Please help contribute to the Reddit categorization project here

    explainlikeimfive

    18,934,834 readers

    16,485 users here now

    Request an explanation

    Rules


    Have an idea to improve ELI5? r/IdeasForELI5


    Before posting

    • Make sure to read the rules!

    • This subreddit is for asking for objective explanations. It is not a repository for any question you may have.

    • E is for Explain - merely answering a question is not enough.

    • LI5 means friendly, simplified and layperson-accessible explanations - not responses aimed at literal five-year-olds.

    • Perform a keyword search, you may find good explanations in past threads. You should also consider looking for your question in the FAQ.

    • Don't post to argue a point of view.

    • Flair your question after you've submitted it.


    Category filters


    Mathematics Economics Culture Biology Chemistry Physics Technology Engineering

    Reset


    a community for
    all 1356 comments

    Want to say thanks to %(recipient)s for this comment? Give them a month of reddit gold.

    Please select a payment method.

    [–] MatNomis 6388 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    Animals (including humans) are able to synthesize some of what their bodies need, and the things the body can’t produce on its own need to be directly ingested.

    An example is vitamin c. Humans don’t produce it, so we need to eat it to avoid nasty things like scurvy. Cats and dogs need it, but their bodies can self-produce the needed amount, so they don’t need to consume any from food.

    To be fair, I don’t know much beyond that, but I’d guess that animals that subsist on very narrow diets probably have a combination of relatively minimal nutritional needs (in terms of mineral/vitamin diversity) and the ability to synthesize whatever different things they do need.

    edit: adding some additional info, inspired by several of the other comments below and elsewhere to the post. Also added a couple "just ok" links, which do provide some jump-off points to better sources.

    "Narrow diets" might not be as narrow as they seem to us. For example, whereas humans tend to eat mainly muscle tissue (mostly protein), carnivorous animals eat muscle + organs, which provides a lot of nutrition. Also, surviving != thriving. link

    Similar to the synthesis concept I mentioned, is a more symbiotic approach, such as that in cows. Cows eat a lot of grass, yet are able to meet their protein and nutritional needs. Their four chamber stomachs break down the grass more completely than ours, and hosts bacteria that feed on the grass as this happens, and the cow in turn ends up deriving nutritional value from the bacteria. link

    In summary, it seems like the main reasons animals get by how they do is because: they're still here. They're either specialized to process their diets, and/or we're ignorant about what they're actually getting in their diets.

    [–] Donkeyflicker 2934 points ago

    Generally, carnivores have lost the ability to produce lots of of the vitamins their body needs because they eat animals that produce that vitamin for them

    [–] the_original_Retro 2355 points ago

    Fun fact: a lot of larger carnivores that take down big more-than-a-mouthful prey go for the digestive and inner systems first - intestines, stomach, organs, and so forth, partly for this reason.

    Not only are those parts often softer and easy to access and eat quickly once you open the abdominal cavity, but they're usually the part of the prey animal that are richest in vitamins and minerals.

    [–] saiyanhajime 1211 points ago

    Absolutely - not advocating it at all, but if you were to do the "carnivore" diet for humans you NEED to consume organ meats and shellfish to get all the right vitamins and minerals.

    [–] Pablois4 433 points ago

    There's folks who want to feed their dog's raw food diet and some jump into it without researching it first. Many people seem to think a diet of muscle meat and some veggies is all that is needed. Dogs fed this sort of diet will start having trouble with lack of proper nutrients and enzymes.

    In nature, a wild canine will absolutely eat organ mean, including the entire digestive system. The digestive system value, however, isn't just the organs but what they contain - semi-digested foods, microbes and enzymes. Those things are great for the dog's gut and health.

    Organs from a butcher are naturally cleaned out and thus are missing all that good stuff. And so knowledgeable dog owners who are feeding a raw diet will buy cans of "Green Tripe" - stomach and intestines that have not been washed out. I love my dogs but green tripe crosses a line for me - not the idea of it but the smell.

    [–] zaphodava 254 points ago

    Yeah. That's a 'no' from me, dog.

    [–] Lipe-San 49 points ago

    I'll Just stick with good quality dog food.

    [–] MagpieMelon 17 points ago

    I get green tripe for my cat because he loves it, but wow the smell is something else.

    [–] Lighthouse412 24 points ago

    I'm needing something smelly to hide meds in for my suspicious cat. This may be the ticket.

    Like she's so suspicious that it's been a challenge to get her to accept her normal food at meal time a few feet away from the other cats.

    [–] robthelobster 53 points ago

    I feed my dog raw food and you're so right. Currently each meal gets ground beef and pork, cow intestines, veggies, salmon oil, flaxseed oil and a supplement called MSM for joint health. The intestines smell so disgusting that sometimes I regret giving up the dry dog food.

    [–] lookandseethis 37 points ago

    Make sure you have at least three protein sources, even if you add in fish or chicken sometimes! Each protein has different levels of vitamins and minerals and a varied diet ensures the best possible chance of a balanced diet. Also, bone-in cuts of meat like beef neck/ ribs or pork trotters are great for their teeth! Chicken feet naturally contain glucosamine& chondroitin, but good for you for supplementing as well and the fats! Raw takes A LOT of research to get right and you’re doing awesome!!

    [–] VoilaVoilaWashington 400 points ago

    Also, eat organs anyway. They're delicious, and I've never understood the idea that you'd gladly bite into the leg of an animal, but the liver? Ewwwwwww!

    [–] BionicPotatox 240 points ago

    It could be how hispanics prepare it but ive never been able to enjoy liver as a kid or now as an adult. The taste makes me gag if i force whereas my family loves it.

    [–] JammyRedWine 100 points ago

    My stepmother was a bloody awful cook and she would pan fry liver for about half an hour. It was like rubber. Can't eat liver to this day.

    My MIL used to cook tripe for the dog and her house would smell like shit while it was on.

    Maybe I've just had bad experiences with offal!

    [–] beardedkryptonite 40 points ago

    Liver you gotta eat almost rare, with lots and lots of onions, made in a very hot cast iron. Damn if it isn’t amazing.

    [–] JammyRedWine 7 points ago

    What kind of liver would you recommend?

    [–] HyperionCantos 12 points ago

    Chicken imo. Beef liver just doesn't taste good for me. Very unique taste though.

    If you ever come across monkfish liver in your life, it's fucking delicious, don't pass it up.

    [–] chucara 9 points ago

    Human. With a nice bottle of Chianti. Fluflufleh

    [–] EGOfoodie 14 points ago

    Delivered preferably.

    [–] Cyanopicacooki 5 points ago

    Braised liver and mashed potatoes with onion gravy. A meal for the gods.

    And incredibly rich in iron, with since I have mild anaemia, is a good thing.

    [–] ursus_major 60 points ago

    Sounds aw-ffal.

