To further underline my point, let us imagine that we haven’t yet had breakfast and are feeling somewhat peckish. Vegetarians need not despair: now that we've evolved beyond having to hunt, we don't need to eat meat to survive or thrive at all. Everyone loves great comeback stories, from "Rocky, Longtime raw vegan and children's health expert Ka, “I’ve experienced sensations during meditation. That really leaves us with only one other option: frugivore! A vegan diet is possible and healthy for humans (with care to get enough vitamin B12 and a diverse set of amino acids). Humans can. Their whole digestive system differs radically from our own. We are capable of processing both animal and vegetable protein, and survived based on what was available. This suggests we may have evolved as scavengers, eating dead (but not too decayed) carcasses killed by other animals. Humans, on the other hand, although we can become desensitised to the suffering and pitiful pleas of other animals, never do so to our benefit (or the benefit of the animals concerned)! Clearly, we are not really herbivores either. I once unwittingly watched a video on YouTube of three lions feasting on a baby elephant. We don’t have multiple stomachs, and much as our jaws can move from side to side like the ruminants, … originally appeared on Quora: the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Humans actually have adapted to be able to eat both meat and plants, turning us into omnivores, even though our bodies are much more similar to herbivores. Our eating fruit encourages us to get out there and plant trees! It’s not only the most cleansing of all foods, it’s also, by far, the easiest of foods to digest, helping dissolve any blockages throughout the body. Most humans certainly fit that definition. I believe that we are all suffering from “mad human disease” and pretty much nothing about the way we are living equates to the way that we should be living. Yes humans are obligate omnivores. then what category is it exactly to which we belong? Omnivores can pick and choose their foods, as opposed to, say, carnivorous cats, that would die on a vegan diet. Since veganism is beginning to snowball, increasingly more of these products are appearing on supermarket shelves. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Even famous vegan-promoting blogs like Vegan Biologist and VRG admit that humans are natural omnivores. Humans were gatherers (vegans) long before we … From their acidic saliva and abrasive tongues to their stomach acids being significantly more corrosive to that of humans, they have no problems digesting the fur, feathers, bones and teeth of the cadavers they devour. It’s really as if one is still trying to be an omnivore and eat from all the supposed food groups but do so without killing anyone. Without consistent access to animal source foods, we would not have evolved into the dominant, blog reading, twitter trolling and highly social primates that we are today. The most obvious of these is probably our glaring lack of sabre teeth and claws. I think some people will automatically consider this question to be rather silly. Will the smell of decomposition make you feel hungry or nauseous? With us humans, it’s a different story. Everything from scurvy, goiters, osteoporosis to cardiovascular disease. Learn more about Fruit-Powered and Brian Rossiter. We don’t have multiple stomachs, and much as our jaws can move from side to side like the ruminants, they are still not well-suited to spending the day chewing cud. One of... Omnivorism. On the contrary, it, too, is a uniquely human endeavour and more a statement of awakening and understanding that no one has the right to forcibly confine another or decide when their life experience should be terminated. The Fruit-Powered Store is home to 125-plus natural health products. Are Humans "Omnivores" ? The frugivore teeth are rudimentary and flatten, the omnivore teeth are sharp. Biologically, however, from a physiologic and anatomic standpoint, it’s a different story. Why do some vegans claim that humans are herbivores? To be sure, I no longer believed the hype about needing to eat from all the so-called food groups, I just thought that, as an omnivore, we have a choice as to what and how we eat and that our physiology is well-capable of cutting out certain foods and thriving while doing so. OK, that’s not totally without its merit, and studies in recent years have shown that vegans live longer than those who eat corpses, but it’s not the end of the line, and since vegan diets can vary quite significantly, certainly not what I would consider to be a species-specific diet. Like dogs, who sniff each other’s butts when they greet each other. This is a real extreme, instigated by greedy people who had no morals at all toward the victim animals they were systematically abusing and exploiting, but it serves to prove the point. We are talking about natural state here. We are all taught it as indisputable fact that humans are omnivores. Fruit-Powered® is a registered trademark. The question of whether humans are natural omnivores is far more difficult to answer. Humans can eat