How do chimpanzees eat in the wild? Are they vegan or do they eat animals?

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I assume that by this question in this section you are suggesting that human physiology is very similar to that of chimpanzees so as such, we should follow a diet similar to a chimpanzee?

    If this is not the case, then this question properly belongs in Y!A's zoology section . If this is the case then there are many fatal flaws in your argument.

    If you do not have a long attention span, move on, because this is going to be a long answer as I have seen variations of this question many times and I want to use Jane Goodall's critique of Katharine Milton's work to firmly put this myth to bed.

    Fatal errors:

    Trying to make comparisons between humans and chimpanzees. This stems from erroneous over identification of the similarities in physiology and chromosomes between humans and chimpanzees, which totally ignores the most basic scientific evidence, biology, biological processes and the way man has changed his diet through cultural practice. Then it leads to erroneously trying to connect a 'natural human diet' with that of a chimpanzee and making incorrect assessments as to what a chimpanzee naturally eats.

    Chimpanzee diets are well researched (see Goodall and Conklin references below). The proportion of flesh/insects in their diet is very small. Studies by Goodall and Conklin show by time that about (4 - 5.4%) is flesh/insects. This figure (Goodall 4% insects, meat 1.4% ) is largely made up by insects which is largely a social activity, not for nutritional gain as the energy expended to catch these termites by fishing far outstrips the energy gained. Termite fishing (the main source of insects that made up the 4% of the diet) is a highly seasonal, opportunistic activity (carried out in the month of November), it is NOT part of their daily diet. It is a cultural activity, not a nutritional need for calories. SOME groups of chimpanzees termite fish, others do not, if it was a nutritional need it would be seen across all chimpanzee cultural groups AND it would be eaten on a daily/weekly basis. So as that can now be dismissed as being nutritionally insignificant we return to the Meat.

    Please note MEAT makes up only 1.4% of their diet which in any statistical study or analysis would be considered as quantitatively unimportant. In longitudinal studies it has been found that 90% of all kills were by males and as the females rarely hunt they receive a share in return by begging only after she allows him to mate with her. The importance of meat is that it is used as a political tool, which can also be seen by the way it is distributed within the group. On rare occasions chimps do eat and kill a baby chimp. So if you follow this argument to its conclusion, humans should kill and eat their babies, meat should only make up 1.4% of the human diet but females should only receive meat by begging for it and allowing the giver to mate with her!

    But for the sake of this Answer and to make it easier to point out fatal flaw No 2 lets PRETEND that the 1.4% of Meat in the diet is significant and totally ignore reality that this 1.4% is nutritionally insignificant and their diet is made up from 69% fruit, 25% leaves and 6% seeds. To do this we have to totally ignore the most elemental human and chimpanzee biology and biological processes. We also have to ignore the way that chimps 'eat' meat; they put the meat between leaves and chew extracting the juices, these sandwiches are then, most commonly, discarded and not actually swallowed at all. Proteins and fats are much easier to obtain from nuts and seeds. When chimps do swallow these sandwiches there is a high presence of undigested (so unassimilated) meat in their feces.

    We then have to ignore that we, humans, are NOT chimps. We also do not have: The biology to eat meat or the complex digestive chemistry, absorptive, transportive, and assimilative biochemistry, the tooth structure, claws, the ability to outrun other animals, or the instinct. When was the last time you actually ran outside and with your hands and teeth actually caught an animal, tore it to pieces with your hands and teeth and then ate it RAW? There is overwhelming epidemiological evidence that meat and dairy consumption are key causal factors in many of man's degenerative diseases.

    To suggest that humans are like chimpanzees and should therefore eat a diet high in meat is just totally erroneous it ignores overwhelming evidence to the contrary and almost all accepted scientific data to date.

    Source(s): A critique of: A hypothesis to Explain the Role of Meat Eating in Human Evolution by Katharine Milton by Jane Goodall. Scientifically credible information on Vegan and Vegetarian diets Goodall, Jane, The Chimpanzees of Gombe, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA (1986), p. 233 Lehninger, Principles of Biochemistry, Worth Pub., (1982), p. 158. Graph showing primate diets
  • Karen
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    Im not a hardcore vegan animal rights activist, but im a vegetarian with an strong interest in animal rights. I personally would feel a lot more comfortable with those who eat meat if the meat was caught in the wild and was killed quickly and humanely. However I would still continue not to eat meat =] Yes it is natural for some animals to feed upon other animals, but think, some animals are herbivores and technically the human body isnt desinged to eat flesh. ie. no large canine teeth, flattened teeth, small mouth, etc.

  • Piper
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    If you want to eat truly healthy, lose body fat consistently, normalize your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, prevent cancer, and even boost your brain health and energy levels, you may have heard all over the news that the Paleo Diet has been found to be one of the best methods of achieving all of these benefits compared to any other popular "fad" diets out there. Go here

    The truth is that the Paleo Diet will never be considered a fad because it's just simply the way that humans evolved to eat over approximately 2 million years. And eating in a similar fashion to our ancestors has been proven time and time again to offer amazing health benefits, including prevention of most diseases of civilization such as cancer, heart disease, alzheimers, and other chronic conditions that are mostly caused by poor diet and lifestyle. One of the biggest misunderstandings about the Paleo Diet is that it's a meat-eating diet, or a super low-carb diet. This is not true

  • 3 years ago

    What Do Chimpanzees Eat

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Discover The 30 Day Guide to the Paleo Diet Meal Plan -

    +) Two different 30-day meal plans (that’s 60 days of meals planned out for you!)

    +) Over 180 recipes that are amazingly delicious, and easy to make

    +) All the information you need to start Paleo today

    +) 30 Paleo Tips and Tricks Guide

    Get Started Today! -

    Take the first step to rid your life (and cupboards) of toxic, harmful foods and begin your journey to wholesome, healthy living.

    Source(s): Enjoy instant access to over 180 delicious, exclusive Paleo recipes! -
  • 1 decade ago

    Permaculture Bella has nailed this one. Check out and compare chimpanzee and human dentistry, digestive systems and diseases. Locamotion is another key issue that Bella touched on when hunting prey.

    Lions eat meat, it makes about as much sense to compare human nutrition with chimps or lions as it does with comparing humans nutrition with plants. E.g. Arabidopsis thaliana genes (a weed) are extremely similar or identical to human genes linked to certain illnesses.

    So what is the next argument, we are like plants so why should we eat plants?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Chimps eat a plant-centered diet with occasional meat intake.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Chimps are known to eat their enemies ,such as other chimps from competitive groups ,after a battle for territory

    They will also eat rodents, birds or lizards when pressed

    when they are in a normal rich ecosystems where there is plenty of space and food,their main diet is fruits ,nuts ,some leaves ,

    and many insects,such as locust ,grasshoppers ,beetles

    Also grubs and worms

    They can be seen sticking sticks into ant hills and then lick of the ants ,

    So they are total omnivores like us only more so.

    How did humane ever become a positive word

    i would have thought it should mean the opposite

    humane does not sound very good ,torture ,slow deaths in traps,starvation ,skinning alive is what humans do

    Chimps simply bite and bash each other to death

    When eco systems are damaged like in the last part of the answer on---------How are trees etc

    In Carioni Valley in Venezuela etc.

    anything can happen like Cannibalism for survival not just for war ,the monkeys here were howler monkeys

  • 1 decade ago

    They eat mostly plants supplemented with some meat.

    I saw a documentary once where a group of chimpanzees killed and ate a small monkey.

  • 1 decade ago

    They eat tourists

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.