Michael Alvarez-Toye, the author of “UR Carn is Ignorant” seems to think that the people of this campus “need to be reminded that the basic biological reality is that humans neither require, or are equipped to properly digest, animal flesh.” This statement is unfounded and incorrect. The author appears to be ignorant of basic biology himself. The whole article is unsupported and opinionated.
It is not my intention to argue that eating meat is right or wrong or anything else along that line, enough has been written and said about that subject recently. It is my goal to illuminate some basic biology for those who are unfamiliar or misinformed about it.
In the following paragraphs information will be given from Biology 5th edition by Campbell, Reece and Mitchell. This text was chosen since a good number of students will have access to this general biology book ? if you have taken BIO 110 and 111 you should recognize it.
In mammalian carnivores the teeth present are incisors, canines, premolars and molars. In herbivores the canines are missing and a distinct gap between the incisors and premolars is present. Humans have canines and fall under the category of omnivores. (Biology page 807). The digestive system of herbivores contain larger stomach and/or longer intestine than carnivores, which provides areas for bacteria to ferment cellulose and increases the area available for nutrient absorption (Biology page 807-808).
Humans also do not posses the enzymes needed to break down the b 1-4 linkage in the cellulose of plant matter. This makes much of vegetative matter indigestible to humans. Cows are able to digest cellulose due to cellulolytic bacteria that live in their stomach (Biology page 63-64). The effect of this is that humans are unable to process cellulose to provide energy for themselves, something that we should be able to do were we meant only to eat plants.In comparison, humans do not possess an intestine elongated to the same proportions as herbivores, nor are there symbiotic cellulose digesting bacteria living in our digestive tracks. Humans are clearly equipped to digest animal flesh.
Additionally, meat provides a good source of essential amino acids. There are nine amino acids that the body does not synthesize and these must be gained from outside sources (Biology page 794). While the cellulose in plants is indigestible, humans can obtain nutrients, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in various amounts from different plants. However, plants in general do not have high quantities of all of the essential amino acids. Eating legumes (beans), whole grains or meat is essential to creating a healthy diet (Biology page 794), but to say that there is no basis for eating meat, or that meat cannot be part of a healthy diet is simply incorrect.
?Stephen ForbesClass of 2003
Thank you, Karen, for an accurate quote from me in your article on the ticketing of Meliora Weekend events. It has been 20 years since my name has appeared in the Campus Times, so that was nice as well. Say hello to Ray for me.
?Jonathan trostAlumnus, Class of 1982
Iraq invasion OK
Jon Greenbaum takes a very weak stance when he says that invading Iraq would undermine the power of the U.N. I think one must consider whether or not Iraq’s continual defiance of U.N. resolutions without reprisal in fact turns the U.N. into a paper dragon.
?Evan MerzClass of 2004
Dan Muhlenberg’s recent column, “We Cannot Ignore Part of the Past,” delivers just what it promises ? part of the past.
Muhlenberg doesn’t mention that two days before the Phalangist attacks on Sabra and Shatila, Bashir Jemayel, the leader of the Christian Phalangist forces and newly-elected President of Lebanon, was killed when a large bomb destroyed the building where he and some of his commanders were meeting.
It was believed that the organizers of Jemayel’s assassination were based in Sabra and Shatila, and so the Phalangist forces moved quickly to intercept the killers.
What followed was indeed a shameful massacre, but not of the scale Muhlenberg claims.
The International Red Cross report of the incident indicates only 328 confirmed deaths, while more liberal estimates put the total at about 700.
While this is certainly a massacre, it is far from the “thousands” of deaths that Muhlenberg maintains.
Ariel Sharon, then-Israeli Defense Minister, was found to be indirectly responsible for the incident by not recognizing the potential for such a massacre when he allowed the Phalangist forces into the refugee camps.
The board of inquiry recommended that he be removed from his position, but made no statements regarding the possibility of Sharon holding future political office.
In his defense, Muhlenberg does admit that he is singling out a particular incident in a long conflict, and that this event is not necessarily representative.
In that spirit, I would like to draw Mr. Muhlenberg’s attention to another specific event, whose 30th anniversary will occur this coming spring.
On March 2, 1973, members of Yasser Arafat’s PLO murdered two U.S. diplomats to the Sudan, Ambassador Cleo Allen Noel Jr. and Charge d’Affaires George Curtis Moore.
This event, like Sabra and Shatila, should not be forgotten, especially by citizens of the United States.
?Geoffry BauerClass of 2003