A critique of:

A Hypothesis to Explain the Role of Meat-Eating in Human Evolution
Katharine Milton

Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
Division of Insect Biology
University of California, Berkeley

     The following is a line-by-line critique of the article: Milton, K. 1999. A hypothesis to explain the role of meat-eating in human evolution.  Evolutionary Anthropology. 8:11-21.  
     In it, Milton, a physical anthropologist, attempts to "explain" why humans eat animal flesh, and why it "seems mandatory" for "weaned children".

     KM: Primates, particularly humans, are noted for their relatively large brains and considerable behavioral plasticity.  In contrast to behavior, morphological structures tend to alter only slowly over time, generally in response to particular selective pressures.
     True, but any discussion of diet should be supported by a detailed discussion of digestive, absorptive, transportive, and assimilative biochemistry because many items may be eaten because of cultural processes that have no valid nutritional purpose or, worse, are disease promoting.  This is especially true in the culturally-conditioned human, but is also frequently observed in the other apes, and such items may be of little true nutritional value and/or may be deleterious to the organism.  E.g., in the human, the consumption of meat and other animal products is linked epidemiologically with all the currently popular "degenerative diseases".
     Although "morphological structures may be altered only slowly over time" by "particular selective pressures", there is no evidence that digestive biochemistry will change radically over time as a response to different cultural diets, as is implied.  If human biochemistry had changed over the long periods of time humanoids have been eating animal flesh, then the present overwhelming epidemiological evidence condemning meat-eating would not exist.  
     Further, there is nothing in contemporary evolutionary literature that suggests that any species can alter its 'evolution' by what it chooses, or does not choose, to eat.  Evolution is generally agreed to be driven by random mutations and reshufflings of the germ-line genetic material to produce genetic variation in the population, which is then filtered by indefinable processes of "natural selection" to produce the current 'most fit' phenotype/form.  What any species eats on a voluntary basis does not alter or affect this process.  Thus, Milton's claim in the title of the article that "meat-eating" somehow supported, directed, or altered "human evolution" is seen to be false at the outset.  So, let's look at the faulty logic and specious data she uses to reach this erroneous conclusion.

     KM: Here I will argue that the pattern of gut anatomy and digestive kinetics characteristic of ancestral Hominoidea imposed certain constraints on their descendents in terms of diet. Meat-eating in the human lineage (Homo spp.) appears to be one way of circumventing these constraints.
     Gut anatomy and diet is a "chicken and egg" situation; is the diet chosen because of gut anatomy, or is gut anatomy and digestive biochemistry caused by the species' genetic design?  The latter seems much more plausible, and is the position of consensus science.
     Worse, digestive kinetics refers only to the simple passage of food through the gut, it is merely a simplistic flow rate.  It completely ignores the most important aspects of food and nutrition; they are: digestive, absorptive, transportive, and assimilative biochemistry, all of which must function correctly in a synergistic manner before any nutrient molecule can get into any cell and finally fulfill its nutritional purpose.  Digestive kinetics is independent of these important biochemical processes and thus is completely meaningless in discussions of diet and nutrition.
     It is absurd to claim that cultural behaviors can "circumvent" any natural "constraint" or law regarding any species diet or nutritional needs.

     KM: SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT Extant apes and humans are descended from a common plant-eating ancestor.
     That pretty much ends Milton's argument unless she can present credible support for the severe and numerous 'adaptations' that would be absolutely necessary in tooth structure, locomotion, complex biochemical systems, and instincts for such a dramatic change from a plant-based diet to a flesh-based diet.  But, nowhere does she mention biochemistry, or the fact that humans have no instincts to eat animals raw and whole, as do all the other natural carnivores and omnivores.  Such convenient omissions are glaringly obvious in all vacuous anthropological arguments that try to justify human flesh-eating.

     KM: Great apes and humans also show similarities in many features of gut anatomy and a similar pattern of digestive kinetics, passing ingesta at a relatively slow rate. This kinetic pattern appears to be a conservative feature of the lineage.
     Here, Milton ignores a fact that people who actually experiment with and experience the effects of raw plant-based diets, unlike Milton, are aware of by personal experience -- that the "digestive kinetics" of a raw plant-based diet are completely different from those of a relatively fiberless, cultural, meat, dairy, and refined grain diet.  That is, cultural diet eaters are generally severely constipated, although they do not know this because this condition is pandemic, so their condition is 'average'.  People stabilized on a raw diet commonly have a bowel movement after each 'meal'.
     This is similar to the fact that cultural diet-eaters simply accept "colds/flus" as being unavoidable or inevitable simply because that is the common condition in the masses; however, if one changes one's diet to a mostly raw plant-based diet, these 'inevitable' "colds/flus" disappear forever.  It is important to understand that in a very sick society, the common condition is not representative of true health.
     It is also critical to note that the term "digestive kinetics", although sounding impressively scientific, is completely unrelated to digestive biochemistry; it refers to the purely mechanical passage of food through the intestines, certainly NOT to the nutritional value of the food ingested. This is a common criticism of mine leveled against the less-than-real-sciences, like anthropology; they tend to just make up scientific-sounding, yet totally meaningless, terms such as this, and by doing so create boundless confusion and misunderstanding.  This is not science, it is not bad science, it is quack science.

     KM: In mammalian herbivores, an increase in body size is generally associated with a decrease in dietary quality. Thus, any hominoid increasing in body size and continuing to focus largely on plant foods is likely to show lowered dietary quality and decreased energetic input per unit of food consumed.
     Another misleading term, "lowered dietary quality" is introduced.  Note that no meaningful chemical or nutritional definition is given; worse, "low" implies "bad" or "insufficient" somehow and this is highly prejudicial, in addition to being vague and unscientific.  The fact that the large mammalian herbivores have existed for millions of years indicates that their diets are quite sufficient and not to be denigrated by the pejorative: "low quality".  Apes are frugivores, so why even mention herbivores?

     KM: Extant apes and humans show various dietary strategies for dealing with the limitations set by their common pattern of gut anatomy and digestive kinetics.
     "Strategy" implies a process of conscious planning, and a species' diet is set by its genetic code as are its physiology and biochemistry.  The cultural human is the only animal that chooses its diet by intellectual processes, much to its detriment.  Again, the sloppy use of language, and this by someone with two degrees in English, gives one great flexibility in ignoring or distorting underlying truths and concocting intentionally-misleading 'arguments'.

     KM: Over their evolutionary history, orangutans and gorillas appear to have followed a dietary strategy associated with increased body size and lowered dietary quality. Because of their large size, both species can and often do subsist on fairly low quality foods such as mature foliage, bark, and unripe fruits. But they have paid for this compromise in dietary quality. For example, relative to many other anthropoids, orangutans, mountain gorillas, and most lowland gorillas are rather passive primates that lack notable sociality, probably because they lack the energy required for a more active life.
     Is not the very fact that these species exist, and have for a very long time, abundant evidence that the diet they are eating is perfectly adequate for them?  Again, the pejorative and meaningless terms "low quality foods" and "compromise in dietary quality" are used despite the fact that the species mentioned have been evolutionarily successful for millions of years.  Where is it written in stone that a "more active life" is a better life, as is implied?  It is a fact that larger animals move more slowly than smaller animals, but is this really related to the quality of life, as is implied?
     It is exactly this kind of abandonment of scientific principles, and the substituting of cultural prejudices in the guise of science, that pervades the "descriptive sciences".
     KM also ignores the well-known and well-understood fact that larger animals have a relative metabolic rate far less than smaller animals because their surface area to volume ratio is less; thus, less heat is lost per unit mass, so less nutrition per unit mass is sufficient for the larger animal.
     Similarly, the fact that lifespan varies as L = 11.8*mass0.25 indicates that the larger animals live considerably longer than smaller animals despite the allegedly "low quality foods"; thus, the "low quality" exists only in KM's fertile cultural prejudices.

     KM: Chimpanzees, on the other hand, have followed a different dietary strategy. Though they have fairly large bodies, chimpanzees, like many cercopithecine monkeys, eat a high-energy diet consisting in large part of ripe fruits. In this manner, though often only with considerable effort, including extensive travel and the occupation of large home ranges, chimpanzees generally are able to secure sufficient high-quality food to maintain their active and highly social lives.
     Chimps, having a larger area to volume ratio than gorillas, need more energy; so what?

