Hunter Gatherer

Brimming with ideas and a fascinating read. STEVEN PINKER, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

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Notes, Bibliography, Errata

Most health and diet books are poorly referenced. In the spirit of open source, I am releasing my complete Notes below, along with links to un-gated sources where available. Additional citations that did not appear in the published book are in orange. You can also download my original Bibliography. I encourage anyone to contact me with any errors they may find in the text, which I will publish here under Errata and correct in future printings.



    Chapter 1. Becoming the Caveman

    1 My first ever TV appearance John Durant, interview by Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, February 3, 2010. (accessed December 21, 2012).

    3 “Nothing in biology makes sense except” Dobzhansky, 1973.

    3 an innate fear of snakes Öhman & Mineka, 2001.

    3 Evolutionary psychology can also explain some of our moral intuitions Lieberman, Tooby, and Cosmides, 2003.

    5 a twenty-six-page essay by Dr. Art De Vany A. De Vany, “Evolutionary Fitness,” December 11, 2000. It is no longer available on his website:

    6 The general mismatch hypothesis With respect to nutrition, see Eaton and Konner, 1985.

    10 a feature on our group J. Goldstein, “The New Age Caveman and the City,” New York Times, January 8, 2010.

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    Part One: Origins

    13 Origins The name for Part One comes from Kelly, 2010.

    Chapter 2. Know Thy Species (Animal Age)

    15 530 million years ago The date of the Cambrian Explosion, the rapid appearance (on a geological scale) of most animal phyla in the fossil record. Valentine, Jablonski, and Erwin, 1999.

    16 his actual name is Mokolo “Gorillas Go Green: Apes Shed Pounds While Doubling Calories on Leafy Diet, Researcher Finds,” ScienceDaily, February 21, 2011. (accessed December 16, 2012).

    16 fed according to the official guidelines National Research Council, 2003.

    16 the number one killer of male gorillas in captivity Meehan and Lowenstine, 1994.

    16 the number one killer of male humans in civilization World Health Organization, 2012.

    16 Median life expectancy for male gorillas in zoos Kristen Lukas, personal communication, July 9, 2012.

    17 her dissertation on body fat and obesity in captive gorillas Less, 2012.

    17 Gorilla Species Survival Plan The Gorilla SSP home page can be found here (accessed December 15, 2012).

    19 cholesterol levels tend to be higher among captive gorillas Schmidt et al., 2006.

    22 Gorilla “Diets” Cousins, 1976.

    22 loaves of bread, candy, and even alcohol Hancocks, 2001, pp. 1, 55.

    25 things got worse before they got better Coe, 1995.

    25 inaugural games of the Roman Colosseum See Dio’s description here (accessed December 23, 2012). Dio, 1925, book 66, par. 25.

    25 “The creatures have a rank smell” J. Stuart, “The Polar Bear Who Lived at the Tower. . . Along with a Grumpy Lion and a Baboon Who Threw Cannon Balls: Britain’s First (and Most Bizarre) Zoo,” Daily Mail Online, September 21, 2010. (accessed December 21, 2012).

    26 In the 1850s a gorilla could expect to live about six months in captivity Jon Coe, personal communication, February 21, 2011.

    26 chronic ailments came to the fore Kitchener and Macdonald, 2005.

    27 antidepressants J. Laidman, “Zoos Using Drugs to Help Manage Anxious Animals,” Toledo Blade, September 12, 2005.

    27 A 2001 survey of U.S. and Canadian zoos Murphy and Mufson, 2001.

    27 In 1978 Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo opened its new gorilla habitat To appreciate the revolutionary shift to landscape immersion, see Hancocks, 2001, pp. 111–48.

    27 the gorillas had chronic diarrhea, but it went away Jon Coe, personal communication, February 21, 2011.

    27 “Know thy species” comes from Dr. Jonas Salk Salk, 1972, p. 102.

    FURTHER READING David Hancocks is the former director of Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, and his lucid book is the single best treatment of the past, present, and future of zoos: Hancocks, 2001, A Different Nature. Just another metaphysical vision quest with a telepathic gorilla: Quinn (1995), 295 Ishmael. This book explores the concept of civilization as a zoo: Morris (2009), The Human Zoo. A textbook on the management of zoo animals: Hosey, Melfi, and Pankhurst (2009), Zoo Animals. A textbook on evolution and animal behavior: Alcock (2009), Animal Behavior.

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    Chapter 3. Rise and Fall (Paleolithic Age)

    29 2.6 million years ago The date of the earliest stone tools (Oldowan), which were found in East Africa. Roche, Blumenschine, and Shea, 2009.

    31 brain size more than doubled Lee and Wolpoff, 2003.

    31 endurance running Bramble and Lieberman, 2004.

    31 bones that bear the distinct markings of an animal having been butchered Semaw, 2000.

    31 Changes in diet played an important role Leonard et al., 2003.

    31 2% of our body mass but consumes roughly 20% of our energy Mink, Blumenschine, and Adams, 1981.

    32 the role of cooking on the expansion of the brain Wrangham, 2010.

    32 The earliest evidence of cooking “Million-year-old Ash Hints at Origins of Cooking,” Nature News, April 2, 2012.(accessed December 23, 2012).

    32 energy constraints on brain size Fonseca-Azevedo and Herculano-Houzel, 2012.

    34 Evolution hasn’t stopped Hawks et al., 2007.

    36 “what happened to the early farmers who started eating a starchier diet” Larsen, 1995.

    36 “Smaller jaws” Von Cramon-Taubadel, 2011.

    37 Early farming populations lost as much as five inches of height Mummert et al., 2011.

    37 “Contemporary hunter-gatherers regularly live well into their sixties and seventies” Gurven and Kaplan, 2007.

    37 a longer childhood before puberty Kaplan et al., 2000.

    37 life expectancy initially dropped after the Agricultural Revolution Galor and Moav, 2007.

    40 “from a distance they look like giants” Vaca, 1993, p. 44.

    41 what an ancestral human lifestyle might have looked like For a good summary of the ethnographic record on hunter-gatherers (and references to more in-depth treatments), see Marlowe, 2005.

