Why Don’t Animals Cook Their Food? The Truth!

Have you ever wondered why animals never cook their food? We, humans, love to cook food, and it is one of our ways to show love to our family or friends. When you watch National Geographic, you will see wild animals never think twice about eating the raw meat of the animals they killed. What is the reason behind this? Why do animals never cook their food? 

Why don’t animals cook their food? The reason why animals never cook their food is that they are not capable of doing it. Animals have the dentition and gut bacteria to process their food properly, even without cooking it. That is why animals don’t need to cook their food.  

There are many things you can learn about this topic. Let’s dig a bit deeper and look into the many facts about this topic. Also, we are going to answer different questions related to our subject. Let’s first check why humans can cook, but animals can’t!


Why Do Humans Cook Food When Animals Do Not?

Why Don't Animals Cook Their Food

In the past, humans didn’t cook their food until they discovered the fire. When our ancestors discover the fire, they start experimenting and cooking the meat they’ve hunted. They realize that it is better to cook their food rather than eating it raw. 

Raw meat has more calories and nutrients compared to cooked meat. Humans have to work their jaw muscles hard to chew and digest raw meat. Cooking the food helps to soften the raw meat, making it easier for humans to eat the food. 

Animals are not capable of cooking food because they are not as smart as humans. Also, they have no fingers as in humans. Animals don’t know how to use the fire that is why they don’t cook. Humans have different capabilities from animals. Animals can eat raw food while humans can’t, and humans can cook while animals can’t.

Cooking improves the ability of humans to digest and receive the nutrients from the food they consume. Animals are not capable of eating every food humans eat, except domesticated animals. We humans can eat whatever we want because we are capable of cooking the food we want to eat. 

Cooking the raw meat makes the meat more tastier and delicious. Aside from not being capable of cooking, animals don’t cook because the only motive why they eat is to survive and to get rid of hunger.

They do not eat to satisfy their taste buds. Animals are happy when they find food from the garbage bins or the drainage.

Cooking is one reason why we humans are more intelligent than animals. We have skills that animals don’t possess, including cooking skills. Cooking is the manifestation of the curious, innovative, inventive nature of human beings. We liked the results of it, and that is why we continue to cook food. 

Do Any Animals Prepare Food Like Humans Do?

Have you ever wondered if there are animals that cook or prepare their foods as humans do? Are there any animals that will put placemats on their round table before they eat with their family? This may be a silly question, but let me answer that. 

There are no animals that can cook, but there are animals that prepare their food. For example, birds. Some birds dip their prey in the water to make it easier for them to swallow it. They also sometimes drop the hard objects from the sky to get them open. 

Another example is ants. Ants prepare their meat not by cooking it but by placing their foods onto the bellies of their larvae so that they can spit some enzymes into it. They do this to make it easier for them to chew the food they’ve hunted. Ants have tiny waists where solid food can’t pass through their bellies that is why they do this. 

Some monkeys wash their food before eating it. Some mommy animals chew the food and regurgitate for their young. Also, some animals bury and allow their food to rot before eating it. However, animals can’t cook, and cooking is certainly unique to humans. There are no other species around the world that can cook except human beings. 

Animals can’t cook like humans because they are not smart enough to do so, but some of them prepare their food like humans. They do everything, covered by their ability, to make their food more palatable and easy to digest. 

Why Animals Can Eat Raw Meat But Humans Can’t?

Why Don't Animals Cook Their Food

The reason why animals can eat raw meat is that they have stronger stomach acids that help them to digest their food compared to humans. The acid on their stomachs can kill parasites and different bacteria. Also, they have stronger teeth that help them chew their food. 

Actually, humans can eat raw food. In fact, most of us still do. Humans eat sushi, tartare, mett, basashi, carpaccio, and kibbeh. However, because we find it more delicious when we cook our food, we make cooking a habit. 

It is hard to chew raw meat, which is why humans decide to cook it. Cooking helps to break down tough proteins. Making it easier for humans to eat and process the food they intake. Also, we cook our food to heat it and remove any bacteria inside the raw meat. 

Animals can get sick, which they can endure while humans can’t. For example, the bird flu. Animals can get a virus from the wild, and their virus may be dangerous to humans. This is also one of the reasons why humans prefer to cook their food. Cooking the raw meat makes the raw meat soft and clean. 

Humans can eat raw food, but it tastes disgusting. This is the other reason why humans decide to cook raw meat before eating it. Cooking the raw meat makes the meat more delicious.

Humans don’t just eat to relieve their hunger, but also to satisfy themselves. Even me! I prefer cooked food rather than raw food like sushi. Why? Because cooked food is cleaner and tastier than raw foods. 

Do Wild Animals Get Sick From Eating Raw Meat?

Yes! But not from eating raw meat by itself. Raw meat doesn’t cause food poisoning on animals. But if the raw meat gets contaminated, animals might get sick from it. Contamination usually comes from the feces of an infected animal.

Most animals have powerful acids inside their stomachs, which can destroy bacterias that can cause diseases. Carnivores are animals that have strong acids in their stomach. On the other hand, herbivores have weaker acids in their stomachs. 

The acids inside the stomachs of the animals act as a shield from pathogens, that is why they can survive from those pathogens. Animals are more resistant to many bacteria than humans.

Good-quality raw meat that is non-contaminated can be safely eaten by animals. But even though it has some pathogens, animals can survive from it. It depends on the lethality of the pathogens.

This is one of the reasons why humans cook their foods. The food might have been contaminated by some pathogens. Cooking it will remove the pathogens. The immune systems of humans are untrained to deal with food pathogens because we are used to cleaning our food so much. 

Because we are used to cleaning our foods so much, our immune system becomes naive. This is why our resistance to these pathogens is lower than most omnivores and carnivores. It means that a lion can handle lots of contamination than humans can.

Do Animals Get Sick From Drinking Dirty Water?

Yes! Animals can get sick from drinking contaminated water. However, this only happens sometimes, not often. Why? Because animals have strong immune systems. Animals have strong immune systems because they are always exposed to bacterias. 

Like I have said, there are still chances that animals can get sick from drinking dirty water. They can get sick if their immunity is low and they can pass the virus to humans.

The chances of an animal getting sick from drinking dirty water depend on its immunity levels. Lower immunity means more chances of getting sick from drinking contaminated water. 

Can Pets Eat Raw Meat?

The next question people often ask is if their pets can eat raw meat. Let me answer that. 

Yes! Dogs and cats can eat raw foods. However, this may not provide complete and balanced nutrition for your dogs and cats. It is acceptable to feed your pets some raw food, but it is much better to feed them some cooked food. 

I never give my cats raw fish or chicken because the fish or chicken might be contaminated with some pathogens. I usually boil the chicken first and feed it to them. Boiling the raw chicken will remove any bacteria from the chicken where my pets can get sick. 

My piece of advice to you is you should give your pets cooked food if you don’t want to feed them some processed foods like dog or cat foods. It is safe and healthy for them.

Final Verdict

To conclude this, let me tell you again why animals don’t cook their food. 

Animals don’t cook their food because they are not capable of cooking. They don’t have cooking skills as humans do. Animals have stronger immunity from pathogens than humans making it safe for them to eat raw meats.

Also, animals don’t cook their food because they don’t eat to satisfy their cravings. They eat to cleanse their hunger and to survive. 

Jake Willhoite
Jake runs AnimalDome.com and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
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