Vasu Murti

Articles
The Writings of Vasu Murti

Human Rights - Social Justice - Animal Rights - Peace - Love - Compassion - Kindness - Gentleness - Religion - Soul - Spirit - Knowledge - Wisdom - Politics - Science - Environment - Vegan - Vegetarian - God - Humans - Animals

| Home | Books | Publications | Articles | Email |

Humans are Anatomically Vegetarian

 
"I think I'm sophisticated
"'cause I'm living my life like a good homo sapien
"But all around me everybody's multiplying
"Till they're walking round like flies, man
 
"So I'm no better than the animals sitting in their cages in the zoo, man
"'cause compared to the flowers and the birds and the trees
"I am an ape man
 
"I think I'm so educated and I'm so civilized
"'cause I'm a strict vegetarian
"But with the overpopulation and inflation and starvation
"And the crazy politicians
 
"I don't feel safe in this world no more
"I don't want to die in a nuclear war
"I want to sail away to a distant shore 
"And make like an ape man
 
"'cause compared to the sun that sits in the sky
"Compared to the clouds as they roll by
"Compared to the bugs and the spiders and flies
" I am an ape man
 
"I look out my window, but I can't see the sky
"'cause the air pollution is fogging up my eyes
"I want to get out of this city alive
"And make like an ape man..."
 
--the Kinks, "Ape Man" (1970)
 
****
 
Dr. Milton Mills' "The Comparative Anatomy of Eating"
www.vegsource.com/veg_faq/comparative.htm
 
(Dr. Mills is a graduate of the Stanford School of Medicine)
 
Which category are humans most suited for?
 
*Facial Muscles*
CARNIVORE: Reduced to allow wide mouth gape
OMNIVORE: Reduced
HERBIVORE: Well-developed
HUMAN: Well-developed
 
*Jaw Type*
CARNIVORE: Angle not expanded
HERBIVORE: Expanded angle
OMNIVORE: Angle not expanded
HUMAN: Expanded angle
 
*Jaw Joint Location*
CARNIVORE: On same plane as molar teeth
HERBIVORE: Above the plane of the molars
OMNIVORE: On same plane as molar teeth
HUMAN: Above the plane of the molars
 
*Jaw Motion*
CARNIVORE: Shearing; minimal side-to-side motion
HERBIVORE: No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back
OMNIVORE: Shearing; minimal side-to-side
HUMAN: No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back
 
*Major Jaw Muscles*
CARNIVORE: Temporalis
HERBIVORE: Masseter and pterygoids
OMNIVORE: Temporalis
HUMAN: Masseter and pterygoids
 
*Mouth Opening vs. Head Size*
CARNIVORE: Large
HERBIVORE: Small
OMNIVORE: Large
HUMAN: Small
 
*Teeth: Incisors*
CARNIVORE: Short and pointed
HERBIVORE: Broad, flattened and spade shaped
OMNIVORE: Short and pointed
HUMAN: Broad, flattened and spade shaped
 
*Teeth: Canines*
CARNIVORE: Long, sharp and curved
HERBIVORE: Dull and short or long (for defense), or none
OMNIVORE: Long, sharp and curved
HUMAN: Short and blunted
 
*Teeth: Molars*
CARNIVORE: Sharp, jagged and blade shaped
HERBIVORE: Flattened with cusps vs complex surface
OMNIVORE: Sharp blades and/or flattened
HUMAN: Flattened with nodular cusps
 
*Chewing*
CARNIVORE: None; swallows food whole
HERBIVORE: Extensive chewing necessary
OMNIVORE: Swallows food whole and/or simple crushing
HUMAN: Extensive chewing necessary
 
*Saliva*
CARNIVORE: No digestive enzymes
HERBIVORE: Carbohydrate digesting enzymes
OMNIVORE: No digestive enzymes
HUMAN: Carbohydrate digesting enzymes
 
*Stomach Type*
CARNIVORE: Simple
HERBIVORE: Simple or multiple chambers
OMNIVORE: Simple
HUMAN: Simple
 
*Stomach Acidity*
CARNIVORE: Less than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach
HERBIVORE: pH 4 to 5 with food in stomach
OMNIVORE: Less than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach
HUMAN: pH 4 to 5 with food in stomach
 
