This is not a treatise on the merits of a veg*an diet versus a paleo diet from a health perspective. In my sphere of perception, the veg*an world is less often interested in the health perspective anyway.  Among other things, that sphere includes dating multiple veg*ans off and on since the 5th grade.  Like Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction, I’ve been able to relate to, “my girlfriend is a vegetarian, which pretty much makes me a vegetarian“, more than I care to relive. Other than my (varied, but n=1)  anecdotal research into the claim that “vegetarians taste better”, this is important because, unlike the stereotypical straw man of crass caveman machismo, I’ve had deep emotional connections with vegans whom I’ve loved, respected, and actively sought to understand and relate to. No… this isn’t about the health argument… It is partly a response to the anti-paleo polemics envisaged by ad hominem propaganda, self-righteous moralizing, and aspersion based marketing pap thinly veiled in intellectually disingenuous quasi-debate.

And yeah… disclaimer… qualification… yada yada yada… the protagonists linked above aren’t necessarily explicit participants in a vegan vs. paleo battle. But let’s face it, paleo’s pro-animals are nutritious position makes it a logical target for anti-carnivory prophets pundits… despite the fact that it’s possible to be paleo and vegan, but not vice versa. And yes, referring to all veg*ans as a monolith would be an error. This is not about segregating everyone into two sides of a false dichotomy, but looking at the potential range of two non-opposite generalities.

A more accurate title for this piece may have been: “Why Veganism Can Be a Religion, and Paleo Can Not”

“Religion” as a Smoke Screen

Titles such as, “The Paleo Diet: Fad, Religion, or Solution?”, are meant to imply religion in its pejorative colloquial usage and induce a hyperbolic guilt-by-association. Essentially, it’s being used as a synonym for dogma. This tactic ignores that while religion (in the strict sense of the word) relies on dogma, dogma does not imply religion. It’s nothing more than a cutesy linguistic trick playing on flawed logic. Translation: Bullshit. Fortunately for propagandists, human brains are inherently non-logical.

Casting aside the red herring of dogma, there are two human biases and a resulting rationalization that allow religion to infiltrate human minds:

  1. Agency
  2. Anthropomorphism
  3. Dualism, Spirits, or “Energy”

Bonus Point: Fundamentalism

I’ll flesh out those ideas in a second, but it’s useful to step out of the blog echo chamber for a moment to gain some perspective. Wouldn’t you know it? The conversation about the religiosity of veganism has taken place many times. In fact, there’s even U.S. legal precedent!

What do the Courts Say?

In Friedman v. Southern Cal. Permanente Medical Group (2002), the plaintiff argued that his own veganism was a religious belief. Friedman was denied employment by a medical group because he refused to accept a required vaccine based on the fact that chicken embryos are used in its production. The Court ruled against Friedman, essentially viewing his belief as being too rational to qualify as a religion. Other courts had indicated that  “decisions point away from a strictly theistic definition of religion. A belief in a supreme being is not required. . . .But, something more than a philosophy or way of life is required.”[1]

Indeed, there is an important difference between philosophy and religion. From this point of view, veganism and paleo seem to be on similar footing.

The U.S. Supreme Court expressed similar interpretations in the distinction between philosophy and religion in United States v. Seeger,[2]Welsh v. United States,[3] and Wisconsin v. Yoder[4]. From these cases courts reached the conclusion that Constitutional protection is not afforded to merely philosophical and personal belief. Put another way, religion is more than a “way of life.”

I tend to agree with the courts in these cases… both in their definition of religion and the ruling that Mr. Friedman’s veganism was not a religious belief. The problem is, Mr. Friedman simply isn’t a good representative of a religious vegan. I’ve endured breathless pleas from vegans insisting that consuming animal products infects one with the spirit or negative energy of the dead creature (curiously, the corrolary of getting power from good spirits from animals would be just as likely, and has been more popular throughout history). This has come to me by way of personal contact and regarded books that detract from their value by the author’s relentless mysticism. Had these people been in court instead of Mr. Friedman, veganism would probably have some narrow legal precedent as a religion.

