Caveman stylee - so check it out. Looks like there's a few of us out there that have caught on to our history. Funnily enough, this was just the conversational topic of today's lunch. Omens ey?
Give it a read, then go and hunt a pigeon or something. Karma will excuse you, honest.
More about all this later,
Original article here - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/fashion/10caveman.html?pagewanted=1
LIKE many New York bachelors, John Durant tries to keep his apartment presentable — just in case he should ever bring home a future Mrs. Durant. He shares the fifth-floor walk-up with three of his buddies, but the place is tidy and he never forgets to water the plants.
The one thing that Mr. Durant worries might spook a female guest is his most recent purchase: a three-foot-tall refrigerated meat locker that sits in a corner of his living room. That is where he keeps his organ meat and deer ribs.
Mr. Durant, 26, who works in online advertising, is part of a small New York subculture whose members seek good health through a selective return to the habits of their Paleolithic ancestors.
Or as he and some of his friends describe themselves, they are cavemen.
The caveman lifestyle, in Mr. Durant’s interpretation, involves eating large quantities of meat and then fasting between meals to approximate the lean times that his distant ancestors faced between hunts. Vegetables and fruit are fine, but he avoids foods like bread that were unavailable before the invention of agriculture. Mr. Durant believes the human body evolved for a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and his goal is to wean himself off what he sees as many millenniums of bad habits.
These urban cavemen also choose exercise routines focused on sprinting and jumping, to replicate how a prehistoric person might have fled from a mastodon.
In a city crowded with vegetarian restaurants and yoga studios, the cavemen defy other people’s ideas of healthy living. There is an indisputable macho component to the lifestyle.
“I didn’t want to do some faddish diet that my sister would do,” Mr. Durant said.
The caveman lifestyle in New York was once a solitary pursuit. But Mr. Durant, who looks like a cheerful Jim Morrison, with shoulder-length curly hair, has emerged over the last year as a chieftain of sorts among 10 or so other cavemen. He has cooked communal dinners in his apartment on East 90th Street and taught others to make jerky from his meat locker.
The tribe is not indigenous to New York. Several followers of the lifestyle took up the practice after researching health concerns online and discovering descriptions of so-called paleolithic diets and exercise programs followed by people around the country and in Europe. The group’s lone woman, Melissa McEwen, 23, was searching for a treatment for stomach troubles. She started reading the blog of a 72-year-old retired economics professor who lives in Utah, Arthur De Vany.
Mr. De Vany’s blog promotes what he calls Evolutionary Fitness. Like his disciples in New York, he believes that ancient humans could perform physical feats that would awe the gym rats of today.
His followers believe that he too is capable of fearsome feats. When Mr. Durant told a gathering of New York cavemen that he had seen Mr. De Vany at a seminar in Las Vegas, Matthew Sanocki, 34, asked if Mr. De Vany looked as muscular in the flesh as in pictures on his blog.
“He looks great,” Mr. Durant said. “You feel like he could, at a moment’s notice, charge at you and trample you.”
Already, the New York cavemen are getting attention from the patriarchs of the paleo movement. One such figure, Erwan Le Corre, a Frenchman whom the magazine Men’s Health said “may rank as one of the most all-around physically fit men on the planet,” stopped by Mr. Durant’s while visiting the city in December. The men sealed their friendship with what both described as a bare-chested — and in Mr. Le Corre’s case, barefoot — run across the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges on a frigid night.
Mr. Le Corre, 38, who once made soap for a living, promotes what he calls “mouvement naturel” at exercise retreats in West Virginia and elsewhere. His workouts include scooting around the underbrush on all fours, leaping between boulders, playing catch with stones, and other activities at which he believes early man excelled. These are the “primal, essential skills that I believe everyone should have,” he said in an interview.
Loren Cordain, a professor at Colorado State University and the author of “The Paleo Diet,” links the movement to a 1985 New England Journal of Medicine article, which proclaimed that the “diet of our remote ancestors may be a reference standard for modern human nutrition.”
Another source of paleo converts is CrossFit, a fitness program known for grueling workouts combining weightlifting and gymnastics. CrossFit trainers, who teach at more than 1,200 gyms and other affiliates across the country, generally encourage clients to follow either a caveman diet or the Zone diet, which requires tracking calories. “Some of the gyms have hardcore paleo folks, and if you’re a member of that gym then you’re paleo, while other gyms are hardcore Zone,” said Anthony Budding, who manages the content on CrossFit.com.
Experts in early humans dispute some of the tenets of latter-day paleos, including the belief that fasting is beneficial and that the body is unequipped to handle an agriculture-based diet.
