Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chicken Chasers

Today's BIZARRO has BEEN brought TO you BY Inappropriate CAPITALIZATION of NORTH America.

I'm a pretty cynical person and don't believe in a lot of hocus pocus. I don't believe in anything "spiritual," the power of crystals, psychic phenomenon, karma, etc.

Nonetheless, I think that many western doctors think they know way more than they do and would be wise to be more open to things like acupuncture, herbal remedies, etc. (I've experienced amazing and permanent results from acupuncture, a process I once suspected was complete nonsense. Some herbal remedies, too.)

Long ago, I eschewed any doctor who does not talk to me like an equal (with an admittedly vastly inferior medical education), explain things to me in ways I can understand, and include me in the decision making process of my treatment.

When my eldest daughter was still less than a year old, a pediatrician told her mother and me that, "she should be eating meat by now." He meant baby food meat, of course, but still.

Our response was something along the lines of, "if she needed meat at this age, wouldn't nature have given her teeth?" He stared at us as though we were disobedient teens and moved on to the next subject.

Unprepared for such idiocy from the mouth of a person in a lab coat, we were dumbfounded and just made our way out of the office, never to return.

My baby's momma and I were not vegetarians or anything of the sort back then, but we were not stupid enough to miss the point that if human infants "needed" meat, they'd have long pointy teeth with which to eat it. Assuming that mechanical blending devices that turn meat into baby-food-like goo did not exist in prehistoric times, that is.

Decades later, I came to realize that if humans of any age "needed" meat, we'd be equipped with hunting tools like claws, fangs, night vision, speed, camouflage, etc. Slow, flat-toothed, stubby-fingered, hairless apes with poor vision and smell make pretty lousy hunters until they figure out tools and language.


Pavel said...

While I respect and admire vegetarians, and am trying to reduce the number of waminals in my daily diet myself, nature gave us the stamina to chase down other animals and break their heads with clubs. Apparently most animals can only sprint - humans are the only things truly capable of marathon running.

And as far as tools, well, nature gave us big honkin' brains. Might as well use 'em.

Love your work, and hope that one day you'll tour through Texas.

lambelly said...

I am sympathetic to the vegetarian cause, but I don't know if I find your argument compelling. This "if we were meant to eat meat we would have X" argument seems too much like thinking we were intelligently designed, which is just not the case. For instance, you mention that it would be difficult to use to hunt without tools. Maybe so, but we have been using tools for literally millions of years that we know of. This "nature" argument seems to assume that there is a nature that we're somehow not following because we choose to eat meat, but isn't millions of years of history enough to establish that we have at least some sort of capacity to eat meat?

You can argue that it's healthier to eat vegetables and I'd agree with you. You can argue that it's more humane and I'd agree. But to say that we're not "meant" to eat meat is attributing meaning or intent to something that doesn't have intelligence and ignores millions of years of history.

julie said...

I agree with lambelly... while I'd like to think we're "highly evolved" or at least "know better," we're just animals like every other creature on this planet.

Additionally, the argument of "if we were meant to eat meat, we'd have..." also falls apart because nature HAS evolved us to eat meat.

Animals with eyes on the front of their head that look forward are predators (better depth perception to be able to catch things), whereas animals with eyes on the sides of their head (greater range of vision so they can run away) are prey. We hunt and kill things. Tigers, lions - hunters. Rabbits, birds, lizards - prey. Humans - hunters. Cows, chickens - prey.

Also, different animals have different tolerances and requirements for meat. Cats are evolved to eat a lot of meat. Dogs, less. Cows have four stomachs to process grass. Some lizards eat 100% bugs. If you feed a pet iguana (tree top dweller) any amount of animal meat, it stands a good chance of dying from renal failure because it's not designed to eat meat.

We require about 20% protein, animal meat or other protein. It's your choice. Too much meat and it will kill you. Clearly we evolved to eat mostly plant materials with the occasional squirrel or other small animal thrown in.

L. Erskine said...

Yeah, I gotta put my two cents along side the others.

We evolved out of having claws and all of that because we figured out how to use tools.

Being a vegan is a perk of modern society. Without our ability to transport the various things that a vegan needs in order to get the necessary nutrients, veganism wouldn't exist.

As it is, vegetarians can only survive in a handful of places on the planet and get the nutrients needed without the aid of modern society.

