The Instigator
Livbear
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
HHH0000
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The human body is physically designed as an herbivore.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2013 Category: People
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,363 times Debate No: 42469
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (0)

 

Livbear

Pro

We are not omnivores. Humans are most often described as "omnivores." This classification is based on the "observation" that humans generally eat a wide variety of plant and animal foods. However, culture, custom and training are confounding variables when looking at human dietary practices. Thus, "observation" is not the best technique to use when trying to identify the most "natural" diet for humans. While most humans are clearly "behavioral" omnivores, the question still remains as to whether humans are suited for a diet that includes animal as well as plant foods
HHH0000

Con

Physically - Related to the body
Designed - Function, working purpose
Omnivore - Eat food of both plant and animal origin

We are unable to digest rocks and can't gain sufficient nutrition from them. If humans simply eat animals they are omnivores. We are "designed" (not by a god but nature) to be capable of eating both plant and animal origin to get the required elements to survive as a species. These give us elements our body needs to sustain itself and be healthy. These allow the human body to live a life cycle set as it is today by evolution. Our natural development and abilities have come from our needs to function. Of course you can avoid eating meat but in general terms nature hasn't enabled us to eat meat for meat. Just like we don't eat plants to eat plants. It's about what we need, minerals, fats, sugars, etc. we described creatures eating both as omnivores to help identify categories. If you think we're not supposed to eat meat because we weren't designed for it is wrong because we can eat it and digest it to nourish ourselves. But, fundamentally it doesn't matter what you call yourself or what you eat as long as you can get the required elements to sustain your body.
Debate Round No. 1
Livbear

Pro

Why our diet cant determine we are omnivores- A point that must be stated is that by simply eating meat or animal product does not physically make an organism an omnivore. Observation of behavior in various species cannot determine the physical ability and need of the body. For example, it has been observed that cats will eat grass if they are sick or need aid in digestion. This does not make the common housecat an omnivore. It simply determines the natural bodily function in needing absent nutrients is to consume the most abundant resource available. The physical design of the cat is carnivorous. There fore the observation of our diet consisting of meat does not support the physical design being able to easily and naturally digest animal product.
What makes an omnivore- It is common for coyotes to raid farms and consume watermelon and other non meat foods. They also eat berries and scavenge for food as needed. Coyotes can be considered omnivores, yes. But with a comparison between omnivores such as the coyote, bears, and raccoons towards a human, the differences are large. The focus will be on the bear because it is a very commonly known omnivore. Bears are classified as carnivores but are classic omnivores, physically and internally. Although they eat some animal foods, bears are primarily herbivorous with 70-80% of their diet comprised of plant foods. Bears cannot digest fibrous vegetation well, and therefore, are highly selective feeders. Their diet is dominated by primarily succulent lent herbage, tubers and berries. In general, bears exhibit anatomical features consistent with a carnivorous diet. The jaw joint of bears is in the same plane as the molar teeth. The temporalis muscle is massive, and the angle of the mouth is small corresponding to the limited role the muscles play in operating the jaw. The small intestine is short (less than five times body length) like that of the pure carnivores, and the colon is simple, smooth and short. The most prominent adaptation to an herbivorous diet in bears (and other "anatomical" omnivores) is the modification of their dentition. Bears retain the peg-like incisors, large canines and shearing premolars of a carnivore; but the molars have become squared with rounded cusps for crushing and grinding. Bears have not, however, adopted the flattened, blunt nails seen in most herbivores and retain the elongated, pointed claws of a carnivore. In conclusion, the average omnivore is most closely related to a carnivore physically.
Where do humans stand? - The human gastrointestinal tract features the anatomical features consistent with an herbivorous diet. Humans have muscular lips and a small opening as a mouth. Many of the so-called "muscles of expression" are actually the muscles used in chewing. The jaw is flattened by a cartilaginous plate and is located well above the plane of the teeth. The characteristic "square jaw" of adult males reflects the expanded angular process of the mandible and the enlarged muscle group. The human jaw can move forward to engage the incisors, and side-to-side to crush and grind. Human teeth are also similar to those found in other herbivores with the exception of the canines (the canines of some of the apes are elongated and are thought to be used for display and/or defense). Our teeth are rather large and usually abut against one another. The incisors are flat and spade-like, useful for peeling, snipping and biting relatively soft materials. The canines are not serrated, but are flattened, blunt and small. The premolars and molars are squarish, flattened and used for crushing, grinding and pulping non coarse foods. The esophagus is narrow and suited to small, soft balls of thoroughly chewed food. Eating quickly, attempting to swallow a large amount of food or swallowing poorly chewed food (meat is the most frequent culprit) often results in choking in humans. Man's stomach is single-chambered, but only moderately acidic. The human small intestine is long, averaging from 10 to 11 times the body length The human colon demonstrates the pouched structure peculiar to herbivores. Humankind does not show the mixed physical features one expects and finds in omnivores such as bears and raccoons. Thus, from comparing h unmans to omnivores we must conclude that humankind is designed for a purely plant-food diet.
http://www.vegsource.com...
HHH0000

Con

Omnivore, herbivore word is a human classification. Other animals do not call themselves herbivores or omnivores because it is irrelevant. If you look at the question your asking in English language, identifying the word by their proper definition humans are omnivores.
If now your argument is humans are designed to eat plants and not meat you can look at the human body and biology. Look at the evolution of species based on their diets. We see that species have evolved in certain ways to make it easier or more convenient to do certain things. Cows are herbivores and digest grass. Humans can't digest grass because they are not herbivores. To date evolution has made us capable of eating meat to our own benefit. Our species: Homo sapiens (primates) have always been able to eat meat since our ancestors who aren't Homo sapiens ate meat because of the research and archeological finds which clearly point towards that fact. So our species since it's existence has always been able to eat meat.
Debate Round No. 2
Livbear

