Vegetaria

Welcome To Vegetaria, Have A Nice Day!

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.

Physiology
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.

Health
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.

More Eat and Drink

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November 18, 2003

Welcome To Vegetaria (contd)

Instinct

It?s pretty obvious that our natural instincts are non-carnivorous. Sure, many of us enjoy eating meat, but killing an animal for the purpose of eating it is not high on the list of favourite pastimes for most of us. Not only that, but unless we?re talking about a skilfully prepared beef carpaccio, you?d be pretty hard pressed to find a person who?s willing to scarf down a juicy, raw rump steak, oozing with yummy, sticky blood, or a fresh, uncooked chicken drumstick. Mmm-mmm, gotta love salmonella, adds flavour. Not!! We claim to love our meat, yet we adulterate it with as many ingredients as possible to flavour it. We boil it, bake it, fry it, barbecue it, and disguise it with sauces and spices so that it bears no resemblance to its raw state.I guess you?re thinking that I?m a vego myself, since I?m preaching from the vegetarian soapbox. Well, surprise surprise, I?m not at all. I love wrapping my chops around a forkful of cooked cow or pig or sheep, and the more ?well done? the better. I?m a regular at Lone Star Steakhouse and I ain?t the gal ordering the Caesar salad with the side of mashed potato. I?m Nigella Lawson?s evil fat-loving twin. I’m the ring-in for the half of the Two Fat Ladies who didn’t survive her own cooking. I?m Dr Atkins? prot?g?. And I?m practically the poster girl for the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation. But I will admit, in a fit of righteousness, that a bowl of lentils, a mean green salad and a crunchy apple, will definitely suit me now and then. I just don?t make a habit of it.

By Gina Luca

* Gina is a freelance writer whose passion for talking to people on the Internet provides much inspiration for her writing.

November 18, 2003