Just a little informal thesis I've been working on for a while now.
I was reading a book on the raising of rats as pets (because I was curious about how it would be different from keeping cavies) and in the chapter on nutrition, it defined what rats need to consume. Short version, 85% plant material, 15% fish, since that's what they consume in the wild. The book referred to this as a textbook omnivorous diet.
Later on, I heard that (in terms of biology), humans have the same dietary requirements as rats. Which made me wonder, why have we (as a species) so obviously resisted what nature has decreed?
I've heard the argument time and again that we're meant to be carnivores.
But all you have to do to refute that is look inside your mouth. If we were true carnivores, we'd have teeth like dogs, made for cutting instead of crushing, because plant material needs to be crushed in order to be consumed.
Also, we're not really capable of digesting red meat, that's a biological fact.
And one final point on diet, humans consume a lot of cow based dairy products. This is also contrary to the dietary requirements, pretty much every living creature doesn't need milk when they enter adulthood.
Cow's milk has been rated as the 2nd highest fat content on the planet (number 1 is whale milk).
Ironically, goat and sheep milk (and products based on it) is more biologically compatible with the human digestion, but it's not as prevalent in the market and expensive to buy as well.
Soy products are almost non-existent. I tried to buy soy cheese once and discovered it was false advertising, they'd just added soy as an additive to regular cheese.
I've been trying to understand the concept for quite a while and I think it boils down to this:
Meat=toughness, vegetables=weakness. That's the public perception.
And if we factor in the interests of corporations who have a investment in making sure we consume meat, they're no doubt going going to resist the fact that we should go back to our natural diet.
Also, I am familiar with some diseases (some minor, some major) that you will only get from the consumption of meat.
CJD (the technical classification is spongieform encelphalopathy, literally, brain eater) is the worst of these and invariably fatal. It's particularly bad, because it's a multispecies pathogen, it won't just target one species, it'll kill others beside the target species. The list of susceptible species is: cows, humans, seals, cats. Given what it does to the victim, it is highly likely it can kill any species that possesses a central nervous system.
And then we come to another issue I find disturbing. The raising of cattle herds is bad for the environment.
In a nutshell, you need wide open spaces full of nothing but grass to raise cattle. Which means you have to create that wide open space in what should be a forest.
Somebody did the math and found out that a field of grass is not as environmentally viable as a forest, due to oyxgen conversion/air filtration ratios and biodiversity.
So, to bring this to an end, for the sake of consuming something we were never intended to in the first place, we're sacrificing our health and the environment in one action. And we believe it's perfectly acceptible to do this.
And as an aside, because it makes me laugh, the strongest creatures in biological history were vegetarians.
Brachiosaurus and other sauropods.
When they reached their full size, they were basically unchallengeable by even the strongest predator.
So much for carnivore superiority.