Were our ancestors vegetarians?

Modern science confirms that a plant-based diet is completely natural for our body. There is overwhelming evidence that a vegetarian or vegan diet, rich in essential vitamins and minerals, has many health benefits.

“Research confirms the benefits of a meat-free diet,” says Harvard Medical School. “Plant-based diets are now recognized not only as nutritionally sufficient, but as a means of reducing the risk of many chronic diseases.”

We still do not fully understand the connection between modern humans and our distant ancestors to consider it as true. Evolution is real, it can be seen everywhere in nature, but the human connection with it from the point of view of science is still a mystery to us.

It’s no secret that humans don’t need meat to survive. In fact, research suggests that a vegetarian diet is actually the healthiest option, rather than eating meat or following the trendy “paleo” diet. Many people find it hard to believe that a non-meat diet can provide the body with all the necessary nutrients.

Known as the Caveman Diet or the Stone Age Diet, the general essence of the Paleo diet is based on the idea that we should follow the diet of our ancestors, who lived about 2,5 million years ago during the Paleolithic era, which ended about 10 years ago. . However, scientists and researchers have never been able to determine exactly what our distant relatives ate, but diet advocates continue to point to them, justifying eating meat.

Much of the food eaten by primates is based on plants, not animals, and there are studies suggesting this has been the case for a long time. Our ancestors were clearly not meat-eating cavemen, as they are often portrayed. But even if they ate meat, this is not an indication that we are genetically related enough to do the same.

“It’s hard to comment on the ‘best diet’ for modern humans because our species ate differently,” says UC Berkeley anthropologist Katherine Milton. “If someone has consumed animal fat and protein in the past, this does not prove that modern humans have a genetic adaptation to such a diet.”

One study analyzed the diet of closely related Neanderthals, who disappeared over 20 years ago. It used to be thought that their diet consisted mainly of meat, but this changed when more evidence emerged that their diet also included many plants. Scientists have even provided evidence that these plants were also used for medicinal purposes.

An article by Rob Dunn for Scientific American titled “Nearly All Human Ancestors Were Vegetarian” elaborates on this problem from an evolutionary perspective:

“What do other living primates eat, those with intestines like ours? The diets of almost all monkeys consist of fruits, nuts, leaves, insects, and sometimes birds or lizards. Most primates have the ability to consume sweet fruits, leaves, and meats. But meat is a rare treat, if it exists at all. Of course, chimpanzees sometimes kill and eat baby monkeys, but the proportion of meat-eating chimpanzees is very small. And chimpanzees eat more mammal meat than any other ape. Today, the diet of primates is primarily plant-based rather than animal-based. Plants are what our earlier ancestors ate. They have followed the paleo diet for many years, during which our bodies, organs, and in particular the intestines have evolved.”

The author also argues that our organs were most likely not designed for cooked meat, but rather evolved to digest raw meat.

What research shows

– About 4,4 million years ago, a human relative in Ethiopia, Ardipithecus, ate mainly fruits and plants.

– More than 4 million years ago, on the Kenyan side of Lake Turkana, the diet of the Annam australopithecine consisted of at least 90% of the leaves and fruits, like modern chimpanzees.

– 3,4 million years ago in the northeastern part of Ethiopia, the Afar Australopithecus consumed a large amount of grass, sedge and succulent plants. It remains a mystery why he began to eat grass, because the Annam australopithecine did not, although he lived in the savannah.

Over 3 million years ago, the human relative of the Kenyanthropus adopted a very varied diet that included trees and shrubs.

– About 2 million years ago in southern Africa, the African Australopithecus and the massive Paranthropus ate bushes, grass, sedge, and possibly grazing animals.

– Less than 2 million years ago, early hominid humans consumed 35% grass, while Boyce’s Paranthropus consumed 75% grass. Then the man had a mixed diet, including meat and insects. It is likely that the drier climate made Paranthropus more dependent on herbs.

– Approximately 1,5 million years ago, in the territory of Turkana, a person increased the share of herbal food to 55%.

Homo sapiens teeth found showed that about 100 years ago he ate 000% of trees and shrubs and 50% of meat. This proportion is almost identical to the diet of modern North Americans.

Most of the diet of those who walked the Earth long before us was vegetarian. It can be said for sure that meat clearly did not predominate in the diet of our ancestors. So why has the caveman diet become so popular? Why do many people believe that our ancestors ate a lot of meat?

Today, the average person in North America consumes a large amount of meat every day, considering it the norm. But even if our ancestors ate meat, they didn’t do it every day. There is evidence that a large amount of time they did without food at all. As Johns Hopkins University neuroscience professor Mark Matson noted, human bodies have evolved to survive for long periods without food. This is why intermittent fasting is a healthy practice these days with so many health benefits.

In the modern meat industry, billions of animals are killed every year just for food. They are raised to kill, injected with various chemicals and abused. This unnatural meat produced using pesticides and GMOs is a poison to the human body. Our modern food industry is full of harmful substances, chemicals and artificial ingredients that make you wonder: can we call it “food”? We have a long way to go to become truly healthy humanity again.

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