*Stomach Capacity*
CARNIVORE: 60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract
HERBIVORE: Less than 30% of total volume of digestive tract
OMNIVORE: 60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract
HUMAN: 21% to 27% of total volume of digestive tract
 
*Length of Small Intestine*
CARNIVORE: 3 to 6 times body length
HERBIVORE: 10 to more than 12 times body length
OMNIVORE: 4 to 6 times body length
HUMAN: 10 to 11 times body length
 
*Colon*
CARNIVORE: Simple, short and smooth
HERBIVORE: Long, complex; may be sacculated
OMNIVORE: Simple, short and smooth
HUMAN: Long, sacculated
 
*Liver*
CARNIVORE: Can detoxify vitamin A
HERBIVORE: Cannot detoxify vitamin A
OMNIVORE: Can detoxify vitamin A
HUMAN: Cannot detoxify vitamin A
 
*Kidney*
CARNIVORE: Extremely concentrated urine
HERBIVORE: Moderately concentrated urine
OMNIVORE: Extremely concentrated urine
HUMAN: Moderately concentrated urine
 
*Nails*
CARNIVORE: Sharp claws
HERBIVORE: Flattened nails or blunt hooves
OMNIVORE: Sharp claws
HUMAN: Flattened nails
 
http://www.atlanteanconspiracy.com/2013/01/humans-are-biologically-built-vegetarian.html
 
Humans and other natural vegetarians have four times longer, convoluted intestinal tracts perfect for slow digesting fruits and starches, whereas omnivore/carnivores have four times shorter intestines to quickly push out the acidic, putrefying animal flesh they eat.
 
Humans have alkaline saliva ptyalin to pre-digest grains, alkaline urine, and weak stomach acid whereas all omnivore/carnivores have acidic saliva, acidic urine, and ten to one thousand times stronger hydrochloric stomach acid essential for digesting meat. All natural flesh-eaters also secrete the enzyme "uricase" necessary to metabolize the uric acid in meat, but uricase is not produced by our human bodies.
 
Humans have lateral jaw movement and flat molars for grinding grains and vegetables whereas natural flesh eaters have no lateral jaw movement and scores of huge fangs for biting and ripping. Humans have short, weak fingernails whereas carnivores and omnivores have long, strong, sharp claws for cutting through skin and flesh. 
 
Humans must take in Vitamin C from our food whereas all carnivores and most omnivore's bodies produce their own Vitamin C. Natural omnivores and carnivores also have a microbial tolerance far higher than humans. For example the botulinum toxin which is deadly to humans but is easily and safely digested by natural flesh-eaters.
 
Human vision is easily able to differentiate various colors making it simple to discern ripe from unripe plant foods, whereas the color vision of most omnivore/carnivores is far less discerning.
 
Humans sleep only six to twelve hours a day like most herbivore/frugivores, whereas most omnivore/carnivores sleep eighteen to twenty hours a day. Humans sweat from pores all over our bodies whereas all carnivores and most omnivores release perspiration from their tongues. 
 
Humans have single births and two mammary glands whereas most all omnivores and carnivores birth litters of several babies have have rows upon rows of mammary glands.
 
Dr. John McDougall writes:
 
"Our evolutionary history clearly shows that humans developed primarily as herbivores (plant eaters), not as carnivores (meat eaters). Most of our teeth are flat for grinding grains and vegetables. They are not designed to tear apart raw meat. The residual canine teeth cited by some people to justify eating meat are in no way comparable to the teeth of true carnivores. Our hands are designed for gathering, not for ripping flesh. Our saliva contains alpha-amylase, and the sole purpose of this enzyme is to digest complex carbohydrates found in plant foods. It is not found in the saliva of carnivorous animals. Our intestine is long like that of other herbivores, in order to allow for the time needed to digest the nutrients found in plants.
 
"Carnivores have short intestinal tracts that rapidly digest flesh and excrete its remnants. Carnivores also have a great capacity to eliminate the large amounts of cholesterol consumed in their diet. Our liver can only process and excrete a limited amount of cholesterol, which leaves the excess to be deposited in our tissues. Also of interest is the observation that carnivores lap up water and cool their bodies by panting. Like other herbivores, we sip our water and perspire to cool our bodies."
 