    42 Cancer was less common It’s hard to ascertain cancer incidence in the Paleolithic, but there are good reasons to think it was lower. Given the importance of infectious agents in causing cancer and the increase in infectious disease during the Agricultural Revolution, it’s highly likely that cancer became more prevalent too. Also, cancers of the female reproductive system (breast, endometrium, ovary) have been tied to modern lifestyle changes. For example, see Eaton et al., 1994.

    42 considerable violence Pinker, 2011, pp. 36–58.

    43 urban farmers eating plant-based diets I am not in a position to assess Gnostic or anagrammatic interpretations of the Bible, but I found Hatfield’s analysis of biblical diets to be thought-provoking: Hatfield, 2009, pp. 23–29.

    FURTHER READING See Lieberman (2013), The Story of the Human Body Chapter

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    Chapter 4. Moses the Microbiologist (Agricultural Age)

    44 Moses the Microbiologist This chapter title comes from Hart, 2007, p. 54.

    44 8,000 b.c. The approximate date of the earliest continuously inhabited city, Jericho. Though settled by pre-agricultural Natufians even earlier, farmers started living there around 8350 b.c.; see Bar-Yosef, 1986.

    46 Pathogens are responsible for far more health conditions than is generally appreciated Cochran, Ewald, and Cochran, 2000.

    46 at least one in six cases of cancer De Martel et al., 2012.

    46 a major risk factor for schizophrenia Brown, 2008.

    46 it starts out virulent then becomes less dangerous over time On factors that influence virulence of infectious diseases, see Ewald, 1994.

    47 spices have antimicrobial properties Billing and Sherman, 1998.

    47 meat dishes tend to call for more spices than do vegetable dishes Sherman and Hash, 2001.

    47 “toothbrushes” Hyson, 2003.

    50 “Cleanliness is next to godliness” In a 1791 sermon called “On Dress,” Protestant pastor John Wesley said, “Cleanliness is, indeed, next to godliness.” The phrase is often mistakenly presumed to appear in the Bible, but it likely derives from a passage in the Talmud by Rabbi Phinehas ben Yair (Abodah Zarah 20b: 10-12): (accessed December 11, 2012).

    51 a generalized obsession with potential routes of infection Curtis and Biran, 2001.

    52 cannibalism Diamond, 2000.

    52 inflated the lungs and submerged them in water to look for any leaks—a telltale sign of tuberculosis Hart, 2007, pp. 67–68, 143–72.

    53 a valuable service in the local ecology: devouring common 297 carriers of disease I found Ben Hobrink’s book on science in the Bible to be insightful, particularly the chapters on the ecological logic of kashrut (though I do not agree with all his examples or conclusions). See Hobrink, 2011, chapter 4.

    54 borrowed from Zoroastrianism, or vice versa Noting that biblical scholarship has advanced over the past century, see the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia’s entry on Zoroastrianism, particularly “Resemblances Between Zoroastrianism and Judaism.” Found online at (accessed December 23, 2012).

    55 they may carry a greater disease risk More than eight hundred years ago Maimonides believed that there were health reasons for avoiding pork. For a more modern take on the issue, I recommend Paul Jaminet’s three-part series on the relationship between pork consumption and liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, multiple sclerosis, and hepatitis see P. Jaminet, “Pork: Did Leviticus 11:7 Have It Right?”, February 8, 2012. (accessed December 12, 2012).

    55 Anthropologist Dr. Marvin Harris Harris, 1998, p. 71.

    57 The Nobel-worthy commandment to wash your hands Allegranzi et al., 2009. Table 1 contains a list of hand washing practices in religions around the world. It’s worth noting that such cultures often develop customs of washing their hands in more circumstances than explicitly called for in Scripture.

    57 washing without soap is better than nothing Burton et al., 2011. See also Luby et al., 2011.

    57 Jews have been avid bathers for millennia The Essenes, an ancient sect of Judaism, were building ritual baths (mikveh) in the second century b.c. and were probably bathing in streams for far longer. Taylor, 2004.

    58 All Jews had to come clean, so to speak, on the Sabbath The Essenes took cleanliness seriously. According to Taylor, the Jewish historian “Josephus writes that the Essenes do not defecate on the Sabbath.” Quoted in Taylor, 2004.

    59 Parsis The similarity between the Parsis and the Jews was noted as early as 1563. The Portuguese physician Garcia de Orta wrote, “We Portuguese call them Jews, but they are not so. They are Gentios who came from Persia.” De Orta should know: he was Jewish. Orta, 1903, pp. 445–46. Cochran, Hardy, and Harpending’s paper on Ashkenazi IQ also contains a paragraph on similarities between Jews and Parsis: Cochran, Hardy, and Harpending, 2006.

    59 India India arrived at a different solution to infectious disease: the caste system. India’s lowest caste is known as the Untouchables, a social class whose members performed unclean jobs, such as waste disposal, butchering, tanning hides, and burying corpses. Everyone from higher castes treated Untouchables as literally untouchable—and if they did come in contact with an Untouchable they had to wash thoroughly. Untouchables had to drink from different wells and live in different parts of the city. They were treated as contagious. Given the nature of their professions, they probably were more likely to be ill or carriers of infection. Similar “untouchable” castes existed throughout South Asia, Japan, and parts of Africa. The growth of these societies may have depended on social stratification. The Untouchables were immuno-slaves, acting as a biological bulwark against infectious disease. For evidence that different castes have different genetic signatures in relation to immune function, see Pitchappan, 2002.

    60 fingernails trimmed to less than a quarter of an inch Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002, p. 33 (Recommendation 6B).

    60 gonorrhea can cause infertility Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012a (accessed November 7, 2012).

    60 more permissive sexual practices began to emerge in the late 1950s, soon after the discovery of penicillin in 1943 Francis, 2013.

    61 sex between men Diep et al., 2008. Also see Bolan, Sparling, and Wasserheit, 2012.

    61 bestiality Zequi et al., 2012.

    61 Jewish women have particularly low rates of cervical cancer Menczer, 2003.

    61 common among prostitutes Wattleworth, 2011.