     KM: Humans, who are believed to have evolved in a more arid and seasonal environment than did extant apes, illustrate a third dietary strategy in the hominoid line. By routinely including animal protein in their diet, they were able to reap some nutritional advantages enjoyed by carnivores, even though they have features of gut anatomy and digestive kinetics of herbivores.
     "Strategy" = a logical plan based on credible data and analytical skills; there is no evidence that early, or even current, humans make such an analysis and consciously decided on eating flesh as a logical result.  KM's own flesh-eating is also not based on any credible data or logical argument; she was conditioned to do so at a very young age by ignorant parents, as were we all.
     The mysterious unspecified "nutritional advantages enjoyed by carnivores" remain a mystery.  Since diet is related to biochemistry, any claims regarding diet that are unsupported by biochemistry are meaningless.
     Humans do NOT have the "features of gut anatomy and digestive kinetics of herbivores"; most herbivores have highly specialized fermentation processes necessary to digest otherwise indigestible cellulose in their grass-oriented diet.  Horse, cow, sheep, rabbit
     Humans are frugivores, most certainly NOT herbivores.  It is amazing that a PhD does not know the differences between apes and herbivores!  This is a clear insight into the scientific credibility of her article and integrity of her thought processes.

     KM: Using meat to supply essential amino acids and many required micronutrients frees space in the gut for plant foods.
     The essential amino acids found in herbivore animal protein are also found in plant protein; in fact, that is where they came from in the first place.  
     If a frugivorous animal were eating its natural, plant-based diet, why would there be any need to "free space in the gut for plant foods".  This, like so many of KM's authoritative, always-unsupported claims, is purely nonsensical.  She then stacks these unsupported, nonsensical claims on top of one another to produce an 'argument' that humans "should" eat meat -- this is pure quackery.

     KM: In addition, because these essential dietary requirements are now being met by other means, evolving humans would have been able select plant foods primarily for energy rather than relying on them for most or all nutritional requirements.
     KM seems caught up in the old meat-industry sales-oriented advertising propaganda that humans need lots of protein; however, the facts indicate that any plant-based diet supplying sufficient energy will also supply sufficient nutritional requirements of all kinds.  And, the other apes do quite well on plant-based diets.

     KM: This dietary strategy is compatible with hominoid gut anatomy and digestive kinetics...
     However, it is not compatible with human digestive and assimilative biochemistry, as the epidemiological and experiential evidence shows, but these facts are overlooked for the convenience of the "hypothesis".  If biochemistry were honestly considered, the "hypothesis" would immediately be shown to be absurd.

     KM: ... and would have permitted ancestral humans to increase their body size without losing mobility, agility, or sociality.  This dietary strategy could also have provided the energy required for cerebral expansion.
     KM introduces the absurd concept that body size changes, evolutionarily, as a function of cultural diet, specifically meat-eating; however, no evidence to support this is given, or exists.  E.g., did elephants gain their large body size by voluntarily eating more nutrient-dense diets?  No, exactly the opposite is seen; larger animals thrive on less nutrient-dense diets.  In fact, among primates, the smallest ones eat the most animal food/fat, and they have shown no "cerebral expansion" or increase in intelligence or "body size".
     One of the more amusing crackpot theories propagated by meatarian propagandists is that eating animal fat made the human brain grow larger, thus animal fat made us more intelligent.  If that were true, then why aren't carnivores much more intelligent than humans, considering that they have been eating animal fat millions of years longer than humans?  Energy in the brain is provided by glucose, blood sugar, not animal fat; if the brain is using fatty acids for energy, the body is in a severely malnourished condition, such as that created by the Atkins' diet.  Each non-carnivorous animal makes exactly the amount of fat that it needs from its natural diet; it does not have to eat exogenous animal fat to make the required fat.

     KM: All extant apes eat strongly plant-based diets composed of the fruits, leaves, flowers, and bark of tropical forest trees and vines. Most apes also consume some invertebrates and, less commonly, vertebrates.
     Actually, this is not true, but it is commonly claimed, always without supporting data or analysis of this infrequent behavior, by people trying to make the specious human flesh-eater argument.  The facts indicate that insect and flesh-eating among the chimps is nutritionally insignificant, and that it is highly social in character, perhaps being more accurately categorized as 'play'.  Intentionally ignoring these facts in the service of misinformation is standard in the false ape-as-flesh-eater argument.

     KM: In general, however, the gut anatomy of all extant apes is quite similar. Human gut anatomy is quite similar to that of other extant hominoids. Mitchell remarked that primitive humans were probably omnivorous with a [cultural-ljf] tendency toward carnivory, but pointed out that "the result has not yet been any marked adaptive change in the character of the gut as compared with that of the Anthropoid Apes, although in the latter the diet is omnivorous with the strongest leaning toward the vegetable side."
     Note that human cultural flesh-eating has resulted in no 'adaptations' to same; thus, today's epidemiological evidence that flesh-eating is responsible for all the currently-popular "degenerative diseases".  Further, even "strongest leaning" does not adequately describe the numerical-insignificance of nutritional input of insects/flesh nor the social character of same.  "Science" without numbers is no science at all.

     KM: In 1904, based on study of the comparative anatomy of the hominoid gut, Elliott and Barclay-Smith suggested that the structure of the human gut actually appeared to be closer to that of a herbivore than an omnivore.
     This type of archaic, sloppy work has led to much confusion.  The human gut is quite different than that of the true herbivore: horse, cow, sheep, goat.  It is unfortunate that authors, such as these, were apparently unfamiliar with the classification: frugivore.  Herbivores generally eat grasses and do not eat fruit; thus their highly specialized fermentation organs.  Frugivores, such as chimps, our closest genetic relative, eat mostly fruit, some leaves, and seeds/nuts.

     KM: The marked sacculations characteristic of the human and ape colon also support the view that the ancestral line giving rise to all extant hominoids was strongly herbivorous.  Further evidence of a plant-based diet for ancestral hominoids comes from the study of dentition, which suggests that many fossil hominoids were largely frugivorous.
     Again, herbivorous and frugivorous are used interchangeably, and incorrectly.  This from a PhD who has yet to come to grips with this high school level material.

     KM: Thus, using data from various lines of evidence, there seems to be general consensus that humans come from an ancestral lineage that was strongly dependent on plant foods, and that human gut anatomy is very similar to that of other extant hominoids. Despite this basic similarity, there is one striking difference between the gut anatomy of humans and apes.  This difference is in the size relationship of different sections of the gut. In all apes, the greatest gut volume is in the colon (>45% of total), with only about 14 to 29% of the total gut volume in the small intestine. For humans, the greatest gut volume is in the small intestine (>56%); only about 17 to 23% of the total gut volume is in the colon.
     Could this mean that humans are even more markedly frugivorous than the other apes?  Could the larger colon capacity in the other apes be necessary to support more fermentation of the fibrous, non-fruit, leafy plant material?  Could the reason for the latter be similar to that for the large fermentation-dedicated chambers of the true herbivore (leaf-eater)?
     "In consequence, an important functional adaptation among strong frugivores would be a relatively large gut (e.g. long intestine) and extremely short throughput times; therefore nutrient assimilation is maximized with high throughput rates."  (Pedro Jordano, Chapter 6: Fruits and Frugivory in Seeds: The Ecology of Regeneration in Plant Communities, CAB International Publishing, 2000)  
     Since nutrient absorption is a function of area of the small intestine, not volume, volume data is irrelevant and misleading.

     KM: Compared to apes, modern humans also have a relatively small total gut for their body size. These size relationships make it clear that among extant Hominoidea, humans are the outlier taxon. This suggests that humans rather than apes have deviated most markedly from the ancestral condition in terms of gut proportions and diet.
     Again, would this not indicate a more frugivorous diet for the human?
     Most humans who actually experiment with various raw diets come to much prefer fruits to "vegetables"; i.e. structural parts of the plant proper: roots (potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, ...), stalks (celery, asparagus, ...), leaves (cabbage, lettuce, ...), immature flowers (broccoli, cauliflower, ...).  Vegetables, being the structural foundation of the plant, are not "intended" to be eaten, so generally contain toxic chemicals or even hormonal sex disrupters to protect themselves from predatory animals.  In distinction, it is in the best interests of the plant for its fruit to be eaten so the seeds are dispersed by the predator animal, thus ripe fruits do not contain toxic, bad-tasting chemicals and are more appealing to passing animals.

    KM: However, in comparing gut proportions of apes and humans, ... my concern is with the inherited pattern of gut proportions characteristic of all extant apes on the one hand and all modern humans on the other - a proportional relationship that I hypothesize is found in all apes regardless of their environmental circumstances or genetic background and one characteristic of all humans regardless of their environmental circumstances or genetic background. The dominance of the small intestine in humans suggests adaptation to a high-quality diet composed of foods that are nutritionally dense, volumetrically concentrated, and amenable to digestion in the small intestine.
     When eating a falsely-labeled, "high-quality diet composed of foods that are nutritionally dense, volumetrically concentrated" it would follow logically that the small intestine would need be shorter, as it is in the carnivore, not longer, as the higher concentration of nutrients would promote more rapid absorption than if the food were nutrient-diffuse.  In the real science called chemistry, it is known that increased concentration causes faster chemical reactions.  Note the curious inversion of logic and contradiction to well known principles in real science.

