Lions Do It, Cows do it, even Gorillas and Termites do it, let’s do it, let’s live on fat.
You know, back in the 1920’s Cole Porter wrote a song, a little funny song, called “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love”.
And that song’s got a lot to do with what we’re going to talk about in this video.
In case you’ve never heard the song, here’s a version on Youtube:
Be aware, the lyrics in this version are not politically correct. I share this link only because the music is so authentic to this song, being recorded in 1928, not because I agree with the use of these terms.
Birds, do it
Bees, do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let’s do it, let’s fall in love.
It’s got a few lines that’s just funny and I’m going to read them to you.
The chimpanzees in the zoos, do it,
Some courageous kangaroos do it, Let’s do it. Let’s fall in love
I’m sure giraffes on the sly do it
Heavy hippopotami do it, Let’s do it. let’s fall in love
Old sloths who hang down from twigs do it
Though the effort is great
Sweet guinea pigs do it; buy a couple and wait
The world admits bears in pits do it,
Even Pekingeses in the Ritz do it,
Let’s do it. Let’s fall in love.
That’s just a little funny song, that Cole Porter wrote about being in love and how all animals do that.
You know there’s a funny line in that song that goes like this:
Electric eels, I might add, do it though it shocks them I know
Well, what I’m about to tell you, might shock a few of you.
And that line, pretty much sums up where we’re going with this video.
We all know, and we covered this in my last video, that carnivore animals that eat meat, live on a high protein, high fat diet.
We just know this; we’re not shocked by that at all.
See my video How Much Protein? How Much Fat?
But in this video, we’re going to cover a lot of animals, some of your favorite animals that are known to be vegetarian animals who also live on a very high fat, high protein diet.
In this video, we’re going to learn that almost every animal that you can think of, lives on a high protein, high fat diet.
You know, cows do it.
Gorillas do it,
Sheep do it,
Even humongous elephants do it.
Termites Do It
You know, we might even be funny and say, but it won’t be funny, it’s the truth, even termites do it.
Even termites eat wood and turn that wood into fat.
They live on a high fat diet.
They actual eat a high WOOD diet, but they live on high fat nutrition.
You know, I recently visited the Knoxville Zoo here in my area.
The first animal that I really wanted to show you was the lions.
I wanted to start with this lion because we all know and understand that lions, tigers, dogs, cats in the wild of all kinds are carnivores.
They eat meat, we all understand that.
But you know, if we took a census of every living mammal in the world, all of them, by individuals of every species.
We’d find out that 90% of the mammals in the world are plant eaters.
Ninety percent of the individual mammals in the world are plant eaters.
So there’s a little over 4,000 species of mammals, about 2,000 of them are plant eating species, but of those 2,000, they have the biggest numbers.
So, if you got to thinking about mammals, you would think, they are more than likely plant eaters.
But, we’re going to find out in this video, that the diet of mammals is across the board, a high protein, high fat diet.
You cannot go by what the animal eats.
You have to look deeper, and that’s what we’re going to do in this video.
We’re going to look a little deeper.
And we’re going to find some similarities and relationships that so many mammals have.
It’s going to change the way you look at the world around you.
And it’s going to make you understand how important diet really is.
You know the vast majority of mammals who eat plants, eat a very high fiber plant diet.
In fact, about 40-50% of all the content in plants is fiber.
And guess what?
Not one single animal, with a backbone, a vertebrate, and certain no mammal can digest fiber.
They can’t break it down; they cannot use it for energy at all.
But, over, through time, different animals have developed the ability to have this symbiotic relationship with these little microbes, bacteria in their gut.
The animal eats grass and stems and leaves and fruit, basically to feed their gut bacteria, and the gut bacteria, in turn, feeds the animal fat.
A fat known as Short-Chain Fatty Acids (scfa), or sometimes in the literature, it’s Volatile Fatty Acids (vfa).
These fatty acids are a saturated fat.
And you’ve heard of one of them before, butyric acid.
It’s a fat and it’s where butter got its name from.
It’s a saturated fat.
You’re going to be surprised that the diet of many of these animals is basically a vegetarian, plant-based diet, but the nutrition that they live on, is a high fat nutrition.
In the guts of so many animals, there are billions, hundreds of billions of bacteria, microbes which have the ability to break down fiber.
