How Has Meat Changed Us Biologically?

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Over the last two years, I have become interested in topics relating to animals and the environment, specifically, factory farming. I had a friend who graduated and, after moving off to college, made the transition to veganism. Having been highly influenced by my parents and religions opinions on diet, I had always disregarded vegetarianism and veganism for being ridiculous. However, seeing my friend make such an extreme conversion sparked my interest. I began to do research on factory farming. I started by looking into the treatment of the animals, because I assumed that was the issue. I was surprised to find that factory farming is one of, if not the main cause of nearly every major environmental issue we face today. This includes global …show more content…
Hillary Mayell wrote in "Evolving to Eat Mush": How Meat Changed Our Bodies, “Carnivorous humans go back a long way. Stone tools for butchering meat, and animal bones with corresponding cut marks on them, first appear in the fossil record about 2.5 million years ago.” Meat played a significant role in the diets of early humans. The Expensive Tissue Hypothesis states that early ancestors of humans were herbivores, which meant that they needed very long intestines in order to digest plant matter. This used up a vast amount of energy, and so eating meat (which used significantly less) allowed any spare energy to go towards brain development. Our brains are made up of neurons, which run “almost exclusively on glucose.” (David Despain, Evolving Health) Glucose is a carbohydrate that is found in many food sources such as fruit, grains, beans, nuts, and vegetables. Meat is rich in protein and fat, and doesn’t contain glucose. So while eating meat freed up energy for brain development, carbohydrates are what really powered the brain. Cooking may also be responsible for brain development and further evolution. The earliest recorded evidence of early humans cooking their food only dates back about one million years. Previous to this, early humans had developed large powerful jaws with sizeable teeth in order to properly bite and chew the raw flesh. Biological anthropologist Richard Wrangham says that “Cooking increases the net energy gained …show more content…
Tracing the Evolutionary History “[Now days] you need some kind of processing technology in order to eat meat.” Humans aren’t hardwired to eat meat the same way carnivores are. Our bodies are not meant to support large amounts of meat. It’s famous for being packed with proteins and fats that are essential to muscle development. Consumption of meat is encouraged and celebrated throughout many cultures worldwide, but it carries with it many consequences. Carnitine, which is a compound found in red meat is linked to atherosclerosis, the hardening and/or clogging of the arteries. The buildup of this plaque can lead to coronary heart disease, carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease, and chronic kidney disease. A report published by JAMA International Medicine shows evidence that eating red or processed meat can possibly lead to type 2 diabetes. Red meat is also linked to colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and alzheimer 's disease. These are all risks that are associated with meat heavy

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