Was early man a meat eater or a vegetarian? Is not eating meat a natural?or unnatural?thing for people to do? One way to decide is to study our closest relations, the chimpanzees.

The debate centers on the diet followed by early hominids as their brain and body size slowly increased towards a human level. Was it meat-and-potatoes, or potatoes-and-meat? A new study documents a novel use of tools by chimps to dig for tubers and roots in the savanna woodlands of western Tanzania. The chimps’ eagerness for buried treats offers new insights in an ongoing debate about the role of meat versus potato-like foods in the diet of our hominid ancestors. Researcher Adriana Hernandez-Aguilar says, “Some researchers have suggested that what made us human was actually the [potatoes].” read more

Becoming a vegetarian is one way to help combat global warming, but will it make you smarter?

A new study shows that intelligent children are more likely to become vegetarians later in life. Researchers in the UK found that people who were vegetarians by age 30 had an IQ five points higher at the age of 10. There was no difference in IQ scores between strict vegetarians and people who said they were basically vegetarian but also ate fish or chicken.

Vegetarians are more likely to be female, to have more education and (therefore) a better job and to be in a higher social class. However, they don?t necessarily earn more money.
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We’re learning how to grill safer burgers, but in order to fight global warming, we may have to give up our hamburgers and become vegetarians.

The problem is not just that cattle farts produce methane, which is a major greenhouse gas. In New Scientist, Daniele Fanelli quotes Karen Batra, of the Colorado National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, as saying, “Methane emissions from beef cattle are declining, thanks to innovations in feeding practices.”
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