Our modern population level of meat intake is far in excess of what our prehistoric ancestors ate and what today’s primitive hunter-gatherer societies consume, and much to our detriment in multiple ways. Reducing meat intake and increasing plant intake have advantages. Plant foods provide more vitamins, minerals, and fiber; less saturated fat and no significant amount of cholesterol; and less pesticide. In an increasingly crowded world, it must also be borne in mind that it requires far more land (and often habitat destruction and resulting species extinctions) to produce meat than it does to produce food crops. Further, our mass appetite for meat takes a dreadful toll in animal cruelty, even toward some very intelligent and emotional animals. A cow is not a fish. A chicken is not an oyster. I’m still an omnivore; I like meat. But I eat it infrequently and in much smaller portions than I used to (despite being unable to resist a couple of 12 oz. prime ribs a year).
Not only do plants and animals share a common ancestor, they are more closely related to one another than probably about 90% of all the February 1983 Limited Edition Outfit Retro 39th Bday Gift T Shirt of life on earth. Plants and animals are both eukaryotes, and that immediately makes them more closely related to one another than either is to all the bacteria and archaea. In addition to that, there are many single celled eukaryotes that are more distantly relatedly to both animals and plants than animals and plants are to one another. Being both eukaryotes, plants and animals actually share many, many fundamental similarities. They use virtually the exact same enzymes to replicate their DNA, and the exact same types of ribosomes to produce proteins.
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