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"Man is by his frame as well as his appetite a carnivorous animal" - Encyclopaedia Perthensis

Encyclopaedia Perthensis; Or Universal Dictionary of the Arts ..., Volume 5

Carnivorous - Flesh-eating; that of which flesh is the proper food.--In birds there is no mastication or comminution of the meat in the mouth; but in such as are not carnivorous, it is immediately swallowed into the crop or crow. Ray on the Creation.


--Man is by his frame, as well as his appetite, a carnivorous animal. Arbutimos on Aliments.


Carnivorous is an epithet applied to those animals, which naturally seek and feed on flesh. It has been a dispute among naturalists, whether man is naturally carnivorous. Those who take the negative side, intuit chiefly on the structure of our deeth, which are mostly incisors or molars; not such as carnivorous animlas are furnished with, and w ihch are proper to tear flesh in pieces; to which it may be added, that, even when we do feed on flesh, it is not withtout a preparatory alteration by boiling, roasting, etc, and even then that it is the hadrdes of digestion of all foods. To these arguments Dr Wallis subjoins another, which is that all quadrupeds which feed on herbs or plants have a long colon, with a caecum at the upper end of it, or somewhot equivalent, which conveys the food by a long and large progress, from the stomach downwards, in order to its propre passage through the intestines. Now, in man, the caecum is very visible; a strong presumption that he was not intended for a carnivorous animal. It is true, the caecum is small in adults, and seems of little use; but in a featus it is much larger in proportion; And it is probable, our customary change change of diet, as we grow up, may occasion this thinking. 


But to these arguments, Dr Tyfon repiles, that if man had been designed not to be carnivorous, there would doubtless have been found, somewhere on the globe, people who do not feed on flesh; which is not the case. Neither are carnivorous animals always without a colon and caecum; nor are all animals carnivorous which have those parts; the oppossum, for instance, hath both a colon and caecum, and yet feeds on poultry and other flesh; whereas the hedge-hog, which has neither colon nor caecum, and so ought to be carnivorous, feeds only on vegetables. Add to this, that hogs, which have both, will feed upon flesh when they can get it; and rats and mice, which have large ceacums, will feed on bacon as well as bread and cheese. Lastly, the human race are furnished with teeth necessary for the preparation of all kinds of foods; whence it would seem, that we are intended to live on all. And as the alimentary duct in the human body is fitted for digesting all kinds of food, ought we not rather to conclude, that nature did not intend to deny us any? 


It is no lesson disputed whether mankind were carnivorous before the flood. St Jerom, Chryfoltom, Theodoret, and other ancients, maintain, that all animal food was then forbidden; which opinion is also strenuously supported among the moderns by Curcellzeus, and refuted by Heidegger, Dauzius, Bockhart, etc. See Antediluvians.

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