Are people evolutionarily vegetarian or not vegetarian?

Evolution: humans are meat-eaters by nature - is that really true?

Are humans meat - or herbivores? Our anatomy suggests the latter

For a long time, animal foods have been a central component of the diet of Homo sapiens since ancient times. In the meantime, however, researchers know that our food has always been strongly plant-based. This is indicated by many anatomical and physiological features.

This includes the swallowing mechanism of humans: animal carnivores can gulp down their food in large chunks, digestion only begins in the stomach. For herbivores, on the other hand, the following applies: They have to chew well so that they can utilize their food. Human saliva contains an enzyme that enables starch to be broken down while chewing.

In addition, certain muscle fibers form fermentation chambers in the large intestine, in which indigestible food components are broken down - and which are usually found in herbivores or omnivores with predominantly plant-based food.

And while the body of classic carnivores can produce vitamin C itself, humans are dependent on ingesting this vitamin through food: The active ingredient was probably always so abundant in their diet that they could do without their own synthesis.

Meat consumption made the cerebrum grow

But then early humans added meat to their diet - and that contributed to the rapid growth of the human cerebrum.

Today, however, a diet that is heavily based on meat can have unhealthy consequences - our way of life has fundamentally changed: In the Stone Age, meat came from wild game, and hunting for food was hard physical work.

With today's sedentary lifestyle, high-energy food such as meat with a high fat content is rather difficult to get along with.