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McDaniel 1

Libby Lee McDaniel


Mrs. Taylor
AP Language
27 January 2017
Human arent meant to eat meat
Today I am going to talk about a subject that is close to my heart, because it is one of the

reasons I chose to live the lifestyle I do today.


Some of my friends in the class have also chosen this lifestyle, and there are some who have

attempted. The lifestyle is vegetarianism.


Vegetarianism is a lifestyle- or diet rather- in which meat is excluded. I dont eat beef, or

chicken, or fish. No meat.


I know it is hard for many people to even consider a vegetarian lifestyle. However, I

dont blame them, because it is a tradition in American households to eat meat at almost every

meal. We have been told from a young age that meat provides the most important nutrients to our

bodies- like protein, and iron. But in reality, any nutrients found in meat can also be found in

plant foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains. But today I am not going to preach to you about

the climate change connected to the meat industry, or inhumane practices, or the amazing effects

of being a vegetarian. Im not going to try and convince you to become a vegetarian. I am just

going to present to you three reasons why humans, scientifically, are not meant to eat meat.
Number one lets begin with the instrument of eating, our mouths. If youve ever

watched Animal Planet, or Planet Earth, or basically any nature documentary, you might have

seen the scenes where the lion chases after the gazelle, and the lion successfully has dinner. You

might have learned that carnivorous creatures, and even omnivorous creatures have special jaws.

They are only able to move their jaws in an up and down motion. With sharp teeth, claws, and a

specialized jaw, meat eaters have ease when shredding through flesh, muscle, and bone at a meal.

Unlike our meat eating friends, herbivores and humans alike have jaws that move up and down

and side to side. The ability of side to side movement in our jaws, and flat, blunt teeth aid in the

grinding of the plant foods we are meant to eat. Another unique feature of humans distinct from
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carnivores and omnivores is in our salivary glands. Meat eating creatures have salivary glands of

course, but our salivary glands contain a special enzyme called Ptyalin. Ptyalin allows for pre-

digestion of the foods we eat while we are chewing it, making the process of digestion in our

system easier.
Number twoOur digestive tracts are not designed to digest meat properly. Carnivores

and omnivores have very short digestive tracts. This is helpful for their diet. Short digestive

tracts allow for quick processing and nutrient extraction of the rapidly decaying meat they eat. It

only takes two to four hours for a carnivore to digest meat. Herbivores and humans have

digestive tracts that are six times longer than carnivorous creatures. Long digestive tracts allow

for the lengthy process of the nutrient breakdown of plant foods. It takes about twelve to

eighteen hours for food to digest in the human digestive tract. It sounds pretty gross for meat to

stew around in our digestive tracts for that long, which may be one of the reason you get a bad

stomach ache after eating meaty meals. Also, carnivorous creatures can eat raw meat, unlike

humans who have to cook our meat to make it edible. If we were made to eat meat, we would not

need to cook it to be able to eat it.


Last but not least, number threehumans dont have the instinct of meat eating creatures.

When driving down a back road, you often pass a cow pasture. Any sane human reacts with aw

theyre so cute, or at least I do. If we were meant to eat animals we would stop the car, run into

that field, and pounce on that cow. But since we are humans, that is not our initial reaction, and I

am really glad for that. Humans are compassionate creatures. When we see hurt animals we try

to help that creature, not get it while its down. It is in our nature to love animals, not eat them.

So there are the three reasons why humans arent made to eat meat. Hans Ostrom wrote a

poem called Dickinson and Elvis. In this poem Ostrom describes Dickinson and Presley in

todays society. If I could one thing to this poem it would be that both Emily and Elvis would be
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vegetarian. Dickinson and Presley were the forward thinking people of their time, and if

presented this information they wouldve given vegetarianism a chance.


I hope today you dont think Im trying to convince you to be a vegetarian, but if I did, I have no

problem with that.