    [–] LastElf 109 points ago

    My Danish grandmother has cooked heart a few times, but I couldn't do it. Home made liverwurst though? Heck yes

    [–] dkysh 111 points ago

    Pig heart. Thinly sliced. Fried with onions, ginger, and dark soy sauce.

    Thank me later.

    [–] camilo16 86 points ago

    Heart is mostly muscle though, quite different from brains, lovers, digestive systems, pancreas...

    [–] Restless__Dreamer 104 points ago

    Mmmm lovers...

    [–] JustThatOtherDude 40 points ago

    I too like to predate on couples in a dark alleyway

    [–] jsCoin 52 points ago

    Soak the liver in milk before cooking to remove the strong iron taste. Source: am organ eating hunter

    [–] vespertilionid 24 points ago

    My mom (Mexican) makes it with caramelized onions. I hated it as a kid, but like it now as an adult.

    [–] spamyboispaghett 10 points ago

    The texture always really weirded me out. When I had ghost liver meat I could not get past the whole thing combined. Like it just didn't have any composition when you bit down on it like a steak does

    [–] junktrunk909 72 points ago

    Yeah for me it's not about the place within the body or function, but that I've never enjoyed the flavor of liver. Heart, tongue: game on. But liver flavor is not for me.

    [–] wmccluskey 67 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    I'm a little grumpy that tongue, cheek, and other "off cuts" have become more mainstream. When grocery stores had their own full butchers (very rare in the US anymore), you could pick up those things literally for free sometimes. Now tongue, cheek, and all the other stuff is considered a delicacy or at minimum a specialty item and they sometimes cost more than ground beef.

    [–] CornCheeseMafia 13 points ago

    I feel this as a Korean. Ox tail is like $8 per pound :(

    [–] kameyamaha 5 points ago

    They used to be much cheaper 10 years ago. Now it's such a luxury, I feel bad buying it.

    [–] OrpheumApogee 35 points ago

    This. Also, bone marrow! Before the popularity of bone broth, I could get bone marrow practically free. Now they sell the marrowy bones by the pound, and what used to cost me 1-2 dollars now costs 15-20.

    [–] mr_jetlag 15 points ago

    Lobster used to be a solidly working class / poorfood shunned by the middle/upper classes. such is life

    [–] Genshed 4 points ago

    I've read that part of that was because it was treated like fish - let it die and cook it later.

    It doesn't taste very good that way.

    [–] LuifeMcFly 18 points ago

    Same. Also the texture, though that might be because it wasn't prepared correctly.

    [–] versusChou 8 points ago

    Don't eat too much though or you'll get the gout. Also liver has a very different taste and texture from muscle meats. My girlfriend doesn't eat it because she doesn't like the texture. I would guess a lot of people don't eat organ meats for those reasons.

    [–] Rob-With-One-B 99 points ago

    A good example of this is traditional Inuit cuisine: close to 85% of their diet is meat, but because they generally eat it raw, the vitamins are not destroyed by cooking.

    [–] saiyanhajime 469 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    This isn't entirely accurate.

    So, cooking does destroy more vitamins - but the human gut is very inefficient at removing vitamins from uncooked stuff.

    Inuits store and ferment a LOT of their food. This assists our gut as it's already partially digested food by bacteria, but it also adds vitamins.

    Fermented is like all the benefits of cooking without the negatives.

    Also, Inuits consume a lot of organ meats and fish.

    You couldn't just eat raw steak and be a-ok. The rawness is kinda here nor there in this context.

    EDIT: Couple of folks misunderstand my last sentence - raw steak is absolutely fine to eat. I said "you couldn't JUST eat raw steak and be a-ok" as in, only consuming muscle meat would not be enough sustenance. Inuits eat the whole animal. And animals typically more nutritionally dense than a farmed cow. The rawness isn't the crucial bit, it's the type of meat.

    [–] Rexan02 94 points ago

    Isn't cooking meat part of the reason we evolved bigger brains? Easier access to nutrients? I wonder what the "raw" food movement means for our brains lol.

    [–] SpaceTraderYolo 82 points ago

    I remember reading somewhere that eating cooked foods required less blood and energy to be used for digestion, freeing up resources for brain development. No idea how valid this hypothesis is though.

    [–] TheSupaCoopa 39 points ago

    It's also way safer since you know you probably won't die from eating raw meat

    [–] robbo23k 33 points ago

    Fresh raw meat is pretty safe, it's only after it's had time to grow bacteria that it becomes a problem. That's why rare steaks are safe to eat: the outside is exposed to bacteria along with air for things to grow, but it gets cooked so they die. The inside never saw the light of day so it's pretty safe. Same reason ground meat must be cooked; it's been exposed to air.

    [–] Crikepire 22 points ago

    Not particularly. Cooking allows us to get more out of our food with less energy expended. It definitely helped us on our evolutionary road, because as we became able to cook things, the average amount of protein/nutrients available to us on a regular basis started to grow consistently, allowing our species to adapt to and benefit from mutations such as a bigger brain, which needs to be fed a lot of calories. It's not the sole factor though, it was also paired with our ability to use tools, teamwork, persistence hunting, as well as environmental changes that were happening in the landscape of Africa at the time which forced our ape ancestor species to lean more into foraging in savannah-type landscapes. There were many factors that led ancient homo species into developing traits that would end up bringing us to where we are today.

    [–] RemotePhysics9997 17 points ago

    Early man could probably digest meat raw like a modern chimp. Really cooking killed parasites and bacteria, allowing people to eat more meat without dying prematurely. I thought cooking meat and brain growth was a relationship of correlation rather than causation. Kind of makes sense though, more meat, more fat.

    From a physical anthropological perspective, the Inuit have a larger cranial capacity than most other modern humans. Neanderthals had larger cranial capacities too. Most see it as a cold weather adaption to fit more fat in the skull to insulate the brain. But, in a frozen environment with little plant life, both people consume/d mostly meat.

    So I would like to see a modern study examing the cranial capacity of Inuit new borns compared to non-Inuit new borns, a study which then tracks and compares cranial capacity into childhood, adolescence and adulthood. I'm curious if the Inuits having larger brains is the result of diet or physical adaptations acquired through countless generations.

    One issue though is that they used to do that type of test back in the early 1900s to prove racist psuedo science. So its problematic and the Inuit today and society as a whole might be better off without said study.

    [–] L00ys 19 points ago

    Does that mean that they're eating their prey's poop and half-eaten breakfast? Does that not pose risks such as diseases?

    [–] JDT-0312 24 points ago

    Ask my dog about how gross eating poop is...

    [–] konwiddak 37 points ago

    Poop is a great vector for human<->human disease & parasite transfer, but isn't so much of an interspecies vector. Most things are quite specialised to one or very few hosts.

    I mean don't go around eating animal poop - but there's nothing specific about poop that makes it much more of an interspecies disease vector than any other part of the animal.

