1. Table of Contents
  2. About
  3. Solar Dispatch 1
  4. Schedule
  5. Let's Play A Game
  6. On Wildness
  7. The Intrinsic Taboo
  8. Domesticated Dogs, Domesticated Humans
  9. My, How You've Changed!
  10. ReWild Your Diet
  11. It's a MAD World
  12. ReWild Yourself! Podcast: Arthur Haines on the NeoAboriginal Revolution
  13. Take Back Your Responsibility
  14. Wild Woman Speaks
  15. ReWild Yourself!
  16. How Wolves Change Rivers
  17. Wiki Links Trail
  18. Rituals
  19. Your Neo-Aboriginal Challenge
  20. ReWilding Resources
  21. Would You Like to Contribute to the Next Dispatch?
Daniel Vitalis

The Intrinsic Taboo

ReWild Yourself! — Dispatch 1

The Intrinsic Taboo
ReWild Yourself! — Dispatch 1
Table of Contents Table of Contents Table of Contents Table of Contents
About

Welcome to Dispatch 1 of ReWild Yourself! This online magazine is designed to function as more than a source of information, entertainment, and education, it is a kind of natural solar calendar, and will be released in accordance with the eight significant earth/sun events throughout the following year. These are the Vernal Equinox, Beltane, Summer Solstice, Lammas, Autumn Equinox, Samhain, Winter Solstice, and Imbolc. This natural sine-wave rhythm of solar time was once the calendar that we humans lived our lives by, however today we are living on the Gregorian calendar, which is really an artifice, having no real correlate to the events of the natural world. Conversely, the natural solar calendar is based on real, observable solar/planetary events, and is therefore a significant part of ReWilding ourselves!

Within this edition you are likely to find an education like none you have ever received. It has taken me nearly two decades to uncover the information that informs the articles contained within — and it all started with a simple question; "what is the healthiest way for us to live?" 

This magazine is dedicated to the ReWilding lifestyle, which is — in its essence — a celebration of our natural selves. To access that natural self takes courage and some education, because our history — and the meaning of the last several thousand years of our existence — has been shrouded in taboo, misinformation, miseducation, and indoctrination. I present this information with the intent of empowering you to find more freedom than you may have access to now, and encouraging you to take steps towards shedding the many layers of external suppression and internal repression that have accumulated on and around your authentic self over the course of your lifetime — and even before you were born.

In Dispatch 1 we will be laying down the foundational education necessary to identify the nature of our predicament, and in the following Dispatches we will be going into greater detail on what can be done; how to address our situation, and what strategies and tactics we can use to begin reclaiming the health and personal sovereignty that is our natural birthright.

Thank you for reading, and may the contents of this Dispatch bring you closer to your wild, authentic self!


All writing in ReWild Yourself! is by Daniel Vitalis unless otherwise noted.

Daniel Vitalis is a Leading Health, Nutrition, and Personal Development Strategist.  Encouraging us to “ReWild Ourselves”, Daniel teaches that Invincible Health is produced by a life aligned with our biological design. His entertaining, motivational and magnetic delivery style has made him an in-demand public speaker in North America and abroad. He is the creator of FindASpring.com, a resource helping people find fresh, clean, wild water wherever they live, and the founder of SurThrival.com, a brand pioneering a lifestyle of vigorously healthily living. Daniel was recently featured in the widely acclaimed film “Hungry For Change”. He can be found at DanielVitalis.com, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Daniel Vitalis

Daniel Vitalis

Click here to read our disclaimer.



Solar Dispatch 1

ver·nal |ˈvər-nəl|

adj.

of, relating to, or occurring in the spring

equinox |ˈekwəˌnäks|

noun

the time or date (twice each year) at which the sun crosses the celestial equator, when day and night are of equal length

Today is the Vernal Equinox, and marks the official beginning of Spring. Although each day since the Winter Solstice has been growing longer in length, until now the 24-hour cycle has still been dominated by the darkness of night.

This day, the night will be in equal length to the day, which is of course from whence we derive the term equinox, composed as it is of “equi” meaning equal, and “nox” meaning night.

From this moment forward each day will grow in length until we reach the Summer Solstice — the longest day of the year, only then to see the cycle reverse itself once more, ad infinitum.*

It is interesting the way we resist this natural rhythm in our unnaturally civilized society. While all of the creation dances to the ebb and flow of this solar pulse, we in our little boxes still rise and fall to the gears of the clock. Civil time has no pulse, no throb, just a linear, unwavering ticking and tocking that orchestrates the lives of the stone-faced citizens, no more aware of this mechanized choreography than is an animatron. 

Nature has her own agenda, and it is quite independent of the square on our calendar containing the date, or the boxy little numbers displayed on our digital clocks. While we profess ourselves wise with the dials on our wrists, she measures time on the scale of stars, planets, and satellites. 

But this moment, this evenness of day and night, is a reminder that celestial events govern true time, that dates are not set by men but governed by suns. 

From this moment forward let us celebrate the lengthening of days and the coming of that easy, mirthful season of summer. Let's enjoy the sunshine and give thanks for the rain, expressing our gratitude for the seasons, and that great star that gifts light and life to our planet each day. 

*This description applies to the Northern Hemisphere, as the seasons are inverse in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Schedule

First Dispatch: Spring Equinox - The Intrinsic Taboo

March 20 - 2014

Second Dispatch: Beltane 

May 5 - 2014

Third Dispatch: Summer Solstice 

June 21 - 2014

Fourth Dispatch: Lammas 

August 7 - 2014

Fifth Dispatch: Autumnal Equinox 

September 22 - 2014

Sixth Dispatch: Samhain 

November 7 - 2014

Seventh Dispatch: Winter Solstice 

December 21 - 2014

Eighth Dispatch: Imbolc 

February 3  - 2015

Let's Play A Game

You — the reader — are cordially invited to participate in the following thought experiment. It begins with the premise that you have arrived at the rather far-flung, if not outright exotic decision to bring a wild ape — more specifically a West African chimpanzee — home with you, to live out its life in your own personally owned zoo.  

I know, this is a stretch...

All of the logistical arrangements have been made to bring the animal to you, leaving you with nothing more to do but decide how you will set up this animal's habitat and diet.  This leads you to the question, as well as the heart of our inquiry; how do you decide what kind of food and environment you will choose to maintain the health of this animal’s body and mind?

Lets start with the obvious...

Perhaps the first place to look would be the chimpanzee’s natural habitat, and by that I mean the environment that it is most adapted to. Whether we believe in a creation, an evolution, or some synthesis of the two, it would be difficult to describe the bodies and behaviors of wild living things as anything but miraculously suited — some would call this fit — for the place of their habitation. Each is a perfect reciprocal counterpart to the biospheric niche’s from which they originate. It seems a reasonable conclusion then, that the natural environment of our imaginary simian friend would become the template from which we base our zoo’s habitat design.  

Tree trunks and branches — to allow for the arboreal locomotion (a fun and scientific way to describe the way apes move through the forest canopy) — might feature prominently in our artificial habitat. These too would allow for nesting areas high above the ground, much like those in which chimpanzees naturally sleep.

