Vegetarian, Omnivore, or Carnivore? What Are We Supposed To Be?
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, candy, white bread, deep fried anything, ice cream, cookies, hot dogs and hamburgers--to name a few.
Think about what you are eating.
Yes, our bodies are resilient in that we can eat harmful foods and live--for a while. Before 1900, heart disease did not appear in medical text books. Today, it is our #1 killer. Clearly, our bodies can't handle the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat we are putting in it.
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.
How I know you are a vegetarian:
- Your saliva contains alpha-amylase which is not found in carnivores, only in vegetarian animals. This enzyme digests complex carbohydrates found in plant foods.
- Intestines are very species specific. Yours is long so you can digest plants. Carnivorous animals have short intestines and can eliminate large amounts of cholesterol. Cholesterol is found only in animal foods (meat, milk, eggs).
- All carnivores lap their water and pant. All herbivores sip water and perspire.
- You do not salivate when you see a small animal like a bird or a bunny rabbit or a kitten. You think they are cute. You do not want to grab them with your claws and sink your teeth into them as a carnivore would.
- Your teeth are flat for grinding. Compare your dull canine teeth to that of a flesh eating animal.
- You don't have claws for ripping. You have hands for gathering.
"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
Cancer and Food
Cancer viruses can be found in microorganisms in animal flesh. So, let's cook our meat. "When meat is cooked over heat, chemical changes occur that can form carcinogens." (Dr. John A. McDougall, M.D., The McDougall Plan, p. 43). An animal based diet increases our risks of both heart disease and cancer. "3 glasses of milk a day = 21 slices of bacon," and "a pint of ice cream = 24 slices of bacon." Eating, 2nd Edition, DVD
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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