Comparative Anatomy and Physiology Brought Up to Date
T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S F O R
Further Issues in the Debate over
Omnivorous vs. Vegetarian Diets
- Preface and overview
- Two fruitarian claims
- Anti-protein theories: prime examples of crank science
- Fruitarian straw argument: a pristine preindustrial world
- Hunter-gatherers: examples of healthy omnivores
- Environmental factors
- Malnutrition and starvation
- Occupational hazards of hunter-gatherer lifestyles
- Chronic diseases rare in hunter-gatherer societies
- Incidence of specific diseases
- Health status of the Aborigines of Australia: O'Dea 
- Health of Australian Aborigines as hunter-gatherers (chart)
- Comparison of lifestyle and diet of Australian Aborigines as hunter-gatherers and after Westernization (chart)
- Which omnivore diet? The "omnivorism = Western diet" fallacy.
- Fallacy prevalent among scientifically oriented vegans as well as extremists
- Clinical studies implicitly use those eating Western diets as the "omnivorous control" group
- Omnivorous hunter-gatherer diets differ from the standard Western diet in important respects
- Logical fallacies and the misinterpretation of research
- Common logical fallacies in studies that compare omnivorous vs. vegetarian diets
- Results from studies using domesticated/feedlot meat cannot be generalized to all omnivore diets
- Logically invalid extrapolation from SAD/SWD diets to all omnivore diets
- How reliable are animal studies that use domesticated/feedlot meat?
- Clinical studies based on the standard Western diet
- Fallacious claim: One type of veg*n diet vs. all omnivore/faunivore diets
- Unconscious double standard
- Examples of incorrectly citing clinical studies based on the SAD/SWD diet
- Drawbacks to relying exclusively on clinical studies of diet
- Narrow-minded and discounts other important evidence
- Clinical studies are based on statistical averages of group data and thus vulnerable to uncontrolled-for individual (genetic) differences
- Successful long-term veg*ns are self-selecting; dropouts or examples of "failure to thrive" automatically excluded in longitudinal studies of pre-existing veg*n groups
- Widespread prevalence of moral ostracism by successful veg*ns results in self-censoring of negative results by dropouts
- Anecdotal observations suggest dietary (animal-food) "exceptions" not unheard of among veg*ns (commonly overlooked in clinical protocols with respect to deficiency issues)
- Other factors in evaluating clinical studies
- The Cornell China Project: authoritative proof, or misinterpretation by dietary advocates? Examining the vegan claims.
- Statistical and other limitations of the China Study
- Attempts to use the China Study to prove that all omnivore diets are bad is yet another logical fallacy
- Cancer, veg*n diets, and the China Study
- Instinct vs. intelligence in diet: where is the line?
- The difficulty of distinguishing between instinct and intelligence
- Eating animal foods, part 1: instinct or intelligence?
- Eating animal foods, part 2: an evolutionary view
- Eating animal foods, part 3: morality and naturalism
- Examining fruitarian claims about instinct in food selection
- Claim: Humans are limited to a narrow diet (nearly 100% fruit) by our genetic code.
- Claim: The "instinct" to hunt and kill animals is not found in every human, hence it cannot be an instinct.
- Claim: Children instinctively choose sweet foods, like fruit.
- Claim: Eating meat is a learned behavior, and not instinctive. Humans have been eating meat for "only" 2 million years.
- Claim: Some humans are disgusted at the thought of eating meat. How could that happen to a true carnivore?
- Claim: True carnivores often eat (only) their prey's internal organs and leave the muscle for the vultures. Why don't human meat-eaters behave this way?
- Claim: Primates have adaptations exclusively for fruit eating--vision, hands, etc. True carnivores usually do not have adaptations for fruit-eating.
- Claim: True carnivores hunt by smell alone; they don't need technology.
- Claim: The great apes, except for chimps, are strict vegetarians.
- Claim: Hunting by chimps is not instinctive.
- Claim: Meat-eating by humans cannot be instinctive because humans don't eat the specific monkeys that chimps hunt.
- Claim: Humans cannot eat meat because we lack fangs, claws, sharp teeth.
- Claim: Humans are fully upright and bipedal, and this makes us ineffective at hunting.
- Claim: Due to body size "rules," large mammals (like humans) don't have to eat flesh.
- Claim: Cooking was needed because eating raw meat introduced parasites.
- Claim: (twisted misquote of expert) Humans are not adapted to be omnivores.
RETURN TO BEGINNING OF ARTICLE
SEE REFERENCE LIST
SEE TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR:
PART 1 PART 2 PART 3 PART 4 PART 5 PART 6 PART 7 PART 8 PART 9
GO TO PART 1 - Brief Overview: What is the Relevance of Comparative Anatomical and Physiological "Proofs"?
GO TO PART 2 - Looking at Ape Diets: Myths, Realities, and Rationalizations
GO TO PART 3 - The Fossil-Record Evidence about Human Diet
GO TO PART 4 - Intelligence, Evolution of the Human Brain, and Diet
GO TO PART 5 - Limitations on Comparative Dietary Proofs
GO TO PART 6 - What Comparative Anatomy Does and Doesn't Tell Us about Human Diet
GO TO PART 7 - Insights about Human Nutrition & Digestion from Comparative Physiology
GO TO PART 8 - Further Issues in the Debate over Omnivorous vs. Vegetarian Diets
GO TO PART 9 - Conclusions: The End, or The Beginning of a New Approach to Your Diet?
Back to Research-Based Appraisals of Alternative Diet Lore