Someone else has already done all the hard work of converting plant matter into the stuff that meat is made of, so it's high-density protein with very little metabolic cost. Even an herbivore would be foolish to pass that up.
In the wild, antibiotics are not provided. Worms can get in the heart, lungs, and brain. Even external parasites are risky. Disease means death.
The situation is slightly more understandable with some of the dedicated meat eaters. Vultures for example, have unusually strong stomach acid to deal with the infectious agents. Snowshoe hares and ruminants don't have that.
Your point is probably valid for cannibalism, which is why it's rare, and even rarer outside of young. The latter not yet having had an opportunity to acquire disease.
Sure, the prominent diet of herbivores are vegetation, but the idea that they only eat vegetation is simply not true.
And every vegetarian on earth eats animals too. It's called insect parts. It's almost impossible for a salad or any vegetarian meal to be completed devoid of insect or rodent parts ( however minuscule ).
Seems there's a bit more to it than just "Rabbit will eat meat before they starve".
If true, it seems like there are no true carnivores and herbivores: everybody is omnivorous to some extent. It's just what you get the majority of your diet from.
Another interesting concept is 'placentophagy' (mammals being observed eating their own placentas post pregnancy).
On the other hand, it does show that a voluntarily purely vegetarian diet is an artificial human creation. Yet, humans impose all sorts of artificial strictures on themselves and live to tell the tale.
That's an odd comparison. For the hare, if the choice is "starve in the middle of winter" or "eat meat", it's not surprising they eat meat. I think to say that a "voluntarily purely vegetarian diet is a purely human creation" is true not because of the vegetarian part, but because of the "voluntary" part. Most humans have the luxury of being able to choose a large part of their diets, while many wild animals are usually in a constant state of semi-starvation.
"Irish, German, and Scandinavian immigrants arriving during the 1840s and 1850s made up the second wave of European immigration, fleeing famine, religious persecution, and political conflicts."
Americans today throw away about 40% of the food produced, and are the fattest people on the planet.
Not even close.
Humans are omnivores. Like Black bears, raccoons etc. Our digestive system is capable of processing either plant or animal based protein fairly efficiently. Though there are some plant based proteins humans struggle to digest.
Obligate Herbivores will have extra stomachs and digestive chambers, special reguritating mechanisms to allow rechewing of food.
Obligate Carnivores tend to have shorter simpler digestive systems not capable of processing plant material.
If anything I would be more impressed to find out some carnivores were found relying on plants than the other way around. Plants are harder to digest than meat is. A herbivore occasionally eating meat really isn't that rare or anything to get excited about.
Discovering a tiger that lived on bamboo or something now that would be something new and would maybe be something we could use to start rewriting what we know about digestion.
Squirrels are so cute! Who doesn't love eating cute animals? Even cute animals agree!
If it's dead, cook it!
If it's cooked, eat it!
(unless you are a rabbit: several steps become optional)
"I laughed at him. If this place isn't hell, what is? And the only mortal sin is giving up."
Beautiful. But the transcription you linked isn't great; it's collected in "skeleton crew" available in paperback or on the kindle.
Outline.com seems to be the HN-endorsed site for copyright infringement.