If you have the time please view the video below. The presenter is Gary Yourofsky. He gives a one hour speech at a university. There are slightly shorter versions on YouTube and I don’t want to explain everything he says in the written word – what’s the point? Anyway he says it better than I can write it!
I have watched about 40 minutes of it (I’ll watch the remainder tomorrow) and a major point he makes, which surprised me is that humans are herbivores. Our anatomy is that of a herbivore. The length of the intestinal tract being long is one strong aspect of our anatomy which tells us we are herbivores. Cat lovers know that cats have relatively short intestines which is because they are strict carnivores. Our teeth are those of a herbivore. They grind whereas carnivore teeth sheer flesh. We don’t have claws 😉 and so on. As I said Gary explains it well.
Now, if we are herbivores, why do we eat meat and why do sport hunters say they hunt to eat meat? It sounds all so natural and normal. Shooting animals for meat almost justifies shooting animals.
We eat meat because of habit, convenience and taste. Although we are natural herbivores when born we learn to eat meat. In order to digest acidic meat protein we have to use phosphates produced in our bones. This leaves our bones prone to disease and breakages. We also learn to accept the meat producing industry. We wouldn’t if we knew more about it, see it and be immersed in it. We can’t watch animals being slaughtered for their flesh but we can eat their ‘meat’ (a euphemism). How can we live with that?
Eating meat, eggs and cheese and drinking milk causes many human diseases according to Gary. Simultaneously, it also causes untold misery amongst farm animals and mass abuse. Big businesses keep us indoctrinated. It is a holocaust and mass murder of 10 billion land animals and 15 billion aquatic animals annually in the USA all for our convenience and to support a bad habit.
Herbivores eat plants and vegetation. We should all be vegans. We should not enjoy shooting animals. I presume these are learned habits that we participate in for our entertainment because we are bored.
As herbivores we are certainly not above the cat in the food chain. In fact we are below the cat. People often write (I have) that we are the top predator. We should not be predators. It seems we evolved to be herbivores but have retained the idea that we are top predators.
Knowing that we are herbivores should improve our relationship with domestic cats. It should make us respect animals more and help to remove the desire to kill them. It should make us more humble and less arrogant. Human arrogance leads to speciesism – a belief that humans are superior to all other animals.
If we are to do something tangible to stop the mass murder of billions of animals, and often their abuse, we should stop talking about it and do something. Most people talk the talk but do not walk the walk. I guess it is convenient to be like that.