Whether we "evolved" is subject to serious debate, but it has been reported that one of the first things Charles Darwin, an agnostic, did upon formulating his theory of evolution, and thus recognizing the kinship of all life, was to become a vegetarian. Primatologist Jane Goodall is a vegetarian and supportive of animal rights issues, and evolutionist Richard Dawkins, an atheist, has referred to the animals as our "cousins."
 
In his 1978 book, The Vegetarian Alternative, Vic Sussman writes:
 
"We are all mammals, but humans belong to the order Primates, suborder Anthropoidea, family Pongidae. Our immediate relatives are the great apes: chimpanzees, gorilla, orangutang, and gibbon. If we want to consult the animal kingdom for clues to our true nature, we should turn to the apes rather than to carnivores or herbivorous animals.
 
"Humans are not direct descendants of apes, of course; ape and hominid branched off at some point within the last twenty million years, each going in its own evolutionary direction. Precisely why and how that branching occurred is still a mystery, but the divergence of man and ape happened late enough -- perhaps within the last five million years, according to some theories -- to leave definite links between humans and apes (not monkeys).
 
"Humans and African apes, say physical anthropologist S.L. Washburn, 'are biologically so close as to be nearly inseparable in many essentials.' 
 
"The DNA structures of human, chimpanzee, and gorilla are almost the same; the amino acid structures of hemoglobin (the blood's oxygen-bearing protein) are identical in man and chimpanzee; immunological studies show man, chimp, and gorilla alike with correspondingly wider differences between humans and other primates; the alimentary system, skeletal structure, and central nervous system in humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas are virtually identical. Almost every one of our organs correspond; we all share the characteristically mobile face and grasping hands..."
 
Vic Sussman writes:
 
"For a long time, vegetarian theorists used the startling similarities in man and ape as prima facie evidence that humans were vegetarian by design. Since our nearest relatives didn't eat flesh in their natural state, went the logic, neither should humans.
 
"The argument suffered a bit when Dr. Jane Goodall conducted her famous field studies of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. Dr. Goodall saw that chimps ate a diet of fruits, buds, leaves, seeds, larvae, termites, ants, honey, birds eggs, and fledgling birds.
 
"Her observation that chimpanzees ate flesh startled primatologists and vegetarians alike. Wild chimps had never before been seen eating flesh. Yet Dr. Goodall watched chimps kill and eat monkeys, infant bushbucks, bushpigs, and small baboons. Chimpanzees have also been known to kill and eat human babies. 'Horrible,' says Dr. Goodall, 'but understandable. Baby humans are no less appealing than baby baboons.'
 
"Besides, 'It should be equally horrifying to reflect on the fact that in a great many places throughout their range, chimpanzees are considered a delicacy by humans.'
 
"But chimps are hardly as rapacious meat eaters as the average North American. Dr. Goodall reported that the chimps she observed seemed to eat flesh only in cycles or crazes that were stimulated by an accidental or chance capture of prey. This incident then triggered a period of deliberate hunting and flesh eating.
 
"After a month or two, the craze seemed to wear off, the result of a 'satisfaction of [their] craving' or a loss of interest due to the difficulties of hunting. The chimps then returned to their staple diet of vegetation, insects and fruit.
 
"Such meat-eating crazes are infrequent, according to Dr. Goodall. The chimpanzees she studied only made about twelve kills a year. Nor do the Goodall observations prove that all chimps eat flesh. Vernon Reynolds, who carried out a similar study of wild chimps in Uganda's Budongo Forest, never saw them eating meat or using tools."
 
Vic Sussman writes:
 
"The other of our close relatives, the gorilla, has an undeserved reputation for being a ferocious beast with a murderous temper. While a few gorillas may learn to eat meat in captivity, in their wild state, they are shy, peaceful eaters of plants and fruits. George Schaller, whose two-year study of mountain gorillas in East and Central Africa is described in The Year of the Gorilla, says, 'I never saw gorillas eat animal matter in the wild...no bird's eggs, insects, mice, or other creatures...even though they had the opportunity to do so on occasion.'"
 
According to Vic Sussman:
 
"The full story of human evolution remains clouded. Anthropologists and paleontologists are constantly sorting through old and new evidence, discarding theories almost as fast as they devise them. They admit that speculation and hypothesis about our past far outweigh hard facts. 
 
