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Hunters and Gatherers Ate Meat

RawsikiRawsiki Raw Newbie

I hear a lot about how humans were designed to thrive on a raw diet. People have taken evolutionary perspectives explaining how our ancestors ate all raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts. This sounds right, but then I think of the term used to describe our ancestors, "hunters and gatherers." Science explains that these beings did eat meat. If we are programmed to eat what was eaten millions of years ago, then shouldn't we be eating meat? And another question is, didn't these hunter/gatherers cook their meat?

I am speaking completely objectively, playing devil's advocate as a possible person who would ask these questions to a raw vegan.


  • zinfandelzinfandel Raw Newbie

    Okay devils advocate. Here's my reasons for not eating meat.

    1: Meat is brought about in an act of violence. Why would I want to consume that?

    2: Animals are depressed and not treated humanely, leading to the vibrations in their cells being unhealthy. Why would I want to eat that?

    3: Animals are unintelligent. Why would I want to eat them?

    4: Our intestines are 9+ feet long, like other plant eaters. Not 3-4 feet long like meat eaters. I don't want rotting meat in my intestines.

    5: We are physiologically not meant to be meat eaters. This is demonstrated by our small mouths (relative to meat eaters like wolves, lions, etc), the enzymes present in our system (do not contain the same ones as meat eaters), the fact that we walk upright (unlike meat eaters), have no claws and do not perspire through our tongues.

    6: Plants are healing and mimic divine/eternal intelligence in their structure. Meat is the end process of the divine intelligence, not something to be consumed.

    If somebody could convince me to be entirely vegan that would make me quite happy.

  • elizabethhelizabethh Raw Newbie

    I generally don't eat meat because I don't like it...taste, look, texture, etc. I'm not sure of my view on this, I think I may respond to the points above me. Try not to take offense, I'm just developing an opinion:

    1: i think i agree.

    2: as far as i know, there is no evidence that "bad vibrations within cells" caused by stress of the animal affect the quality of food on humans.

    3: as far as i know, there is no evidence that the unintelligence of food (and this is arguable, as intelligence is relative) has an effect on humans who consume it. perhaps only in a symbolic way.

    4: debatable, though this seems a reasonable point.

    5: most evolutionary biologists would argue that we are physiologically designed to be omnivores, if only due to our capability to use tools outside of our own bodies to obtain flesh for food.

    6: i see no good reason to believe in divine intelligence or design, so this point is void for me.


  • zinfandelzinfandel Raw Newbie

    I am very sensitive to "vibrations" or I guess what is going on around me. I am the type of person who is thinking about someone calling me and then they will call me. Or talk about what somebody is thinking about. Those types of things. Peoples moods can have a big effect on me (whether negative or positive) and I can normally read ppl like they are an open book. So I believe that I personally would be effected by the lives the animals lived.

    I recently ate a raw egg and the way it made me feel was awful. It reminded me of chickens in cages. I never want eat an egg again...

  • About the vibrations in our food due to stress and poor treatment.

    While I can not say for sure one way or the other about vibrations (i'm open to the idea though)...I do know that those types of situations release large amounts of stress hormones in the animal's systems. Long term exposure to those types of hormones create illness. If the animals we eat are ill, how can we reasonably believe we will be healthy eating them?

    I personally believe that eating meat is something similar to one of those tiny spare tires for your car. If you get a flat you put that on and it'll get you to the mechanic for repair, but you can't drive full speed on it and it won't last 30,000 miles like a normal tire will. Our species' adaptability is one reason we're in the predominate position we are in, but that doesn't mean the path we took to get here is the optimal one.

    I've heard more than once (unfortunately I can't give a source) that it takes approximately 1,000,000 years for species to evolve in a significant way (ie...moving from herbivore to carnivore). Anthropologists estimate we have only been regularly using fire to cook foods for 10,000 to 50,000 years. If those numbers are correct, there is no way our biology could adequately evolve to thrive on cooked foods.

  • ParsleyParsley Raw Newbie

    On a similar note, it has been argued that human only developed the practice of cooking foods when they started needing to cook meat. In that logic, eating meat is about as unnatural as eating cooked foods.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    ZINFANDEL - You are correct that our ancestors did eat meat. This fact does not appeal to people who, for ethical or health reasons, choose not to eat meat at all or meats raised pursuant to large-scale contemporary practices.

    PARSLEY - While I appreciate that you may have heard someone argue humans began cooking when they decided to eat meat, this sounds more like the proposition of a raw vegan trying to prove their personal perceptions. Science has documented that ancient humans ate raw meat and did so before they gained control over fire.

