Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
17 Feb

8 Ways Going Primal Can Help the Environment

Seedling finalNo, you yourself can’t save the world. You personally won’t make a dent in the climate, or the amount of plastic in the ocean, or the number of cute baby seals that are bludgeoned to death. But collectively, we can. The choices we make, the things we value, the food we eat, the way our food is raised, who we buy our food from, and how we conduct our day-to-day lives in attempted harmony with our Primal natures really does seem to mesh well with the environment. Multiply those small personal choices by millions of readers (and their dollars) and you get real change.

I’m not putting any extra pressure on you. These are things you’re already doing, by and large. These are the ways going Primal can actually help, not harm, the environment.

Grass-fed beef from rotationally-grazed livestock may actually save the planet

The popular arguments against the environmental merits of grass-fed beef are that it’s too inefficient. You simply can’t support enough animals on open grassland, certainly not enough to “feed the world.” Rotational grazing renders those arguments null and void. Here’s how it works:

You pack the animals close together on single paddocks. They graze intensively, not extensively. They eat everything on the paddock to which they’re confined, even the unpalatable but aggressive weeds, rather than range around nibbling their favorite foods all over.

After the paddock is clear, the animals move to the next one. They leave behind a wealth of nutrient-dense fertilizer that’s been stamped into the soil. Since the grass has been eaten, the roots die, decompose, and further enrich the soil.

By the time they circle back around to the original paddock, the grass has regrown and the soil is fully fertilized.

This isn’t a new way to feed herbivores. It’s how wild herbivores behave in natural settings. In the African savannah, zebras stick together to avoid big cats. In the Arctic, caribou gather in herds to avoid wolves. And the recent reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone actually restored the environment by promoting a kind of “forced rotational grazing” in elk.

Holistic management of livestock through rotational grazing has a ton of evidence in its favor, and more and more of your favorite farmers are adopting it. There’s a decent chance the local grass-fed beef you buy at the farmer’s market was raised using rotational grazing. If so, you’re helping.

Eating less packaged food means less packages ending up in the ocean

There’s a massive island of plastic out in the ocean. It may not be a literal island—a solid floating mass of congealed candy wrappers, ziploc bags, and milk cartons—but it’s arguably worse than that. It’s closer to an amorphous swirling vortex of microplastics slowly breaking down and showing up in the seafood you eat. Now, I’m all for the rise of a plastic-based marine society, sort of a Tupperware Atlantis with bitter sectarian violence between rival BPA and BPA-free factions. The sci-fi nerd in me would love that. But I’m also a seafood nerd. I want to standup paddle along the Malibu coast through clear clean seawater, not plastic saline syrup.

Luckily, you’re avoiding most of the packaged food responsible for polluting the oceans. Except if you buy produce from Trader Joe’s; I love the store but man, do they use a lot of plastic.

Organic food has a smaller carbon footprint

Local food doesn’t actually have much of a smaller carbon footprint. Not as a rule, anyway. Sure, your neighbor’s spinach was quite low input. The blood oranges you grab over the guy on the corner’s fence every time you walk the dog are very local and very good for the environment. The vast majority of produce’s carbon footprint takes place on the farm during production. The energy spent on seeding, growing, and harvesting. The application of pesticides. The day-to-day input that happens over the course of a growing season. The transportation from the farm to your hands accounts for less than 20% of the total carbon footprint.

However, organic food (particularly from smaller farms—the kind you usually get from the farmer’s market) can be more friendly to the environment. Organic farmers aren’t applying synthetic pesticides that run off and endanger wildlife. They’re producing fewer greenhouse gases. And if you wait for a few years for soil nutrition to recover, organic yield matches and sometimes even surpasses that of conventionally-grown crops.

Leaner people use fewer resources

The heavier you are, the more food you eat to maintain your bodyweight. The heavier you are, the more immobile you are and the more you need the car to get around. The larger you are, the larger your carbon footprint. Even attempting to be leaner means you use fewer resources because you’re increasing nutrient density and reducing caloric density, moving more, taking a walk instead of a drive, and generally taking less from the world.

