Reasons Why Humans Are Herbivores and Not Carnivores

Carnivore vs Human Teeth

Humans don’t have the following typical characteristics of carnivores:

Carnivores are designed for speed to chaise down and catch their prey with minimal expenditure of energy. (Humans are lousy runners.)

Carnivores are often torpedo shaped for speed.

Carnivores have an armored front for protection. (Our abdomens are vulnerable.)

Carnivores have forward deployed weapons.

Carnivores have permanently flexed joints and can’t stand for long periods of time (as for grazing) so they frequently lay down.

Carnivores have short gestation periods (less than 3 months) (Humans have long gestation periods.)

Carnivores have litters of babies. (Humans don’t.)

Carnivores babies weigh less than 3% of mother’s body weight. (Human babies weigh much more.)

Carnivores have reduced facial muscles.

Carnivores have excellent night vision (Humans do not.)

Carnivores have wide gape. (Human do not. Try taking a bite out of a cow!)

Carnivores have a massive temporalis (main jaw) muscle.

Carnivores have jaw joint on same plane as the cheek teeth so jaws act as sheers.

Carnivores have teeth designed for ripping, tearing and cutting.

Carnivores cannot create mouth vacuum and suck water. Rather, they lap water.

Carnivores have a wide and distensible esophagus so they don’t choke on unchewed hunks of meat. (Humans choke on meat.)

Carnivores do not chew food.

Carnivores have no digestive enzymes in their saliva, so there is no purpose in extended chewing.

Carnivores easily digest animal tissues (mainly protein and fat) and no fiber, so their digestive tracts are very short and simple. Their small intestine is usually only 3-6 times body length. (That prevents flesh from staying in their gut for a long time and rotting.)

Carnivores have a predominance of enzymes for digesting protein and fat.

Carnivores have a poor capacity to digest and absorb moderate to large carbohydrate meals.

Carnivores have gigantic stomachs which hold 60-70% of total digestive tract volume.

Carnivores have extremely acidic digestion (less than 1 pH), so they can eat bones and hooves.

Carnivores can consume more than 30-40% of their body weight at one meal. (You would eat 45 pounds of meat for breakfast if you were a carnivore!)

Carnivores may only eat once per week or so.

Carnivores have a very short colon that is non-pouched with a sole purpose of elimination.

Carnivores can detoxify vitamin A from livers of prey.

Carnivores cannot take beta-carotene and make vitamin A from it.

Dogs do not get coronary artery disease no matter how much fat and cholesterol they are fed. Carnivores do not get gallstones because of special properties of their bile.

Carnivores have very strong bile that is able to emulsify a lot of fat. (Human bile is very weak so we cannot handle much fat. That extra cholesterol forms gallstones.)


Humans Have the Characteristics of Herbivores:


Herbivores are designed to forage (walk around and find food) with minimal expenditure of energy. (Humans can walk and stand for long periods of time.)

Herbivores don’t have litters of babies.

Herbivores’ babies weigh 7-8% of mother’s body weight.

Herbivores have well developed facial muscles.

Herbivores have a small opening into a walled-in mouth.

Herbivores have a jaw joint that is above the plane of cheek teeth, therefore, jaws function like nut-crackers.

Herbivores have teeth designed for cropping and grinding.

Herbivores have an angle of mandible that is expanded.

Herbivores have a temporalis muscle that is small.

Herbivores have Masseter and Pterygoid muscles that are main jaw muscles which attach on the outside and inside of the expanded angle of the mandible.

Herbivores have an L-shaped lower jaw.

Herbivores can create a vacuum and suck water into the mouth. (Humans can drink with a straw.)

Herbivores have a narrow and muscular esophagus.

Herbivores must swallow small balls of food.

Herbivores eat plant tissues, which require prolonged digestion, since they have protein, fat, carbohydrates and indigestible fiber (cellulose cell wall). They have to mechanically chew or grind apart these cell walls.

Herbivores eat a high fiber diet (plants). (When humans don’t eat enough fiber, they have lots of problems, like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, leaky gut syndrome, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids, appendicitis, constipation, colon cancer, diabetes, other hormone related cancers like breast, prostate.)

Herbivores have carbohydrate digestive enzymes in their saliva, so they must chew food to mix it well.

Herbivores have a simple stomach that holds less than 30% of total gut capacity; it has mild to moderate acidity; it is designed for batch feeding (eat multiple times per day).

Herbivores have a population of bacteria and protozoa which make enzymes that can break down fiber (cellulose).

Herbivores have small intestine that is extremely long, averaging 10-12 times body length or more; it has adjustable mix of carbohydrate, fat, and protein digesting enzymes; it has essentially unlimited capacity for carbohydrate digestion and absorption. (Humans small intestine is 30 feet, which is 10 times length from head to tailbone.)

Herbivores have a colon that is long and often pouched structure; its functions include accessory fermentation of fiber, water absorption, and vitamin production by bacteria. (Human colon does these functions.)

Herbivores have an appendix, which is part of the GI tract immune system.

Herbivores cannot detoxify vitamin A (as from livers of prey animals)

Herbivores can make Vitamin A from beta-carotene.

Herbivores easily develop heart disease when fed diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Herbivores (rats and rabbits) are used for research since they are herbivores like humans.

After examining the above characteristics, it is obvious that humans are much closer to herbivores. That is just the way we were designed. People may enjoy hunting and become successful at it, but buying a gun does not change your physiology. Your design remains. If you were designed to eat flesh, you would be able to outrun it, capture it and devour it without extra implements.

Credit is given to Milton Mills, M.D. for his excellent research on the above comparisons.

Also, see William Clifford Roberts on this topic.

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