"How can we speak authoritatively about what we ate, when who we were is still largely unknown?" reams of material have been written about the habits of our ancestors, the Australopithecines, who roamed the African plains fourteen million years ago. 
 
"Yet Australopithecine remains amount to only about a dozen bone fragments. Ramapithecus, an earlier hominid, is represented by only half a palate bone."
 
...in other words, Vic Sussman admits, evolution is mostly speculation.
 
Flesh-eating animals lap water with their tongue, whereas vegetarian animals imbibe liquids by a suction process. Humans are classified as primates and are thus frugivores possessing a set of completely herbivorous teeth. 
 
Proponents of the theory that humans should be classified as omnivores note that human beings do, in fact, possess a modified form of canine teeth. However, these so-called "canine teeth" are much more prominent in animals that traditionally never eat flesh, such as apes, camels, and the male musk deer. 
 
It must also be noted that the shape, length and hardness of these so-called "canine teeth" can hardly be compared to those of true carnivorous animals. A principle factor in determining the hardness of teeth is the phosphate of magnesia content. 
 
Human teeth usually contain 1.5 percent phosphate of magnesia, whereas the teeth of carnivores are composed of nearly 5 percent phosphate of magnesia. It is for this reason they are able to break through the bones of their prey, and reach the nutritious marrow.
 
Dr. Gordon Latto notes that carnivorous and omnivorous animals can only move their jaws up and down, and that omnivores "have a blunt tooth, a sharp tooth, a blunt tooth, a sharp tooth -- showing that they were destined to deal both with flesh foods from the animal kingdom and foods from the vegetable kingdom... 
 
"Carnivorous mammals and omnivorous mammals cannot perspire except at the extremity of the limbs and the tip of the nose; man perspires all over the body. Finally, our instincts; the carnivorous mammal (which first of all has claws and canine teeth) is capable of tearing flesh asunder, whereas man only partakes of flesh foods after they have been camouflaged by cooking and by condiments. 
 
"Man instinctively is not carnivorous," explains Dr. Latto. "...he takes the flesh food after somebody else has killed it, and after it has been cooked and camouflaged with certain condiments. Whereas to pick an apple off a tree or eat some grain or a carrot is a natural thing to do; people enjoy doing it; they don't feel disturbed by it. But to see these animals being slaughtered does affect people; it offends them. Even the toughest of people are affected by the sights in the slaughterhouse."
 
Keith Akers in A Vegetarian Sourcebook (1983), responds to the argument that killing animals for food is natural:
 
"This is quite an admirable argument. It explains practically everything; why we do not eat each other, except under conditions of unusual stress; why we may kill certain other animals (they are, in the order of nature, food for us); even why we should be kind to pets and try to help miscellaneous wildlife (they are not naturally our food)...
 
"The main problem with this argument is that it does not justify the practice of meat-eating or animal husbandry as we know it today; it justifies *hunting*... 
 
"The distinction between *hunting* and animal husbandry... is obvious to an ecologist. If one defends killing on the grounds that it occurs in nature, then one is defending the practice as it occurs in nature...
 
"As it exists in the wild, hunting is the preying upon isolated members of an animal herd. Animal husbandry is the nearly complete annihilation of an animal herd. In nature, this kind of slaughter does not exist. 
 
"Why are hunters, not butchers, most frequently taken to task by the larger community for their killing of animals? Hunters reply that if hunting is wrong, then meat-eating must be wrong. The hunter is right -- the larger community is hypocritical to object to hunting when it consumes the flesh of domesticated animals. If any form of meat-eating is justified, it would be meat from a *hunted* animal."
 
How did agriculture arise? One particularly interesting theory is put forth by Mark Nathan Cohen in his book The Food Crisis in Prehistory. This view is startlingly simple: agriculture developed because the world was overpopulated. Relative to the existing hunter-gatherer technology, the environment was incapable of supporting the existing population.
 
"It seems odd at first to think of the world as being overpopulated... when the population was only a fraction of what it is today or to think of the world as environmentally exhausted, when it was more fertile then than it is now,'" observes author Keith Akers in A Vegetarian Sourcebook.
 
"But we must remember that the hunter-gatherer technology is extremely inefficient with respect to land resources. It is estimated that each of the Kung bushmen (a modern hunter-gatherer society) requires over 10 square kilometers of land -- more than 2500 acres. At this rate of land use, the world could hardly have supported more than a few million hunter-gatherers."
 
