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(Comparative Anatomy and Physiology Brought Up to Date--continued, Part 8A)

Further Issues in the Debate over
Omnivorous vs. Vegetarian Diets

Preface and overview. This section examines some of the related or ancillary claims, i.e., claims other than those based strictly on comparative anatomy/physiology, that are sometimes included in the comparative "proofs" for specific diets. Inasmuch as there is a wide variety of such claims, and such ancillary claims are often lengthy, this section is primarily an overview or summary response to such claims.

This section first briefly considers two bogus fruitarian claims. Then, as an important prerequisite to discussing the use or interpretation of clinical data in ancillary claims, we examine hunter-gatherer diets to see if a healthy omnivore/faunivore diet exists. Then we examine some common logical fallacies in the interpretation of clinical and epidemiological data. After that, we examine the topic of instinct versus intelligence, and finally finish by addressing a long list of bogus claims about instinct made by a fruitarian extremist.

Two Fruitarian Claims

Anti-protein theories: prime examples of crank science

Overview of anti-protein theories. These theories were mentioned in earlier sections, and only a brief summary is presented here. The basic thrust of such theories is that:

Ergo, one could summarize the above as "protein is toxic" in figurative terms, although in literal terms, one might summarize the theory as "protein is toxic in the sense that consuming anything above minimal requirements causes the production of metabolic by-products that are toxic and harmful."

Defects of anti-protein theories. The problem with such theories is that:

See the article, "Is Protein Toxic?" on this site (not yet available) for an in-depth analysis of anti-protein theories; also see the article Fruit is Not Like Mother's Milk for background information relevant to the theories.

The theories mentioned above are prime examples of crank science. They might look impressive to the layperson, as they may include detailed calculations and citations to scientific journals. However, a close look at the logic and other details will reveal them to be crank science: bogus and fallacious. It should be mentioned that even conventional veg*ns might find the above site articles of interest, for they illuminate the crank science and bad logic that pervade the (vegan) fruitarian movement.

Raw irony. Another example of "raw irony" should be noted here. Some of the staunchest advocates of the anti-protein theories report that they apparently have not managed to succeed, long-term, on the "ideal," ultra-low protein fruitarian diets that they advocate. It seems their message is, "Do as I say, not as I do."

Fruitarian straw argument: a pristine preindustrial world

Inasmuch as paleoanthropology and evolution provide powerful scientific evidence that humans are not natural veg*ns/fruitarians but are instead, natural omnivores/faunivores, some raw/veg*n advocates have resorted to straw arguments. The straw argument is to assert that those discussing the evolutionary diet of humans are claiming that humans who follow an evolutionary diet will be disease-free, and that prehistoric life was some kind of Eden.

Of course, such assertions are distortions and exaggerations. No credible researcher of evolutionary diet would suggest that following such a diet will guarantee perfect health, or that prehistoric life was Edenic. In sharp contrast to the straw claims of an Eden, the fossil record points to high mortality rates from what could be described as occupational hazards (hunting, accidents, predators, and other kinds of violence) in prehistoric times. Disease (primarily acute) was also a major mortality factor.

The use of such a straw argument provides yet another example of "raw irony," for it has become commonplace in certain fruitarian circles to claim that the fruitarian diet provides "paradise health." As mentioned in previous sections, extensive anecdotal evidence (all that is available) indicates that adherence to a strict (vegan) fruitarian diet in the long run often leads to serious physical and/or mental ill health.

Let us now turn our attention to more important matters in the following sections.


(Hunter-Gatherers: Examples of Healthy Omnivores)

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GO TO PART 1 - Brief Overview: What is the Relevance of Comparative Anatomical and Physiological "Proofs"?

GO TO PART 2 - Looking at Ape Diets: Myths, Realities, and Rationalizations

GO TO PART 3 - The Fossil-Record Evidence about Human Diet

GO TO PART 4 - Intelligence, Evolution of the Human Brain, and Diet

GO TO PART 5 - Limitations on Comparative Dietary Proofs

GO TO PART 6 - What Comparative Anatomy Does and Doesn't Tell Us about Human Diet

GO TO PART 7 - Insights about Human Nutrition & Digestion from Comparative Physiology

GO TO PART 8 - Further Issues in the Debate over Omnivorous vs. Vegetarian Diets

GO TO PART 9 - Conclusions: The End, or The Beginning of a New Approach to Your Diet?

Back to Research-Based Appraisals of Alternative Diet Lore

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