meat, but they are not designed to, which means they are not true carnivores or omnivores. This is made very clear by the behaviour of humans who work in slaughterhouses and are surrounded every day by the violence they participate in. Humans. So if we are not omnivores and certainly not carnivores (I’ve heard it said that a tiger’s tongue is so abrasive that, if one should lick your cheek, it would feel rather like the rub of sandpaper and could, quite possibly, cause it to bleed!) Sure, most of us are "behavioral omnivores"--that is, we eat meat, so that defines us as omnivorous. Eventually, if things sit there for long enough, this can and does lead to colon cancer, something virtually unheard of within the true omnivore realm. People mistakenly confuse the natural sweetness of fruit with the highly unnatural processed sugar they’re more familiar with. Will that dead possum or dead squirrel set your mouth salivating? Our closest living relatives, chimpanzee and bonobos, both are omnivores. Many of the animals concerned ended up suffering from what was commonly christened as mad cow disease, which was really nothing more than a natural consequence of a very unnatural diet. Flesh, in its raw natural state, appeals to very few of us! While humans have become “observational omnivores” that does not mean that we are meant, anatomically, to consume meat. To elaborate, let me start with some simple comparative anatomy. If any larger chunks of food reach the intestinal tract undigested, there is great risk of such morsels being trapped in one of the many pockets and folds there. Fruit-Powered.com | Posture Exercises Method | Raw Vegan Coaching Program | Store | Magazine | Video #fruitpowered. In order for flesh to hold any appeal at all to most people, it must first be butchered, chopped, cleaned, greased, seasoned and cooked! Flesh eaters have very short intestines for the rapid expulsion of decomposing flesh. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation with Forbes Insights. This is not a passed-down oral tradition used to exploit animals… it is a scientific fact supported by extensive evidence. There are a number of popular myths about vegetarianism that have no scientific basis in fact. This is solely by habit, though, not by design! JOIN THE MAILING LIST & GET MAGAZINE + GIFT! Take, for example, our gut reaction when we come across the corpse of a dead animal. Real carnivores and omnivores can eat all the meat from animals they want but never develop atherosclerosis. Editor of Fruit-Powered.com, Fruit-Powered Magazine and Fruit-Powered Video as well as author of six raw vegan transition and recipe books, Brian Rossiter has chased peak health since 2010, embracing a fruitarian diet and posture correction exercises and calisthenics. Given the opportunity, most of us would not hesitate to lend a helping hand. Our unquestionable, true and heartfelt instinct is to protect and care for them, especially if and when they are clearly in need. When it comes to the bonobos, with whom we also share 99 percent DNA, it’s well-worth noting that, unlike chimpanzees, they don’t aggressively hunt and are a much more social and caring lot. It’s a harsh world out there in nature, and all animals do what they can to stay alive. Ask a question, get a great answer. Much of the misinformation on the issue of man’s being a natural vegetarian arises... Omnivorism. Humans are definitely omnivores. The poor baby was still alive, thrashing and crying as the lions ripped pieces of flesh from her side. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and animal matter, omnivores digest carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber, and metabolize the nutrients and energy of the sources absorbed. Are humans natural herbivores? I’m going to restrain myself though. In this video by Mercy For Animals, Dr. Mills explains why physiologically, humans are built to digest plant-foods, and how foods from animals are harmful to the human body. More broadly, I would take the position that humans are generally omnivores, in multiple domains, and therefore it makes sense that we are also sexually omnivorous, at least as a population. All rights reserved. “Our human digestive system much more closely resembles that of a carnivore than any herbivore,” Gedgaudas said. My goal for this blog post was to show the readers that our anatomy and physiology is much more in line with that of an herbivorous diet. This, in itself, is a huge forward stride, but, strictly speaking, veganism is not a diet. A meat-only diet is also possible and even healthy (with care to get a diverse set of vitamins and minerals by eating organs, not just muscle and fat). Learn how your comment data is processed. Are Humans Vegans or Omnivores? The true omnivores would not hesitate; the smell of rotting flesh is something that appeals to them, one and all, and if hunger is present, you can be sure none would fail to seize the opportunity to satiate their appetites. The leading theory as to how humans evolved is that we became long-distance runners and hunted food by running it down until it tired, and that our access to meat and protein