Pro

Sorry about the delay.
As humans we distinguished from animals by the advanced way of thinking. Therefore we name and categorize things to better explain and relate such things. The proper definition and explanation of an omnivore would be a organism designed to have a diet of both plant and animal. In my last post it was explained the comparison between our physical makeup. The human body is described also as most closely related to an herbivore. We have few characteristics as an omnivore. Yes we have evolved to tolerate meant but still, our body cannot hunt and kill and then tear open the flesh of an animal and eat it. We can't digest hair, fingernails, claws, raw meat. Our population has many diseases and health risks from our diet we choose. Human can in fact digest grass. They cannot live a grass based diet but the van have it as extra nutrients. Any species is able to eat what they find most abundant. Is it right? No. Does it pose as potential harm to the body? Yes. Go an entire month eating raw meat unstead of cooking it. Lile pomnivores do. Your body cannot live healthy.
Thank you for debating.
HHH0000

Con

What is your source that humans are made to digest grass. If we were we would ruminate but we don't. We are simply not herbivores.
http://www.livescience.com...
http://www.scienceforums.net...

How can you be designed to ea some of. Othe. State that your were deigned as a herbivore. It's like saying cows or chickens are designed as carnivores. No, they are not meant to eat it and really can't.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by HHH0000 3 years ago
HHH0000
Like in a particular Amanda Knox case people on her side use arguments that could go either way to their benefit.

We can eat meat and plants not all of each but simply the fact that we are able to sustain our diet this way means we are omnivores. The design of the human bod is omnivorous because regardless of eating meat we still live longer lives and healthy ones. It's not eating meat that actually is less beneficial than harmful. But in essence everything is harmful and the body is designed to counteract it or slowly get damaged.

Would you say humans are not designed to breathe oxygen?, because the oxidation occurring from living in oxygen damages our skin and essentially makes us look older.

We are omnivores because we are designed as herbivores and carnivores.
Posted by Livbear 3 years ago
Livbear
I'm sorry to inform you but life is based on what things are called. That's what science is! Naming things, discovering, claiming. Life is centered around words. That's the significant difference between humans and other species. Our jaws are flat and squarish. Like most herbivores. Our canines? A joke. They can't rip a throat open or srwd flesh. Four little teeth slightly spaded? Theyre for opening nuts or peeling hard fruit. Like when you get a closed pistachio? Great for cracking it right open. And if it was irrelevant to debate this then you shouldn't have accepted the debate. Joining a debate means you will support you side fully. Not bash the topic. And I in fact eat meat. There is nothing personal between me and the topic. In was putting the fact out there. Letting you understand our features. Clearly it was interpreted as me showing off. I was just fully explaining our physical make up. Even though it was completely overlooked and not taken into consideration.
Posted by HHH0000 3 years ago
HHH0000
Learn to write less and make your ideas more concise. People do t like to read the Sam idea over and over in unclear statements. It's not about throwing fancy words or long texts. It's about sharing your point of view as simply, clearly and coherently as possible.
Posted by HHH0000 3 years ago
HHH0000
I'm eating meat right now.
Posted by HHH0000 3 years ago
HHH0000
Pro, I'm sorry but it's irrelevant and uninteresting to debate what things should be named because life is not based on what things are called but science.
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
We have jaws for meat. That's enough for CON to prove the whole point.
Posted by HHH0000 3 years ago
HHH0000
Your mixing identifying a category through human language and the nature of creatures living on this planet. We defined ourselves as omnivores because we eat both. We have characteristics to allow us to eat both. Can you eat 1 type or all meat? Yes, carnivore. Can you eat 1 type or all plant? Yes, herbivore. Humans =Omnivore

In language and human understanding and definitions we are omnivores and designed as omnivores.
Posted by Livbear 3 years ago
Livbear
That*
Posted by Livbear 3 years ago
Livbear
We must be fair when declaring our appropriate diet by basing all judging standards through physical features and natural ability as we would for any other animal. And in the arguments the are presented from my side, it is clear the human feature do not resemble that of the average omnivore.
Posted by pontob 3 years ago
pontob
Hi, im interested in debating you on this, however for some reason it states that it is no longer in the challenge period whenever I click the accept button? (Despite it saying that it has 2 days left). For now Ill just give a little of my opinion on this matter in the comments for when/ if this is resolved.

You state that our cultural and traditional norms have nothing to do with whether we are herbivorous or omnivorous and I think that's a fair statement to make, however there are other factors such as our anatomy itself which I see proves that the human body is not naturally designed as a herbivore.
Firstly the human teeth has canines which biologists can confidently say are designed for tearing flesh similar to that of other animals (some carnivores.) To be omnivorous our bodies merely have to have the natural design structure to make use of both animal and plant matter. Parts of our bodies such as this would surely be evidence of this.
Also, throughout the history of humanity there have been time periods and areas where plant life cannot grow, for example towards the end of the ice age plants were extremely hard to find (even the average winter would have been a struggle), yet the hardy animals that could survive would sustain us. Without the tools to make use of this food source humanity would die out , but luckily we had evolved to be omnivorous. Those that live in desolate areas such as the arctic tundra such as today's Inuitts must have made use of this or they would have died long ago any and every time the sub arctic summer ended.
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