Gentle Ones: [In response to recent letters published in Mountain Xpress,] I’m getting rather tired of these self-righteous vegans who, like extremists of every stripe, think their way is the only way for everybody! I’m not going into the differing a priori between me and them about death, but I will speak about individual differences.
Being an omnivore means that you may eat many kinds of food, not that you must eat a certain percentage of meat to qualify. And yes, teeth are an indicator of your diet because not all humans have the same kind of teeth. Are your incisors big and long, all your teeth about the same length and squared off at the ends? You have horse teeth — good for eating grain like other hoofed animals: sheep, goats, cattle, deer, etc. Vegetarianism would be easy for you.
But perhaps you are like me and have small incisors and even smaller lateral incisors, plus pointed canines, pointed first premolars and pointed second premolars. One of my most memorable eating experiences was being at a beach picnic where grilled steaks were served, but nobody had brought any utensils. Biting into my handheld steak was highly pleasurable, and my lovely pointed canines helped a lot in making that bite!
However, DNA has now added another item to consider. I had my DNA tested for genetic differences connected to dietary issues and found that I am lacking the gene that converts beta carotene (in vegetables) to vitamin A. I must, therefore, get my vitamin A from animal sources. I have been told that I would do very poorly as a vegetarian.
For ecological reasons, I limit the amount of flesh that I eat, but I do eat at least one bite every day, usually canned fish or chicken, and I try to eat more pork and less beef, but bison has been touted as especially good for my genetic makeup. So you vegans go right ahead and feel superior if you must, but you will not win me over.
— AA Lloyd