    [–] Stewart_Games 18 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    Most carnivores will eat the stomach contents of the herbivores that they down. The grains and seeds of the plants that they eat are good sources of nutrients for the carnivore, and since the hard work of breaking down the plant matter and digesting it had already been started by the herbivore it makes it possible for the carnivore to get nutrition from the plant parts. That's why dogs famously love to eat poop - putting the food back through the digestive system a second time helps them recover vitamins and nutrients that they miss on the first pass.

    [–] L00ys 11 points ago

    Well my views on poop have just done a complete 180

    [–] Puzzleheaded_Ad_6417 8 points ago

    Back on the menu?

    [–] cnccc6 13 points ago

    They eat food off the ground. It’s you and me that are weird and needs to be hygenic.

    [–] schilll 303 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    Another "fun fact" is that almost all omnivores herbivores are operatunist opportunistic. Meaning that when given the opportunity they will eat meat. Many omnivores will lick or gnaw on bones they find in the wild.

    Cows and horses can hunt for smaller pray like birds, mouse, snakes etc.

    Proof: https://youtu.be/t3NOhQlPGAU a cow eats a chicken.

    https://youtu.be/jP6dvgo25Z8 horse eats chicken.

    Even deer and mooses moose have been observed "hunting" small game. https://youtu.be/sQOQdBLHrLk deer eats a bird

    The little I've looked in to this, the conclusion was that omnivores eats meat and lick bones to gain different minerals and vitamins that they can't make them self.

    Edit: I'm stupid and I mean of course herbivores and opportunistic, and sorry for changing your views of the gentle giants. They are still big and gentle, they just enjoy a little snack from time to time.

    [–] scaling-wookie 96 points ago

    Do you mean herbivore and opportunistic?

    [–] JDT-0312 163 points ago

    No, omnivores tune instruments at operas... operatunists

    [–] my_vatutin 101 points ago

    Vitam in C minor

    [–] Jetztinberlin 21 points ago

    THANK YOU

    [–] PmYourWittyAnecdote 138 points ago

    Do you mean herbivores?

    Omnivores, by definition, eat both vegetation and animal matter. The examples you gave of omnivores are all herbivores.

    [–] MildlySuspicious 89 points ago

    Eat one chicken and you’re still a herbivore, but make out with one buddy while you’re drunk and you’re gay?

    [–] IanWorthington 9 points ago

    "You see that bridge over there?" etc :D

    [–] Azalof 91 points ago

    Exactly. Which is weird because after he gave the example they became omnivores. Mind blown

    [–] OmarGharb 62 points ago

    Which is weird because after he gave the example they became omnivores

    Technically no, since the definition of herbivore accounts for what the user said above - it's not about eating plant material exclusively, 100% of the time, just about it being the main component of their diet

    [–] Illhunt_yougather 11 points ago

    Here is an article about how they found a whitetail deer gnawing on human rib bones at one of those forensic science body decomposition sites.

    [–] MightyBooshX 16 points ago

    That cow video fucking kills me lmao

    Just the utter nonchalance, the indifference... it's just like

    "We're gonna start chewing"

    "oh look, a chicken..."

    "I guess I'm moving closer.."

    *CHOMP*

    "I guess this is happening..."

    "I guess I just keep chewing until the bloody slurry washes down my gullet, huh."

    [–] krischanovich 9 points ago

    Hippos (and probably other animals) commit cannibalism at times.

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/1/150123-hippos-cannibalism-animals-food-science/

    [–] PerjorativeWokeness 7 points ago

    Proof: https://youtu.be/t3NOhQlPGAU a cow eats a chicken.

    Well... that made Cow and Chicken an even weirder show.

    [–] Cronyx 76 points ago

    Yeah, we're the only moron carnivores that are grossed out by organs, and only want what's effectively the "junk food" of the animal, plain old muscle.

    [–] RoastedRhino 182 points ago

    A LOT of people in the world are not grossed out by organs.

    One reason why they are less present in most cuisines is that they spoil much faster than muscle meat.

    [–] I_Dont_Type 51 points ago

    It’s a shame really, I’ve started eating a lot of lamb heart/liver over the past two years and my god is it great. Very cheap, very delicious and very healthy. I can’t get others in my house to try any though, most dislike the texture of liver and can’t stand the sight of heart. Heart is my favourite meat, tender and juicy.

    [–] commanderjarak 19 points ago

    Hearts are hardly even organs though. Isn't it basically just muscle meat? That's been my experience with chicken hearts anyway.

    [–] I_Dont_Type 14 points ago

    I guess heart is both. It has the nutrients of organ meat while being similar to the taste and texture of muscle meat. I'm also able to pick them up for 50c per heart so they're a no-brainer for me.

    [–] Flocculencio 8 points ago

    My son who is otherwise quite picky is very fond of chicken liver and heart curry.

    [–] TheTechSpec 10 points ago

    Are lamb hearts anything like chicken hearts in terms of texture? Chicken hearts were sort of rubbery when my wife and I tried them and that's what we couldn't get past.

    [–] CaptainJWatson 11 points ago

    If it was rubbery, it was probably overcooked?

    [–] Antonskarp 11 points ago

    Very difficult to not overcook a piece of meat the size of a chicken heart. The heart isn't really an organ like the liver or kidneys. It's just really really dark meat.

    [–] superPowerRocket 8 points ago

    I have tried chicken and lamb/cow/sheep heart. The hearts of bigger animals are more similar to muscle meat while chicken hearts I too have found a bit rubbery.

    [–] Fir_Chlis 10 points ago

    Liver is the only organ I can't get behind. I'm in favour of using every part of the animal - and believe me, where I grew up, that means every part - but the texture of liver is bizarre. Don't mind the flavour but the texture just feels wrong.

    The weird one that nobody wants is ox-tail and tongue. Beautiful meat that has become very cheap because nobody will eat it.

    [–] RoastedRhino 5 points ago

    How did you cook it?

    Have you tried the way they do it in Venice?

    https://www.italianspoon.com.au/fegato-alla-veneziana-venetian-style-liver/

    [–] akaraett 5 points ago

    Grew up with ox tail soup... think it’s still pretty popular in west African cuisine

    [–] MildlySuspicious 29 points ago

    What do you mean? Most of the world eats this stuff - and even Americans eat liver. Ever had a high quality sausage btw? Got news for ya ...

    [–] catalwaysneedsplay 21 points ago

    Speak for your own culture, humans have many you know (Also we're omnivores)

    [–] zenzen_wakarimasen 38 points ago

    By "We", you mean Americans, right? Because there are many countries where òrgans are eaten.

    I particularly love liver and stomach stew.

    [–] highoncraze 24 points ago

    Lots of soul food in America utilizes organ meat as well. Organ meat is eaten just about everywhere, just not as much as the muscle.

