Awaiting the Ancestral Health Symposium talks
Before the symposium, I was most looking forward to watching Melissa and Stephan’s talks, but now I’m really curious about Boyd Eaton’s. I have been thinking a lot recently about primitvism and social stability, especially with all the rioting in the streets here in the UK and also in other parts of Europe at the moment (I’m not including the middle East here). Eaton’s points (at least what I’ve gathered from the various AHS summaries I’ve read) are really unfashionable and most people who think that a simpler way of life and perhaps even paternalistic type social structures have any merit usually don’t voice those opinions because it’s dismissed out of hand as nostalgic, romanticised, simplistic, overly idealistic. I am cautious about accepting any romantic casting off of mod cons but I think the topic needs serious (albeit skeptical) consideration, in the same way as we’ve considered ancestral diet. I think other lifestyle factors could bring a lot of benefit to our lives, admittedly harder to implement any actual practices, not to mention how this could contribute to improved sustainability.
Moving to an ancestral diet is something you can do yourself without causing a huge upset around you- obviously if you live in a family unit, especially with limited resources, the effect on others is greater than a singleton with plenty of disposable income. However, living in a similar way to the Indians or Pacifics described in Weston A. Price’s book can probably only happen if the whole of society changes (not going to happen). We can’t all move to the outer Hebrides, and a country like the UK almost certainly couldn’t support everyone living a pastoral lifestyle. We have already built modern cities, housing and infrastructure, it would be utter folly and the completely contrary to any supposed improvement in sustainability to go tearing it all down. So can we implement enough ‘primitivism’ into the modern world to see improvements in quality of life (if indeed there really would be an improvement) or have we gone too far already? Does looking back have anything to offer toward the ills of society in a similar vein to what the paleo/ancestral diet has done for people’s health? Obviously the areas of nutrition and health science are separate from the many more fields of research that cover society and the means to change it (sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, politics, economics, environmental science, psychology, to name just the first few that pop into my head).
This is basically my first chaotic few thoughts on this topic, hence I have no citations, but as I gather my thoughts I will maybe back this up with a few links and I intend to write again about this, having gone away to read around the issues. I’m away to find my notes on Hobbes from my political philosophy classes…
In the mean time, though, I’d like to link to Melissa’s post about fertility that I read this morning.