Should we eat like other primates?
I choose the original diet nature evolved humans to eat. One common argument against eating meat is that our genetically closest living cousins, chimps and bonobos, and our more distant relatives, gorillas eat only plants so we should try to emulate their diet.
The intestinal structure of these close relations, with a very large hind-gut, is designed to efficientlÂy digest plant foods very high in cellulose, which humans cannot handle. However, it is a misconception that they are strict herbivores in their natural environmenÂt.
One recent Jane Goodall Gombe study of chimps, for instance, concluded that the 45 members of one troop ate a ton of monkey meat per year. During one hunting binge, chimps killed 71 colobus monkeys in 68 days; one chimp alone killed 42 monkeys over five years. All told, chimps may kill and eat a third of the Gombe’s colobus population each year. Some speculate chimps eat more meat than many Americans.
Chimps track an animal such as a monkey, rip it apart with brute force, and eat virtually all parts raw. They scream with pleasure at the prospect of a meal with meat.
Recent observations suggest that gorillas actually eat both monkeys and antelope.