Homo sapiens is a Meat-Eater

An Hindu vegetarian didn’t like my blog post, “Native American Cannibalism and Dog-Eating,” (See: https://markgelbart.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/native-american-cannibalism-and-dog-eating/ ).  In the comments section he went on a long rant, explaining how humans are frugivores (fruit-eaters) and how humans aren’t anatomically built to eat meat.  He also has a pro-vegetarian website, promoting the same pseudo-science and misinterpretations of scientific facts that he wrote about in my comments section.  He claims meat-eating has been rare throughout human history, and our evolutionary ancestors ate a plant-based diet.  While it may be true that our very ancient ancestors lived on a diet of leaves and fruit with the occasional bird’s egg or insect, humans have evolved significant differences in dietary requirements and capabilities since then.  Meat is actually much easier for humans to digest than plant foods.  For example humans digest 97% of beef but just 89% of flour and 65% of most vegetables.

The ability of humans to digest large quantities of meat helped them survive the harsh climatic conditions of the Pleistocene when edible plant foods often became an unreliable or scarce resource.  If it wasn’t for man’s ability to eat meat, Homo sapiens would likely have become extinct. The added protein also contributed to brain development, making humans more intelligent.  The human brain is a large fatty organ that requires lots of protein.  The larger brain gave humans a crucial advantage over competing species.

The vegetarian’s response to my blog article made me curious about man’s diet during the Ice Age, so I searched for scientific studies of stable isotopic analysis of ancient human remains.  Scientists can determine the past diet of organisms by analyzing their bone chemistry.  I found 2 studies and was surprised to learn just how dependent upon meat at least some populations of humans were.

Image result for neanderthals hunting rhino

Neanderthals relied heavily upon rhino and mammoth meat.

One study determined Neanderthals (H. neanderthalis) enjoyed a diet that was 80% animal and 20% plant.  The authors of this study looked at Neanderthal specimens from Troisiemo Cave in Belgium.  Apparently, Neanderthals relied heavily upon mammoth and rhino for their diet.  Other carnivores in the region fed more on horse, bison, and caribou.  Some scientists believed H. sapiens displaced Neanderthals because they had more flexibility in their diet.  But a 2nd study debunks this notion.  Scientists analyzed the bones of 3 anatomically modern human skeletons from Buran-Kay III, a rock shelter located in Crimea.  The specimens dated to between 37,000 years BP-33,000 years BP–shortly after the most recent date of Neanderthals.  They found these early humans also had a meat heavy diet, though they “possibly” ate more plant foods than Neanderthals.  This population of humans ate Saiga antelope, red deer, horse, and hare; but mammoth was their most important source of food. This study suggests H. sapiens competed with H. neanderthalis for the same food resources.

Image result for bloody sliced sirloin steak

The vegetarian claimed meat is not appetizing and kept comparing it to “roadkill.”  Meat looks appetizing to me.

Image result for dry rub ribs

I’ll eat this roadkill every time.

Humans have continued to evolve since the Pleistocene.  The agricultural revolution has made plant foods more available, and the human body has evolved to eat more of them.  So, I don’t agree with the paleo-diet fad either.  I believe in eating a balanced diet that includes all 4 food groups.


Drucker, D; et. al.

“Isotopic Analysis Suggests Mammoth and Plants in the Diet of the Oldest Anatomically Modern Humans from far Southeastern Europe”

Scientific Reports 2017

Wilburg, C.; et. al.

“Isotopic Evidence for Dietary Ecology of Late Neanderthals in Northwestern Europe”

Quaternary International 2015


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7 Responses to “Homo sapiens is a Meat-Eater”

  1. ina puustinen-westerholm Says:

    Yuppers..I agree with the meats AND vegies diets. Godhelp..if I had been born into..a ‘vegan’ family..i would have..early-on..been creeping about the floors/cave corners..and ..spearing insects. If there were a ..pet cat..i might even..have..’sized IT up!’

  2. Steve McCann Says:

    If you eat a strictly vegan diet without taking supplements you will die from malnutrition. Humans are quite remarkable in their ability to eat an astounding variety of things to remain alive (but not necessarily in optimum health). Eat lots of nutrient-dense vegetables, a little bit of meat, and keep the carbs reasonably low and you will do just fine.

  3. vishnujanadasa Says:

    Clearly you’re an arm-chair anthropologist with no knowledge of anatomy.


