Why “Meat Made Us Smart” Is A Dumb Idea

By The Humane Hominid

Promote a cruelty-free lifestyle long enough, and you’ll eventually bump into the expensive tissue hypothesis. No, it’s not a pet theory about the rising cost of toilet paper, but the claim (usually foisted upon you by paleodieters or some carnist who took an anthropology class once) that meat-eating made humans into the big-brained rocket scientists we are today. How ungrateful and unnatural you are to reject millions of years of evolution. Surely, your brain has shrunk from lack of essential fatty acids, to even entertain such a notion as eating vegan.

To be fair, that last bit isn’t actually the expensive tissue hypothesis (ETH). It’s just the pop culture meme that grew out of an influential idea first put forward by Leslie C. Aiello and Peter Wheeler in 1995. While “meat made us smart” is not, as you’ll see in a moment, actually what Aiello & Wheeler said, it is the message that carnist mainstream society took from the paper and ran with.  It’s been the urban caveman’s naturalistic fallacy of choice ever since.

But as with many things in modern science, things look a lot different in the field today than they did 18 years ago.  The idea that meat-eating was essential to the evolution of human intelligence isn’t holding up as well as your average broscientist thinks it is. What follows is a slightly edited re-post from my usual blog that explains all the details.

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Shred the Streets Green

by contributor John Holden

Since 1986 Etnies has been manufacturing some of the most cutting edge skateboard shoes on the market. Now celebrating their 25th year anniversary they are continuing on that path with a new campaign BUY A SHOE PLANT A TREE. For every pair of Jamieson 2 Eco shoes sold Etnies will plant a tree in the rain forests of Costa Rica. The Jameson Eco 2 is not only a stylish pair of shoes but the out soles are made from recycled bike tires and plastic gloves while the laces are made from Pet recycled plastic bottles.

 

Jameson 2 EcoJameson 2 Eco


Jameson 2 Eco

Snack Attack, Nude Attitude, Man Tools & The Cost of Cheap Clothes

• The simplicity of a henley is a thing of beauty. Practical, utilitarian, and handsome whether you layer it with an organic plaid shirt, or wear it on it’s own. When that henley is fairly-made in Italy  or Portugal from organic cotton, it’s also a thing of ethical handsomeness. While I wish on all my lucky-charms that Nudies would stop using cruel and ecologically devastating leather for their denim tags and jackets, I am happy when they have items like this that are leather-free. (Don’t they know about all the cutting-edge, supple faux-leathers made from recycled soda bottles, TV’s, or in closed-loop Japanese factories?). Nudie does, however, have an amazing human rights program set up with Amnesty International – that with the purchase of any one of their organic cotton “Human Rights Tees“, 10 Euros gets donated to AI. They’ve got some pretty cool designs, as well.

Axel Grandpa PD Organic Nudie JeansSigvard Organic Canvas Check Nudie Jeans

Human Rights Tee )26 Nudie JeansHuman Rights Tee )27 Nudie Jeans

• Is cheap denim worth burning young women to death? Most people would say no – but our shopping habits speak otherwise. On December 15th, 2010, a multi-story sweatshop making clothes for notorious sweatshop slumlords, The Ha-meem Group (employed by GAP Inc., Wrangler jeans, JC Penney, Target, Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, Walmart, Kohl’s, Sears, Next and Osh Kosh B’Gosh, trapped and killed at least 29 workers in Bangladesh. The unsafe and unchecked conditions in the sweatshop prevented these mostly young girls from making a safe escape, as exists are commonly locked from the outside to prevent people from taking breaks. Many were burned alive, and many jumped to their death. To add insult to injury, “…the workers who were burned alive were likely being paid some $24 a month, less than $1 a day,” according to Change.org.

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The disconnect we have concerning where our clothes come from is shameful, but understandable considering the epic propaganda and marketing machine that tells well-funded myths about cheap clothes. Between 2006 and 2009, 414 workers died in 213 factory fires. This latest fire at the Ha-Meem Group factory was not the first one to occur this year either – and famous factory fires that kill poor people or immigrants have a well-documented history.

If you unwrapped a Christmas present from any one of these companies yesterday, or plan on going to the mall to spend gift-certificates, I would seriously consider using the opportunity to return items, speak to a managers, write letters, or otherwise voice your outrage. Lastly, please Sign The Petition to demand that these manufacturers at least compensate families of the victims.

