For a lot of people, when you say you’re going ‘on the paleo diet’ general feedback you get from your friends is something like – you’re mad, you’re crazy, why would you do this?, don’t you know it’s dangerous, sure but bread tastes soooo good.
One of the stalwart answers to these (and many more) complaints of the paleo/primal diet usually centres around the fact the diet allows, and in fact encourages, a relatively large intake of meat. Delicious, delicious meat. With none more popular than that thinly sliced fat infused breakfast meat from heaven, bacon. I mean bacon is just the bomb. The end.
So when I said to my paleo/primal friends that I’m no longer eating bacon, the feedback was something like – you’re mad, you’re crazy, why would you do this?, don’t you know it’s dangerous, sure but bacon tastes sooooo good. So by way of explanation I offer you this treatise on the matter – My Breakup Letter To Bacon (o.k. I’m actually breaking up with all domesticated meat, but bacon is the one who really disserves the letter).
We’ve had some really wonderful times together, times that I will never forget and will always hold dear. Like the time I put you on pancakes with eggs and poured maple syrup over you. Or the time I interlaced you into a pizza base and created a Meat-zza. That time especially.
But unfortunately all good things must end, and it’s time for us to go our separate ways. I just feel I need some space away from you, so I can discover who I am without your influence.
It’s not you it’s me. Actually that’s not really true It’s half me and half what I’m doing to you. Allow me to delve into this dichotomy further.
I am a human being and as such I am subject to influence and adaptation to my environment. My environment has shaped me. Historically that environment has been a wild one, the same as every other creature on this Earth. However since the onset of agriculture I have shaped my environment, controlling it in order to make my life easier. Ergo I now control my development, willingly or not, in a closed loop system. I want to find out what happens when we’re no longer in that system, both physically and mentally (I’ve heard stories from other hunters and survival people that sustained consumption of wild caught protein can bring about a change in psychology).
It also strikes me as weird the homogenization of our diets. Four animals rule our protein intake – cow, pig, sheep and chicken – and nearly all meals contain a variant of one of these beasts (the main exception being seafood).
And Now you. I can’t bury my head in the sand any longer and believe that all my meat comes from a paradise farm somewhere where all the animals are sung to whilst eating the finest organic grass. When it’s time for them to die they just slip off to sleep and never wake up. No, the reality is concrete floors, steel pens and electrocution – a scene very far from nature, but then again so is the animal that is being ‘harvested’. These animals are very different from their progenitor species, bred to be docile with a high yield.
Boar – The progenitor of the pig
Moderna day pig (the wonder animal) in it’s ‘natural’ surrounds
Aurochs – progenitor of the modern cow species. Taking on wolves like a boss
The modern cow…
Let’s talk about the creation of species with the implicit outcome to harvest them for meat. I mean this is something directly out of sci fi when you think about it (The Matrix, The Island). But as I said before, this is in essence a closed loop system; one I think we have very little idea what the impact is on our development.
I’m not even going to go into the environmental impact of our current animal farming practices here. Or my thoughts on whether the amount of people eating meat should be and the disconnect between the original form of what we eat and how it is finally presented (but I will go into these at a later date).
So, sadly, it’s over between us (for a little while at least). Don’t call me anymore. And if you receive a late night message on Saturday just ignore it. It’s better this way.
In all seriousness though the aim of this experiment is to see what (if any) changes occur and how feasible it actually is to do this (as I’ve found thus far, sourcing wild meat can be tricky). This is not a ‘holier than thou’ preaching session on what you should. It’s just one man’s attempt to regain connection with a food system that is almost as removed as we can possibly take it. This is not for everyone, I get that, but then again neither is breathing.
I don’t view my dietary habits as a set of rules or a goal to attain, I view it as a continuum, an ongoing self experiment.
And this is just the next step down my own personal rabbit hole. Curiouser and curiouser (and hungrier).