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Where's Jane gone now?
and other random musings
Interesting discovery, but.... 
22nd-Oct-2013 09:00 am
haiku impossible
I expect better reporting from the Guardian than this :(
"Is this the stomach-turning truth about what the Neanderthals ate?"
Nothing stomach-turning about it, for one thing.

The previous theory, that Neanderthals had been vegetarian, has had a setback. But the way it's described...
"These were not brainless carnivores, in other words. These were smart and sensitive people capable of providing themselves with balanced diets and of treating themselves with health-restoring herbs..."
Since when has being a carnivore meant being brainless? What's "sensitive" about eating plants?

It seems that "There are other, equally valid but decidedly more grizzly explanations to account for those microscopic fragments of herbs and plants found in Neanderthal teeth" Grizzly? Were they eating bears, or grey hair? Or is the Grauniad living down to its reputation?

The actual article is quite interesting, the comments are mainly intelligent, and it does give a link to the relevant paper, but the silly emotional baggage that comes with it... oh dear.

This entry was cross-posted from my Dreamwidth account. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you prefer. "There" currently has comment count unavailable comments.
22nd-Oct-2013 10:09 am (UTC)
No idea why they would make a big deal about it. Cro-Magnon is an omnivore, and I believe evidence of meat-eating (bones broken for their marrow, etc.) is common in human / pre-human sites.

And what would be grisly about microscopic fragments of herbs and plants found in Neanderthal teeth? Do they propose the Neanderthals tore the plants from the stomachs of living herbivores or something?


Also, if vegetarianism has become mainstream, it must be outside the US, because it's certainly a tiny minority of people here. Finding a restaurant that even has one vegetarian option for dinner can be a challenge. I wouldn't have noticed this except I've had a couple of vegetarian friends. Is it more common in Britain?
22nd-Oct-2013 10:27 am (UTC)
The stomachs of dead herbivores (well, living/dead status unknown), but yes.

I'd thought it was well-known that early humans ate meat, too - omnivores, as you say. This doesn't seem to even consider that as an option; it's brutish carnivore v. sensitive vegetarian, with no middle ground. As one of the commenters says, the most likely diet, for most of the history of the human race, is that they ate anything edible they could get their hands on/teeth into.

Most places here have a vegetarian option or two, but it's hardly mainstream. What's becoming more common on menus, and much more sensible, is gluten-free dishes, and proper labelling of what contains nuts, lactose, and so on.
22nd-Oct-2013 11:32 pm (UTC)
Nearest thing to mainstream I know is a cafe that does about half and half meat and vegetarian dishes (not so good at labelling for allergies though)

Yeah humans are omnivores. Why wouldn't they eat anything they can get?
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