Perhaps we would adorn our simulated landscape with plants that are found in habitats natural to the chimpanzee, as these would contain many phytochemical compounds to which the species has been exposed for countless generations, many of which, through ingestion, help to maintain their health. We might also regulate the light and temperature to replicate the rhythms to which this creature is so well adapted.

So too might we look to the wild chimpanzee for clues about what to feed our wild relative. A diet rich in tropical fruits, as it is with the wild form, would provide (at least in approximation) the foundational basis for the species-specific dietary needs of this primate.

Now the absurd...

You are now — just as cordially as before — invited to the sequel, that being the second portion of our thought experiment. Imagine our chimpanzee guest not in its wild home, nor in the artifice of habitat we’ve just designed to approximate that wild home, but rather in an environment akin to the one we have created for ourselves. Perhaps a hotel room is an amusing place to start, with its stuffy air, carpeted floors, and windows that do not open — and of course its layer upon layer of disinfectant spray (which has been  accumulating daily on its every accessible surface). Substitute highly processed, pesticide laden, genetically modified foods for its natural diet, with its enhanced, over-sufficiency of calories and its diminished or even altogether absent nutrients. Substitute bleached and fluoridated water for the clean flowing streams of its forest home. Wake it each morning with an alarm, stimulate it to function at peak mental activity for hours on end, and send it to bed each night in near mental and emotional exhaustion. Reduce its ability to express its natural physical capacities, removing any obstacles of interest, and restricting the rest of its body to spine curling chairs and spring-loaded beds. Remove it from natural sunlight and instead replace this with the dim ambiance of artificial lamps — whose light shines on well after the natural rhythmic cycle of daylight has ended. Dress it in clothing that further restricts the mobility of the joints of the hips and shoulders and cinch its abdomen in a belt that, even if slightly, restricts its abdominal breathing. Play endless loops of meaningless television sitcoms, complete with laugh-tracks, for its near constant entertainment (hypnosis?). Expose it daily to thousands of synthetic chemicals to which it has no biological history, including refined heavy metal isotopes, radiological waste, pesticides and other endocrine disrupting petrochemicals. Induce the stress of near-constant scarcity of — and fierce competition for — resources that are no longer freely available to forage, but instead must be slaved after. Should any health issues arise, simply medicate symptoms with synthetic pharmaceutical drugs until this or any expression of physical or emotional distress is muted. 

The outrageousness of the above paragraph is of course an exercise in the obvious.  What outcome would we expect to see in our primate prisoner? We would likely, if not assuredly, expect a decline in the overall health and emotional state of our little cousin.

You are an ape.

Homo sapiens sapiens is classified as the last extant member of the Homo genus of great apes. While we differ in many ways from the chimpanzee, no other animal so closely resembles us in appearance, in genetic make up, or in behavior as this, our closest relative. The astute will note that we have had many generations to adapt to the above changes in habitat, diet, and lifestyle, since the days of our wild existence just 6-10 thousand years ago. Yet, the question remains… have we?


On Wildness

Wild. The word is rich, evocative, fraught with meanings that evoke a spectrum of emotions, most of which are subterranean — primal feelings from deep in the recesses of the psyche. It is at once a negative term, bringing to mind unrestrained and even dangerous aspects of ourselves and our world, and yet at the same time it represents our innate impulses set free — if only for an evening — as in “that was a wild night”.

The word has implications deeper even than these, reaching back into the origins of civilization's existence, and reaching forward to the future of our species. Wild, as it is used here, is a biological term referring to the original state of every being born of nature.


Wild |wīld| 

adj.

living in a state of nature, not tamed or domesticated.

For the remainder of this treatise I will use the term as defined above, to refer to a thing in its natural state.

In order to better understand the meaning, perhaps it is wisdom to next define what wild is not, as indicated in the definition above.

Wild is not tamed.

Tame |tām|

adj.

changed from the wild or savage state; domesticated.

Wild is not domesticated.

Domesticate |dəˈmestiˌkāt|

adj.

1 to convert (animals, plants, etc.) to domestic uses; tame.

2 to tame (an animal) esp. by generations of breeding, to live in close association with human beings as a pet or work animal and usually creating a dependency so that the animal loses its ability to live in the wild.

3 to adapt (a plant) so as to be cultivated by and beneficial to human beings.

So we see that there exists a sort of dichotomy between what could be simplified as two types of organisms. Those that are “true to form” so to speak, and those that have been altered in their form (morphology) and function (behavior), and in particular, to suit the needs of human beings. Wildness as used here refers to the unaltered, natural state of a thing or a being. Those beings who have been domesticated then are a kind of biological artifact. I use this term very intentionally, as its meaning is crucial in the differentiation betwixt a natural thing and one shaped by human will.

Artifact |ˈärtəfakt|

noun

any object made by human beings, esp. with a view to subsequent use.

How then does a stone arrow head found in an ancestral archeological site differ from the flint substrate from which it was struck? The latter is simply a naturally occurring (one could say “wild”) stone, the other — despite its identical chemical composition — is an artifact. It is an object that "bears the mark of human will" upon it.

It is thusly clear that the dog and the cat, the sheep and the goat, the chicken and the cow are animal-artifacts, just as the apple, the rose, the banana and the carrot, are plant-artifacts. All are domesticated creatures, not found in their present form in the wild, and all were brought into being by human will and for the sake of human use. 

On Taboo

    “…The tendency of taboos to function outside of consciousness assures that the perspectives on reality supported by the taboo will be taken for granted, not questioned.” Jack Morin, PH.D.


Taboo |təˈbo͞o, ta-| 

noun

proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable.

Wildness within our own culture is perhaps the fundamental taboo, the lynchpin of all others, the core aversion software that is loaded onto our newly formed bio-hard-drive from early childhood — and for most, from (or even before) birth.

Our civilization is quite comfortable with the existence of wildness as "other", when it exists outside the bounds of our domestic habitat. We now campaign to protect wild lands from encroachment by the very civilization that lives at odds with it. Yet our prevailing feeling tone about wild lands is revealed in a further exploration of the definition of the word.

Wild |wīld|

adj.

3 uncultivated, uninhabited, or waste.

The above definition suggests a subconscious — though for some predilections, conscious — belief that wild lands are simply those areas which we have yet to tame and populate, or else they are waste lands, useless for the purposes to which human beings would put them. Chiefly of which is cultivation, or the extraction of resource to fuel the civilization itself.

What is this civilization that has placed itself at odds with the wild, contending with it, consuming it, and ultimately attempting to bring it under the dominion of its manifest domestication? The root of the word civilization is of course civil, from which we also derive the term civilize.

Civilize |ˈsivəˌlīz|

v.t.

to bring out of a savage, uneducated, or rude state; make civil, elevate in social and private life; enlighten; refine.

The etymology of civil is drawn directly from the Latin “civilis”, relating to a citizen. 

Citizen |ˈsitizən, -sən| 

noun

an inhabitant of a city or town, esp. one entitled to its privileges or franchises.