    61 some aspect of Jewish sexual practices Drain et al., 2006.

    61 a review of the costs and benefits of male circumcision American  Academy of Pediatrics, Task Force on Circumcision, 2012.

    64 Pope Clement VI tried to quell the massacres Byrne, 2008, p. 68.

    64 But what if the Jewish people actually were less afflicted by the Black Death? One of the infamous forced confessions came from Balavignus, a fourteenth-century Jewish physician from Strasbourg, France, who was subsequently executed. The forced confession itself is well documented, but I’ve also come across modern sources relating a backstory that I’ve been unable to corroborate. Supposedly, when the Black Death broke out, Balavignus led a cleanup of the Jewish ghetto and urged strict adherence to the Mosaic Law. The rats decided they’d rather live in the Christian part of town—and when Christians saw that

    299 Jews were dying less often, Balavignus was blamed. If anyone knows of historical sources that shed light on this story, I’d love to hear about it ( For the story, search online or see Atkinson, 1958, pp. 57–62.

    65 Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis Semmelweis, 1983.

    65 statistics on Jewish mortality rates Fishberg, 1901.

    65 “unprecedented tenacity of life” Fishberg, 1901

    66 New York City’s Lower East Side Dwork, 1981, pp. 1–40.

    66 mortality in the Jewish and Catholic population of Gibraltar Sawchuk, Tripp, and Melnychenko, 2012.

    FURTHER READING Much of the best biblical scholarship is written in German or Hebrew, languages that I don’t read. The most comprehensive text in English (that I know of) analyzing the scientific basis of rules found in the Bible and Talmud is Preuss (1978), Biblical and Talmudic Medicine. Also see the excellent bibliography (and content) in Hart (2007), The Healthy Jew. For a profile of Maurice Fishberg and his work, see the first chapter of Ostrer (2012), Legacy. Separately, for a discussion of Ashkenazi Jewish intelligence, see chapter 7 of Cochran and Harpending (2010), The 10,000 Year Explosion. Prior to the time period discussed, I would argue that a scientifically sound hygiene code gave Jews (and Parsis) an initial advantage in urban, commercial, and dirty professions. On the relationship between infectious disease and religion, see the many interesting papers by Randy Thornhill and Corey Fincher, such as Fincher and Thornhill, 2012, “Parasite-stress Promotes In-group Assortative Sociality: The Cases of Strong Family Ties and Heightened Religiosity.”

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    Chapter 5. Homo Invictus (Industrial Age)

    68 1769 The date of James Watt’s patent on a dramatically improved steam engine that would power the Industrial Revolution. His last name would become the standard unit of power: the watt.

    68 James Glaisher and Henry Coxwell Coxwell, 1889, pp. 130–50.

    71 During the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763) Available online at (accessed December 23, 2012). “Scurvy.” 1892, Chamber’s Encyclopaedia: a Dictionary of Universal Knowledge, W. & R. Chambers: 270.

    73 “not a man escaped the repeated attacks of rheumatism and cold” U.S. Navy, 1999, pp. 1–6.

    74 large amounts of refined sugar in their diet Sheridan, 1974, pp. 18–35.

    74 “In London, mostly 1800 onwards, they have absolutely dreadful teeth” Gibbons2012-An_Evolutionary_Theory_of_Dentistry

    74 the first popular “diet book” Banting, 1863.

    75 rickets, an “absolutely new disease” Dunn, 1998.

    76 supplemental oxygen systems weighing twenty-two pounds Windsor, McMorrow, and Rodway, 2008.

    77 Worries include “low sensory input, lack of motivation” Shuttle-Mir Background—Long-Duration Spaceflight,” NASA, April 4, 2004.(accessed December 16, 2012).

    78 If one had to categorize all these habitat features My approach to categorizing habitat features was inspired by Nassim Taleb’s afterword to De Vany, 2010, pp. 148–57.

    82 “the ability to perceive meaning in seemingly random events” Suedfeld1987-Extreme_and_unusual_environments

    82 “Homo Invictus” Suedfeld and Henley, 2012.

    FURTHER READING A NASA adviser synthesizes lessons from interviews with polar personnel and astronauts, debriefing reports, explorers’ diaries and ships’ logs, and historical accounts of expeditions: Stuster (2011), Bold Endeavors. Also see Suedfeld (1987), “Suedfeld1987-Extreme_and_unusual_environments.pdf

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    Chapter 6. Biohackers (Information Age)

    84 1946 The date of the unveiling of ENIAC, a giant computer used by the U.S. military to calculate artillery firing tables. Digital age historian George Dyson says, “It is impossible to predict where the digital universe is going, but it is possible to understand how it began. The origin of the first fully electronic random-access storage matrix, and the propagation of the codes that it engendered, is as close to a point source as any approximation can get.” Dyson, 2012, pp. ix–xi.

    84 “We have found the secret of life” I. Noble, “‘Secret of Life’ Discovery Turns 50,” BBC News, February 27, 2003. (accessed December 16, 2012).

    85 5,386 base pairs The original paper sequenced 5,375 base pairs: Sanger et al., 1977.

    85 “Human DNA is like a computer program” Gates, Myhrvold, and Rinearson, 1996, p. 228.

    85 biology is an information technology Hood and Galas, 2003.

    86 “To qualify as a hack” Levy, 2010, p. 8. For the origins of hacking at MIT and elsewhere, see pp. 3–106.

    86 “tools” On the differences between hackers and tools, see the webpage of Brian Harvey, University of California, Berkeley: (accessed May 4, 2013). Also, see Levy, 2010, p. 8.

    86 “a door opened to a world” The Mentor, “Hacker’s Manifesto,” Phrack 1 (7), September 25, 1986. See online at: (accessed May 4, 2013).

    86 This hacker philosophy See Levy, 2010, pp. 23–32.

    87 “Move fast and break things” See “Mark Zuckerberg’s Letter to Investors: ‘The Hacker Way,’” online at: (accessed May 4, 2013).

    87 Coca-Cola was originally concocted H. Edwards, “6 Hugely Successful Products Originally Invented for Something Else,” Mental Floss, January 26, 2012. (accessed May 4, 2013).