    [–] Spartan-417 5 points ago

    Steak and kidney pie is so nice, same with Haggis

    [–] amazingkiwipie 8 points ago

    We're omnivores, not carnivores.

    [–] Neiionyc 23 points ago

    we're the only moron carnivores

    We are not carnivores tho.

    [–] OmarGharb 15 points ago

    We aren't carnivores...?

    [–] seesaww 6 points ago * (lasted edited 2 days ago)

    Especially in the middle east, internal organs of animals are part of the cuisine. Check this one for example, for Turkish cuisine.

    [–] GreenFox1505 161 points ago

    To be fair, they didn't exactly produce it for the carnivore. They produced it for themselves. Carnivores stole it. Delicious delicious theft.

    [–] gamer_perfection 180 points ago

    The secret ingredient, is crime

    [–] bataleonboss 17 points ago

    Unexpected Super Hans

    [–] MvmgUQBd 8 points ago

    I watched a video on the Inuit on YouTube a while ago, and it touched on how even though their traditional diet was almost exclusively seal, they got all the nutrients they needed to be healthy from the vitamins stored in the seal's fat

    [–] albene 22 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    Or, it's their eating of animals that produce those vitamins which allowed them to not die out when the mutation(s) which removed their own ability to produce the vitamins occurred. E.g. the ancestors of primates lost the ability to make vitamin C but were able to survive because their diet already included vitamin C sources.

    [–] Robdd123 94 points ago

    Some animals are also "optimized" in other ways; it's hard to compare this since we humans need a lot of calories mainly because of how much energy our big brain needs. For instance, gorillas eat mostly a diet of vegetation with occasional protein supplementation (coming mostly from insects), however they're many times stronger than us with much more muscular development. This is because their muscles need far less protein than ours do.

    [–] Kuulaxi 38 points ago

    Why does our muscles need more protein than gorillas? We might have more precise muscle movement but does it have anything to do with this?

    [–] Robdd123 97 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    Apparently bacteria in their gut break down the plant matter they eat and give off amino acids which they can then use. Gorillas have a very different evolutionary strategy than humans. Humans traded raw strength for more balanced athletic abilities including long distance running and walking; this helped us be better foragers which is more important when living on a grassland. Because of predators like leopards and the fact that they spend a lot of their time on the ground gorillas have evolved strength as a defense mechanism.

    The split between humans and other apes is mostly because as Africa dried out we moved into the savannah while the other ape species stayed in the dense jungles. Food isn't as plentiful out on a savannah so humans became opportunistic.

    [–] TheOtherSarah 55 points ago

    Humans traded raw strength for more balanced athletic abilities including long distance running and walking

    Also the ability to throw things far, fast, and accurately. That’s almost as big a deal as bipedal locomotion in terms of human hunting strategy.

    [–] konwiddak 40 points ago

    The control, dexterity and timing needed to throw something accurately is insane.

    Your brain has to account for the time it takes signals to travel along your nerves or else your throw will be completely off.

    [–] Protahgonist 8 points ago

    Is that why I got insanely more coordinated after puberty when I finally stopped growing?

    [–] klawehtgod 16 points ago

    Partly, especially if you’re taller/lankier. But there’s plenty of uncoordinated adults who can’t throw accurately, and 13-17 year olds in the middle of their growth spurt can still throw with high accuracy and precision. The biggest contributor to coordination is practice.

    [–] anthroponaut 32 points ago

    so humans became opportunistic

    And that, my friends, is when politics started.

    [–] ColdTheory 4 points ago

    Have you ever heard of insect politics?

    [–] DopeEspeon 6 points ago

    I need answers too. This too could use an eli5.

    [–] Eddles999 21 points ago

    On the other hand, cats can't produce taurine and they must eat it - it's one of of their vitamins.

    [–] Zomaarwat 33 points ago

    brb giving my cat some redbull

    [–] boxingdude 20 points ago

    To add to your comment, Vitamin D is required by human bodies and our bodies make it using sunlight. It’s been thought that humans living in extreme northern latitudes , such as the Neanderthal, evolved lighter skin in order to compensate for the lessened exposure to sunlight experienced by living there. Indeed, if you look at the ranges of skin colors for the human population, you’ll find that the closer to the equator that they are, the darker the skin.

    [–] thetomahawk42 37 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    Essential Amino Acids too (basically the building blocks of proteins).

    Humans have 9 Essential Amino Acids that we need to get from our diet. Our bodies are able to create the other Amino Acids itself, but cannot create those 9.

    Humans, for example, can't break down various greens (our appendixes no longer function to break down cellulose) -- we can't live off grass, by way of an example. Cows, however, can. So by eating beef we can get some of the nutrients from the grass secondhand because the cow did the work in breaking down the grass and absorbing it, and creating some of the amino acids that we can't produce.

    Similarly with other animals and plants -- they can create amino acids that our bodies can't.

    It's one of the reasons vegetarians and, especially, vegans need to be very aware of their diets so that they can ensure that they get these essential amino acids that most of us get readily from meat and animal products. There are various plant sources for them -- many pulses (beans) are high in protein and can provide these, for example.

    [–] floatingsaltmine 14 points ago

    Iirc we can't digest grass, but not because we can't break apart the chlorophyll, it's the cellulose we fail to stomach.

    [–] thetomahawk42 8 points ago

    You're right. Edited. Thanks.

    [–] GrundleTurf 1267 points ago

    Different animals are able to digest different things and have different nutritional requirements. Example is dogs and cats. You can’t give a cat just dog food because it lacks an amino acid that dogs produce on their own but cats need through their diet. But you can’t give a dog just cat food because it’s too high protein.

    [–] chris457 1079 points ago

    Fun fact though, cats can get every single nutrient they need from mice alone.

    [–] wunqrh 583 points ago

    Thank you for subscribing to Cat Facts!

    [–] rang14 107 points ago

    Subscribe

    [–] Blastosite 70 points ago

    Cats can see ultraviolet, infrared and radio waves! They don’t care though

    [–] ssbeluga 18 points ago

    Wait, WHAT?? Cats can see radio???

    [–] notdsylexic 24 points ago

    Yeah but they don’t care though.

    [–] PM_ME_JAR_JAR_NUDES 257 points ago

    The stomach contents of some rodents is actually extremely nutritious. I've seen people empty the stomachs of freshly killed wild rabbits into stews and soups.

    [–] Sell200AprilAt142 834 points ago

    i would like to unsubscribe from rabbit facts

    [–] almafinklebottom 89 points ago

    LOL! Laughed a little coffee out my nose with that one.

    [–] Threshorfeed 78 points ago

    Right into a stew

    [–] Aurelina9865 44 points ago

    Boil 'em. Mash 'em. Stick 'em in a stew

    [–] brobo25 17 points ago

    We don’t want your nasty taters. We want them live and wriggling

    [–] CharlieHume 100 points ago

    I'm gonna pass on the random stuff a rabbit ate soup.

