Survival demands choices (Artist: Carpdime) (Fb id: 31040)

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Choices. Survival demands choices.

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Of interest is an entire text that the fucking legend Ferroter wrote in the comments of the page. It will be reproduced below, and will be turned over to him if he makes an account on this site.

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An entire text about fecal matter by Ferroter

That’s not really true. Shit is not a substance your body secretes to rid itself of toxins, it’s the residue of food you ate to obtain nutrients. There is nothing in shit you didn’t already eat, except for bile salts that your liver put in it, and bacteria that grew in it while your body was extracting water and nutrients from it. The bile salts were added before your body started absorbing nutrients in the first place, and the bacteria grew there inside you in the first place. Also, the only toxic thing in it is iron from dead blood cells, which is a big part of the bile salts. And it’s not very toxic, since most people (basically all children, all menstruation-aged women, and most men) can barely absorb enough iron to stay alive, no matter how much they eat. A few men and old ladies with a disease called hemochromatosis can, over about 20-30 years, absorb a toxic dose of iron. Even with hemochromatosis, you only absorb about three times the bare minimum amount of iron a man can live on. Growing children, menstruating women, and men who’ve lost a lot of blood can also raise their iron absorption capacity three-fold. With hemochromatosis it’s just always that high. (Also, there are only two settings for the system, barely enough iron receptors to keep you alive, or tree times as many iron receptors. Even at 3X, it takes decades to build up a poisonous level of excess iron.)

Shit is mostly nutrients your inefficient gut failed to extract, not toxins. The nutrients are still there, are often more exposed after the bacteria have converted them, and can often be absorbed on a second pass. No, it’s not as nutritious as the food was the first time, but it’s a source of nutrients, and sometimes is higher in available nutrients than it was the first time through. But not usually for humans. That’s why people shit, because for humans it’s diminishing returns. Making space for fresh food usually gives humans more nutrients than trying to give yesterday’s food a second pass. It’s not that way for all species. Proof positive it is possible to live on shit: dung beetles and fly larvae live on nothing but shit. Jackals get a lot of their nutrition from lion shit. Rabbits positively have to eat shit; they can’t extract nutrients from plant matter until the bacteria expose them. They eat food to break it into small parts the bacteria can fully penetrate, let it rot in their colons, then eat their own shit. They can tell by feel whether they’re going to shit food or shit something out for the second time. The little brown pellets are second pass. The reason you only see those is they eat the green food turds right out of their own anus so they don’t lose any. Hamsters do it too when they are forced to subsist on fibrous vegetables. (In the wild, hamsters are mini-raccoon-like omnivores. They can live on veggies, but normally their diet is half insects and other rodents. So they often have enough available nutrients on the first pass that they can just drop a load and scurry off.)

Interesting aside: the iron in our blood is absolutely lethal poison to all insects. Including mosquitoes. Female mosquitoes’ stomachs (only females suck blood; the males suck plant sap) secrete a porous membrane bag around the meal. The pores are too small for the iron-contaning heme proteins to fit through, so they aren’t exposed to the iron as the bag passes through the intestine and the smaller proteins digest and leak out. However, if the bag tears, the mosquito dies.

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