So how does one make the transition from a philosophical belief to a religion?


Here’s a bit of irony: Religion is chronologically paleo in the sense that it thrived after human language developed sometime in the late Paleolithic era. This coincidence is irrelevant to the question of whether or not the current “paleo” movement has anything to do with religion, but I find it amusing nonetheless.

The initial seed of religion is agency, or the assumption that events are caused by something. This isn’t a claim about thermodynamics or anything else within the realm of physics, but a claim of purpose and/or meaning. In the Paleolithic, this would take the form of something like… “Oh damn, why did the sun disappear and what does it mean? Why is our light being taken away? Did we break something? What can we do to fix it?” We enlightened apes simply refer to it as an eclipse or the earth rotating on its axis. Remarkably, modern religions make the same type of mistakes as our paleo ancestors… “Oh damn, Why is the ground shaking violently? This must be punishment for using the wrong orifices during sex”.

Humans simply have a bias toward assigning agency. Since primates evolved in a world where most knowledge was first-hand observation of other primates and other animals, this sort of bias is easy to predict. But agency by itself isn’t enough.

Spirits and “energy” and gods (Oh My!)

If you live in a world that predates math, physics, astronomy, and geology by tens or hundreds of thousands of years, figuring out the “agent” behind the agency is basically impossible. It’s one thing to observe the path of rocks thrown by others in your social circle; it’s quite another to explain where the wind comes from, why the sun comes and goes, how the seasons change (but remain unreliable), why glaciers are encroaching upon your habitat, et cetera. The magnitude of human confusion is dramatically compounded when considering that spoken language has only been around for tens of thousands of the millions of years encapsulating hominid evolution. We couldn’t hash out our ideas under chemical influence on long college nights.

When the basics of your physics is the folk physics of hyper-local observation, it’s easy to assume these same principles are at play on a larger scale. If I can make a little wind by blowing out through my mouth, simple extrapolation assumes the existence of a bigger, stronger something to make a storm. “I can’t see it, but it must be somewhere over the horizon. If it’s not over the horizon, it must be invisible. There must be a god or spirit making things happen. There must be an energy I can’t see. There has to be an explanation for everything going on around me. If energy can exist apart from bodies, maybe my spirit energy exists apart from my body. Maybe all animals are animated (eh hem, the bias is deep enough to underpin language) by a spirit apart from their bodies. Golly gee whiz! Wouldn’t that be cool?”

Out of agency, folk physics, and rationalized explanations of cause and effect, the insidious concept of dualism is imagined. Something sacred apart from biology emerges in the explanatory framework of the human mind. Once the soul has broken free of the body, we are free to assign sacred souls to anything with a body. But we still haven’t completed the descent to pure mysticism. For that, we need one more important bias of the human mind.


Humans, being the arrogant primates that we are, tend to assume that we’re pretty much the coolest in every category we can invent. However, we’re not very creative as isolated individuals. That results in imagining that the agents behind the agency are probably just creatures like humans, but with superhuman humanness. You know, just like us, but a little more or a little bigger. Given the chance, we’ll attribute just about any unknown to humanness. For example, we’re quick to mistake a human shadow for a human, but we never mistake a human for a shadow. Our instinctive first response: Assume human, act accordingly, reevaluate (last step optional!).

It’s no coincidence that humans invariably described humans as being created in the image of gods. This is the obvious prediction to make of an egocentric and naive being lacking sufficient spontaneous creativity who makes up stories about gods.

Our default assumption of agency is always human… unless…

Tying it all back to animals

“Mommy… will Fido go to heaven when he dies?”

The only other agents our visually biased selves saw over evolutionary time were animals. Unlike inhabitants of the supermarket era, our ancestors would have seen more animals than other humans. There was no abstraction between cow and beef or pork and pig. There were only animals… some elusive, some scary, some much more powerful than us, and some… well… dinner.