We kill fewer animals

Despite directly eating plenty of animals, folks on a Primal eating plan who eschew grains actually cause fewer animal deaths than grain-eaters. To get a few hundred pounds of cow meat, you kill one cow. It’s sad for the cow but actually saves more lives than you think. To get a few hundred pounds of wheat, you clear cut and plough the land to make room for the crop and destroy the habitats of resident wild animals, apply pesticides which poison surrounding wildlife, run a harvest combine that churns through dozens of rodents, rabbits, and reptiles unlucky-enough to be there that day, and set traps and use poison to keep rats and mice out of granaries. It’s estimated that grain agriculture kills 25 more sentient animals per kilogram of useable protein than beef agriculture in Australia, where beef is mostly range-grown.

Now, meat from industrially-raised livestock is not sustainable. I’m not arguing that.

We welcome discomfort

This isn’t a staple of the Primal lifestyle. Not everyone does this. But I’d say, on the whole, that folks engaged with the movement are more likely to accept temperature extremes and use them as a “training” tool. Instead of blasting the heat once it hits 55 degrees (hey, I’m in Malibu here), they’re bearing the chill and calling it “cold exposure.” Instead of hunkering down inside with the AC blasting in summer, they head out for a picnic at the park under shade. To be short, you guys have grit, you’re willing to be a little chilly or sweaty, and the environment thanks you for it.

We use fewer electronics after dark

A growing aspect of the Primal lifestyle is honoring your circadian rhythm. That means more natural light during the day and less light at night. In an ideal world, it means spending more time outside during the day—thus using fewer lights–and turning off the electronics after dark. That’s not what always happens, of course. I get plenty of emails time stamped at 10 PM. But at least we’re aware of the problem and are taking baby steps to solve it.

We commune directly with nature

It’s hard not to love and protect a thing you fervently believe is essential for your health and happiness. I strongly believe that love makes a difference.

Simply going out into nature, buying annual passes to national parks, paying camping fees, and otherwise supporting the preservation of natural spaces with money and energy is good for the environment. It used to be that I’d go out to Yosemite or Joshua Tree or Zion and it’d be mostly Europeans on vacation with maybe the odd dread-locked trustafarian hitchiker. Now—and I mean in the last five years—I’m seeing way more Americans getting out and enjoying the incredible natural beauty our country has to offer. I’m not even rankled by the larger crowds in my favorite hiking spots because it means more people are taking advantage of this precious gift.

I don’t intend to make concrete connections between how much you weigh and your burden on the environment. But it’s clear that many of the things we hold dear contribute to a better world. And that’s the beauty of this Primal stuff: we’re not necessarily setting out to change the world. We’re eating holistically-grazed grass-fed beef because it’s more nutritious, tastes better, and gives animals a better life. We’re eating better and moving more to be healthier and happier, not because Al Gore told us to. We’re avoiding electronics after dark to preserve our circadian rhythm and improve our sleep, not cut back on electricity usage. We’re giving money to the parks because we love spending time in nature. In many respects, ours is a selfish devotion to preserving the beauty of the world. And that’s why it works so well, why it’s often more sustainable than people who do it to “be a good person” or “save the environment.”

Also, [joke about legume restriction and rectal methane production].

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care and drop a comment below if you have any further additions to the list!

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. As part of Apple’s newest Beta iOS update, there is a feature called “night shift” which changes the phone’s light spectrum to a more yellow shade instead of the normal blue shade. It is in response to the findings that electronic use near bedtime can affect a person’s circadium rhythm. Pretty interesting!

    Kotsanis Institute wrote on February 17th, 2016
    • f.lux has had this available for a long time outside of iOS

      https://justgetflux.com/

      David wrote on February 17th, 2016
      • True and I have been using f.lux on my laptop longer then I care to remember (Workrave is great for taking breaks). The annoying thing is, that Apple killed the app a few days after approving it, so that it can build it’s own version into the iOS. And here comes Apple next annoying decision: it will only be available on the 5S and above; why apple, so that we can rush and replace our perfectly working phone with a new one (I own the 5)? Talking about polluting the environment with yesterday’s gadgets… It did the same thing by the way, when it killed perfectly working ad blockers apps. Want to use one? Upgrade your phone to 6 and above…

        Great article on sustainability, responsibility and personal accountability.