According to one theory, primitive men were anatomically ill equipped to be full-time predators. Plant food was thus the basis of their diet, and meat was eaten infrequently. Hunting with primitive weapons--bones, sticks, and spears -- is far more difficult than most people realize. Even throwing a rock with accuracy demands great practice and skill. If this theory is correct, primitive man's time was spent mostly gathering and foraging for plant foods.
 
A study of the bush people of the Kalahari in Africa found that, even during a serious drought, the most important source of food came from vegetables. Four out of eleven males never went hunting. The others killed 18 animals in eight days. Their chances of obtaining meat on any day was about 25 percent.
 
On the other hand, the women always returned from their gathering expeditions with food; a 100 percent success rate. The entire tribe was able to comfortably feed itself if each member contributed 15 hours of work per week--even better than our own society's achievement.
 
"It seems... the real heroes of our Stone Age period were the women, not the men," observes British author Peter Cox in his 1986 UK bestseller, Why You Don't Need Meat: "...our ancestors ate much more plant food than is popularly believed."
 
Zoologist Desmond Morris makes a case for vegetarianism in his 1967 book, The Naked Ape: 
 
"It could be argued that, since our primate ancestors had to make do without a major meat component in their diets we should be able to do the same. We were driven to become flesh eaters only by environmental circumstances, and now that we have the environment under control, with elaborately cultivated crops at our disposal, we might be expected to return to our ancient feeding patterns." 
 
In The Human Story, edited by Marie-Louise Makris (1985), we read: 
 
"...recent studies of their teeth reveal that the Australopithecines did not eat meat as a regular part of their diet, and were mainly peaceful vegetarians, rather like chimpanzees or gorillas. The popular image of the murderous ape is now as extinct as the Australopithecines themselves."
 
In The Natural Diet of Man, Adventist physician Dr. John Harvey Kellogg observes:
 
"Man is neither a hunter nor a killer. Carnivorous animals are provided with teeth and claws with which to seize, rend, and devour their prey. Man possesses no such instruments of destruction and is less well qualified for hunting than is a horse or a buffalo. When a man goes hunting, he must take a dog along to find the game for him, and must carry a gun with which to kill his victim after it has been found. Nature has not equipped him for hunting."
 
According to Dr. Kellogg, "The statement that man is omnivorous is made without an atom of scientific support. It is true the average hotel bill of fare and the menu found upon the table of the average citizen of this country have a decidedly omnivorous appearance. As a matter of fact, man is not naturally omnivorous, but belongs, as long ago pointed out by Cuvier, to the frugivorous class of animals along with the chimpanzee and other anthropoids...
 
"The bill of fare which wise Nature provides for man in forest and meadow, orchard and garden, a rich and varied menu, comprises more than 600 edible fruits, 100 cereals, 200 nuts, and 300 vegetables — roots, stems, buds, leaves and flowers... Fruits and nuts, many vegetables — young shoots, succulent roots, and fresh green leaves... are furnished by Nature ready for man’s use."
 
Dr. Kellogg further notes that "the human liver is incapable of converting uric acid into urea," and this is "an unanswerable argument against the use of flesh foods as part of the dietary of man. Uric acid is a highly active tissue poison... The livers of dogs, lions, and other carnivorous animals detoxicate uric acid by converting it into urea, a substance which is much less toxic and which is much more easily eliminated by the kidneys.
 
"Flesh foods are not the best nourishment for human beings and were not the food of our primitive ancestors," observes Dr. Kellogg.
 
"The human race in general has never really adopted flesh as a staple food," explains Dr. Kellogg. "The Anglo-Saxons and a few savage tribes are about the only flesh-eating people.
 
The Ladrone Islands were discovered by the Spaniards around 1620. There were no animals on the islands except birds, which the natives did not eat. The natives had never seen fire, and they lived entirely on plant foods — a vegan diet! -- fruits and roots in their natural state. They were found to be vigorous, active, and of good longevity.
 
Although writing in 1923, Dr. Kellogg’s words confirm a statement by the American Dietetic Association, that, "most of mankind for most of human history has lived on vegetarian or near vegetarian diets."

Go on to: Hunting: Theological Views
Return to: Articles

© 1998-2017 Vasu Murti