Poop. Some people find it funny, some find it fascinating, but almost everyone finds it gross. As a species, we’re disgusted by almost everything about it. We don’t like looking at it, we don’t like smelling it, and we certainly don’t enjoy touching it. But, have you ever wondered why we are so grossed out by our own feces?
It turns out there are good reasons why humans avoid and detest their waste—reasons beyond basic cleanliness concerns and have implications on our own evolution. Our instincts, culture, and plumbing subtly push us to do our business and walk away. That's why many people use toilet stools for quicker and healthier eliminations. Using a Squatty Potty puts your body and colon at a better angle to push out waste, so you can get in and get out without lingering. The longer you're around your number two before flushing it down, the more likely you'll grow disgusted by the odor.
Humans are hardwired to hate poop
To understand why we’re sickened by the thought of poo, we have to look at the origins of disgust from an evolutionary standpoint. Psychologists believe disgust evolved to prevent our ancestors from eating spoiled food that might kill them. Darwin hypothesized that early humans revulsed by things like decayed meat, feces, and blood survived to pass on their genes, while those immune to their grossness died off.
Poop is waste, after all. There’s a reason why your body wanted to remove it from your system in the first place. While the process isn't gross in itself—it's really just the way your digestive tract works—the physical result is usually pretty nasty. Our excrement is made up of three essential ingredients: water, undigested fiber, and bacteria, much of it potentially harmful. The closer you are to feces, the more you open the door to serious illnesses. Hepatitis, cholera, norovirus, polio, E. coli, tapeworms, and rotavirus are all spread via waste.
Our dislike of the smell and consistency of poop likely evolved to keep us from coming into contact with infection and disease. So, the next time you catch a whiff of wafting poo while using your Squatty Potty, thank your sense of disgust for keeping you safe.
Poop is gross; pooping is not
Our minds are naturally disgusted by the idea of poop, but the shame that comes along with defecating is uniquely human. Mankind is the only species on the planet that passes poop in private. This practice likely originated for sanitary and practical reasons, but over time it’s become coupled with a sense of embarrassment. We pretend it’s a secret. We’re ashamed that someone might know we also expel waste from our bodies. We avoid public bathrooms, hide our Squatty Potties, and turn on fans to mask the sounds and smells. Pooping is a sign that our bodies are healthy and working properly. Yet the thing that comes naturally to every man, woman, and child is often confused as disgusting.
No other animal is embarrassed by the act of pooping. Take dogs, for instance—they let nature take its course without any concern for how it might make others feel or whether it might cause them embarrassment or discomfort later on down the line. They just squat, dump, and keep it moving. If you find yourself disgusted by the idea of someone else pooping or even talking about it, you can blame your revulsion on our culture, not nature.
There’s nothing inherently nasty about pooping if you're having healthy bowel movements. Good bowel health comes with regular exercise, a balanced diet, and a specially designed toilet stool to help undo the kink in your digestive system. Without all three, the grosser your poops will be. Not sure which toilet stool is right for you? Use our guide to find the stool that best suits you.
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The final turd
Our relationship with poop is complicated. It's not just a bodily function. It's an essential part of our existence. And while there is no denying that this substance can be unpleasant to see or smell, nothing is disgusting about having happy, healthy poops (with the help of a Squatty Potty).