        Time Traveler wrote on February 17th, 2016
        • I have the same concern. Donate or give to op shop?

          Zach Rusk wrote on March 2nd, 2016
  2. I’ve noticed the same thing at my local Trader Joe’s, now that you mention it. I don’t shop there very often, possibly because all the plastic is such a turn-off.

    Shary wrote on February 17th, 2016
  3. Nice post!

    perennialpam wrote on February 17th, 2016
  4. Mark, great post! I want to mention something you’ve talked about elsewhere but that seems relevant here. I have heard the argument that we can’t raise enough cattle to feed everyone, but I think this is a bit short-sighted or disingenuous. It seems to make sense if everyone expects to eat filet, and strip and other choice (leaner and likely less nutrient-dense) cuts exclusively.

    Something we Primal folks do is use more of the animal. From offal to bone broth, we don’t waste the (actual) good stuff. I think this is something conscientious food manufacturers will exploit in the future, as well. So many opportunities can be imagined for things like meat-based bars or more organ-focused sausages and preserved foods. The sky could be the limit there–who knows what innovations the future will bring that could still be more primal than factory farms and extensive grain use? As we make more efficient use of the animals we eat, the burden of feeding larger populations from high-quality pastured animals becomes far more workable and environmentally responsible.

    Thanks for the consistently high quality content you provide. On challenging days, your blog can be the thing that keeps me from spinning off into old habits.

    Jake wrote on February 17th, 2016
    • Wow! Good point on the eating more of the animal. I never thought of that. It is good to know we out here are still thinking. Not just reading whatever Mark writes. Although I love what he writes. This article is extremely helpful to me and to all of us. Way to go us!

      Linda Campbell wrote on February 17th, 2016
  5. [joke about resistant starch intake and rectal methane production] :-)

    But seriously, great perspective here–thanks for highlighting what could be seen as nuances, but are fundamental considerations.

    Tom B-D wrote on February 17th, 2016
  6. I am absolutely with you, Mark!

    I’ve been feeling the connection between primal ways and permaculture for several years. The more primal I become, the more enthusiastic I am about my own permaculture-inspired food production efforts, as well as the community gardens and food forests I am working to get established. And I help found a local walking club to help folks get out and use their bodies, even in the depth of winter.

    Those of us in the Great White North, like where I am in Quebec, need to find ways of eating that are suited to our climate. We keep our house thermostat at 64 even in the coldest winters. I’m sorry to say that my low-fat vegan sister-in-law and low-fat vegetarian brother-in-law just can’t handle the “cold” in our house. We are obliged to crank up the heat when they are visiting. I am absolutely convinced that eating a primal diet that includes plenty of (pastured, local, organic) meat and fat is key to getting through the winter without the chills, the flu or seasonal affective disorder.

    Heidi wrote on February 17th, 2016
    • I live in Quebec too and I would not survive at 18°C! I found that CoQ10 has helped me with the cold but not that cold.

      I’m used to always be the one with the most clothes on but when I found myself with more clothes than a 6 month old baby, I knew I had a problem.

      I’m not too sure if you are saying that you saw a real difference pre and post primal. If so, did it take long? Maybe I’m not eating correctly.

      Coco wrote on February 17th, 2016
      • Yes, I think that going primal has made the winter temps (indoors and out) and often overcast skies much easier to deal with. If you’re always the coldest person in a group, I HIGHLY encourage you to get a full work up on your thyroid gland status! Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an epidemic thanks to the Standard American (and Canadian) Diet.

        We have just recently found someone local who produces eggs, but their production is too low in winter to take on new customers. We have a wonderful local producer (St-Modeste, in the Bas-Saint-Laurent) for poultry (chicken, duck, turkey), rabbits and even kid goat. Our beef comes from Trois-Pistoles, a farm that has been “bio” since long before the term was coined. The current owner’s dad simply never adopted modern chemical farming!