The pediatrician you had sounds like a dumb ass. I breastfed my son until he was almost a year and a half (he didn't get his first tooth until 12-13 months). He didn't need anything else during that time and his doctor never suggested otherwise. My son switched to solids almost overnight because he was READY... and well, I think baby food is gross.

isee3dtoo said...

I love the line from the Beverly Hillbillies about Jethro. Jed was describing Jethro's crib and why it was chewed up.

"He was born with a full set of teeth. Just like a beaver".

So when you need teeth nature gives them to you.

P.S. I have a wall of diplomas but I still admit my students may be smarter than me, in some cases I know they are.

Jeremy said...

Dan, you need to show these people the talking pig video.

I hesitated getting into this, but these comments convinced me.

People like to say that the Bible is not a science book. That is true. It IS a history book though. It clearly states that we were originally designed to eat plants. In fact all animals were originally designed to eat only plants.

The human digestive tract is long and complicated and designed to break down complex materials like plants and fruit. The fact that we have to cook meat for it not to kill us should tell you right there that its not natural for us to eat it.

Evolutionists will bring in the 'tools' argument. Millions of years. If it has been millions of years, where are our adapted teeth? Where are the micro-organisms to digest the meat?

There are many plants with adequate protein to sustain humans. The fact that there are millions of living vegans proves that. My church advocates a meat-free diet for healthy living. National Geographic recently did a study and found that Seventh-Day Adventists are among the longest living people (

Eating meat is murder, for both parties.

Unknown said...

Suddenly I see!!!

1st)Jeremy see Leigh's post. The logic rules.

2nd) We can indeed eat and process raw meat, have you never heard of steak tartar? What about Sushi? Genetically humans are predisposed to be omnivorous. what we can't process comes out the other end, the same as every other creature on the planet. Ever deal with snake poop? they eat whole critters and yet there are no bones in the stool. Why? They digest them. Owls on the other hand leave little piles of bony feces. (ouch?!) next time you have a barbecue and chow you gut out on corn-on-the-cob,look before you flush the next day. Tell me what are all those little yellow floaters? And don't tell me that vegans don't have barbecues, grilled veggies are VERY tasty, and if you don't cook some of them your jaw will fall off by the time you done chewing.

3rd) Evolutionists? You say that like it has no proof! We have fossils, the oldest (verifiable and widely recognized) bible related artifact is the Dead Sea Scrolls. They were still paper and a lot younger that the sedimentary layers where the T-rex was first discovered. I hope you will have a mind open enough to go see "religulous" (sp?) on Friday, maybe gain some insight.

Jeremy said...

I don't know where Leigh gets her information. What part of the world that humans naturally habitate can a human not grow plants to get the proper nutrition?

Troll, what are you hoping I learn from Religulous? I won't be able to see in in the theatre since I don't have that kind of money. I do plan on seeing it when it comes out on DVD as I am a big fan of Bill Maher.

I don't understand how you think having fossils disproves the Dead Sea Scrolls.

derekamalo said...

hey dan im posting a link that i think you and all your fans should be aware of i had no idea your work keeps valuing upwards

derekamalo said...

hey jeremy not for nothing,i think your a decent poster but everyone is taught differantly ..

my dad had me believing til i was in my mid 20's that the reason why your kind didnt eat pork was you were to cheap to buy it ..

Lorie said...

No "sympathy" need be given vegetarians, nor "respect and admiration". You either eat meat and animal products or you don't. Being a vegetarian or a vegan takes a little more work. With few exceptions, we cannot drive through and pick up our food. We shop, cook, and clean up afterward. On occasion, we may find a restaurant that serves vegetarian or vegan food, and we visit it frequently. For the most part, we are stuck with salads and sides if we are with a large group. Functions can be a challenge. But because it is not easy, most take the "human's are superior to animals" route, rather than admit they are incapable of following a vegetarian or vegan diet. They eat meat because it is convenient, cheap and they cannot give up their Big Macs and Whoppers. This is the source of most of the contention. I don't take a stance on my food unless I am confronted, which happens frequently. I would never challenge a meat eater when we where sitting down to dinner, but I cannot tell you how many times I've heard "How can you eat like that?! That's disgusting!", as they plow into a plate of veal. Or this one - "How can you get your iron/protein/minerals? That's so unhealthy!", from someone who weighs 250 to my 125. Vegans and vegetarians are better educated when it comes to the source of their food, or they read books by those who are. I have friends who are on the fence. I give them a copy of Fast Food Nation. Done deal.

