Re: Early diets
23 May 94 09:17:26 MST

In article <>, (J. Moore) writes:
>> I have read that one of the differences between a herbivore and a
>> carnivore is the postioning of the eyes. Herbivores having eyes on the
>> sides of their heads for maximum field of vision to spot carnivores, and
>> carnivores having eyes on the front to give binocular vision and better 3-
>> d vision.
>> JON W. PARKER AlliedSignal Engines, Phoenix, Az
> But of course animals cannot be conveniently slotted into only those two
> categories. Many animals are omnivorous -- humans are, and so are apes,
> and it's overwhelmingly likely that early hominids were as well. In
> addition, some animals thought of and generally categorized as
> carnivorous are actually omnivorous, such as most (if not all) canids --
> all the various wild dogs, wolves, foxes, coyotes.
> Primates have eyes in front, yet are omnivorous, and that's omnivorous
> with a HUGE portion of the diet being plants.
> Using only two categories like that, with an either-or categorization,
> results in simplistic mistakes. For instance, you can go into many
> vegetarian "health" food stores and see a poster contrasting "the"
> carnivorous animal's digestive system with that of "the" vegetarian
> animal (generally a lion and a cow, respectively). The point they try
> to make is that it isn't "natural" for humans to eat meat. The poster's
> arguement makes a couple of simplistic mistakes in its arguement. One
> is that humans have never been "naturally" carnivorous; neither have
> they been "naturally" vegetarian. We're omnivorous, and "naturally"
> rather opportunistic about it. The other dumb mistake (or perhaps
> deliberate falsification) is the claim that our digestive system is much
> like a cow's, which is a highly adapted system with a mighty weird
> stomach. Even a gorilla, which eats a lot of grasses and such, has a
> setup quite different from ours.
> Point being: any claim that has you forced to choose between two and
> only two categories has probably got a big hole in it. Always look for
> a third category (or more); it almost always around.
> Jim Moore
> * Q-Blue 1.0 *

Using omnivore in stead of carnivor would have been more correct from our point
af view. The prey probably does not make that distinction.

JON W. PARKER AlliedSignal Engines, Phoenix, Az
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He who hesitates, meditates in the horizontal position. Edmund K. Parker