Re: vegetarianism

J. Moore (
Sun, 7 May 95 11:19:00 -0500

Mw> paleovegetarianism -any data?

Yes, none of which suggests that it existed at all.

Vegetarianism means only eating plant food. To use the term in any
other sense invites sloppy thinking about what is being described.
Now we can surmise that, in the past, hominids ate mostly plant food in
any environment that allowed them to do so. We can surmise this because
the data we have shows that all apes do so, and that all
gathering-hunting human groups do so as well. But that isn't
vegetarianism; it is also likely that early hominids ate some meat, and
probably a lot of insects (termites, ants, and such). We can surmise
this because we see that chimpanzees do so, and so do human groups which
gather and hunt for a living. We also see direct evidence of butchery
of animals around 2 million years ago.

So there is no evidence that paleovegetarianism existed, and the
evidence on diet we have suggests that it did not. (Just for the record
please note that this second statement does not follow from the first
but is a seperate conclusion from the data.)


Jim Moore (

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