Anonymous said...

thank you jeremy and lorie!!!

the rest of ya...even though we aren't the only animals on earth.. some of us sure do act like it..yeesh...

Penny Mitchell said...

Okay, I have GOT to know what is up with that guy with the wood sticking out of his back. That is really disturbing.

And...I went veggie because I would not have the stomach, callousness and/or flat out ability for cruelty that it takes to harvest meat. When it's wrapped in clean plastic at the store it's so nice and tidy, isn't it? I would not be willing to raise a cow or chicken, slaughter it and harvest it, so...I don't eat that way.

My husband and I have chickens. We eat their eggs, but we have never and will never slaughter one. When the hens grow too old to lay eggs, they live with us happily until they make it clear it's time for them to move on. Yes, we've taken hens to the vet to be euthanized due to illness and old age. Our vet doesn't even bat an eye.

Add to all that the reality that a veg diet is infinitely better for the planet and better for our bodies, and it's a no-brainer.

John Mayer said...

Nature gave us brains to use clubs to kill animals? And how did we survive before our brains got so big? And “most” animals only sprint? Did you ever see _March of the Penguins_? Also, sled dogs do up to eighty miles a day.

I’m guessing you’re referring to Harvard Prof Dan Lieberman’s paper. Nothing but speculation. Yeah, everyone knows that humans have good endurance. But that may have been needed to range a wide territory looking for our natural PLANT foods. _Man the Hunted_ spells out very plainly that our ancestors were not hunters; they were prey.

I haven’t checked, but I’m just guessing man is an endurance wimp compared to the camel. We used to plow our fields with a team of mules who yanked a big old blade right through the earth, while we humans got worn out just following along yelling “Gee!” and “Haw!”

The fact that man has, in some locales, been able to use our endurance to whack our fellow animals doesn’t mean squat. We also evolved opposable thumbs along with our big honking brains that enabled us to develop nuclear weapons. That doesn’t mean that man evolved to create nuclear holocaust.

John Mayer said...

And to Lambelly: Of course we have the capacity to eat meat (though we know that our granddaddy Australopithecus didn’t), but that doesn’t mean we should. We also have the “capacity” to eat dirt, and some people do; it’s an eating disorder called mica, and it’s bad for us, too. Cows have the “capacity” to eat other cows. That’s how we got mad cow disease. They also have the capacity to eat chicken manure, which is also part of their diet in feed lots. Doesn’t mean evolution intended cows to follow along after chickens eating their droppings.

You’re right: nature, or evolution, or the Great Scheme of Things doesn’t care whether we adhere to the diet for which we are best adapted (and everything about our physiology indicates we are not adapted to meat). It just makes us a pay a price when we don’t. Nothing personal, just nature’s way. You might call it unintelligent design.

John Mayer said...

To Penny: I was raised on a farm and I DID participate in the slaughter of animals beyond number. Their deaths were not pretty, but I never considered the morality of it till my Dad decided to have one of our hogs killed professionally at an abattoir, thinking it would suffer less. THAT was a mistaken assumption. And THAT was a merciful death compared to the modern slaughterline. To say nothing of the fact that our animals lived pretty decent lives until killing day, unlike the unspeakable misery in modern factory meat farms. Your compassion does you credit, and your instincts serve you well. There is not enough nutrition in a steak to begin to be worth the misery the cow from which it was sliced experienced.

julie said...

john mayer said:

"Nature gave us brains to use clubs to kill animals?"

"...That doesn’t mean that man evolved to create nuclear holocaust."

Nature doesn't "think" or "rationalize" anything. We're humans. We use clubs, guns, needles, and outright torture to kill and maim animals (and humans, for that matter). I'm not condoning it. I'm just calling it for what it is.

We have a president that has literally killed over a million Iraqis, and doesn't bat an eye at each American soldier that is killed or wounded in his ultimate naked power grab.

If you think we've evolved brains to know better, you're sorely mistaken.

And for all of you Christians out there that believe in good, I'm sorry to say basic physics makes it so there is also bad (ie, for every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction). There will be people opposed to killing animals, and people who kill animals, right up til the time where we obliterate ourselves or get whacked by a meteor, or whatever.

We're temporary. The animals are temporary. Enjoy it all while you can. The sooner you understand that, the better life you will have.

John Mayer said...

