The Instigator
LiberalLogic101
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
oculus_de_logica
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Humans Are Initially Intended To Eat A Plant Based Diet

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
oculus_de_logica
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 565 times Debate No: 52780
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

LiberalLogic101

Pro

First round is to declare your position and accept the debate.

Second round is your opening argument.

Third round is defending your opening argument.

Fourth round is your closing argument.

-

I am on the position that the current human physiology (so please do not use species prior to homo sapiens in your argument) is more adapted to a plant based diet. A plant based diet is one in which the majority of the diet (or the entirety of the diet) is made up of non-animal products (no cheese, no eggs, no meat).

Thanks, and happy debating.
oculus_de_logica

Con

I accept the challenge and state that humans are not intended to live solely off of plant based diet, or vegan diet for simplicity.
I however do not hold any promises that I won't use other species in the homo line as a part of my case, they might show up in there a bit. ;)

Standard DDO rules and common debating etiquette applies. (No plagarism without proper citations; no forfeits; be polite and reasonable, rational, logical, no trolling e.t.c. you know the drill)

Few definitions to avoid semantics:
Human:
1. A member of the species Homo sapiens.

initially:
1. of, pertaining to, or occurring at the beginning; first: the initial step in a process.

intended:
1. purposed; designed; intentional: an intended snub.

plant based diet:
1. Diet that is based on products from any member of the kingdom Plantae and kingdom Fungi without any products from the remaining three kingdoms of life: especially pertaining to the kingdom Animalia, such as meat, milk, eggs and so on. functionally a synonym to a vegan diet.


If my opponent disagrees to any of these definitions he must object to them via the comments or a PM before posting his next round, the second round of the debate. posting his next round without objections or agreement on the replacements to these definitions will result in them being the accepted definitions of the debate and shall not be changed nor objected to by either party of the debate. Any disagreements on any parts of the debate should be resolved in the comments or PM as soon as possible.

With that out of the way: let's begin, shall we?

It is my position that the species H. sapiens are not bilogically, evolutionary or naturally intended to live a vegan life style as a species.
Debate Round No. 1
LiberalLogic101

Pro

Thank you for accepting my debate, and I agree with the definitions.

Some of this did come from PETA, which I referenced in the sources behind that quote. I consider PETA to be somewhat credible. I want to be clear that it is not my only source.

Carnivores have teeth and mouths that are relatively large in comparison to their body size. We have teeth that are actually very small, as with our mouth, in comparison to our body size, when examined with carnivores.

On the topic of the way our mouth moves :
Dr. Richard Leakey, a renowned anthropologist, summarizes, "You can"t tear flesh by hand, you can"t tear hide by hand. Our anterior teeth are not suited for tearing flesh or hide. We don"t have large canine teeth, and we wouldn"t have been able to deal with food sources that require those large canines." - Direct quote taken from PETA's website. I consider this to be more credible than the average PETA facts.

A very common defense of meat eaters is that we have canine teeth; while we do have canine teeth, they are a pathetic excuse for canine teeth, and some strict herbivores have canine teeth that are massive in comparison to body size. Hippopotamus have some of the largest canines in the animal kingdom, and they are plant eaters in every way; they survive off grass and fruit.

"[M]ammalian carnivores and omnivores share a number of physical attributes that make them well suited for killing and tearing apart their prey. They have a wide mouth opening, relative to head size; a simple jaw joint that operates as a stable hinge for effective slicing but which is ill-suited to side-to-side motion; and dagger-like teeth spaced apart to avoid trapping stringy debris. They also have sharp claws. (2) The mammalian carnivores and omnivores additionally have huge stomachs that enable gorging, an important capacity in animals who tend to average only about one kill per week. (3) These animals also have a very low gastric pH (which means their stomachs are very acidic), enabling the breakdown of highly concentrated protein as well as the killing of dangerous bacteria that typically colonize decaying flesh. (4)" Quote from the book "Mind if I order a cheeseburger?"

Now, to compare our anatomy... we have a small mouth opening, flesh lips, can easily move our jaw side to side (if it functions normally), flat herbivore teeth, and essentially no claws. We have stomachs that are not nearly as spacious as a carnivores, and a rather low stomach pH.

Our intestine is very long, which is abnormal of omnivores and carnivores. They need to get rotting meat out of their system quickly to avoid it hurting them. Herbivores can keep the grains and grasses in their intestines longer; they lack the dangerous bacteria of meat.