    87 Programmer Eric Raymond described Raymond, 2008. Available online at: (accessedMay 4, 2013).

    88 Paul Graham likes to invest in Levy, 2010, p. 392.

    88 Quantified Self See online at: (accessed May 4, 2013).

    89 “Science advances one funeral at a time” Planck doesn’t appear to have coined this exact phrase, but it’s derived from him: (accessed May 4, 2013).

    89 “Any living cell carries with it” Delbruck quoted in Hood and Galas, 2003.

    90 “Nature is a tinkerer, not an engineer” The point is made in Jacob, 1977.

    90 morning sickness has a biological function Flaxman and Sherman, 2008.

    91 “The hydraulic model” Pinker, 2003, p. 65.

    93 “information transfer in living material” “The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1962: Francis Crick, James Watson, Maurice Wilkins.” (accessed December 16, 2012).

    FURTHER READING On the history and philosophy of hackers, see Levy, 2010, and Raymond, 2008. For a history of the Information Age, see Dyson, 2012. On the future of technology, see Kelly, 2010.

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    Part Two: Here and Now


    Chapter 7. Food: The Conventional Wisdom

    97 “Convenience Store Diet” M. Park, “Twinkie Diet Helps Nutrition Professor Lose 27 Pounds,” CNN, November 8, 2010.  (accessed October 15, 2012).

    98 As science journalist Gary Taubes has written Taubes, 2010, pp. 80–86.

    99 even babies born on the early side of normal Noble et al., 2012.

    100 molecules that feed beneficial bacteria in the baby’s stomach Zhang et al., 2012.

    101 Dr. Oz Roizen and Oz, 2009.

    101 the Mayo Clinic Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2010.

    103 Cheez Whiz D. Hevesi, “Edwin Traisman, 91, Dies; Helped Create Iconic Foods,” New York Times, June 9, 2007.

    103 35.7% of adult Americans were obese Ogden et al., 2012.

    106 “calories in, calories out” “Three potato chips” comes from Taubes, 2010, p. 58. For an extended discussion on calories, see pp. 15–86.

    107 chaired by Senator George McGovern U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, 1977.

    107 the body needs cholesterol Lecerf and De Lorgeril, 2011.

    108 egg intake and cardiovascular disease Zazpe et al., 2011.

    108 statins Wierzbicki, Poston, and Ferro, 2003.

    108 Roughly 40% of fats in human breast milk are saturated Jensen, 1999.

    108 A recent Dutch study examined reports from three leading U.S. and European advisory committees Hoenselaar, 2012.

    109 a meta-analysis on the link between saturated fat and heart disease Siri-Tarino et al., 2010.

    109 French Paradox Ferrières, 2004.

    109 “Israeli Paradox” Yam, Eliraz, and Berry, 1996.

    109 a new study scares people about eating red meat Pan et al., 2012.

    111 McDonald’s cooked its French fries in beef tallow This paper gives the history of trans fats being adopted as a substitute for saturated fats, as well as CSPI’s role in the switch: Schleifer, 2012.

    113 chimpanzees, our closest primate relatives, eat some meat According to primatologist Craig Stanford, “[I]t seems clear that chimpanzees value fat above all else in the carcasses of their prey. We infer this from their preference for the brain and the bone marrow, two of the most fat-rich body parts” (Stanford, 2001, p. 152).

    113 By 2.6 million years ago Semaw, 2000.

    113 Stable isotope analyses of some Paleolithic hominin remains Katzenberg et al., 2010.

    113 Of contemporary hunter-gatherer societies studied, most have gotten more than 50% of their calories from animal products Cordain, 2007. Also see Kaplan et al., 2000.

    114 Of five major studies conducted on vegetarians Key et al., 1999.

    114 Mormons, who are similar except for eating meat, are also healthier For a few comparisons with Seventh-day Adventists, see Lyon and Nelson, 1979. For more on Mormon health, also see Enstrom and Breslow, 2008.

    114 lower bone mineral density Smith, 2006.

    114 consumption of animal protein has been shown to reduce osteoporosis and hip fractures Munger, Cerhan, and Chiu, 1999. Also see Promislow, 2002.

    114 more likely to lose their period (amenorrhea) or become temporarily infertile Griffith and Omar, 2003.

    114 The China Study Campbell, 2005.

    115 studies of contemporary herders show low rates of cardiovascular disease Little, 1989.

    116 What did that grandmother recognize as food? Cordain, 2007. See also Kaplan et al., 2000.

    116 only a handful of small, short clinical trials testing approximations of Paleolithic diets For example, see Jönsson et al., 2009; Jönsson et al., 2010; Osterdahl et al., 2008; Frassetto et al., 2009.

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    Chapter 8. Food: Principles for a Healthy Diet

    119 a 2012 study of the Hadza tribe in Tanzania Pontzer et al., 2012.

    120 A review of the diets of 229 foraging societies Cordain, 2007.

    120 In another study of nine contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes Kaplan et al., 2000.

    120 the Kitavans, a tribe of Pacific Islanders Lindeberg et al., 2003.

    121 cannibalism Diamond, 2000.

    122 10–20% of calories in the form of protein Bilsborough and Mann, 2006.

    122 Protein is the most satiating of the macronutrients Bertenshaw, Lluch, and Yeomans, 2008.

    123 the Inuit had very specific methods of dividing carcasses Stefansson, 1960, pp. 25–39.

    124 Eating nose to tail is the ultimate nutritional supplement Vucetich, Vucetich, and Peterson, 2011.

    125 Ancient culinary traditions Pollan’s book is a good source on ancient culinary traditions, though I don’t think his skepticism of meat is justified on health grounds: Pollan, 2009.

    126 humans have been boiling bones Wu et al., 2012.

    128 The blackened part of heavily cooked meat Daniel et al., 2011.

    129 “An egg is superior” For this verse in the Talmud, see (accessed December 14, 2012).

    129 the most nutritious part of the egg: the yolk C. Masterjohn, “The Incredible, Edible Egg Yolk,” July 2005. (accessed December 26, 2012).

