General, Research, Technology

Who were people millions of years ago: vegans or meat eaters?

People are usually called vegetarians and vegans,who deliberately refused to eat animal meat. They are sure that the human body is well adapted to eating plant foods and can do without meat products. Only recently it became clear that man never ate only plants - animals have always been a desirable prey for us. Moreover, at one time period, our ancestors were hypercarnivorous, that is, meat made up more than 70% of their diet. Scientists came to this conclusion while studying more than 400 scientific papers from the field of physiology, genetics, archeology and other scientific fields. As part of the study, they were able to find out how people's taste preferences have changed over millions of years and what these changes were associated with. Sometimes people really wanted meat, but it was very difficult to get it.

Man descended from a herbivorous ancestor, but was never a vegetarian

What did the ancient people eat?

Find out how the diet of people inthe passage of time was very difficult. As part of scientific work, scientists have studied more than 400 scientific documents and selected from them only facts that can tell about the nutrition of our ancestors. In total, they found about 20 documents relevant to the research topic, most of which relate to human physiology and genetics. But they also drew attention to articles from the field of archeology and paleontology. In the course of studying the collected data, the researchers came to several interesting conclusions.

To find out the diet of ancient people, I had to study hundreds of scientific articles.

They have no doubt that humans descended from herbivorous ancestors. This is evidenced by the fact that we prefer to eat often, but little by little... This diet is just typical forherbivorous creatures, because access to plants is almost everywhere and at any time. But predators can not always catch prey, so if they have the opportunity to eat, they eat a lot at a time. So, at one time, wolves can eat a fifth of their own weight. If we did the same, we would need to eat up to 15 kilograms of food in one sitting. Would you be able to do that?

A wolf can eat up to 6 kilograms of food at a time, and then starve for at least half a week.

According to scientists, all the early ancestors of modernpeople (roughly speaking, monkeys) were omnivorous creatures. Due to widespread availability, about 70% of their diet consisted of plant foods. But about 2.6 million years ago, representatives of the species Homo habilis appeared. They lacked the strength to hunt large prey on their own, but they could feed on scraps from predators. Judging by the remains, our distant ancestors were very fond of the brain and bone marrow rich in fat. To extract them, it took ingenuity: the bones of animals had to be broken with stones.

A representative of the species Homo habilis looked like this.

But about 1.9 million years ago on Earthrepresentatives of the species Homo erectus appeared. Researchers believe that at first they mined meat, driving away predators from the caught prey. And then, apparently, they began to actively hunt on their own. This led to the fact that over time they became hypercarnivorous creatures, that is, meat made up more than 70% of their diet.

Erectus were hypercarnivorous

See also: What did people eat 100 thousand years ago?

Why do people eat meat?

Vegetarians really want to believe thatthe human body is initially adapted to eat plant foods. Unfortunately for them, this is far from the case. The human body produces a lot of gastric juice with high acidity. This is a complex process that takes a lot of energy, so evolution has clearly endowed us with this ability for a reason. Researchers believe that once upon a time, our ancestors were forced to eat spoiled meat. In order to prevent poisoning or at least weaken the consequences, our body produced acidic gastric juice that can destroy some of the dangerous bacteria.

Ancient people were often forced to eat spoiled meat

High acidity gastric juiceproduced by our body until now. And all because even now we can hardly do without meat. Meat is high in vital protein that helps build muscle, helps control weight, and improves metabolism. Also, meat is a rich source of B vitamins, iron, phosphorus and zinc. Meat also has harmful properties that we mentioned in this article, but if you use it in moderation, everything should be fine.

People get a lot of useful substances from meat, but the main thing is not to overdo it.

It should be noted that at the moment we are no longerwe are hypercarnivorous. The proportion of meat in our diet began to decline about 85 thousand years ago. Scientists believe that this is due to a sharp decrease in the number of large animals and man himself is mainly to blame for their disappearance. Because of this, today we eat both meat and plant foods. Maybe it's for the better, because this way we can get a greater variety of nutrients.

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How vegan organisms differ andmeat eaters, I told in this material. The two twins set up an experiment in which they ate two different diets. The results were quite interesting.