My Declaration of Independence From The Paleo Movement

Something’s been weird for a while and I’ve finally identified it.

[For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary – Ed]

I’ve allowed myself over the last couple of years to become increasingly “defined by” (for lack of a better description) and/or entwined in “The paleo Movement” writ large. It snuck up on me. I suppose it’s natural when increasingly, one find’s himself so often mentioned in a list of “the popular blogs.” Of course, I myself have contributed to that with the name dropping here and there. Yea, I’m friends or acquaintances with a lot of those guys and gals. And yea, there’s a certain allure to be “one of those guys.”

But I think it’s not even that that bothers me the most. I think it began with AHS11 and perhaps even the speaking gig at The 21 Convention around the same time, which was a paleo talk primarily. Suddenly, I’m seen as some sort of spokesman, representative—what have you—for a movement that’s now coalesced into having a more formal identity. Here’s the deal: there is a certain logic to the dynamic where, those who have identified with that movement expect that those representing it officially, uphold some general notion of “standards of decorum.”

So I get it. I’m a very polarizing figure, intentionally so. I get lots of love and lots of hate, just the way I like it; because indifference sucks. And while those who love me are all for me coming to AHS to speak, that’s no surprise. …And I suppose it’s fair to ask, “well, why do Richard’s haters get to trump the deal and exclude him?” Problem: it’s not really about that for me. It’s about me going out of my own BlogZone from where I call the shots, exclusively, into an arena where many don’t want to see me. Why bother?

Here, I get to blog whatever the hell I want and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it, promote it…you can hate on it here or elsewhere, and I’m fine with that—though I might bite back if I feel like it. But I never like to go where I’m not welcome, because I feel as though I’m imposing. It’s for that reason that I don’t much participate in comments on other blogs unless I think I have something positive to offer.

And so, what happens when caught in this paradigm of being a “representative,” expected to live up to generally accepted standards of decorum and propriety? What happens is I tend to be motivated to be even more polarizing, focussing more on controversy—et cetera, et cetera—without nearly enough balance in terms of the positive things that tend to help people over time. It’s like I’m caught in this Black Hole of controversy, and I fight it and fight back.

[For an update, please see: Lemons to Lemonade Documentary – Ed]

So, that identified, I think I’m going to pass on submitting a presentation for AHS this next year. Whether I attend or not, we’ll see.

And I’ll no longer be referring to myself as “a paleo blogger.” I’m a blogger, and I blog about whatever tickles my fancy at any given moment and it’s often about food, health, nutrition, diet, exercise. And about paleo from my own perspective.

There. Now I’m in my comfy spot once again. Read it if you like, love or hate as you will, contribute when you can; but above all, know that I’m associated with no other version of paleo, Primal, Ancestral, or whatever.

Another thing. From this point forward I will only be promoting those things I find or get wind of that I have a specific interest in promoting. So stop mailing the newest paleo book to come out every week, please.

I’m declaring my independence and will blog about what I feel like, when I feel like, and I’ll be linking up this post whenever there’s the slightest doubt about that, or hint that I owe anyone anything in particular. …But I sure do want to help those looking for it whenever I can.


Update: I have two new follow-up posts on this topic.

Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.


  1. Steven Marjieh on September 18, 2012 at 09:07

    You mean you got tired of carrying others that were not as good/honest/forthcoming/hard working as you? About damn time.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 10:00


      Thank you. I don’t see it that way and the community has given a lot to me. What I see, rather, is this sort of nagging, implicit, feeling of obligation I felt. I can’t help it. As much of an asshole as I can be, I like to live as a trader. I was feeling that the general Paleo Community was demanding, or some were, enough, and I just could not give it and living with that underlying conflict of not giving back as was expected, generally, was motivating me to do things I could inherently feel some guilt about because I have a sense of reciprocity.

      Better to be independent.

  2. Michele on September 18, 2012 at 09:11

    Good to have you back for the reason I started reading in the first place!

  3. blaklabl on September 18, 2012 at 09:20

    Well done Richard, well done.

  4. Gordon Shannon on September 18, 2012 at 09:44

    Good to hear. Movements are inherently limiting and potentially dangerous. Same reason I’m not part of the libertarian movement.

    • Theo on September 18, 2012 at 09:50

      I agree. While there are advantages to movements, I feel the action of staking out a particular dogma is inherently divisive and therefore not conducive to progress.

