The Non-Vegan Reason to Not Eat Meat

From sizzling bacon in the morning to juicy steaks at night– mankind has developed quite the taste for nearly all types of meat. Over time, humans have excelled in the hunting and cooking of animals to make them sustainable for our daily consumption. Many people stay away from meat because it is seen as unhealthy. Others find it to be unethical to hunt and kill animals for food. For years there have been major conflicts between meat eaters and non-meat eaters on whether or not eating meat is wrong. Aside from all of the moral issues, looking at things scientifically, what if I told you that humans are not naturally built to eat meat?

Let us compare the human body to that of a true carnivore such as a lion. Lions have very sharp canines and jagged, razor-like molars which allow them to rip through the meat of their prey with ease. On the other hand, we humans do possess canines, they are not nearly as sharp as ones found in the mouth of a carnivore. Also, humans possess flattened molars that are seen in herbivores used to grind up plant material such as leaves or fruits. Another large difference between carnivores and herbivores would be the mobility of their jaws. Carnivorous animals have very strict up and down movements in their jaws which gives them not only power, but stability which helps them in the breaking of their prey’s flesh. Herbivores have mouths that allow lots of side-to-side motion, like those of humans, to aid in the grinding of the various plant materials. Although humans have accustomed themselves with the consumption of meat, many signs show that humans are much more suited to be vegetarian.

Research shows that some of our early ancestors actually started eating meat as far back as a million years ago, but many of them were still mostly vegetarian. Nowadays it has become such a common part of our everyday lives that unless someone is watching their weight, the question “Should we eat meat?”, comes with a shoulder shrug and a “why not” for an answer. After interviewing a few students around Apex High School, I was able to capture some of their feelings about how they felt about eating meat.  “I eat meat everyday. I think it’s good for you and it helps you enjoy life” said senior Mabeki Mvendy. Junior Emily Amaladoss says,“Even though my mom is a vegetarian, my dad gives me the opportunity to eat meat. Essentially I grew up eating meat. I try not to eat meat everyday out of the week, but I still eat a good amount. I don’t think that meat is bad but simply just a way of living.” Shortly after, I revealed to them the idea that humans are not supposed to eat meat. Amaladoss said, “I wouldn’t believe that because people have been eating meat for generations and they actually seem to be thriving off of it,” Similarly, Mvendy responded with, “I don’t care…I will always eat meat.” These are just a few examples that show the way meat has became what may be defined as staples in our diet.

Major heart diseases, such as stroke or heart attack, all have one thing in common; they come from eating meat. Although it is possible for one to develop these conditions with the absence of meat, research shows that people who eat meat are at a thirty-two percent higher risk of developing a heart disease than those who do not. The reason behind this goes back to the discussion of whether or not humans are meant to be carnivores. One of the largest contributors to heart disease is cholesterol, which is only found in animals and animal products. Carnivorous animals have developed ways to process and pass unlimited amounts of cholesterol due to the vast amount of meat they consume. We humans, on the other hand, do not possess the ability to process extensive amounts of cholesterol because we are believed to have no use for high cholesterol elimination since our diet is meant to be mostly plants. Along the lines of not being able to process cholesterol, humans are actually somewhat incapable of digesting meat. If humans were to lack the ability to cook our food, it would be nearly impossible to eat meat without getting sick or even potentially dying. Furthermore, if we did not possess cutting tools such as knives, we would not obtain any meat to eat as we do not possess the physical ability to separate an animal’s meat from its bones.

In conclusion, humans are highly evolutionary species that have adapted ways to eat foods they were not necessarily built to eat. Humans have essentially gone from eating mostly plants and fruits to eating a large variety of plants, meat, and everything else in between. Although the idea of a total change in diet may seem weird or unusual, humans are not the only species this peculiar transition was seen in. For example, panda bears contain all of the components of a carnivorous animal like  large canines and powerful intestines, yet they eat bamboo. Overall, even though humans are not built to eat meat, we have found ways to implement it into our diet. Although this article is not meant to encourage one to stop eating meat, hopefully one will think about their body the next time they pick up a burger.

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