To Julie: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So stereoscopic vision means we evolved to hunt animals, so we can tell how close our questing claws were to their flesh while we were running them down, eh? Next time you see a rabbit in the field, put your theory to the test. Let’s see how valuable your 3D vision is in chasing him down. Of course, you probably COULD catch, say a tortoise, but you wouldn’t really need particular acute depth perception for that, now would you. I wonder what other use there might be for 3D vision among our primate ancestors. How about... leaping from tree to tree? Now, wouldn’t it be useful to know how far away that branch you were lunging for was? There is, btw, some speculation that man continued o spend a lot of time in trees even after we lost our prehensile toes.

As for animals with eyes on the sides of their heads... how about... sharks, some of the most efficient of hunters. And killer whales.

Wolves, btw, ancestors of dogs, are obligate carnivores; they eat no plant food including, as is sometimes erroneously claimed, the stomach contents of their herbivorous prey.

And birds are meant to be prey? I spent an entire summer living in the mountains while reintroducing peregrine falcons and watched them learning to fly and to hunt. There is no more skilled hunter on earth.

John Mayer said...

I really need to turn in, but Leigh’s remark was especially funny; I’ll just respond to that one: “Being a vegan is a perk of modern society. Without our ability to transport the various things that a vegan needs in order to get the necessary nutrients, veganism wouldn't exist.“ How hilarious! The necessary nutrients are right there in the plants we eat. After all, that’s where the meat that you eat gets them.

“As it is, vegetarians can only survive in a handful of places on the planet and get the nutrients needed without the aid of modern society.“ Well, now, that’s true. They can only survive in the places where man evolved, where all the plant foods we needed were usually relatively easy to come by.

In fact, it was probably the exodus of the humans less able to compete in their native tropics into the temperate and northern climes that made much of our race so dependent on meat; unhealthy though it is, it’s better than nothing, and there were few plant foods in the winter months. Nature only requires us to live long enough to reproduce to refrain from doing away with our species.

But I imagine the average vegan or vegetarian - I do have a friend who keeps free range chickens as pets, and would have no qualms about eating those eggs, though I still don’t think they’d be good for me - would do much better at maintaining their diet than the meat-eater would at keeping up his meat intake. Most chest-thumping meat-eaters in such debates are skilled only at stalking the drive-through lanes at local burger doodles.

Hey, I got a webpage of my own; far from exhaustive but there are many informative links there:

Gotta go; it’s late.

HollyBerry said...

agreed, piraro. i wish western doctors would take into consideration the benefits of eastern medicine (raike, herbal remedies, acupuncture) for the sake of diversifying their practice and enabling their patients to take better control of their ailments. so you've tried acupuncture? did all the needles freak you out at all? that would be my only limitation... rachael ray did it on her show the other day and she said it hurt... she also got it on her face, so that may be why. but i've considered trying it because there is this spot on my back that has been numb for a number of years and doctors tell me that there's nothing wrong. well, the chronic pain and occasional insomia tells me there IS something wrong, and i'm wondering what my other choices are besides prescription pills and physical therapy.

@jeremy-- i really value your opinions and you always have great things to say on here. but i have to say, using the bible as means of proving your point doesn't work, especially in this crowd. i'm not saying you're ridiculous for believing in god and the bible, i'm just saying you shouldn't use the bible to justify your arguments. a lot of times it seems you contradict yourself when you switch from talking about the bible as fact and then talk about evolution as fact. to me, you either believe one or the other because you can't "kind-of" believe in both.

as far as the vegan/vegetarian argument goes, i think everyone is going to defend the point in which they believe to the core, regardless of the evolution of man. is it really that important to justify to other people "why" you are a vegan/vegetarian/meat-eater? the only reason there is an argument at all is because of what?! human nature. everyone thinks they have the know-all of human evolution when none of us REALLY knows anything at all. it's all perception. so you grew up on a farm and saw tons of animals being slaughtered, and that's why you're a vegetarian. that's great! it works for you! don't think you're smarter than everyone else because you "experienced real animal cruelty" and know how to properly support the cause. so you had an epiphany that killing animals is as cruel as killing human beings and you're now a devoted vegan. that's wonderful! but don't think you're better than those who DON'T consider killing animals just as cruel as killing humans.. consider yourself better educated and healthier becasue of your choices, and those who don't make healthy decisions for themselves will obviously face the consequences. i think all of us in here are of sound mind, and are probably a little more intelligent than your common blogger types, but we're all really arguing the same thing from a different perspective.

i went veggie on september 25, 2005 on the way home from my mom's wedding when my brothers talked about how veal was raised. not that i was a huge fan of veal, i just didn't realize the level of cruelty that was inflicted on a baby cow JUST for commercial benefit. i've since become more educated about animal cruelty vs. killing an animal for food, and i actually still eat some meat. but i also buy all natural/organic groceries, and reap the benefits of my more healthy choices. why is it so hard to accept another persons' opinion about something we are so passionate? just knowing i make better food choices than most people is proof enough for me that i will live a longer, healthier life. not some pointless argument in some guys comic blog.

can't we all just be friends?!