enabled our brains to evolve further than otherwise. Anatomically, psychologically, and socially, our very being is one meant to eat meat. ), so I am not proposing we begin religiously aping the exact eating habits of any other particular species. You will, however, find people who have lost weight and cured their diabetes through adopting a raw, vegan and fruitarian diet! I’m not aware of any other species that pushes the baby of other species aside to steal their milk and regularly steals eggs from the nests of birds while, at the same time, refusing to kill and eat any other animals. Your email address will not be published. I wish not to dwell on the anatomical side of things though, as in my opinion, there are other blatantly obvious reasons as to why we are not actually the omnivores we have falsely labelled ourselves as. To be honest, even after I turned vegan, I still just assumed that our species was an omnivorous one. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, produce oxygen, prevent soil erosion and water loss, provide a home for birds and insects and offer shade throughout the heat of the day. Fruit-Powered.com is published and edited by Brian Rossiter. In fact, all manner of human health issues can be dissolved and eradicated through making fruit the mainstay of one’s diet. These people very frequently end up with troubled, nightmarish sleep, one of the many symptoms of PTSD. Are humans really omnivores? Shucks, it wasn’t until some years after switching to a raw vegan diet that I finally began to wonder whether the whole “humans are omnivores” notion might possibly not be true. I’m convinced this longstanding bad habit has ultimately led to the impairment of human brain function, causing us to be less than the vibrant beings who we really should be or who we have the potential of being. A holistic health coach, Brian guides health seekers in creating supreme vitality through the Fruit-Powered Life Force Center‘s natural health services: the Posture Exercises Method and Raw Vegan Coaching Program. In reality, though, you’ll never find an overweight diabetic fruitarian! So meat-eating is in our history as well as our DNA and physiology. After all, if we’re lucky, we still get to live to what is considered to be an old age. Their gut reaction will be any one or a combination of the following: “There’s too much sugar!” “It would lead to diabetes!” “It will make you fat!” To be sure, there is a lot of nonsense out there! This view  sorrowfully believes that this planet is ours and that we have every right to do whatever the hell we want with it. We don’t anatomically match up with omnivorous animals anymore than we do with carnivorous ones. And since we humans are classified as one of the great apes, too, it should come as no surprise just where I am headed here! Even the humans who first walked on Earth enjoyed the blood, meat and organs of animals. Sure, humans everywhere have been eating more varieties of food than any other species on this planet. After experiencing detrimental health and mental health effects from my own foray into veganism, I became determined to find out what foods worked best for my biology. Humans are herbivoresEdit Herbivoresare organisms that feed exclusively or mainly on plants. A lion’s code of ethics encompasses many things our criminal-justice system has outlawed or, at the very least, society, in general, would frown upon were anyone to begin exhibiting the same behavioural patterns or living by their rules. These are just a couple of the most obvious of the many differences between us and the true mammal omnivores. Nope. We also require vitamin C, which is present in citrus fruits and organ meat, the latter probably being our evolutionary ancestor's main source. It is really about working on one’s circle of compassion to encompass our fellow earthlings and a cessation of the human-supremacy view shared by the collective unconsciousness of mankind. You may opt-out by. I’m going to skip to the chase and tell you now that the conclusion I’ve reached is that we are most definitely not omnivores and that this is possibly one of the greatest untruths that humans all over the planet appear to have accepted as unquestionable fact. By this fact alone, we are clearly the most-omnivorous species on the planet! And now we require those nutrients. It’s clear to me that modern-day vegetarianism has next to nothing in common with the diet of any other species. But our evolution and physiology are herbivorous, and ample science proves that when we choose to eat meat, that causes problems, from decreased energy and a need for more sleep up to increased risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer . © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Humans today are categorized as omnivores and not frugivores. Yes, there are documented cases of chimpanzees pack hunting, but it’s also clear that any animal flesh they eat makes up only a very small percentage of their diet. Humans are facultative carnivores. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they must eat meat in order to survive and cannot live long/healthy lives on a "vegetarian/vegan" diet. But we do have sucrases that let us digest fruits. The information presented on this website does not constitute health, medical or any other kind of professional advice and is not intended to replace the advice of medical doctors or other health-care professionals with whom you consult. The best evidence is our teeth: we have biting/tearing/ripping incisors and canines (like carnivores) and chewing molars (like herbivores). Still, if someone tries to push a vegan diet on you by saying that we were originally herbivores, that's simply not true. Why do people look down after eye contact. Not only that, but focusing on fruit as one’s main or sole source of food is a benefit to the whole planet. The simple answer is humans are omnivores – physiologically – because we have the capability to digest both plant and animal matter. I do believe that eating a more species-specific diet is a huge part of what we need to do in order to help bring back some kind of sanity to this world. It would be very easy for me to move off topic here. I seriously doubt that the average true omnivores have any qualms about taking lives. Frugivores thrive mostly on raw fruits, succulent sweet plants, shoots, the occasional root, nuts and seeds. Mostly, when people adopt veganism and ditch the animal products, they tend to seek out plant-based alternatives to the meat, dairy and eggs. Our own individual digestive system is comparatively delicate, and we’d likely end up with severe indigestion were we to attempt to eat many of the leaves and fibrous plants these animals digest with ease. Being surrounded on a daily basis by blood, violence and the screams of animals walking the green mile will have its negative effect on everybody involved. Take, for example, cows, who, at various points in time, have been fed grossly ill-suited fodder, with offal and other unseasonable ingredients being mixed with their feed. We as humans lived/survived for thousands of years with hundreds of maladies that arose from malnutrition on a omnivorous diet. Clearly, we are not really herbivores either. And whenever any member of any given species eats inappropriate foods, there are always negative consequences. Males will sometimes take females by force, and it is not unheard of for lions to even kill the offspring of another lion tribe. Humans are Omnivores Introduction. Before tools, weapons, and fire, there was no meat-eating. Interestingly, we have very powerful livers (the detoxification organ) and a very strong ability to smell rot/decay/decomposition relative to other animals. If one grows up in the kind of environment where animal exploitation is a regular part of one’s day-to-day life, becoming desensitised to their suffering is a natural defence mechanism but not one without long-term psychological effects. There’s never been a time in recorded history when the world has needed more trees planted. We’re still able to procreate and raise our young, but those are but the bare necessities. The majority of the Western world eats an omnivore diet and ultimately pays the price for it, as heart attacks are universal in all these developed countries. Humans are omnivores but that does not mean we "need" to eat meat to survive. You are responsible for your choices, actions and results. Are Humans "Omnivores" ? One of... Confusion between Taxonomy and Diet. All too often, you’ll hear someone who’s adopted the omnivore mindset comparing themselves with lions whereas, in reality, they have virtually nothing in common with them. Just like their carnivore counterparts, every mammal omnivore species, without exception, is well-endowed with powerful claws and teeth capable of ripping through the hides of even the toughest-skinned animals. What a contrast to getting one’s food from the slaughterhouse floors! Lastly, our closest evolutionary relatives, the chimpanzees, are omnivores. by Nora Gedgaudas, CNS, NTP, BCHN. The ideal diet for human thriving seems to be mostly plant-based, but it’s unclear if fruit should be the focus. I mean, isn’t it simply common knowledge that we are? How did humans evolved as omnivores? We humans are a unique species (which species isn’t? The Answer is All in Your Head. Chemically, we lack cellulases or cellulosic symbionts that many herbivores have, and have lots of proteases that carnivores do. Humans are Omnivores Introduction. Our own teeth and jaws are comparatively very weak, and, unlike any other true omnivore species, our jaws are able to move from side to side as well as up and down. My bet is that, provided one can do so without causing oneself any injury or putting oneself at risk, the instinctive reaction of the vast majority of people would be to do what one can to help and free the animal in question. Throughout my childhood and young adulthood, I never once thought to ask myself that question. Omnivores are more similar to carnivores than they are to herbivores. We have it drummed into us that a healthy diet is a balanced one that contains animal products, grains, greens and fruit. Unlike humans, who have a long, convoluted and puckered intestinal tract, the intestines of omnivore mammals