Re: Human Survival Rates As it Relates To Diet:
Dearest colleges, I am ever grateful for your kind communications and support. I have compiled all collected data and attached it to the overview for your perusal. Let me say first and foremost that the rumors that I was sent to investigate, ie that humans were the first observed truly omnivorous species, have turned out to be a gross understatement.
It is not simply that humans can eat both vegetative flesh and animal flesh, not even that they can eat anything in between but seriously, they eat everything regardless of it’s inherent nutrient value and risk factor. Indeed this increases their odds of survival but from an intercultural interaction standpoint it is a little weird, and creepy, let’s be honest, that it seems like their first thought when encountering something new that isn’t a rock is “Can I eat this?”
Mostly they prefer plant matter as (thank whatever deity you will) they seem to be squeamish about eating sentient beings and the odds favor that plants won’t be. It has also come to my attention that our particular eight-legged and multi-eyed form, added to our chitinous outer membrane is particularly unappetizing to them across their multi-culture. This is reassuring but hardly a firm deterrent as they have an instinct set that drives them to make digestible anything that isn’t inherently.
The nutrients are trapped in an unusable form? No worries, the human just finds something combustible, builds a fire, and heats it till the undigestable fibers or whatever release the nutrients.
Is the edible bit protected by spikes, spines, and thorns they might just grab a rock and beat it until the edible bit is avaliable.
They carry around vats of acid just in case they need to add it to the mix to denature large proteins.
I kid you not they have hundreds, hundreds, of different species of microbes on their skin, in their mouth, in their digestive tract that help them break down what their own systems won’t.
If the nutrients are contaminated with unfriendly microorganisms they count on this friendly micro-fauna, as they call it, to fight them off. Failing that they have developed an entire subculture devoted to brewing poison of just the correct potency that it kills the intruding microorganisms while leaving them alive.
And if there is no plant matter they can eat? They just find a (hopefully) non-sentient species that can break it down for them and wring the proteins and nutrients out of them in ways that don’t bear mentioning. (see appendix Eggs, Milk, and Meat)
It has been reported, if you can believe it (and with humans why not), that on their own planet. In an ocean that is full of fish that they can eat with no processing at all, there is one species that is particularly poisonous to humans. Instead of avoiding it and eating the swarming fish species that are so benign that they can be eaten without even the basic heating, humans pay to have a specialist in food preparation known as a chef go through a complicated ritual to remove the deadly toxin. They will do this even when the non-toxic fish flesh is readily and far more cheaply avaliable.
Then, even when they have enough nutrients they will masticate whatever inorganic substance is at hand in some odd, seemingly unconscious ritual. The humans I encountered seemed to have a preference for writing utensils for this purpose
I hope the information I have gathered will prove useful.