Answers to my last post have I'm afraid just brought up more questions. How can animals eat raw meat at all? A chimpanzee (which I'm told is nearly 99% genetically identical to us) can eat an entire carcass of raw meat without suffering so much debilitating stomach infections that its chances of survival are reduced (otherwise it would not have evolved). We humans however can't even use the same chopping board as raw meat has been on without risking serious even sometimes fatal infection. How come we ended up so vulnerable?

carnivores eat the meat within minutes to a few hours of the prey's death - as such it is "fresh" and thus not heavily infected with bacteria (in marked contrast to the meat we consume as humans which is often "hung"). Further animal's immune systems have evolved specifically to remove many disease-causing bacteria. We as humans once we started cooking food have probably down-graded (a non-technical term) that ability a bit. To note I have no evidence for that last statement - it is a hypothesis!

Some animals do eat very long-dead food - hyenas will chow down on stuff that's literally heaving with decomposition for example. However, the species that tend to go in for these kinds fo things do have strong immune systems and have presumably evolved over a long period to be capable of safely eating food like this.

It is worth pointing out that many humans also eat raw meat.
For example, carpaccio, tartare, and mett (a recent discovery of mine in Germany). All of which are pretty common, and quite tasty!

Of course, these are usually prepared from very fresh meat - in fact the German Hackfleischverordnung ("minced meat directive") only allows mett to be sold on the day it is produced.

Other non-cooked meats include products that are not cooked, but salted/brined, dried or spiced (e.g. pemmican, jerky, etc.) to inhibit bacterial growth and prevent spoilage. However, there are other foods where "spoilage" is acceptable: e.g. kiviak http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiviak, and various fermented fish products. Unsurprisingly there is a risk of botulism from these dishes if the "wrong" bacteria are allowed to grow.

And let's not forget sashimi!