     KM: In contrast, dominance of the colon in extant apes suggests adaptation to a diet with considerable refractory plant material that cannot be digested in the small intestine and that passes into the voluminous hindgut, where it is retained while certain essential functions such as fermentation of refractory materials are carried out.
     The obvious conclusion, ignored for the sake of meatarian propaganda, is that the human is more frugivorous than the other apes.

     KM: Gut proportions are one factor that can influence digestive parameters and food choices in the natural environment, but another important factor that needs consideration is gut kinetics.  Gut kinetics refers to the pattern of movement of ingesta, both particulate and liquid, through the digestive tract.
     Unfortunately, KM totally ignores the critical importance of biochemistry; that is, how efficient are the digestion, absorption, transport, and assimilation, all of which are absolutely imperative before any nutrients get to the cells and are of any use.  Here, she reduces complex, highly-interrelated biochemical processes to an overly simplistic mechanical pumping function.  The trivial tools of physical anthropology, the ruler and stop watch, simply do not pertain to biochemistry!  So, all mention of "gut kinetics" reveals an impenetrable ignorance regarding diet.

     KM: Milton and Demment examined the pattern of digestive kinetics of common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) fed diets of two fiber levels. One diet contained 14% neutral detergent fiber; the other contained 34% neutral detergent fiber. Ingesta passed more rapidly on the high fiber diet (mean transit time = 38 hours on the high-fiber diet and 48 hours on the low-fiber diet. Mean transit time is an estimate of the average time ''particles'' of marker take to pass through a system of unknown or undefinable compartments). Because ingesta passed more rapidly when dietary quality was low (high-fiber diet), the chimp gastrointestinal tract had less time to process ingesta flowing through it.
     We already know that constipation in the human is quickly and permanently eliminated by eating more fiber; that is because the dominant cultural diet is fiber-poor.  Fiber provides fecal bulk and stimulates peristalsis and elimination; this is well known.  Force-feeding captive chimps an unnatural constipating diet, intentionally, proves nothing.

     KM: However, because this lower-quality food passed more rapidly, chimpanzees could eat more food per unit of time. With only moderate alterations in dietary quality in the natural environment, the end result of both passage rates in chimpanzees would probably be about the same; that is, chimpanzees would be able to meet their daily requirements for energy and nutrients on both diets.
     Unfortunately, transit times are totally unrelated to the efficiency of digestion and absorption; complex nutrient-in/feces-out chemical studies would have to be done to determine how much of what was actually absorbed on each diet.
     Notice how this contradicts the earlier claims about the comparatively shorter human small intestine.

     KM: Extensive work has been carried out on the passage kinetics of humans.  For example, a detailed study of human passage kinetics at Cornell University showed a mean transit time of 62.4 hours for subjects on a 0% fiber diet and 40.9 hours for human subjects on a 17.3% fiber diet.
     But, this study was done on chronically-constipated cultural diet-eaters; what would the results be for people stabilized on an all raw diet?  People who experiment with raw diets quickly learn just how constipated they were on a cultural diet.  Did this research include raw fooders?  Of course not.

     KM: However, an extensive body of data supports the view that in humans higher-quality diets tend to pass more slowly than do fibrous, lower-quality diets.
     Again, the prejudicial and misleading "high" and "low" quality terms.  Logically, IF a diet were of a 'higher quality' wouldn't it be passed through more quickly, because it was more efficient, more readily digested and assimilated?

     KM: Relative to wild apes, most human populations eat foods that are amazingly refined, digestible, and calorie-rich, as well as low in plant fiber. In humans, much food preparation (nonsomatic digestion) occurs before a food item is ever brought into contact with the mouth and gastrointestinal tract, a behavior that could ultimately have affected human gut proportions.
     The imaginative claim that prepared, refined, cooked, or junk food is conveniently predigested can not be supported by credibility.  This is a bold claim, yet absolutely no evidence is given to support it.  On the other hand, it is well known in real science, like biochemistry, that proteins are 'denatured' by cooking; that is, the 3-dimensional structures that give proteins their biochemical activity are destroyed.  Clearly, the amine-based offensive odors of the feces of human meat-eaters indicate that the cooked animal proteins that supplied these amines were not properly digested or assimilated.  Also, conveniently ignored are the facts that cooking creates many toxic pyrolytic (fire splitting) and Maillard-reaction chemicals, and that some of the most powerful carcinogens known, nitrosamines, are produced when animal protein and fats are cooked.

     KM: However turnover of this high-quality ingesta in humans typically is quite slow.
     Why does "high quality food" cause chronic constipation?  Is it "high-quality" constipation?

     KM: HOMINOID EVOLUTION Like the Carnivora, extant Hominoidea seem ''stuck'' with their ancestral pattern of digestive kinetics and basic features of gut anatomy.
     We are also 'stuck' with our digestive biochemistry, so it might be in our best interests to respect that.  Digestive kinetics are meaningless.

     KM: The fossil record shows that during the early to middle Miocene, hominoids reached their greatest level of diversity. In general, Miocene apes were characterized by a frugivorous pattern of molar morphology, though some evidence suggests that larger middle-Miocene apes may have had omnivorous tendencies.
     Human teeth today clearly support a frugivorous diet; we have no elongated snout and large canines as the omnivores do; we have no shearing teeth on the side, as they do.

     KM: I will compare the dietary niches of extant pongids to illustrate how meat-eating may have permitted human ancestors to overcome the energetic constraints imposed by increasing body size in the hominoid lineage.
     Does this not directly contradict KM's earlier claims that fruits were the major source of energy? KM: ... evolving humans would have been able select plant foods primarily for energy.  Frequent self-contradiction is one signature of the quack.

     KM: Not surprisingly, in view of their size and strongly plant-based diet, gorillas (particularly mountain gorillas) and orangutans are often forced to turn to lower quality plant foods -- mature leaves, bark, pith, and unripe fruits --when sufficient ripe fruits and high-quality young leaves are not available.
     Note: gorillas prefer ripe fruits, now apparently a 'high quality' food; and now young leaves are also "high quality".  This constant shifting of terms, and rampant self-contradiction, makes any meaningful communication impossible.

     KM: But many such features appear to be resistant to changes that, at least theoretically, might seem useful.
     "Seem useful" to whom?  Evolution, which always works in the most elegantly useful manner; or an insect biologist that doesn't know she is an ape, and so eats a totally unnatural, cooked, culturally-conditioned, omnivorous diet?

     KM: As discussed, there seems general consensus that extant hominoids come from a strongly herbivorous ancestral lineage.
     Nope; frugivorous.  This constant shifting of terms, and erroneous use of them, is a fatal flaw in what argument might exist here.  Herbivores: cattle, deer, sheep, moose, rabbit, goat.

     KM: Although some western lowland gorilla groups at times eat a considerable amount of fruit and may range as far as 2.3km/day, it seems to be generally accepted that lowland gorillas eat more vegetative plant parts than do chimpanzees and fall in an intermediate ecological position between chimpanzees and bonobos on the one hand and mountain gorillas on the other.
      Is this dietary tradeoff by instinct, or is not enough fruit locally available due to human encroachment and habitat destruction?

     KM: In short, even lowland gorillas do not appear to be as active, agile, and socially complex as are members of the genus Pan. I hypothesize that, due to features of their almost exclusively plant-based diet, in combination with features of their common hominoid digestive tracts, energy input in these great apes may often be sufficiently limited such that nonessential behaviors are not favored.
     Let's see; evolution "favors" "nonessential behaviors".  Why does KM give increased status to "nonessential behaviors"?

     KM: In other words, I do not believe that orangutans and gorillas have sufficient ''extra'' energy to be more active and social.
     If "extra energy" were necessary for these species to engage in "nonessential behaviors", then all they'd need to do would be to eat more.  It seems these unspecified behaviors may be programmed into each species rather than being a consequence of excessive energy.  And, just how does KM measure the appropriate level of social activity for each species?  That is, how does an obviously confused human, deeply lost in cultural hypnosis, be so arrogant as to judge Nature?

     KM: Members of the genus Pan [chimp] eat a specialized diet composed, in large part, of succulent ripe fruits.  They supplement this basic fruit diet with select protein-rich young leaves, buds, and flowers, as well as animal matter (particularly invertebrates but also some vertebrates).
     Note, as usual, no quantities are given and the social aspects of chimp flesh-eating are totally ignored.  The facts, on the other hand, indicate that chimp consumption of animal matter of any source is social, not nutritional, in purpose.

     KM: WHERE DO WILD CHIMPANZEES GET PROTEIN? The fact that the chimpanzee diet is heavily dominated by fruits raises the question of how these apes obtain the protein they require each day.
     Again, KM's programming by the extant cowboy-culture's misleading, greed-inspired advertising budgets that insists humans need large quantities of protein are revealed.  Adult humans need ~1/3% of the total diet as protein.  The other apes would presumably require approximately the same amount, which is readily supplied by fruits and leaves.

     KM: Although wild fruits as a class are low in protein, fruits average 6.5 +/- 2.6% protein dry weight (range, 3.2% to 12.6%).
     Nutrient compositions based on dry weight are totally meaningless because the food is eaten as is, with its water.  In real chemistry, percents are based on the total sample composition.  Parroting this nonsensical data reveals a major insufficiently in simple arithmetic.

     KM: Common chimpanzees, particularly females, also often '' fish'' for termites and ants, sometimes devoting hours per day to this activity. This suggests that although termites and ants are small, the nutritive benefits they provide are worth this considerable investment of time.
     The nutritive value of highly-seasonal termite fishing is negligible.  It may be more of a 'play' activity rather than a legitimate nutritional one as is commonly assumed.

     KM: Gastric (stomach) emptying time in human subjects fed bread diets is 4 to 5 hours.
     Dietary experimenters discover that fruits leave the stomach quickly -- 1/2 to 1 hour.  Feeding humans a totally artificial, excessively-concentrated, cultural atrocity, completely devoid of fiber, is meaningless.

     KM: If a similar gastric emptying rate prevails in wild chimpanzees, they should be able to fill the stomach several times each day, retaining refractory materials (seeds, seed coats, pectic substances, cellulose, hemicelluloses) in the cecum and proximal colon for fermentation activities.
     Of what use is feeding an artificial, fiber-free, non-food to humans?  Worse, what does mean for wild chimps?  Obviously nothing.  This is not science.  Quack, quack!

      The overwhelming, yet herein conveniently ignored, mass of epidemiological evidence that links meat/milk-eating with all the currently-popular "degenerative diseases"?

     KM: Options for any mammal's diet are limited. Food has to be either plants or animals or a mix of both, and has to supply all nutrients or their precursors that are essential for that particular animal. What spells the difference between species in terms of diet are the types and proportions of foods from each of these two basic dietary categories that can be efficiently exploited. In terms of gut anatomy and digestive kinetics, meat, at least up to some maximum percentage of diet, should pose no problem for a hominoid.
     Digestion occurs because of biochemistry and the proper enzymes being supplied for each type of nutrient; "gut anatomy and digestive kinetics" are totally unrelated to biochemistry.
     "No problem" up to "some maximum percentage of diet"??  Data on colorectal cancer and heart disease say exactly the opposite.

     KM: In captivity, for example, boned meat (raw beef and cooked chicken) was so well digested by common chimpanzees that it typically produced no visible residues in feces.
     So what?  There are no visible meat residues in the feces of human meat-eaters either, but that certainly does NOT mean the meat was properly digested and assimilated.  In fact, the universally offensive, and characteristically-specific, odors of human meat-eaters indicates that the animal proteins were NOT properly digested and assimilated, for if they were, no amines would be left to produce those highly-characteristic odors.  Putrefactive bacteria in the intestines are responsible for the fact that no "visible residues" are in the human feces, and they are also responsible for producing the odors: indole, skatole, putrescine, cadaverine, and H2S.
     Further, Goodall points out that flesh is chewed by chimps with leaf wadges to extract the juice, and the leaves and solid meat residue is then "usually" discarded.  Thus, very little flesh is actually eaten and there is little need or facility present to digest it.

     KM: However, hominoids are not carnivores and have neither the gut anatomy nor digestive physiology of Carnivora. As Speth and Speilman discussed, healthy humans are not known to derive any particular benefit from eating excessive amounts of protein; indeed, some evidence suggests that excessive protein consumption is unhealthy for humans.
     Actually, there is considerable and convincing evidence, not "some", that excessive protein consumption, especially in the form of animal proteins, is associated with all the currently-popular "degenerative diseases".

     KM: Excessive protein consumption '' idles'' the body engine faster while producing no demonstrably favorable metabolic effects. In addition to these concerns, catabolizing protein for energy is not practical for mammals such as hominoids if other energy substrates are available, the reason being that the metabolic costs of protein conversion greatly exceed those of converting carbohydrates and fat. Perhaps most important, adult humans apparently cannot catabolize sufficient protein to meet more than 50% of their daily energetic requirements.
     Excessive protein consumption, which in the adult human would mean >~1/3% of the total diet, also leads to indigestion, putrefaction in the intestines, and the bacterial production of toxic amine compounds, such as indole, skatole, putrescine, cadaverine, and H2S, and the consequent absorption of these toxic compounds into the body.  The characteristic offensive odor of the feces and urine of human meat-eaters is irrefutable evidence that excessive, animal proteins are not properly digested, for if they were, no amino groups (-NH2) would be present to form these toxic compounds.
     Worse, meat-eating in the human means significantly more animal-fat is consumed than would occur in the chimp, if the chimp actually ate the "meat", because tropical animals have very little body fat due to the high ambient temperatures, and meat commercialized for human consumption is intentionally raised for maximum fat content.  That is, the "best" quality meats intentionally have more fat than the lesser qualities, simply because the higher the fat content, the more tender the meat -- that is, the more readily cut and chewed.
     Beyond the trivially-simplistic, misleading, and seemingly-neutral concept of "idling the body engine faster", the opposite process of calorie restriction, thus intentionally lowering the excessive metabolic frenzy due to overeating, has resulted in many beneficial results.  In fact, the cultural, meat-oriented diet creates so much metabolic stress and excessive metabolic activity that a person adopting a plant-based diet may experience a significant decrease in resting body temperature.  At least three obvious factors will result in lowered metabolic rate: loss of all excess body fat - this reduces needless thermal insulation (fat) and allows the body to cool easier, the loss of excess weight eliminates the energy burden needed to just carry it around, and the reduced load of excess proteins and exogenous toxins eliminates the need to process, and detoxify or store them.

     KM: Though animal matter presumably did not serve as a primary source of calories for evolving humans, there is no reason why moderate amounts of animal matter could not have been used as an important dietary component if it could be secured.
     Animal "food" supplies far too much protein, fat, and calories when compared to our realistic nutritional needs.  Again, KM fails to recognize the obvious and profound differences between our very real biochemical limitations related to our natural diet and culture; this from an anthropologist.  Just because people DID something, that does not mean it is beneficial or healthy; in fact, the human species has a rather pathological history of murder, war, slavery, racism, sexism, rape, and, more recently, planetary pollution, global ecocide, and massive species extinction.  In KM's strange imagination, no doubt this pathological behavior would also play an essential role in "human evolution".

     KM: I depart from those who suggest that meat may have been only a marginal food for early humans. I have come to believe that the incorporation of animal matter into the diet played an absolutely essential role in human evolution, though I leave it to others to determine prey types and sizes, means of procurement, and the like.
     Nice dodge here that indicates KM has no real data or logic to back up her strange claims, so she leaves it to "others" to support her personal fantasies.  She also completely fails to indicate just how humans 'adapted' to a diet so radically different than their natural one; how, indeed, did dozens or hundreds of biochemical pathways 'adapt' to accommodate a radically different diet than the one to which our biochemistry was originally tuned?  There is no known evolutionary mechanism that could perform such magic, and KM presents none to support her speculation.  Again, she makes an outrageous claim regarding a scientific specialty that she obviously does not understand, and, predictably, provides absolutely no support.
     If, indeed, primitive man did 'adapt' to meat-eating, then why the currently existing profound amount of epidemiological data that links flesh, and other animal products, with all the currently-popular "degenerative diseases"?  And IF we did 'adapt', then why do people who stop eating same uniformly report experiencing better health?  Of course, KM, having no personal experience with raw plant-based diets, would rather ignore them for the convenience of her meatarian propaganda.

     KM: Human ancestors appear to have evolved in a somewhat arid, seasonal, and fairly open environment where ripe fruits and young leaves probably were not available throughout the year. Animal protein not only provides all of the amino acids humans require in the proper complements and proportions for human protein synthesis, but also is more efficiently digested than plant protein.
     If animal protein is "more efficiently digested than plant proteins" then why are the feces, urine, menstrual discharges, and bodies of the human meat-eater loaded with toxic, offensive-smelling, amine compounds produced by putrefactive bacteria from undigested animal proteins in the colon?  If animal proteins were digested, and eventually assimilated, properly, there would not be any amine groups available in the colon to form these toxic amine compounds which are absorbed into the body with unhealthy consequences.  And why does the plant-eating human not produce these toxic compounds?  The only answer is that plant proteins are digested and assimilated properly, while animal proteins are not.  So, it is obvious that KM's unsupported statement: "Animal protein ... is more efficiently digested than plant protein" is patently false.
     Animal protein is usually cooked by the "civilized" human, quite unlike "human ancestors" and apes, and the high temperatures of cooking denature the protein; that is, they destroy the higher
3-dimensional structures absolutely necessary for biological activity.  The protein content of animal flesh is considerably in excess of the ~1/3% necessary in the adult human diet, and there is no reason to believe that an excess digestive capacity of some 10,000% to 12,000% is built into s system that would never see that concentration in its natural diet.

