If you’ve ever owned a dog and watched him eat, you’ll know that if food is continuously available, dogs tend to keep eating until they’re ready to burst. It seems that nature has hard-wired them to eat whenever they can, because food may not be available again for some time. Cats, for some reason, don’t do this. They tend to be “picky” and eat when hungry, stopping when full. Perhaps because dogs are pack animals and cats hunt alone, cats are more self-reliant and self-assured in their ability to find food (I’m just guessing here).

There are evolutionary anthropologists who will say that Man is pretty much the same as dogs. The unpredictability of food was only conquered with the development of agriculture and animal husbandry some 10,000 years ago….before that we were hunter-gatherers who feasted and fasted at the whim of Nature. They go on to speculate that one of the reasons for the obesity epidemic is the ready availability of food in modern times…yet, we still eat as if there’s no tomorrow because of our genetic programming. This means that hunger is not a very good indicator of readiness to eat, because our genetic hard-wiring routinely ignores the lack of hunger when faced with readily available food.

There’s probably some truth to this. The funny thing is though, that there has never been a better time to focus on hunger as a cue to eating, precisely because food is so readily available. In other words, our genetic hard-wiring is no longer relevant to modern Man. We need to become more cat-like than dog.

Advertisements