Most health trends point to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle

Stopping to forage fiddleheads

Stopping to forage fiddleheads

Everyone is trying their best to be as healthy as possible. Each day more research comes to light, and fitness gurus tell us when, what, and how to eat. Diets preaching no meat, diets with only meat, low-fat diets, low-carb diets, only eating at night, “functional” exercise and influencer-pushed fit teas have our heads spinning. Luckily for us, out of the mounds of advice that are thrown in our face, eventually only a few pass the test of time. Of the advice remaining, there seems to be a curious coincidence.

Three topics, in particular, seem to garnish most of the attention: intermittent fasting, a focus on organic/raw foods (paleo, vegan, etc.), and anti-big-agriculture.

Voluntary fasting has been around for thousands of years and across every major religion including Hinduism and Christianity. In those days fasting was done to “bring you closer to god”, whereas modern science has us foregoing that morning donut to help you lose weight, balance hormones, and reduce inflammation.

Like fasting, eating “raw” or “organic” isn’t exactly new either. Organic implies that the food was produced with no additional pesticides, preservatives, or otherwise. The “eating raw” movement has come to a fairly obvious conclusion here that eating things sourced directly from the earth will have the best impact on your body...rightfully so.

The last piece is what, in my opinion, steers people in the wrong direction.

Discovering how hard it is to clean Fiddleheads

Discovering how hard it is to clean Fiddleheads

Most people have seen some sort of documentary exposing them to the horrors of chicken, pig, or cow farming. These poor animals are pumped with steroids so that they can grow faster, forced to live in unbearable conditions, and really never get a chance to have a life. So what does a person do next? Their knee-jerk reaction is to not contribute to the problem by no longer eating meat.

Look, I think going vegan is very noble and there is inherently nothing wrong with it. Vegans care about eating foods from the earth, being healthy and happy, and obviously they respect animals and nature.

Where some go wrong, however, is demonizing people choosing to take meat-procurement into their own hands. Having an animal-free diet, after all, is only possible with the advent of agriculture, which has led us to a world where you can eat fresh Mangos during January in New York. Being vegan isn’t in our DNA, but hunting is.

The three trends we talked about all align with the lifestyle of hunter-gatherers in pre-history. People would go all day hunting and be foraging for food while not eating (intermittent fasting). They’d find edible flowers, nuts and other vegetation (raw/organic foods), and ideally bring home an animal that they procured from the wild to feed their family (don’t see any agricultural animal cruelty here!).

To be fair, I can see why most urban people choose to go vegan over adopting a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Cutting out a food group and buying things with an “organic” sticker on it is relatively easy (although expensive). Diving into the backcountry, harvesting an animal and turning it into a meal, on the other hand, is the opposite of easy.

Maple glazed deer sausage and butter soaked fiddleheads

Maple glazed deer sausage and butter soaked fiddleheads

Both solutions instill a deep feeling of community, health and simple living; however, only one will connect you directly to nature. Nolan over at The Journal of Mountain Hunting explained this perfectly about an Instagram post we did on emotions:

“The first deer changed me, my relationship with food, and how I saw the “circle of life” so to speak. It was the first time it clicked that we are part of the natural world, even if we choose to live in cities and push back against it.”

The bottom line is, hunters and vegans are not each other’s enemy. In fact, they share a lot of the same morals and perspectives about animals and healthy food. We need to start a union of these ideas so that we collectively establish a healthier population. One where single-ingredient, locally sourced food is forced down our throats over processed junk and mistreated animals.

We hope this serves as a kind reminder to pursue your instincts, listen to your body, and go down the path less traveled.

Most people go to veganism once they become mindful of food, and this is a great solution. However, hunting is also one.