Thursday, December 12, 2013

Herbivores VS Omnivores *ding ding ding!*

So, since writing my post on protein...I've seen a couple instances where people have either said, "Yes, but Elephants and Giraffes eat bugs in the leaves too and that's where a lot of their protein comes from," OR I've also seen a comment from one gentleman who stated, "Why would that lady (what a gentleman for calling me a lady...I'm blushing!) assume that elephants bodies and humans bodies process food the same way?" In the post's defense, my herbivore friend quickly stated that that wasn't what I meant.

Except . . .

That is kinda what I meant.

I was originally going to make this a post about something completely different, but because this topic seems to have taken off, I'm going to have to expound some more and leave the original topic for another day (Be on the watch for "'Eating for Your Blood Type' and Other Bologna Like That" -- I haven't quite worked out the title).

Since we were all in elementary school, practically, we've been told that humans are omnivores. Just like bears. Just like hedgehogs. Skunks. Wait, what? How in the world is our anatomy like a skunk's? Or like a bear's for that matter?

Just because we're capable of eating both animal meat and plants, doesn't make us an omnivore anymore than a tiger chowing down on grass for a little fiber makes him one.

In an article by Dr. Milton R. Mills, M.D., he goes through, dissecting the anatomy and digestive properties of carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, and humans. He looks at the size and shape of oral cavities, intestines, colons, teeth, jaws, chewing, saliva, stomach acidity, stomach capacity...pretty much everything related to how animals and humans digest. Ready for this? In fact, visualize yourself as the human...and an elephant as you read about the Herbivore. Think of a bear for the Omnivore, and a giant cat of your choosing for the Carnivore.

Facial Muscles
CarnivoreReduced to allow wide mouth gape
Jaw Type
CarnivoreAngle not expanded
HerbivoreExpanded angle
OmnivoreAngle not expanded
HumanExpanded angle
Jaw Joint Location
CarnivoreOn same plane as molar teeth
HerbivoreAbove the plane of the molars
OmnivoreOn same plane as molar teeth
HumanAbove the plane of the molars
Jaw Motion
CarnivoreShearing; minimal side-to-side motion
HerbivoreNo shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back
OmnivoreShearing; minimal side-to-side
HumanNo shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back
Major Jaw Muscles
HerbivoreMasseter and pterygoids
HumanMasseter and pterygoids
Mouth Opening vs. Head Size
Teeth (Incisors)
CarnivoreShort and pointed
HerbivoreBroad, flattened and spade shaped
OmnivoreShort and pointed
HumanBroad, flattened and spade shaped
Teeth (Canines)
CarnivoreLong, sharp and curved
HerbivoreDull and short or long (for defense), or none
OmnivoreLong, sharp and curved
HumanShort and blunted
Teeth (Molars)
CarnivoreSharp, jagged and blade shaped
HerbivoreFlattened with cusps vs complex surface
OmnivoreSharp blades and/or flattened
HumanFlattened with nodular cusps
CarnivoreNone; swallows food whole
HerbivoreExtensive chewing necessary
OmnivoreSwallows food whole and/or simple crushing
HumanExtensive chewing necessary*
 *For most people...
CarnivoreNo digestive enzymes
HerbivoreCarbohydrate digesting enzymes
OmnivoreNo digestive enzymes
HumanCarbohydrate digesting enzymes
Stomach Type
HerbivoreSimple or multiple chambers
Stomach Acidity
CarnivoreLess than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach
HerbivorepH 4 to 5 with food in stomach
OmnivoreLess than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach
HumanpH 4 to 5 with food in stomach
Stomach Capacity
Carnivore60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract
HerbivoreLess than 30% of total volume of digestive tract
Omnivore60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract
Human21% to 27% of total volume of digestive tract
Length of Small Intestine
Carnivore3 to 6 times body length
Herbivore10 to more than 12 times body length
Omnivore4 to 6 times body length
Human10 to 11 times body length
CarnivoreSimple, short and smooth
HerbivoreLong, complex; may be sacculated
OmnivoreSimple, short and smooth
HumanLong, sacculated
CarnivoreCan detoxify vitamin A
HerbivoreCannot detoxify vitamin A
OmnivoreCan detoxify vitamin A
HumanCannot detoxify vitamin A
CarnivoreExtremely concentrated urine
HerbivoreModerately concentrated urine
OmnivoreExtremely concentrated urine
HumanModerately concentrated urine
CarnivoreSharp claws
HerbivoreFlattened nails or blunt hooves
OmnivoreSharp claws
HumanFlattened nails

By all accounts, we're naturally made to eat like herbivores. We're more like herbivores than any of the other species. We're built to digest like they are. We're made to process food as well as they do.

Carnivores (Lions, Wolves, Weiner and Nilly--my parents' puppies are pretty much the best dogs in the whole wide world) mainly eat meat. In fact, it's funny, since our allergy-prone Weiner (a Scottish Terrier) started having more raw meat in her diet, she doesn't itch anymore. And Nilly? The picky eater that would sit and stare at her bowl? Now scarfs her meal down like she's in heaven. Because that's how they're meant to eat.

Omnivores (Bears, Badgers, Rats) mainly...are not built like us at all...and eat pretty much a mix of everything.

Herbivores (Pandas, Koalas, Gorillas...and yes, humans) eat plants. Everything screams it. Yes, we CAN eat meat...but are we built to eat both lifestyles on a regular basis?

I want to call your attention to the list above again. Look at the lengths of the small intestines. Carnivores and Omnivores have shorter intestines because the meat needs to pass through them quickly. They get their energy quickly. Here's what I think: There's a reason we have so many digestive problems in the country like IBS, Candida, and other issues like that...the meat is sitting in our intestines; our looooooong intestines...rotting. There's so much length for it to travel, that it's doing more harm than good. Then, we pay out the ear for extra fiber supplements or laxatives (yeah, I'm gonna get a little nasty here), because most of the US population hasn't had a decent poop in two or three days! In fact (I'm not going to tell you who said this), someone once told me...I'll never forget it...that he usually only pooped once or twice a week.


Dude. That sucks.

But, no wonder!

We're built the way we are for a reason. And for some reason, we're hell-bent on fighting it.

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