    129 eating eggs has not been shown to cause cardiovascular disease Zazpe et al., 2011.

    129 When Inuit hunters kill a seal Borre, 1991. See also Stefansson, 1960, pp. 33, 104, 130.

    131 “As much as meat loves salt” D. L. Ashliman, “‘Love Like Salt’: Folktales of Types 923 and 510.” (accessed December 25, 2012).

    132 “the world’s oldest medicine” Johns, 1991.

    132 Geophagy Young, 2012.

    133 Despite all the hysteria over the sodium added to industrial food M. W. Moyer, “It’s Time to End the War on Salt,” Scientific American, July 2011.

    133 Avoid Industrial Foods, Sugars, and Seeds A more in-depth discussion of the scientific literature surrounding sugar, grains, legumes, and vegetable oils can be found here: Jaminet and Jaminet, 2012.

    134 Fructose For the most critical view of sugar, particularly fructose, see Robert Lustig’s popular lecture on the topic: “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.” (accessed December 28,2012).

    135 excessive omega-6 consumption has been associated with higher rates of obesity Dayton et al., 1966.

    135 mental illness Su et al., 2003.

    135 violence Hibbeln, Nieminen, and Lands, 2004.

    135 allergies, asthma Chilton et al., 2008.

    135 and cancer Lloyd et al., 2010.

    136 laboratory experiments on mice, diets excessively high in PUFAs You et al., 2005. See also Rivera et al., 2010.

    136 nearly 70% of global agricultural crops by weight Jaminet and Jaminet, 2012, p. 196.

    136 gut inflammation in over 80% of people Bernardo et al., 2007.

    136 lupus, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis Fasano, 2006.

    137 Consumption of wheat has been associated with . . . cardiovascular disease P. Jaminet, “The China Study: Evidence for the Perfect Health Diet.” July 9, 2010. (accessed December 28, 2012).

    137 and cancer Hoggan, 1997.

    137 female sheep that eat too many of certain pasture legumes Croker, Barbetti, and Adams, 2005. See also Adams, 1995.

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    Chapter 9. Fasting

    146 the Topeka Zoo had five overweight lions Altman, Gross, and Lowry, 2005.

    147 The !Kung Bushmen Thomas, 2007.

    148 The only food that they’ll stop to gather is honey Hill et al., 1987.

    149 Eastern Orthodox The statistics on Eastern Orthodox fasting were calculated from the official 2013 calendar ( in conjunction with rules stipulated here: (accessed December 23, 2012).

    150 air or spirit swallowing (fuqi) Eskildsen, 1998, p. 45.

    151 wild animals often just stop eating altogether when facing an acute infection Hart, 1988.

    151 Many pathogens are dependent on specific amino acids for their metabolism, such as tryptophan Brown et al., 1991.

    151 autophagy Rabinowitz and White, 2010.

    151 targeting “the biggest polluters” Hirota, Kang, and Kanki, 2012.

    151 a study of Kenyan children Wander, Shell-Duncan, and McDade, 2009.

    152 Studies on rabbits Kluger and Rothenburg, 1979.

    152 and hamsters Held et al., 2006.

    152 “we had healthier gums than ever before” Frankl, 2006, p. 30.

    152 This is not to say that all methods of religious fasting were equally effective This paper reviews fasting in Islam, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and the biblical Daniel Fast: Trepanowski and Bloomer, 2010. It’s easy to see how different fasting customs could produce different results.

    153 activating ancient starvation defenses Lee, Raffaghello, and Longo, 2012.

    153 In an intriguing 2008 study, two groups of mice Raffaghello et al., 2008.

    153 Additional work has shown that fasting kills tumor cells Lee et al., 2012.

    154 Uncontrolled case studies in ten human cancer patients Safdie et al., 2009.

    154 Mormons have notably lower rates of coronary artery disease Horne et al., 2008.

    154 A ketogenic diet Barañano and Hartman, 2008.

    156 Women should keep a closer eye on the effects of intermittent fasting This is an overview of the limited research that has been conducted on women and fasting: S. Ruper, “A Review of Female-Specific Responses to Fasting in the Literature,” June 4, 2012. (accessed December 23, 2012).

    158 fasting and food intake are also tied to circadian rhythm Fuller, Lu, and Saper, 2008.

    159 Argonne Anti–Jet Lag Diet Reynolds and Montgomery, 2002.

    159 Dr. Clifford Saper, a neuroscience researcher P. J. Skerrett, “A ‘Fast’ Solution to Jet Lag,” May 12, 2009 (accessed December 23, 2012).

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    Chapter 10. Movement

    164 Consider the Paraguayan Aché tribe O’Keefe et al., 2011.

    169 subsistence agriculture requires even higher levels of physical activity than foraging Pontzer et al., 2012.

    169 CrossFit was founded S. Cooperman, “Getting Fit, Even if It Kills You,New York Times, December 22, 2005.

    169 philosophy of fitness “What Is Fitness?” The Crossfit Journal, October 2002. (accessed December 15, 2012).

    175 the race we call the marathon R. James, “A Brief History of the Marathon,” Time, October 30, 2009. (accessed December 23, 2012).

    176 “Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, and Muddy Buddy” N. Heil, “American Gladiators,” Outside, November 30, 2011. (accessed October 30, 2012).

    177 MMA largely sprang out of the Gracie family T. P. Grant, “MMA Origins: The Gracie Era in the UFC,” Bloody Elbow, April 8, 2012. (accessedDecember 23, 2012).

    179 positioning yoga as a competitive sport S. Beck, “National Yoga Competition Tests Even the Audience,” New York Times, March 4, 2012.

    179 high-profile sex scandals W. J. Broad, “Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here,” New York Times, February 27, 2012.

    181 cheetah cubs practice on actual prey Caro and Hauser, 1992. I came across this work in a post by Dr. Peter Gray, an expert in play: (accessed December 23,2012).

    181 a re-introduction program: captive-born tamarins Stoinski and Beck, 2004.

    182 “But start to plan a playground for kids” Jon Coe, personal communication, February 21, 2011.

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    Chapter 11. Bipedalism: Stand, Walk, Run

    186 shaped the entire human body from head to toe Bramble and Lieberman, 2004.

