I agree. I thought having a sentient race evolved from a herbivore prey-animal was a really neat concept.
Taken in context my impression was that it was really a mind-set. What he was saying is that as a prey-animal he’s constantly thinking defensively and is concerned with potential impending death. A herbivore eats random plants and spends a lot of time concerned with where potential predators are going to be coming from to kill him. It’s a very different mind set from a sentient species evolved from a hunting carnivore.
In context I thought he was saying, “Captain your hunter-evolved brain is trying to work the problem and figure out how to turn this to your advantage; my highly evolved herbivore, prey-animal instincts are telling me we should get the hell out of here, because we are about to get swooped down on by a predator and turned into someone’s dinner.”