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.

Health Problems

creative commons
creative commons | Source


Think about what you are eating.


Harmful Foods

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:

  1. Your saliva contains alpha-amylase which is not found in carnivores, only in vegetarian animals. This enzyme digests complex carbohydrates found in plant foods.
  2. 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).
  3. All carnivores lap their water and pant. All herbivores sip water and perspire.
  4. 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.
  5. Your teeth are flat for grinding. Compare your dull canine teeth to that of a flesh eating animal.
  6. 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

Benzopyrene = 600 cigarettes in one pound of these steaks
Benzopyrene = 600 cigarettes in one pound of these steaks | Source

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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Comments 9 comments

flat nails 6 years ago

I would like to point out that not all herbivores have flat nails. Some (rabbits) have claws that can be used for ripping digging etc. Our nails though they are flat are slightly curved, can grow long and thick and are able to tear into flesh.

I agree but disagree 6 years ago

I concur with "flat nails" this proves that we were meant to have a omnivore diet. I would also like to write that all vegetarians and vegans have to take vitamin supplements for nutrients that their bodies need. Many things that we need to keep our bodies functioning properly comes from meat.

Beverly Stevens profile image

Beverly Stevens 6 years ago from College Station Author

Claws are far more efficient for ripping and tearing into another animal. How many meat eating animals don't have claws? I occassionally buy a bottle of vitamins, but my 25-year-old daughter who has been vegan from birth, doesn't take vitamins, and is the healthiest person I know.

You've read about the extreme need for omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. I read that not getting this weekly will cause death. My 90-year-old mother may eat fish one time a year, has never taken supplements, and may eat walnuts twice a year. According to all the hype, she should have been dead years ago.

All of that aside, you believe what you want to believe.

... 6 years ago

I hate to say this but your daughter could not have been a vegan from birth. You are also saying that she hasn't "slipped up" and had an egg from time to time. Also your grandma isn't strictly vegan/vegetarian and the fact that she needs that fish once a year basically proves that humans were meant to be omnivores.

Also regarding the cancer you mentioned in meat, Red meat is linked to that but white meat is not.

Beverly Stevens profile image

Beverly Stevens 6 years ago from College Station Author

My daughter has been a strict vegan. You think she may have slipped up? Since she wasn't raised on animal products, the smell makes her want to throw up, and the taste of faux meat, since it tastes like meat, is disgusting to her. She hasn't "slipped up." Would you "slip up" and eat insects if you were somewhere where they are commonly eaten? Would you "slip up" and eat fish eye soup if you were in China? And, my mom didn't eat fish for any biological reason. She would eat some fish as part of her ethnic & cultural Christmas tradition every year. But, once a year is hardly adequate Omega-3, according to the nutrition "experts" on the subject. Yet, she's alive and well at 90. No, she's not vegetarian, but my point is that the nutrition information being put out today is to sell products and not always accurate. I don't buy the B-12 deficiency thing. I've been reading about nutrition for 40 years, but you have to make your own decisions in life. If you think you should be an omnivore, then be one. There are a lot of meat eating people who are healthier than vegetarians because a lot of vegetarians don't eat healthy food. Potato chips and beer are vegetarian, after all. Do what you think is right.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

Beverly, this is an excellent article!Voted UP and Useful.

I do not eat meat or dairy, for both humanitarian and health reasons. Like your daughter, if I were to smell dead cow cooking, I would get nauseated and probably throw up!

However, this is a decision that is made by each individual, and few are convinced by others to not eat meat unless they are predisposed toward that decision anyway.

I believe every person who decides to become vegetarian or vegan does so for one or both of the reasons I stated. Others don't want to think about anything "unpleasant" regarding meat factory farms, whether it's the animal cruelty involved or the extreme unhealthiness of the end product. Nothing you or I write or say will affect their mindset. It reminds me of those people who drive gas-guzzling Hummers rather than try to use less fossil fuel.

People either "get it"...or they don't.


Beverly Stevens profile image

Beverly Stevens 5 years ago from College Station Author

Very true, Jaye.

MAJJHIMA profile image

MAJJHIMA 5 years ago

hi Beverly, good write up..voted up!

I agree with your six reasoning, particularly the forth one - " You do not salivate when you see a small animal like a bird or a bunny rabbit or a kitten." To add on that, "You do salivate when when you see the ripe bananas, mangoes, kiwis, strawberries etc." It's a strong point why human should be vegetarian.

Just to share some of good quotes on vegetarian that i like:

"Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places! I have since an early age abjured the use of meat..." Leonardo da Vinci, painter, sculptor, poet.

"I do not want to make my stomach a graveyard of dead animals." George Bernard Shaw

"It is necessary to correct the error that vegetarianism has made us weak in mind, or passive or inert in action. I do not regard flesh-food as necessary at any stage" Mahatma Gandhi

Hope you like it. Have a blessed day!!!

Beverly Stevens profile image

Beverly Stevens 5 years ago from College Station Author

Nice quotes, Majjhima. Thanks for the comments.

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