    When looking back at our ancestors for verification , the suggestion we were strict vegetarians is based on a look at the diet of chimpanzees. The suggestion that we were omnivorous is based on a look at early humans instead. Referring to both groups as human ancestors is correct. There is a great deal of evidence that suggests the move to eating meat is what made us human - the development of our large brains.

  • Raw_OrleansRaw_Orleans Raw Newbie

    I went to my pals house earlier today to pick up something he had printed tor me... When I got there he was cooking Pork Chops... I gotta tell ya my pal is a great cook but just the smell made me feel kind of Queasy... I never was partial to meat.... The Thought of a squiggly Tail Doesn Help... And That Face,,, Only a Mother Could Love It...

    Yuck... Dude!

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    I've actually read we may be more genetically similar to monkeys or whatever than neanderthals. Because our diet reflects the ape more than the omnivorous neanderthal. Not sure if it's true but it makes sense.

  • ParsleyParsley Raw Newbie

    Meditating - the hypothesis I provided earlier was merely that, and something I have read in several sources. I have also read, however, that the ancestor of the homo sapien was already in control of fire and therefore humans were eating both cooked and meat from their evolutionary birth. The idea that whatever pre-human creature did not cook until they needed meat as a food source is interesting. It makes since to me, as the arguments I mentioned also say that meat was not eaten until our ancestors began migrating north - where there is less herbivorous choice and it is colder. Whatever personal perceptions you think I may be pushing (yes, I am a vegan), I think it is in my right to make an interesting suggestion. If I am discredited for trying to prove my "personal perceptions", why are any of us even posting on a DISCUSSION BOARD?

  • Personally, I find this topic very interesting along with learning about our ancestoral history... or what we think is so anyway. (It is common practice for archeological discoveries that do not fit into the "box" of what we have been sold (told), to be stored away in museum basements out of sight, out of mind. It would cause too much upset and confusion to the masses to have things that do not fit into the mold of what is commonly believed, not to mention some would have to admit certain ideas believed true for so long now are actually not true. How embarrassing, right?! Heaven forbid if we should have to adapt to new ideas and evolve in our understanding and thinking and occassionally look outside the box. *eye roll*)

    Along that line, I am still undecided as to wherther or not our original ancestors ate only fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, although I have no doubt that is what we are truly meant to eat now though, if that makes any sense. ;) Our physical design and makeup does have many more similarities with herbivores and less of omnivores, as pointed out by previous posters (amylase enzyme present in carnivores' saliva to immediatey start breaking down meat, less then half the length of intestines, sharp, pointed canine teeth or fangs for piercing, gripping, and shredding flesh, and claws. Them main simialrity we have with carnivores is that our eyes are in the front instead of nearer the sides to see greater areas to protect ourselves from predators. And we can, obviously survive off of meat in our doet... but do we truly thrive? Is there not really a price we are paying in the long run by eating meat? Studies aer showing there are many. Take out all of the chemicals, hormones, and "unnatural" things feom the meat and animal foods and perhaps the stufies might show differently. And perhaps they will show a lowering of the ill health effects, yet still show the cancers, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other unnatural health effects in our bodies. Our original ancestors very well may have been herbivores, and it is very plausible if we were to have originated in certain areas where and when the climate was more tropical, moderate, and mild. Eden-like, if you will (and I am not a religious person per say). Science shows that at one time the continents were one, and that they (obviously) did break apart, but that the magnetic poles were different and have changed numerous times now in Earth's history causing the climates of areas to be quite different than what we experience now. Antarctica and Alaska, for example, had tropical plants and forests so we know their climate was very mild and warm, and that a very sudden ice age type catacalism happened that, basically, changed the climate to extreme cold in a matter of a few days, evident by the fossils of the animals with the tropical plant food still in their stomachs and the, still green, frozen fresh, plants found in the layer of ground below the permafrost. What I am getting at is that areas conducive to humans thriving only on fruits and vegetables were definitely possible and probable.

    But we know we have ancestors who did eat meat, raw or not, for whatever reasons. Maybe only to survive because of the environment, maybe because animals were plentiful everywhere and easier to come across than searching for edible, digestible plant food before we developed agriculture, maybe because they simply liked it (meat does have addictive qualities, chemicals released in the brain/body after ingesting it, as does cheese). But even if our original ancestors DID eat meat (raw or cooked)... I think, so what? Our original ancestors may have murdered on a regular basis to keep any competition for their land areas, their mates, their food sources, down. They may have had slaves of captured other tribes people. They may have practiced cannabalism. They may not have practiced equality and respect for all genders. They may not have bathed or kept themselves clean. They certainly didn't drive cars, ride bicycles, or even have the wheel. My point is, they may have been very rudimentary and and, simply-stated, unevolved. Do I want to go back to that? Do I want to base my ideals off of that?