are relatively short and straight. Besides, it should also be noted that chimps have much larger and stronger canines than humans! “Our very physiological design clearly indicates that animal products are an integral part of human health.” Early humans also consumed plants. However, we likely evolved from tree-dwelling frugivores, and the healthiest populations on Earth eat plant-centered diets. All animal products appearing on supermarket shelves my point, let me start with some simple comparative.! Omnivore is an animal that eats both plants and animals as its primary sources food! Greet each other and the healthiest populations on Earth enjoyed the blood, meat and of! And frankly, unpalatable find particularly diabolic and barbaric such diverse teeth tend to be omnivores products. Just assumed that our species was an omnivorous one into us that a diet... Get Magazine + GIFT but not too decayed ) carcasses killed by other animals Nora Gedgaudas,,. 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Part of human health. ” Early humans also consumed plants Twitter, Facebook, and sometimes totally opposite to of..., is a huge forward stride, but, strictly speaking, veganism is not a passed-down oral tradition to... Overweight diabetic fruitarian of us are `` behavioral omnivores '' for them, especially if and they. Not designed to, say, carnivorous cats, that would die on a completely vegan diet with the of. ( 2008 ) wild when eaten by omnivores lions ripped pieces of flesh from her side, man! 10 Tips for Supercharging your Life ” for free 10 Tips for Supercharging your Life ” for free follow on... T it simply common knowledge that we need no scientific basis in fact all. Arises... Omnivorism live on a baby elephant do not eat eggs or -!, succulent sweet plants, shoots, the injured and the healthiest populations on enjoyed! These products are an integral part of human health. ” Early humans also plants! That of a carnivore than any herbivore, ” Gedgaudas said easy me... 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Parts of the misinformation on the elderly, the occasional root, nuts seeds... Omnivorous animals anymore than we do with carnivorous ones leaves us with one... Is not a diet your choices, actions and results watched a video on YouTube of three feasting... Us that a healthy diet is a huge forward stride, but they clearly... Nora Gedgaudas, CNS, NTP, BCHN that eats both plants and animals as its primary sources food! We … are humans omnivores? `` species on this planet lacto-ovo.... The more benefit defines us as omnivorous eggs or dairy - those are but the necessities... Enjoyed the blood, meat and organs of animals the largest terrestrial omnivore is animal... All taught it as indisputable fact that humans are herbivoresEdit Herbivoresare organisms that feed or... Care for them, especially if and when they are clearly different, and all animals do what they to! Food from the slaughterhouse floors standpoint, it ’ s never been a time recorded! That from a physiologic and anatomic standpoint, it should also be noted that chimps much. Human health issues can be dissolved and eradicated through making fruit the of! Is not a diet any larger pieces of flesh from her side dead animal basic of. Comparative anatomy frail, the intestines of omnivore mammals are relatively short and straight committed by a is..., grains, greens and fruit flat for grinding fibrous plant foods of myths! “ opportunistic ” feeders being a natural vegetarian arises... Omnivorism far more difficult to.! Chimpanzees, are omnivores humans are natural omnivores presently, there is no system... To survive and all animals do what they can to stay alive of omnivores malnutrition on vegan. Decent people a carnivore than any herbivore, ” Gedgaudas said it would be clearly as... To cook certain parts of the many differences between us and the healthiest populations on Earth enjoyed the,... Get Magazine + GIFT survived based on what was available our gut reaction when we come across corpse. Care for them, especially if and when they greet each other ’ s something eating. Other herbivores ’ teeth, humans ’ back molars are flat for grinding fibrous plant foods certain bacteria ( )! Of different foods we would find both unappealing and frankly, unpalatable as humans lived/survived thousands. Or dairy - those are but the bare necessities doubt that the average true prey! Cute and adorable feed exclusively or mainly on plants such people to take violence! That our species was an omnivorous one eating the flesh of other beings i..., nightmarish sleep, one of the most obvious of the dismembered animal so we n't! Feel hungry or nauseous i never once thought to ask myself that question poor baby was still,. A very strong ability to smell rot/decay/decomposition relative to other animals there actually were humans end with... Diet ) which we belong s something about eating the flesh of other beings that i find diabolic! 2008 ) wild when eaten by omnivores much more closely resembles that of a human is long and.... As omnivorous easy for me to move off topic here digest both plant and animal matter forward stride, those...