     KM: A hominoid would thus need to eat fewer grams of meat to satisfy all protein requirements than it would if protein requirements were being met from plant parts even of very high quality.
     KM, never actually experiencing a raw, plant-based diet, is ignorant of the fact that human raw fooders experience a great reduction in the amount of food necessary, compared to their meat-oriented, cooked, cultural diet.

     KM: Perhaps equally important, animal tissues also supply many essential minerals and vitamins that humans require.
     This is the great, always-unsupported myth of the dishonest meatarian propagandists, but what does the nutritional data show?  Note: these alleged "many essential minerals and vitamins" are not identified, but that is not a surprise, given the well-established record of lack of intellectual integrity in this article, is it?
     Below, we compare the nutrients in "Beef, composite of trimmed retail cuts, separable lean and fat, trimmed to 1/4" fat, prime, cooked" and various plant sources of the same nutrients.
     The only "nutrients" that meat contains in amounts in excess of those in plant sources are possibly B-12, although B-12 is found in/on some plant foods [Mozafar, A., Enrichment of some B-vitamins in plants with application of organic fertilizers. Plant and Soil 167:305-311, 1994.]
, and most certainly artery-clogging saturated animal fats, cholesterol, animal toxins, antibiotics, farm chemicals, pesticides, and animal hormones, both endogenous and exogenous, including 'flight-or-fight' hormones.
     (Many thanks to Jerry Story for his free nutritional database program for Windoze or Linux that can search the current USDA nutritional database by nutrient, among other quite useful functions.  Without it, these numerical comparisons would have been impossible, and the malicious meatarian misinformation not exposed!)

     The following color scheme is used: red for 2-5 times the nutritional content in beef, orange for
5-10 times, yellow for 10-100 times, and green for greater than 100 times the amount in beef.
100g sample beef walnut sesame pump-
thyme parsley
frz drd
thyme agar wheat
cloves brazil
spirulina rice
energy, Kcal 322 607 573 541 276 271 276 306 360 323 656 884 870 290 316 296 32 energy, Kcal
pro, % 25.6 24.4 17.7 24.5 9.1 31.3 9.1 6.2 23.2 6 14.3   22.8 57.5 13.4 9.6 0.4 pro, %
fat, % 23.5 56.6 49.7 45.8 7.4 5.2 7.3 0.3 9.7 20.1 66.2 100 49.6 7.7 20.9 1 0.3 fat, %
cho 0 12.1 23.4 17.8 63.9 42.4 63.9 80.9 51.8 61.2 12.8   18.8 23.9 49.7 75.4 7.7 cho
fiber 0 5 11.8 3.9 37 32.7 37 7.7 13.2 34.2 5.4   10.5 3.6 21 11.5 1.1 fiber
Ca, mg 9 58 975 43 1890 176 1890 625 39 646 176   116 120 57 11 12 Ca, mg
P, mg 198 464 629 1174 201 548 201 52 842 105 600   705 118 1677 294 11 P, mg
Fe, mg 2.2 3.1 14.6 15 124 53.9 123.6 21.4 6.3 8.7 3.4   6.8 28.5 18.5 1.7 0.2 Fe, mg
Na, mg 62 1 11 18 55 391 55 102 12 243 2   3 1048 5 13 7 Na, mg
K, mg 347 524 468 807 814 6300 814 1125 892 264 600   689 1363 1485 1534 146 K, mg
Mg, mg 24 202 351 535 220 372 220 770 239 1.1 225   354 195 781 132 18 Mg, mg
Zn, mg 5.4 3.4 7.8 7.5 6.2 6.1 6.2 5.8 12.3 1.1 4.6   5.1 2 6 7.7 0.1 Zn, mg
Cu, mg 0.1 1.0 4.1 1.4 0.9 0.5 0.9 0.6 0.8 0.3 1.8   1.8 6.1 0.7 5.2 0.1 Cu, mg
Mn, mg 0 4.3 2.5 3.0 220 1.3 7.9 4.3 13.3 30 0.8   2 1.9 14.2 1.2   Mn, mg
Se, mcg 24.1 17 5.7 5.6 4.6 32.3 4.6 7.4 79.2 5.9 2960   59.5 7.2 15.6 136 0.6 Se, mcg
Vit A, IU   296 9 380 3800 63,240 3800     530     50 570     767 Vit A, IU
Vit E 0.2 2.6 2.3 1.0 1.7   1.7 5   1.7 7.6 192.4 50.3 5 6 0.1 0.1 Vit E
Thiamin, mg 0.1 0.2 0.8 0.2 0.5 1 0.5   1.9 0.1 1   2.3 2.4 2.8 0.3   Thiamin, mg
Riboflavin 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 2.3 0.4 0.2 0.5 0.3 0.1   0.2 3.7 0.3 1.3 0.1 Riboflavin
Niacin, mg 4.3 0.7 4.5 1.7 4.9 10.4 4.9 0.2 6.8 1.6 1.6   4.5 12.9 34 14.1 0.4 Niacin, mg
PantoAcid,mg 0.4 0.6 0 0.3   2.5   3 2.3   0.2   6.7 3.5 7.4 21.9 0.3 PantoAcid, mg
B-6, mg 0.4 0.6 0.9 0.2 1.2 1.4 1.2 0.3 1.3 1.3 0.3   0.8 0.4 4.1 1   B-6, mg
Folate, mcg 8.0 66 97 58 274 1535 274 580 281 93 4   227 94 63 163 14 Folate, mcg
B-12, mcg 2.4                                 B-12, mcg
Vit C, mg 0 3.2   1.9 50 149 50     80.8 0.7   1.4 10.1   3.5 1678 Vit C, mg
Cholesterol, mg 83                                 Cholesterol, mg

     So, the facts indicate that KM's unsupported claims about the nutritional superiority of "animal tissues" are simply wrong.  She could have checked the data, but chose not to in service of the meatarian propaganda campaign.

     KM: We need to bear in mind that carnivores and omnivores do not eat only muscle tissue or only muscle and fat but instead eat brains, viscera, bone marrow, the liver, and other organs. These different animal tissues provide different types and proportions of particular essential nutrients. In this sense, the eating of different body parts by a carnivore resembles the feeding behavior of a herbivore, which consumes plant foods of different types to obtain a better dietary mix and thereby improve overall dietary quality.
     So what?  How many modern humans eat anything other than animal muscle meat; conveniently disguised by cooking to make it palatable and chewable, in addition to being further camouflaged by artificial flavors, condiments, and spices?

     KM: Humans able to satisfy their total protein and much of their essential mineral and vitamin requirements with animal matter rather than plants would free space in their gut for energy-rich plant foods such as fruits, nuts, starchy roots, other plant parts, or honey.
     It is obvious that KM is lost in the meatarian propaganda that falsely claims humans need lots of, or concentrated, proteins.  The facts prove that humans require a mere ~1/3% protein in their average diet, maintain nitrogen balance with small amounts of protein, and research consistently shows that vegetarians and raw fooders are healthier than meat-eaters.
     No natural frugivorous animal has any need to "free space in their gut", nor does any animal on its natural diet.  This is a completely nonsensical idea.
     KM also neglects to explain just where the excess protein-digestive capacity of some 10,000 to 12,000% over the natural input would come from.

     KM: Jones has pointed out that a disproportionately large number of the major food plants domesticated by humans are cyanogenic. If this is an ancient trend in human food habits, the incorporation of animal protein, with its high methionine content, in the diet of early humans could have had considerably utility. An adequate supply of sulfur-containing amino acids is essential in the detoxification of cyanogenic plant foods. Animal protein may therefore have permitted early humans to use, or to use more heavily, such cyanogenic but energy-rich foods.
     When was the last time we heard of a meat-eater dying of a heart attack, stoke, cancer, or kidney disease, and when was the last time we heard of a vegetarian/vegan dying from food-induced cyanide poisoning?  A list of methionine-containing plant foods is given below.  Thus, KM's meatarian propaganda, again, is seen to be false and misinformative.

     KM: Using animal matter primarily to satisfy requirements for essential nutrients and plant foods primarily for energy is a dietary strategy that is compatible with hominoid gut anatomy and digestive kinetics as well as evidence from the human fossil and archeological record.
     However, there is no nutritional or biochemical data that supports this claim; it is false.
     What people do, and what Nature intends them to do, is often quite different much to the dismay of the breakers of Natural Law -- the horrible state of health of modern humans is the inevitable consequence of developing cultural "dietary strategies".  One would hope that an anthropologist would be able to understand this distinction and its consequences.

