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Humans Are ‘Meathooked’ But Not Designed For Meat-Eating

Barbara J. King: ‘I encounter claims that humans were designed to eat meat — that it’s in our genes, that we have teeth made for eating meat, that we need meat to get all the right nutrients — all the time in casual conversation and in media… In ‘Meathooked: The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Meat’, science writer Marta Zaraska does a great job of exposing these claims as myths… Zaraska wrote Meathooked primarily to discover why humans across the world crave meat… Vegetarian animals ranging from gorillas to water deer, she reports, have bigger, sharper canines than we do; our canines aren’t specially meant for processing meat. What we lack dentally is more important, in fact, than what we have. Gently open a (calm) dog’s jaw, and there at the back will be the carnassial teeth, “blade-like and sharp and perfect for slicing meat.” Lions and tigers, racoons and house cats — all carnivores — have them too. We don’t. All the high-quality amino acid proteins we require are readily available in plants, Zaraska says, listing soy, buckwheat, quinoa and potatoes as examples. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine even notes that when people switch from meat-eating to plant-eating, their intake of vitamins and other nutrients improves. True, vitamin B-12 is an exception: It’s found only in meat, eggs and dairy. Vegetarians, then, still do fine (because of the eggs and dairy); vegans need to eat foods fortified with B-12 or take a supplement. Meat isn’t necessary to keep us healthy’. SOURCE…

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