A journey through these definitions illuminates that indeed a civilization is in fact a reference to city building people, and hence domesticators. A city is after all a place in which humans have settled on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. No city at the time of this writing has become resource sufficient on its own, but rather draws its needs from the surrounding cultivated and wild landscapes. As it grows, so too must the resource base from which it draws its sustenance. This mode of living, despite its obvious insustainability, is rarely questioned, as the taboo against wildness is simply too rooted in our collective unconscious. Wildness it seems is at odds with civilization's perceived destiny for man, and thus even the discussion of embracing, incorporating — or worse still returning to — wild nature can never be addressed, lest we devolve into our former, primitive, savage state.

Wild, as we have seen, is the term still used in biology to describe those organisms and landscapes that have not been made artifacts, that do not bear the mark of human will. Yet, its many other definitions reveal the underlying paradigm that characterizes and ultimately determines our relationship with all things natural.


Wild |wīld|

adj.

4 uncivilized or barbarous.

5 of unrestrained violence, fury, intensity, etc.

6 characterized by or indicating violent feelings or excitement, as actions or a persons appearance.

7 frantic or distracted; crazy.

8 violently or uncontrollably affected.

9 undisciplined, unruly, or lawless

10 unrestrained, untrammeled, or unbridled, 

11 disregardful of moral restraints as to pleasurable indulgence.

12 unrestrained by reason or prudence.

13 disorganized or disheveled. 


The above definitions more than allude to the prevailing belief that in our own nature, and certainly within the natural world itself, lurks a dangerous, ferocious, undisciplined and even dark force which must be broken, bridled, and restrained lest we fall into a state of savageness. It would appear that only through the enlightenment of the civilizing force can we be saved from this wretched state of wanton depravity!


The Intrinsic Taboo

Civilization’s survival is insured most principally by what I call the Intrinsic Taboo — or the taboo against human wildness.


intrinsic |inˈtrinzik, -sik|

adj.

belonging to a thing by its very nature

taboo |təˈbo͞o, ta-|

noun

proscribed by society as improper of unacceptable


Since civilization is essentially the outgrowth of human domestication, it is inherently antithetical to wildness and could even be seen as its reciprocal or opposite. Because civility (in its truest sense — which is to be a citizen of a city-state) is not fundamental to human nature, requires so much extra effort and labor, yields so few of the more profound pleasures sought by humans — the sense of freedom, sexual fulfillment, the deep social connections of tribal living, potent holistic health, spiritual connection to the environment, a rich sense of abundance of resources — and because domestication ultimately damages our health and the health of our species, great emphasis must exist on the taboo against human wildness, lest the underpinnings of civilization itself are undone. Without this taboo the detriments of domesticated living would be so clear to us that the deconstruction and abandonment of our civilized way of life would commence henceforth, its folly becoming readily apparent.

I can imagine that some readers are thinking that my case has been overstated, that this idea of a ‘wildness taboo' has been greatly exaggerated. No one after all has ever come to you and stated this explicitly, telling you that you are not allowed to explore your innate wild nature. There are no thought police (at the time of this writing) that enforce laws against the consideration of human wildness, and I — as your guide — am permitted to write about the topic freely. However consider the following thought experiment:

On Nakedness

Imagine for a moment that it is a languid, humid summer day in the city, and you have been looking through your wardrobe for something comfortable to wear in weather as muggy as this. You decide though, that rather than wearing anything, you will simply wear nothing at all. You determine that there is nothing inherently wrong with your unclothed body, born with it as you were, and decide to set off — naked — out of the privacy of your home. Unshod and unclothed, you will allow the sun and the breeze to caress your body in a way that few of us ever experience in the full view of others. 

What emotion do you feel as you approach your front door, preparing to step outside? What is the feeling-tone as the sense of the meaning and significance of this act percolates to the surface of your awareness. Now, reaching for the door knob, you turn it slowly and begin to draw the door inward as a shaft of sunlight penetrates the recesses of your home, shining across your bare chest, your abdomen, your genitals. You step outside, and the streets are bustling with the commotion of pedestrian traffic, all the good citizens moving to and fro, perpetuating the machinations of the collective hive of the cityscape. And then they begin to see you, your nakedness, in stark and dramatic violation of the Intrinsic Taboo. Your naked body revealed, to the embarrassment, astonishment, outrage and naughty delight of the passersby. You step off into the street and begin a leisurely stroll out and into the metropolis. 

How long until the police arrive on the scene, until men and women trained in suppression of empathy, and armed with lethal weapons, are dispatched to the scene (the scene being you and your nakedness) to remove you, arrest you, to shuttle your nakedness away from the view of the rest of the herd, protecting the delicate public from the sight of your animal form. 

Would it stop here, with just your removal? Hardly, following this would likely be a court case in which you would plead guilty — or attempt to defend your innocence — to the charges of “indecent exposure”, potentially even earning the title of “sex offender”. If convicted you might face imprisonment and/or financial penalties, as well as the humiliation of being placed on a Federal Sex Offender list. If so you may have your neighborhood blanketed with flyers alerting others that a registered sex offender is living locally. These would include your photograph and description so that the rest of the polity would be aware that one so perverse as this was roaming the area, a potential threat to the wellbeing of the citizens at large. Perhaps you would move, relocate to avoid this humiliation, however the flyers would follow, as you would be required by law to register as a sex offender wherever you went. Such are the penalties of violating the Intrinsic Taboo. At least the probation is only temporary.

One might wonder, what is the reason for this, why is there such a strictly adhered to legal and psychological taboo to nakedness, to the raw, exposed human form? It is after all permissible to a limited degree in art and in media (albeit as a “controlled substance” in the case of the latter, being largely restricted from those individuals who have traveled around the sun less than 18 times). Why is the in-person public show of the naked human form considered and treated as illicit?

Although there are likely countless layers of subtle taboo worth exploring, three reasons are immediately apparent:

1. The first and most obvious reason is that nakedness might cause other citizens to think about, you guessed it… sex. Yes, the innocent, unsuspecting, polite taxpayers might be lead to impure and immoral thought by viewing the reproductive organs of another. This could lead, of course, to countless uncontrollable impulses, and delinquent sexual indiscretions might inevitably follow, including the sexual infidelity of those who have taken legal oaths of lifelong sexual exclusivity to another. It could also cause those yet to be lawfully autonomous citizens — namely those who have traversed earth's solar orbit any less than 18 complete revolutions —  to lose all restraint, their hormone rich blood already tempting them to imprudent choices that might leave them forever marred in the eyes of their future mates, having lost the whiteness of their virginity. Yes, nakedness could be the spark that ignites a chain reaction of hysterical animalistic, orgiastic frenzy, which is just barely held in check by the thin veneer of fabric that covers those parts of ourselves which are best kept from the eyes of another. 

2. It is possible that seeing the nakedness of another might remind of us of our animal nature. That we, like other mammals, have reproductive organs not dissimilar to those of a chimpanzee or bonobo. This is the wildness that must be kept contained, lest it be revealed that we are but apes masquerading as angels, and we revert to that primitive and rude state of the savage, and all of civilized “progress” begin to crumble at our still shod feet.

3. Just the sight of human nakedness might cause some people to feel offended. For possible reasons why, see numbers 1 and 2.