        Heidi wrote on February 17th, 2016
        • Thanks! My doctor only checks TSH unfortunately, I wanted to cheat and tick more tests but there is none on the standard prescription paper.

          As for the poultry farm, do they have a website?

          Coco wrote on February 18th, 2016
    • Oh by the way, do you eat pastured chicken or eggs? I didn’t find it anywhere, only organic. Seeing you live in Quebec, I thought I’d asked you!

      Coco wrote on February 17th, 2016
    • I’m pretty skinny, but I noticed with increased consumption of healthy meat and fats help keeps warm easier through winter nights. My body seems to have more fuel to burn and stay warm at night so I didn’t need a second 2nd layer of blanket.I was on a vegetarian diet for a year during 2014, then I slowly transitioned to a paleo type diet and this winter was the first time I felt warmer in bed. I also wakes up more rejuvenate and don’t catch and colds, despite the rest of the people I live with do and coughs in front of me.

      dude wrote on February 17th, 2016
    • Totally agree with you about the temperature thing! It’s 5 degrees here today for reference so I don’t live in the warmest place. I’ve been able to set my temperature at home a degree or two lower since starting the high fat primal diet. Also I’ve noticed that my chronic freezing cold nose problem has gone away completely. That used to be the worst feeling. No way to warm up a cold nose!
      As for work…at work I used to be freezing!! These past few days it feels just perfect to me. Yesterday some lady at work asked me if I thought it was cold because she was freezing but it felt completely fine to me.

      Paula wrote on February 18th, 2016
  7. Mark, the cook book ( from David Sinick – Paleo Hacks and expert Chef Peter Servold ) you`re claiming it`s free IS NOT FREE, and I feel tricked.

    I gave my email and then step2. asked me to pay. this is not exactly what we call free. I trusted you ,but now I`ll unsubscribe from your site too, and spred the news about this lie.
    tg.

    tg wrote on February 17th, 2016
    • LOL

      Me wrote on February 17th, 2016
    • Sorry if you came across any frustration. The book is definitely free. We just checked it out again to make sure. They just don’t cover the shipping cost. That’s what you’re being charged for. Hope this clarifies things!

      Worker Bee wrote on February 17th, 2016
  8. Thanks for the fuel against rabid vegans!

    With this post and the one about school, you couldn’t get closer to my heart than that!

    Sadly, I don’t feel like I’m using less plastic. I must use less because I buy less processed food, but I don’t feel like I’m using less. The only produce I buy that does not come in plastic or with a plastic sticker is cucumber. My meat comes in plastic too. The only thing that does not come in plastic is the stuff I can find in glass jar with a metal lid and eggs.

    Coco wrote on February 17th, 2016
  9. Excellent post! (And one that will be so helpful to have on hand, to share with clients who have ethical concerns about transitioning to a primal eating pattern.)

    After having a conversation this past weekend with a local farmer about his rotationally grazed, grass-fed, pastured livestock, I especially liked reading that bit. This farmer showed me a photo album with all of his animals, their pastures, and their housing and mobile hutches (for chickens). He also spoke of using every part of every slaughtered animal, and took great pride in explaining how his farming methods were good for the animals, the soil and humans. Such beautiful, important emphasis on sustainable, ethical, minimal-waste farming.

    Dr. Dana Leigh Lyons wrote on February 17th, 2016
    • More and more producers are adopting these complex, ecological permaculture systems. Some of the international superstar farmers are Joel Salatin, Mark Shepard and Darren Doherty. The list is growing daily as younger farmers are realizing that these systems generate good revenue and are much more humane — for the animals and the people who raise them.

      Heidi wrote on February 17th, 2016
  10. I live in south central Texas and just finished building a keyhole garden in my backyard. Already I have lettuce, spinach, summer squash, watermelons, cantalope, cucumbers, leeks and shallots sprouting. Used all heirloom, non GMO seeds. I’m still waiting to see tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, and celery. I joke that I’ll open a vegetable stand in my front yard to share produce with my neighbors. I can’t wait to be eating from my own garden!

