A tiger stalks his prey, ready for its next feast. At just the right moment he seizes it, kills it and rends its hide to get to the meat. It consumes everything: muscle, fat, sinew, organs. The hunter then saunters away, satiated and satisfied, possibly anticipating a post-meal nap, the very definition of carnivore.
Yet the human meat-eater is different. His meat must be processed, thoroughly cleaned and properly cooked. His fingernails aren’t strong enough to efficiently strip the hide from its prey. Raw meat makes him sick. In many cases, he sticks to tender cuts because his teeth and digestive system aren’t designed to handle the tougher parts.
Man’s ingenuity to farm, process, store, and prepare meat notwithstanding, as far as raw nature is concerned it appears that man simply wasn’t “designed” to consume meat.
Can you imagine being like a tiger: leaping onto a fleeing pig, wrestling it down, snapping its neck, and sticking your face into its guts to feast?
That kind of action isn’t natural to us. So what happened? Did Cro-Magnon or Neanderthal set an animal carcass on fire, finding the smell so intoxicating and the taste even better that he gave birth to the world-wide meat industry?
Some people claim to eat meat (or animal products) for protein. Yet it’s interesting that these sources of protein, especially in the case of poultry, cattle, and pigs, are themselves farmed as herbivores.
If these protein sources get their own protein from a plant-based diet, why can’t we?
The answer is simple. No one orders a steak because they want protein; they love the smell of cooked flesh, the way it melts in their mouths.
Yet if it’s at all undercooked, man can get sick. Tigers have no such worry because they’re geared to eating meat. We, in the most natural sense, aren’t, because even if the meat is cooked to perfection, our system can have trouble digesting it.
I’m not preaching. I’m just starting a discussion And no, I’m not vegan or even vegetarian. Becoming so takes a lot more willpower than I can muster up.
But I’m trying.
See you out there!
PS: A reader referred me to this great essay on the same topic. Thanks Chris!
If you’re a writer, write. And if you’re a reader, keep reading. We need you!
Richard Todd is a novelist, screenplay writer, and Social Media guy. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.