A Pleistocene Vision of the Past Offers Direction for the Future


Pleistocene Vision of Wooly Mammoth

F act: Horses aren’t native to the Americas, they were brought to the Americas from Spain.

Everyone knows that… or at least they think they know that… While it is factual that domesticated horses were brought from Spain in the 1500s, and it’s also factual that there were no horses in the Americas at that point in time, it is not true that horses aren’t native to the Americas.

I’d submit that horses are more native to the Americas than humans. One of the biggest mistakes that I believe we make is in how we define the term  ‘native.’ The dominant paradigm of conservation is that animals that existed in the Americas when Columbus arrived in 1492 are native, and those that did not, are non-native.

This is what Paul S. Martin, geoscientist at the University of Arizona and author of Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions and the Rewilding of America refers to as the “Columbian Curtain:” I refer to this as a short-sighted ecological window that prevents us from exploring what really constitutes a “native” species based on Columbus’ arrival to the New World… and this short-sightedness is proving troublesome in allowing conservationists to explore solid eco-restorative options.

All things relative, if 13,000 years ago (when the first Americans arrived on the continent from Eurasia) in geological and ecological time is a blink of an eye, then a 522 year period isn’t even a blip on the radar. Furthermore, using the arrival of the Columbus to provide the baseline for ‘natural,’ ‘native,’ or ‘indigenous’ is downright arbitrary and dare I say stupid.


The Sustainability Diet Overview


environmental impact of the paleo diet karen pendergrass

B iologists have suggested that we are nearing, or have already entered into, the 6th mass extinction period. While that is terrifying, the truth is, causing extinction is an old pastime for our species. In fact, the mere existence of humans has caused such ecological stress that we have been responsible for the demise of half of the megafauna in the continents which we have inhabited.  And, true to our nature, our species continues this trend of environmental decline and extinction in the footsteps of our ancestors today like we always have…with our diets.

For 10,000 years since the agricultural revolution, till agriculture has been a disaster of the natural world, with topsoil and biodiversity losses the most frequent and most evident casualties.  In fact, geologically speaking, agriculture stands out among the most significant and explosive events to appear (and mar) the face of the earth— changing it even faster than even the origin of life itself.


Is the Paleo Diet Sustainable?


agricultural sustainability of the Paleo Diet

N ow that the Paleo Diet has garnered attention from a worldwide audience due to recent data reports suggesting that the trend has surpassed and outperformed other familiar dietary regimens including veganism and vegetarianism, we can expect that it is going to be scrutinized more than it had been in previous years as its popularity continues.  Not only will the overall health of the diet be called into question, but experts in environmental sciences will speculate about the Paleo Diet’s viability and environmental sustainability as well.


The Sustainability Diet


extinct camels the sustainability diet karen pendergrass

 

id you know that there used to be camels native to North America? Yes, you read that correctly. Camels. Camelops hesternus, to be exact. That is, until we hunted them to extinction some 13,000 years ago. In fact, the mere existence of humans has caused such ecological stress that we have been responsible for the demise of half of the large mammals in the continents which we inhabited. Causing extinction is an old pastime for our species, and it’s been a huge blow to precious biodiversity, genetic pools, and ecological function ever since. The truth is, our species continues this trend of environmental decline and extinction in the footsteps of our ancestors like we always have— with our diets.


Obama attacks the Organic Label


tom vilsack monsanto

D id I really just read that president Obama is attacking the Organic label, and the first lady is pissed? Oh, hell. Let’s zoom out for a second. It’s Friday, after all.

After her husband’s inauguration, Michelle Obama chose her mandatory, First-lady-do-good-project of planting an organic vegetable garden after her husband promised GMO-labeling on the campaign trail. The press trumpeted her Organic gardens, and her demand for Organic meals even at State dinners. Then she wrote a book called American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America. First-Lady-do-good-project: complete! We now have warm fuzzy feelings about the way this presidency will turn out.


"When there is conflicting evidence and research on a subject, you must learn the art of following the money."


- Karen Pendergrass