"And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

Genesis 2:7 KJV - (A.K.A. the creation myth of our Western civilization)

 
Domesticated Dogs, Domesticated Humans

On Man's Best Friend

Our beloved domesticated dogs differ little genetically from their wild progenitor the Gray Wolf — so little in fact that they are considered the same species despite the significant morphological changes that we see in "man's best friend".  Even with the strange mutations that the domestication process has imparted to dogs — traits like exaggerated ears, long curly hair, short legs, flattened snouts, and spotted coats — every dog you have every known is, scientifically speaking, a gray wolf.

The Gray Wolf is known to science as Canis Lupus — a species of canid native to North America, Eurasia, and Northern Africa. Although the coyote, the jackal, and the fox all belong to the family Canidae, our domesticated dogs are descended from but one species, and the distinction we have made for them is a subtle shift from the binomial nomenclature — Canis lupus — to the trinomial Canis lupus familiaris. It is this third name, familiaris that indicates to us that the dog is a variation — or "subspecies" — of its wild progenitor.

This of course seems entirely appropriate, since we can easliy see that our dogs — while retaining some traits and characteristics of their parent species — differ greatly from the wolf, and not just simply in appearance. It is worth mentioning here that dog domestication might be best viewed as existing on a spectrum - from those dogs closest to the wolf on one end with those furthest from their natural progenitor on the other. Village dogs and sled dogs would occupy the former end of the spectrum, being much closer to their wild ancestor, with the chihuahua and Yorkshire terrier (two of many possible examples) occupying the latter — scarcely resembling the wolves from which they hail. While some of the more robust breeds or breed mixes are quite capable of surviving as feral animals, many of todays domestic dogs would be unable to survive the conditions of their natural world if returned to the wild. Be it the extremes of temperature and humidity, the need to hunt to procure food, or the perils of predation, it is difficult to imagine the Bichon Frisè thriving in the environment of the Gray Wolf. 

feral |ˈfi(ə)rəl, ˈferəl|

adj.

having reverted to the wild state, as from domestication


When making the comparison between the Gray Wolf and the Dog several significant differences are easily observable. Amongst these are the gracilization, neotany, and changes to the dental arch.


gracile |ˈgrasəl, ˈgrasˌīl|

adj.

of slender build

neoteny |nēˈätn-ē|

noun

the retention of juvenile features in the adult animal

On Dental Arch:

”Essentially, wolves have long thin snouts and their teeth are not crowded, and domestication results in this shortening of the snout and widening of the jaws and crowding of the teeth.” Greg Hodgins, Researcher at the University of Arizona's Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, ScienceDaily, Jan. 23, 2012

Here is a short list of some of the more significant changes we note in dogs when compared against wolves:

-Gracilized frame

-Neoteny 

-Under-development in the dental arch, crowding of the teeth

-Breeding and giving birth in “captivity”

-Changes in diet, diet of domesticated (and often industrialized) foods

-Chronic Degenerative disease

-Inability to live on natural landscapes

-Reduced ability to tolerate extremes of temperature

What about us?

This leads to a seemingly obvious question, though one that is rarely asked due to cultural biases whose roots are set deep in the soils of the Intrinsic Taboo; are we modern humans a domesticated sub-species? Is it possible that we are no longer in fact Homo sapiens, but rather a domesticated form of our wild progenitor, the foraging peoples who — until relatively recently — lived across the inhabitable world?

It can be difficult for us to think of ourselves as just another animal like so many others. We have been conditioned by more than just our own lifetime of inculcation, we are the product of hundreds of generations of domestication. We can see with the eyes of science that we are anatomically and physiologically akin to other mammals, and even that we are very closely related to the other so called “great apes”, yet the Intrinsic Taboo requires that we see ourselves as different, that we justify our departure from our former way of life.

When compared against the wild living forager of the past we see that modern humans are similar, yet with some distinct changes. Notable amongst these are:

-Gracilized frame, or (sometimes a gracilized musculoskeletal system with an obese morphology)

-Neoteny and often self imposed neoteny (cosmetic and/or surgical)

-Under-development in the dental arch, crowding of the teeth

-Breeding and giving birth in “captivity”

-Changes in diet, diet of domesticated (and often industrialized) foods

-Chronic Degenerative disease

-Inability to live on natural landscapes

-Reduced ability to tolerate extremes of temperature

Does the above list look familiar?

One begins to wonder why H. sapiens in its modern form is not given a trinomial (literally "three name") designation such as is granted the domesticated dog (C. lupus familiaris) to designate it as a domesticated subspecies of the wild form. We easily understand and accept that the dog, while genetically still a grey wolf, is a distinct subspecies characterized by its domestication, yet we fail to apply this same logic to ourselves. Could it be that the Intrinsic Taboo is at play here? Would recognizing ourselves as a uniquely separate subspecies from H. sapiensthe wild foraging human, bring to our attention something that civilization — as a collective entity — must never allow its citizens to see? Does the conscious conception of hunting and gathering peoples as the wild progenitor of the "moderns" (domesticated humans) threaten the existence of civility as our dominant paradigm?

I propose a re-designation of ourselves from the currently accepted H. sapiens sapiens to the new Homo sapiens domesticofragilis — meaning wise, fragile, domesticated man. Of course, at first glance this appears tongue-in-cheek, as if I were simply making a sarcastic quip. However, closer examination of the data indicates that when compared against still intact foraging peoples, we moderns are quite fragile indeed. Be it the lack of physical robustness — a distinctly reduced ability to tolerate temperature extremes for example — or simply our tendency towards early degeneration — the diseases of civilization, i.e. diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc. — modern humans are undeniably far more delicate than our ancestors. While some might argue that domesticogracilis would be more fitting, again I would assert that it is fragility that characterizes us, as gracility implies a kind of gracefulness that is not indicative of most "moderns".

My, How You've Changed!

8 Changes to our Bodies Since the Dawn of Agriculture 

Original Artwork by Mear One

Original Artwork by Mear One

Reduction in body mass

Reduction in height (roughly 10% from our ancestors)

Reduction in brain size from about 1500 cc to 1350 cc

Smaller teeth and jaws

Increased tooth decay

Chronic malnutrition

Greater susceptibility to disease

Narrowing of the pelvic inlet resulting in painful childbirth

 

Sources

We're all getting smaller and our brains are shrinking... is farming to blame?

If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking?

Stature and robusticity during the agricultural transition: evidence from the bioarchaeological record.

Dawn of agriculture took toll on health

Is it Mental or is it Dental?

Selection for smaller brains in Holocene human evolution

The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race

Price, WA. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

Paleopathology at the Origins of Agricutlure

Longevity & health in ancient Paleolithic vs. Neolithic peoples

ReWild Your Diet

Spring Scallops & Mussels

in a Flavorful Broth

By Chef Frank Giglio of Three Lily Farm

Whenever possible, wild foods - such as Japanese Knot weed, nettle, fiddlehead ferns and ramps - make up as much of our diet as possible, for their nutritional profile is superior to that of their domestic counterparts. Paired with Maine caught wild seafoods, this is a meal I could eat nearly every day. The buttery taste of the scallops cooked to perfection tossed in a rich, "briny" broth creates a flavorful meal that will have any seafood lover swooning.

