That is more like a coincidence as Cantonese and Hakka do not distinguish the initials anymore.
Sino-Vietnamese and Sino-Japanese, however, preserved them.
禺 and 牛 were both more similar to 月 than 肉...
The similarity of the initial with 肉 is quite recent. None of the reconstruction in http://starling.rine...gi...a\bigchina confuses them: 禺牛月 start with ŋ- , 肉 starts with n/ń.
I don't think Chinese were very respectful to others when it came to transliteration. Examples are 匈奴 and 身毒.
Well, that depends on how tolerant your term of "human" is.
Mutations tend to make the gene types diverge, so if they were not "humans", then (most likely) only one of the "races" became "human".
while that is true, but the Han wanted their help. So perhaps they showed more respect?
also, since the only recording of the alternate name for 月氏, 禺氏 was from the questionable 管子... I am starting to wonder if the name 月氏 was a translation at all.
Let's face it, non-Han sources referred to these people as Jats, Kushan or Tocharian.
None of which sounded anything like 月氏 (with the exception of Jats, but then I'd say Jats sounds more like 肉氏).
So could it be that they are 氏 people with the title of 月？ Similar to names such as 犬戎 or 青羌????