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by Ellen Landauer


Humans are
Obligate Carnivores

Humans are obligate carnivores.

After much intensive research, years of personal experimentation, plus many discussions with customers and coaching clients, I came to this conclusion, which may seem quite radical to you.

Masai women belong to a culture where humans are obligate carnivores

PHOTO ABOVE: For countless generations the African Masai have thrived on a diet exclusively of meat, milk and blood from their cattle. 

Note the dryness and barren quality of their environment. No plant foods edible for humans to be seen.

Notice the magnificent strength and beauty of their features, their perfect teeth and happy, confident demeanor.


Let me say at the outset that no matter your present diet and views on nutrition, I wish you well. As a fellow traveller, I have in past years held views the exact opposite of what I am saying here. So wherever you are, I understand.

After some recent discussion with a couple of very intelligent, but not quite convinced friends, I decided to do FURTHER research and write this article. Both of them would not believe that humans are obligate carnivores.

One of my friends insists that NO group of humans has ever lived on 100% animal-sourced food - at the most maybe 60% - and that our physiology shows we were meant to eat plants. That friend as well as the other one said - look at our teeth - we don't have fangs and sharp molars. They also mentioned the oft-cited digestive tract length issue. Clarification on these and other myths below...so let's get into it.


Humans are Obligate Carnivores: Misinformation Says NO!

Humans are obligate carnivores and our genetic make-up, digestive processes and anatomical features show that. We are not adapted to eat all or mostly plant foods - the deterioration of body structure and function of many modern people attests to that.

The remaining indigenous peoples who still live strictly as hunters and herders have - compared to us - rugged, stunningly beautiful and handsome physiques, gorgeous teeth (even with no dentists) agile strength and legendary endurance. They have lived on animal foods for many ages, from the beginnings of their various civilizations.

Mongolian woman milking reindeer. In the highlands of Mongolia, humans are obligate carnivores.

PHOTO ABOVE: Mongolian woman milking a reindeer. Note the barrenness of the land.

The only plant foods that grow there are harsh grasses and shrubs which the hardy reindeer turn into high-octane food for their human caretakers.


Just because people CAN live on plant foods doesn't mean that long-term and down through many generations that we can THRIVE on plant foods. Clearly, we don't.

In light of such facts, it is bizarre to see statements such as these:

'Our anatomy - teeth, jaws, and digestive system favors a fleshless diet. The American Dietetic Association notes that “most of mankind for most of human history has lived on vegetarian or near-vegetarian diets.”

(That last sentence is a bald-faced lie. Inuit Eskimos, North American Plains Indians, African Masai, Tibetan highland people and many others lived for centuries strictly as hunters). Humans ARE obligate carnivores!

Yet another total lie: “Man’s structure, external and internal, compared with that of the other animals, shows that fruit and succulent vegetables constitute his natural food. Humans are clearly not designed to digest and ingest meat." (As we have been since before - and especially during - the Ice Age)!

In the deceptively rational arguments promoting our species as vegan, vegetarian - or at LEAST omnivorous - there are holes you could drive a garbage truck through - the 'logic' used is pure garbage...

Below are the pseudo-logical arguments attempting to prove that we are herbivores - and my intensively-researched rebuttals.


Humans are Obligate Carnivores: Anatomy


Humans are obligate carnivores. Our anatomical structure proves this. Those who argue against our meat-eating heritage famously point to our dental structure, digestive tract length, saliva pH, etc.

Pro-Vegan/Vegetarian Arguments with Rebuttals

1 - Claim: Herbivores have no sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding, allowing us to grind up fruit and vegetables with our back teeth like herbivores do. Carnivores have fangs and claws; we have teeth and nails. Therefore, we are herbivores.

Rebuttal:

A - Our molars are NOT FLAT (unless we ground down the ridges by eating lots of fibrous foods and/or grinding our teeth). Take a good look at molars of a person with healthy, intact teeth - rather than flat, they have points and ridges on chewing surface.

B - Our incisors (front teeth) are sharp-edged, and our carnivore teeth when healthy, moderately pointed and relatively sharp.

By the way, rodents are herbivores too, and they have NO molars - just exceedingly sharp incisors! (What does that do to the above argument that herbivores have no sharp front teeth)?

C - Since we evolved from primates, we do not have fangs and claws, but rather teeth and fingernails. However, we parted company with the monkey clan before the dawn of human history, in Paleolithic times, before the Ice Age.

Early on, we developed tools to hunt and process our prey. We made spears and other hunting tools - so we did not need fangs and claws to rip, tear, and hang onto a prey animal.


BONUS INFO: 

Unlike the apes, our shoulder joints are structured in a way that allows for very accurate throwing - hence our ability to use spears, etc. for highly effective hunting. Apes, on the other hand, can throw things (and commonly do!) but not very accurately.

Yet another anatomical difference between us and apes:

Our spine viewed from the side has natural curves, which allow for spring and reduce stress on our hip and other joints as we run upright in pursuit of our prey.

humans apes spines

ILLUSTRATION ABOVE: We are superbly suited to hunting; Apes are not.