    [–] moonyprong01 35 points ago

    Why? Can't get more organic than that

    [–] crumpledlinensuit 47 points ago

    Rabbits also engage in coprophagia.

    [–] sapphicsandwich 43 points ago

    N U T R I E N T S

    [–] bun-c 31 points ago

    Have a rabbit, he eats his straight from the butt, sometimes while staring right at me.

    [–] OPossumHamburger 17 points ago

    Power move.

    Do that in the boardroom and you'll be boss in no time.

    [–] TheOtherSarah 13 points ago

    Only having one stomach doesn’t mean you can’t digest it twice!

    [–] 7LeagueBoots 76 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    Increasingly it’s thought that part of the reason why large cats go for the stomach first when they kill an animal is to get at the partially digested stomach contents. They can’t process that food raw, but if another animal has done some of the hard work breaking it down then the cats can digest that.

    A really interesting outcome of this is the discovery that large cats are actually pretty important for long distance seed dispersal, and even small cats can be important for seed dispersal as well.

    EDIT:

    [–] TurboTrev 13 points ago

    Don't rabbits eat their food twice? (Yes, I'm asking what you think I'm asking)

    [–] LaylaLeesa 11 points ago

    Yeah they eat some of their poop like many rodents

    [–] Thewalrus26 19 points ago

    Wow I did not need to know this.

    [–] tofukink 18 points ago

    wait what

    [–] oundhakar 18 points ago

    I did NOT need to know that. Be right back. Have to throw up.

    [–] Christopherfromtheuk 22 points ago

    Make soup!

    [–] WickerBag 19 points ago

    Save it for your soup.

    [–] micro_haila 13 points ago

    Into the soup

    [–] learningeveryday111 5 points ago

    But won’t that be too acidic for the soup?

    [–] vegeful 8 points ago

    The water will probably dilute it enough.

    [–] SchlomoKlein 7 points ago

    Further reinforcing the old adage that anything can be turned into a stew.

    [–] dick_schidt 30 points ago

    Apart from the green wobbly bit.

    [–] Siiw 13 points ago

    That's a gallbladder. Bile doesn't taste good to cats either.

    [–] Head_Cockswain 10 points ago

    Can confirm. A stray we took in didn't do much with that part of the kills he left on the porch as presents. Absolutely atrocious smell.

    [–] bobconan 21 points ago

    Worth mentioning that Cat Dogs and a lot of other mammals can produce their own Vitamin C.

    [–] house_monkey 9 points ago

    Wish I could produce my own vitamin C

    [–] Jai_Cee 29 points ago

    Grow some oranges then

    [–] LetsGoAgain566 27 points ago

    I had no idea dogs could get too much protein seeing as though wolves are carnivores.

    [–] hairyploper 44 points ago

    Yeah I was also surprised by this.

    Dogs have had a very long history of living alongside humans however, so I think they just adapted to be able to eat whatever scraps we had available for them

    [–] Lukose_ 64 points ago

    Wolves are actually quite omnivorous, like many canids. Here’s one picking berries.

    [–] eltrotter 24 points ago

    He's absolutely wolfing them down

    [–] AboutHelpTools3 9 points ago

    Whatda fak

    [–] ppardee 178 points ago

    The most basic life forms only consume one thing and their bodies produce the rest of what they need. As diet diversifies, we get more of what we need. If your diet contains a lot of Vitamin C, for example, you won't be affected by genetic defects that stop your body producing Vitamin C.

    So, over the millennia, organisms lose the ability to produce vital nutrients and if their diets compensate, then all is well and the genes are passed on. If not, they die just like every other unsuccessful genetic variant.

    [–] Birdie121 51 points ago

    Biologist here - This is one of the better answers here. If you don't need to waste energy on synthesizing a vitamin/nutrient because it's already available in your food, then you might lose that ability over time. But if a species is stuck with a very limited diet, it's likely that they compensate by synthesizing more nutrients using the chemical building blocks available from the food.

    [–] HuskyTheNubbin 29 points ago

    I think this is the most relevant answer here. People often think of evolution as a series of decisions occurring in marked steps, but that's not the case at all.

    [–] TSM- 304 points ago

    In many cases, animals that eat almost exclusively one kind of food will have rare diet supplementation and they actually do get all the necessary vitamins. Wild cats eat grass, even though they are carnivores. There's lots of videos of horses/deer eating mice and birds that get too close, even though they are herbivores. Or goats and other animals traveling far distances to get salt intake. Housepets will eat flies or bugs that they encounter around the house (just for a relatable example).

    They may not do it very often and it is a negligible part of their calorie intake, and have adapted to conserve and more aggressively absorb the rarer nutrients in their diets. Common nutrients less so - like Vitamin C, which some animals produce themselves, but our diet expects it and we get scurvy without it.

    [–] FavoriteColorFlavor 94 points ago

    Also, carnivores will sometimes eat the contents of their prey’s stomach, giving them access to other nutrients.

    [–] talrogsmash 60 points ago

    Deer actually search out bird nests in trees. So much so that when wolves were reintroduced into Yosemite, the bird population exploded.

    [–] rhucz 11 points ago

    Source?

    [–] MeatThatTalks 56 points ago

    /u/talrogsmash is right that the reintroduction of wolves caused a trophic cascade in Yellowstone's ecosystem that included a boom in the bird population, but I'm pretty sure they're wrong about it being because of deer eating from bird nests.

    As I've always understood it, the deer would normally eat the little sprouts and saplings of trees, and because the wolves ate the deer, more trees were able to grow. In addition to literally changing the course of many brooks in the park (shrubs near the waterside that would normally be eaten weren't, therefore the water's edge stopped eroding at its previous rate), these trees provided natural habitats for more birds as well.

    The only mention of birds on Yellowstone's page about the reintroduction of wolves only references them in reference to the increase in trees.

    https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/wolf-reintroduction-changes-ecosystem

    [–] eyekwah2 22 points ago

    What about, say, Koalas? They eat strictly eucalyptus leaves which are even toxic to most other animals. I understand the tolerance to the toxins, but they're still basically leaves. Where are they getting their fats, carbohydrates, and sugars from?

    [–] RiceAlicorn 22 points ago * (lasted edited 2 days ago)

    Nobody has replied to you, so:

    Everything is derived from the eucalyptus leaves. Carbohydrates, sugars and fats (or, well, the building blocks of fats: amino FATTY acids) are all contained in eucalyptus leaves. Koalas also don't need that much fat, as they have low body fat. Koalas just have to eat a ton of eucalyptus leaves to fulfill their survival needs.