They eat the fiber, the contents of the fiber, and they produce a by-product, which is waste to them, called short-chain fatty acids.
The microbes get the fiber; the animal gets the fat.
And this fat is easy to use, for all mammals, us included.
Look at these cows.
Look at this bull.
They eat grass all day long. They eat grass and we think they’re feeding themselves, they’re not, they’re feeding their bacteria, they’re feeding the microbes in their stomach, in their considerable fore-stomach, up in the front, what they call a rumen.
And that feeding of the grass to these microbes provides these cows with over 70% of the calories that they use as fat.
“Energy Contributions of Volatile Fatty Acids From the Gastrointestinal Tract in Various Species” E. N. Bergman
Seventy percent of their calorie needs are provided by the fat that these microbes produce.
Here’s another great link to learn about cows and their nutrition: http://www.milkproduction.com/Library/Scientific-articles/Animal-health/The-stomach-of-the-dairy-cow/
That’s pretty amazing guys.
Now let’s look at some sheep and goats.
These sheep and these goats they live this way too.
It’s estimated that short-chain fatty acids supply up to 80% of the sheep’s energy needs.
“Energy Contributions of Volatile Fatty Acids From the Gastrointestinal Tract in Various Species” E. N. Bergman
Eating grass or stems or leaves all day long, but NOT to feed themselves.
They’re feeding their gut bacteria and their gut bacteria is feeding them a high fat diet.
And when I say a high fat diet, I mean a really high fat diet.
Eighty percent of their daily calorie needs.
As many of you know, cows and sheep are what is called ruminants.
They have these large guts, and this food goes in and it’s fermented.
Like a big, humongous fermentation vat.
And all these microbes are turning this fibrous food into fat, that’s the by-product they give back to the cow.
But cows and sheep and goats are not the only ruminants.
Let’s look at some other ruminants.
You see, deer do it.
Caribou do it.
Even reindeer do it.
They all do it.
They’re ruminants too.
They do it, they live on fat.
So do gazelles, they also do it.
And giraffes, really do it.
And even camels with humps do it.
They all live off fat.
And they’re all ruminants, too.
They live off fat, just like the cow.
And don’t forget the llamas and alpacas, too.
This camel was such a gentle creature, I just loved petting it and loving on it a little bit and talking to the handlers there.
These animals are living on fat.
But did you know there’s a few more animals out there, that are not ruminants, they don’t have this big stomach in the front like a cow or a sheep or a deer.
They’re what they call hindgut fermenters.
And there’s a bunch of them guys, a bunch of them.
And some of these are going to amaze you at the amount of fat their guts produce for them.
And what a high fat percentage diet, some of these animals live on.
Hello, it’s Butter Bob and I’m at the zoo.
Here’s a great example, the elephant, my personal favorite animal.
The elephant has a humongous, humongous large intestine.
I read one paper that said, it amounted to right around 1,200 pounds’ worth of intestine.
The bacteria in the elephant’s intestine, produces enough fat that is provides 100%, or it could provide 100% of the elephant’s daily energy needs.
“Fermentative digestion in the African elephant” W. van Hoven
A hundred percent.
And this is what’s cool, look at this paper.
“The digestive physiology of three East African herbivores: the elephant, rhinoceros and hippopotamus”
This is a paper that talks about and did studies of short-chain fatty acids in the elephant, the hippo and the rhinoceros.
And guess what guys?
The levels of short-chain fatty acids in these humongous animals were huge in each animal.
The rhino, the hippopotamus and the elephant produce enough short-chain fatty acids, that it is a huge amount of energy that they need each day that’s being produced.
They’re eating vegetation all day, massive quantities of it, but they’re not living on that vegetation, they’re living mostly on fat.
“Rhinos do it”
But rhinos and elephants are not the only hindgut fermenters.
They’re not the only ones with large intestines, big, large intestines, to make it easier to understand.
Horses are also this way,
Ponies are this way,
Donkeys are this way.
Zebras are this way.
All these animals have large intestines and they’re able to produce, from the fermentation of these little creatures huge amounts of short-chain fatty acids.
Just look at these amounts.
Contributions of Microbes in Vertebrate Gastrointestinal Tract to Production and Conservation of Nutrients
Other mammals that could do this same strategy would be rabbits and rodents.
