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Vegan People
Respecting All Animals
more carnivores than herbivores? 
19th-Dec-2009 11:39 pm
This may seem like a weird question but... are carnivorous species more common than herbivorous ones or vice versa? Or are they roughly even? It seems to me that there would be less carnivores, since hunting is not a terribly efficient way to get food, and too many carnivores would eat all the herbivores.

the question popped into my head while watching Cosmos, Carl Sagan poses a hypothetical world of predators and prey on another planet, and makes note that predators would be rare in comparison to prey, in order not to drive the prey extinct.

i guess it would serve vegans to know this, seeing as every omnivore seems to think every other animal is a meat eater, and therefore we should eat meat too.
19th-Dec-2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
WikiAnswers tells me this

Why are there more herbivores than carnivores in the animal kingdom?

It is the way nature plays out. The carnivores eat the herbivores, so it is impossible to have more carnivores then herbivores. If there are too few herbivores around, the carnivores begin to starve, so for that reason there will always be more herbivores then carnivores.

Most carnivores protect there territories from other carnivores, killing them if necessary, because they instinctively know an area can only support so many carnivores based on food supply -- which for them are herbivores. Also many carnivores are capable of practicing birth control to some degree to keep their numbers appropriate for the number of herbivores that can sustain them.

Hope this helps.
19th-Dec-2009 01:12 pm (UTC)

I would be interested in the ratio of carnivore vs herbivore. it would amuse me to tell 'LIFE EATS LIFE EATS LIFE' people that only 1% of the animal kingdom is carnivorous.
19th-Dec-2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
I found this on yahoo answers but I can't be sure how accurate it is.

30 % herbivores
40 % carnivores
30 % omnivores.
2- 3% are decomposers
From discovery channel

It's interesting to see that herbivores and omnivores are pretty much even.

19th-Dec-2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
that's interesting. thank you! Since a lot of omnivores are really herbivores that take the occassional oppertunity to eat meat, i would side them with the herbivores.
19th-Dec-2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
Would that refer to the number of carnivore/etc species rather than carnivore individuals?
19th-Dec-2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
The one with the most would be omnivores
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