Unknown said...

Shortcake is as always the voice of reason. You really are quite Zen, aren't you?

I didn't say that fossils "disprove" the Dead Sea Scrolls, my point was that fossils prove evolution. The fossil record is millions of years older than the Dead Sea Scrolls. Fiction is fiction no matter how you frill it up. Worship as you wish, and I will bother you no more about it, as long as you don't try to site religion as fact. The only true fact about religion is that it is as dangerous as it is beneficial, just like nuclear energy.

I always laugh when I see a Vegetarian Cafe with outside tables, each with an ashtray on it.

To the point of Modern Vegan verses historical vegetarian, how do you milk (verb) rice or soybeans? Tofurkey? you can't make it when you live in a yurt. Historically indigenous peoples ate what was available where they lived and wandered. Trial and error showed them what was safe and what wasn't.

Cows don't eat cows by choice, that was man's doing. A cow will starve to death before eating another cow, or any other available carcass, because they have no idea that there is nutrition to be had.

It's only a matter of time before mankind screws the pooch and destroys himself, we find new ways to do it every day. Enjoy life and live the way you wish. All I ask is the you give me the same luxury.I promise not to hurt you or eat your pets.

Jeremy said...

Shortcake, I don't believe in Evolution anymore. I graduated high school believing evolution but I recently learned the truth and how so many things are wrong with evolution.

How convenient for troll to abandon the conversation after dropping a bomb like "Fossils prove evolution." That's just not true. Fossils prove something died, that's all.

Penny Mitchell said...

Jeremy, God bless you,'re only fostering the stereotype that all Christians are not too horribly bright.

This hardcore born-again Christian believes in evolution and the scientific method, for the record.

Mike Duffau said...

health is wealth! but its your choice whatcha wanna eat! if yous wanna eat meat...go ahead. yous wanna eat greens...thats good too, but dont bring religion to the messes with people's minds. its bad enough we have religion in politics, race and wars. just be happy that you have something to eat because when things get worse, youre not gonna be in a position to be picky.

keep punchin'

Jym said...

=v= One of the more bizarro aspects of my life these days (after 30 years of vegetarianism!) is enduring the fervent dietary advice of meat-eaters who weigh twice as much as I do.

Bottom line is that the human body, omnivorously adaptable as it is, functions best on plant foods. Study after study shows that long-term vegetarians are healthier than those eating meat.

socalgal69 said...

Dietary choices aside, I would like to specifically address the cartoon used in this blog.

I've had to deal with a great number of medical problems over the last year and a half. During this time I've learned how little the average person knows about health and medicine. In and of itself, this is no big deal. What alarms me is the number of people I've run across who think they know more than the experts, when if fact they don't, and feel the need to force their so-called expertise on the rest of the world. These people are very dangerous.

I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to ask these people if I could see their medical degrees!

I know you are probably saying to yourself, "So, don't listen to those idiots!" and I completely agree. However, when one of them happens to be your boss, that's easier said than done. Another one of these 'know-it-alls' also works with me and, unfortunately, has a great deal of influence on my boss. They aren't the only ones I've run across since my medical problems started, but they are the ones I've had to deal with the most. It's unnerving how these types of people are able to be so certain they know better than the actual experts.

I'm working very closely with a very good team of doctors and have made a great deal of progress in spite of the very bad advice I've gotten (but fortunately haven't taken) from others in my life. This cartoon really struck a chord with me and I love it! I would love to frame it and put it on the wall in my cubicle!

Anonymous said...

lambelly is completely right and just in response to Pavel-
Many animals are capible of what we would consider marathon running.
A grey wolf can hold a gentle run of about 20 kph (~13mph) for anywhere up to 10 hours as long as they were well rested at the start.
And it depends on your definition of "marathon" does a sea turtle travelling several thousand kilometres a year count? as it's technically not running. But it is constantly moving. as our brains form and we became sociable the physical cost of keeping muscles and claws became inhibitive. Read a book on evolution some time. its great.