Claim: We have predator-like features


Prey have eyes on the sides of their heads, predators have eyes forward. Therefore humans are predators and are built for eating meat. Similarly, we have a lot of other features that we share with wolves and lions, such as gallbladder chemistry

Problems With This Argument

1. These can be used to justify murder

Most of these types of claims can be used to justify murder. If you can chase down any animal, why not humans? Chimps engage in cannibalism; so why don't you? Lions use their teeth to rip through the flesh of each others' young. The list goes on. If we just "take tips from nature" we start to justify anything at all.

Also, most of these are cherry-picking. We can name a bunch of characteristics that we have in common with any particular type of animal. But just because, for instance, our stomach pH looks like that of a scavenger, it cannot be inferred that we should be eating roadkill. We recognize that this is a bad argument in all these other contexts. Why should they work here?

2. This has nothing to do with modern carnism

This is especially true for claims like "We have eyes in the front of our heads to be predators". What does the position of our eyes have to do with putting frozen pucks of beef into a shopping cart because we're "stalking our prey" in the grocery store? Hence, we recognize pretty easily in most contexts that these are just bad arguments. Our gallbladder that we supposedly share with wolves can't be used to defend eating cheese, for instance.

3. This doesn't address the healthfulness

We can't infer what is healthy from this claim. In fact, most of these have nothing to do with health at all, like the position of your eyes. Even if you did claim that we share some characteristics with animals that eat meat, that would make for an interesting hypothesis but it would not be very good evidence for the claim itself. You would need to then test this hypothesis on multiple levels before we accepted it.

Even so, it wouldn't demonstrate that eating meat is necessary so it wouldn't actually constitute an argument against veganism unless you could prove that this feature was incompatible with veganism.

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[Claim: We have predator-like features](