I've been trying for years to tweak my diet to one that fits my ancestry, personal body, is ethical to me, and leaves me feeling healthy. I'm still not there. Much better though than as a kid, where I spent my first fourteen years either going hungry, or eating the worst examples of a SAD diet.
I realize having more pasture land than grain land is gonna help out the planet, but how do we transition the world to this? Will it just reach a critical mass or what? Regardless of your opinion of global warming, I like what this guy is attempting to do. [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101127/ap_on_re_eu/eu_russia_ice_age_park]. And it makes me wonder if predators will be allowed to roam this earth in larger numbers again when there is enough prey again? What can I do to quicken the pace, or is buying pastured animals enough?
I read book Ishmael when it first came out, and other books of it's ilk. They made me decide to eat very few grains, and support local small farmers as much as possible on my measly budget. I was vegan then.
As I was reading this blog today, http://eatingoffthefoodgrid.blogspot.com/2011/01/what-is-paleo.html, it triggered a few thoughts I had kind of abandoned. She writes:
For one thing: the people who were "not farming" were not exactly "hunter/gathering" either. "Hunter/gathering" implies a kind of low-footprint taking of "extra stuff" from the biosphere. This is NOT what humans did! Human beings had a huge impact, and in fact engaged in a kind of complex dance with their environment, which included things like:
* Burning large swatches of forest, to encourage ruminants * Killing off predators that kill ruminants * Building fish traps * Diverting streams to make the fish easier to catch * Pulling up plants they didn't like * Planting plants they did like
We're still doing all of these things of course. My local farmer has shot wolves, when there were still some left to shoot. And coyotes. Theres no wolves around here anymore, thanks to ranchers and farmers who feel they're forced to kill predators, and us that consume the meat the ranchers provide. I'm certain a live pack of wolves benefits the environment (trophic cascade) far more than my family does. As far as I can tell, we just detract from it. I chose to have one kid, and will not have more. I don't think it's sustainable. Even though I may be eating Paleo, I still benefit off of the perceived luxuries of the neolithic agriculture, and live on a society based on it. How are Paleo eaters doing anything to change the paradigm? I don't know what the percentage is of modern Paleo eaters that are hunting their own game, but I doubt it's too great. How many of us forage, or know what a hazelnut tree looks like? That's a challenge I'm posing to myself - to get more from the earth ( I would call it the wild, but this seems like a misnomer), and less and less from grocery stores and farmers. It'll be a huge challenge, as I'm not loaded with extra energy or time.
I think most vegans are wackos. Good intentioned often, just maybe not dealing with reality. But for me, it took me from a depressed inner-city to a farm, where I could grow and feel, taste and see my food. It still was a highly controlled environment where man had taken over nature, but I didn't see it as that then. I wasn't a Boca Burger vegan (ok, sometimes but found all that stuff creepy), but how many of us are Boca Burger Paleos? Sorry, the best meat from Walmart ain't cutting it. How will we turn the tide on the insanely huge population we have? Are having a bunch of fertile healthy Paleo kids really the answer? I don't do anything the same as my parents did, so I don't count on my kid following my footsteps.
Maybe all the hippie hedonist jerks that keep talking about 2012 will be right, in some way. Perhaps there will be a huge cataclysmic event to wipe most of us off the earth. We can start anew. Ok, I'm daydreaming a little bit. But as these thoughts that keep popping into my head such as "That pastured beef I just bought cost me more than I would've paid for 4 meals as a vegetarian, and that farmer really didn't seem to care about them or the land they free graze on, and my ancestors didn't eat this big ruminant anyway which caused wolves to be eradicated in many places, and blah blah blah", well I get confused. I think this mental confusion is part of why my body is having such a hard time with the Paleo diet. I'm certainly not trying to convince anyone else on which way to eat, just worrying about what I eat!
Got any books I should read to help satiate my brain? I've read some of the biggies like The Omnivore's Dilemma, though it's been a few years. I've also been researching Joel Salatin, and have read several of the links on here such as http://paleohacks.com/questions/560/how-environmentally-responsible-and-sustainable-is-the-paleo-diet/576#576. It answers some things for sure, but still leaves me wondering what I should be doing?
asked byvalkyrie (531)
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on February 06, 2011
at 02:59 AM
Just focus on the things you can control. Worrying about things you can't control will stress you into an early grave.
on February 06, 2011
at 03:20 AM
Love your question but don't have an answer (and unlikely anyone does - as I'm sure you know). I know what we eat is hugely important - it is the most direct and elemental way we interact with this world. So I share the idea that our food should not be a selfish pursuit of pleasure or even personal health, but should also reflect a sense of responsibility and care.
If you ever answer your question let me know :)
on February 05, 2011
at 11:12 PM
Have you ever heard of Aldo Leopold? It was actually required reading for my environmental ethics class last semester, but A Sand County Almanac (a series of essays by Leopold) was incredibly moving and I loved it. I think you'd enjoy it, too.
This is an essay from it: http://www.eco-action.org/dt/thinking.html I encourage you to read it; it's a quick read, but it's along the lines of your thinking. :)
ETA: Leopold was an amateur environmentalist, ecologist, and a hunter. Many of his essays delved into the love of the hunt, which spilled over onto the love of the animals he hunted. He had a great disdain for those who were emotionally detached from the land and the beasts that roamed it. He was a very ethical, conscientious omnivore.
Hopefully, in reading his essays, you may find peace in your decision on whether or not you wish to remain Paleo. :)