"Does any of this mean that people are incapable of eating and digesting animal products? Of course not. With weapons to kill animals, we do not need dagger teeth, and with fire to cook flesh, we can usually avoid the pitfalls of a stomach that is ill-equipped to kill the pathogens that populate raw flesh." Taken from freefromharm.org

Furthermore, most carnivores and omnivores have a biological requirement to consume meat. Without it they might die. Humans are no such animal. We can very easily go vegan or vegetarian, and many sources cite that it may actually be much better for you.

I hereby close my argument, and look forward to seeing your rebuttal.
oculus_de_logica

Con

Ladies and gentlemen, readers of this debate, welcome.

This debate is a rather tricky one, for the resolution implies that humans are intended, by natures hand, to live off plants. I however am going to defend the position that humans are by default omnivores: Built by their own influenced evolution to be hunters and gatherers; building the original fireside society up on a mixed meat and berry diet. In order to debunk the resolution all I have to do is to give an “omnivorous” reasoning for our body traits that set us apart from carnivores: Show that our bodies are developed for eating meat among other things and show what really is setting us apart from other humans. So, let's begin.

What can we eat?
Humans are interesting, to say the least. On our own we seem to be completely without hope as predators. We cannot tear flesh: we cannot use our teeth to any reasonable lengths, and we could out sprint turtles at the best. As my opponent pointed out we have a lot of things in common with herbivores and a few key traits that identify carnivorous are missing. But the issue isn't that humans are unfit to be carnivorous, the issue is that we, as a species, took evolution into our own hand. In order to best fit the environment humans, or their early ancestors at the least, took a drastic route and changed the face of the species towards an omnivorous path all without the help of nature. Let's look at the beginnings:

A decline in dental size
In order to see why our teeth are as small as they are we have to see where they really started to devolve. In what is called an evolutionary paradox our teeth have grown smaller and less fit for being teeth ever since our brains started to grow larger. The biggest drop in teeth size is between H. Habilis and H. Erectus. If we look at Habilis' skull below we see that it still has rather dominating teeth. Compared to a female Bonobo chimp, which is an omnivorous frugivore, the teeth are quite similar in size and strength: indicating that Habilis had the power to chew and digest raw meat.


[H.Habilis skull]


[H.habilis [l] next to a F.bonobo skull]

But the next member of the homo line, H.Erectus, suddenly shows us a large drop in teeth size, almost looking akin to our teeth.


[H.Erectus]

this devolution just goes on as the homo line went closer and closer to our own species. Bigger brains meant that we needed a more nutritious food source: our calorie hungry brain cannot live off of raw plants without actually having to spend most of our lives eating whatever we gather[1]. It is possible to live off of raw food, but I'd recommend that you do not do it, since there are a lot of health issues that follow that life style, not to mention if you are only eating raw plant life, mostly connected to a lack of nutrients. But without a new food source our brain would never have had the opportunity to grow and would have remained a comfy small size. So where did we gain this new abundance of energy to sustain the newfound brain? The answer lies in the erectus line, where we have the largest drop:

Man's best friend in all it's flaming glory.
Richard Wrangham has suggested that we, as humans, developed smaller teeth, longer digestional tracks and other non-predator traits once we started to cook our food [2]. He has pointed out that H.Erectus is the first human that has been linked to actually taming fire. He points out that humans are not fit to live on the raw diet that other chimps are feeding off of simply because we have such small teeth, week jaws and inefficent digestive tracks. As the article states:

Wrangham found data showing that even at chimps’ chewing rate, which can deliver them 400 food calories per hour,H. Erectus would have needed to chew raw meat for 5.7 to 6.2 hours a day to fulfill its daily energy needs. When it was not gathering food, it would literally be chewing that food for the rest of the day.

His research showed that cooked food breaks down a lot of nutrients making it a lot simpler to digest. Because cocked food is easier to digest, break down and harvest energy from our body does not need to actually spend all the energy that it used to when it comes to digesting. We no longer need to chew and break our food as much and as such large, powerful teeth became redundant, along with other reasons I'll go over in a short while. Our stomach didn't need to use as much effort to break down the proteins and thus spending so much energy maintaining a large stomach became inefficient and it started to shrink. And our digestive tracks didn't need to be short to avoid meat rotting because by cooking the meat it became less prone to rot in the short time period it used to be. Cooking meat kills off a lot of the bacteria that cause rotting and thus slow the rotting process down: meaning our body isn't in as much of a hurry to get rid of it from our body as with raw meat, enabling us to lengthen the colon and giving us a chance to harvest even more nutrients from the meaty remains as well as vegetarian meals have a longer digestion time. The extra energy saved by these “devolutions” where relocated and allowed us to spend more energy fuelling our growing brain that required more and more energy allowing us to advance further and further. With Erectus starting to eat softer animal tissues and cook the food it gathered it no longer needed the teeth and as such they started to shrink.

