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Carnivorous Plants Have a Change of Heart?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 06, 2012 at 9:36 PM

In doing research for a botanist years prior, I took an interest in carnivorous plants. I continued doing research outside of my time spent with the good doctor, and having become more involved in paleo, I'm curious as to the implications of carnivorous plants in the role of not only environmental indicators but also expansion of dietary arguments in response to vegetarianism. For those of you who may not know, carnivorous plants are often an evolutionary response for plants unable to ingest enough nutrients from soil--namely, nitrate. These plants can often be found in boggy/swampy environments and in response to environmental changes (for instance, pollution) will readapt to their "natural" habits. Vegetarians have taken this to mean that meat eating is only prevalent if there are no other sources left to derive nutrients from, but with agriculture, this is not a problem for human beings.

What they (vegans/vegetarians) neglect to mention is that these plants often die out because while they may favor a certain environment, evolution does not swing either direction overnight. Perhaps at one point, we were designed to ingest only vegetables and fruit, and evolution came in a decided otherwise.

I'd be intrigued to hear some PH thoughts on this.

Here is the article (minus the vegan propaganda found on other websites): http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/18416601

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 07, 2012
at 06:53 PM

@Rigton: I do know a LOT of judgemental vegetarians, who are really rude and hate any kind of carnivores...but I am not like that and I don't feel the same way.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on July 07, 2012
at 11:02 AM

Vegetarians eat plants, so plants are returning the favor. ;)

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on July 07, 2012
at 12:11 AM

Sorry if that came off "anti-vegetarian", because it wasn't meant to be interpreted as such. However, vegetarians are using the argument as "anti-omnivore"...sooo...they started it? That's a joke, by the way. I mistyped, so to speak, but I'm more intrigued by the fact there may be omnivores in the plant kingdom.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on July 06, 2012
at 11:37 PM

+1 for "not anti-vegetarian because I am paleo." Well said.

  • E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

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2 Answers

3
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on July 06, 2012
at 11:20 PM

Plants are sessile. Humans can find their food, so I am not sure your evolutionary argument would be applicable from plants to humans. I know a lot of vegetarians who do just fine. I am not anti-vegetarian because I am paleo.

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on July 07, 2012
at 12:11 AM

Sorry if that came off "anti-vegetarian", because it wasn't meant to be interpreted as such. However, vegetarians are using the argument as "anti-omnivore"...sooo...they started it? That's a joke, by the way. I mistyped, so to speak, but I'm more intrigued by the fact there may be omnivores in the plant kingdom.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on July 06, 2012
at 11:37 PM

+1 for "not anti-vegetarian because I am paleo." Well said.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 07, 2012
at 06:53 PM

@Rigton: I do know a LOT of judgemental vegetarians, who are really rude and hate any kind of carnivores...but I am not like that and I don't feel the same way.

1
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on July 07, 2012
at 11:23 AM

Big catastrophes do happen overnight. Things like earthquakes, floods, meteor strikes, volcanoes, plagues, etc. can drastically change a location's environment very quickly. Other events take time.

Animals can always migrate, plants cannot. The best they can do is spread their seeds around, either through animals, or the wind.

When faced with change, those organisms that are suited to the new environment will thrive, where they may have been marginal before, or they may migrate to the new environment from others in the case of animals. The rest will die out.

Who's to say that a plant's "natural habit" isn't to be a carnivore. Sure, most plants aren't, but the ones that have this adaptation are. So why assume that they are somehow broken, if not to promote a specific political agenda?

After all, all plants "eat" the end result of death - either from previous plants that fell on the ground and were processed by the bacteria in the soil, or other animals that died on that same ground and were processed by the bacteria. We can certainly think of the soil as the digestive organ for plants, no? So in this regard, plants are omnivores.

"For an individual sundew it looks like its better. They're bigger and they'll probably be fitter and do better, but the problem is that they have to divert resources into being carnivorous."

Obviously you can say the same thing about humans, that when a human eats meat, it looks like its better, and they're bigger and fitter and do better, but from vegan propaganda, humans would have to divert resources into being carnivorous. Resources like running and chasing prey down instead of staying in one spot and tending to plants.

Then again, we know the result of that outcome: decrease in cranial size, loss of stature, weak bones, rotting teeth, shorter lives, higher incidence of disease, surviving rather than thriving, exposure to famines, susceptibility to enslavement of roving bands of warriors leading to serfdom, and eventually the rise of kingdoms, governments and taxes.

Since the headline is "Pollutant turns fly-traps veggie" seems politically motivated, if we wanted to play Devil's Advocate, perhaps this can be taken as "proof" by analogy that vegans are broken - they would be omnivores if it weren't for pollutants. So there, we can twist the argument around on its head. (By pollutants we can refer to big agra propaganda.)

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