It’s strange: as paleo people, we believe that our diet evolved along with us, making us what we are. For instance, there has never, ever, been a vegetarian or vegan tribe or culture. Humans have always eaten animal products, some more than others, but ALL rely on the amazing nutrition in animal derived foods. Eating animals and products taken from animals made us what we are- you can’t take animals out of our evolution and arrive at modern humans.
This is widely accepted amongst those who believe in an ancestral diet and lifestyle. But, though most of us see ourselves as grounded in science in our beliefs, many of us at the same time deny the truth, or meaning of religion in our lives! We denigrate the idea of a god, or of any universal laws outside of man’s own laws. Many believe that science has displaced the idea of God, gods, or even religion itself.
But just because there has never been a culture that didn’t eat animals- there has never been a culture without religion. Never. Even the Neanderthals had burials of their dead, with flowers heaped on the departed. There is something deep within us that requires us to believe in a spiritual world, a place beyond the mortal sphere in which we reside today. And so it has always been!
To live without a notion of a spiritual realm, a place of higher goodness and ultimate laws and reason, is akin to eating processed foods developed in the past 50 years or so, and thinking that we now know better than nature itself, and can replace wild game, vegetables, fruits and nuts with chemically made ‘Beyond Burgers’ and do just as well, health wise.
This is completely delusional! To live on fast food, processed grains and vegetable seed oils is disastrous for our physical health and well-being, and is a fast track to auto-immune diseases and even mental health. We all know this as followers of various renditions of the Paleo Diet, and we all experience first hand the amazing benefits of red meat, seafood, pastured dairy and fermented vegetables. The Paleo Diet is nothing short of life changing!
But what about religion? Aren’t we beyond that now, since after all we know there are no supernatural beings on Mt. Olympus, and doesn’t Heaven seem, well, unscientific?
Well, only if you also believe that eating natural animal products and seafood is ‘unscientific’, and that a low fat, soy based diet of lab grown food-like substances slathered in chemically extracted seed oils is the epitome of true science and all-knowing enlightenment…
We evolved eating and living a certain way- in Nature, in a circadian cycle with the sun of light and darkness, sleep and waking. Ancestral types of foodstuffs, cooked by fire and thus made bio-available with maximum nutrients. In tribes of similar humans, working together for survival, and with good health as pretty much a birthright.
The tribe had a center though, it always did, and that center was religion. It is as much a part of us as our need for protein and fat- we need a higher plane to relate to, something above and beyond our daily lives.
This was true all over the world- whether one god or many, whether Socrates’ daemon (literally a ‘divine something’) that warned him of right and wrong, or the many Hindu gods or those of the Egyptians or Babylonians. It’s true, there are always some who do not believe in a particular god or gods, but there is always something that is worshipped. Always.
Just because, right now, certain groups (Communists spring to mind) that vehemently deny and denigrate any sort of religion- this only confirms that the