    • Natalie on September 18, 2012 at 13:38

      LOL I was about to say it. I dislike a lot of libertarians for various reasons and prefer to think of myself as an anarchist politically (which is surprisingly liberating: once you realize there’s next to nothing you can influence on national/state level, you’re free to concentrate on things you can actually change, such as your own health).

      Paleo is pretty limited: if you eliminate all starches, then apparently you’re not paleo (sorry Geminet but I know what makes me fat). Try some indulgencies (coffee, sugar alcohol) – and again, you’re the enemy.

      • Gordon Shannon on September 19, 2012 at 04:28


        Of course, movements don’t have to be like that. I’m sure there are and have been movements that are not. And movements are inherently vague entities, so it’s hard to decipher who’s ‘in’. Libertarianism is a great example. If we mean it in the original sense, it’s Rothbardianism. But Rothbard was an anarchist, and held views considered laughable by many contemporary libertarians. Like Ayn Rand, even Rothbard is rejected by many libertarians. But it’s not simply (or usually) *intellectual* rejection in my experience – it’s mockery. The prevalence of group think, of the propensity to divide people into ‘in and out’ groups, and to mock the out group, is all too present in the movements I’ve seen, including the libertarian one.

        One can ‘trade’ with them from time to time, to use Richard’s (Rand’s) phrase, but they can very easily make you lose sight of your own motivations and joys.

      • Gordon Shannon on September 19, 2012 at 15:57

        “This is because paleo is a stupid label and a STUPID idea.”

        Why is it stupid? It signifies that the movement is inspired by the diet of our paleolithic ancestors. In that respect, in functions perfectly.

        “The concept that we can eliminate or prevent these diseases by being “paleo” in diet is not only unfounded but extremely childish.”

        Success stories (read: empirical evidence) falsify your claim.

        “There is the fact so much about our physiology and health status depends on things entirely non-dietary.”

        True, but the paleo movement recognizes this. That is why it is not merely a dietary movement, but a lifestyle movement.

        “The prenatal environment may be one of the more crucial pieces in determining metabolism. Being exposed to abnormal levels of insulin leptin cortisol and other endocrine signals permanently alters our physiology in a way that promotes obesity and metabolic disease in adulthood.”

        Even if true, this does not invalidate the science underlying the paleo movement. It adds to it, and provides further context in which individuals can engage in self-experimentation.

        “Potatoes are paleo, but potatoes are a *horrible* idea if you are severely obese or diabetic.”

        Then don’t eat potatoes.

        “Paleo is a cult.”

        Arbitrary statement.

        “I would also point out, if paleo WASN’T a cult, Richard wouldn’t feel a need to write a response describing why he is disentangling himself from it.”

        Contradicted by Richard’s own statements.

        The rest is either speculation or a repeat of the above logical mistakes.

      • Joseph on September 21, 2012 at 07:10

        Behavior is just behavior, empirically speaking. Some people practice certain behaviors because rigorous thought has shown them that said behaviors offer concrete benefits (or a high probability of them) that they would like to claim (or hunt for with high chance of success). Others practice the same behaviors because “it’s totally cool, dude!” The latter attitude is not wrong per se, but it can be dangerous (since anything can be totally cool: there are no objective, rigorous criteria inherent in the nature of awesome sauce, and those who follow it to better health today may follow it over a cliff tomorrow). The people who do things “simple because” are not people to listen to (in the context where that is their reason: they might still be fascinating conversationalists on other topics).

      • Joseph on September 21, 2012 at 07:15

        By “fascinating conversationalists” I suppose I meant something like “intelligent agents (with practical information that will be useful).” Plenty of nutbags are great fun to listen to (especially when you are past taking them seriously).

        “Paleo” is full of both types, of course. The longer it sticks around, the more nutbags sign on (“because it’s cool!”), and the less comfortable thinking people become with their membership in a collective that begins to resemble a cult (because more people are treating it that way, worshiping at the altar of gods they do not know).

  5. Cow on September 18, 2012 at 09:52

    “Decorum” is nice way to saying that humans is so denatured that whenever they around other human (whether is job or relationship or social groupings) they has to spends most of time lying and performing and making adjustment based on response. Exhausting, no?

    • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 10:31

      Yes, cow. And chewing cud no much help.

      • Cow on September 18, 2012 at 11:47

        Fine Columbian cud often helpful, Richard. But serious, I think is one reason why so much mental disorder and violence is because nobody able to really express true selfs. Is create feeling of being ‘alone’ and ‘me against them’ because you gonna get shamed for what you says or feels (even though everybody else in secret too is with similar feeling.)

      • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 11:50

        Cow, the most common feedback I get is on the order of: thanks for saying what almost no one else will, but everyone is thinking.

  6. Sean on September 18, 2012 at 10:42

    Stop being a whiny cunt and do what you want without announcing it in some sort of goddamned whiny manifesto.

    In case it’s not obvious I’m just busting your balls.

    “It’s like I’m caught in this Black Hole of controversy, and I fight it and fight back.”

    Naw, there’s nothing wrong with being provocative or contrarian as long as it doesn’t become an involuntary reflex. Being overly contrarian is sort of an occupational hazard for people who’ve graduated outside the box of conventional thought. My most intelligent friends will deliberately take provocative positions–but they don’t take silly positions for no reason, they take provocative positions that are on the edge of the paradigm, much like good comedians who are always pushing the envelope. I don’t have a problem with this or disagreeing with half the shit (or whatever the ratio is) that you say. The contrarian thing can be taken too far, but I don’t think that’s your problem. I’ll take healthy and heated discourse over a sea of conformist dialog any day of the week.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 10:54

      I used to argue and discuss with David Friedman in the apo and later hpo newsgroup on Usenet. Growing up the son of a Nobel Lauriate in economics, around super smart people all the time, he had a very well practiced ability to actually state your argument better than you had any hope of doing, and then he would demolish it.

      He always was saying: make the best argument you think your opponent can make, in your mind, then draft your post.

      • Harvey Morrell on September 18, 2012 at 15:51

        He’s still doing that on his blog. Also want to congratulate you on taking this road.

    • G Custer on September 19, 2012 at 03:55

      Fuck. “whiny manifestos”? That’s a bit rich coming from you “Shealthy”. You cunt.

  7. Barbara on September 18, 2012 at 10:44

    Interesting Richard that you’ve made this decision for the reasons you’ve stated. From the outside looking in it seems you are a rebel at heart! And that’s you. But I’m not sure what to make of why you would not want to participate in “generally accepted standards of decorum and propriety’?

    How can we exist in society without accepted standards? It’s seems fine to be an individual – we all are individuals but to be an individualist is to deny that we are social creatures. We NEED standards of decorum because the alternative is chaos.

    One of your commenters said this: “Decorum” is nice way to saying that humans is so denatured that whenever they around other human (whether is job or relationship or social groupings) they has to spends most of time lying and performing and making adjustment based on response. Exhausting, no?”

    First of all that person must not have a very good time at parties. Second are we not more than just “nature?” We’re HUMAN beings, not just animals. We have a human nature which is comprised of our physical nature, and our mental/cognitive (I’d say soul) nature. These cannot be separated – or rather they are only separated at death. It’s NATURAL for us to be social and to develop ways to work out this socialability – it’s called civilization. You may chose to opt out, but you can’t deny that there’s something “natural” to opt out of.

    What I’m getting at is this: in your mind to attend some of these health seminars etc. and represent paleo or whatever is not worth having to be nice-nice. And you’ve decided that you’ll give up this very worthwhile thing so that you can say whatever you like on your blog. From what I’ve read over the last little while it means you want to use “potty” language freely and say nasty things about people who annoy you.

    As you keep reminding us that’s your choice. But I think it’s a real loss.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 11:05

      “First of all that person must not have a very good time at parties”

      See how easy it is to answer your own question? Over the last couple of years the feedback I get most is how shocked people are when they meet me in person. Hell, I even get emails from AHS people to say hi, they saw my presentation but were reluctant or afraid to approach me. Or, I get lots of very shy people saying “hi, I read your blog.”

      My blog is not my life. It’s part of it. It’s an outlet, a relief valve to so,e extent, and I want to be independent and I probably will not to relieve myself as often.

      As to your penultimate paragraph, the deal is that blogging is most important to me, and to blog in a way I find intellectually honest and consistent I can only do that to my satisfaction when I don’t have nagging feelings of expectations because I feel as though I owe people generally.

      The good news is that a lot of people might not even know the difference. I will. The PaleoDrama will likely continue, but now I don’t have to feel as though I’m letting anyone down who might judge my behavior adversely, hey, just don’t click on the link. After all, I’m no spokesman or authority where you ought feel any obligation to. Otherwise, swim at your own risk.

      • Barbara on September 18, 2012 at 11:59

        I don’t want to beat a dead horse, Richard, but I still wonder why an intelligent fellow, as you obviously are, would want to use such language as you do, and get into wrangles with people and all that jazz…..

