I have a question about my Biology Stack Exchange post: What's the current conclusion about humans being omnivores vs herbivores?

Why was my answer deleted by the moderator ''Chris''? it didn't violate any community guideline and every statement was referenced either with direct links or by writing the name of the article, the majority, if not all were peer reviewed.

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    $\begingroup$ I did that because it was it very bad received, badly referenced article, that claimed a lot of things which are not true. For one: Humans are omnivores. $\endgroup$
    – Chris Mod
    Jan 29, 2019 at 10:15
  • $\begingroup$ If humans are omnivores why do they get so many diseases caused by animal products? Being omnivorous and acting like one are different things. But anyway it's not your responsibility to decide what is "true". The only reason my answer was deleted was because it goes against traditional BELIEFS. $\endgroup$
    – kaenros
    Jan 29, 2019 at 15:41
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    $\begingroup$ @kaenros You cannot make up your own definitions in science for terms that already mean something else without substantial justification (and StackExchange isn't the place to make those justifications). Even obligate carnivores get disease from eating animals, and people get diseases from eating plants as well: your definition of "omnivore" that excludes humans makes no sense. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Jan 29, 2019 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause Carnivores don't get ill from eating meat, I referenced that. If by omnivore you mean any animal which can derive energy either from plants or animals then by definition every single animal in existence is omnivore, digestive enzymes don't know the difference between animal and plant tissue, they just extract whatever substance they can, and most of the time those substances are found both in plants and animals. That's why a cow or a deer can eat and digest meat, and they do so in nature, but they are indeed herbivores not omnivores. $\endgroup$
    – kaenros
    Jan 30, 2019 at 19:42
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    $\begingroup$ @kaenros if this question does get reopened, you certainly must work on formatting it some more. That wall of citations you put at the end is essentially not useful. In any post, you should break up each citation using bullets or numbers. I would also recommend not writing such large, text-laden posts as they are typically not going to attract many readers. Some would argue that you should be as clear and concise as possible when writing posts so as not to appear to be "hiding behind" (i.e., hiding your points/arguments behind) large scary walls of text. Let them stand clearly on their own $\endgroup$ Jan 31, 2019 at 21:23

1 Answer 1


I don't think this should have been deleted. For better or worse, on Stack Exchange, the voting system is supposed to decide the validity of answers, not deletion by moderators or even the community.

This question is related, and I quote from another source in my answer:

When should I delete an answer?

Answers that are answers but are factually wrong or are actively bad (say promote SQL Injection) should get downvoted, but not deleted.

Why not vote to delete a -10 answer that is factually wrong and actively bad? To serve as an example?

Because they still have a right to provide the answer, and seeing an approach widely considered wrong is still useful information, as opposed to trying to stick your head in the sand.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 I agree. The response was full of misinformation, but I don't think it should be deleted. If nothing else, leaving the post undeleted demonstrates the peer-review process at work -- many scientific eyes can take a look at it and judge its scientific validity. Though, I ask that if it gets reopened, that folks take the time to read it to ensure they are downvoting for inaccuracy and not simply out of frustration. $\endgroup$ Jan 31, 2019 at 21:17

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