Tuesday, January 31, 2012

People Taste Bad

Recently I got into a discussion about the movie Grizzly Man with a friend.  I don't want to spoil it for you if you haven't seen it, but basically it's the true story - made from the actual video footage of an animal activist who decided to go up to Alaska and live with Grizzly bears.  As you may have already guessed, the movie ends with him getting killed by bears.  Anyway, this reminded me of a theory I've been mulling over for quite some time now - people taste bad.

The prevailing opinions about how humans have become the dominant species on the planet have revolved around opposable thumbs or a larger brain.  I even read one theory that we've developed intellect because of our flat backs - humans are the only species that can lay flat on their backs, enabling parents to have their hands free and play with and make eye contact with babies while they are laying down.  I know that now we have weapons and houses that keep us safe from animals, but it wasn't always so.  When humans were living in caves and only had sticks and rocks to defend themselves, how were they able to avoid becoming dinner for bigger and stronger animals.  Certainly we would be easier prey than faster and stronger animals.  Or animals with horns, antlers, claws, or teeth to defend themselves with.  My theory is that it's because we smell and taste bad. 

Whenever there are animal attacks on humans, the human usually isn't eaten.  Possibly killed, but most of the time the animal moves on and leaves the corpse behind.  Animals only attack humans when they are surprised by us, when they are defending their young, or when they are starving and can't find anything else to eat.  Even sharks, which will eat pretty much anything, don't eat people.  They take a bite and go on their merry way.  Dogs will lick us to decide if it's worth taking a bite, but rarely do.  And it's not just us - in all the nature documentaries I've seen other animals don't eat primates.  I saw one once where a crocodile ate a monkey, but that's it.  I don't recall any apes, monkeys, or orangutans being attacked.  What other explanation can there be?

Which brings me to the second part of the theory.  People that haven't bathed in a while can manifest a pretty horrific odor.  Just today a woman sat next to me on the bus who was a little ripe.  If that isn't a deterrent to being eaten, then I don't know what is.  Not to mention that the dietary habits of most are such that it's not a stretch to imagine that it negatively impacting flavor.  The one thing I haven't worked out is that I've frequently heard that pigs are anatomically the most similar to humans, and everyone well knows that pigs are the most delicious creature that God ever invented.  Does that mean that humans are equally delicious?  I don't think so.  I think we're just enough different that we taste repellent.  And that's how we got where we are today.
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