Ramp

Ramp

Photo credit: Frank Giglio // Three Lily Farm

Ingredients

1 pound medium sized Scallops

5 pounds Wild Mussels

1 handful Ramps, or a large Leek, roughly chopped

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 bunch Asparagus, bottoms removed, cut into 1 inch pieces

Butter, Lard, or Ghee for cooking

8 ounces dry White Wine

16 ounces Chicken Stock or Spring Water

Sea Salt, to taste

Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

 

To Make the Mussel Broth

  1. First, rinse the mussels really well, pulling off any attached beards. drain well.

  2. Heat a large Dutch Oven over medium high heat. Melt a few tablespoons of butter then add the ramps/leeks. Cook, stirring often for about 3-4 minutes until the leeks soften. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

  3. Add the asparagus, mussels and white wine, allowing the wine to reduce by half.

  4. Pour in the chicken stock, cover and let steam for about 5 minutes, or until all the mussels have opened.

Scallops Cooking

Scallops Cooking

Photo credit: Frank Giglio // Three Lily Farm

To Cook the Scallops

  1. Season the scallops liberally with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  2. Heat a heavy bottom pan over high heat.

  3. Add a few tablespoons of ghee or lard. Once melted, add the scallops.

  4. Cook on one side until nicely browned. Depending on the size of the scallops, this can take 2-3 minutes.

  5. Flip the scallops, turn off the heat and  to cook for just an additional minute or two. Remove from the pan and set aside.

 

Scallops & Mussels

Scallops & Mussels

Photo credit: Frank Giglio // Three Lily Farm

To Serve

Pour a large bowl full of the mussels and broth, top with scallops and an additional scoop of butter. A large chunks of toasted sourdough bread would be perfect for soaking up all the flavorful juices. Enjoy! 


about the chef

Frank Giglio exudes a passion for nature-based living in all that he does, from his culinary pursuits to the simplest of day to day projects. Along with his beautiful family, classically trained chef Frank runs Three Lily Farm - an off-the-grid permaculture minded homestead where he mentors and educates others on the importance of preparing and eating a real-food diet, growing their own fruits and vegetables, and connecting with nature through wild foraging, harvesting spring water, and simply spending time in the health-promoting glory of the outdoors. Every year, Frank continues to push his fitness to the elite level by competing in obstacle course races and ultra-marathons. A true Maine-Man, Frank maintains his beard by carrying water and splitting wood.

You can find him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Chef Franky G

Chef Franky G

It's a MAD World

Mal-Adaptive Degeneration

mad |mad|

adj.

1 mentally disturbed; deranged, insane, demented

4 extremely foolish or unwise; imprudent, irrational

It's not uncommon for us to say that this world has gone mad. In fact, I use the term often myself, albeit in a slightly less than traditional sense. Although the above definitions seem appropriate for much of what we see around us today, I prefer to use the term as an acronym meaning Mal-Adaptive Degeneration, and is a handy way for describing the degenerative processes that have been underway since the advent of subsistence agriculture and the departure from our natural life of environmental adaptation. 

maladaptive |ˌmaləˈdaptiv|

adj.

1 not providing adequate or appropriate adjustment to the environment or situation.

degenerate | di'jenerit|

adj.

1 having lost the physical, mental, or moral qualities considered normal and desirable; showing evidence of decline

As the above definitions indicate, we could describe as MAD those individuals who have been unable to adequately adjust to the dramatic unnatural changes in their environment, and are now showing signs of physical, mental, and/or moral decline. Think ‘degenerative disease’.

While the term, used in this way, is of course meant to be humorous — providing an opportunity for making light of the current human and planetary plight — it is also technically accurate for describing the situation that has been unfolding for the last 5 - 10 thousand years here on our planet, to its human inhabitants, and to those domesticated organisms which we have brought under our dominion.

The scientific literature is now bloated with the glut of data demonstrating that we "moderns" are less healthy and robust than our pre-agricultural ancestors of just 10,000 years ago. We are considered to be, at least at the time of this writing, a 200,000 year old species. To put that in perspective, 95% of our human existence has been lived in our wild foraging state, and these dramatic degenerative changes represent just the last 5% of our earthly existence — with the most significant degenerative conditions emerging in just the last fraction of a percent of our evolutionary timeline!

ReWild Yourself! Podcast: Arthur Haines on the NeoAboriginal Revolution

In the first episode of the ReWild Yourself! Podcast, I'm honored to bring you my good friend Arthur Haines, a plant taxonomist who practices and shares a neoaboriginal life way to foster awareness, connection, health and self-reliance. We discuss a very important question: Are we really Homo sapiens? We get into the 4 criteria that define a domesticated species and find that it might make sense to begin classifying humans a little differently. Enter Homo sapiens domesticofragilis, or wise, fragile, domesticated man. Arthur gives us the key factors to transcending domestication and living the NeoAboriginal Lifeway.

Domestication is virtually synonymous with identity crisis. Nature connection and wild living can help you find that expression of your ultimate gift. ~Arthur Haines

Click here to listen!


Episode Resources

Where to find Arthur and his work:

Arthur's book:

Ancestral Plants – A Primitive Skills Guide to Important Edible, Medicinal, and Useful Plants of the Northeast. Volume 1 by Arthur Haines, Foreword by Daniel Vitalis


Meet Arthur

Greetings! My name is Arthur Haines and I’ve been helping people explore human ecology for over 20 years. I’ve done this with the mission of developing deep awareness of and connection to nature, promoting individual health, and fostering self-reliance. Wild food is a passion of mine, and through this, I offer a glimpse of our past and a new picture of our future. Through this knowledge, and many other facets of our shared ancestral lifeways, we can awaken a rewilding of our body, mind, and heart.

I endeavor to share knowledge garnered from this perspective, one that merges the material knowledge of present-day people with the ecological knowledge of ancestral people.

You can find Arthur on Facebook and on his website: www.arthurhaines.com.

Arthur Haines

Arthur Haines

Take Back Your Responsibility

Domestication and the Concurrent Loss of Responsibility

By Arthur Haines

If people were to examine the lives of wild animals, they would clearly see that these organisms are responsible for every aspect of their lives—acquiring nutrition, keeping warm, avoiding predators, rearing young, and so on. If we contrast this with farm animals, we see a completely different existence. Domesticated animals do not need to secure their own food, find protective cover, and keep themselves safe. These are all performed by their human keepers. In fact, in some farming systems, animals need not raise their own offspring because young animals are removed from their parents to be raised by humans (or human-controlled machinery). And if the human keepers turn out not to be conscientious people, the treatment the animals receive can be less than humane. Fortunately, we humans live a completely different life than farm animals and do not have to worry about other people controlling aspects of our living and potentially infringing on our health. We are responsible for ourselves. Or are we?

It’s hard to know where to even begin in answering this question. We (contemporary people) have turned over the responsibility in so many parts of our life, and have for so long, that we don’t even know we’ve done it. I’m going to use a few examples to help illustrate this. Let’s start with education. Are you involved in what your child learns while at school? Have you been involved in determining what methods of teaching will be used? If you think your children are in good hands, then please be aware that the United States ranks behind many countries in reading, math, and science. We don’t even break into the top twenty nations in any of these topics. Whereas education used to be the responsibility of the parents and community, most parents have turned that responsibility over to federal and state agencies. While we could dive into a detailed discussion of many topics, it is clear that our schools are inefficient at what they do given that we spend twice as much money per student as some countries that score similarly on student performance tests as the United States. And with standardized testing, the United States is interested in producing homogeneity. I would argue right now we need diversity of thought, ingenuity, awareness, and people willing to break from social norms. Let’s face it, our social norms are apathy for the well-being of anything that isn’t human, pollution of the very resources we need to live, and a fundamental misunderstanding of what health really is (hint, it isn’t just about how long you live). In short, we gave away the responsibility for educating the next generation. Perhaps this is a responsibility we should (at least in part) take back.