    Either way, meat eaters or not, I believe the point for us is to evolve as a species... evolve as in mentally, psychologically, intellectually, and spritually, and possibly physically (but I don't know that is necessary at this point, while evolving in our way of thinking- since we are definitely killng our home, Earth- IS obviously necessary). To not eat meat, to not kill, perform or condone acts of unnecessary violence (as a whole, we do not need meat to still thrive) towards sentient life forms, to act more sefllessly (honoring and respecting life besides our own), not to mention the more present day concerns of extremely harmful chemicals, hormones, and genetically modified and now cloned genes present in most all of our meat, dairy, and egg sources is to help assist our brains and bodies to be clean, pure, and remain in the best of health ,and of course raise our spiritual consciousness/vibrational frequency (whether you believe in the spirituality side or not, it is a fact all physicists know that everything in this world is made up of vibrational energy and the speed of the vibration, or lack of, is what allows our humans' 5 senses to notice what we regularly experience here- the slower the vibration, the denser the matter and lower on the scale, the higher the vibration the higher and closer to light and transparent). Eventually this will be common knowledge, just as there was a time the fact of gravitation was not acknowledged or known, yet it was still an active force in the world and a fact, whether people believed in it or not.

    As far as the belief that our brains evolved only because/when we started eating meat- I am not sold on that theory yet. There are conflicting ideas on it still from the scientific community. Perhaps it is so, perhaps not, but there are other factors that could have played a part also. Have scientists looked at ALL the possibilites, or have they only searched out a couple of hypotheses and then closed the book on the issue with a blanket statement/theory as has happened before? Just as it is extremely important when doing a true scientific study to factor in and isolate ALL variables to determine a truly unbiased answer, I am not sold that they have done this yet. To me, there is still far too much unknown and conflicting evidence to have set in stone ideas about our past.

    So, basically, when people tell me that our anscestors ate meat and it's only natural and right, I simply think it is an excuse for them to continue doing something they like instead of genuinely attempting to find better ways of being, evolving for the better. We used to practice slavery, we use to not let women vote, we use to practice blood-letting thinking it would make sick people well, we used to live in caves and huts with dirt floors, we used to not have anyway to help people with poor vision see better, we used to not practice sanitary bathing and washing of hands, etc. Does that make it natural and right to go back to those ideas when we have learned better? Some people are picking and choosing. Having said all that, I still feel it is wrong for me to condemn others' choices in diet that are not the same as mine. People do better when they truly know better. Some have learned, some have not yet. In the end, compassion is the ultimate advancement in evolving. Vegans/vegetarians show compassion in their food choices. It's just as important that we show it in other areas, too.

  • We are omnivorous-- just like our ancestors... Be happy that in a survival situation, we can eat anything with a life force.

    The whole concept of eating is to provide the body with fuel: as long as the fuel is alive and not poisonous to us-- we can eat it.

    I have major issues with industrialized farming, and I don't support it, but I am not vegan-- we actually only eat wild harvested food (in small, occasional amounts.) I can respect and understand those who just do not like the flavor/ smell, etc. of meat, but I like the taste of meat-- part of me wishes I didn't.. but I do. I feel by turning down farmed meat, I am doing my part in silent activism towards the bad treatment of animals, while eating occasional wild meat, I keep my system strong and omnivorous and able to digest meat, if I need/ want to. Some of my vegan friends have been so for so long that if they tried to eat meat now-- it could make them very sick. I've heard 7 years is the magic number that if you don't eat meat-- you no longer can.

    Being omnivorous is a blessing-- that I don't want to lose. That's just my 2 cents... I'm pretty sure I'm alone on this philosophy within this crowd though.

  • To Aspire:

    I see your point, but as I do love a healthy debate... I would like raise the following points:

    Speaking in Evolutionary terms-- being omnivorous is what has gotten us this far. For example: What did the native Americans eat during the winters? They would have starved to death if they didn't eat meat.

    Sure, that was then, this is now, but...

    We have become very heavily dependent on grocery stores and transport; enabling us to buy fruits and veggies in the middle of January-- this is great, but is taken for granted, for it can be taken away.

    Even a situation such as another great depression (which we could be headed towards,) or cataclysmic natural disaster, could put us in a situation of hafting to harvest wild meat. If we evolve and thereby evolve our offspring to be unable to eat meat without getting sick, than as a species we may not survive the winters.