* If you are designer or work with any of these companies – check out the amazing work that Made-By is doing, and find out how to get the button sewn into your label!

• Snack Attack! I am drooling like a rescued pitbull just thinking about these new snacks! The vegan mozzarella-style sticks from Chicago Soy Dairy’s Teese line offers 15 sticks for 6 bucks  – that ain’t bad at all. Then, squeeze some of Tiger Tiger’s flavored vegan mayo on your favorite sandwich or burger, and for dessert, how about some raw, Nutella-inspired Rawtella over  ice cream or in a cookie sandwich?

Breaded Teese Cheese Mozzarella Sticks by Chicago SoydairyRawtella Organic Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Vegan Flavored Mayonnaise by Tiger Tiger

• Man Tools from Jack Black are a sure way to keep a well-groomed face and handsome conscious. A cruelty-free and Men’s Health Magazine award-winning lather-brush designed to both meet and exceed the performance of Silver Tip Badger hair, and a razor-sharpener that extends the life of any razor are often hard to find, but here they are:

San Francisco Treats: Wholesome Bakery & PACT Organic Underwear

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Let’s make a PACT. Sustainably manufactured, premium organic cotton underwear for men (and women)! PACT just released its newest print — one designed by African architect David Adjaye and inspired by Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai’s Green Belt Movement, a nonprofit that promotes peace and democracy in Africa through tree planting.

PACT underwear is designed in collaboration with Yves Behar and fuseproject, the industrial design studio behind the Jawbone headset, the One Laptop per Child XO Laptop and the Herman Miller LEAF lamp. Each underwear collection is developed in partnership with a nonprofit, which gets 10% of all sales, and an artist who creates print designs inspired by the nonprofit’s work.

My pal (and vegan model) Jayce Alexander, strips down to his undies in this video for PACT:

Wholesome Bakery in San Fran has a brand new location and is serving up some amazing treats. Have any of you visited? If so, what are the must-have treats?

Rape of Africa in “A Bid to Save the Earth.”

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David LaChapelle’s “Rape of Africa” is not supposed to sit well with you. The piece is the photographer’s first official ‘art’ piece (not for a magazine), and it references Botticelli’s Venus and Mars while depicting many of the horrors endured by Africans, like diamond mining. This piece will be up for auction at Christies’ “A Bid to Save the Earth” auction, April 22, the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, benefiting four nonprofit organizations: Oceana, Conservation International, the Central Park Conservancy and the National Resources Defense Council. Supporters are invited to participate online, in real time, via Christies LIVE™. View the electronic catalogue online starting April 8.

Central Park Conservancy - central to the parkConservation International - People need nature to thriveOceanaNRDC

More a social justice piece than an environmental piece, this photograph is especially interesting because LaChapelle takes a serious stab at Damien Hirst’s infamoushttp://www.lipsticktracez.com/reggie/2008/12/09/damien-hirst-jewelled-skull-thumb-500x716.jpg diamond-crusted skull. The skull sits below the feet of a child in the photograph, and is deservingly reduced a symbol of the rape of Africa. Strangely though, Hirst, who first became known for his chopped-up-animals-cum-installations, is also contributing to the auction. Needless to say, he just doesn’t strike me as the Earth-Day kind of guy, so I’ll be interested to see what he contributes and has to say. Of course there are other, more deadly mining operations in Africa, like that of coltan in Congo, that has resulted in the deadliest conflict since WWII, and sitting beside Naomi Campbell are farm animals, which suggest the failure of programs like Oxfam and Heifer International as well as making the statement that, like domesticated farm animals, Naomi is a chattel. Across from Naomi sits a sleeping white man guarded by young African boys who will do his dirty work.

On what will be the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, bidders will vie for lots such as a private lunch with Vera Wang; Giorgio Armani evening ensembles and two tickets to Vanity Fair’s Oscars after party; his and her bespoke suits from Stella McCartney, as well as a private fitting with the designer; Girard-Perregaux watches; Valextra luggage; Harry Winston jewelry; David LaChapelle photography, and a bevy of other luxury items. Artists Damien Hirst and Keith Tyson have also donated original art for the event. Christopher Burge will drop the gavel during the auction and there also will be bidding via christies.com.

Read the whole article at WWD

Special thanks to Lee Crater at Hint Magazine for the tip!