You know what I love most about this whole Ancestral Health, Primal, Paleo, Ethical Omnivore Movement? The community. Well actually, it is the Bacon, but a very close second is Community. It is such an open, helpful, loving, caring and interesting group. These health seekers come from all over, from all sorts of backgrounds and from all walks of life. Such an eclectic gathering ranging from Former Vegans befriending Ethical Omnivores to Diabetics competing in Crossfit and everything in between. This community has been extremely supportive of me on my Health Journey. Friendly advice, kind words of support and encouragement. Just good old-fashioned nice.
Paleo has caught some media attention and had become a common gym-hold name. Now it is quickly becoming a household name. I have noticed a parallel rise of trash talking, nay saying, and denying of the Paleo/Primal movements validity. I see tried and true principles of health and nutrition (like the real stuff people, not that USDA food politics) poked and bullied. This is not unexpected, nor is it enough to weaken my spirits, save that many the offending spouters of this ridicule are indeed Paleo people. It appears that as the Paleo movement gets more and more popular and less and less the underdog, it falls out of favor with some of its one time supporters. You have the same people who have fixed themselves metabolically with real food and a Paleo lifestyle, find one little non-fundamental piece that they have an issue with, and they completely disregard the entire Paleo movement. It saddens, confuses and frankly amazes me that the same, group of pioneers that can bridge the gap between Vegans and Ethical Omnivores, contain the same members whom combatively argue over the “Paleoness” of a white potato. It seems to me if you support the underdog, just for sake of it, then you separate and alienate yourself from any core value or meaning. Now that the Real food, Paleo movement is gaining acceptance, popularity and esteem , it is now less and less the underdog. Some Paleo advocates whilst technically still overall supportive of real food and Paleo, outwardly attack other bloggers. Some turn their back on it outright and rail against it, even as they continue to reap the benefits from it.
I once looked to the future and wondered if this was the beginning of new world of truth in dieting and lifestyle recommendations, nutritional theory, general human wellness. I had visions of Vegans and Ethical Omnivores, together, skipping, frolicking through organic kale fields as grass fed cows, and pastured chickens played at our vibram covered feet. Some not all, not even most but some of these real food bloggers needs a healthy dose of civility, respect and dignity with a side order of compassion, support and open-mindedness like Ryan Gosling needs Curtains after a matinée showing of the “notebook” during a bird watching convention.
I understand the use of humor as a tool to get your point across more than most, but I cannot help thinking there must be a better way to voice a difference in Paleo, than attacking another’s philosophies. The difference between funny and being an ass is NOT a fine line. Particularly if fueled by jealousy, ignorance, close mindedness pride or ego. When a person in the nutrition and wellness realm stoops to infighting about differing ideals or slight variant of views, it contributes to the dogma, confusion and hard earned credibility. That is the exact thing we are all working against. This is the stuff that got us here to the crossroads of “unhealthy” and “confused” in the first place. The message and the coaching then cease to be about truth and pursuit of knowledge and end up being about some silly little detail, or the argument itself. Did Robb Wolf start a 30 pieces of bacon a day blog and get all “Militant Paleo” on Paul Jaminet over his recommendation of safe starches? No. because they are both adults and they act like it. They are humble professionals, with mutual respect, open minds and in control egos.
I would rather spend my time building something up that I believed in rather than tearing something down I disagreed with. I think we would get a lot further in this pursuit of nutrition, wellness and truth if, as whole, we spent more time building and nurturing than attacking and reacting. That is why I jumped at the chance to write for Ethical Omnivore Movement. I have meet countless Paleo followers and befriended many a Vegan during my years in this space. A good Vegan friend of mine once told me “Real Food is the garage that both Paleos and Vegans Park their cars”. I believe he absolutely correct.
There is no shortage of work to be done, or people to educate and help, that much is undeniable. There is however a shortage of wellness practitioners that can help. The more we tear each other down, the less effective we become and less professional we appear. The more we work together the greater our reach and positive influence and more powerful the benefits we can offer others. There is a limited number of wellness practitioners and even fewer alternative and holistic practitioners. However, what there is no limit to or rationing on in this world is love, kindness, teamwork and respect. I think Jerry Seinfeld said it best when he said, “Look To The (glutenfree) Cookie”… Still, somehow Foodie harmony eludes us.
🙂 Cheers, Be Well!
Frank Hults CHC