    The premise that we should evolve towards vegetarianism, is good for the farm animals, but bad for us ( as a species.) There is a balance, where animal farms are greatly reduced, we are strong survivalists, and everyone lives happily ever after.

  • Actually Aspire, just to add to what you were saying, in nutritional therapy circles, they think that we lost the ability to synthesise vitamin C at some point and the interesting thing is, they reckon that when the cold cycle ?ice age/migration north occurred, the loss of food sources with vitamin C shortened life, so in order to preserve life (in order to reproduce and perpetuate the species) our bodies began to use the particular fats (low density lipoproteins) to stop up the gaps in the deteriorating arterial walls from the scurvy. Thus, they think that heart disease of today is really a low grade scurvy. Personally, I think this makes so much sense.

    However, I do think there are some people who will find it difficult to be without meat because they have difficulties in obtaining B12 and iron from vegetarian sources, or are unable to assimilate it easily. I don't think it means that every day should be a meat fest for these individuals, though, that's for sure. All of us could make a difference by reducing meat consumption to an absolute minimum.

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Well the chimpanzees eat termites for b12. lol. I think some freshly picked fruits have very small insects containing the b12. I take a raw vitamin for b12 because I don't have access to fresh picked fruit.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    And whenever I eat my fresh organic greens from the garden I don't wash them and remind myself I am getting B12.

  • Raw CurlsRaw Curls Raw Newbie


    Not all scientists believe in the theory of evolution - I believe humans were fully created and provided with an abundance of fresh plant foods to eat, but over time, with flooding, seasons, weather conditions and humans becoming nomadic,etc. over time we had to make do and eat grains & animal foods.

    Because of the way our bodies were made, we were originally intended to thrive on plant foods, however we can tolerate other foods such as bread dubbed "the staff of life" which may hold us up for some time until fresh plant food is again available.

    However grain and animal food was never intended for thriving, only available when the real food was scarce.

    Plant food is colorful, refreshing, texturally appealing while grain and animal foods are not colorful and not particularly tasty or appealing to the eye.

    Plant food is easy to obtain by simply "plucking" and eating as is - while grain and animal food is more tedious to obtain and prepare.

  • I agree if you can get vegan sourced B12 then that is the ultimate, I am talking about people who suffer from pernicious anaemia who have real problems assimilating B12. People with pernicious anaemia usually have to have injections anyway. I did wonder if people with porphyria also had a problem (this disease gave rise to the legend about vampires)? but it seems that may be a myth.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    PARSLEY - I did not interpret your initial post to state that you developed the proposed theory. I did comment that the proposition seemed like it was tooled by a raw vegan because it wrapped both issues together and asserts a correlation (cooking began with meat eating). My comment wasn't intended as a statement regarding the proposition's validity. .

    While there are differing opinion on the historical timeline regarding these things, we know that humans did eat raw meat at one time. Like raw foodism, the raw paleo diet looks back to this time period for guidance and includes raw meat. This of course would not appeal to vegans.

    Please do not think I was offended in any way by your post and I hope you were not by mine. They were simply misunderstood, which happens in the written world. The interjection of interesting arguments is always welcome and warranted.

  • we are all just going after sunlight. it is what keeps us alive. eating a raw vegan diet puts you closer to direct sunlight than trying to get the same amount of light out of animal products. even if the animal products are raw themselves. why is there a need for middle men these days? go right to the source and you will be able to flow like you have never flown before.

  • corecriescorecries Raw Newbie

    Chimpanzees do eat meat, and even each other.

    There was a documentary on NG where they showed chimps committing infanticide and eating rodents .

    The infanticide might be territorial, but it shows they do eat meat at times.

    What does this mean?

    3: Animals are unintelligent. Why would I want to eat them?

    Do you only eat low/high IQ food? ( I'm joking)'

    I do believe we pick up the vibrations from what we eat.

    A good friend of mine is a chef and she loves her job, the food she makes is loved by the 'eaters' too.

    And i believe this not only because it tastes good but is partly because the love and enjoyment she has for cooking goes into the food.

    Eating food from miserable chefs has effected me,having pat thai at a sidewalk restaurant gave me a very heavy uncomfortable feel, having a look at the cook she was obviously very sad and miserable.

    So I reasoned it to be this because the food wash fresh and tasted ok. But , thats my belief

    In any case, when I cook I am aware of what I put into it.

    I started eating cheese again after being vegan, and this food creates stress in my body.

    A very uncomfortable feeling

    Now wether it is the way cheese effects me or its stress from the animals, I cant say.

    There is wisdom in some of the indian tribes respect for animals, that they prey for and thank the animals they kill for food. In any case, it is a respect and gratitude is something I believe in and follow.