     KM: Such a diet, because of its high quality, would have permitted evolving humans to avoid the constraints gorillas and orangutans suffered as a result of body size increases (lowered dietary quality along with lowered mobility and sociality).
     It is only through profound arrogance and anthropocentric chauvinism that KM makes this absurd statement; how, exactly, is she authorized to criticize another species' evolutionary success?  What evidence is there that gorillas and orangutans "suffered" any "constraints" at all?  Her insulting claim is evidence of profound speciesism; her self-aggrandizing assumption is that humans are somehow better than other animals, and that we should measure their "success" in terms of our behavior.  The other animals on the planet have not gone on a self- and omni-destructive rampage of global fratricide and ecocide, as the human is currently engaged in, and has been throughout its bloody history.  We aren't much of an example.

     KM: This dietary breakthrough in the human lineage presumably was achieved through both technological and social innovations that permitted early humans to greatly improve their net returns from foraging by simultaneously exploiting foods from two trophic levels while, at the same time, lowering dietary bulk.
     KM still does not try to differentiate between inherent biochemistry and culture; and this from an anthropologist turned meat-apologist.

     KM: One critical aspect of this dietary trajectory is that once animal matter entered the human diet as a dependable staple, the overall nutrient content of plant foods could drop drastically, if need be, so long as the digestible calories were present.
     As many plant sources of nutrients far exceed flesh sources of the same nutrient by factors of 10-100, as shown above, this is typically irrelevant and misleading.

     KM: Many underground storage organs, for example, are a rich source of calories but are almost devoid of nutrients; some contain cyanogenic glycosides.
     However, let's see what the data really says: here, all roots having equal or greater of any nutrient compared with beef will be marked with green, like:

100g sample beef potato
carrot yam sweet
garlic wasabi
+ grns
rutabaga beet 100g sample
energy, Kcal 322 25 43 118 105 149 109 74 69 72 65 160 21 36 43 energy, Kcal
pro, % 25.6 2.2 1 1.5 1.6 6.4 4.8 2.6 1.7 1.5 4.2 1.4 2.5 1.2 1.6 pro, %
fat, % 23.5   0.2 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.6 0.1 0.7 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 fat, %
cho 0 4.6 10.1 27.9 24.3 33.1 23.5 17.2 15.1 17.4 13.4 38 3.4 8.1 9.6 cho
fiber 0 2.3 3 4.1 3 2.1 7.7 4.9 2 3.3 1.3 1.8 2,4 2.5 2.8 fiber
Ca, mg 9 16 27 17 22 181 128 45 18 41 6 16 114 47 16 Ca, mg
P, mg 198 58 44 55 28 153 80 100 27 51 98 27 24 58 40 P, mg
Fe, mg 2.2 1.2 0.5 0.5 0.6 1.7 1 1.2 0.5 0.8 2.2 0.3 1.6 0.5 0.8 Fe, mg
Na, mg 62 7 35 9 13 17 17 40 13 5 26 14 18 20 78 Na, mg
K, mg 347 450 323 816 204 401 568 556 415 308 454 271 82 337 325 K, mg
Mg, mg 24 24 15 21 0.4 25 69 23 43 38 25 21 18 23 23 Mg, mg
Zn, mg 5.4 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.3 1.2 1.6 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.6 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.4 Zn, mg
Cu, mg 0.1 0.1   0.2 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1   0.1 Cu, mg
Mn, mg 0 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.4 1.7 0.4 23 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.3 Mn, mg
Se, mcg 24.1 0.4 1.1 0.7 0.6 14.2 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.9 0.7 0.7 Se, mcg
Vit A, IU     28129   20063   46       19 25 6108 580 38 Vit A, IU
Vit E 0.2   0.5 0.2 0.3       0.3 0.4   0.2   0.3 0.3 Vit E
Thiamin, mg 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.2     0.1 0.1   0.1   Thiamin, mg
Riboflavin 0.2   0.1   0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2     0.1   0.1     Riboflavin
Niacin, mg 4.3 1.4 0.9 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.4 0.7 0.3 1.7 0.9 0.4 0.7 0.3 Niacin, mg
PantoAcid,mg 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.6 0.6 0.2 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 PantoAcid,mg
B-6, mg 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.3 0.3 1.2 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 B-6, mg
Folate, mcg 8.0 31 14 23 14 3.0 18 13 11 23 338 27 41 21 109 Folate, mcg
B-12, mcg 2.4                             B-12, mcg
Vit C, mg 0 16.9 9.3 17.1 22.7 31.2 41.9 44 5 3 1.9 20.6 25.8 25 4.9 Vit C, mg
Cholesterol, mg 83                             Cholesterol, mg

     Thus, we see that plant roots are generally significantly richer than beef in carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, Vit A, Vit E, thiamin, pantothenic acid, folate, and Vit C.  Clearly, they are most certainly not "almost devoid of nutrients" as KM claims, without support!
     Further, the protein content is much closer to the human adult need of ~1/3% of the overall diet, beef being pathologically excessive, and plant foods generally do not "need" to be cooked, thus eliminating the highly carcinogenic compounds, such as nitrosamines, that are formed by cooking animal protein and fats.  The fat content in plant foods is highly limited, compared to the excessive fat in animal products, and it is not artery-glogging, saturated animal fat, nor does it contain cholesterol whatsoever.  And, the iron is non-heme iron, not the carcinogenic heme-iron contained in animal products.
     So, once again, objective data exposes the meatarian propaganda to be absolutely false.

     KM: Grains, too, are a rich source of calories but most species lack some essential nutrients humans require and many contain cyanogenic glycosides.
     Grains, being grass seeds, certainly are not a natural item in the human diet; rather, they have been selected out of the gene pool, by cultivation and selective breeding, for increased seed size for thousands of years -- they are a human-created artifact that must be eaten cooked.  Worse, they contain opioid residues that adversely affect one's consciousness and exacerbate schizophrenia .
     It would seem that an anthropologist should be able to differentiate between Nature and Natural Law vs. self-destructive cultural practices, but this important distinction is seldom seen in anthropological "research" or the other "descriptive sciences".  This fundamental flaw, and others, in these reductionistic professions is responsible for the pandemic institutionalized absurdity, muddled thinking, and misinformation so prevalent in them.

     KM: But with animal matter in the diet to supply many essential nutrients, including sulfur-containing amino acids, the low nutritional value of some plant foods should not pose a barrier to human feeders as long as the digestible energy is there and any harmful secondary compounds can be detoxified.
     Some non-animal foods containing methionine, the only essential amino acid that contains sulfur, are: sesame seeds, spirulina, wakami, kelp, soy, tofu, sunflower seeds, watermelon seeds, poppy seeds, wild rice, brown rice, peanuts, pistachio nuts, almonds, caraway seeds, garlic, oats, barley, rice, lotus seeds, quinona, lentils, couscous, corn, popcorn, beans in general, grains in general, nuts in general.
     So, the implication, made repeatedly above, that animal protein must be consumed to detox cyanogenic plants is seen to be absolutely false.

     KM: Another important aspect of meat-eating concerns the increasing importance, as evolution progressed, of higher-quality, volumetrically concentrated foods for infants and children.
     This is absolutely nonsensical.  The perfect food for all mammalian infants is its mother's milk; it always was, it always will be.  After weaning, the adult diet is then consumed.
     This abundantly obvious fact has nothing to do with "evolution"; however, just throwing that vague, yet always scientific-sounding word around here and there gives this silly exposition a guise of credibility.
     You will never see in any book on "evolution" any tales of "increasing importance" of "higher-quality, volumetrically concentrated foods for infants and children" as "evolution" progressed; and you will never see any claim that "evolution", itself, "progressed", for that would imply a direction, goal, or teleology.

     KM: As the World Health Organization states: ''A newborn infant needs dietary protein that contains 37% of its weight in the form of essential amino acids, whereas for adults the figure is less than half - about 15%. This has led many to suspect that protein quality is of limited relevance to adults.... Protein quality is of great importance in rapidly growing young animals which are actively depositing new body protein.''
     That's nice, but the proper food for the newborn infant is its mother's milk, NOT a dead corpse, and NOT the milk of a foreign species.

     KM: I depart from those who suggest that meat may have been only a marginal food for early humans. I have come to believe that the incorporation of animal matter into the diet played an absolutely essential role in human evolution.
     Here's that word, again.  
     "Evolution" is generally claimed to be a process of random mutations, or random rearrangements, of sexual genetic information that provides variety in any species by sexual reproduction.  Another poorly defined process, with apparently no known examples, is "natural selection".  That is the interaction of environmental variables with a given species of animal such that the more "fit" out-reproduce those less "fit", such that the more "fit" come to dominate the population over time.