 

Let’s briefly discuss consumer awareness of safety, specifically, with children’s toys. A study in 2008 found that 1 in 3 toys tested contained hazardous levels of toxic substances, such as lead, bisphenol-A, flame retardants, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic. Given this, you would expect that a number of agencies are working to repair this situation and insure the toys your children play with are not going to contribute to illness. Though that may be partly true, a number of organizations, including the Toy Industry Association and the American Chemical Council, are lobbying hard to block efforts to make toys safer. Considering that your children put toys in their mouths, food, and baths, one would assume that anything that can lead to cognitive impairment, delayed development, and cancer would be the last thing included in children’s toys. But, if you assume that, you would be wrong. Allowing manufacturers and legislators to protect the safety of our children has exposed the next generation to serious health risks. Perhaps this is a responsibility we should (at least in part) take back.

 

What about clothing? People used to make their own. We gave that responsibility to manufacturers who use fabrics that require massive amounts of chemicals to grow or use synthetic products that break down (in the wash) and deposit microscopic plastic filaments in our waters. What about health? We gave that responsibility to pharmaceutical companies who manufacture vaccines to protect us from disease. What about nutrition? We gave that over to the United States Department of Agriculture who creates dietary recommendations based on the foods that are abundantly produced (not the foods that create vibrant health). By now, I assume you are getting my point.

 

We will spend due diligence to determine which smart phone we will purchase, the appropriate plan we would sign up for, and which protective case we will enclose the new phone in, but we rarely spend any time learning what our children were taught at school, what they come into contact with, and what is fed to them. We simply trust all kinds of organizations and agencies to do this for us. Farm animals were domesticated from wild (i.e., aware) animals. The domestication process created animals that were tame (i.e., were not dangerous to human keepers). Today, the animals are tended so they will produce a particular product (or products). They don’t ask questions and they sit or stand quietly, enduring whatever their keepers ask of them. I would politely argue most of us do the same. We ask no questions and we produce products for our keepers (i.e., we are domesticated). We gave away our responsibility for healthy bodies and healthy ecosystems. Perhaps this is a responsibility we should (at least in part) take back.

Image via Flickr Creative Commons (A Roger Davies)

Wild Woman Speaks

The Truth About Women’s Wildness

By Ali Schueler of Wild Woman Speaks

Women don't easily fit into a box.  Not that men necessarily do either — though today I am speaking about women. We women are quite the interesting creatures. We are highly emotional, sensitive, intuitive, sensual, and exotic beings. We bleed in excess each month through our vaginas, yet we do not die. We create life inside of our wombs and give birth to humans. How do you categorize that wildness, that fierce creativity?

The thing is, we are not meant to be categorized. We are untamed by nature. However, society wants to mold us and shape us into this model of woman that follows suit with the patriarchy. We are expected to move at that fast masculine pace in life. We are encouraged to surrender our power and ability to birth our children into the hands of a male doctor. We are led to believe we should stuff our vaginas with tampons when we menstruate, rather than allowing our blood to flow freely. We are told to not express too much, don’t overpower the man, be careful not to be too emotional or you will push people away. We aren’t supposed to be too sexual, for that would make us a slut — but if we aren’t sexually active or expressive, then certainly we are prudish. As long as we keep ourselves neat and tidy, and behave like really good little girls, “life will work out for us” seems to be the overarching message.

The fact of the matter is, women aren’t neat and tidy. We have messiness. We can’t control our emotions. We may feel one way in the first moment, and then feel entirely different a moment later. We respond to our environment in a very empathetic way. To deny this or control it is to deny our very feminine, wild nature. I think of women to be akin to wolves — both fierce creatures that run wild and free. We are not meant to fit into a box.

This is what makes us wild, women. Our messiness — our uncontrollable emotions make us wild. Our feminine cycles that give life make us wild. Our deep, uninhibited ability to love against all odds makes us wild. Our deeply erotic, sensual nature makes us wild. We are educated in life that these things make us less powerful — our ability to feel and express, our creative abilities, our bodies — all of these things that come to us naturally supposedly make us something other-than powerful. If you ask me, these very things that we are manipulated into thinking detract from our power as women, in fact, are our very strengths. Why would we want to control all of these aspects of ourselves that come to us so very naturally? We are born with these abilities, these natural bodily functions — whose right is it to deem these aspects of our womanhood as bad and wrong?

The truth is, it is no one’s right to deem our natural wildness as bad and wrong. These things are what make us woman, and to be honest — I think our culture fears the power of woman. We have been held back for so many years now — tied back in corsets, strapped to a table while we birth our children, and medicated so our bodily cycles can be controlled. The patriarchal aspect of society today fear us. What would a world look like where women were living fully in our power? What would reality look like if we didn’t subscribe to the Intrinsic Taboo, the taboo against our human wildness?

What if instead of women trying to fit into a perfect mold of how we believe society wants us to operate, we owned the power inherent within our wildness? What if women took responsibility and ownership of their feelings and emotions, and expressed themselves uninhibitedly? What if women reclaimed their bodies by giving birth to their babies without a man in a white suit telling them what to do? What if women allowed their wild, natural cycles to flow through them by letting their blood run thick each month rather than plugging themselves up and pretending their blood doesn’t exist?

We were born to express our wildness. We were born to be untamed. We were born to be emotive, to bleed, to create life, to be sexual, to be expressive. Now is the time to allow our wildness to run free. We have navigated so far away from the days when the sacred feminine was worshipped and revered. It is time to get back to that place where the feminine in all of us, in all of life, is considered sacred again. We must re-sacralize the feminine within ourselves.

Our feminine essence is exactly what is needed in a world that is so deeply out of balance. There is so much we can do — so much that we can create, women, by simply allowing our wild femininity to be fully expressed.

I encourage you to ask yourself in what ways you may be holding yourself back from fully expressing your wild femininity. Do this from a place of inquisitiveness, rather than shaming yourself for how you may or may not be controlling your wildness. We can empower ourselves as women by looking within, opening up and allowing our true nature as wild women to come forth. I promise it will be deeply healing to your spirit.

Embrace your wildness for yourself, first and foremost, though please know that in doing so, the expression of your wild woman is changing the world for the better.


Meet Ali

Ali is a writer and women’s embodiment mentor. She is committed to the re-sacralization of the feminine across the globe. Her mission is passionately providing women with experience-based tools that inspire life-changing awakening in the feminine, promoting emotional awareness, spiritual fulfillment, wild self-expression as well as a connection to our bodies and their natural cycles. She enjoys writing and video blogging weekly through her website WildWomanSpeaks.com and sharing inspiration with her Wild Woman Speaks community daily through Facebook, Twitter @alischueler, and Instagram.