    Laurie wrote on February 17th, 2016
  11. Hi Mark,
    I didn’t see any addressing of the issue of how much fresh water raising livestock requires ( grass fed or factory farm) or the impact of the greenhouse gas emissions of the livestock themselves. This seems one of the growing arguements for adopting a plant based diet and I would be curious to hear what your thoughts are.

    Tina wrote on February 17th, 2016
  12. Oh my goodness, thank you so much for this! After cowspiracy came out I’ve had to answer accusations that my diet contributes to deforestation, global warming, etc. Apparently the movie even claims grassfed doesn’t significantly differ from conventional in environment impact. Who even writes this kind of thing?
    I tried to send out someone information and Alan Savory’s TED talk to a few of the people but apparently they can watch a movie but can’t be bothered to read or watch a TED talk.
    I’m busy creating an infograph for Defending Beef. Can’t wait to send that around.

    Becky D wrote on February 17th, 2016
    • Of course eating beef still contributes greatly to deforestation, loss of biodiversity and climate change. This article does not argue that it does not contribute, but that rotational grazing grass fed cows create fewer negative environmental effects than cows fed corn and soy.

      Cows require a massive amount of resources to produce a small amount of food in comparison, not to mention more of the rainforest is being destroyed everyday so more cows can live and graze on that land. Living cows are ruminants which produce methane, a greenhouse gas. More resources are then required for butchering, packaging and shipping the beef which also contribute to climate change. Eating beef in general does nothing good for the environment.

      The point is, rotational grazing cattle produce a smaller impact on the environment than industry cattle that are fed corn and soy. If you want to make a ppstive impact on the environment, limit meats, especially beef, and eat more plants.

      Alexandra wrote on February 17th, 2016
      • Sorry but you’ve completely missed the point. Are you a vegan?

        We are talking about cattle raised on grassland (no deforestation)

        Rotational grazing sequesters carbon into the soil (net reduction in greenhouse gases)

        There are currently fewer ruminants on the planet than before industrial farming (because sadly so many wild buffalo etc have been killed)

        Resources required to butcher package and deliver grass fed meat are far far lower than those required to produce monocultures of grains etc.

        Have you heard of the Savory Institute? Look it up.

        Ben wrote on February 18th, 2016
        • Just what I was going to say, Ben. I actually was in Permaculture long before going Paleo, and the best restorative farming minds on the planet agree that cattle grazing (done properly) can build topsoil and regenerate landscapes. If key line systems are used properly to ensure maximum water conservation on those farms, then water consumption isn’t much of an issue either-just make sure you know your farmer and he knows what he’s doing!

          Dani wrote on February 18th, 2016
        • I did not miss the point, I am just making a point of my own. I agree that rotational grazing is definitely the most environmentally friendly way to raise cows and produces the healthiest beef to eat.

          I don’t believe it’s relevant, but no, I’m not a vegan. I do try to limit my consumption of meats all together, and I rarely eat beef. I have seen mamy ted talks and documentaries regarding the human consumption of meats, but I have learned so much more through school and research. Soon, I will graduate with my degree in environmental sustainability so I have a lot of research and knowledge under my belt. I have learned a lot of how different human activities affect the environment, and animal agriculture is surely one of the leading causes of climate change and that is a point that’s very difficult to argue.

          Very few people are eating grass fed beef. An even smaller amount are eating beef raised with rotational grazing. Most of the beef consumed in the United States is industy raised cows that are fed corn and soy here in the US or imported from another country. Sure grass fed rotational grazing beef is much better for the environment, but most people aren’t eating that. Even so, it is not sustainable. There is not enough land for 7 million people to live and all the cows we demand to eat to graze on grass.

          It’s not possible for everyone to eat grass fed beef, so most beef consumsed is still causing serious deforestation. There is no denying that a majority of the rainforest has been destroyed to raise cattle and grow their food. Cows require a large amount of water and food that people could consume. Their manure ends up in waterways and leads to more negative environmental issues.

          The general consumption of beef is not good for our planet. You can use some postive effects of rotational grazing cattle to paint a pretty picture, but those benefits do not outweight the long list of negative environmental issues caused by total general beef consumption.

