I label myself very rarely, because a label is like a name -- it tells people how they should relate to you, and it makes them automatically react to you in a certain way (these things are not mutually inclusive). I don't label myself as a conservative or liberal because of how loaded with assumptions those words are. Likewise, I refuse to identify as a brony, because I'm aware what a bunch of idiots they can act like.
This, however, has not stopped a modern movement that, instead of just being what they are, insists on a label just to validate themselves. Talking with a woman, I mentioned that I don't do one night stands.
"Ah, you're a demisexual."
"It means you don't have sex with just anyone, you can only have sex with someone you have some sort of emotional connection with."
...never heard of it before.
"Oh, there's lots of people like that."
It was then that I realized the importance of a label in these circumstances -- it deflects abuse and criticism. You tell people you don't bed 'em and spread 'em for just anyone, they ask, "What's wrong with you?" But you tell them you are a "demisexual," and suddenly, there's this badge of officiality to it, this statement that lots of people do it, and it's common enough to have a collective term for it. It basically says, "There's nothing abnormal about us at all."
The problem is, there was nothing abnormal about it in the first place. Not everyone has a sex drive that goes from 0 to 60 in five seconds. In fact, that's the majority of the population. And yet society has become so accustomed to people saying, if you are capable of having sex and not having it for some reason, there is something wrong with you. (It's a standard justification pedos use to justify having sex with underage kids -- they have reached sexual maturity, they are therefore capable of making sexual choices.)
Yes, society pressure is harsh and stupid. But the weird thing is you avoid it by either simply owning it as no big deal or letting people make assumptions, and by the time they realize the truth, you are such a cool guy, this little bit doesn't matter. There's a group of comic industry pros I've fallen into orbit with for the last few years, and recently, they found out I don't drink. Not a drop. I just don't like it (I don't tell others not to drink, I'm not one of those douchebags). Yeah, they thought that was a bit odd, but we get along so well, everyone just let it slide so we could get back to our schemes to conquer the world.
I bring this up because a new label has appeared on my radar, one that I didn't know about before. Probably because I'm not searching for labels to justify my behavior, so I don't need to travel in those circles. It came about because of a new restaurant that opened the other day in Boulder, Colorado. The restaurant is Blooming Beets, and it bills itself as a Paleo diet friendly joint.
Ooookay, so what's a Paleo diet? The Paleo diet basically pretends that environmental adaptation and evolution doesn't apply to humans. The nuts and bolts: human physiology is largely unchanged since the Paleolithic era (bullshit, but let's deal with that later). Humans of the era ate mostly meat, avoided dairy and grains, and didn't use salt. But with civilizations and advancements in farming and food production, the result has been a food supply that mankind is not adapted to eat, resulting in diseases of affluence and lifestyle diseases that hunter/gathers never had. So, the theory goes, if we go back to food that we ate in that era, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall these problems will be gone.
(In case you haven't guess by my picture, I am a meat eater. Fifty pounds overweight. You don't get like this from eating like a rabbit.)
Now, the first question is, who is responsible for this? Well, we can't blame just one person. The whole thing first popped up in a book called The Stone Age Diet by Walter Voegtlin in 1975. Researchers started looking into it, and the first official recognition was a paper by Boyd Eaton and Melvin Konner in the New England Journal Of Medicine in 1985. Others started making books about the diet at that point, but they were overshadowed by the low-carb craze of the Atkins diet and the South Beach diet. So why is this becoming popular now, to the point where there is a specialty restaurant in what is billed as the healthiest city in the country?
Because people are looking to troll vegans and healthy lifestylers.
As vegan became a social movement instead of just some fringe diet, people who preferred omnivorous or carnivorous diets found themselves constantly being told that they were unhealthy. And instead of just shrugging it off, they decided to counterattack. Look at all the bacon-themed shit out there. A ballpark served tacos in shells made of bacon. There's bacon soap. Bacon breath freshener. And, I swear to God this is true, bacon-flavored vaginal gel. Bacon bacon bacon everywhere, supposedly the gateway to "re-educating" vegans.
This, however, presents a problem. This is just flipping off the vegans, the vegans still have science on their side. A much more direct confrontation was desired, and the Paleo diet was discovered and has become the weapon of choice.
Folks, the Paleo diet is bullshit. Human physiology adapts all the time. There are diseases that local populations are immune to that outsiders would keel over from in a moment. Man adapts. And just because something wasn't available to be made in Paleo times doesn't mean it's bad. The Paleo movement says, "No alcohol," as ancient man had no way to make it. But alcohol became necessary because regular water was so polluted. The Paleo movement basically says to go to the water treatment plant and have a big swig of the intake pool. There's no way Paleo man would survive THAT.
It's simple -- you want to eat meat, do it. You don't need to prove vegans wrong, you don't need to convert them, you don't need to fight them. They want to harangue you for eating meat? Let 'em. You can ignore them easy. But holding up a diet with very little research to back up its claims is not how to do it.
Oh, and you know an Paleo place is going to charge you way more than you should pay. Not only are you still caving to societal pressure, you are asking to be ripped off. Don't be a sucker.