Friday, August 27, 2010

List of Physiological Features Indicating Humans are Herbivores

 The dumbest, most cliché thing you could possibly say to a vegetarian: "Hey! So, if we weren't meant to eat meat, what are these for?" (Then point to canine teeth.)

I get stupid comments like that all the time. This list is for those people. And to answer that question (hopefully once and for all, but I'm not holding my breath), those teeth are for display purposes only, with a minimal amount of usefulness in such activities as cracking open seeds and nuts and tearing the rind off of fruit. I challenge you to go take down a buffalo with average human canines. And I'm not joking.

As far as why so many humans are actually eating meat now, that's a question best answered by society and culture rather than biology, but I'll save that for another day. To the list...

Facial Muscles
Carnivore--Reduced to allow wide mouth gape

Jaw Type
Carnivore--Angle not expanded
Herbivore--Expanded angle
Omnivore--Angle not expanded
Human-----Expanded angle

Jaw Joint Location
Carnivore--On same plane as molar teeth
Herbivore--Above the plane of the molars
Omnivore--On same plane as molar teeth
Human-----Above the plane of the molars

Jaw Motion
Carnivore--Shearing; minimal side-to-side motion
Herbivore--No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back
Omnivore--Shearing; minimal side-to-side
Human-----No shear; good side-to-side, front-to-back

Major Jaw Muscles
Herbivore--Masseter and pterygoids
Human-----Masseter and pterygoids

Mouth Opening vs. Head Size

Teeth (Incisors)
Carnivore--Short and pointed
Herbivore--Broad, flattened and spade shaped
Omnivore--Short and pointed
Human-----Broad, flattened and spade shaped

Teeth (Canines)
Carnivore--Long, sharp and curved
Herbivore--Dull and short or long (for defense), or none
Omnivore--Long, sharp and curved
Human-----Short and blunted

Teeth (Molars)
Carnivore--Sharp, jagged and blade shaped
Herbivore--Flattened with cusps vs complex surface
Omnivore--Sharp blades and/or flattened
Human-----Flattened with nodular cusps

Carnivore--None; swallows food whole
Herbivore--Extensive chewing necessary
Omnivore--Swallows food whole and/or simple crushing
Human-----Extensive chewing necessary

Carnivore--No digestive enzymes
Herbivore--Carbohydrate digesting enzymes
Omnivore--No digestive enzymes
Human-----Carbohydrate digesting enzymes

Stomach Type
Herbivore--Simple or multiple chambers

Stomach Acidity
Carnivore--Less than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach
Herbivore--pH 4 to 5 with food in stomach
Omnivore--Less than or equal to pH 1 with food in stomach
Human-----pH 4 to 5 with food in stomach

Stomach Capacity
Carnivore--60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract
Herbivore--Less than 30% of total volume of digestive tract
Omnivore--60% to 70% of total volume of digestive tract
Human-----21% to 27% of total volume of digestive tract

Length of Small Intestine
Carnivore--3 to 6 times body length
Herbivore--10 to more than 12 times body length
Omnivore--4 to 6 times body length
Human-----10 to 11 times body length

Carnivore--Simple, short and smooth
Herbivore--Long, complex; may be sacculated
Omnivore--Simple, short and smooth
Human-----Long, sacculated

Carnivore--Can detoxify vitamin A
Herbivore--Cannot detoxify vitamin A
Omnivore--Can detoxify vitamin A
Human-----Cannot detoxify vitamin A

Carnivore--Extremely concentrated urine
Herbivore--Moderately concentrated urine
Omnivore--Extremely concentrated urine
Human-----Moderately concentrated urine

Carnivore--Sharp claws
Herbivore--Flattened nails or blunt hooves
Omnivore--Sharp claws
Human-----Flattened nails

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A (slightly exaggerated) Depiction of How Non-vegans View Vegans and How Vegans View Themselves (or: FUN WITH MS PAINT!!! :D )

How vegans see themselves:

How non-vegans see vegans:

This is 5% social commentary and 95% alleviation of boredom.


I'm usually kind of conflicted about giving out free advertising, but I thought I had to say something for this new product I tried recently. It's called Match Meat and it comes in like six different delectable varieties. Holy crap, these are so fucking good!!! It's so amazingly awesome that I just want to roll around in it like a dog rolls around in his favorite cat turd! Here's a link for you all to check them out:

So I recently tried two of their products, the "chicken" and the "italian sausage." I wish I had taken pics of this stuff to show you guys, but some asshole stole my camera so I guess I'll just have to be as shamelessly verbose about this as possible.

Match Chicken: Though they advertise it as a "ground chicken alternative", you can pretty much get it all out of the package in one solid piece without it falling apart. It has a nice chewy texture without being too rubbery, it's not too dry like some faux meats (yes, I'm talking about you, Yves!) and it tastes pretty much exactly like it came from a bird. I sliced the whole piece of it into four cutlets, rubbed them down with some herb butter and baked them on a bed of sage stuffing. Holy mother fucking FUCK! It was just like one of those rotisserie chickens you can buy whole at the supermarket except without all the hormones, antibiotics, cancer, destruction, torture and death! (Though, I must say, my herb butter can pretty much rock the cock off of any meal I use it in.) Since it is technically a "ground" chicken alt, it did have a slight bit of a different consistency than a piece from an actual chicken would (kinda made it more like a fish consistency than chicken, so might be good as a fish alternative too if seasoned right) but I wouldn't say that's a negative and I think it has more to do with the way I used it. Still, every single bite was super amazing and I was seriously disappointed when it was all gone!

