Hello folks who wonder if the three-strikes law will apply to sneezing as well as other felonies from now on,

Last time when I went to Trader Joe's I started looking for things I don't really need. Who in their right state of mind goes grocery shopping and buys just the essentials, that is so 2019.
This time I spotted Lactose Free milk, and I wondered if it was simply watered down white paint, so I decided to check the ingredients.

You see one of the ingredients is Lactase Enzyme which makes sense, because milk will, by default contain lactose which is a type of sugar. The reason why some people are lactose intolerant is that their body do not make enough lactase enzymes that are used to digest this type of sugar aka lactose. All of us generate enough lactase when we are babies but then most folks lose the ability to generate enough lactase as they grow older.

This is how it works in your body and why this milk is appealing to folks who are lactose intolerant.

Similarly all vertebrates are incapable of digesting plant leaves and grasses. Why?
Because leaves and grasses contain cellulose which is another form of sugar. Cellulose is found in cell walls of plants and if humans or other animals eat it, it won't get digested and will get a TSA PreCheck treatment in the body. This is because none of the vertebrates can produce cellulase which is the enzyme required to digest cellulose.

So how do deer and cows spend their entire lives eating these grasses if they can't digest it? Has no one told them this is a big scam that they are victims to?

Turns out, ruminants like deer and cows had a secret deal with microorganisms in a shady back alley while humans and other animals were celebrating Mardi Gras.
This deal opened up new horizons for both parties since it allowed the microorganisms a nice place to stay without paying rent and the ruminants got the capability to digest plant leaves.

This is where things start to get fascinating. All ruminants(read cows, deer, goats, giraffes etc) have a 4 chambered stomach.
The 1st chamber is called rumen which is used for storage and fermentation.
A deer on spotting food will eat the same way humans will shop on black friday, not think a lot just collect as much as possible.
Below is a black-tailed deer munching away before the deal expires.

In this chamber the bacteria will start breaking down the cellulose from the plant.

The deer will regurgitate the contents in the rumen for a second round to ensure bigger cellulose fibers are broken down so the microorganisms can deal with it, if they are larger, the microorganisms won't be able to break them down as effectively. This part is called ruminating, humans do something similar after a breakup or during a pandemic but instead of chewed food they bring back past memories instead.

Once the food has been broken down, it will move on to the 2nd chamber which is called the reticulum. This chamber has a honeycomb texture and will act as the quality control department and only allow small particles to the omasum chamber, larger and undigested food particles will go back to the Rumen and to the mouth for another round of chewing.

The 3rd chamber is the omasum which is responsible for absorbing all the water out of the food particles and move it along to the abomasum.

The final chamber is the abomasum where gastric juices are secreted and the food is digested even further.
The food is then passed on to the intestine for some more digestion and finally all the undigested stuff will be expelled as poop.

So next time you see a deer just remember all of the complex processes going inside that innocent looking stomach.
Here is another black-tailed deer wiping the sauce off its face using its legs.

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