Paleolithic Diet vs. Vegetarianism interviews
T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S F O R
Setting the Scientific Record Straight
on Humanity's Evolutionary Prehistoric Diet
and Ape Diets
- Preface and introductory remarks
- Interviewer Chet Day's introduction of Ward as guest
- Personal experiences with fasting, Natural Hygiene, and veganism
- Introduction to Natural Hygiene through distance running.
- Initial experiences with fasting.
- Health crash after extended period of overwork and poor diet.
- Post-crash fasts and recommitment to Natural Hygiene.
- Improvements on fasts alternating with gradual downhill trend on vegan Natural Hygiene diet.
- Shortcomings of the "comparative anatomy" rationale for determining our "natural" diet.
- Exposure to the evolutionary picture and subsequent disillusionment with Natural Hygiene.
- News of long-time vegetarians abandoning the diet due to failure to thrive.
- Gradual personal health decline on vegan diet.
- Paleontological evidence shows humans have always been omnivores
- Evidence well-known in scientific community; controversial only for vegetarians.
- Timeline of dietary shifts in the human line of evolution
- 65 to 50 million years ago (Mya): Ancient primates, mostly insectivores.
- 50 to 30 Mya: Shift to mostly frugivorous/herbivorous.
- 30 to 10 Mya: Maintenance of mostly frugivorous pattern.
- 7 to 5 Mya: Last common ancestor branches to gorillas, chimps, humans.
- 4.5 Mya: First known hominid (proto-human).
- 3.7 Mya: First fully bipedal hominid (Australopithecus).
- 2 Mya: First true human (Homo habilis), first tools, increased meat-eating.
- 1.7 Mya: Evolution of Homo erectus, considerable increase in meat consumption and widely omnivorous diet, continues till dawn of agriculture.
- 500,000 to 200,000 y.a.: Archaic Homo sapiens.
- 150,000 y.a.: Neanderthals evolve.
- 140,000 to 110,000 y.a.: First anatomically modern humans, possible increase in fire use for cooking (insufficient evidence).
- 40,000 B.C.: First behaviorally modern humans.
- 40,000 to 10,000 B.C.: Late Paleolithic, latest period of universal hunting/gathering subsistence, seafood use becomes evident in certain areas.
- 20,000 B.C. to 9,000 B.C.: Mesolithic transition period.
- Approx. 10-8,000 B.C.: Neolithic period, beginnings of agriculture, precipitous drop in meat consumption, great increase in grain consumption, decline in health as indicated by signs in skeletal remains.
- Subjectively based vegetarian naturalism vs. what evolution tells us
- Example of creative misinterpretation of evolutionary evidence to support frugivorism/vegetarianism (old fossil teeth microwear study).
- Subjective naturalism vs. the functional definition provided by evolution/genetics
- The subjective "animal model" for raw-food naturalism.
- The trap of reactionary "reverse anthropomorphism."
- Subjective views of dietary naturalism are prone to considerable differences of opinion; don't offer meaningful scientific evidence.
- Evolutionary adaptation/genetics as the functional scientific test of what's natural.
- Correcting the vegetarian myths about ape diets
- Citing of outdated science an earmark of idealism out of touch with reality.
- Accumulation of modern post-1960s research shows apes are not actually vegetarians.
- Diet of chimpanzees.
- Meat consumption by chimps.
- The more significant role of social-insect/termite/ant consumption.
- Breakdown of chimpanzee food intake by dietary category.
- Fluid intake in chimps not restricted to fruit, and includes water separately.
- The predilection of chimpanzees toward omnivorous opportunism.
- Other ape diets.
- Diet of gorillas compared with chimps.
- Other apes less closely related to humans.
IMPORTANT: The updates and additional observations linked to below modify some of the conclusions that were reached at the time the interview was first published in 1996. Before attributing a specific view on a particular subject to the author, please make sure you read the updates first.
RETURN TO BEGINNING OF INTERVIEWS
SEE TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR: PART 1 PART 2 PART 3
GO TO PART 1 - Setting the Record Straight on Humanity's Prehistoric Diet and Ape Diets
GO TO PART 2 - Fire and Cooking in Human Evolution
GO TO PART 3 - The Psychology of Idealistic Diets / Successes & Failures of Vegetarian Diets
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