"Stop being a vegan and start enjoying what you eat."
Jamie Oliver, British celebrity chef
From the National Geographic Channel's website.
I caught a National Geograpic Special at 4 am this morning after my failed attempt at falling asleep at an earthly hour. It's about human evolution.
Christians, Muslims and whoever else who will willfully stone me to death for even mentioning that blasphemous 'E' word, please stop reading right now. Vegans can stay.
As I was saying, this TV program dealt with the idea that our evolutionary ancestors coexisted with other hominid species and may have even competed with them - and discussed the possible advantages that our great x some really big number grandfather may possess over the other cavemen that made him the Ultimate Survivor, while the losers bit the dust of history.
The bulk of the story dealt with Homo erectus, the first known hominid to be more man than ape. Here's a photograph of him excavated from some African cave;
What interested me the most was the fact that Homo erectus, our ancestor, beat the other troglodytes by the simple reason that he ate meat.
Get this; we won't be around at all if our forefathers had been vegans.
Apparently, Homo erectus was the only caveman species that migrated out of Africa to spread all over the globe because the other cavemen ate only fruits and shoots (which, supposedly, was rather rare outside of Africa at that time). Homo erectus had the significant advantage of being able to adapt to new food sources - and in this case; meat, glorious meat!
Another substantial milestone in human evolution was the discovery (and control) of fire, postulated to be done so by Homo erectus as well. This allowed them to cook meat and that made them a heck lot smarter in a relatively short period of time. How? Allow me to explain;
- Raw meat is tough and you'll need a lot of time to chew through them.
- Cooking meat will tenderize it, cutting down the chewing time to 1/5th the time required to chomp down raw steaks.
- Softer, cooked meat meant that Homo erectus will go on to develop smaller jaw muscles.
- Smaller jaw muscles meant lesser attachment surfaces for them on the skull, leaving it to develop more space for a bigger brain.
Meat = Smart!
It was also found out that an apeman, Paranthropus robustus, lived in the same place in Africa as Homo erectus. Robustus ate termites - which was an even richer calorie source compared to meat. Instead of us, it could have been Robustus' descendants that ultimately survived and rule the world today. It could have...
But one simple fact separates us from them;
Homo erectus ate Paranthropus robustus (No, I'm not joking).
Eat meat! Do not discard our legacy! Celebrate our existence!
k0k s3n w4i