113

votes

What are the smartest anti-paleo arguments? And our responses to them?

Asked on July 31, 2017
Created September 22, 2010 at 7:59 PM

Intellectual honesty demands that we understand and respond to the smartest & best arguments our critics make.

What are the best anti-paleo arguments?

And what are our responses to them?

Note: I'm interested in logical, factual arguments -- not in the stupid sort of, "it's stupid to imitate what people thousands of years ago did" or "paleolithic man lived until 30" - those are stupid arguments not worthy of our time. I mean, what are the sophisticated critiques, like: "paleo theory has an internal contradiction of believing X yet also Y which is mutually exclusive" or "according to scientific study (and the paleos have not disputed the merits of the study) X is true, and if paleo theory were true, then X couldn't have been true" etc etc

Also: any URLs of very smart/good anti-paleo article? And the URL of any responses to such articles?

Note: I ask this as a dedicated paleo guy (6 months ago I was 80% paleo; today I'm 90% paleo!). Why do I ask? See the "intellectual honesty" point above: I'm worried about us falling into the ideology trap of believing in something and thus losing our ability to evaluate how true it is - and the only way to combat that is to read what your really really really smart and fair critics are saying. The problem is, all the paleo critics I've found so far have been stupid, therefore I'm appealing to you guys :)

E24390f6d880f9144cdf7ab13220a84a

(3)

on May 03, 2014
at 02:22 AM

Excellent post donat. My biggest problem with Paleo is that it has come to mean whatever the poster wants it to mean. There is never a robust definition of macronutrient ratios. There is a broad array of associated food avoidances, like grains or omega 6 oils.

Paleo has thus become an enormous container for mutually exclusive ideas, and that makes it very hard to have discussions that use the word 'Paleo' as a basis for identifying a type of diet.

1deaea445ff3b1cb5d1354a043dc8fb7

(275)

on July 08, 2013
at 01:22 PM

i don't know if you will take this argument seriously, anyway it is in your nature to eat animals, in Weston price's studies he found that all primitive cultures ate at least some animal. To me it is like giving up sex, sex is an innate human need, if a human does not have a healthy sex life it will not be fulfilled. You have to remember that humans are animals too and cannot outsmart nature. Your body is designed to eat animals, it is the natural order, to go against that is strange and unnatural. Imagine giving a lion lots of beans to eat then watch it get sick and weak.

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on January 22, 2013
at 11:38 AM

This is a really beautiful post, and thank you so much for sharing. I don't believe there are any easy answers to your last two questions. I will say that in every part of life there is death, on a cellular level, and grander scale than that. You don't have to "like" the fact that you are eating meat. But try to accept it. Non-acceptance causes suffering in all matters and situations. Animals *are* amazing. They've been by our side for millennia, have grown with us, and been woven into our psyches. But yes, we eat them. Just like your kittehs, we eat meat. Be brave. Accept your humanity :)

6f4425e3c7dc0efe60da531c5d991487

(373)

on December 22, 2012
at 07:07 PM

Brilliant question. Thanks for beating me to it and stealing all my up-votes.

E45c5a1c8df73da5e03bb6e7e90f8420

(644)

on June 27, 2012
at 03:23 PM

I agree very much with you James- everyone should consider the ethical implications of what they consume. Unfortunately people are very defensive about their choice to consume meat, just as vegetarians are about their choice not to. I think it is important to be entirely aware of what is behind the food you consume- and if you do choose to eat meat to really know where that animal came from, what kind of life it lived, and how it died. Ideally we would all buy meat from a farmer at farmer's market, or an online grass-fed 'humane' source.

E45c5a1c8df73da5e03bb6e7e90f8420

(644)

on June 27, 2012
at 03:21 PM

I agree very much with you James- everyone should consider the ethical implications of what they consume. Unfortunately people are very defensive about their choice to consume meat, just as vegetarians are about their choice not to. I think it is important to be entirely aware of what is behind the food you consume- and if you do choose to eat meat to really know where that animal came from, what kind of life it lived, and how it died. I find the only way to do this is by buying meat directly from a farmer at farmer's market, or an online grass-fed 'humane' source.

Cfdbf3485f0bac5895f86d74afd9fac0

(98)

on June 13, 2012
at 08:33 PM

The Dutch do not eat a lot of seafood at all. We do eat a lo of dairy and bread.

Afdf5873a082cd806c4d15c456f3614f

(336)

on June 13, 2012
at 06:17 PM

I just recently read about the concern over dioxins. Dioxins are potent carcinogens and I believe ~88% of your exposure to them in through consumption of animal products. It doesn't matter if the animal has been organically raised or not.

Afdf5873a082cd806c4d15c456f3614f

(336)

on June 13, 2012
at 06:04 PM

Absolutely- and in many cases I think your attitude in life holds more power than your diet.

A50ca1bb3d72544cb50171bd7b46105c

(130)

on May 26, 2012
at 06:51 AM

Yeah, that is the one thing I was asking myself as well. And I found 2 really interesting articles, everyone should read now. The first one is a general (non-paleo) one and it still points into a more paleo direction, which I think proves even more a point: http://www.patternliteracy.com/203-is-sustainable-agriculture-an-oxymoron and the second one is a paleo one: http://www.realfooduniversity.com/paleoprimal-lifestyle-sustainable-meat-production/ Though one thing they are assuming is, that everyone is going to eat >400g meat daily, which I think wouldn't happen.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12672)

on April 03, 2012
at 12:22 AM

@Wowza-The study you posted discusses genetic polymorphisms of the Human Leukocyte Antigen gene in increasing longevity. The Quilt stated that the reason for the longevity in Okinawans was a mutation of complex I of the electron transport chain. I'm unable to confirm the existence of specific gene mutation Quilt is referring to, but your study doesn't confirm Quilt's statement.

43f469552cfd3be73fc88a9821b14986

on March 28, 2012
at 03:46 AM

1- Chickens should eat grass and insects. Not ppl food 2- Livestock emits methane because they are not designed to process grains, so they develop bacteria in gut and fart out methane. W/o grain feeding, no problems. 3- Life is suffering, see research done by Buddha, Gautama (500, AD) . Life lives on life. Plants also have somewhat of a concisouness, move towards sun, etc. We just can't hear carrots scream. 4- In mod agri , they destroy all plants, bacteria-everything minus corns. Displaces trillions of SPECIES. There is more than a dead face on your plate. But ecosystems deadvia agriculture

80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on March 15, 2012
at 06:50 AM

"We also studied the mortality patterns of centenarian siblings. Past family studies in other populations have shown that there are familial (genetic) components to longevity. That is, longevity tends to run in families. In support of this, we found that a mortality advantage exists for centenarian siblings versus their age-matched birth cohorts. This advantage appears sustained over the course of the siblings' lives." Willcox BJ et al. Siblings of Okinawan centenarians exhibit lifelong mortality advantages. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2006;61:345-54. Genetics isn't everything, but almost!

80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on March 15, 2012
at 06:46 AM

Gotta give this one to Quilty: Okinawan centarians have been ID'd for special genetic mutations associated with longevity: "