    I dont pray for the carrot I just munched, but I am grateful :)

    However we lived and ate, we make our choices according to our convictions now.

  • rawcanadianrawcanadian Raw Newbie

    "1: Meat is brought about in an act of violence. Why would I want to consume that?

    2: Animals are depressed and not treated humanely, leading to the vibrations in their cells being unhealthy. Why would I want to eat that?

    3: Animals are unintelligent. Why would I want to eat them?"

    I believe the question was about hunter / gatherers.

    Don't forget , in colder climates where would you find fruits and veggies in the winter???

    I can guarantee that you would eat meat, or you would starve, it is as simple as that.

    It is a food source, and it can keep you alive. There are people that live long long lives that eat meat.

    BTW The longest living culture of our time eats a little meat. (Okinawans)

    The Mediterranean Diet inlcudes some meat, and that diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world.

    BTW i've reached my goal today of losing 20lbs and eating mostly raw food. I actally had a coupon for a slice of pizza, and rewarded myself with it yesterday. 0% digestive problems, and I feel fine today.

    Is it going to kill me, probably not, I think people are too paranoid on this site.

    2 ounces of lean meat 2-3 times / week is probably a healthy thing, how could our ancestors not have ate meat??

    We used tools, and were hunters/ gatherers . Do you think they said, gee wiz, we shouldn't eat these animals

    because "Our intestines are 9+ feet long, like other plant eaters. Not 3-4 feet long like meat eaters. I don't want rotting meat in my intestines."

    Most likely not. And they could have consumed insects in the fruit or on the plants quite easily as well.

    Really wish people would be more open minded on this site.

    And i'm not saying that commercially produced beef is good for anybody either, probably not.

    BTW I have cut down to eating small portions of meat once per day, and sometimes I will have none. And I might choose 0% in the future, i can not say right now. I'm just looking at the fact that even an animal like a rabbit or cow must consume insects , they are on the plants they eat. I'm not sure if insect protein is the same as mammal protein, anybody know?? All plant eaters systems must be able to handle very small portions of insects.

    Good luck!!! ;-)

  • joyous figjoyous fig Raw Newbie

    I am not advocating eating meat , but I've always wondered what our ancestors did in the winter in the colder climates--surely they did not store their produce. Non-raw foodists ask me this and i'm usually stumped. i give the whole protein argument white well, but weather or not we are really meant to eat meat---I just can't convince myself that early man was juicing kale instead of salt curing meat hunted in the fall/winter.

  • I agree!! Unless early man only lived in the tropics. Something had to be done for food during the long winters.

    I don't try and get to historical with this raw food stuff. I believe that people make their own choices in food. We all know how horrible it is to put much of what we have done to food in our bodies so I don't judge others for eating meat and even fast food. They know the consiquences. I made my choice and it is to live my best life and that means vegan mostly raw and keeping things as organic as I can afford on my meager salary.

    It's all about choices.

  • Rawsiki - started this thread/conversation with a clear open-mindedness

    Elizabethh - mentioned "most evolutionary biologists would argue that we are physiologically designed to be omnivores..."

    I mentioned (paraphrasing here) that meat and cooked foods are stop gap that will get us through lean times (like a spare tire)

    Meditating - asserted the validity of calling humans omnivores and that there is, "a great deal of evidence that suggests the move to eating meat is what made us human - the development of our large brains."

    Aspire - started her post by saying, "Personally, I find this topic very interesting along with learning our ancestoral history....I am still undecided as to wherther or not our original ancestors ate only fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, although I have no doubt that is what we are truly meant to eat..." Those are clearly statements that define open-mindedness.

    Reciprocipe - Started her statement by stating that we are omnivores and that in survival situation we can eat anything with a life force. She also said, "I see your point, but as I do love a healthy debate..." Sounds pretty open-minded to me.

    Debs60 - raised a very interesting point about vitamin C synthesis and some people's need for meat to adequately maintain B12 and other nutrient levels.

    Raw Curls - reiterated the idea that we are able to eat non-plant foods and survive...although she did it from a different perspective than evolution.

    Corecries - Brought up the fact that chimpanzees, the animal many people cite as the animal to model our own diets after, eat meat. Corecries went on to discuss the wisdom indian tribes had in relationship to the animals they killed and ate.

    I get a really frustrated when people come into a thread or conversation and start accusing people of being close minded. The vast majority of people who have posted on this topic have expressed, in one way or another, that they believe that humans can or should eat meat. The rest of the people have RESPECTFULLY asserted their own beliefs that they do not feel the same way. Just because you don't agree with them does not mean THEY are not being open minded.

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