I'm 3 months into being paleo and I can tell my body is detoxed. Feeling better, I didn't want to pollute my body again. I've now started using fewer chemicals around the house to clean, opting for more natural alternatives. Now I find pollutants around the neighborhood and beyond bugging me.
Has anyone else started to head down a hippy/environmentalist path after becoming paleo?
During my paleo enlightening phase, I became very aware of my impact on the world through the industrial food system. The more I've learned, the more I've withdrawn myself from that system. A lot of it is the fact that environmental benefits seem to dovetail well with health benefits in the whole paleo scheme. I now buy my produce local and organic, ideally from farmers markets. All of my meat and lard comes from grass fed beef and nicely raised pigs from a local farm. I buy raw milk through a CSA. I'm basically off the grid when it comes to purchasing food and the energy used to grow and transport all the food I buy is very minimal.
This has permeated the rest of my life and made me less of a consumer in general. Getting back to roots and traditions with food and nutrition has nicely had the same effect in the rest of my life, making me realize that I simply don't need all of the things I once thought I did. And it certainly does open your eyes to the excess, the toxicity, and the environmental harm that is going on in the world. That's a perspective I prefer having, and I would never trade the knowledge I have now for the ignorant bliss I had before.
Maybe because I work at a non-profit it's made me into a reactionary after going paleo. With having to attend conferences that say "go vegan to save the Earth," I'm not on good terms with the environmental movement. In the end I realized what separates me from them. I care about the environment because I want a healthy & good world for humans. They care about the environment because they think it's magic and special and bad evil humans are ruining it.
So there are some hippy things I support. I like Environmental Working Group's approach on informing consumers about chemicals in cosmetics and pesticides on vegetables. I am involved with a group that cleans up soil for gardening. All these movements make the environment better for humans instead of treating it as a good in itself.
The paleo diet has opened up a whole new world for me. If the DIET is consistent with our genetic heritage, might other aspects of our modern lifestyle be out of sync with our genetic heritage? This has led me to numerous books about evolution, the ice age, etc. If you're interested, I would recommend Paul Shepard's "Coming Home to the Pleistocene." He thoughtfully suggests a lifestyle makeover (society wide) that he feels would put us in tune with our genetic roots.
I would also recommend James A. Swan's "In Defense of Hunting." The author, a Ph.D environmental psychologist, explains why we hunt and what value that has in our modern society. A great read.
I could go on, but basically the discovery of the paleo diet in 2002 has altered my world view quite a bit, and colors my judgement in all aspects of my life, from child-rearing to politics. Genetically, we ARE our paleolithic ancestors.
I've found that going Paleo has caused me to scrutinize
BP (before paleo) I was pretty hippy-enviro. AP (after paleo), I find I take more time to actually research issues, and think things through before I just go along with the latest/greatest cause du jour. Discovering that everything I knew about food was, for me, wrong made me into more of a critical thinker, and I stopped reacting emotionally to everything and making grand generalizations (ie: corporations are bad! consuming is stupid! and so on)
So while I'm still eco-conscious, I'm much more... grounded and practical, I guess, about it.
I shudder a bit at the term "hippy" because to me the phrase implies woo and new age thinking - spot the skeptic! I like making decisions based on science and reason, not gut-feel and emotive language (which radical groups in society abuse).
To me, paleo is a rational lifestyle choice, and that way of thinking leads to making rational choices in other things like local community, animal welfare and the environment.
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