Humans have been attributing agency to animals for longer than there have been humans. Dualism allows us to imagine the sacred souls of animals and anthropomorphic arrogance allows us to attribute characteristics of our own imagined souls to those of other biological machines. Thus, animals attain sacred sentience. Thus, animals are spiritually similar to humans. Thus, speciesism is a reprehensible moral error with inherent normative evils similar to those of racism and sexism. Thus, veganism can now, neigh… must now break free from philosophy to float into the realm of mystical religion.

Beware the human imagination after it has imagined dualism.

Bonus: Vegan Fundamentalism

One of the less savory characteristics of fundamentalist religion is its incessant doublespeak and intellectual dishonesty. With religious fundamentalists, all conversations relating to science or reality are conducted behind a proxy layer of intellectual facade. It’s impossible to have an honest discussion. Debates about evolution are abstracted by a veneer of intelligent design or absurd truth claims that space-time fluctuates to accommodate for inconsistencies in carbon dating and fossil evidence. After that, the very meaning of “7 days” inevitably comes into question. And all of this just to prevent direct analysis of the underlying beliefs based on nothing but social reinforcement.  Meaningful discussions of abortion are precluded by a mind-numbing dance around baseless speculation regarding the moment the soul attaches to DNA. Nevermind that the sacred souls survive the destruction of biological bodies, because the biological cells are more important while the souls cling to them, but the soul is really actually the sacred part. Say wha? The endless construction of quasi-scientifical arguments deflects the conversation from the real disconnect: reality is not important to the fundamentalist.

Such are conversations typical of fundamental vegans. Religious beliefs about the spirit energy of animals are subjugated by the very same denials of anthropology and biology that Creationists invoke to defend their beliefs.

The next indicator of a vegan fundamentalist religion is the proselytizing. Being vegan isn’t good enough for vegans. Like Christopher Hitchens observes of Christians: their beliefs do not suffice to make them happy. They can only be happy if you everyone adopts their beliefs as well. And hey… talking about it is fine for a while, but if you don’t comply, violence is an option.

Sure, paleo diet adherents are often excited to spread their beliefs, but their concern is for the person they’re trying to share the belief with; there is no imaginary third party benefactor. Christians may be about saving souls on the surface, but the ultimate concern is for protecting their god’s ego from having his feelings hurt by the sins of an unintentionally, but totally intentional botched creation that has the audacity to sin exactly as intelligently designed. Vegan religious fundamentalists play the same shell-game when they pretend to be concerned for health, but are ultimately concerned with protecting animals from having their feelings hurt being eaten in the same way virii and bacteria constantly seek to devour us.

The Christians and Muslims certainly have a better chance of success. Have you ever seen your local vegan priest successfully convert an eagle to veganism? If you think human culture has duped us all into a nefarious speciesarchical belief that it’s okay to eat animals, don’t watch the true crime stories of misguided feline hunger perpetrated against the wildebeest on Animal Planet. It’s going to take more than the resurrection of Pavlov and Skinner to train those morally debauched deviants to eat a banana.

Paleo Religion?

Paleo, as a guiding principle for diet and health, can be a philosophy, a logical framework, a way of life, true, false, and even complete wishful thinking, AND still not be a religion. Paleo does not, and simply cannot, make claims about agency, spirits, spirits, and other dualistic concepts; it does not operate in the realm of invisible superheroes. At it’s worst, paleo can be dogmatic. Dogma is bad, but the dogma + unsubstantiated spiritual claims + proselytism of spirit cults is bad and dangerous.

Religion is for people who think some people will go to heaven. Religious Veganism is for people who think some people and all pets will to go to heaven. I would love for them to be right about that, but wanting, hoping, and believing are inferior to understanding

The defense rests.

Now can we get back to work on ending CAFOs, sustainable farming, ditching Frankencrops, chemical free agriculture, and a diet over drugs philosophy? Jesus fruiting mice!


[1] ___ Cal. App. 2d at ___, ___ P.2d at ___ (citing, St. Germain Found. v. County of Siskiyou, 212 Cal. App.2d 911, 916 (1963); Fellowship of Humanity v. Co. Alameda, 153 Cal. Ap.2d 673, 692 (1957); and Smith v. Fair Employment & Housing Com., 12 Cal.4th 1143, 1166 (1996).

