Do Humans Need To Eat Meat ?

Do Humans Need To Eat Meat ” is a topic that can often get quite heated and it has been going on for a long time between meat eaters and non meat eaters.

We all know that we were taught in school and as children that we Needed meat and dairy to get strong bones and muscles….

But is this really true?

Do humans need to eat meat to survive or be healthy….?

I am going to keep this as scientific and factual as I can so that you get some real information and not just my opinion.

So let’s start with the basics. First lets just have a look at a human and a carnivore.



If you take a look at the pictures above you will see some immediate differences.

I’m not talking about the fur or the fact that tigers walk on 4 legs.

Look at the teeth, they are clearly different.

Humans have flattened of teeth that close on top of each other designed to grind plant material just like all herbivores do.

The tiger on the other hand has large ripping fangs and jagged sharp teeth that close next to (around) each other, they are designed for ripping and tearing flesh and carnivores don’t chew, they swallow their food whole, hence the lack of molars.

You will also notice that the tiger has a snout designed to be able to close over something where as humans have no snouts.

We need our hands to lift food into our fruits nuts and vegetables.

The Tiger also has a hinged jaw meaning it can open it’s mouth very wide indeed, again designed so it can bite down on prey, humans jaws are quite different.

Human jaws as with all herbivores move side to side, in a round crushing motion, while carnivore jaws move up and down as they are designed to bite down and tear.

Humans also have digestive enzymes in their saliva designed to start breaking down plant foods, our saliva is also alkaline.

Carnivores and omnivores have no digestive enzymes in their saliva.

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The limbs of carnivores are very different to those of herbivores.

The obvious difference is that carnivores have claws and herbivores don’t.

Claws again are made to rip and tear while human hands are designed to pick things and bring food to our mouths.

So how do Humans Need To Eat Meat if we don’t have the biological tools to hunt?

The speed at which a herbivore moves compared to a carnivore is also very different.

Usain Bolt (currently the worlds fastest human) can run at 28 mph, over 100 meters.

Cheetahs run at up to 60 mph over short distances, domestic dogs can run at 45 mph, tigers up to 65 mph, wolves up to 60 mph and domestic cats can run at 30 mph but all over short distances.

They are built to hunt and chase down prey…

Herbivores move much slower on average with herd animals like deer and caribou being able to run at up to 30 mph, The bison can hit speeds of 40 mph, Gorillas can move at 25 mph and elephants have a 15 mph top speed.

The fastest herbivore mammal is the pronghorn antelope which has been clocked at 61 mph.

The difference is ‘Gait’. Gait is the way an animal limbs move as it walks, trots or runs.

The difference between carnivores and herbivores is that herbivores run with their limbs under them, like horses, deer and humans.

Carnivores on the other hand have a flexible vertebrae that allows them to get their front limbs out in front of them and their back legs out behind them giving them a much larger stride.

Yes herd animals have a larger gait than other herbivores and so can run faster this is because they live in large open savannas and also have to be able to out run predators as a group.

As we know it is the old sick and young animals that get picked off.

READ : Are Rice Cakes Vegan?

The Digestive System

I have pointed out some differences between how carnivores and herbivores get and eat their food, but what happens next…the food needs to be digested.

so what does our digestive system say, do Humans Need To Eat Meat to survive?

Once again there are many differences between the digestive system of a carnivore compared to a herbivore (human).

To start with a carnivores stomach has about 10 times the hydrochloric acid of herbivore stomachs and the ph is 1 or below.

Herbivore stomachs on the other hand herbivores (and humans) have a stomach ph between 4 and 5, much more alkaline just like our saliva.

humain Intestine lengths

Intestine lengths differ as well, a carnivore or omnivore’s small intestine is three to six times the length of it’s torso.

These shorter intestines are designed to get food through them quickly as possible (about 6-7 hours).

Herbivores and humans on the other hand have a small intestine that is 10 – 12 times as long as their torso.

Food goes through a herbivores system in 50 – 60 hours.

A herbivores large intestine is full of folds, twists and turns and pockets, designed to slow down the speed at which food moves through it so as to get as many nutrients as possible.

A carnivores large intestine is straight and smooth, basically a pipe designed to get food out fast.

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The psychology of herbivores and carnivores is again very different.

A carnivore is built to kill, if it does not kill it will die and so the way the think and see the world is very different to the way we see it.

For instance if a human sees a puppy or a kitten it sees something cute and cuddly and does not have any compulsion to hurt them, carnivores see a meal.

Humans get distressed at seeing cruelty, death and blood and guts etc… but for carnivores this is their natural way of life.

We all know humans come with compassion and empathy for life built in, we would rather take pictures of animals than kill them and we are the only creatures on earth who keep pets.

This is because we love other life instinctively. 

As children we love going to see animals at farms and zoos, and as adults we love taking our to these places, to appreciate other life.

We would never dream of taking our children to a slaughterhouse.

Which is another paradox..we teach our children to love animals and be kind to others and we ourselves try and live like this….but the meat industry goes against all of these ideals.

And here is the kicker the ultimate proof that humans are Not Carnivores…..

Humans can not eat raw meat it would kill us, that’s why it needs to be cooked.

So do Humans Need To Eat Meat ?  

Well no, we can’t hunt live prey, we cannot eat live prey, our digestive system is that of a herbivore as is our physiological make up.

And it needs to be cooked before humans can even consume it, so it’s what came first the human or the human with knowledge of Fire?

Thanks for stopping by, I really hope you found this article interesting.

Please leave me a comment about this post, let me know if you are vegan and what your experience has been…and if you have any questions please post them and I will do my best to answer them.

READ : How to get your kids to eat more fruit and veggies

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