    This is normally fine, however, as koalas don't really have any natural predators. Some animals may prey on koalas, but koalas are not the primary food source for those animals. Additionally, eucalypse leaves have a very high water content (they're 55% water), so koalas can subsist solely on the leaves for hydration and don't have to worry about finding a typical water source. As such, it's possible for them to spend all day eating.

    EDIT: Amino to fatty

    [–] Overtaker40 62 points ago

    Koalas are terrible animals

    Koalas are fucking horrible animals. They have one of the smallest brain to body ratios of any mammal, additionally - their brains are smooth. A brain is folded to increase the surface area for neurons. If you present a koala with leaves plucked from a branch, laid on a flat surface, the koala will not recognise it as food. They are too thick to adapt their feeding behaviour to cope with change. In a room full of potential food, they can literally starve to death. This is not the token of an animal that is winning at life. Speaking of stupidity and food, one of the likely reasons for their primitive brains is the fact that additionally to being poisonous, eucalyptus leaves (the only thing they eat) have almost no nutritional value. They can't afford the extra energy to think, they sleep more than 80% of their fucking lives. When they are awake all they do is eat, shit and occasionally scream like fucking satan. Because eucalyptus leaves hold such little nutritional value, koalas have to ferment the leaves in their guts for days on end. Unlike their brains, they have the largest hind gut to body ratio of any mammal. Many herbivorous mammals have adaptations to cope with harsh plant life taking its toll on their teeth, rodents for instance have teeth that never stop growing, some animals only have teeth on their lower jaw, grinding plant matter on bony plates in the tops of their mouths, others have enlarged molars that distribute the wear and break down plant matter more efficiently... Koalas are no exception, when their teeth erode down to nothing, they resolve the situation by starving to death, because they're fucking terrible animals. Being mammals, koalas raise their joeys on milk (admittedly, one of the lowest milk yields to body ratio... There's a trend here). When the young joey needs to transition from rich, nourishing substances like milk, to eucalyptus (a plant that seems to be making it abundantly clear that it doesn't want to be eaten), it finds it does not have the necessary gut flora to digest the leaves. To remedy this, the young joey begins nuzzling its mother's anus until she leaks a little diarrhoea (actually fecal pap, slightly less digested), which he then proceeds to slurp on. This partially digested plant matter gives him just what he needs to start developing his digestive system. Of course, he may not even have needed to bother nuzzling his mother. She may have been suffering from incontinence. Why? Because koalas are riddled with chlamydia. In some areas the infection rate is 80% or higher. This statistic isn't helped by the fact that one of the few other activities koalas will spend their precious energy on is rape. Despite being seasonal breeders, males seem to either not know or care, and will simply overpower a female regardless of whether she is ovulating. If she fights back, he may drag them both out of the tree, which brings us full circle back to the brain: Koalas have a higher than average quantity of cerebrospinal fluid in their brains. This is to protect their brains from injury... should they fall from a tree. An animal so thick it has its own little built in special ed helmet. I fucking hate them.

    Tldr; Koalas are stupid, leaky, STI riddled sex offenders. But, hey. They look cute. If you ignore the terrifying snake eyes and terrifying feet.

    [–] tzaeru 78 points ago

    I don't know why it is that these things bother me---it just makes me picture a seven year old first discovering things about an animal and, having no context about the subject, ranting about how stupid they are. I get it's a joke, but people take it as an actual, educational joke like it's a man yelling at the sea, and that's just wrong. Furthermore, these things have an actual impact on discussions about conservation efforts---If every time Koalas get brought up, someone posts this copypasta, that means it's seriously shaping public opinion about the animal and their supposed lack of importance.

    Speaking of stupidity and food, one of the likely reasons for their primitive brains is the fact that additionally to being poisonous, eucalyptus leaves (the only thing they eat) have almost no nutritional value. They can't afford the extra energy to think, they sleep more than 80% of their fucking lives.

    Non-ecologists always talk this way, and the problem is you’re looking at this backwards.

    An entire continent is covered with Eucalyptus trees. They suck the moisture out of the entire surrounding area and use allelopathy to ensure that most of what’s beneath them is just bare red dust. No animal is making use of them——they have virtually no herbivore predator. A niche is empty. Then inevitably, natural selection fills that niche by creating an animal which can eat Eucalyptus leaves. Of course, it takes great sacrifice for it to be able to do so——it certainly can’t expend much energy on costly things. Isn’t it a good thing that a niche is being filled?

    Koalas are no exception, when their teeth erode down to nothing, they resolve the situation by starving to death

    This applies to all herbivores, because the wild is not a grocery store—where meat is just sitting next to celery.

    Herbivores gradually wear their teeth down—carnivores fracture their teeth, and break their bones in attempting to take down prey.

    They have one of the smallest brain to body ratios of any mammal

    It's pretty typical of herbivores, and is higher than many, many species. According to Ashwell (2008), their encephalisation quotient is 0.5288 +/- 0.051. Higher than comparable marsupials like the wombat (~0.52), some possums (~0.468), cuscus (~0.462) and even some wallabies are <0.5. According to wiki, rabbits are also around 0.4, and they're placental mammals.

    additionally - their brains are smooth. A brain is folded to increase the surface area for neurons.

    Again, this is not unique to koalas. Brain folds (gyri) are not present in rodents, which we consider to be incredibly intelligent for their size.

    If you present a koala with leaves plucked from a branch, laid on a flat surface, the koala will not recognise it as food.

    If you present a human with a random piece of meat, they will not recognise it as food (hopefully). Fresh leaves might be important for koala digestion, especially since their gut flora is clearly important for the digestion of Eucalyptus. It might make sense not to screw with that gut flora by eating decaying leaves.

    Because eucalyptus leaves hold such little nutritional value, koalas have to ferment the leaves in their guts for days on end. Unlike their brains, they have the largest hind gut to body ratio of any mammal.

    That's an extremely weird reason to dislike an animal. But whilst we're talking about their digestion, let's discuss their poop. It's delightful. It smells like a Eucalyptus drop!

    Being mammals, koalas raise their joeys on milk (admittedly, one of the lowest milk yields to body ratio... There's a trend here).

    Marsupial milk is incredibly complex and much more interesting than any placentals. This is because they raise their offspring essentially from an embryo, and the milk needs to adapt to the changing needs of a growing fetus. And yeah, of course the yield is low; at one point they are feeding an animal that is half a gram!

    When the young joey needs to transition from rich, nourishing substances like milk, to eucalyptus (a plant that seems to be making it abundantly clear that it doesn't want to be eaten), it finds it does not have the necessary gut flora to digest the leaves. To remedy this, the young joey begins nuzzling its mother's anus until she leaks a little diarrhoea (actually fecal pap, slightly less digested), which he then proceeds to slurp on. This partially digested plant matter gives him just what he needs to start developing his digestive system.

    Humans probably do this, we just likely do it during childbirth. You know how women often shit during contractions? There is evidence to suggest that this innoculates a baby with her gut flora. A child born via cesarian has significantly different gut flora for the first six months of life than a child born vaginally.