[2] 380 U.S. 163 (1965).

[3] 398 U.S. 333 (1970).

[4] 406 U.S. 205 (1972).

  1. NomadicNeill 14 years ago

    Lots of great points. For some reason I haven't had many in depth discussions with vegetarians and vegans, I must be hanging out in the wrong circles. One of my brothers is a vegetarian but he doesn't seem to have any particular reason for it. I've asked him about it plenty of times but he says he just wanted a change.

    It's interesting that you point out how dualist ideas are part of the vegan way of thinking. I think it's indicative of a far too common flaw in people, 'being too sure of their knowledge and how they got it'. I'll come back to that later.

    I guess on the whole I would class myself as a physicalist / materialist, moral relativist and don't see humans as separate from the planets ecology. My guess is that similar views are common among the paleo inclined. You have to accept that you are an animal and take that to its logical conclusions IMO.

    The point you make about how religions inherently require proselytizing is one I've given some thought over the past year. I used to be of the opinion that good ideas (which for me include humanism, atheism and agnosticism) would spread on the back of logic and reason. How naive! Now the fundamental point of our current understanding of genes and memes has finally been hammered home. The most 'successful' genes and memes are the ones that keep surviving and keep spreading.

    The religious meme-plex has the advantage in that most of them contain this 'proselytism' meme. I wonder if humanists, atheists and agnostics can somehow learn from religions in this respect, as Dawkins and Hitchens seem to be doing, and not be afraid to spread their ideas. But will they be less effective if they stop short of actually trying to 'convert' people as religions try to do. ('Virus of the Mind' is a great book for breaking down various cultural institutions into their various memes)

    In the same way will the 'paleo' viewpoint struggle to take hold if its competing against a more aggressive vegan / vegetarian meme? Though paleo seems to be hitting mainstream and in this realm real life results count for a lot.

    A thinker that I admire that is also into the paleo approach is Nicholas Taleb (author of Fooled By Randomness and The Black Swan). In case you don't know him he is a philosopher and former hedge fund manager. He is an empiricist and approaches the world knowing there are lots of unknowns and that complex systems shouldn't be tampered with lest you experience unintended consequences. He was introduced to the paleo approach by Art Devany whom he knows through Art's writing on economics.

    The reason I bring up Taleb is because I think an important part of the paleo approach is the acceptance that we don't know everything. We don't know the absolute details of how the body works, how we evolved. We have to make educated guesses, try things out, not be 100% sure about everything but still take action. This approach is its strength but unfortunately many people see this as a weakness. Like their religions, people prefer certainty and being told what to do and think. We've been selected to follow leaders that are sure of themselves.

    Can the paleo idea spread effectively when part of it is this acceptance of uncertainty?

  2. NomadicNeill 14 years ago

    Just thought I'd add that the only reason I've become more interested in how to more effectively spread my ideas is because when it comes to ideas, beliefs, memes whatever you want to call them, there is no middle ground between growth and regression. Ideas are either becoming more or less popular and before you know it you could find yourself being forced to live under a paradigm that you don't agree with.

    I have all kinds of ideas and life-style choices that I'm happy to live by and I have no intent to convert others to. But it gets problematic when you hear how certain doctors, government institutions and politicians want to start banning foods that they consider to be bad.

    I can't sit by and let others force their ideas on people when I believe its doing them harm.

  3. David Csonka 14 years ago

    I think the proselytizing factor is the main reason people make statements like "paleo is a religion". What you have is a group of people deficient in some sort of necessary prerequisite for a healthy life. They discover the paleo diet, and despite it being perceived as a burden to follow, they try it out.

    After they become well and more vibrant, they want to tell everybody else the good news and help others to feel as good and healthy as they do now. The parallels to "born-again Christians" is pretty striking.

    Of course, the main difference is that the benefits of the Paleo diet are based on science and are completely observable/testable.