        But as you say it is a release perhaps for your energies. I got a chuckle when you were preparing your e-book and you told your readers you had to edit out the “language” from your blog posts before they could be prepared for inclusion! That said a lot I think. If you want to be free why did you edit it all out? Obviously you wanted to reach a large readership. I would not in all charity call you a hypocrite but it does seem a bit fishy (smile). You are right though. Bottom line none of us has to read.

        Doesn’t it make you sad that people were afraid to approach you? To tell the truth I’ve been afraid to post here because I thought you’d blast me!!!! Anyway chack a son goute as they say in very very bad French!!

      • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 14:30

        “but I still wonder why an intelligent fellow, as you obviously are, would want to use such language as you do, and get into wrangles with people and all that jazz…..”

        It’s pretty simple: I love pushing buttons and having mine pushed. I don’t care much about giving offense OVER CONTROVERSIAL MATTERS. While I delight in opening the door for laddies and giving them a smile.

        Religion is not a settled matter. It’s controversial, not only in terms of various faiths, but any faith at all. That makes it fair game and I love to go hunting or trolling.

        You have no idea the number of people who have become non-reigious on my influence over 20 years, stopped wasting their time at church—to their ultimate relief, as though I freed them from a prison of their own making—if not becoming completely atheist.

        Are you aware I’m a product of a religious upbringing, private religious school and a year at divinity school? I didn’t just pull all of this out my ass, you know.

        “If you want to be free why did you edit it all out?”

        I wanted to sell more copies. Selling more copies means it gets into the hands of people who wouldn’t read my blog, perhaps any blog. Win win. That’s why. Besides, I have the blog for that, any time I want. I could do a whole post with only the word Fuckpiss in it, or just Fuck. Or just piss. Or….shudder, ‘cunt’ (that’s in a very small 4-pt font, in case you didn’t notice).

        “Doesn’t it make you sad that people were afraid to approach you?”

        Ha, that would make Beatrice laugh. She knows exactly why I’m standoffish. I don’t like smaltalk and unless you can bring a conversation that _I_ find interesting, I’m just not much interested.

        Call it a defense mechanism. Defense against bullshit and banality. But, but, I know that doesn’t apply to paleo folks in general or even rarely specifically. It applies to the general population and I’m too practiced over decades to change.

        ” To tell the truth I’ve been afraid to post here because I thought you’d blast me!!!!”

        You caught me on a good day. :)

        À chacun son goût.

      • marie on September 18, 2012 at 18:22

        “You caught me on a good day” – plus que ça, Richard, you must be mellow on something exceptionally good.

      • G Custer on September 19, 2012 at 03:15

        You like pushing buttons and having yours pushed, eh?

        Well fuck me silly and call me a voyeur but I like watching you push buttons and you having yours pushed. I’m too much of a pussy to do it for myself – won’t even use my real name or e-mail on your blog for fucks sake.

        My pussy attitude is purely economic. I wouldn’t make as much money as I do know if I spoke my mind as freely as you do. It’s a conscious decision. I’m happy with it – for now…

      • Richard Nikoley on September 19, 2012 at 07:20

        I saw a quote by that Dershowitz guy the other day, admonishing kids about what they put on line, how it will hurt them in the future with employment yada yada.

        I say go all in or not at all. If it makes you have to be an entrepreneur so you get to call your own shots and can say what you like, then, well, alls to the better.

      • Tracy on September 20, 2012 at 05:36

        Agreed. I used to blog, and my philosophy was if anyone researched me and decided they didn’t want to work with me based on some things I wrote in my personal time, they weren’t people I’d want to work with anyway. I actually GOT a gig once because someone liked my blog (which used ‘strong’ language and such).

        That said – posting pics of you participating in a Mexican donkey show (or something similar) may impact negatively upon future employment opportunities, so some discretion may be warranted. :)

        FWIW, I never considered you a ‘paleo’ blogger in the first place – just a damn good read, with one of the best comment sections on the web.

      • Richard Nikoley on September 20, 2012 at 07:37

        Thanks Tracy.

        The “extremism” I often display in posts in more about generating strong reactions one way or the other in comments. Discussion is learning and understanding. It’s synthesis.

      • Cow on September 18, 2012 at 12:11

        In my defenses, I total delight at party!

