1) Chew on This: Slicing Meat Helped Shape Modern Humans (article here from NPR)
2) Sorry Vegans, Here’s How Meat-Eating Made Us Human (article here from Time)
First off, yes I am a meat eater, but if you’ve read my bio you’ll know I’m open to all diets, be it for health and/or moral reasons. These articles peaked my interest not so much to support one side or another but rather to look at the evolution of our species due to dietary changes.
We are meant to be plant eaters. We evolved that way. Our jaws and teeth were more prominent taking up a good size of the head. Larger muscles for chewing root plants (yams, potatos, etc) which pack more calories than the surface fruits and vegetables that were easier to consume.
So therefore our teeth were not for built for eating meat. However, once we learned to slice and cut meat into smaller more managable pieces (about 2.6 million years ago) we could consume way more protein without having to aquire the large sharp teeth and strong jaw for killing, tearing and ripping meat.
The time we spent chewing also decreased, freeing up more time for other endevours such as discovering even more new things. Our jaws over time began to decrease in size as we were eating far less tough root vegetables. Our brains then had increased room to grow and be come more complex. (Check out some info on the importance of chewing here)
Is it necessary now? No. But regardless of what your dietary preferences are…thanks must be given to our ancestors for discovering new aspects in food preperation and vastly increasing the speed of our evolution.
Now, have humans used this evolutionary gift to its full potential? Sadly no…OR perhaps we were never meant to evolve this fast at all. And here are the questions that came to my mind:
Would we as humans walked a different path?
Would our earth be in better condition?
Would our existance here then last longer?
Would we never have reached the point we’re at now?
Would it be better if we hadn’t?
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
But since we have these lovely developed craniums, there’s always some time to pick up a book or learn a new hobby 🙂
Natural Groove Gal