    • Andrew 14 years ago

      I agree that supposed proselytizing is the main reason religious accusations are batted about. One point I should have made clearer is that I don't see anyone related to paleo engaging in proselytizing. Publishing a book or building a blog is miles from proselytizing. Paleo doesn't even make claims to ethics or morality requisite for it to occur. I mean… when I say "grains are the devil", the smirking hyperbole should be pretty obvious. But… I guess if someone believes in magic and has no sense of humor, their next step might be to write a piece calling paleo a religion. Indeed, I think much of the rhetoric leveled against paleo falls within this spurious realm.

      To my mind, the distinction between… sharing a possible solution with someone for their own benefit versus trying to persuade someone to change their habits for the benefit of a 3rd party …is hugely important. When that 3rd party's emotions are said to benefit by way of magic spirits… well… you just lost me.

  4. Jack Bennett | 32000 14 years ago

    Interesting article.

    While I'm a vegan, because I lost 45 pounds on it, and I think it's more ecologically sound, I don't really care that much about converting others. I tested it out purely for health reasons and it seemed to click with me. Animal welfare was about the last of my concerns, but a reasonable side effect as long as the other ducks were in a row. Maybe this makes me not a true believer, which is fine with me.

    If I understand correctly, I think paleo folks hate factory farms and corn-fed animals as much as veg*ns, although for different reasons (I always read about that emphasis on grass-fed beef…).

    • Andrew 14 years ago

      Yeah, there are lots of reasons to be veg*an. I think some of them are good from even my perspective. Compared to the SAD, it’s probably a better option for everyone. The question of what’s optimal beyond that is where things are more hotly contested.

      I’m sure exceptions can be found, but every paleo adopter I’ve talked to ranks the better treatment of animals as important. Of course, that similarity with vegans sharply diverges when it comes to the killing to eat them stage.

      This documentary about permaculture is kinda where my interests lie:

      Permaculture [YouTube]



      I just commented on this post by Kevin Holbrook yesterday. You might appreciate it.

      • 32000days 14 years ago

        Good comment on Paleo Playbook.

        I think vegans and paleo eaters (seems odd to say “dieters” – sounds temporary) have a lot in common, perhaps more even than vegans and vegetarians. If I were going to add back animal foods – talking here hypothetically, and strictly from the health point of view – I’d probably add some high quality wild salmon and other sustainable fish. Dairy would be last on my list.

        IMO, the common ground seems to be that these different groups are thinking seriously about what they eat – from a holistic POV: personal health, environment, animal welfare – rather than turning off their critical minds and chugging down nasty fast food.

        My recent post How to deal with fear – a counterintuitive strategy

        • Andrew 14 years ago

          All good points. I'd say grains are generally more deleterious to most people's health than dairy, but that does vary on an individual basis.

          This is probably the only time I'll ever use a FOX News pinhead as a positive example, but I just watched Bill Maher's show and this clip of Bill O'Reilly (roughly between 9:17 and 10:17) reminded me of this thread.

          [youtube yLz8Sk8lEAI youtube]

    • michaelf 14 years ago

      "and I think it's more ecologically sound" – Lierre Keith has a great book that might change your mind about the ecological impact of a vegan diet. Theres really no argument that could possibly have the same impact as hers on why all the plant land we've accumulated has a much more deleterious effect on the earth than cow shit.

      • Andrew 14 years ago

        I agree with Michael… Just wanted to point out that Keith's book was linked with the references at the bottom of the article.

        There's a new book out or coming out that tackles the challenge undertaken in "The Vegetarian Myth" in light of various criticisms of Keith's book. The title/author completely escapes me. If anyone knows to what I'm referring, please let us know.

  5. Ishmael 14 years ago

    This seems a bit anticlimactic. You spend a lot of time describing the modern pop explanation for the existence of human religion, and then just say “veganism is a religion because animals”.

    Early on in the post you allude to the mystical beliefs so often held by vegans. This should be the focal point. Veganism itself isn’t really a religion, but it very rarely exists outside of the larger framework of the new age religion, of which it is often a tenant. As you say, people aren’t doing this for health reasons. No one really thinks it is healthy – such claims are an afterthought, support for a foregone conclusion. They are doing it for reasons that can only be classified as religious. And yeah, these have to do with animal spirits and protecting from negative energy, and all sorts of other silliness. You’ll find that anyone who is a practicing vegan is likely to be into meditation, other shit from “A Course on Miracles”, and so on.

