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    (Original post by Architecture-er)
    Ok, back!

    Essentially it comes down to them eating the meat ridiculously fresh - so there's no chance of it being spoiled. And they can smell diseases in the same way a dog can sometimes smell a tumour inside a human. Carrion eaters have evolved far more powerful digestive systems, to kill off bacteria.

    Apparently the biggest risk in meat are parasites, so you should be extra careful when eating a carnivorous animal to cook it properly, since they will get a build-up of parasites from their prey from not being able to cook their meat, if I read it correctly :beard:
    Thanks so much - finally an answer

    So if we ate immediately killed animals we'd be fine. Can't even think of that. I love that animals have extreme senses, and seem altogether more sturdy than humans.

    Ah I never even thought of the parasites. I guess that's why they eat so quickly - limit the chances of the parasites multiplying or spoiling their meat. So since we get it packaged so long after it is killed we have to cook it. Quite interesting.

    What we consume is digested.

    Put simply (and it is a simplification):

    - The process of digestion breaks down what we consume into its component parts. These are then absorbed through the gut into the bloodstream.

    - The antigens present on blood cells which would cause a cross reaction if injected, simply do not survive the digestion process intact when ingested. In fact, the gut could not absorb them into the blood stream if they did remain intact - only small component molecules can be absorbed.

    - If you were to ingest human blood likewise it would not cause a cross reaction.

    EDIT: When it comes to infections which can be acquired by ingestion: The infectious organism in these cases is capable of surviving the harsh environment of our gut. It is not digested. It then may cause a local infection/inflammation of the gut by acting there. Or, some organisms may enter the bloodstream from the gut, but do so by their own means (eg: a bacteria may be able to work it's way through or between human cells, a parasitic worm may burrow).
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Updated: July 20, 2013

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