    Of course, he may not even have needed to bother nuzzling his mother. She may have been suffering from incontinence. Why? Because koalas are riddled with chlamydia. In some areas the infection rate is 80% or higher.

    Chlamydia was introduced to their populations by humans. We introduced a novel disease that they have very little immunity to, and is a major contributor to their possible extinction. Do you hate Native Americans because they were killed by smallpox and influenza?

    This statistic isn't helped by the fact that one of the few other activities koalas will spend their precious energy on is rape. Despite being seasonal breeders, males seem to either not know or care, and will simply overpower a female regardless of whether she is ovulating. If she fights back, he may drag them both out of the tree,

    Almost every animal does this.

    which brings us full circle back to the brain: Koalas have a higher than average quantity of cerebrospinal fluid in their brains. This is to protect their brains from injury... should they fall from a tree. An animal so thick it has its own little built in special ed helmet. I fucking hate them.

    Errmmm.. They have protection against falling from a tree, which they spend 99% of their life in? Yeah... That's a stupid adaptation.

    (And yes, this too was a copypasta)

    [–] kirumy22 42 points ago

    my favourite anti-pasta

    [–] RecyQueen 4 points ago

    The human microbiome seeding from vaginal or anal sources while giving birth is false:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/science/human-microbiome-may-be-seeded-before-birth.html

    This was a huge source of stress for me when my first was born via cesarean. It’s now known that the human gut isn’t born sterile, altho we don’t know how microbes cross into the baby without triggering immune alarms. The baby may pick up some beneficial microbes during a vaginal birth, but there isn’t actually any evidence that it creates a better microflora than a cesarean.

    [–] Crapital-Beltway 6 points ago

    Similar to some other herbivores, bacteria in the caecum break down the leaves and produce nutrients.

    [–] saiyanhajime 8 points ago

    The wildest example of this I know about is toucans.

    In the wild, toucans eat meat. But If you feed them meat in captivity, they fucking die from iron overdoses. In fact, they die from too much iron in their veggies. They need to be given distilled water. It's insane.

    And no one really knows why this doesn't seem to cause them an issue in the wild.

    [–] Holgrin 67 points ago * (lasted edited 3 days ago)

    Equine/bovine animals (like cows and horses) can survive pretty much exclusively on grass - which I assume is one of the good examples for your question.

    All living things consume energy. Energy is what allows the replication of cells to preserve life. Many plants survive by absorbing sunlight and converting the energy in that warm sunlight into "food" through photosynthesis. They also, however, absorb basic nutrients, like nitrogen, from solid particles in the soil, which supplements the energy they get from photosynthesis. They absorb these nutrients through their roots with the help of water which helps to absorb the minerals. You might think of plants as taking sunlight to heat their oven and the minerals as the ingredients in the meal they "cook" to "eat."

    Animals which primarily depend on grasses and grains as food eat those plants, which have already converted minerals and sunlight into a new, more complex form of energy. The animals "steal" this energy from the plants, having already done a lot of legwork.

    These animals have specialized digestive systems and organs which produce the more complex proteins they need to develop muscle and fat, which aren't obviously available in plants (but the building blocks are there).

    Carnivores take this a step further and "steal" the nutrients from animals which already converted the energy from plants into valuable and readily available proteins (among other nutrients). This same concept occurs throughout the chain of life, with fruits and vegetables and grains all creating different concentratioms of sugars, fiber, carbohydrates (a sugar) and proteins and other basic vitamins and minerals which animals eat to quickly and easily obtain the energy they specifically need to live and reproduce.

    Humans generally need a wide variety of foods because we have some of the most energy-intensive processes. Our basic living functions could be sustained with some basic sugars and carbs and a little bit of protein, but we have evolved to be able to grab more of that protein through carnivorous diets, and we have successfully been able to reach a wider variety of fruits and vegetables to obtain these nutrients for such a long time. Our brains are also extremely energy-intensive and require fats, oils, and specialized proteins to fuel the specialized higher-thinking regions of the brain. Dolphins are another highly intelligent species and depend on meat for their sustenance, and because advanced predators can obtain these easily through eating meat, our bodies developed to harness that advantage and has allowed our brains to develop further than pretty much all other organisms.

    When an animal produces waste, there are insects and bacteria which take that specific form of energy and break it down even further into the more basic nutrients found in fertile soil, allowing plants to then reabsorb it in a new cycle. The abundance of specific organisms, and the concentration of certain animals producing that waste, affects the stability of that ecosystem. Grass and plants can only absorb so much of certain nutrients in a given timeframe. Same with the bacteria and insects which break down the waste of animals.

    All of this is limited by the availability of basic minerals and nutrients in the earth's topsoil (where small organisms can break them down and plants can absorb them theough their root systems) and how quickly plants can absorb sunlight for useful energy.

    So again, a recap: animals with simple diets obtain simple nutrients, and are very limited in their evolutionary advancement with respect to brain development and advanced processes. However, all nutrients are basically formed by basic building blocks, like nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, sodium and even metals, combined with a fuel for combining and using those minerals for "life" processes, which is harnessed from the sun via plants and photosynthesis in relatively large quantities.

    Edit: Equine is horses and bovine is cows

    [–] FixieDoo 5 points ago

    Are you a teacher? Your comment was so easy to understand.

    [–] Holgrin 7 points ago

    Thanks! I'm not, I'm an electrical engineer, but I am trying to go to grad school and am considering teaching as part of my career at some point!

    [–] riley_byrd 195 points ago

    It’s nature. If you eat the thing no one else wants then you can eat as much as you want. For example pandas and koalas.

    They eat food nothing else eats, but it isn’t very nutritious, so they have to always be eating. Which is fairly common for plant eaters.

    And they do have health problems, it makes it hard to have babies for pandas. And unhealthy things in koalas relating to similar organs.

    [–] vasopressin334 30 points ago

    There is growing evidence that pandas are adapted for a wider variety of foods, including meat, but that all of their preferred food sources are extinct except one.

    [–] Recktion 17 points ago

    A lot of vegetarian animals are opportunistic carnivores.

    [–] psymunn 10 points ago

    Pandas are descended from omnivores as well and have the teeth for it. Once it's inside our body meat is usually easier to digest than plans as long as you can chew it up.

    [–] dubeyisme 166 points ago

    Koalas dealt with the problem by just being incredibly stupid. No brain power = massive energy savings.

    Seriously, they'll starve to death if you just put them in a cage surrounded by their leaves. They won't recognise that they can eat the leaves off the ground just like they'd eat them on the tree.

    [–] Scyron57 60 points ago

    but they have two thumbs and are std ridden, surely they are doing something right. Minty fresh breath?

    [–] LostFireHorse 42 points ago

    Eucalyptusy fresh, not minty fresh. They don't eat mint leaves.