    Paleo is just a logical decision, based on the available information. Still, it could by incorporated into some type of religious system, in the way that, say, an opposition to pharmaceuticals has been incorporated into Scientology (you’ve incorporated it into the old Church of Dawkins). But it is not the same thing as veganism, as veganism is inherently illogical and counter-intuitive, needing some type of dogma to prop it up, whereas paleo and being against pharmaceuticals stand as logically defensible in their own right (though it has become difficult to take a stand against Prozac as of late without being jokingly accused of being a Scientologist).

    Also, your perception of the original manifestations of folk beliefs among tribal peoples, though I know it is still the reigning doctrine among university professionals, is overly simplistic, methinks. Supposing that “they didn’t know why the wind blew so they thought a big man was doing it” greatly degrades the human intellect. Examine Joseph Campbell’s explanations of “myth as metaphor”, as that is indeed what these were: metaphors. No one actually thought the world rested on a turtle’s back. “Mythology as fact” is a new concept, rooted in the theistic religions, which were basically just outright invented by governments to support economic systems and the development of “civilization”, and have virtually no similarity whatsoever to the folk myths of pre-“civilized” peoples.

    I have written an essay about the differences between the naturally evolved “religions” of “primitive” man and those created by the state. I haven’t posted it yet.


    • Andrew 14 years ago

      You’re right… I could have put a lot more into this. I rarely think of a single blog post as my complete thoughts on a subject. Rather, in the few weeks that this blog has been online, I’ve been trying to give people an idea of what I’ll be writing about moving forward. I consider it a brick in a larger construction project, and I hope you’ll do the same.

      I’ve quoted you as the start for a new forum thread: Religious War Redux: Veganism vs. Paleo. I hope to see you (everyone) there.

  6. Jeff 14 years ago

    You said that a vegan can be paleo…but not the other way around? I didn't understand that statement…they seem mutually exclusive?

    • Andrew 13 years ago

      I meant that in terms of the political/moral sentiments of veg*nism when compared to the logical framework of paleo.

      Secondarily, veg*nism is fundamentally negative… explicit in its exclusion of certain animal products from the diet. If we take paleo as negative, it implies exclusion of refined sugars, processed foods, cereal grains, et cetera. In that light, one could eliminate essentially neolithic foods from the diet, and also not eat meat. It's another way of saying that I think veg*ans would be healthier if they excluded everything that veg*an & paleo exclude rather than just what veg*ans exclude. That is not to say that I think veg*an + paleo approach is as healthy as unbridled paleo – as a combination positive/negative in which we use it to think about what we should eat as well as what we shouldn't eat.

  7. Heather A. 13 years ago

    Came across this post via Twitter (fairly new to the social media thang) Don't want to get lost in too many words and lose the point if any I am trying to make. Vegan is not a religion. Paleo is not a religion. They are dietary choices. Some vegans are new agey foofy floofy spiritual. Some paleo are new agey foofy floofy spiritual. Blah, blah, blah. I am paleo -vegan. My husband is a junk food vegan. I have two kids one a meat eater at his dad's home only, the other is too young for solids, but will be raised vegan. I am atheist. I think meditation is a waste of time. I am an athlete and find strength in moving my body. People, animals and plants do not have souls. People eat too much meat on the paleo diet. Humans have been conditioned to eat meat every day. It's pure BS and $$$$. The real deal paleo ate meat, maybe once a week and the occasional two or three day stint with a few bites of meat a day…total servings of meat a month…no more than eight to ten. I lived it and thrived for quite some time.
    I live vegan now and thrive even more. My opinions are a result of my life experiences, observation and the welcome to the world "grasshopper" research in my early 20's. Eating flesh is unnatural and is a practice done by our ancestors for purposes of survival only. We are not in survival mode, ya think. Domesticated animals should be allowed to go extinct. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Snowshoeing rocks:) Snowshoe vid wasn't so bad, beautiful place. where is it?

