“But I Have Canine Teeth”
Animal activists hear this one a lot.
Did I say how often we hear this one? 😀
It’s about as common as “Where do you get your protein?” as if the idea that some of the strongest creatures on earth (i.e., the elephant and the bull) get their protein from somewhere outside of the plant world.
Canine teeth are misunderstood by most of us simply because we hear “canine” and think of the teeth used by predators to kill other animals and tear into the flesh of their prey.
But the truth is that most mammals have canine teeth.
The exceptions are rodents, rabbits, and pikas.
People normally associate “saber teeth” with bloodthirsty ice age cats, but a few modern creatures also have them—including some rather docile herbivores (like the Musk Deer above). During mating season, male Musk Deer temporarily drop the docility, go a bit macho, and use them for fighting.
Camels and javelinas are also good examples of herbivores that sport canine teeth used as weapons.
Humans of course can and do eat meat, but just because we can do something doesn’t mean we must do something.
And I’m willing to bet that if you look in the mirror at your own canines, you won’t see such an impressive set of teeth that you immediately think: “I’m a lion”.
If you do, you need to see the orthodontist or the psychiatrist, or preferably both. 😀