Apes have spines that when viewed from the side, are totally straight - very poor mechanics for running upright. Not good body mechanics for hunting!

In fact, apes cannot stand upright for any length of time!

When moving their fastest, apes run on all fours. The straight spine of apes is great for sitting for hours chewing on bamboo shoots, etc.

As well, we learned to use fire to make parts of the animal more accessible and edible. We crafted knives to cut through hide, sinew and muscle. For all the above reasons, we have no need for fangs and claws.

Mongolian woman falconer

PHOTO ABOVE: Young Mongolian woman falconer with Golden Eagle. Note once again the stunningly barren lands - and the vital life force of this woman.

While light for their size, Golden Eagles can weigh up to 15 pounds or more. How is it that this woman can ride for hours over rough ground, carrying an eagle on her arm, and not falter?

Could it be that in her land, humans are obligate carnivores?

Note also that in this primitive life, women and men are equally respected as strong hunters and providers!


Working our way down the digestive tract - salivary glands:

2 - Claim: Meat-eaters: salivary glands in mouth not needed to pre-digest grains and fruits. Herbivores and humans have well-developed salivary glands which are necessary to pre-digest grains and fruits

Rebuttal: pure fiction - go look at dog salivary gland medical illustrations. (Salivary glands not well developed in carnivores? Have you ever seen a dog drooling copiously in anticipation of a meal)??

2A - Claim: Saliva of carnivores is acidic compared to that of humans. Acidic saliva helps digest meat.

Rebuttal: The saliva found in the mouths of dogs is alkaline and better suited to prevent cavities, in comparison to human saliva which is more acidic.


“[Human saliva] has a PH of 6.5 to 7,” says Dr. Colin Harvey, emeritus professor of surgery and dentistry at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “The saliva of dogs and carnivores in general is slightly alkaline, around 7.5 to 8. The significance of that difference is that dogs do not get dental cavities nearly as frequently as humans. The slightly alkaline nature of dog saliva buffers the acids that are produced by some bacteria that are the cause of the enamel of the tooth being eroded away.” (1)


3 - Claim: Meat-eaters: have strong hydrochloric acid in stomach to digest meat. Herbivores and humans have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat-eater.

Rebuttal: OK, I admit that I once believed this fallacy. Did you know that of all warm-blooded animals, healthy humans have the most acidic stomach pH - 1.2! Carnivores are next with pH between 2 and 3.

Herbivores (cattle, sheep and other ruminants) do not  digest with hydrochloric acid at all - but rather through a process of fermentation enabled by bacteria in their multiple stomachs!


"Man, dogs, poultry and swine have simple or monogastric stomachs. The monogastric stomach is a pouch-like structure containing glands which secrete hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes. Monogastric animals do not produce enzymes capable of breaking down cellulose, the main source of energy in forages. Forage consuming species, such as cattle and sheep, have intestinal differences which enable them to digest large amounts of fiberous material. In cattle and sheep, rumen microbes supply the digestive enzymes necessary for the breakdown of plant cellulose and hemicellulose." (2)


3A - Claim: Meat-eaters intestinal tract is only 3 times their body length so that rapidly decaying meat (Lie #1) can pass through quickly. Humans and herbivores have intestinal tract 10-12 times their body length, therefore they should eat all or mostly plant foods (lie #2).

Rebuttal: Lie #1 - rapidly decaying meat doesn't happen when it has been sanitized (hydrochloric acid kills pathogens) and broken down by the highly acidic hydrochloric acid mentioned above, in preparation for absorption in the small intestine where it goes after leaving the stomach.

Rebuttal: Lie #2 - In humans and other carnivores, the SMALL intestine is longer to enable thorough absorption of nutrients from 'high-octane' (animal origin) foods. In humans and carnivores, the LARGE intestine is MUCH SHORTER than that of herbivores.

Herbivores have much longer LARGE intestines to handle the massive bulk of fecal matter resulting from the massive amount of fiber they process.

In addition, humans and other carnivores have only a tiny, vestigial cecum (appendix) in comparison with herbivores which need a large cecum as part of their fiber-handling physiology - Dr. Nadir Ali: Expensive Tissue Hypothesis

We digest by hydrochloric acid. The 1.2 pH of healthy hydrochloric acid not only sanitizes and breaks down meat. There is evidence that humans originally were also scavengers. That highly acid stomach could even protect us from pathogens in dead animal meat!


In closing, I want to reiterate that wherever you are at in your nutrition journey and your personal viewpoint, I wish you well.


REFERENCES

(1)  https://www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/dog-saliva-9-fast-facts-you-should-know

(2)  https://beefskillathon.tamu.edu/cows-digestive-system/





Ellen Landauer is an expert with over 40 years in-depth study and experience of the safe and effective use of nutritional supplements, botanical extracts and detoxification methods.

She is Certified as an Advanced Practitioner of Structural Integration body therapy developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf - also known as Rolfing. This hands-on therapy is the deepest, most comprehensive body alignment therapy. 


Ellen Landauer is also a NEWLY PUBLISHED AUTHOR!


To learn more about Ellen Landauer, see her detailed bio HERE



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