Veganism: History, Health and Spirituality


By Dr. Gabriel Cousens | Tree of Life

A small group of people argue that human beings were originally hunter-gatherers who evolved eating the flesh of animals.  This is a self-serving myth that is simply historically inaccurate.  This mythical view implies that human evolution began with the ice age (20,000 years ago), when meat-eating became temporarily essential for survival.  This relatively recent time period is not the point of historical origin for humans on the planet, but it was a dark passage, in which our survival needs eclipsed our compassion and empathy.

The human ancestor called “Lucy” (Australopithecus afarensis) is believed to have walked the earth 3.2 million years ago, and her mandibular structure (spatulate canines) clearly indicates that she subsisted primarily on plants.  In fact “her” canines were less developed than modern human canines, making an even stronger case for human nutrition being plant source.  In all of the vertebrate world, the teeth structure tells us which animals are carnivorous or not.  The bigger the canines, the more likely that species was and is designed for a carnivorous diet.  Humans have clear plant-source-only teeth.  There are several other anatomical reasons humans are plant-source-only, but the teeth is the strongest indicator.

In the discussion there are two strong points that overwhelmingly support plants as humanity’s natural food.  The first evidence is anatomical and genetic.  The old adage “dentition determines diet” means that the shape of an animal’s teeth tell us what they are designed to eat.  Skeletal remains of ancient humans show us that our dental structure has changed very little over millions of years.  Our dental structure was designed to eat fruit, nuts, seeds, and greens. In truth, one need not look any farther than our closest mammalian relatives for nutritional tips.  Humans share 99.4% of their genetic makeup with frugivorous chimpanzees.  Dogs, to which humans are commonly compared to, by those trying to justify an omnivorous diet, share merely 75% homologous genes with humans.

The second point of the plant-source-only discussion is the abundance of oral traditions from cultures the world over, that point to a Golden Age of peace and harmony long ago.  The Vedas, the Torah, the Taoist texts, and all indigenous legends tell of a Galactic Summer or Golden Age when humanity thrived on a plant-source-only diet.  In this world, dating back prior to 20,000 years, our ancient ancestors were gatherers.  In the last 10,000 to 20,000 years some of our ancestors became hunters and herders.

Plant-source nutrition, however, has still been the primary diet of humanity during the last 10,000 years of recorded history.  And there are many examples of cultures that thrived on plant-source-only nutrition, including Herodotus’ Pelagasians, who existed 5,000 years ago and had an average age of 200 years on close to a 100% live food plant-source-only diet. (I actually visited Greece to verify their existence and where they lived.) Herodotus, the father of history, also pointed out that plant-source-only cultures were less war-like, and more spiritually and culturally evolved.

Such famous vegetarians include: Leonardo de Vinci, Pythagoras, Pluto, Plutarch, St. Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther, Isaac Newton, Voltaire, John Wesley, Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Susan B. Anthony, Leo Tolstoy, Henry Ford, Mahatma Gandhi, and Albert Einstein.  Plant-source-only cultures included the Essenes, the Hunzas, the Aztecs, the Mayans, the Zapotec, the Native American Choctaws, and the ancient Cherokees.  It is significant that two major studies by Native Americans themselves showed that 60% of Native Americans were agriculturalists subsisting primarily on plants.  The buffalo culture that emerged on the Great Plains was short-lived and was the direct result of European invasion and influence. The teachings of the White Buffalo Calf  Women was to be plant-source-only, unless there were no other foods to eat; and then the buffalo would offer itself for survival food.

The Jain and Hindu cultures in India, the Buddhist cultures in China and Japan, (the Dali Lama re-affirmed this is 2005 by calling all Buddhists to follow a plant-source-only diet), and even the Torah, 3,400 years ago in Genesis 1:29, all clearly recommend a plant-source-only diet, with no spilling of blood, as the primary diet for the evolution of consciousness. Examples of spiritual groups who have utilized a plant-source-only diet to promote spiritual evolution may be found in the ancient Rishi sages of India, the Taoist immortals, the Essenes, and some of the Christian saints.

A plant-source-only diet is both our ancient heritage, the optimal diet to support the spiritual evolution of human consciousness, and our predestined future as we travel along our collective evolutionary spiritual continuum toward the Messianic time of God-consciousness.

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