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Old August 20 2009, 06:54 AM   #1
J. Allen
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Why do we eat what we eat?

I've been thinking about this for a little while. As living organisms, we have to consume in order to convert that sustenance into energy and to power our bodies. Why, though, do we eat other life forms? We eat plants and animals. Why? Why are we designed this way?


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Old August 20 2009, 07:04 AM   #2
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

Because The Matrix tells our brains that it's juicy and delicious.
Ignorance is bliss, baby.
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Old August 20 2009, 07:25 AM   #3
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

J. Allen wrote: View Post
I've been thinking about this for a little while. As living organisms, we have to consume in order to convert that sustenance into energy and to power our bodies. Why, though, do we eat other life forms? We eat plants and animals. Why? Why are we designed this way?


J.
Would you rather eat rocks?
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Old August 20 2009, 07:33 AM   #4
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

Sephiroth wrote: View Post
Because The Matrix tells our brains that it's juicy and delicious.
Ignorance is bliss, baby.
Eh.

JonathonWally wrote: View Post
J. Allen wrote: View Post
I've been thinking about this for a little while. As living organisms, we have to consume in order to convert that sustenance into energy and to power our bodies. Why, though, do we eat other life forms? We eat plants and animals. Why? Why are we designed this way?


J.
Would you rather eat rocks?
If I were designed to do so, yes, but I'm not. I'm just curious as to why our sustenance is other living things.

J.
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Old August 20 2009, 07:35 AM   #5
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

Short answer: We evolved that way.

Long answer: Um...ask someone who specializes in evolution.
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Old August 20 2009, 07:36 AM   #6
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Short answer: We evolved that way.

Long answer: Um...ask someone who specializes in evolution.
I would if they'd answer.
Of course, that is what I'm asking. Why did we evolve to eat other life forms?


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Old August 20 2009, 07:36 AM   #7
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

That is the order of things.
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Old August 20 2009, 07:42 AM   #8
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

Because we derive most of the necessary nutrients from plant and animal life (e.g., protein, fats, vitamins, etc.).
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Old August 20 2009, 07:44 AM   #9
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

Oddly enough I had a similar thought, and came up with a crazy hypothesis. Once upon a time (namely primordial Earth), a natural localised disaster cut off an area of plankton/early life/whatever from it's natural energy source (the Sun). Slowly, as available energy ran out, some of the early life did the only reasonable thing and started 'eating' the other life forms that were dead from starvation, and slowly started eating even forms that were still alive. Considering that there was no mechanism to defend against being eaten (yet), these new early predators spread and started eating other life forms that had already done the hard work in harvesting the sun's energy.

Yes, that does mean that my hypothesis is stating that all herbivores and carnivores evolved from single cell cannibals

Feel free to dismiss the idea
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Old August 20 2009, 07:56 AM   #10
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

Drone36929 wrote: View Post
Because we derive most of the necessary nutrients from plant and animal life (e.g., protein, fats, vitamins, etc.).
That makes sense, but why do we do it? Is there any idea as to what caused organisms to start eating other organisms?

SilentP wrote: View Post
Oddly enough I had a similar thought, and came up with a crazy hypothesis. Once upon a time (namely primordial Earth), a natural localised disaster cut off an area of plankton/early life/whatever from it's natural energy source (the Sun). Slowly, as available energy ran out, some of the early life did the only reasonable thing and started 'eating' the other life forms that were dead from starvation, and slowly started eating even forms that were still alive. Considering that there was no mechanism to defend against being eaten (yet), these new early predators spread and started eating other life forms that had already done the hard work in harvesting the sun's energy.

Yes, that does mean that my hypothesis is stating that all herbivores and carnivores evolved from single cell cannibals

Feel free to dismiss the idea
Interesting.


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Old August 20 2009, 08:01 AM   #11
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

J. Allen wrote: View Post
Drone36929 wrote: View Post
Because we derive most of the necessary nutrients from plant and animal life (e.g., protein, fats, vitamins, etc.).
That makes sense, but why do we do it? Is there any idea as to what caused organisms to start eating other organisms?
Organisms required ________ to survive. They had to develop a method of ingesting ________ so they could use it. Likely, back in the day, these organisms were probably absorbing things through osmosis or photosynthesis or whatever. Probably by some random mutation, a creature developed the means to consume/absorb another organism. Evolution took its course, and these creatures began to rely on other organisms for sustenance. Some of these creatures evolved to require nutrients from plants (herbivores). Others require nutrients found in other animals (carnivores). And some of us require nutrients found in both.
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Old August 20 2009, 08:08 AM   #12
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
J. Allen wrote: View Post
Drone36929 wrote: View Post
Because we derive most of the necessary nutrients from plant and animal life (e.g., protein, fats, vitamins, etc.).
That makes sense, but why do we do it? Is there any idea as to what caused organisms to start eating other organisms?
Organisms required ________ to survive. They had to develop a method of ingesting ________ so they could use it. Likely, back in the day, these organisms were probably absorbing things through osmosis or photosynthesis or whatever. Probably by some random mutation, a creature developed the means to consume/absorb another organism. Evolution took its course, and these creatures began to rely on other organisms for sustenance. Some of these creatures evolved to require nutrients from plants (herbivores). Others require nutrients found in other animals (carnivores). And some of us require nutrients found in both.
Ah ha, I see. Now we're getting somewhere (or about to go around in circles, I'm not sure yet). So it could just be a random mutation that became the next step in our evolutionary phase. I just wonder because most living organisms have defenses so that they don't become food. Why would evolution work against itself?

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Old August 20 2009, 08:10 AM   #13
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

I'm fairly certain that's all evolution is. Some random mutations just happen to be beneficial and become part of a species through reproduction. The mutations that aren't beneficial get weeded out because they don't get passed down to the next generation.
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Old August 20 2009, 08:12 AM   #14
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

J. Allen wrote: View Post
Ah ha, I see. Now we're getting somewhere (or about to go around in circles, I'm not sure yet). So it could just be a random mutation that became the next step in our evolutionary phase. I just wonder because most living organisms have defenses so that they don't become food. Why would evolution work against itself?

J.
I think, strictly speaking, as long as a batch of DNA can survive and copy itself, it doesn't care how it's done. DNA doesn't look out for fellow DNA, hence competition through species. Tis' tribalism at the molecular scale
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Old August 20 2009, 08:13 AM   #15
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Re: Why do we eat what we eat?

Survival of the fittest. If the fittest get to be the fittest by eating other animals, so be it.
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