        I just saying human indoctrinated from babyhood to make performance and keep ‘unpleasant’ truths to self. We manipulated consciously and subconsciously by feedback and learn to manipulate other to attain social goals. We learn to be fakes when it suit us. We learn to tuck ‘darker sides’ away. But review of criminal statistics, popularity of CSI:Wherevers or any Friday night poker game show darker sides in there percolating and needs release.

      • Barbara on September 18, 2012 at 17:00

        Have you reproduced? If so what are you teaching your children about social interaction? If you have not reproduced may I say how thankful I am?

      • Cow on September 19, 2012 at 08:38

        Teaching kids to act ‘nice’ without acknowledge and processing they ‘not so nice’ thoughts and behaviors is big mistake to me. Kids is often naturally MEAN, so to shames them from this and force manners on them, just push the mean inside. I think is better to no be reactionary and talk and says, yes, we all feel that, we all wants our friend to fail sometimes, or we all want to call somebody name, or think other stupid if they no agrees with us. Would it no be more real to open dialogue about our darker sides than just performing.

      • Tracy on September 20, 2012 at 05:42

        Sure – but you can teach them to acknowledge the darker sides of their natures while also teaching them how to get along in society without ending up being punched in the face a lot. There are ways of expressing yourself honestly and genuinely without being an asshole, and something to be said for knowing how to pick your battles, no?

        BTW Cow, you are ADORABLE.

      • Cow on September 20, 2012 at 13:03

        I know.

      • dr. gabriella kadar on September 18, 2012 at 13:19

        Declaring your independence is redundant.

        I’ve been reading and observing. What I think is possibly a balanced view of what’s been happening is based on things you’ve written and the response of others in the blogosphere.

        For example, Guyenet removed your blog from his blogroll when all the crazy shit was happening over here. He doesn’t have tenure. People affiliated with organizations need to be careful about what they post and with whom they are connected. (A headsup to Woo.)

        I don’t know what other things have happened because I don’t follow too many blogs. Successful bloggers often self-express in ways that can be quite extreme. After all, people read not only for information but also for entertainment.

        From what I’ve observed over many years of participating in various forums is that people write things they’d never actually say to someone else in a face to face encounter. I think you’ve verified this in today’s post. I don’t think this has anything to do with being genuine. It’s more along the lines of indulging oneself. Fair enough. People accept or reject and you are big enough to acknowledge this.

        Also, I fully understand and appreciate where you are coming from: you’ve mentioned having moved to a ‘burb and sloughed off your business, you’ve had a lot of free time in the garden. Reading some of the responses to comments, there were an awful lot of major typos… based on my own experience of attempting to write while somewhat enebriated, well, shit happens. Everyone needs an adjustment period when life changes. Just most of us don’t do it in such a public way.

        Possibly it’s not only the paleo community involvement that gets you carried away. Sometimes it is necessary to self-edit because effectivity oftentimes requires nuance.

        Richard, anyone who reads your blog knows that you usually have a message to get across to a reader. So, de facto, the blog exists for a purpose. I don’t think that the primary use of this blog is to self-indulgently insult or attack other people. However, the anonymity of not being physically in the presence of either a commenter or a blogger results all too often in words that would never be spoken.

        Self-justification and back-paddling aside, you’ve got a lot of interesting and important things to communicate.

        You see, since I can’t actually say these things to you, what I write may be misinterpreted when in fact I feel no animosity or impatience or whatever negative overlay can be impressed on my words. I have these options: write nothing or take the risk of being misunderstood or possibly have what I’ve written be read without adverse reactivity. I’ve decided to risk it.

        ………….still reading your blog and wishing you all the best.

      • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 13:33

        No Gabriella, no sweat.

        But here’s the deal. Probably the most important sentence for me of the post:

        “Problem: it’s not really about that for me. It’s about me going out of my own BlogZone from where I call the shots, exclusively, into an arena where many don’t want to see me. Why bother?”

        It’s not that I really have some obligation and am trying to maneuver so that I don’t get accused of living up to it, or even whether there’s a lot of people who feel it or not. I felt it. I felt the pressure to live up to some standards or else it’s going to be endless drama. It may still be endless drama but I’ll deal with it differently because I just got a divorce, even though maybe no one thought I was married, if that makes sense.