    • Andrew 13 years ago

      I certainly don’t say that all veg*ns qualify as religious veg*ns. In fact, I went to some length delineating that.

      Along those lines, the 2008 study by Fox and Ward showed that among vegetarians, “…45% had originally become vegetarian for ethical reasons, 27% for health reasons…” Of the 45% in the ethical camp, only a subset bases their ethics on the spiritual dualism I refer to above.

      Now, as far as your claims that humans eating meat is unnatural and that it was only a survival tactic in the face of starvation… Well, the paleoanthropology says exactly the opposite of the claim you’re making. How can you say that you’re not the one who’s been conditioned to reject meat by the mega $$$$ of big agriculture? It’s an absolute myth to think that the vested interests in plant farming are different than the meat industry. Rather, those folks profit by selling their veggies to grazing humans as well as cattle (chickens, pigs, etc.).

      Without even needing to leave this site, I can direct you to an excellent video on the evolution of the human diet presented by an actual working anthropologist (who was nice enough to join in the comments below).

      Further, every credible theory to explain the rapid evolution of human brain size requires the superior caloric density of animal consumption during the paleolithic. So… you’re not really arguing with me, but with mountains of archaeological evidence that shows humans consistently ate significant amounts of meat.

      Modern anthropology completely refutes your statement that humans are just socially conditioned by some money conspiracy. The Inuit have been thriving on a nearly all-meat diet since thousands of years before the printing press or television. In fact, I have a very good documentary called ‘Inuit Odyssey” in a post on this site as well.

      If you’re tired of paleo people talking about the Inuit, I would recommend the fascinating analysis of North American buffalo hunting that dates to 5,800+ years before present… written by a professional and practicing archaeologist. It’s available in hardback, but another reader directed us to a free and legal PDF copy.

      It’s certainly up to you to choose to be vegan, and I think vegan paleo is a much smarter approach than some of my veg*n friends (and your husband, it would seem) who live on a diet of bagels, skittles, and Diet Coke. That said, I think the anthropological/evolutionary reasoning you’re invoking to justify your decision is… well… factually wrong.

      I wish more veg*ns were paleo-veg*n, and I think the hostility to veg*ns within the “paleo community” is silly at times. I’m on record in this regard as I think I’m the only one who gave a paleo(ish)-vegan a serious answer to his sincere question over on paleohacks a while back. I also wrote a post questioning possible evolutionary influence to veg*n preference. So… I’m happy to have honest conversations. However, I do have to challenge claims that don’t align with the research I’ve read… and your comment largely falls into that realm.

      Your point about letting domesticated animals go extinct is something I’ve thought about. Unfortunately, that’s for the same reason that I think domesticated plants should be allowed to go extinct. And both of those things mean a lot of people will go extinct so there are other ethical concerns at play.

      The snowshoe vid was taken just south of Mt. Bachelor in the Deschutes National Forest (Central Oregon).

      Nick Fox, Katie Ward. Health, ethics and environment: A qualitative study of vegetarian motivations. Appetite. Volume 50, Issues 2-3 (2008). Pages 422-429

    • Andrew 13 years ago

      Funny, someone posted a book about the evolution of human hunting on my Facebook page while I was typing my last response.

    • David Csonka 13 years ago

      "the other is too young for solids, but will be raised vegan."

      I wonder if you were raised vegan from childhood? Or, was it a choice you consciously made later in life?

      It seems so many vegans love to say how great it is for health, but the most crucial period of their body's development was already over long before they started avoiding animal foods.

  8. Author
    George Cataloni 12 years ago

    Veganism only resembles a religion when religious veiws are added on top of it; like spirits/souls, afterlife, karma ect. Veganism itself is no more supernatural than paleo.

  9. 11 years ago

    It’s impressive that you are getting thoughts from this paragraph as well as from our argument made at this place.

  10. a 10 years ago

    Hi all, here every one is sharing such experience, therefore it’s pleasant to read
    this blog, and I used to visit this website everyday.

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