If you’ve ever wondered if we are genetically-geared to be vegetarians, or if avoiding meat is just a hippy-fied way of life, allow me to outline a few of the main points for you. In seeking answers to that very question, I had to concede that scientists believe humans were not designed as flesh-eating machines. Nor have we evolved to become so. The human digestive system, tooth and jaw structure, and bodily functions are completely different from carnivorous animals.

Our digestive system is twelve times the length of our body, unlike that of true carnivores, whose is only three times theirs, to allow for the rapid expulsion of the bacteria from decomposing flesh. (Sounds delicious, eh?) We have significantly less hydrochloric acid in our stomachs as our carnivorous cousins, which helps to digest fibrous tissue and bones. Even our teeth prove our vegetarian tendencies. We have molars, those big, flat, back teeth used for grinding food. Unlike grains, meat need not be chewed in the mouth to pre-digest, as it’s digested mostly in the stomach and intestines. That’s why you’ll see a dog or a cat hardly chew its food at all.

Interestingly, but hardly surprisingly, recent studies have shown that a meat diet has a seriously harmful effect on grass-and-leaf eaters. Dr William Collins, a scientist in New York’s Maimonedes Medical Centre, found that carnivores have an ‘almost unlimited capacity to handle saturated fats and cholesterol’. He conducted an experiment, whereby half a pound of animal fat was added daily over a long period of time to a rabbit’s diet, and after two months, his blood vessels became so caked with fat that the rat developed the serious disease, arteriosclerosis. Human heart disease and associated conditions are directly attributable to the amount of animal products we eat.

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