    187 hunter-gatherer women traveled about 6 miles per day Marlowe,2005.

    187 the average American travels about 1.5 miles on foot each day O’Keefe et al., 2011.

    188 Scottish epidemiologist Dr. Jerry Morris Morris et al., 1953.

    188 “inactivity physiology” For an overview of inactivity physiology and specifics on lipoprotein lipase, see Hamilton, Hamilton, and Zderic,2007. For evidence that time spent sitting is harmful independent of vigorous exercise, see Healy et al., 2008. This Canadian study showed a dose response relationship between sitting and all-cause mortality, independent of vigorous activity: Katzmarzyk et al., 2009. For how physical inactivity may contribute to general inflammation and metabolic deterioration, see Pedersen, 2009.

    188 An Australian study showed that after every twenty minutes of sitting Dunstan et al., 2012.

    189 Dr. James Levine Levine et al., 2006.

    189 Video games and books also contain natural breaks T. Klosowski,“How Sitting All Day Is Damaging Your Body and How You Can Counteract It,” Lifehacker, January 26, 2012. (accessed December 23, 2012).

    190 Victor Hugo Nichol, 1893, p. 73.

    190 Nathaniel Hawthorne Bruce, 2010, pp. 168–170.

    190 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Ward, 1882, p. 459.

    190 Charles Dickens Slater, 2009, p. 290.

    191 Friedrich Nietzsche Nietzsche and Kaufmann, 1954, p. 471.

    191 Virginia Woolf Bruce, 2010, pp. 168–170.

    191 Ernest Hemingway Hemingway, 1917, p. 700.

    191 Vladimir Nabokov Harper, 2008, p. 32.

    191 August Wilson Bruce, 2010, pp. 168–170.

    191 Other upstanding citizens include For Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Lewis Carroll, E. B.White, and Philip Roth, see Bruce, 2010, pp. 168–170.

    191 Otto von Bismarck “Alike in summer and winter the Emperor rises early, and by five o’clock he is occupied at his standing desk. He examines all proposals laid before him, particularly such as relate to military or foreign affairs” (Fournier, 1896, p. 214).

    191 Richard Wagner “during composition he often paced to and fro,sometimes going to the grand piano in the next room to play single chords or phrases, which he then wrote down at his standing-desk” (Glasenapp and Ellis, 1908, p. 290).

    192 “However, I stand for 8–10 hours a day” “Memo from the Department of Defense Summarizing Approved Methods of Interrogation, with Annotation from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld,” NSA, December 2,2002. See here  (accessed December 23, 2012).

    192 Dr. Seth Roberts S. Roberts, “Effect of One-Legged Standing on Sleep,” March 22, 2011. (accessed December 24, 2012).

    194 “stands in a pair of his oversized loafers on the worn skin of a lesser kudu” This interview can also be read online Plimpton, 1958. (accessed December 23, 2012). 

    194 “If I sit down, I write a long opinion” Bruce, 2010, pp. 168–170.

    194 “a simple standing desk which would not have fetched more than two shillings” Boughton-Wilby, 1903, p. 585.

    194 The State Department displays one of Jefferson’s drafting desks The display on Jefferson’s desk reads: “This architectural style American table-desk is said to have been designed and used by Thomas Jefferson for drafting many important documents, possibly including portions of the Declaration of Independence. It was in his apartment at 7th and Market Streets, Philadelphia, 1775–1776” (“Thomas Jefferson’s Desk,” Washington,D.C.: The Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. Department of State).

    195 confident, strong posture Carney, Cuddy, and Yap, 2010.

    196 a third or more of runners sustain some sort of injury each year Van Gent et al., 2007.

    196 Running with a forefoot strike Lieberman et al., 2010.

    196 In a study of runners on the Harvard track team Daoud et al., 2012.

    197 “If barefoot running is a fad” Saxton and Wallack, 2011, p. 229.

    200 Shoes even change the very shape of our feet D’Aout et al., 2009.

    200 80% of women had a foot deformity Frey et al., 1993.

    201 wearing thin socks causes worse balance than going barefoot Shinohara and Gribble, 2009.

    202 Barefoot Horses Saxton and Wallack, 2011, pp. 48–49.

    203 “Though human ingenuity may make various inventions” Da Vinci, 1970, p. 126.

    FURTHER READING Howell, 2010, The Barefoot Book.

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    Chapter 12. Thermoregulation

    208 our ancestors lost their fur Rogers, Iltis, and Wooding, 2004.

    209 “In the sauna one must conduct himself” Aaland, 1978, p. 75.

    210 Sweat Baths Around the World Aaland’s book Sweat (1978) contains information on all major types of sweat bathing traditions listed in this sidebar. Much of the same information can be found on Aaland’s website: (accessed December 14, 2012).

    210 “Many Indians, men and women, stark naked” Aaland, 1978, p. 177.

    211 Mayan ruins dating to 2,500 years ago J. N. Wilford, “Before Rome’s Baths, There Was the Maya Sweat House,” New York Times, March 20, 2001.

    211 “the temazcalli is still so common” Groark, 1997.

    211 more than two million saunas “Statistics Finland: Housing,” Statistikcentralen. December 15, 2012).

    211 African sifutu Harrison, 2004, p. 63.

    211 Karo (Indonesian) oukup A. Gunawan, “‘Mandi Oukup’ Is More Than Just a Bath,” Jakarta Post, July 1, 2001.

    211 Indian swedana Douillard, 2004, pp. 281–86.

    211 Celtic teach alluis Killanin and Duignan, 1967, p. 311.

    212 Herodotus wrote about the use of sweat baths Herodotus, 1889,book IV, par. 73–75.

    212 Finnish women actually used to give birth in a sauna Pentikäinen,2001, p. 31.

    212 Russian women used to give birth in saunas too Aaland, 1978,p. 118.

    212 After childbirth, Mesoamerican women Groark, 2005.

    212 George Catlin described the “vapour bath” of the Mandan Catlin,1842, pp. 98–99.

    213 an intense cooling-off may be a more effective treatment Kukkonen-Harjula and Kauppinen, 2006.

