By Megan Vick
At dinner one evening, someone said, “if we were truly meant to eat meat, why do we have to cook it? Doesn’t it make more sense to evolve to eat raw meat like carnivores?”
This statement sparked a lively discussion. Many people follow the paleo diet. This means eating things that our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have been able to eat: nuts, seeds, meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables. The paleo diet removes processed and refined foods all together. The belief is that people will be able to be happier and healthier without the processed and refined foods.
When speaking about processed and refined foods, this means everything from American cheese slices to any product using refined flour (bread, pasta, cookies) or refined sugar is eliminated from the diet. This may seem a bit extreme given our current society, but many of today’s health problems stem from our crappy diet. Full of processed meats, dairy products, and refined sugars and flours, it’s no wonder our society is getting sicker. With heart disease, cancer, and obesity consistently on the rise with adults and children, what can we do?
I can certainly applaud those who follow a Paleo diet. The main concern with the Paleo lifestyle is how much meat is consumed. Even though you may feel better after cutting out processed and refined foods, are you still contributing to cruelty of animals by supporting factory farming? Many of the individuals I know who follow a Paleo diet remove most (if not all) of the icky stuff from their diet, but then INCREASE their portions of meat. This is not the answer.
It seems that those who choose to follow a Paleo diet should actually hunt their own food to eat it. Maybe that is an extreme thought, but how can humans begin to appreciate where their food comes from if they cannot hunt it, gather it, or grow it? I am not advocating running out with a makeshift bow and arrow to get your dinner tonight, I just want to get people thinking about food.
I’m vegan because it’s natural and easy. After cutting out meat from my life, I haven’t once wanted it back. Whether you follow a vegan lifestyle, a Paleo diet, or the “See-food” diet, remember where your food comes from and what goes into getting to your plate.