Why do humans need toilet paper?

An animal takes a dump and it goes on with its business, no problem. If a human takes a dump and doesn’t use toilet paper there is a mess, stink, and usually a chance of a rash developng in the anal area.

The Muslims don’t allow people to eat from the common bowl with their right hand because they use their left hand to wipe themselves. Humans have adapted various forms of wiping material like corn cobs and the Sears catalog.

Why do animals get away without having to attend to the problem while humans are burdened?

Excellent question! I’m always envious of how my dog so elegantly polishes off her #2 session, with no disgusting smudges to show for it.

I think part of it may be in how we sit; on a toilet bowl, with out butt cheeks together, there’s a much higher chance of messiness than squatting like our animal brethren do. But then not every culture uses a toilet bowl so I’m not sure that completely answers the question.

Part of the reason could probably be attributed to the agricultural revolution. Prior to farming, our diet consisted mainly of meats and unprocessed fruits, nuts, and grains. The amount of natural fiber probably made for fibrously intact stools that left little residue.

There’s also the fact that our gluteous maximus is… well… maximus.

In 4-legged animals, the equivalent muscles are relatively small, not being needed to support the animal vertically. But since ours are so big, they block the anus. Hence we get messy.

Another mechanism that I’ve seen with my dogs (not intentionally, but my dogs are hairless, so I see everything) is that their colon distends out while they’re pooping. Once they’re done, it retracts. The only part of their body that gets messy is the part that’s normally inside.

My cats lick their asses to clean them. I’ll stick with the Charmen, than you very much.
Also, they don’t always have clean butts. Two of my cats have longer fur, which results in the occassional dingleberry.

Our dog used to wipe himself by scooting across the carpet on his butt. He would get in trouble for that.

Several thoughts:

1.) Man is the only animal with a butt. We developed monstrously huge gluteal muscles (compared to other simians) in order to pull us upright. Other apes knuckle-walk. They can stand upright, but not for long. Ditto for bears. Other creatures that are bipedal have either redesigned their bodies so their legs are under a balanced center of mass (think of ducks and geese) or else have grown a counterbalancing tail (dinosaurs like T. rex. Allosaurs have their tails stiffened and held out by a network of tendons so tough that they fossilize.) I don’t know of any other biped besides man that has those two huge masses of gluteus maximus muscle, overlaid with subcutaneous fat. In affluent societies,a lot of fat. So buttocks lead to the gluteal fold, better known as the “ass crack”. It impedes the free passage of excrement.
2.)Fortunately, people have also developed hands to wipe with. I am amazed and troubled by this. It’s unhealthy to leave excrement in place on skin – you develop rashes and sores. If you didn’t wipe, you’d have to bathe daily. If we didn’t have hands ith opposable thumbs, hygeine would be harder in any case. Is it possible tha opposable thumbs allowed us to be bipedal, or vice-versa?
3.) Western people sit o a toilet that compresses the buttocks together,which makes relatively cean defecation much harder. As a number of books on the bathroom have shown, the “squat” method is better in that it spreads the buttocks, and also allows the abdominal muscles to bear dwn and expel aste.

4._ Even if you squat to poop and eat a non-Western diet, you still need to wipe. There’s plenty of evidence to support it. The book End Product: The Last Taboo (arguably the best book on the topic, and easily among the weirdest books in my collection) tells about somone who advocates and teacg=hes “paperlesspooping” , matter of diet and mucle control. It doesn’t seem practical for most people.
So, it seems to me that people ar unique by their construction in requiring wiping, and I suspect it’s related to other aspects of our volution. No joke. Western0style toilets and diet may ake the stuation worse, but can’t explain the basi need.

Anyone who thinks aninmal craps aren’t messy has obviously never, ever seen a cow. Crap all over the legs, all over the tail, all over the vagina.

Humans are in no way unique in producing messy turds. We are only unique in caring about it.

As far as the rash goes, that is only a problem using a sitting position to crap. The natural position of course is to squat, and that leaves so little area for contact that rashes aren’t a concern

:dubious: Do they believe the cleansing hand is cleaner?

Grew up near a dairy research center. Such much of cows pooping. Also sheep, goats, and other animals. I am amazed at he mechanism by which equines seem to evert a bit of rectum and completely avoid fouling their haunches. Or the way sheep and goats produce bevys of rounded, not-smearing pellets. They stay amazingly clean, relative to people. Even the cows I’ve seen don’t sound like the description you give.
Another complicating factor with people, of coure, is clothes. Animals, by and large, don’t place cloth right nex to their rectums to aid in smearing any residue about.

A standard toilet seat separates, not compresses, the buttocks. Squatting separates them more. Don’t believe me? Stick a small piece of note paper so that half of it is between the buttocks and half is sticking out. Most people can walk around without it falling out. Then sit on the toilet seat. Out it drops.

He probably had worms or some other anal irritation, that’s the usual cause of dog butt scooting.

“In Australia, dag refers to wool on a sheep’s rear contaminated with mud and fæcal matter. However, it has evolved from its original meaning to become an almost untranslatable and not necessarily derogatory Australian slang term referring to a likably goofy or unsophisticated person.”

The point is that sheep wander around with dried shit on their rump.
I believe that chimps have been observed using leaves as loo paper. Anyone with a cite ?

Humans don’t need toilet paper. For centuries, we got by just fine with corncobs.
(Insert obligatory “The Master Speaks” remark here.)

[nitpick]I suspect you meant to say rectum - if the colon was protruding from the anus, it would be pretty bad news.

Yeah, but that I think is because humans have bred them to have ridiculously long wool coats, which causes this problem. As a consequence, the sheep have to be “crutched” (shorn round the ass) to stop them getting fly blown.

In other words, sheep are a special case and don’t really invalidate the OP’s point.

No, Spartydog just got the hand thing wrong.
Cite: Cecil

Thanks elfbabe. When totally zoned in to that inquisitive state of mind, clarity of expression is sometimes the victim.

Most likely, the dog’s anal glands are full. A vet or a groomer will purge them. They somewhat purge on their own during defecation. I can tell when our dog’s glands are full, he sits and does a few 360’s. Cute, but not what you really want the dog doing to your rug.

“Rectum? Your Honor, I damn near killed him.”

Wallon writes:

It’s frequently alleged in the literature of toilets, that Western-style toilets don’t do such a great job of separating the buttocks. The book I ciote says this, as well as the architecture classic the Bathroom. Here’s a cte from the internet:

United States Patent 4175294. You can look it up on the Patent DataBase, or here: