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I've heard many times that humans are meant to eat meat, and that it's natural. I disagree, but I mean, if folks who want venison can run down a deer, kill and eat it using only bare hands and face, and convince their stomachs to produce more acid so they can digest it raw before the bacteria lodge in 20 extra feet of intestine per person, who am I to stop them?

Our teeth are versatile but not ideal at all, our digestive tract is short and meant to run slow. We can't even digest meat without doing half the work in cookware. Actually quite a bit of the body's morphology is a joke for the job, but hey. If people can sort out how to do it without a shred of technology, I'll call it natural. Fair's fair. Go get em, Tiger. Do you.

But actually, to make it fair, we're gonna have to shut down all the slaughterhouses and farms. All that land will have to be reclaimed so the non-native "prey" animals can adapt and make it their habitat. We'll have to stop giving them grains and drugs, and we'll have to abandon dairy production since that hijacks the mammalian life cycle.

Damn, sounds like it might be easier to just not eat meat. Taking one step each as individuals seems more likely by far than making huge societal shifts, given that as a whole we are stubborn primates with delusions of grandeur and centuries of ingrained tradition.

OK, if we want to be technical, the use of fire to cook and the tools of hunting and eating were developed from human ideas. Adaptation can be argued as an outgrowth of our physiology since it makes use of the parts of the brain that appear unique. Technology allowed us to evolve physically far faster than mentally, emotionally, or socially. We can call technology an emergent property of consciousness, and other species display it on a more rudimentary scale. In the case of modern humans, what we have is a species that *can* do anything which has a strong tendency to do the new trick/play with the new toy without thinking about the long term. "It seemed like a good idea at the time" could be a one-line history of the human race, but so could "we always did it this way." People overwhelmingly choose to keep doing what they like.

Most people agree on the grimness of factory farming, though I would have to this extends to all modern animal agriculture. However many feelgood adjectives there are on the package, the facts remain. Meat comes from slaughter at the end of a truncated and unpleasant life. Confinement is unhealthy and cruel. Hens and cows aren't meant to produce milk or eggs in high volume (even in backyards) and it destroys them. These animals can and do only exist to be exploited in their current forms, at all scales of domestication.

Animal products tend to cause problems in people who overeat them, which is virtually everyone who does. No one in the developed world is in danger of protein deficiency, and there are many reliable plant sources, even leaving tofu and processed foods out, that deliver the protein without the saturated fats, pharmaceuticals, and so on. The same adaptability that gave us fire and knives allows us to survive on anything, so it's down to choice.

The thing is, on a grand scale, I know it's moot. Most people put their pleasure first in all aspects of life from food to family. I'm not here to turn the world vegan and I can't force anyone to change anyway. In this and many other areas, I've chosen to act as an individual. I aim for the path of least harm, which in this case, for me, means being vegan. I find that my life has only improved and I see no reason to participate in what I see as both unnecessary and unsustainable.

A few times a year, some new clue is found that lengthens and changes the story of human evolution. For hundreds of thousands of years, we did what we had to in order to fit into our environment and survive. Now, we can do what we want, and have the power to shift our surrounds to suit us instead. May we all learn to do it wisely, at this key moment of choice between exploitation in the service of illusory infinite growth and moves toward sustaining, thriving and redefining life on Earth.