    Ancestors were vegetarian

    As pointed Scientific American points out above, our guts and those of our ancestors were of plant eaters. According to standard theories of evolution, we would have been plant eaters predominantly for 25 millions years. While meat has nutrition and is a complete protein (many plants, even milk for vegetarians-are compete proteins), we don’t have the digestive systems meant to live off of it regularly.

    There are over 50,000 edible plants. You may be surprised how many species of land are actually edible and extremely nutritious. In fact most people could survive from the wild plant life growing outside their doors (http://markusrothkranz.com/online-store/free-food-and-medicine/edible-plant-guide.html)

    There were a few regions where plant material may have been rare or some catastrophe or famine that led people to eat meat, but these are the exceptions- not the norm.

    All animals are more or less attracted to fatty acids, and when you grill one may be attracted to the fat, but without changing the appearance and texture of the food no one will generally eat meat. If everyone had to hunt their food meat consumption would drastically reduce. If image they would be less than what vegans’ number are today (veganism grew 400% in the US alone since 2014).

    I don’t salivate over meat grilling any more than I would if you were grilling a man.

    Traditionally most people didn’t eat meat. The nobility may have but this was often accompanied by religious rituals. Even in the Vedas (where Hinduism/Buddhism came from) the rajas (Kings) would hunt but offer the animal in sacrifice that would give it a human birth in the next life (They would hunt tigers and other wild animals to protect the forests-populated by holy men also- and to keep their prowess sharp. Even the templars shunned meat-eating as warrior-monks, but would sometimes hunt for virtually the same reasons).

    Most people still eat predominantly plants, but with the industrial revolution and mechanized slaughterhouses in the early 20th century, the common man could imitate the wealthy and have meat. Thus a huge industry grew. Combined with modern advertising and people are Pavlovianly conditioned to eat meat and disconnect from the suffering and even environnemental damage done.

    Is it a coincidence a few decades into the 20th century then, that young men were sent to their own mechanized slaughter in the grenaches and fields of World War I?

    As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap the joy of love.

    ~ Pythagoras/Tolstoy

    If just 10% of America went plant-based, you could feed every hungry person on earth as many more resources are needed to raise cattle.

    Plants are producers, animals are secondary and tertiary consumers etc, and this they eat a smaller % of energy from sunlight the animals originally produced. Therefore plants are more dense nutritionally. An acre on land may produce 128 lbs of meat, but 900 lbs of grains. Cows are large mammals that consume huge amounts of food/water.

    925 million people (the population of the US, Canada, and Europe, who are suffering malnutrition and starvation (http://gentleworld.org/could-veganism-end-world-hunger/)

    • markgelbart Says:

      This is the exact same shit you posted on my other article.

      I am not an armchair anatomist…you are.

      I never mentioned anatomy, you brainwashed moron. You are the amateur nut who thinks he understands anatomy.

      Humans have evolved to eat meat. That is a fact.

  4. vishnujanadasa Says:

    Your original post on cannibalism was ok though.

  5. vishnujanadasa Says:

    Horses and humans and other “sweaters” are all herbivores. Humans like herbivores and frugivores (which we more closely resemble) have alkaline saliva (ptyalin) whereas omnivores/carnivores have no carb-digesting enzymes. Similarly humans have smooth tongues like plant eaters and additionally we use the tongue to shovel food in like frugivores. Omnivores/carnivores have rough tongues-especially meat eaters for tearing flesh). We have simple livers and large salivary glands like plant eaters as opposed to the complex (extremely complex for carnivores) livers and small glands. Brian chemistry is different and many other things. Again our molars, incisors, and “canines” are different from meat eaters and we have well-developed facial@muscles for chewing whereas omni/carnivores have reduced muscles for wipe mouth gapes as they generally chomp* up and down and swallow their food in large chunks (*meat eaters jaws as mentioned chimp up and down generally and can’t move sideways). The jaws of plant eaters are the same but different from meager eaters both Omni and carnivores, which are similar to each other. Omnivores are generally carnivores who eat some plants. There are many other points too. Human instinct is to feel compassion for hurt animals (because we have advanced understanding such as empathy that interestingly enough animals also share often). We don’t salivate at dead corpses. But we do for grapes and oranges etc. Fruits and leafy greens are our ideal food. The health benefit even have been known for millennia.


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