    213 A study of winter swimmers found they were slower to shiver Vybíral et al., 2000.

    213 one study found reductions in the initial shock of entering cold water persisted Tipton, Mekjavic, and Eglin, 2000.

    214 “The idea is not to have the best sauna on the block” Aaland,1978, p. 17.

    214 few risks Kukkonen-Harjula and Kauppinen, 2006. See also Hannuksela and Ellahham, 2001.

    215 Tim Ferriss features a story about Ray Cronise Ferriss, 2010,pp. 122–27.

    216 starvation victims have lower than normal body temperatures Keys et al., 1950.

    218 a fever is a natural immune response to infection Nesse and Williams, 2012, pp. 27–29. See also Kluger, 1986.

    218 Dr. Matthew Kluger infected thirteen iguanas with bacteria Bernheim and Kluger, 1976a.

    218 When he injected more iguanas with bacteria and gave them a fever suppressant Bernheim and Kluger, 1976b.

    218 an inverse relationship between fever and mortality Kluger et al.,1998.

    218 people with aquariums have long used the trick of heating up their tanks Haname, “Using Heat to Treat Ich in Freshwater Tropical Fish.” (accessed December 13,2012).

    218 “Give me a chance to create a fever” American Cancer Society, 2012a.

    218 Dr. Julius Wagner-Jauregg “The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1927: Julius Wagner-Jauregg,” (accessed December 15, 2012).

    218 take about a day longer to recover from chicken pox Doran et al.,1989.

    218 the common cold lasts about a day longer too Sugimura et al., 1994.

    219 one in six cases of cancer are caused by infection De Martel et al.,2012.

    219 a field called immunotherapy American Cancer Society, 2012b.

    219 “We have listened to nature” Cann, Van Netten, and Van Netten,2003.

    FURTHER READING Gluckman, Beedle, and Hanson, 2009. See also Nesse and Williams, 2012.

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    Chapter 13. Sunrise, Sunset

    222 phytoplankton and zooplankton Holick, Holick, and Guillard,1982.

    222 This meant eating calcium-rich plants Holick, 1989.

    222 Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo celebrated the birth of Kimani See the introduction of Holick, 2010.

    223 42% of Americans were deficient Forrest and Stuhldreher, 2011.

    223 our hominin ancestors had a thick layer of black hair Jablonski,2004.

    224 An analysis of the genes controlling skin pigmentation Rogers, Iltis, and Wooding, 2004.

    224 Razib Khan pointed out Khan and Khan, 2010.

    225 Many studies indicate that vitamin D protects against internal cancers Garland et al., 2006; Holick, 2004; Giovannucci et al., 2008.

    225 the immune system’s ability to mount a response to microbial infections Liu et al., 2006.

    226 there’s more UVa in sunlight than UVb Kollias, Ruvolo, and Sayre,2011.

    227 The most deadly cancers were Siegel et al., 2011.

    228 the genetic mutations associated with UV damage Curtin et al.,2005.

    228 The strongest risk factor for developing melanoma Lazovich et al.,2010.

    228 “red-headed” mice developed malignant melanomas Mitra et al.,2012.

    228 scientific evidence that tanning bed usage caused melanoma Lazovich et al., 2010.

    229 now it’s officially a carcinogen El Ghissassi, Baan, and Straif, 2009.

    229 deaths due to drowning Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012c.

    232 Dr. Jerome Siegel Siegel, 2012.

    233 Among hunter-gatherers, sleep patterns are quite a bit different J. Warren, “How to Sleep Like a Hunter-Gatherer,” Discover, December, 2007.

    233 “segmented sleep” Ekirch, 2005, pp. 300–323.

    235 When humans interbred with Neanderthals Sankararaman et al.,2012.

    235 some arctic species, such as reindeer, have a weaker circadian rhythm Van Oort et al., 2005. See also Lu et al., 2010.

    235 a third of Americans are chronically sleep-deprived Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012b.

    235 Sleep is one of the most challenging aspects Stuster, 2011,pp. 44–55.

    236 NASA advised the rescue effort R. Wright, “NASA Chilean Miners Rescue Oral History Project: Interview with Albert W. Holland,” NASA, April 25, 2011. (accessed December 16, 2012).

    237 jet lag Vosko, Colwell, and Avidan, 2010.

    237 “free-running” Stuster, 2011, p. 47.

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    Part Three: Visions


    Chapter 14. Hunter

    241 Hunting and fishing are in a decades long decline D. Nelson, “The Vanishing Hunter Part I: Hunting Participation in Long-Term Retreat,” Delta Waterfowl Magazine, Spring 2008. (accessed December 21, 2012).See also Leonard, 2007.

    242 Essays . . . about how hunting is the next big thing For example,see: Garner, D. “A New Breed of Hunter Shoots, Eats and Tells,” New York Times, October 1, 2012.

    242 The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting Deer for Food Landers, 2011.

    243 “When food runs low it is infant mortality among deer that usually runs high” Jackson Landers, personal communication, April 7, 2011.

    243 Even when abandoned fawns are found, rehabilitated, and released This study showed particularly high mortality rates among captured fawns that were released back into the wild in Missouri: Beringeret al., 2004. Those that survived tended to live near human settlements.

    243 the least painful way for a deer to die In this Pennsylvania study,218 deer fawns were captured, radio tagged, and monitored. Roughly half died over the following thirty-four weeks. The top causes of death were predation (46.2%, mostly from black bears and coyotes) and natural causes excluding predation (27.4%, mostly starvation and disease). Human-related causes of death (vehicles, hunting) constituted the bulk of the rest. Vreeland, Diefenbach, and Wallingford, 2004.

    244 even PETA . . . argued for the re-legalization of horse slaughtering P. Jonsson, “Lifting Horse Slaughter Ban: Why PETA Says It’s a Good Idea,” Christian Science Monitor, November 30, 2011. (accessed December 13, 2012).

