Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I May Have Found an Argument for Eating Meat

As stated in a previous post, I am a vegetarian, primarily for the purpose of reducing unnecessary suffering in the world. I don't think we can really justify killing a being that has an interest in remaining alive, especially when its existence poses no threat to our own survival (we don't need meat to nourish ourselves). I think at the very least we definitely can't justify the modern way we treat animals harvested for their meat, but that's not really the point I want to bring up today.

As we have learned through evolutionary biology and medical science, the appendix is far-removed from its original function. So far removed it's to the point where its pretty much useless, and a threat to our health. Due to this threat, about 1 in 100,000 people are now being born without appendixes, and we know that all of this change in the form and function of the organ is due to the change in our diet from what it used to be. So as the functionality of the appendix no longer affected our survival rate, it was no longer necessary for people to be born with appendixes that functioned correctly; as long as they didn't kill you, they could sit in your torso and do nothing and it wouldn't matter, though, obviously, some of them do kill people.

Why do I bring all of this up? Let's say we have pretty much a thorough dietary revolution, and nearly everyone on the planet stops eating meat (except in extremely rare circumstances). At this point, we have to ask, do we run the risk of developing more vestigial baggage like what's become of the appendix? I'm not a dietary expert and I don't have an advanced knowledge of how the digestive system works, but I can't help but wonder if this could potentially be the case.

I don't think this could be used to support the amount of meat currently eaten world wide (particularly in America), but I think if it is indeed true that we seriously risk acquiring harmful evolutionary baggage we would then have a reason to permit some amount of meat in the diet of the general population, but still significantly less than what we do now.

I'm interested in any thoughts or information on the issue so any comments are more than encouraged.

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