Natural Selection in Action, or Just Another Bunch of Tiresome Posers?

Tired of being crushed by the neo-liberal world order that subsumes everything in its relentless drive toward profit? Sick of an agro-industrial complex that severs the human link between the production of food and its consumption? Do the ideas of John Zerzan sound just a little too inconvenient for you to work into your daily life?

Fear not, for the “neo-caveman” lifestyle is just for people like you! It has all of the trendy “primitivist” cache without any of the actual primitivism!

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.


“I didn’t want to do some faddish diet that my sister would do,” Mr. Durant said.

Ah, of course! This is no mere “fad,” of course, for this err… “movement’s” ideas are informed by pseudo-scientific claptrap peddled by some bozo with a lab coat:

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.”

Paging Dr. Deepak Chopra. There is a new bullshit artist in town, and he’s looking to uhh… trample you.

Then again, how seriously do we take a bunch who yammer about the benefits of the “caveman” lifestyle when they’re living in apartments, registering domain names and planning to open restaurants while simultaneously complaining that “real cavemen” wouldn’t eat tomatoes because they came from the Western Hemisphere?


5 Responses to “Natural Selection in Action, or Just Another Bunch of Tiresome Posers?”

  1. 1 Chris
    January 12, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Wait…isn’t this the Atkin’s Diet?

  2. 2 Vincent
    January 13, 2010 at 1:12 am

    It’s the Atkins Diet with added jumping and starvation.

  3. 3 Chris
    January 14, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Great selling points!

    No, you see, all you do is eat meat and jump. Sometimes, you starve yourself too! It’s great, and it’s EXACTLY what cavemen did. Yeah, we read some stuff on it and it’s, like, totally the truth, you know what I mean?

  4. 4 Vincent
    January 14, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Yeah… I’d say something derogatory about believing anything you read on a blog, but…

  5. 5 Chris
    February 5, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Interview in last segment is John Durant. Pretty interesting/funny…ok, not really interesting, but definitely funny.

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