A Little Bit of Everything

Posts tagged ‘herbivores’

Why I have a problem with vegetarianism even while I don’t

Okay, I’ll explain the ‘don’t’ part first because it’s easier to explain.  I do not judge people based on any particular trait such as race, gender, sexual orientation.  Choosing to be a vegetarian falls under that umbrella.  I just don’t see how anything like that could have anything to do with their personality.  It’s trivial in light of actually talking to and getting to know them.

Now that that’s covered, I’ll explain the reasons why I don’t agree with vegetarianism.  In relation to what I mentioned above, I normally wouldn’t bring this up unless somebody was trying to guilt me into becoming a vegetarian, but hey this is a blog and blogs are for opinions, right?

I strongly believe that any and all possible arguments that a vegetarian can make can be refuted with three words.  We are omnivores.  However, since that’s not enough for most people, I will go on.  In the logical progression from that first idea, if we were able to survive on a diet of only vegetation, we would be herbivores.  That’s the way the world works.  Deal with it (sorry, a little bit of snark aimed at the vegetarians who piss me off by being all holier-than-thou).  Something we learn in high school biology is that nature does not waste time and energy creating something that is not necessary.  So basically, we don’t just have canine teeth and the capability to digest meat, just for the heck of it.  We have those things because meat is necessary for our survival. 

A few more detailed biology facts is that not only is an herbivore’s intestinal tract longer than ours but it usually has multiple stomachs that contain a lot of an enzyme called cellulase.  Cellulase is the enzyme that breaks down cellulose, the main form of carbohydrates found in plants and actually the most abundant form of carbohydrates on earth.  Too bad humans have very little cellulase in their stomachs.  Yep, you heard me, humans have a very hard time getting any energy from plants.  That doesn’t mean plants aren’t good for anything since we DO need nutrients which plants have a lot of but at the end of the day, it’s energy that keeps your body functioning.  Also note that the B12 and iron vitamins that are specifically tailored to plants, are of no use (or little use, in iron’s case) to humans.  I know, I know, we get told that plants like beets give us tons of iron but that’s because they’re absolutely PACKED with iron so that although it’s difficult for us to get iron out of plants, it raises our chances of getting some when there’s lots of iron in the plant.

I also believe strongly that we have a responsability.  As omnivores, we are predators and have an important place in maintaining the balance of a fragile ecosystem.  We keep herbivores in check and if the whole race of humans suddenly stopped eating meat, the balance would definitely be thrown out of whack.  Herbivores would reproduce like mad, there would be less predators because we have killed a lot of them off and eventually the herbivores would eat all the vegetation.  Have you seen how quickly horses can strip a couple acres of its vegetation?  It would not be long until there is no vegetation left.  Then we would all starve.  That’s not an exaggeration; you don’t want to play around with ecosystems.

I would also like to address supplements.  People trying to promote vegetarianism like to talk about how you can just take them to get any nutrients you would normally get from meat.  The thing is, science is advancing every day and it’s very likely that the supplements that are produced today will be proven to be inadequate in a couple months.  How do we know scientists have even discovered all the vitamins that we need?  Why rely on something that could change any moment when you could just eat the correct portion of meat and know that you’re getting the right nutrients in about the right amounts?

Last but not least, why should animals not be eaten and plants should?  They’re living creatures too.  Why don’t we just starve ourselves? After all, that seems to be the only logical progression of vegetarianism.