    245 Some conservationists have concerns about harvesting invasive species for food Nuñez et al., 2012.

    246 Rise of the Invasivores Landers, 2012.

    246 Asian carp T. Lam, “Carp Can Be Harvested—But Who Will Eat It?” Detroit Free Press, July 21, 2011.

    246 Feral pig L. W. Foderaro, “Wily, Elusive Foragers Invade Upstate New York,” New York Times, March 11, 2012.

    246 lion tacos R. Goldman, “Arizona Restaurant Scraps Lion Tacos from Menu,” ABC News, January 25, 2011. December 13, 2012).

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    Chapter 15. Gatherer

    258 factory farms are undeniably unpleasant and painful Menchet al., 2008.

    259 ground up alive “Chicken Culling.” Wikipedia. (accessed December 13, 2012).

    259 Disease is another problematic aspect of factory farming Silbergeld, Graham, and Price, 2008.

    259 nearly 20% of E. coli patients carried strains with multidrug resistance Pop-Vicas and D’Agata, 2005.

    259 the limited appeal of full-on vegetarianism K. Johnson, “Meatless Mondays Catch On, Even with Carnivores,” New York Times, June 16, 2011.

    260 Abstaining from animal products becomes a moralized act Rozin, Markwith, and Stoess, 1997.

    260 65 to 75% of vegetarians are female 74.2% female among completely or predominantly vegetarian (Germany, general population,1998–1999): Michalak, Zhang, and Jacobi, 2012; 72.5% female (Swedenand Norway, age 15–16, 2002): Larsson et al., 2002; about 77% female(Australia, teenagers, 1998): Worsley and Skrzypiec, 1998; about 65%female based on my own calculations from reported numbers (U.S.A.,general population, 2012): F. Newport, “In U.S., 5% Consider Themselves Vegetarian,” Gallup, July 26, 2012. (accessed December 13, 2012).

    261 which characteristics correlate with empathy toward animals Razib Khan, “Who Objects to Painful Tests on Animals?” July 13, 2012. (accessed December 16, 2012).

    261 a few masculine kale-loving “hegans” K. Pierce, “Men Leave Their Own Mark on Veganism,” Boston Globe, March 24, 2010.

    261 “intuitive microbiology” Pinker, 2003, p. 383.

    262 disgust is triggered by the same nine categories Rozin, Haidt, and McCauley, 2008.

    262 women have a much more sensitive disgust reflex than men Curtis, de Barra, and Aunger, 2011.

    262 “Pretend you are eating ‘perfect meat.’ Great” Freedman and Barnouin, 2005, pp. 78–79.

    263 Foods that are “gross” are so self-evidently unhealthy For just a few examples explicitly using the word “gross,” see Freedman and Barnouin, 2005, pp. 11, 64, 78, 120, 124.

    263 “a drug-stuffed, disease-ridden, shit-contaminated animal” Foer, 2009, p. 127.

    263 Jonathan Haidt describes the role of disgust Haidt, 2012.

    264 a harsh condemnation from the Anti-Defamation League “ADL Denounces PETA for Its ‘Holocaust on Your Plate’ Campaign; Calls Appeal for Jewish Community Support ‘The Height Of Chutzpah,’” February 24,2003. (accessed November 3, 2012).

    264 Vegetarianism was a popular plank of the Progressive Era’s“Clean Living Movement” Engs, 2003, p. 344.

    264 sexual mutilation Kellogg, 1891, pp. 295–96.

    264 eugenics Engs, 2001, pp. 137–49.

    265 Hitler the Vegetarian A. Frangos, “Carni-Fuhrer,” Slate, February 26, 2004. (accessed December 13, 2012).

    265 “well known that Hitler is a vegetarian” O. D. Tolischus, “Where Hitler Dreams and Plans,” New York Times, May 30, 1937.

    265 “He believes more than ever that meat-eating is harmful to humanity” Goebbels, 1948, p. 188.

    265 the most stringent animal welfare laws of its era Arluke, 1996,pp. 132–66.

    265 “corpse-eaters” (leichenfresser) Gilbert, 1947, p. 129.

    266 “a bible of the vegan community” K. Jesella, “The Carrot Some Vegans Deplore,” New York Times, March 27, 2008.

    266 “the dead body of a pony I had loved” Adams, 2010, p. 10.

    266 the dubious yet incendiary claim that meat-eating encourages rape That’s pretty much the thesis of the entire book, but see chapter 2,“The Rape of Animals, the Butchering of Women,” particularly the subsection “Sexual Violence and Meat Eating” in Adams, 2010, pp. 64–91.

    266 “If you had one girlfriend, you get twenty more” “Poison Takes Toll on Africa’s Lions,” CBS News, March 29, 2009. (accessed November 3, 2012).

    267 Pregnancy is a particularly risky time to eat a vegan diet The CDC cites a variety of studies on vitamin B12 deficiency ( For example, see Black, 2008.

    269 “insect fragments per 50 grams” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2011.

    271 PETA switched from boycotts to prizes People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, “PETA Offers $1 Million Reward to First to Make In Vitro Meat.” March 11, 2012).

    271 a landmark German study Michalak, Zhang, and Jacobi, 2012.

    273 the scientific definition of toxicity D. Gorski, “Fashionably Toxic,”May 23, 2011. (accessed December 21, 2012).

    276 an earthquake in China Smith, 1767, pp. 211–12.

    277 “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher” Smith, 1896, p. 15.

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    Conclusion: Habitats, Old and New

    279 “Why are they chained?” Jon Coe, personal communication, February 21, 2011.280 a long-running joke about the most dangerous animal in the zoo Hancocks, 2001, p. 138.

    280 “No one asked the penguins” Hancocks, 2001, p. 76.

    280 Penguin Beach D. Derbyshire, “London Zoo Unveils Lavish New£2m Pool for P-p-p-pampered Penguins,” Daily Mail Online, May 27, 2011. (accessed December 31, 2012).

    283 If everyone were to eat locally Desrochers and Shimizu, 2012.

    289 “We are as gods” Brand, 2009, p. 1.

    289 “The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time” G. Carlin,“Saving the Planet.” (accessed December 31,2012).

    290 Risen apes or fallen angels Those evocative terms, used in a different context, were originally used in Ardrey, 1963, p. 354.

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