Human Have Evolved To Eat Plants

Scientific Evidence Busting the Meat Myths Mini Blog Series

In the previous blog, we talked about, how archaeological evidence has been biased towards stone and bone preservation, which led to a falsified view of diet of humans during paleolithic age.

We also discussed how the anatomy of our teeth has a stark resemblance with herbivores not carnivores and omnivores.

Inthis blog we would discuss the anatomy of carnivores, omnivores and herbivores further to see whether we have evolved as carnivores, omnivores of herbivores.

This time we would cover the digestive system:

Take a look at the following table to understand the differences and similarities in digestive systems of Carnivores, Omnivores and Herbivores and compare them with humans.

Comparative Anatomy of Digestive System of Carnivores, Omnivores, Herbivores, and Humans

You would find that the digestive system of humans resembles that off herbivores much more closely. When I say that, I don’t mean that they are not capable of eating meat. We are capable of consuming meat but seeing the anatomical evidence and observing your own body, you would realise it’s not the best food for you. Humans have evolved in a way that, plant-based diet is more suitable for them.

There are some very stark differences between the digestive system of carnivores, omnivores and humans. The human digestive system has evolved to digest plant-based foods.

Although in nature pure diets are rare. So even herbivores, occasionally consume insects, termites etc. And on rare occasions or extreme situations, some herbivores might be seen consuming meat but that doesn’t mean it’s their natural diet.

Most animals have a certain diet preference based on the evolutionary process, time and place.

In following pictures you can seem the digestive systems and length of the intestine of mammals with different types of diet.

Courtesy: Viva Health
Courtesy: Viva Health

The saliva of carnivores is acidic whereas Saliva of herbivores and humans is alkaline.

Intestine Length. You would see that mammals with meat prone diet have smaller intestines, large stomachs. Carnivorous animals have intestinal tracts that are 3–6 times their body length, whereas herbivores have intestinal tracts 10–12x their body length. Human beings have the same intestinal tract ratio as herbivores.

Stomach Acidity. Carnivores and omnivores stomachs are much more acidic than herbivores. The acidity of the human stomach matches herbivores. Carnivores’ stomachs are almost 20 times more acidic than the stomachs of herbivores.

Saliva. The saliva of carnivores is acidic. The saliva of herbivores is alkaline, which helps pre-digest plant foods. Human saliva is alkaline.

Shape of Intestines. Bowel movements of humans also resemble herbivores. Carnivore bowels are smooth, shaped like a pipe so that meat can move smoothly. They are not bumpy. Herbivore bowels are bumpy. They have pouch-like structures with lots of pockets, so plant foods pass through slowly for optimal nutrient absorption. Human bowels have the same characteristics as those of herbivores. The food passes slowly. The digestion process in intestine takes longer.

Fibre. Another major difference between human digestive anatomy with that off Carnivores is that humans require fibre (a macronutrient found only in plants) to help move food through their bumpy digestive tracts. Herbivores need dietary fibre to move food through their long and bumpy digestive tracts. Fibre prevents the bowels from becoming clogged with rotting food. Humans have the same requirement as herbivores. Whereas carnivores don’t require any fibre for facilitating digestion.

I know for share and understand that most meat-eaters would have strong objections to all this and won’t wanna believe this. But all of the comparative anatomy presented is in common science domain. You can eat meat if you want but the truth is the way humans have evolved, it’s not the best food for you. Hence, you don’t need to fool yourself and others saying that we are programmed to eat meat that’s not true.

Another fact, that most meat-eaters ignore that they eat meat also cooked and prepared like veggies. They are not excited by killing and eating a full animal which is the characteristic of naturally meat-eating mammals.

The longest living mammals are all plant-eaters. The latest research also proves that humans athletic performance also improves on a plant-based diet.

This is another major proof that we are more adapted to a plant-based diet.

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