7 Apr 2009

Sickly UnWild: Shepard, Coming Home to the Pleistocene, Ch.8, subsection 3

Paul Shepard

Coming Home to the Pleistocene

Chapter VIII: Wildness and Wilderness

Subsection 3

Sickly UnWild

To recover our primordiality, we could return to Pleistocene ways of life. Our bodies and minds have been shaped genetically by our original natural landscape. Our optimum environment would then be something like the African savanna.

We recently have become more aware of our genome. Now we accept its central role in human life.
Our hereditary integrity is a reflection of a deep past that continues in us. Our health in the broadest sense depends on it. As we begin to see organic dysfunction and disease as the misfitting of our genome to contemporary environments that we have created, we move away from the notion of war against natural process and against wildness. We are Pleistocene hominids keyed with infinite exactitude to small-group, omnivorous life in forest/plains edges of the wilderness. (136-137)
Many of us suffer from diets not fitting to our genes.
We face decrepitude of body and spirit caused by sedentism, the psychoses of overdense populations, failed ontogenies, and cosmologies that yield havoc because they demand control over, rather than compliance with, the wild world -- cosmologies based on the centralized model of the barnyard. (137b)
Recently humanity has pushed for health awareness and improvement. We feel alienated from our natural way of life.
Most of us remain unaware that the remote world of the "ice ages" is where the criteria were established that determine whether our medical therapies are successful and whether we truly understand what recovery means. (137b)

Shepard, Paul. Coming Home to the Pleistocene. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1998.

No comments:

Post a Comment