Ali Schueler

Ali Schueler


ReWild Yourself!

 

rewild |rēˈwīld|

verb

restore to its natural uncultivated state (used esp. with reference to the reintroduction of species of wild animal that have been driven out or exterminated)

yourself |yərˈself, yôr-, yo͝or-|

pr.

1 used to refer to the person being addressed as the object of a verb or preposition when they are also the subject of the clause

2 you personally 

What do I mean when I say “ReWild Yourself”? Do I expect you, or myself for that matter, to set off into the forest to begin a new life as a forager? Or perhaps to join some still un-contacted tribe in the jungles of South America? A romantic notion indeed, however removed it is from what is realistic or truly attractive to most of us. So let's begin defining our terms before setting off on a journey of discovery.

ReWild Yourself: to restore yourself — personally — to your natural uncultivated state.

There, tucked beneath the explicit definition is the implicit implication; most of us "moderns" are living in an unnatural, cultivated state. Much as the plants we grow as crops (or in and around our homes as ornaments) or the animals we raise for food and companionship are domesticated (cultivated) from their wild progenitors, so too are we "moderns" cultivated from our wild progenitor — the foraging human.

Our progenitors were shaped — or conditioned — by wild nature, living enmeshed within the species-diverse matrix of the biosphere. Their bodies and minds sculpted by adaptive processes which yielded a being supremely fit for the world in which they lived. So fit, in fact, that they were able to populate most of the planet and continued to thrive in environments as diverse as the extreme arctic and equatorial jungles. From the swampy interiors to the arid deserts, foraging humans have adapted themselves to most of the conditions that our planet has to offer.

fit 1 |fit|

adj.

adapted or suited; appropriate

By contrast, we have taken this body — designed as it was by the selective pressures of nature — and attempted to carry it into a kind of virtual world — a barren, species-deficient urban environment that scarcely resembles the one of our ancestry — the one we are fit for. Our urban environments are after all a kind of anti-nature, where the existing wild land has been plowed away and the constructs of human imaginings are erected in its place. A kind of "world-of-artifacts" is constructed — a human-themed amusement park where "moderns" live out their lives scarcely experiencing the world from which they come or for which they were designed/adapted. Here, in "Artifact-Land", there are some apparently natural areas, parks for example. where trees and grasses thrive, yet upon closer inspection we inevitably discover that these species are artifacts themselves, being horticultural varieties or imported non-native species. Some synanthropic species follow us, weeds like the dandelion, and animals like the pigeon, but of course these are usually not the creatures native to the location. Some wild native species manage to maintain a niche but only as vagabonds and rouges - living on the fringes of the well manicured thoroughfares and the forgotten corners at the edges of the metropolis. Our cities and towns are not nature or even comparable with nature — rather they stand in defiance of the natural world. And whereas in nature a kind of ectropy dominates, as biological systems tend towards greater levels of sophistication, the cityscape and its artifacts are ruled by the harsh law of entropy — continuously tending towards decay and breakdown.  Hence the tremendous effort — both labor and resource — required to maintain the city which is always crumbling from within, just as nature is always trying to reclaim it from without.  It would be appropriate to consider the cityscape as a kind of large-scale, industrialized, human factory farm.  A mono-crop of humans living in unnaturally dense and populous tribes, all with a goal of yielding, not meat or food product as is the goal of most intensively farmed animal herds, but rather labor and the products of labor.  

Just as the large-scale cattle feedlots and chicken farms are notoriously unhealth operations where animals are confined and raised in conditions for which they are unfit, so too are we urbanized humans living in environments for which we are unfit. 

unfit |ˌənˈfit|

adj.

not fit; not adapted or suited; unsuitable


Transcend Domestication!

It’s time to plan our escape from the human zoo, but before we can begin our reentry into the wild world, most of us have some training and reconditioning to do!

ReWilding is the systematic approach to transcending our own domestication, and restoring some of our more diminished but still accessible physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and sexual attributes. These characteristics are still present within us, encoded as they are into our ancient hominid genome, but have lain — until now — dormant. Like a seed that awaits the wet drink of water that will awaken it to the spring, so to does our wildness sleep, anticipating the dissolution of the tyrant of the Intrinsic Taboo.

ReWilding is not and attempt to go back towards our past — that time is behind us forever — but rather it is moving forward towards a more luminous future. The dark-ages of human health are nearing their end, even as the first signs of light are now revealed on the horizon! The age of H. sapiens domesticfragilis is drawing to its close just as the age of H. sapiens neoaboriginalis — the “new aboriginal” — is finally dawning!

ReACT! Re-adaptive Conditioning and Training!

Developing re-adaptive fitness, and restoring some of the robustness of our ancestry will be a significant theme in our coming dispatches. Until then, what follows are 20 simple yet profound practices we can begin employing now to become more fit for our modern environment. These ReACTions are revolutionary acts of atavism!

  1. Walk more often — it's the primary exercise modality of our species! 
  2. Stand more, sit less — try setting up a standing desk work station for your computer!
  3. Wear unrestrictive or less-restrictive clothing — let your body move more freely!
  4. Use a sauna to detoxify your body — it clears toxins that can be hard to eliminate!
  5. Maintain a tan — it looks and feels healthier and its how we top up our vitamin D levels!
  6. Do hot/cold hydrotherapy — after a hot shower finish with cold water!
  7. Explore cold training — go outside in the snow barefoot, or even naked for a few moments!
  8. Forage your local food-shed — both your farmers market and the wild plants in your area!
  9. Use herbs as food and medicine — these are wild plants that contribute to our health and healing!
  10. Strength train — resistance training helps to maintain a robust musculoskeletal system!
  11. Stretch regularly — joint mobilization exercises to maintain flexibility in the body-mind!
  12. Consider using entheogens — in a ritualized setting - this is an ancestral mental health practice!
  13. Have more and better orgasms — feeling pleasure is your birthright — you deserve it!
  14. Use less soap — it changes the pH of your skin, rather use a skin brush!
  15. Go barefoot — whenever it makes sense to, develop proprioceptive and prehensile feet!
  16. Visit springs and drink freely from them — find one near you on FindASpring.com!
  17. Get an ozonator or ionizer — its freshens the air in your home, and creates an atmosphere more like the one outdoors!
  18. Use a squat toilet — it promotes healthier bowel elimination and more limber hips!
  19. Learn to use a neti pot — it keeps your sinuses clean and clear - you’ll breathe easier the rest of your life!
  20. Take a survival skills class — learn what is essential to life, it’s an investment in your future!
How Wolves Change Rivers
A Talk by George Monbiot

Remember that wolves and foraging humans domesticated together, producing dogs in the case of the former, and we "moderns" in the instance of the latter. Both the gray wolf and the foraging human are "endangered species", and while the gray wolf has received some protections — and been reintroduced into some of the wild lands of N. America — we still have yet to see this same approach taken with indigenous humans. We now know that the removal of the wolf from its natural eco-niche created a cascade of degenerative changes to that habitat. Seeing the positive effects of reintroducing the wild, untamed wolf to its rightful place within its ecological niche makes me wonder what would happen if foraging humans rejoined their fellow creatures in the cycle of life. Who could predict the outcomes from the trophic cascade?