Still, there is a “sharp contrast” between the strength and fitness of our distant ancestors and us, said Clark Larsen, a physical anthropologist at Ohio State University. “The male or female of 12,000 to 15,000 years ago will be considerably stronger and in better shape,” he said. Unfortunately, life was short: If you made it to age 30 or so, you had done well.
New York might seem a challenging environment for the aspiring caveman. Entire professions, oblivious to the rising and setting of the sun, toil in the glare of computer monitors. More to the point, the city has gone so far as to outlaw both hunting and gathering, at least when committed in a city park. Uprooting a plant, snatching a bird egg or trapping a squirrel in a park are misdemeanors punishable by up to 90 days of jail.
“I like New York, but it’s hard to sit in a Midtown office all day,” said Ms. McEwen, a slim brunette, who prefers the term “hunter-gatherer” to describe her lifestyle.
But the surprising consensus of the paleos is that the city is a paradise.
“New York is the only city in America where you can walk,” said Nassim Taleb, an investor who gained a measure of celebrity for his theories, described in “The Black Swan,” that extreme events can roil financial markets. “People treat walking like exercise,” he said, “but walking is how humans become humans.”
Mr. Taleb, who rejects the label “caveman” in favor of “paleo,” avoids offices (including his own) as much as he can. He prefers to think on the go. Dressed in a tweed coat and Italian loafers, this paleo man is a flâneur, sometimes walking miles a day, ranging from SoHo to 86th Street.
Instead of eating three square meals a day, many of New York’s cavemen fast intermittently, up to 36 hours at a stretch. Fasting is a topic of banter at the Union Square West apartment where Matthew Sanocki and his brother, Andrew, live and run design-related e-commerce Web sites.
“Are you going for a 24?” Matthew might ask Andrew, describing a fast by its duration in hours.
Andrew Sanocki, 38, a former Navy officer, explained that he preferred working out on an empty stomach near the end of a fast, and then following up with a large meal. This is a common caveman schedule, intended to reflect the exertion that ancient humans put into finding food. It is as if, Mr. Sanocki explained, “we’ve gone out and killed something, and now we have to eat it.”
Another caveman trick involves donating blood frequently. The idea is that various hardships might have occasionally left ancient humans a pint short. Asked when he last gave blood, Andrew Sanocki said it had been three months. He and his brother looked at each other. “We’re due,” Andrew said.
Most of the cavemen at Mr. Durant’s gatherings are lean and well-muscled, and have glowing skin. A few wear trim beards. Some claim that they no longer get sick. Several identify themselves as libertarians.
They regularly grumble about vegans, whom they regard as a misguided, rival tribe. But much of the conversation is spent parsing the law of the jungle. The most severe interpretations generally come from Vladimir Averbukh, a jaunty red-headed Web manager for the city who was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Upon visiting Mr. Durant’s apartment for the first time, in August, Mr. Averbukh scowled at a tomato plant on his host’s roof deck.
“Cavemen don’t eat nightshades,” Mr. Averbukh, 29, said. He explained that tomatoes are part of the nightshade family, arguing that they are native to the New World and could not have been part of humanity’s earliest diet. Mr. Durant shrugged. (Mr. Durant said later that there was nothing uncavemannish about eating tomatoes.)
Mr. Averbukh is a pre-Promethean sort of caveman. Much of his nourishment comes from grass-fed ground beef, which he eats raw. In a bow to the times, he sometimes uses a fork.
The other cavemen in New York find Mr. Averbukh’s preference for raw beef a little strange.
“I draw the line at sushi,” Andrew Sanocki said. “Paleo man had fire, didn’t he?”
Beyond Mr. Durant’s tribe, it is likely that other New Yorkers are practicing a milder, diet-focused version of the lifestyle. An Upper East Side physician, Grant Macaulay, said he has recommended the diet to hundreds of his patients, and sends them to Barnes & Noble to buy a copy of Mr. Cordain’s “Paleo Diet.”
But these computer-savvy cavemen are not interested in living off the grid, like others who share their ambivalence toward the indoor life. And their eating and exercise habits aside, the cavemen say they have no nostalgia for the prehistoric world.
Mr. Averbukh, who drives around town in a red Smart Car, said the thought of “throwing yourself in the forest with a stick and seeing how long you survive” held no appeal.
The cavemen are happy in the modern world, they say, but simply want to regain the fortitude that they attribute to their ancient ancestors.
“The problem is that as soon as we get out of our temperature-controlled environments, we’re weak,” Mr. Durant said. “Where’s that wildness that allowed humans to flourish throughout history?”
With this view of humanity’s past, what does Mr. Durant see in his future? One idea is a restaurant called B.C. or Wild. Just in case he develops the right business model, Mr. Durant has bought the domain name hunter-gatherer.com.