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Am I Vegetarian, Omnivore, or Carnivore?

Over the years, when it has come up in conversation that I am a vegetarian, occasionally, I will hear, "Well, I'm an omnivore," or "I'm a carnivore." Sometimes I respond to that by saying,"No, you are not. You are a vegetarian."

Let me explain. Humans are a lot like cockroaches. Like them, we have survived for millions of years because we have been willing to eat anything. We put all sorts of harmful things into our mouths and call it food: potato chips, alcohol, coffee, candy, white bread, deep fried anything, ice cream, cookies, hot dogs and hamburgers--to name a few.

Good Health

People choose to eat healthy food because they want good health.  So, what is healthy food?  Will eating meat keep us healthy?  The truth that there are healthy (and unhealthy) meat eaters and healthy (and unhealthy) vegetarians.  ANYONE who does not eat a healthy diet will become unhealthy.  Whether you are or are not vegetarian, you will not be able to sustain good healthy without a healthy diet, a good social life, and exercise.


Evidence clearly shows that our bodies are designed to withdraw nutrients from everything we eat, if nutrients exist in that food.  If we are eating candy bars, for instance, our bodies will take the fats, surgar, and proteins (from nuts) from it.  We have evolved so that the non-digestible parts of food (like fiber) will just pass through us.  And, many poisons get stopped along the way, caught in our appendix or filetered by mucous or nasal hair. 

So, if something we eat doesn't kill us immediately, we call it food.

Jason Hickey

Possible reasons why humans began eating meat:

  1. Moving into a colder climate where fruits and vegetables didn't grow year round led humans to survival food that included meat.
  2. Fire made cooked meat more palatable than raw.

Possible reasons we continue to eat meat:

  1. Our belief that humans have evolved into meat eaters because we don't die immediately when we eat meat.  By that logic, we must have evolved to eat potato chips, too.  Our bodies have learned to adapt to our bad eating habits.
  2. Humans are at the "top of the food chain" is a common argument.  Because of this, we think we can eat (and do and destroy) whatever we want.

Reasons why we like eating meat:

  1. Meat became affordable for working class people, thanks to government subsides.  Although a pound of protein from meat is far more costly to produce than a pound of vegetables, a hamburger is cheaper than a salad.
  2. Smelling meat since birth causes us to remember those smells fondly, as does tasting it since infancy makes us like the taste.
  3. Advertising meat products made eating it fashionable.  This is made possible by the major meat controllers (big money) like Armour and Swift.  (The Jungle by Upton Sinclair & Beyond Beef by Jeremy Rifkin)

Carl Lewis won 10 Olympic medals, 9 Gold, and 10 World Championships and he is/was strictly vegan (no animal products).

Body builder, Robert Cheeke, is also vegan.

Jane of all trades

Meat and Survival

Anthropologists have found that we don't have all of the answers yet--and may never have them.  DNA shows that we all came from Africa.  (See the video.)

Cholesterol and Fat

The current controversy over meat being good for us because it's okay for us to eat cholesterol and saturated fat leaves much to be desired.  Yes, our bodies make cholesterol and saturated fat because we are animals.  Our bodies don't require any additional cholesterol or saturated fat. 

Our body has to work a little harder to process foods that add little value to our health and well being.  Protein and iron are more digestible from plant sources.  Why tax our bodies--wear our bodies out sooner than needed--just for the taste of meat?

Do Grains Cause Heart Attacks?

In books like "Wheat Belly" we are told that wheat, and maybe other grains, are the cause of all of our heart attacks.  There is a good argument against eating wheat because of the years and years of developing a grain for every industry food product.  For instance, we have a special wheat grain for crackers and a different one for cup cakes.  Our foods today, from noodles to bread, are so refined and processed that they no longer resemble a grain at all.  Eating grains turn it into sugar.  Sugar and fat combines and leads to heart attacks.  Why conclude that we can eat our desired animal foods as long as we don't eat grains when we know that we need both sugar and healthy fats to survive?  There are better options to healthy eating.