Trophic Cascades

Trophic Cascades

http://wolfwatcher.org/2011/11/senator-jack-reed-endangered-species-act-and-wolves/

Further Reading on Trophic Cascades

Wolves, elk, willows, and trophic cascades in the upper Gallatin Range of Southwestern Montana, USA

Trophic cascades among wolves, elk, and aspen on Yellowstone National Park's northern range

Trophic cascades in Yellowstone: The first 15 years after wolf reintroduction

Trophic cascades from wolves to grizzly bears in Yellowstone

Human activity mediates a trophic cascade caused by wolves

The Fragile, Invisible Connections of the Natural World

Rituals

It's spring, and this is traditionally a time to detoxify the body from a long winter! Even for our ancestors living in pristine environments, winter was a time of less movement, more dried and preserved foods and less fresh foods, and more time around the smoke of the fire. For us it is similar, less time outdoors (which translates to more time indoors), less exercise, and less of the fresh, local, and seasonal produce that we have access to in the growing season. This time of year is perfect for getting our bodies wrung out and squeaky clean so that we feel ready for the longer days to come!

What follows in the videos below are a couple of morning rituals that can really help you make transition from the long, cold, and dark winter into the rejuvenative energies of the early spring! My experience is that these detoxifying and hydrating drinks and practices impart what feels like a youthening effect to the body, which I attribute to their cleansing properties and to their use of powerful, time tested herbs. 

For me, mornings are a sacred time, and it's the part of the day that I set aside for self-care. While I know that it's not a luxury that everyone has created for themselves (yet at least!), I set aside 2-3 hours each morning to simply take care of myself before I start working. During that time I create my beverages (you will get these recipes below), do my physical training, use my sauna, meditate, stretch, bathe, and do whatever else I have on my self-care agenda for that day. I prefer not to do the same thing for too long, but rather cycle things every few weeks or sometimes every few months. 

Consider adopting the following recipes and practices into your morning routine for the next few weeks and see how they work for you! If mornings don't work for you, fit them in whenever you can - you will still receive the wonderful benefits!


Spring Liver Cleanse Drink

Ingredients:

Dandelion Root

Burdock Root

Yellow Dock Root

Omica Organics Liquid Stevia

Vanilla Bean Powder

To find Raw Grass Fed Butter: www.eatwild.com

Coconut Oil

For Ultimate Enjoyment:

SurThrival Holdster

Cuppow Lid


Cleansing Coffee Enema How To

Kendall Seamless Enema Bag

Scientific Basis of Coffee Enemas

Your Neo-Aboriginal Challenge

Thank you — sincerely —for taking the time to read Dispatch 1 of  ReWild Yourself!  We have until May 5th, Beltane, until the next Dispatch is released.  In the meantime here is your challenge:

Develop a five minute flat-footed squat!

Most of us have spent a lifetime sitting in chairs and couches, and as a result we usually have shortened posterior leg musculature and limited range of motion in our hips. The flat-footed squat is the natural sitting posture for humans bodies, since it’s basically how you sit when there’s nothing to sit on! Of course you could sit cross legged on the ground, but if you spend a significant amount of time outdoors you soon find that this gets you dusty, dirty, muddy, wet, and — if done too late into the evening or season — cold. The flat-footed squat doesn’t put anymore of your body in contact with the ground than standing does (keeping you warmer and drier) but allows your body to rest and recuperate.

How to do it:

Stand with your feet about hip width apart and lower your butt down (keeping your spine as in-line as possible) until it comes to rest near the back of your ankles. Let your body naturally exhale as you are lower yourself into position, being especially mindful not to hold your breath. The challenge here is to keep your heels planted firmly to the ground. It’s ok for your toes to turn out a bit, but keep this from becoming excessive.

If this is difficult for you — and don’t worry, it is for a lot of people — there are a couple of modifications you can use to make this posture more comfortable. The first is to use your hands to hold onto something — a branch, a counter top, a table — to give you more control as you lower yourself. The second is to step your feet a bit wider apart which reduces the tension on tight hips. If after both of these variations your heels still rise off the ground, you can simply begin your squatting practice with your heels as close to the ground as is comfortable. Over time, and with practice, your myofascial system will begin to relax and lengthen, and this practice will become easier for you!

Whether you are already fully squatting in the flat-foot position, or you are using a modification, build yourself up to 1-minute sets of resting into this posture. Simply allow yourself to relax and relinquish any resistance to gravity. Be sure to come out of the posture if it starts putting too much stress on your ankles, knees, or hips, and try using one of the modifications to make this practice a more comfortable.

Once you can easily squat for 1-minute, its time to add a second minute! Complete your first 1-minute set, then stand up and shake out your hips, knees, and ankles for a 1-minute break. Now repeat this for your second squat. When this becomes comfortable and easy, add a 3rd squat, then a 4th, and so on. Once you are completing 5, full, 1-minute squats (punctuated by 1 minute rest periods) you can begin to reduce the rest periods by 15 seconds increments. Continue to do this until you are squatting for a full 5-minutes without any breaks. If during the 5-minutes you find that it is becoming too challenging simply stand up stretch your legs for fifteen seconds before returning to the squat!

Please keep us posted on your progress on the ReWildYourself Facebook Group!

ReWilding Resources

Books

Ancestral Plants by Arthur Haines

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers by Richard B. Lee, Richard Daly

Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization by Derrick Jensen

Genetics for Dummies by Tara Rodden Robinson

Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods by Jeffrey M. Smith

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared A. Diamond

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quin

The Natural Navigator: The Rediscovered Art of Letting Nature Be Your Guide by Tristan Gooley

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price

Origins: Human Evolution Revealed by Douglas Palmer

Primitive Technology: A Book of Earth Skills by David Wescott

To Become a Human Being: The Message of Tadodaho Chief Leon Shenandoah by Steve Wall

Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources by M. Kat Anderson

Reconnect with Natural Time

Astro Moon Calendar Poster

We'Moon 2014 Calendar

2014 Moon Calendar

ECOlogical Calendar

Online Resources

Daniel Vitalis

SurThrival

Find A Spring

Facebook Group: ReWildYourself

Arthur Haines

Additional Resources via Arthur Haines

Three Lily Farm

Wild Woman Speaks

Mountain Rose Herbs

Eat Wild

Weston Price Organization

Additional Articles & Videos

Before They Pass Away

What Happens When A Langauge's Last Monolingual Speaker Dies

The Great Forgetting

Pastoral Icon or Wooly Menace?

And Man Created Dog

Dogs Decoded

The Science of Dogs

The Story of Your Enslavement

Would You Like to Contribute to the Next Dispatch?

We are looking for gifted, thorough, well researched writers to contribute articles for future Dispatches!

All submissions much be original material, ranging between 500 and 2000 words, be well-edited, and contain references where appropriate.  Images must be your originals or non-copyrighted.  And of course, all articles must be relevant to the ReWilding lifestyle!

Please include a brief 1-2 sentence bio, including your website or email address.  If you include your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram we will be sure to tag you!

We will contact you if your submission is selected for publication in the next — or in a future — Dispatch!

Please send your submission to info@danielvitalis.com.