I know humans can cook and prepare almost anything, but are humans specifically adapted to eat meat?

One of my doubts humans are not particularly well adapted to eat meat because they lack canine teeth. I read more reasons for this here.

What does an evolutionary biologist have to say on this matter? Perhaps evolutionary biology is the field related to this?

Some links supporting my doubt:

  • $\begingroup$ Please correct my question edit it for something wrong and put related tags $\endgroup$ – munish Feb 12 '16 at 3:20
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    $\begingroup$ Human beings, or any living creatures, are not designed to do anything. There is no "design" in evolution, merely the accumulation of changes in gene frequencies. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Feb 12 '16 at 3:22
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    $\begingroup$ And of course humans have canines - just look in a mirror. I'm not likely to trust anything published on "celestialhealing.net"... $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Feb 12 '16 at 3:22
  • $\begingroup$ what about the lost tail bone that we have, i think i used the design as the wrong word . but if you say the accumulation of changes in gene frequencies what accumulation of changes in gene frequencies so far we have been got up to from thousand of years back to us humans.are we vegetarins or carnivores or both.I know we can cook and eat anything $\endgroup$ – munish Feb 12 '16 at 3:34
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    $\begingroup$ Incidentally, if you smile at an ape or monkey, it might interpret it as a threat. Most primates open their mouths to display their fearsome canines; humans smile to show our lack of weapons. Similarly, we can shake hands, demonstrating that we aren't holding a knife behind our back. $\endgroup$ – David Blomstrom Feb 12 '16 at 3:49

First, the correlation between canine teeth and carnivory isn't absolute. Gorillas have fearsome canines, and they're herbivores. Humans are the only primates capable of rotary chewing, thanks to our small canines. (Encyclopedia Britannica: Canine Tooth)

Even with our small canines, some groups of humans live almost entirely on meat. However, humans are clearly omnivores in general.

Our closest living relative is the chimpanzee. Chimps are primarily herbivores, but they love meat.

Mastering the art of tool (and weapon) making, made our ancestors more efficient hunters. Meat became an especially important source of food for people living in colder climates, where plants were scarce in winter or year round. It was thus presumably more important during the Ice Age, which was an important chapter in our evolution.

But humans remain adapted to an omnivorous diet, ranging from herbivory (veganism) to carnivory.

  • $\begingroup$ Hopw do you defend this mindfullybliss.com/humans-are-designed-to-eat-meat Stomach Acidity Stomach Acidity Hunting and more googling leads to a lot of confusion $\endgroup$ – munish Feb 12 '16 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ I just skimmed over part of the article, but the author is clearly making an ECOLOGICAL case for herbivory. In fact, there are many good arguments for avoiding meat, for both ecological and health reasons. I can't comment on all the physiological stuff, like stomach acidity. We're a very young species, in terms of evolution. It's entirely possible that our bodies haven't caught up with our stomachs. Think about tooth decay, for example. Bears that feed on berries can also get tooth decay. Perhaps our sugary diets will lead to the evolution of healthier teeth some day. $\endgroup$ – David Blomstrom Feb 12 '16 at 3:54
  • $\begingroup$ how do i change my question perhaps the design keyword got me negative votes but i still think its a legitimate question $\endgroup$ – munish Feb 12 '16 at 3:58
  • $\begingroup$ I think it's a great question - fascinating topic. But the word "design" is an obvious target. I'll give you an upvote. ;) $\endgroup$ – David Blomstrom Feb 12 '16 at 4:02

@Munish: I will rebut that page, even if Mr. Blomstrom has begun to do so.

  1. Carnivores don't swallow food whole. That's why they have other teeth rather than just four large fangs.
  2. Birds have no teeth. There are many birds of prey that eat other animals, and there are birds that are nut/seed/fruit eaters.
  3. Stomach acid: we have an extremely strong acid in our stomach, that if it weren't for a mucous layer protecting us, we would have a dissolved stomach. Average pH of stomach acid is about 1 to 3.5 - that's very acidic.
  4. Our intestinal tract is intermediate. Well suited for both, not just one. More importantly we lack the enzymes that can break down cellulose in plants. If we were strict herbivores, wouldn't it make sense to have the enzymes necessary?
  5. We are probably the best hunters on earth. We have been able to hunt and kill almost any animal wanted and allowed. We have highly developed brains that allowed us to invent firearms and send men to the moon. People around the world rely on fishing for their dinner, and hunt deer legally for food. Hunting is just not that economical for most people.
  6. To say that were weren't designed to process flesh is absurd. I ate beef the last two evenings. Safe food handling is the contributing factor in "meat illness", unless the person eating has a GI disorder.
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1262767/ : This is one journal that concluded there was no evident relationship between excess protein intake and renal function.

That is a vegan website, and should stimulate skepticism considering they have a bias. The point I'm trying to show isn't that we are made to eat meat, but rather choose for yourself. Gain the information you need and make the choice based on the lifestyle you would enjoy more.

  • $\begingroup$ we can't eat raw meat like other animals do.i don't if our stomach will favour that , it won't taste good either but we can eat raw veggies and it tastes good. though there are some people who eat raw meat on live TV shows it seems favourable to their stomach $\endgroup$ – munish Feb 12 '16 at 4:37
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    $\begingroup$ @munish: Humans certainly can eat raw meat, as attested by e.g. innumerable sushi bars. Likewise, there are a good number of vegetables that can't be eaten unless cooked or otherwise processed, and others, like potatos, that are much better cooked. There are also far more plants than animals that are actively poisonous when eaten. It is also quite possible to get food poisoning from improperly-processed plant foods. Indeed, from news accounts this seems more common than meat-related food poisoning. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Feb 12 '16 at 5:04
  • $\begingroup$ Humans(aghoris) will do anything even eat discarded dead human bodies raw.Thats survival to save money, or may be religion $\endgroup$ – munish Feb 12 '16 at 7:03
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf Great response, well said. munish there is also a dish called steak tartare which is raw meat. We can eat raw meat, but with all of the possible pathogens, it is advised to properly cook it first. Many wild animals who eat raw flesh also can have a higher chance of parasitism, so it does come with negatives. $\endgroup$ – MG_MD Feb 12 '16 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ @MG_MD you are right that is a vegan website so they are vouching for that, but i am not sure about this, do you have to say anything or those guys are wrong/manipulative.is this some sort of consipracy theory?the video and arguments seems legitimate. $\endgroup$ – munish Feb 12 '16 at 18:30

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