Are humans naturally omnivores,or herbivores?
I'm almost certain we are omnivores,like Chimpanzees,and our ancestors.
But,are we just herbivores that choose to eat meat?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Humans are definitely meant to be omnivores. Historical evidence shows that early man ate meat. We have the biological system of an omnivore. Hydrochloric acid in our stomachs, NOT found in herbivores, enzymes in your pancreas designed to break down meat, NOT found in herbivores. No cellulase (the enzyme need to fully break down vegetation), cellulase is needed for an herbivorous animal, but we don't produce any. Our intestines are long (generally a sign of herbivorous animals) but our intestines are not nearly as long as a true herbivore. We possess canines, NOT found in herbivores. Do I need to go on?
The evidence speaks for itself, humans are and always have been, and always will be omnivorous.
- ReneLv 44 years ago
There is always an ongoing argument/debate about whether human's were naturally herbivores. Evolution based wise I do believe that human's were herbivorous in the beginning. As time evolved and climate change occurred in the early days - Human's then incorporated and changed that diet to include meat - Which has given us the bigger and more complex brain that we do today. As time moves forward the human body has changed to adapt to the meat eating that we now do. There is this misguided assumption that people cook meat to kill bacteria. That is completely false. The reason meat is cooked before being eaten is because it is more easily digestible this way. Not because of bacteria. It is perfectly plausible for a human to eat raw meat. Only thing is we do NOT catch our prey ourselves and automatically eat. We let others provide us with these things. So if we consider that a piece of steak might be sitting on a shelf for a week - Before we buy and eat it. Then of course it is going to contain bad bacteria. It is literally a rotting piece of flesh sitting on a shelf waiting to be eaten. Once dead the cells inside that meat can no longer support itself - So of course it is going to be dangerous to eat if left too long. If people caught their own prey and ate immediately then this of course would not be a problem. This is why it is not recommended for meat to be eaten raw. Because it is left too long to sustain being eaten that way. As for saliva - Human's biochemistry between alkaline and acidity is based on what a person eats. If a person is only eating plant matter - then the PH level will drop giving a more alkaline base. If a person eats more meat - Then acidity levels will rise. Just because a person has an alkaline base saliva does not mean by nature that a human is not an omnivore. You will notice that all omnivore's have different digestive systems based on what kind of foods that they eat. And as for the nails - Human's don't claw food to kill. We developed weapons to kill animals over distance or close by. Because of this, there is no use for our nails to be used for the killing of prey. They are no longer valuable in the true sense of the word. As a Vegan I believe that human's are omnivore. Not herbivore. Meat does not rot in the stomach either (this is a myth I hear all the time). Our gut has all the enzymes needed to break down a meat based diet. As it passes through the intestine more nutrients are seeped back through the blood stream and then out. Our bodies have full capacity and the biology in order to sustain an omnivore diet. Just because human's have a different omnivore based biology compared to others does not make us natural herbivores (anymore). I do not believe that this justifies a person to eat or not eat meat at all. I chose to be Vegan because it was a choice. Not because of the basis of my own biological make up. I personally think this argument as in herbivore/omnivore for humans is fruitless. Because people will choose to eat meat or veg of their own accord. I don't need to do it by justifying biology.
- StacyLv 44 years ago
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In addition to your question. Humans stomach acid is much weaker than true omnivores. That controls the rotting flesh in their bellys. I think humans can eat meat for survival as chimps do but is not a normal part of their diet. Another thing to consider is emotional. I have not ever seen anyone get excited at the site of a live cow or road kill like animals do. I have seen them ooh and ahh at fruit on a tree. One thing that is mentioned are canine teeth. Horses have those similar to ours. Not an issue.
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
We are omnivores...we have teeth made for eating meat. If we were herbivores we would have no teeth probably like dinosaurs that eat plants. And also we cant just say we are herbivores because not all people like meat so yea there you go
- 1 decade ago
we are naturally omnivores that is why we have front teeth that can grip and rip flesh and back teeth that chew herbivores have teeth like our back teeth also people who don't eat meat end up taking dietary supplements or suffering from malnutrition
- octomomLv 41 decade ago
omnivores, herbivores cannot digest meat and viceversa for carnivores.
Omnivore is something we are, our diet is something we choose.
- 5 years ago
Omnivores, because we have teeth that can cut through flesh and parts of plants
- ツLv 41 decade ago
we are omnivores (species that eat plants and animals to rely in food) most of us are but in some cases there are herbivores but in the food chart for human we need meat
so mostly omnivores
- 1 decade ago
Humans are omnivores, since our livers can produce the enzymes needed to digest meat. A true herbivore can't digest meat, and a true carnivore can't digest veggie protein.