     KM seems to be invoking the archaic, long-discredited, Lamarckian Evolutionary model, some 200 years out-of-date, that held that an organism's behavior influenced the evolution of the species by modifying the genetic material of that individual -- of course, in Larmarck's time (1744-1829) there was no understanding of genetic inheritance, so this error was forgivable for Larmarck.  However, to make the same claim today is unconscionable.
     Quoted elsewhere: KM: " the behaviors and physiology that define us are the consequences of dietary-driven evolution. . . and everything comes back to diet."  Note the cart-before-the-horse 'logic'; she claims that chosen diet is the driving force behind physiological evolution; however, the animal's pre-existing physiology and biochemistry determine what diet the animal should eat.  E.g. even though humans have been eating animal flesh for millions of years, humans have evolved neither the physical tools (sharp, pointy things; increased running speed), digestive biochemistry, or, particularly noteworthy, the instincts to do so, as a result of that long-standing, cultural dietary choice; thus, there is no "dietary-driven evolution".
     We do not see an evolutionary pattern of any species radically altering its diet from frugivore to omnivore, because that would require a profound change in digestive, absorptive, transportive, and assimilative biochemistry that fundamentally affects dozens, or possibly hundreds, of individual biochemical pathways -- these dramatic changes happening simultaneously, and in concert, due to random events.
     It is clear that the human did not 'adapt' to a flesh-oriented diet in any evolutionary sense; one need only to look at the epidemiological evidence linking the human consumption of animal products with all the currently-popular "degenerative diseases".  Also, the fact that people uniformly experience increased health after abandoning animal products, and a similar effect when reducing or eliminating cooking, indicates that no 'adaptation' to an animal-based diet, or cooking, ever occurred.
   One would hope that an anthropologist would have some understanding of "evolution" and genetics, but apparently that is not required, even at the PhD level.  That is disgraceful, but an insight into the lack of integrity of the current "educational system", which teaches people what to think, but certainly not how to think.

     KM: Current evidence offers strong support for the critical role of micronutrients in the proper development and growth of human infants. The high nutritional value of animal matter, not only as a source of essential amino acids, but also as a concentrated supply of micronutrients, seems particularly critical.
     Notice that no real data is ever given to support these overly broad claims; what micronutrients - we never know.  Plant material is also a source of essential amino acids; that's where the herbivore got them.  The above data indicates that the "concentrated supply of micronutrients" is a myth.

     KM: Because of the increase in the ratio of metabolic requirements to gut capacity in homeotherms, [warm-blooded animals] eating a diet high in bulky plant material could pose virtually insurmountable problems for small children, with their high energetic and nutrient demands, as well as large brain relative to body size.
     This homeotherm issue, that of requiring dietary input to maintain a constant body temperature, is not a real problem for a tropical human species living in tropical temperatures.  Further, there are many species of herbivores that live quite comfortably in cold climates: moose, caribou, and deer, for example.  Yet, all the 'children' of all the millions of plant-eating species on the planet do not suffer these mythical, always-unspecified "insurmountable problems"; could it possibly be that Nature knows what it is doing, and the pseudoscientists have not caught on yet?  
     Who should we believe?  Nature, with its countless hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary success, or some confused, culturally-conditioned, closed-minded, meat-propagandizing, "scientists" who continue to drop like flies with cancer, heart attacks, and strokes, while promulgating dietary nonsense like this?

     KM: Raw meat, organs, brains, viscera, and bones are concentrated sources of iron, calcium, iodine, sodium, and zinc, vitamin A, many B vitamins, vitamin C and other essential micronutrients, not to mention high-quality protein and fat.
     Is KM really advising humans to eat "raw meat, organs, brains, viscera, and bones"??  Does she eat them?  NO!  Does she kill her animal prey with her bare hands and eat it whole and raw, like all natural carnivores and omnivores do?  I challenge her to kill a kitten with her bare hands and eat it raw and whole, including of course the "organs, brains, viscera, and bones" per her own recommendation.  Perhaps, failing that simple test, she will revise her insupportable dietary dogma?
     The nutritional comparisons made above refute these excessive, inaccurate claims; specifically, common plant foods contain more, and quite frequently many times more, Ca, P, Fe (non-carcinogenic), K, Mg, Cu, Mn, Vit A, Vit E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, B-6, Folate, and Vit C than common beef.
     The 'meat equals "high-quality" protein' shibboleth is an archaic, totally unsupported, meatarian myth.  The proteins in the herbivore's flesh came from the plants the herbivore ate; there is no proof that all essential amino acids must be eaten in every meal, as the fallacious "high-quality" meat protein mythology suggests.  You will notice that all these claims as to "quality" never are supported with any credible data or logical rational.
     Further, this "high-quality" atherogenic animal fat and inherent cholesterol are known to devastate human health.  KM totally ignores the epidemiological evidence linking animal products with all the currently-popular "degenerative diseases".
     Overweight, obesity, and morbid obesity are dangerous pandemic conditions among cultural diet-eaters, and meat-eaters are the the most obese.  Vegetarians/vegans are rarely overweight, and raw vegetarians/vegans are as slim as natural animals on a natural diet.
     KM, on the other hand, seems overweight in this out-of-date photo, and since cultural diet eaters tend to pack on weight as they age, she is probably more obese today.

     KM: A recent study of factors associated with inadequate childhood growth, size, and health in several third-world nations identified inadequate amounts of particular micronutrients including iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamin B12, rather than an inadequate supply of protein or particular amino acids, as the likely culprits.
     Lack of trace elements is a consequence of growing crops on mineral-depleted soil, not a function of meat vs. no meat in the human diet.  If food animals are raised on mineral-deficient plants, they too will be mineral-deficient.  But, notice the contradiction: in the previous sentence, meat was "high-quality" protein, inferring that plant protein is somehow "low-quality", yet in the very next sentence, the problem is not "an inadequate supply of protein or particular amino acids".  These amusing, repetitive, self-contradictions reduce the credibility of the entire article to zero.

     KM: Due to their content of available minerals and vitamins, animal foods were recommended to help improve the nutritional status of such children.
     Yet, the nutritional data, above, show this alleged mineral and vitamin superiority to be false.

     KM: If the evolutionary trajectory I have hypothesized was characteristic of human ancestors, the routine inclusion of animal foods in the diets of weaned children seems mandatory. Plant foods selected largely for energy content would not be capable of supplying the essential micronutrients or protein children require for optimal mental development and growth.
     Apparently not knowing that 'evolutionary trajectories' are not determined by the individual's diet, this claim is false.  Show me any evidence in an evolutionary text that cultural diets influenced the 'evolutionary trajectory' of the tribe that consumed them.
     The same unsupported and false claims are repeated endlessly: nutritional data disproves these claims.  Additionally, the 'children' of all the other apes get exactly what they need from plants; why are humans any different?  No evidence is given to support this claim, because there is none.
     KM is oblivious to the fact that adult humans need ~1/3% protein in their overall diets; pre-weaned children may need ~1%, as that is the quantity in human milk, but certainly not the 36 times that found in some meats.  Where did the 3600% excess digestive, absorptive, transportive, and assimilative capacity come from??  It does not exist!

     KM: Many anthropoids appear to regard invertebrates as highly desirable foods and will heavily exploit them when possible.
     Again, the data says exactly the opposite.  Goodall found that chimps invested only ~4.1% of their feeding time on insects, and this was restricted to essentially one species (termites), and that this feeding was highly seasonal and generally limited to one month per year when the hives split, and the inefficiency of insect mass eaten compared to time expended was so low as to highly exaggerate the nutritional significance implied by the time figures.  So, again, KM takes a relatively insignificant fact, and strips it of any concrete numerical validity in order to highly exaggerate its negligible significance by using nonscientific terms like "highly desirable" and "heavily exploit".  This article is more an exercise in creative writing than a scientific analysis.

     KM: For example, Hamilton and coworkers discussed two instances in which chacma baboons largely abandoned the plant component of their diet for days to feed on insect outbreaks. Ayres reported that red howler monkeys in Brazil focused on eating caterpillars when a huge number of them occurred in their forested environment (personal communication). These and other accounts suggest that many anthropoid species like invertebrates and will eat more of them when they can.
     Ignoring that we are apes, not baboons or red howlers, this is a clear indication that such activity is highly opportunistic, in that it occurs only when there is a highly-seasonal outbreak or highly-limited swarming event; thus, such feeding is not a result of any continuing nutritional need which is the concept implied.  The important nutritional question is what does the species eat on a daily basis, as those items represent the true nutritional needs.  There is no valid reason to exaggerate the significance of relatively rare and nutritionally-insignificant events or behaviors, except of course to generate meatarian propaganda.

     KM: As noted, some chimpanzees commit a fair degree of daily foraging time to termite fishing and ant dipping.
     Goodall points out that such activity is highly inefficient, in that "A passage yielding only a few termites may, nevertheless, be worked for minutes on end, particularly by females during the dry season." "... it is not uncommon for a female at this time of year [dry season ljf] to continue fishing for an hour or more even when she is getting only a few termites every ten minutes."  Similarly, for ant eating, "... the mean intake for an adult during a dipping session in about 20 grams".  
     Since one could easily gather and eat 20 grams of fruit, leaves, or nuts in only a very few seconds, as opposed to several minutes needed to collect 20 grams of ants, the implied nutritional significance of insects implied by the time invested in these behaviors is highly exaggerated.
     Note that KM assiduously avoids revealing any quantities of anything, relying instead on intentionally-misleading terms to "support" her specious arguments.  It is not "daily foraging time", obviously implying that it is a daily activity, as significant insects are eaten in only a few, isolated months of the year.  Thus, this activity is neither "daily", as falsely claimed, nor does it have any enduring nutritional significance, so it may be more of a 'play' activity.

