Friday, January 21, 2011

In Praise Of The Ungulate - A Primal Perspective

"un·gu·late (un'gyoo-lit) [L., unguis, a hoof; -atus suffix meaning provided with]

NOUN: a mammal having hooves"

 Adopting a paleo WOE last year I have come to appreciate, no, worship the glorious Ungulate. My personal belief is that red meat is not the dietary Satan but is, in fact, a gift from Heaven. Our species has evolved alongside ungulates and true to the predator/prey relationship we are interdependant upon each other. In fact the pursuit of hoofed prey may well have been the deciding evolutionary trigger that evolved  our species;

  "...hunting was what had turned (man) apes into people, and man's need to become an ever more efficient hunter had governed the whole course of human evolution until the invention of agriculture."
                                                                                                                    Matt Cartmill
  How else do we explain the paleolithic cave paintings that revere and celebrate the noble beast to almost a divine stature?

I think even prehistoric man understood the potential symbiotic relationship between mankind and ungulates well before we domesticated  livestock. Through their cave art we see how important the ungulate species were to early man and how they respected their prey for the life giving food they provided.

Somewhere there are legions of vegans writhing in agony and/or disgust but since acknowledging my predisposition for animal foodstuffs and a more primal (simple) way of eating I feel better, stronger and far healthier than any time in the past 47 years.I gotta tell you in all honesty I have lost weight yet gained muscle, resolved my scalp and skin issues(acne, dryness), eliminated/ limited my joint and muscle pain and, in terms of fitness, experienced my best season of athletics while training less . All after 11 months of following a low carb Paleo/Primal way of eating less the sugars,sodium, grains, legumes, unfermented dairy and processed fast foods of the typical Western Diet.

 That said I do have some issues with industrial farming/animal husbandry methods so have choosen to support  local producers as much as possible when purchasing grass fed meats, free range eggs and produce. Perhaps we need to return to the reverance shown by our ancestors and respect anew the wonderful ungulates through traditional farming practices. In fact the best way to renew nutrient deficient soil is through the re- introduction of herds of free range cattle and other ungulates. They are an integral part of maintaining an enviromental balance thrown asunder by industrial agriculture and the alarming loss of top soil.

 So in celebration of the ungulate I enjoyed a steak for supper, garnished with onions and mushrooms(speaking of symbiotic relationships) and a glass of Cabinet Savignon.

Last bite of beef

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