How we learned to eat meat:

  1. Education: Special interests have made certain that meat, eggs, and dairy are included in the food pyramid that is taught to children in public schools.  Sometimes college teachers, teaching nutrition courses to our teachers, have not been paid by the colleges but by special interest groups, like the dairy industry.
  2. We've learned that protein from meat makes us strong(All of the beasts of burden, the strongest animals, are vegetarian.)  Meat actually pulls strength from us to digest that meat.
  3. Every child grows up thinking the people who love and care for him/her will only do good things for his/her benefit.  They taught us to eat meat.  Even as adults, we can't completely erase what we've learned.

 Vitamin B-12

The argument is that we must need to eat meat because humans don't digest vegetable sources of Vitamin B-12.  Vegetable-eating animals don get their Vitamin B-12 from plants. Most vegetarians buy their produce from a grocery store.  It has been cultivated, sprayed and cleaned, and traveled many miles.  Then, they bring their vegetables home and cook them.

In our intestines there is a mucous lining that protects us from non-foods that we eat.  That would be any food that is not digested in its raw, natural form. When people eat only raw food, as all other animals in nature do, they lose that protective mucous lining.  Their intestines, then, are able to digest more nutrients from the healthy, real food they eat.  We need about 5 mcg. of B-12 per day. 

 If we ate our foods raw and in the wild, we probably would have no problem getting all of the Vitamin B-12 we need--and, easily digested from plants or maybe even be able to absorb the B-12 that our own bodies make.

Why Plant Foods?

The simple truth is that we haven't evolved to be meat eaters. We have been on earth for about 2.5 million years as plant eating animals. Somewhere towards the end of that time, we started eating meat for whatever reason. Being plant eaters, our bodies have to take the protein in meat and break it down into amino acids for us to digest. Plants already have amino acids, so are easier to digest. The more work our body has to do to digest our food, the less nourishment is left to keep us healthy. After perhaps tens of thousands of years, our bodies still have trouble managing the cholesterol and saturated fat we get from animal foods.

"People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times." Isaac Bashevis Singer, Nobel Laureate

 Is Being Vegetarian a Choice?

There are unhealthy vegetarians.  A healthy vegetarian diet must be balanced.  For example, raw food need to be included in every healthy diet.

  1. Our teeth are flat, not pointed for ripping flesh.  Look at all of the pictures of our ancestors in the video above (Human Evolution).  Flat teethed people cook their meat to be able to eat it.  This indicates we are herbivores not carnivores.
  2. Humans don't have retractable claws.  We have finger nails.  We can make knives and pretend we are fierce like a lion or bear, but that's not what we are.
  3. We don't salivate when we see an animal and desire to pounce on it and rip it to shreds.  (There is no cruelty involved in eating a vegetable since vegetables have no central nervous systems to feel pain.)
  4. Our saliva contains alpha-amylase that does one thing: digest complex carbohydrates from plant foods.  Carnivores do not have this enzyme.  (The McDougall Plan by Dr. John A. McDougall, M.D. and Mary A. McDougall, p. 37)
  5. Intestines are very specific according to species of animal and it's diet.  Humans have long intestines, similar to other vegetarian-eating primates.  Carnivorous animals have short intestines that allow meat to pass through quickly and not absorb saturated fats, and eliminate large amounts of cholesterol.
  6. Our bodies make all of the cholesterol we need.  Cholesterol comes from meat, eggs, and dairy products.  Excess cholesterol, that isn't eliminated, stays in our tissues.
  7. Vegetable eaters drink their water by sipping it.  Dogs, cats, and all other carnivores lap up their water with their tongues.
  8. Herbivores sweat to stay cool, while carnivores pant.
  9. We are the only animals that drink the milk of another species on a regular basis.  Human animals are the only ones that continue to drink milk past infancyOur milk is healthy for our children.  Cow's milk is designed to bring a calf to 300-500 pounds in one or two years.
  10. A variety of vegetables and fruits will supply the vitamins, protein, minerals, and fats the body needs (see Vitamin B-12, above).

Your Body's Future

 Think about how you would like to spend your golden years, if you make it that far. Would you like to suffer for the last 20 years of your life? Think again if you are a vegetarian, omnivore, or carnivore. By nourishing your body now, by putting the foods into it that your body is intended to eat, you could greatly improve the quality of your life now and in the future. Think about it!


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