          Alexandra wrote on February 18th, 2016
      • Do read the book I referenced, Defending Beef and listen to the TED talk before spouting out the same misinformed arguments that I’ve already heard.

        Becky D wrote on February 18th, 2016
        • I cant keep quiet about the issue because it’s upsetting how many people are mislead by biased documentaries these days.

          You say I am misinformed? I base my knowledge off of years of schooling and research of environmental sustainability. Are you basing your knowledge off of a book written by a lawyer and a ted talk from a biologist who killed 40,000 elephants?

          There is very little scientific evidence to support Savory’s claims in the ted Talk. Yet again, his claims and calculations are are not published data. In fact, Many legitimate studies show that there is no significant increase in soil carbon over time with his methods specifically. His claims are beyond questionable.

          Cows eat 18,000,000 calories a day. Look at the before and after photos in the video. Do you think a barren desert can provide huge cattle herds with enough food to thrive? No. Their diets must be supplemented. They need water.

          Carbon sequestration diminishes over time. It is argued that the methane produced from all those cows outweighs the benefits of temporary carbon sequestration. (Methane is about 25 times more effective at trapping heat than CO2). Savory’s methods are not sustainable anyway.

          Savory is wrong about plants’ need for grazing animals. Plants do not need grazing animals to thrive. Take New Zealand for example: biodiversity is abundant without any native mammals besides bats and marine species. Grasslands thrive there.

          Thank you for the suggestion, but I have already seen the ted talk. I consider myself educuated enough to look past persuasive statistics pulled out of thin air and prevent myself from being swayed by those infamous before and after pictures alone. Why don’t you educate yourself with some research and studies that are based on real scientific data? Maybe watch one of the many videos out there that debunk Savory’s claims and suggest real sustainable solutions to get a different perspective.

          I suggest researching changing rain patterns to provide some insight into these serious environment issues.

          There are at least 2 sides to every argument. the argument of animal agriculture destroying the environment is barely even an argument these days as 80% of deforested land in the amazon rain forest is used for cattle grazing or growing their food. yes there are less wild ruminants on the planet now, but we don’t need anymore methane production.

          Most people are eating industry raised beef. Choosing rotational grazing grass fed beef is the lesser of two evils.

          Alexandra wrote on February 18th, 2016
        • I actually am one of those people who eats exclusively pasture-raised meat. I put my money where my mouth is.
          I tend not to base my opinions off a couple sources or what I was spoon-fed in school. Want a few more conflicting opinions?
          Loren Cordain
          Robb Wolf (references University of California-Davis)
          Chris Kresser
          UK Soil Association
          IPCC
          Texas A&M
          Idaho State
          Planet-TECH
          Berkley

          The environmental lawyer I’m referencing has a deeper background than you’re boasting, not even having graduated yet, and is now a rancher raising exclusively pastured beef. You can get a degree in whatever you want, it doesn’t make you an authority in the field, experience and a track record does that.
          You say 80% of the deforestation of the Amazon is for grazing cows and producing feed? 70% of deforestation in that area is to grow soy (feed). If you’d looked at both sides of the argument you’d know that only 3% of beef consumed in the US is imported from countries that use feed grown in Brazil. Overall only 20% of beef consumed here is even imported. As I eat exclusively pasture-raised, the Amazon isn’t on my conscience.
          You’re more likely to impact Brazilian forests by drinking soy milk which does contain the soy grown in the areas deforested for crops.
          For New Zealand: it’s adaptation. As grasses in N. America adapted to selective pressures from grazing, grasses in New Zealand adapted differently.
          Methane? Methane is released from plant decomposition regardless of method. 29% comes from rice wetlands. A significant amount of animal produced methane comes from manure lagoons…not part of pasture raising. And “it’s argued” that carbon sequestration can more than combat the methane release.
          And carbon sequestration does have a time limit…of 100 years.

