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article imageStudy: Meat-eating contributed to human conquering, domination

By Andrew Moran     Apr 20, 2012 in Science
Stockholm - It seems if we were herbivores then we wouldn't be as advanced as we are today, at least according to a new study out of Sweden. The research found that carnivory contributed to human success and population growth.
If you want to continue conquering the world, you may want to reconsider your decision to cut down on your consumption of meat and increase your intake of healthier selections. According to a new study, meat eating helped humans in the early period of our existence span across the globe, grow the population and become smarter.
The research, which was conducted by a group at the Lund University in Sweden, finds a connection between eating meat and a faster weaning process by comparing 67 mammalian species and discovered the patterns, according to a press release.
Researchers discovered that a protein-rich diet led to breast milk becoming more nutritious and allowed children to wean earlier. This shortened the birth time and permitted women to have more children.
“This has been known for a long time. However, no one has previously shown the strong connection between meat eating and the duration of breast-feeding, which is a crucial piece of the puzzle in this context,” said Elia Psouni, a development psychologist of Lund University. “Eating meat enabled the breast-feeding periods and thereby the time between births, to be shortened. This must have had a crucial impact on human evolution.”
This new study found that learning to hunt was imperative to the human brain’s development: hunting involved communicating, employing tools and planning. This required a larger brain and once the meat was consumed, the brain developed even more because of the high protein.
By analyzing the mammalians, it concluded that animals that get more than 20 percent of its daily calories from meat tend to wean earlier than non-meat eaters.
“That humans seem to be so similar to other animals can of course be taken as provocative. We like to think that culture makes us different as a species,” added Psouni. “But when it comes to breast-feeding and weaning, no social or cultural explanations are needed; for our species as a whole it is a question of simple biology. Social and cultural factors surely influence the variation between humans.”
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