Match Italian Sausage: Hands down, this is THE BEST ITALIAN SAUSAGE I HAVE EVER HAD. I decided to use it to make lasagna, but as I was frying it up in the pan I couldn't keep my fingers out of it! This stuff is seriously the best vegan italian sausage you can ever get ever ever EVER! It has the same nice chewy texture as the Match Chicken, without being too dry, just with all the right herbs and spices to make a real Italian sausage. I've always thought Boca made the best burgers and would usually just chop some of those up and add my own seasonings whenever I wanted Italian sausage. No. This Match stuff is BETTER than anything I've made myself. The lasagna I eventually made out of it (and yes, one package is enough for a whole family size pan of lasagna) was PURELY ORGASMIC! Fo' Fuckin' REAL! With every bite I had an orgasm in my mouth, then my esophagus, then my stomach, then I'm pretty sure I felt a little one in a kidney, then my intestines and so on. So, you know how Daiya makes the best (affordable) vegan cheese? It's like the Daiya of Italian Sausage!

Basically, Match Meats are the fillet mignon of vegan meat alts. That also means that, along with the best taste, they're kinda pricey. I paid about $12 to $13 per package, but you can order them on their website for about $7.50 each (however, a minimum delivery order is four packages). Just like with any food, if you want better quality you're going to have to pay more (you know... at least until the revolution comes).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Myth #1: Vegans Are Whiny and Picky And Complain About EVERYTHING

At the place I work, sometimes they'll send one employee to go out and get lunch for everyone, usually pizza.  Most of the time I don't participate because I'm perpetually broke and they usually don't have a lot of things I can eat at the places they go to get food anyway, but I really wasn't in the mood to cook dinner that night for my boyfriend and myself so I decided to order a large cheeseless pizza (loaded with green olives, mushrooms and freakin' pineapples, of course!) that I would then bring home and add my own dairy-free cheese to. While giving the girl picking up the orders my money and the list of what I wanted, I completely neglected to specify that the person making the pizza kindly clean the knife before cutting it.

When the girl got back with the food, I told her that I had forgotten to specify that one instruction, but that I didn't really think it was that big of a deal. She told me not to worry because when she got to my order she told the people at the store, and I quote, "For the love of God, don't screw this up because they're VEGAN*!" (*Insert shock and horror here.) I told her, jokingly (but kinda half serious) that she really shouldn't have told them that because now they've probably squeezed bacon juice all over it just to spite me.(The pizza turned out to be fine, by the way.)

The problem I have with this situation is that the word "vegan" is automatically associated with "cranky, picky, whiny person who will complain about every little detail and make your job harder so you better get it right the first time or else it will be sheer HELL for you!" The requests I made for my food are no different than someone who might have an allergy, yet those people are not granted the same associations. For people with food allergies, it's usually, "Oh, that poor person, I better get this right so they don't get sick," even though eating a pizza covered in bacon juice could potentially make me sick as well, though they tend to see that situation more as my fault because it was my choice to be vegan. Same goes for people who simply don't like the taste of certain foods. Honestly, I've seen someone who hated onions complain WAY more and cause much more of a scene because they put onions on his pizza and he absolutely HATES onions. Because consumption of animal products has become so ingrained in our societal identity it's more common to see vegans/vegetarians relegated to "other" (as in "not one of us") even though, truthfully, EVERYONE is picky about the foods they eat.

Honestly, I've stopped telling most people I'm vegan when ordering food, unless they ask me about it first, because I know I'll automatically be associated with that stereotype and be instantly resented for it even if my veganism never actually causes any problem or a single second of extra work for the person preparing it. Most of the time you end up getting some unwarranted cliche comment about it from whoever you're talking to anyway, so it's just not worth it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A little introduction and explaination for this nifty new blog:

Why is it titled "Life Among Carnivores"?

-Because even if you can make a good argument that humans were supposed to eat other animals, most people consume WAAAAY more animal flesh than they should. Also, a lot of people really do see themselves as carnivores and revere the predatory nature of most meat eating animals and seek to emulate them. This blog is about living among those types of people.
The title was also inspired by Living Among Meat Eaters by  Carol J. Adams.

What about the description, "Surviving the predatory resistance to the vegan lifestyle?"

-"Predatory resistance" refers to the tendency of some meat eating people to single out non-meat eating people as targets for ridicule, resentment, harassment and sabotage because of their own visceral aversion and rejection to (without a full understanding of) those who live differently than they do. Also, as stated above, a lot of people identify with predators more than other human beings.
Incidences which might fall under the category of "predatory resistance" include, but are not limited to:
*Finding out a friend/coworker/family member is vegetarian/vegan and actively seeking out to sabotage their meals by covertly adding animal products to them without their knowledge.
*Constantly keeping an eye out for when a vegan/vegetarian friend/coworker/family member accidentally consumes an animal product and likes it so they can take the opportunity to prove that their vegan/vegetarian friend really does want to eat animal products.
*Seeking out vegans/vegetarians specifically for the purpose of having a debate about food and diet and telling them why they're wrong (the reverse of which vegetarians/vegans are often accused of themselves).
*Purposefully making loud, verbose assessments of the juicy, bloody, delicious animal flesh they are consuming at the time, but ONLY IF there is a vegan/vegetarian in the vicinity.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Welcome and junk...

So, this is my first post on this thing. Sorry it can't be longer or really have any content. I don't really have the time to post anything interesting right now.

Like the background? Those are real vegan cupcakes!