          Becky D wrote on February 19th, 2016
      • I wonder how much it costs letting a cow walk to her pasture, wander around and eat freely, then when time for slaughter, walk her to the slaughter house, bolt in the head then cut her into pieces perhaps drive in a truck to the butchers where the meat hangs on hooks
        VS:
        Using a machine to deforest, plow and fertilize land. use more machines to sow the crops. artificially water it all. use more machines to harvest and drive that all to some factory where more machines need to process that cr@p to be edible. Then use machines to package it all in a plastic bag that goes into a box, slap a “healthy grains” label on it, then shove it into a bigger box then onto a truck. Finally when this garbage is eaten, dispose of the box and plastic and either re-cycle or dump into some toxic landfill. Not to mention all the diseases consuming these “foods” cause.
        Now, what is the true cost here?

        70% of world’s grass lands ( it’s a lot of land! ) have become or are becoming deserts because of the lack of grazing animals. They can’t be used for mono crops or anything else other than feeding grazing animals that we could eat.
        How ever ecological, organic etc vegan food is grown, it is still processed to death, destroys top soil, kills and displaces billions of animals.

        Want to save the planet? eat more free range meat.

        jacob wrote on February 18th, 2016
  13. It’s time to stop talking about “carbon footprint”. Who cares?

    Man-made climate change. Does. Not. Exist. The climate has been changing since before humanity showed up on the Earth.

    Whether the climate is warming up or cooling down (and by the way, it hasn’t warmed since 1998 and is now in the process of getting colder), 99.9% of climate change is driven by this big ball in the sky called the Sun.

    I’m all for diminishing pollution, but CO2 isn’t a pollutant and it isn’t a threat. Just ask the trees.

    Primal people need to sound smarter than average. Carbon footprint talk makes one sound stupid.

    Freelancelot wrote on February 18th, 2016
    • Seems I hit a nerve. I used to have the same inflammatory reaction to people mentioning global warming after I read the literature as well, then I realized it was more worth while to change perception of beef as bad for the environment than to debate if man made climate change was a thing or not. Apologies, I should have said “greenhouse gas emissions” though that does have a similar connotation. I was using the colloquial phrase “global warming” as that’s what’s generally lobbed at me.
      Check out the book I referenced, she’s got a great point on beneficial CO2 release.

      Becky Davis wrote on February 18th, 2016
  14. Great article. I would add that we eat fat. And animal liver, hearts, cartilage, bone marrow, skin, etc… These are great sources of calories and nutrition that most of the population discards.

    Denver wrote on February 18th, 2016
  15. I love this! Both taking care of the plenty and ourselves is near and dear to me! It’s funny how many “Christians” ignore that the first command in the Bible is actually to have dominion over the earth – aka take care of our environment.

    It’s no coincidence that eating right and taking care of our planet align so easily – it’s all just a part of doing right!

    Joshua Noel wrote on February 18th, 2016
  16. Exactly the sort of thing we need to help fight off the hordes of people trying to tell us that this lifestyle isn’t sustainable. It’s far MORE sustainable than people think it is… we wouldn’t have survived as a species this long if it weren’t, I’d think.

    Jamie Fellrath wrote on February 18th, 2016
  17. In your original post, there was a small, but misleading statement that could result in confusion. After the grass is eaten, the roots do not die, but, rather, “die back” to remain in relative proportion to the remaining grass plant.

    If the roots were to die, the grass would not grow back, but would have to be replanted.

    That’s an important distinction.

    Emery Mitchamore wrote on February 18th, 2016
  18. Gustavo Woltmann loves the paleo lifestyle! This is a great blog!- Gustavo Woltmann

    G Woltmann wrote on February 19th, 2016
  19. I’m doing a lot of research at present on ways to reduce plastic use in our everyday lives. There are more and more blogs and companies hopping on board with this common goal. Even some of the online meat suppliers are using environmentally friendly packaging. I see opportunities on the horizon for an increased number of products and businesses following this model. The situation with plastic is depressing and can’t be fixed overnight, but we can vote with our dollars in areas that we do have choices.

    Laura wrote on February 19th, 2016
  20. I’m 100% on board with reducing plastic use. However, after traveling to Mexico, Belize, Jamaica, Chile, and Vietnam, I would venture to say the majority of the problem stems not from our technologically sound landfills but third world sanitation efforts. Halong bay was absolutely disgusting.

    Snake Plissken wrote on February 23rd, 2016

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