Advantages of Being a Vegetarian Why Did Humans Start Eating Meat?
Advantages of Being a Vegetarian Why Did Humans Start Eating Meat? It must have felt unnatural at first, to eat animal flesh.” (“Why did Homo Sapiens start eat meat? | My Journal from …”) We are not so far removed from animals ourselves. It even felt cannibalistic. There might not have been that much intellectual distinction between humans and other animals. (“Why did Homo Sapiens start eating meat? | My Journal from …”)
When humans were pure vegetarians, they were living in harmony with the earth and with the other creatures co-habiting the planet with them. Their closest animal relatives, apes, were vegetarians. Eating the products of the earth, like plants, grains, and fruits that they could gather and eat would have seemed the natural order of things. (“Ancient Humans Were Vegetarian – Words on Life”)
But necessity is the mother of invention. “Prehistoric men who lived in frozen geographies, or who lived in an area that became devastated by fire, would have eaten anything to survive.” (“Why did Homo Sapiens start eating meat? | My Journal from …”) Just like the soccer players whose plane crashed in the mountains of Chile and were forced to eat the flesh of other players who died in the crash, earliest man at some point had to make the choice for survival, and that could have consumed meat for the first time and changing human history – and health – forever.
We can imagine that men first ate meat that had been charred or cooked by virtue of being caught in a natural forest fire. They might have subsequently eaten raw meat, if necessary, but we can also imagine that our earliest digestive systems rebelled against eating raw meat.
Imagine having eaten raw foods and vegetables for eons, and suddenly, incorporating meat products into your system. You may have heard friends who were vegetarians tell stories of trying to eat meat and becoming violently ill afterwards. (“Ancient Humans Were Vegetarian – Words on Life”)
Biologists will tell you we are not designed to eat meat, but we adapted to it. However, in the timeline of human history, eating meat is a recent evolutionary development. (“History Of Human and Meat Eating – Streetdirectory”)
Proper Planning Prevents Problems
Exceptional care must be taken when planning a vegetarian diet to ensure proper amounts of nutrients are included daily. (“Vegetarians”) Nutrients such as protein, iron, calcium, zinc and vitamins B-12 and D can all be easily incorporated into your vegetarian lifestyle with the proper planning. “Here are some guidelines to consider when you are planning your weekly shopping trip and organizing your weekly menu.” (“Blogger – BREMA”)
Plant proteins alone can provide enough of the essential and non-essential amino acids, if sources of dietary protein are varied, and caloric intake is high enough to meet energy needs. (“What is a vegetarian diet – wichealth.org”) Whole grains, legumes, vegetables, seeds, and nuts all contain both essential and non-essential amino acids. “Soy proteins, such as soy milk and tofu, have been shown to be equal to proteins of animal origin.” (“Vegetarians”)
Vegetarians may have a greater risk of iron deficiency than non-vegetarians. Dried fruits and beans, spinach, and brewer’s yeast are all good plant sources of iron (“SoulVeggie: Vegetarian diets a lasting health trend”)
Vitamin B-12 can be found in some fortified breakfast cereals and soy beverages, some brands of brewer’s yeast as well as vitamin supplements. Read the labels of other foods carefully; you might be surprised what food is B-12 fortified.
As a vegetarian, it is essential that you have a reliable source of vitamin D in your diet. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light stimulates your body to produce its own vitamin D. Daytime outdoor exercise and working in your garden are both great alternatives for obtaining this important nutrient. Those who do not have the opportunity to get out and soak up the sun might want to consider adding a supplement to their diet. (“Blogger – BREMA”)
Recent studies suggest that vegetarians absorb and retain more calcium from foods than their non-vegetarian counterparts. Vegetable greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli, and some legumes and soybean products, are reliable sources of calcium from plants. (“Vegetarians”)
Zinc is imperative for growth and development. Good plant sources include grains, nuts, and legumes. However, zinc daily zinc requirements are quite low. Take care to select a supplement that contains no more than 15-18 mg zinc
Vegetarians may have a greater risk of iron deficiency than non-vegetarians. Dried beans, spinach, enriched products, brewer’s yeast, and dried fruits are all good plant sources of iron. (“Study Marks Growing Vegetarian Trend”) When eaten alongside a fruit or vegetable containing considerable amounts of vitamin C, your body more willingly absorbs the needed iron, so be sure to team these two vital nutrients up as much as possible when meal planning.
Best Wishes, Coyalita
Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist
See Tomorrow: “Vegetarian Diet for Optimal Personal and Environmental Health”