavelle1980 Posts: 374 Member
    edited October 2017
    Carlos_421 wrote: »
    3bambi3 wrote: »
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    OK, stupid guy asking stupid question... but where did the idea that we were herbivores come from? That seems ridiculous to me...

    Well it's a debate. Just like there are a group of people that believe the earth is flat. I'll refrain from calling you names though. Thanks for the comment.

    No one called you names. Saying an idea seems ridiculous isn't the same as saying you are ridiculous. And this, much like the question of whether the Earth is flat, isn't a debate. There are facts, and people who choose to ignore those facts.

    I think there was a misunderstanding on who was being referred to in the "stupid guy asking a stupid question" part...seems @jjpptt2 was referring to himself while it came across that he meant the OP.

    I guess that what happens when you don't have your morning coffee. LOL, updated my response. :)

    Not picking on you but early omnivore humans didn't drink coffee and that fact doesn't affect anybody's choices.

    Maybe not drinking but it was used in the early parts of history.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_bean

  • shaumom
    shaumom Posts: 975 Member
    There's no supplements vegans need that come inherently from meat. b12 is from bacteria and needs to be supplemented because of better sanitation standards in modern times.

    This does not seem to be true, from everything I've read, at least not because of bacteria. Bacteria we eat don't give us vitamin B12. However, some bacteria in the gut do produce vitamin B12. And perhaps antibiotics kill off a lot of the bacteria that were better at making this vitamin; that's not provable one way or the other, at this point. But from the research I've seen, the gut bacteria don't make ENOUGH vitamin B12 to keep people from developing a deficiency.

    However, when it comes to veganism, sanitation and cleaning methods do seem to play a part about whether people get enough vitamin B12. Or rather, they play a part in determining whether people are actually vegan, or only 'kinda-sorta' vegan (if vegan is not eating bugs, too). I know of one group in India's past (cannot recall the name right off the top of my head) that historically followed veganism. It is a group that I've heard often touted by some vegans as proof that humans don't really need vitamin B12 supplements and that full veganism is fully possible for the human body, without supplements.

    However, archaeological evidence showed that in the past, things like veggies, lentils, and grains contained much larger amounts of, well, bugs and bug parts, if not bits of small animals. Enough, in fact, to provide the vitamin B12 that are essential to humans.

    We still have bugs and bug parts in our food now, we just have a lot less of it, so most vegans are actually eating at least some insects now, too. The gov't actually has rules about how many bugs are allowed in food during processing, like how many of a certain type of bug (like mites or maggots), or how many insect fragments, per gram of food. (yeah, for fun reading that will make you never want to eat processed food again, read this article. *shudders* https://www.menshealth.com/health/food-contaminants )
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,968 Member
    Carlos_421 wrote: »
    3bambi3 wrote: »
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    OK, stupid guy asking stupid question... but where did the idea that we were herbivores come from? That seems ridiculous to me...

    Well it's a debate. Just like there are a group of people that believe the earth is flat. I'll refrain from calling you names though. Thanks for the comment.

    No one called you names. Saying an idea seems ridiculous isn't the same as saying you are ridiculous. And this, much like the question of whether the Earth is flat, isn't a debate. There are facts, and people who choose to ignore those facts.

    I think there was a misunderstanding on who was being referred to in the "stupid guy asking a stupid question" part...seems @jjpptt2 was referring to himself while it came across that he meant the OP.

    I guess that what happens when you don't have your morning coffee. LOL, updated my response. :)

    Not picking on you but early omnivore humans didn't drink coffee and that fact doesn't affect anybody's choices.

    Maybe not drinking but it was used in the early parts of history.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_bean

    Your link does history dating back to 1500 CE about we're talking about the diet of ancestral humans in this thread. There was a time before coffee, and then people started using coffee beans even though more ancient humans didn't. We aren't limited to mimic the diets of our forebears.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    There was a time before coffee, and then people started using coffee beans even though more ancient humans didn't.

    Is this what they call the dark ages?


    :)

    ;-)
  • jamesakrobinson
    jamesakrobinson Posts: 2,151 Member
    Only half jokingly my personal dietary choices tend way more towards carnivore in practice...
    Seems to agree with me if my gym progress, cholesterol, blood pressure, and mood are valid measures.
    Obviously YMMV depending on genetics and personal philosophy.
  • JustRobby1
    JustRobby1 Posts: 674 Member
    edited October 2017
    I guess my thoughts on the subject is does it really matter? People make food choices today based on various factors; taste, sociopolitical ideology, religion, availability, etc. but biological determinant never even remotely enters that equation.