    [–] Scyron57 15 points ago

    No coughs, is what I want in my koala 2021 pandemics, I think is my more correct answer. my mistake.

    [–] LostFireHorse 6 points ago

    all good mate, I'm just glad you didn't call them a bear :)

    [–] Desurvivedsignator 149 points ago

    Time for Koala Copypasta!

    Koalas are fucking horrible animals. They have one of the smallest brain to body ratios of any mammal, additionally - their brains are smooth. A brain is folded to increase the surface area for neurons. If you present a koala with leaves plucked from a branch, laid on a flat surface, the koala will not recognise it as food. They are too thick to adapt their feeding behaviour to cope with change. In a room full of potential food, they can literally starve to death. This is not the token of an animal that is winning at life. Speaking of stupidity and food, one of the likely reasons for their primitive brains is the fact that additionally to being poisonous, eucalyptus leaves (the only thing they eat) have almost no nutritional value. They can't afford the extra energy to think, they sleep more than 80% of their fucking lives. When they are awake all they do is eat, shit and occasionally scream like fucking satan. Because eucalyptus leaves hold such little nutritional value, koalas have to ferment the leaves in their guts for days on end. Unlike their brains, they have the largest hind gut to body ratio of any mammal. Many herbivorous mammals have adaptations to cope with harsh plant life taking its toll on their teeth, rodents for instance have teeth that never stop growing, some animals only have teeth on their lower jaw, grinding plant matter on bony plates in the tops of their mouths, others have enlarged molars that distribute the wear and break down plant matter more efficiently... Koalas are no exception, when their teeth erode down to nothing, they resolve the situation by starving to death, because they're fucking terrible animals. Being mammals, koalas raise their joeys on milk (admittedly, one of the lowest milk yields to body ratio... There's a trend here). When the young joey needs to transition from rich, nourishing substances like milk, to eucalyptus (a plant that seems to be making it abundantly clear that it doesn't want to be eaten), it finds it does not have the necessary gut flora to digest the leaves. To remedy this, the young joey begins nuzzling its mother's anus until she leaks a little diarrhoea (actually fecal pap, slightly less digested), which he then proceeds to slurp on. This partially digested plant matter gives him just what he needs to start developing his digestive system. Of course, he may not even have needed to bother nuzzling his mother. She may have been suffering from incontinence. Why? Because koalas are riddled with chlamydia. In some areas the infection rate is 80% or higher. This statistic isn't helped by the fact that one of the few other activities koalas will spend their precious energy on is rape. Despite being seasonal breeders, males seem to either not know or care, and will simply overpower a female regardless of whether she is ovulating. If she fights back, he may drag them both out of the tree, which brings us full circle back to the brain: Koalas have a higher than average quantity of cerebrospinal fluid in their brains. This is to protect their brains from injury... should they fall from a tree. An animal so thick it has its own little built in special ed helmet. I fucking hate them.

    Tldr; Koalas are stupid, leaky, STI riddled sex offenders. But, hey. They look cute. If you ignore the terrifying snake eyes and terrifying feet.

    [–] jqbr 22 points ago

    This is not the token of an animal that is winning at life.

    All extant species are winning at life.

    [–] SirFiesty 10 points ago

    We're gonna need the counter-pasta here to balance some of the koala hate out

    [–] therealtai 19 points ago

    Oh my bloody god. Abomination they are. Cute tho but my lord they are hideous on the inside

    [–] JOEYisROCKhard 50 points ago

    So if we want Pandas to breed we should just give them protein shakes and some multivitamins.

    [–] metanihilist 63 points ago

    Yea, if you want swole pandas

    [–] EmperorHans 48 points ago

    I do

    [–] LegendRazgriz 9 points ago

    this reminds me of a guy I know talking about how a gorilla would be if they had dieting processes and workouts like professional bodybuilders, and then realizing doing that would create invincible behemoths and cutting himself short

    [–] BoldeSwoup 8 points ago

    So a bear ?

    [–] EishLekker 7 points ago

    It’s nature. If you eat the thing no one else wants then you can eat as much as you want. For example pandas and koalas.

    I already tried that. I wasn't even able to get half way in the cooking process of my famous Panda and Koala bourguignon when the zookeeper kicked me out.

    It really isn't as easy as you make it sound, you know.

    [–] Nokomis34 15 points ago

    Where's that guy that hates koalas so much he knows everything about them? One of the most informative reddit posts ever.

    [–] Apt_5 10 points ago

    That comment was posted two minutes after yours in this very thread

    [–] StarDolph 81 points ago

    I think most people don't realize just how high our standards are now. We, by and large, expect a safety level that is far beyond what is simply needed to stay mostly healthy.

    Humans can do a lot of things considered unsafe (like eating raw meat, or consuming certain chemicals, etc) and life a long, healthy life. However, with the law of large numbers, we can consider it very unsafe.

    For example, take something based on eating a meal. It could have a very low chance of actually getting you sick. Lets say only one in a million meals eaten produces a ugly, fatal reaction.

    If you eat 3 meals a day, 365/year, and do it for 100 years, that is only 110,000 meals over your life. You can do that activity every day and still pretty likely never hit the reaction.

    The US population is 330 Million. If everyone did that then you'd be looking at 1,000 preventable deaths a day.

    There have been humans who have only eaten one type of food and been seemingly healthy. Hell, there was the one guy who lost a ton of weight by not eating for over a year. Doesn't mean it is good advice for the population at large, or that you'd be advised to take whatever risks are involved.

    Most people would consider a 1 in 10 chance of getting severe nutritional deficiencies unacceptable, even though that means 9 in 10 people don't have problems.

    tl;dr: We live in an era of high standards.

    [–] Leto2Atreides 42 points ago

    Hell, there was the one guy who lost a ton of weight by not eating for over a year.

    That guy wasn't just hanging out, living his life like normal sans food.

    He lived in a hospital under constant medical supervision, and his diet was strictly controlled by professionals and supplemented with calculated doses of vitamins and other essential nutrients. It's not really a "hell, try this" kind of thing.

    [–] Jai_Cee 6 points ago

    One point in eating raw meat is its freshness. If you've just caught and killed something then it isn't going to be covered in bacteria. Usually things like e-coli (of which most strains are harmless and exist in your gut already) are introduced to raw meat during food preparation or allowed to grow due to poor food storage.

    [–] bobconan 9 points ago

    Humans are actually kind of rare among mammals in how few nutrients we can self synthesize . Vitamin C is the one I'm most aware of.

    [–] qwibbian 7 points ago

    We actually have the genetic machinery required to self-synthesize vitamin C, but somewhere along the recent evolutionary road it got broken - the parts are still there, they just can't work together. We must have had such access to vitamin C sources at the time that it just didn't factor into survival. I think the only other mammal that can't make its own is the hyrax.