     KM: Such foods may, however, provide apes with particular essential nutrients that are inadequately supplied by their particular plant-based diets.
     A real scientist would identify all the "particular essential nutrients in question", and compare their availability in various plant and prey-animal species.  The word "may" has absolutely no scientific significance, one could just as well substitute "may not" for every time KM invokes the totally meaningless "may".  If one were to remove all the "may", "probably", "might", "most", "some", "seems", and other meaningless, intentionally vague, "wiggle words" from this article, it would simply evaporate into nothingness.  Real science is based on observable facts, not a tottering house of cards built on prejudicial wishful thinking and specious speculation.

     KM: Their summary indicates that meat-eating is not a common feature of Old World anthropoid dietary behavior.
     Then why should it be universal among humans, especially among young humans, as KM wants?

     KM: One exception is the hunting behavior of some common chimpanzees. Stanford reports that during peak periods of meat eating by chimpanzees at Gombe, some adult male hunters may ingest as much as 500 g of meat per week - a substantial amount. To date, factors contributing to the hunting behavior of chimpanzees are not well understood, but it has been suggested that social factors may be more important than nutritional ones. One key point is that chimpanzees at Gombe rarely appear to set out with the intention of hunting, but typically attacked prey when they fortuitously encounter it during routine foraging excursions.
     It is clear that flesh-eating among chimps is a social pathology, just as it is in the human.  IF it were a nutritional imperative, then all adults would eat it regularly; they do not.  Here, the non-nutritional and social aspects are finally revealed, but this does not sway KM from her deep-rooted cultural fantasy that humans must eat meat, especially children.

     KM: Given the postulated body and brain size of the earliest humans and the anatomy and kinetic characteristics of the extant hominoid gut, the most expedient dietary avenue open to proto-humans seems to have been to turn increasingly to the intentional consumption of animal matter on a routine rather than a fortuitous basis.
     As stated earlier, gut kinetics (a term relating to the purely mechanical passage of food through the gut) is absolutely independent of, and totally unrelated to, digestive biochemistry.  That is, items may pass through the pipes without supplying any nutritional benefit whatsoever, so implying nutritional benefit simply because some non-nutritional item may be eaten and passed is nonsensical.  KM's willful ignoring of the relevant biochemistry, and her trying to reduce complex nutritional issues to simplistic mechanical pumping, underscores her profound ignorance of the real issues involved.

     KM: Early humans might have been able to transform a lower-quality plant food into a higher-quality one through technological innovations such as grinding or cooking.
     Yet, cooking is well known to damage essential nutrients, denature proteins, and produce toxic pyrolytic (fire splitting) chemicals and Maillard-reaction products, in addition to potent carcinogens, especially with the cooking of meats.  Further, those who experiment with raw diets quickly find that they need to eat far less that they did when consuming cooked food.  It should be obvious that humans co-evolved with their natural diet, and no technological tinkering by a science only a few decades, or millennia, old will enhance the nutritional quality of natural plants.

     KM: ... it seems most expedient to view the earliest humans (Homo) as initially having turned to animal prey to supply the amino acids and many micronutrients they required, using plant foods primarily as an energy source.
   Yet, there is no evidence that plant amino acids are inferior or lack any micronutrients, in many fact plants contain significantly higher concentrations of many nutrients, as shown in the tables, above.  Yet another self-contradiction on the amino acid issue.

     KM: Future paleontological and archaeological research, together with closer examination of features of comparative gut anatomy and digestive physiology of Hominoidea and other anthropoids should help to clarify the costs and benefits that were involved in the adaptation of this dietary strategy in the human lineage and to determine how this strategy may initially have been implemented. If the evolutionary trajectory I have hypothesized was characteristic of human ancestors, the routine inclusion of animal foods in the diets of weaned children seems mandatory.
     Here's some real research projects to examine this issue.  Let KM kill her chosen prey animals with her natural equipment and eat them whole and raw as her hypothetical story indicates.  A little personal experience will quickly convince her of the absurdity of her claims.  Let KM examine a raw diet by personal experience.
The "costs" of consuming animal products is clearly reflected in the "health care" costs associated with the consumption of same; the epidemiology is clear on this, but apparently ignored here for convenience.
     KM's main, and frequently repeated, errors are:
     1>  confusing trivial physical parameters, such as gut morphology and mechanical gut kinetics (pumping action) with highly complex, interdependent processes of digestive, absorptive, transportive, and assimilative biochemistry.  The primitive tools of physical anthropology, such as the ruler and stopwatch, simply do not apply to chemistry, biochemistry, or nutrition,
     2>  confusing Nature and culture: "Early physical anthropology is often marked by the tendency to conflate cultural and biological characteristics, science was often crowded out by ethnocentricity". [1, 2] Apparently, this early error has not been corrected.
     3>  believing that individual's behavior (culture) influences the evolution of the species,
     4>  substituting intentional vagaries (may, probably, might, most, some, seems) for credible numerical data, especially when credible data leads to the opposite conclusion,
     5>  frequently using unscientific, undefined, pejorative terms: "high-quality", "low-quality", in order to create an irrational conceptual bias,
     6>  making unsupported, erroneous nutritional claims that are refuted by standard nutritional data,
     7>   self-contradiction,
     8>   ignoring the large body of epidemiological evidence that links all currently-popular "degenerative diseases" to the consumption of meat and other animal products,

     9>   comparing humans with non-ape species.

     What has caused this profoundly muddled thinking?
     The educational specialty of physical anthropology apparently is willfully ignorant of biochemistry and more focused on simplistic physical measurements, such as the length of one's gut, not the much more complex processes of biochemistry that necessarily occur within it.  As a result, any claims about diet based on physical anthropology are meaningless, as we have repeatedly seen.  This confused thinking is unavoidable when educational institutions give away PhD's in esoteric and narrowly convergent specialties without requiring a basic grounding in the real sciences.  Thus, the institutionalized failures of education is responsible for KM's wild and insupportable claims regarding human nutrition.  This is a perfect example of the intellectual corruption that inevitably is created by limiting oneself to a narrow, self-referent specialty; especially, in one of the "descriptive sciences" where a broad knowledge of real sciences is not required.
     Curiously, she also supports the human consumption of insects.
     KM has two degrees in English Literature, and originally planned to be a literary critic; she claims her head is still "filled with poetry" today.  Perhaps this is why her "scientific" writing is so poetically imaginative and creative, without the practical and quite necessary restraints of logic and factual data?  She believes "poetry elevates"; however, real science should not elevate one's imagination, but inform one with facts and educate one with logic.
     Further, she is burdened with an all-too-common and offensive academic arrogance as clearly revealed in the following from an e-mail 'response' to John Coleman, a raw-food researcher who took the time to e-mail her with some comments on her article.  John has been an experiential raw-food researcher for ~ 7 years, so is personally familiar with raw chimp-like diets in his own body, unlike the overweight KM who clearly knows nothing about human plant-based diets, raw diets, or healthy human diets, as her meatarian propagandist article reveals.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dr. Katharine Milton" kmilton@socrates.Berkeley.EDU
To: "John Coleman" jsc@eloi.nildram.co.uk
Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2002 1:04 AM
Subject: Re: A Hypothesis to Explain the Role of Meat-Eating in Human Evolution

Look--if you're so smart you teach here and I'll retire and eat
fruit. I don't have time to debate with every individual eating some
odd diet who reads my work and wants to take up my time with his/her
opinions. My work is all peer reviewed and if you don't like it,
then please ignore it! KM
Katharine Milton
Dept. ESPM, Div. I.B.
201 Wellman Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-3112 "

     So, she thinks John's ongoing efforts in personally experiencing a totally raw, frugivorous-ape diet, such as our species evolved on, is "odd", while her mindlessly following of the local pathogenic, cultural, cooked-meat diet is superior?  Apparently, she does not understand cultural anthropology sufficiently to realize that her narrow-minded acceptance of a totally-unnatural meat-based diet was simply programmed into her at a very early age, without her understanding, conscious analysis or decision, by similarly-programmed and similarly-ignorant parents.  
     Further, 'peer review' means following the popular dogma of the day to the satisfaction of the particular, narrow academic specialty, it is an effective way of maintaining the conceptual status quo, it is the mechanism by which the fundamental errors we see in all disciplines are institutionalized and propagated.  Clearly, anthropological 'peers' would benefit by studying some biochemistry, such as to avoid the frequent chemical errors evident in KM's article.

     So, KM gets an "A" in the creative writing of fiction and academic arrogance, but an "F" in science, open-mindedness, communication, and human relations.



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