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10 Mar

What Is a Meat Eater Called?

Human beings are able to eat all kinds of things, from fruits and vegetables to fungi and seafood. And most people also eat meat, maybe even a lot of it!

If you've ever wondered what the proper term for a meat eater is, keep on reading to find out more.

Herbivore, Omnivore, or Carnivore?

Different kinds of animals in the food chain eat different types of food. An animal that can only eat plants doesn't have the teeth or digestive system to eat meat. Likewise, an animal that can only eat meat doesn't have the necessary biological equipment to eat plants.

An animal that can only eat plants is called an "herbivore." Herbivores tend to have large front teeth (incisors) to take bites out of plants. Farther back in its mouth, an herbivore also has broad molars that can grind down plant matter.

Some of the biggest animals we deal with on a regular basis--think of cows and elk--are herbivores. In fact, many herbivores are so big and require so much energy to function that they practically spend all day munching on grass, grain, or other plants!

Meanwhile, animals that are equipped to eat plants and meat alike are known as "omnivores." An omnivore can be just as satisfied eating fruit as a side of beef. In the wild, omnivores are often viewed as opportunistic eaters because they will eat whatever food is on hand, whether it's a fruit, vegetable, or piece of meat.

Omnivores have a variety of teeth that help them consume different kinds of meat. Like herbivores, they have incisors at the front of the mouth for cutting into food, as well as molars near the back of their mouths to grind up plants and other fibrous foods.

However, like meat-eating animals, omnivores also have canines, which are sharp, fang-like teeth that give them the ability to tear up meat in a way that molars aren't suited to.

Finally, an animal that exclusively eats other animals for meat is known as a "carnivore." Carnivorous mammals have larger canines and sharper molars. Birds of prey and snakes are also considered carnivores.

What Do You Call a Human Who Eats Meat?

Based on the scientific information described above, you might be tempted to call a human who eats meat a carnivore. After all, carnivores eat meat, right?

Not so fast! Biologically speaking, humans fall in the category of omnivores. They have strong front incisors, prominent canines (though not as fang-like as those of carnivores) in the middle of the mouth, and powerful molars in the back of the mouth.

In other words, humans have been designed to eat everything from mushrooms and fleshy fruits to roots and animal meat.

With that being said, it is common to hear a person who primarily or exclusively eats meat refer to himself or herself as a "carnivore." The "Carnivore Diet" is exactly what it sounds like: eating only animal products, especially (but not limited to) meat. Just remember that a human who eats like a carnivore still remains an omnivore.

Benefits of Being a Meat Eater

You don't have to go "full carnivore" to enjoy the benefits of being a meat eater. After all, there are plenty of reasons why you should be at least a "part-time" meat eater.

For starters, meat is rich in macronutrients like protein, which is essential for muscle growth, proper functioning of your immune system, hormonal balance, and energy. It's also chock full of vital micronutrients and vitamins, such as Vitamin B12, iron, and zinc.

Meat is also great for weight loss, since it helps you feel satiated rather than hungry. Just think about it: have you ever mindlessly snacked too much on a steak, pork chop, or plate of chicken breast? The same can’t be said for a bag of high-calorie, nutrient-poor potato chips or candies.

Finally, meat offers a robust variety of delicious flavors. That's not to say there aren't yummy vegan or vegetarian dishes out there, but cutting meat out of your diet entirely limits you from enjoying some of the tastiest dishes known to man, from sushi and lobster tail to fried chicken and bacon-wrapped filet mignon.

From nutrient-rich organ meat to high-quality meat at your local steakhouse, being a “part-time carnivore” opens up a lot of doors for your palate.


If you're ready to enjoy life as a meat eater (whether or not you plan to go "full carnivore"), check out the amazing meat selections of food available on our website at Essential Foods Direct. When that first order from our premium meat delivery service shows up at your door, your inner meat eater will thank you!