WHAT MAKES AN ANIMAL AN ACCEPTABLE FOOD? Name of course: Date due: Introduction Human beings are termed as omnivorous creatures. This classification is founded on the surveillance that the homo-sapiens species consume a wide array of plant and animal foods…
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” Human anatomy and physiology The incisors of humans are flat and spade-like, essential for peeling, snipping and biting soft materials. The canines are neither saw-like nor conical but are flattened, blunt and small and work like incisors. The premolars and molars are squarish, flattened and nodular, essential for compressing, grinding and pulping non-coarse foods. Human teeth are rather large and usually abut against one another. According to evolutionary theory, an omnivore might be anticipated to be a carnivore, which shows some gastrointestinal tract alterations to a herbivorous diet. The human gastrointestinal tract characterizes the anatomical modifications consistent with a herbivorous diet. Humans have brawny lips and a petite opening into the oral cavity (Milton, 1999:15). How humans evolved to consume meat The pattern of meat consumption in human evolution can be classified into four time periods namely opportunistic hunting and scavenging, full-scale hunting, the shift to domesticated food sources and ultimately the reliance on animal tissues with fatty acid composition now associated with harmful health. The patterns of meat acquisition later took various forms as reflected in regional specializations, and exploitation of marine resources derived from fishing using new and innovative strategies of acquiring food. Domestic animal sources in regions like the Middle East used sheep, cattle, goats and later pigs and chicken were linked to food security, clothing and shelter as used in the provision for meat, milk and skin for clothing and housing materials. The warming trend, over-hunting and subsequent extinction of animals led to the appearance of new plants and animals that could now be domesticated (Milton, 1999:37). The ability to cook foods from tough to soft consistencies has led to the reduction in the bony areas of the facial skeletal that supports the teeth in the jaws, reduction in tooth size, less room for dentition resulting in the rise of occlusal abnormalities in humans and tooth decay. Bone size and structure was stronger in hunting and gathering regimes and weaker in agricultural settings (Milton, 1999:14). The trend of conspicuous and excessive red meat consumption in the human diet has seen a decline in health, increased occlusal abnormalities, increased iron deficiency anemia, infections and bone loss. What makes an animal an acceptable food item? According to observations and readings from various studies, culture and religious beliefs makes an animal an acceptable food item. There are certain animals, which can be readily consumed in some nations and not viewed as wrong, but this can be the opposite in other countries (Douglas, 1997: 37). For instance, the Hindu cannot consume cow meat as they view this animal as sacred. Other nations, for instance Americans, consume cow meat and view it as a delicacy. Among the Hebrews classification of edible and inedible foods is discerned in religion towards holiness and integrity (Harris, 1997:66). Eastern religious influences such as Buddhism and Hinduism through their belief systems teach followers to minimize harm towards animals practiced by non-violence and compassion on all living creatures. In other groups, food taboos exist regarding the consumption of animal meat. Examples include monkey consumption in the Guaja community as taboo for pregnant women and their husbands, to adolescent girls for twelve
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