So, all our devolving traits that we share with herbivorous animals are not explained because we are intended to live a vegan life, but because we are intended to cook our meals in order to actually sustain our big head. Cooking started to force our evolution towards a diet where we could eat everything and be omnivores. This set of arguments work just as well for H.Sapiens, but they originate here. Whatever is valid for Erectus is just as valid for us.

Hunters like big butts.
But why do we not have large claws or can sprint faster than any of our target prays? Simple, we don't need to. Humans have been using and making tools from the dawn of the family, with the earliest “advanced” stone tools being used as far back as by H.Habilis [4]. The usage of sharp tools used for hunting where then slowly becoming prominent when Erectus was making it's debut meaning they could chase, hunt and kill large energy rich pray in order to sustain the tribe. Males went out to hunt for meat while females gathered vegetation. We didn't need claws or sharp teeth to kill, hurt, hunt or chop up meat, so why bother evolving them? Our tools became a perfect replacement.

But how does a species that hunts be so slow? Simple, the answer is in our buttocks

See, humans may not be good sprinters: but give them enough distance, and they can easily outrun a horse, antelope or any larger pray. That is because our bodies are finely tuned to be able to run extreme distances without growing tired or exhausted. Human hunters could pick a pray, and start the chase. The pray would outrun them by a long shot, but would eventually grow exhausted and needed to rest. The human hunters however could chase them for miles and miles on at a slower pace and maintain the average speed thanks to our hips, butts, efficient sweat glands and superior muscle ability to convert elastic energy into kinetic energy. Vsauce covers this topic in great detail, and you'll find my source in the video linked as the fifth source. The hunter aspect of the video starts at around 6:30. Note that we are now talking about Sapiens, you could with a little bit of training hunt a gazelle on bare feet with a spear, you have the potential, you just need the pracitice and a bit of time.

So, why would humans have such great hunting ability if we where meant to live of vegetation? Plants do not require us to run for long distances without stopping, since they don't move. It would be rather redundant to give humans a trait that they are not meant to use at all. This suggests that we are meant to eat meat as a part of our diet, along with vegetation.

To round things up:
To say humans are meant to eat this and that because of how they are is a wast oversimplification. We must like at how we were, from where we came. Our ancestors needed increasing amounts of energy to sustain the increasingly large brain. In order to do that we started cooking, building tools and getting a better source of food. Without meat it is doubtful that we could ever have had enough energy lined up to evolve to our current form, we are built to cook food and eat cooked food. We are built to gather plants and hunt animals on the run. Humans are not one way or another, a large brain need a large source of nutrients. Humans are omnivores: we are cookivores if we need a term to describe us. We eat everything and anything: but our body prefers it cooked and bountiful in energy. The best of both worlds.

1] http://www.thenakedscientists.com...
2]http://www.scientificamerican.com...=1
3]http://wiki.answers.com...
4]http://en.wikipedia.org...
5] video from 6 minute, 30 second mark.

https://www.youtube.com...


Debate Round No. 2
LiberalLogic101

Pro

LiberalLogic101 forfeited this round.
oculus_de_logica

Con

Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
LiberalLogic101

Pro

LiberalLogic101 forfeited this round.
oculus_de_logica

Con

This is now my official "My opponent vanished off the face of the earth during mid-debate" song.
Well, thank you for the debate anyhow; au revoir.

Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Youth 2 years ago
Youth
I am so gonna use this song for the same purpose if anyone doesn't mind hahaha!
Posted by Your_Logical_Fallacy 2 years ago
Your_Logical_Fallacy
No, just no.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Seeginomikata 2 years ago
Seeginomikata
LiberalLogic101oculus_de_logicaTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit right there. One strong argument and the Pro turns tail.
Vote Placed by LostintheEcho1498 2 years ago
LostintheEcho1498
LiberalLogic101oculus_de_logicaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I wish this had seen more debate. Great ending song there con. Make remember the name the one for when you destroy someone in debate. Anyway, the pro conceded and the con made a more in depth and convincing argument as the pro did not refute it.
Vote Placed by Phoenix61397 2 years ago
Phoenix61397
LiberalLogic101oculus_de_logicaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited, losing conduct points. Con effectively refuted all of pro's arguments, and had a stronger argument overall.
Vote Placed by Dennybug 2 years ago
Dennybug
LiberalLogic101oculus_de_logicaTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: FF