    And let's say, for the sake of argument, I woke up tomorrow morning and the scientific community were to declare unequivocally that human beings are herbivores. Other than the Vegans and similar sects celebrating some kind of moral victory or feeling vindicated, do you really think anyone would change their habits as a result? I know I wouldn't speaking for myself. I would weigh suicide as possibly a more preferable option than a conversion to Veganism,
  • stevencloser
    stevencloser Posts: 8,911 Member
    Rocbola wrote: »
    B12 comes from bacteria. The reason we need to supplement is because we live in a modern world where we sanitize things, including our water.

    Humans, like our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, are mostly herbivorous. Our bodies are set up for finding and digesting plants. Humans tend to thrive on a mostly plant based diet. That being said, humans can survive for a long time on a wide variety of foods.



    Look at those mostly herbivores go, hunting those furry, moving plants!
  • ladyreva78
    ladyreva78 Posts: 4,080 Member
    edited October 2017
    shaumom wrote: »
    There's no supplements vegans need that come inherently from meat. b12 is from bacteria and needs to be supplemented because of better sanitation standards in modern times.

    This does not seem to be true, from everything I've read, at least not because of bacteria. Bacteria we eat don't give us vitamin B12. However, some bacteria in the gut do produce vitamin B12. And perhaps antibiotics kill off a lot of the bacteria that were better at making this vitamin; that's not provable one way or the other, at this point. But from the research I've seen, the gut bacteria don't make ENOUGH vitamin B12 to keep people from developing a deficiency.

    However, when it comes to veganism, sanitation and cleaning methods do seem to play a part about whether people get enough vitamin B12. Or rather, they play a part in determining whether people are actually vegan, or only 'kinda-sorta' vegan (if vegan is not eating bugs, too). I know of one group in India's past (cannot recall the name right off the top of my head) that historically followed veganism. It is a group that I've heard often touted by some vegans as proof that humans don't really need vitamin B12 supplements and that full veganism is fully possible for the human body, without supplements.

    However, archaeological evidence showed that in the past, things like veggies, lentils, and grains contained much larger amounts of, well, bugs and bug parts, if not bits of small animals. Enough, in fact, to provide the vitamin B12 that are essential to humans.

    We still have bugs and bug parts in our food now, we just have a lot less of it, so most vegans are actually eating at least some insects now, too. The gov't actually has rules about how many bugs are allowed in food during processing, like how many of a certain type of bug (like mites or maggots), or how many insect fragments, per gram of food. (yeah, for fun reading that will make you never want to eat processed food again, read this article. *shudders* https://www.menshealth.com/health/food-contaminants )

    Your point on B12 production in our guts is rather moot I'm afraid.

    The problem is that the bacteria which produces B12 lives in the large intestine. The part of the intestine where B12 can be absorbed is the small intestine (specifically the ileum) and that only if it has previously been combined with an intrinsic factor in the stomach. Order of digestion is: mouth -> stomach -> small intestine (ileum is the last stretch before the large intestine) -> large intestine -> exertion.

    So, while we do carry bacteria within ourselves which can synthesize B12, we can't actually absorb any of it. We need to ingest it with our food.

    EDIT: because grammar... :neutral:
  • yskaldir
    yskaldir Posts: 202 Member
    edited October 2017
    I recently discovered that wolfs, dogs, etc.. eats grass as well about 5-10% of the time on their own. And also the Maned Wolf is an omnivorous animal that eats 50% plant based foods as wells as meat.

    Also what we would consider to be herbivores would eat meat, plenty of documented cases of cows or sheep eating baby animals or carcasses. Not to mention all the animal matter on leaves and grass.

    There is no way our ancestors would've survived with the meager amount calories from non domesticated plants.
  • PrimalForLife
    PrimalForLife Posts: 28 Member
    DX2JX2 wrote: »
    Of course we're omnivores. Somebody had to eat the dinosaurs.

    LOL - brilliant!

    Yes, we're definitely omnivores...
  • Westschmeis
    Westschmeis Posts: 350 Member
    No one has mentioned the other end of the spectrum, involving arctic natives who had a largely animal based diet, with an astounding amount of saturated fat, but were healthy and vigorous until we civilized them.

    I also muse on what the adaptation will be for surviving humans a couple thousand years after this technological, cancerous culture crashes.

    But then, perhaps the cyborgs won't need calories in, just straight energy. Sounds good when I am struggling to make the daily goal!!