I mean, that covers a lot of ground guys, when you think about all the rabbits and all the rodent-type families, rats and squirrels, and all kinds of animals like that.
You can see now, that the animals that are vegetation eating, plant-eating animals, that’s why their numbers are so much higher and make up 90% of the mammal species in the world.
But you can see, the strategy is the same.
The coolest part, the coolest, most exciting part of this whole fermentation of fiber into fat thing, is that ALL animals do it.
All mammals do it, all of them.
Carnivores do it,
The dog does it,
The wolf does it,
Even the roaring lion, at the beginning of this video, he does it.
And guess what guys, we do it.
All animals, all humans, have this ability inside of them.
But, the amount of fats that can be made from fiber depends on how big the gut system is.
For the ruminants, they have a large gut in the front.
For the hindgut fermenters, they have a very large intestine.
Now, carnivores don’t need this, because they’re eating meat and fat directly.
They’re eating protein and fat directly.
For other creatures (omnivores), they mix their diet.
A little protein and little vegetation, so they don’t depend on this fermentation that much.
For human beings, we can do this.
There’s estimates that human beings, from our fiber, could get about 5 to maybe as high as 10% of daily calories from eating fibrous foods.
You see scientist estimate, that for every gram of fiber that a living thing eats, about 1.5 calories in short-chain fatty acids could be made by the bacteria in its digestive system.
The problem is, is that the bigger the gut system, the higher the percentage of fats.
And it depends too.
You have to have a very large rumen or a very large extra stomach in the front, like ruminants, or a very large, or a very big, large intestine, like a lot of these animals we’ve just talked about.
But for humans, we seem to have a very large, small intestine, and a very relatively small, large intestine.
I know that sounds strange, but for humans, we have a very large, small intestine and a small, large intestine.
The apes, for instance, they have a relatively smaller, small intestine and a really large, large intestine.
In fact, their large intestine is three times bigger than their small intestine.
In us, our small intestine is three times bigger than our large intestine.
And it is in the large intestine, the colon, that this fermentation takes place in animals.
And we can see this in the great ape.
The gorilla, for instance.
Look at this cute little baby gorilla and his mother.
You know, in the wild, these gorillas would be living off a diet of leaves and fruit and stems.
There’s a great paper that tells us about their diet.
“The Western Lowland Gorilla Diet Has Implications for the Health of Humans and Other Hominoids”
And I’m indebted to the late Barry Groves for this insight.
The gorilla eats a diet of very fibrous foods and these foods are not very nutritious if you look at the numbers.
For every 100 grams of “dry weight” food eaten, the gorilla eats 74 grams of that food as fiber.
If you look at the food the gorilla eats; the gorilla diet is a very low fat diet.
But, when you multiply those 74 fiber grams by that 1.5 calories of short-chain fatty acids that I told you that scientists say that gut bacteria can produce from every gram of fiber, then the amount of fat these gorillas live on, goes up to around 60% of their daily calories.
A gorilla is eating a high plant food diet, but he’s living on high fat nutrition.
Well, we’ve come to the end of the video and as you can see, I’ve got a different shirt on, it’s actually a different day.
The original ending to this video didn’t work out, it got damaged.
So, I’m going to re-shoot it.
I hope you’ve learned something.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this video.
It’s been a lot of work, actually for me, but it’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time.
I actually did a lot of research on this, maybe as much as two years ago.
And I keep coming back to it, I finally thought it’s just time to get this done.
So, if you like it, you’ll share it on social media, share it on Facebook and Twitter, or wherever you do your social media.
Hit that like button.
Hey, if you haven’t subscribed, if you’ll look down in the corners here of the video, you’ll see a little button, all you’ve got to do is push that button and you can be subscribed to this channel.
On my website, there’s going to be a very detailed and written out version of this video.
And, I usually do that with all my videos, it’ll have links to all the scientific papers that we’ve talked about in this video and a lot of pictures of other animals that I didn’t use.
Guys, I’ll be honest with you, this is almost an endless research, there’s so many animals and so many different types of species that have this high fat percentage in their nutrition, but their diet is basically plant-based.
So this is a big subject, and it’s one that would actually take forever if you did it, in any great detail on a video.
But, thank you for watching, hope you’ve enjoyed it, good bye.
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