        Oh, and by the way, most of my iPad typos in the backyard are stone sober, when I type fast. When you see am impeccable comment, then suspect I’ve been drinking, as long as its after 7am, of course. :)

    • mark on September 18, 2012 at 12:55

      “Second are we not more than just “nature?” We’re HUMAN beings, not just animals. We have a human nature which is comprised of our physical nature, and our mental/cognitive (I’d say soul) nature. These cannot be separated”

      NO we are not more than nature – you are an animal, built from nature, but with a delusional brain – I’d say your less than an animal now just by stating the fact that you “are more than nature.” Your soul just happens to be billions of electrical impulses firing around your “ape-like” skull. When you die, your soul decomposes and feeds the insects and plants.

      • Barbara on September 18, 2012 at 16:49

        Prove it

      • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 17:51

        “Prove it”

        What you really mean is, prove that my fantastical delusions are not true. Or, prove what I’m saying is not true.

        That humans are a species of animal is an established biological fact, contradicted by ancient texts eclipsed by Mother Goose.

        There are pretty decent pages on the Internet abut logic, onus of proof, impossibility of proving a negative, falsifiability, etc. Its just. Google away. But don’t let that comforting faith be shaken. Careful.

      • Joseph on September 21, 2012 at 07:24

        Prove to me that there is no pink unicorn on the dark side of the moon controlling everything (the tides, women’s menstrual cycles, the markets). Every time you bring up the lack of sightings by rational people (or at least people with cameras and/or a coherent manifesto purporting to come from the unicorn), I will tell you about some psychic in California, some priest in Spain, some lost soul on the Internet who one day saw the light and beheld the glory of the unicorn (which has only to be seen to be adored). Proving a negative is impossible, of course, but that is no reason for expecting positive claims to be true, especially when those claims run directly contrary to almost all empirical evidence that we live with every day. (Why does the unicorn let me live in prosperity while condemning so many Africans to abject poverty? How does coming up with creative answers to this question make anyone’s life better?)

      • Richard Nikoley on September 21, 2012 at 07:52


        The pink unicorn on the dark side of the moon? Ridiculous. You, sir, are following a false Dog. The only True Dog is The Flying Spahgetti Monster.

      • Galina L. on September 21, 2012 at 08:02

        What about Jesus being imaginary friend? Two days ago a lady who I help with a Tai-chi practice tried to convince me she was having a very close personal relationships with Jesus Christ. Holy shit!

      • Richard Nikoley on September 21, 2012 at 08:07

        It is, Galena, especially for Fundamental born agains. They say stuff all the time like “god led me to do this, told me to that, etc.” it’s essentially a device to validate with authority what they want to do anyway. The ascribe every scintilla of rational thought to some sort of divine guidance. Guess it also gives them an out when things don’t go as planned.

        Then there’s the whole Santa aspect of it. For years I have referred to Santa as God Lite.

      • marie on September 21, 2012 at 08:09

        Thank you Richard for guiding us to the one, the true FSM. Having been touched by the appendage, my soul is flying this morning….. and I’ll be adding gold-covered nano meatballs to lunch.

      • Richard Nikoley on September 21, 2012 at 08:16

        Divinely inspired, I’m sure. The FSM always looks out for his children.

      • Richard Nikoley on September 21, 2012 at 08:17

        Or her children? Does he/she/it actually have a gender?

      • marie on September 21, 2012 at 08:25

        Oh Richard, He and His Noodly Appendage are very masculine – of course! :-) :-)

      • Joseph on September 21, 2012 at 14:08

        The pink unicorn says that you (and the FSM) must convert or die. Also, she is very offended by the My Little Pony cartoons (and would like to encourage her most dedicated followers to blow up any stores that sell paraphernalia associated with these abominable desecrations to children: martyrs will receive endless rounds of hot chocolate on Mars).

      • marie on September 22, 2012 at 12:47

        Oh no Joseph, the pink unicorn goes too far, a fatwah on My Little Pony?
        But, but, that silky pink mane…and that little brush….how Could she?!
        Your pink unicorn must be a trick by satan, she must be vanquished. The FSM, in His omnipotence, does not urge his followers to smite hers, no, He will fly to the moon and smother her in His noodliness….when you see the lunar eclipse, that is the Sign, His will has been done.

      • mark on September 20, 2012 at 06:04

        LOL (Grade 12 Biology covers living, dying, and decomposition)

        I think you need to prove that my dog runs around making sure she doesn’t sin so she can join her grand parents, there parents, and there parents, and there parents, and there parents in the clouds… But she hasn’t had the opportunity to stand in front of another dog with a big hat and robe and ask for forgiveness of all those sins (she has killed another animal you know) she committed – so how the hell will she get to the clouds in the end?

        At what point do the clouds get a little fucking crowded? Where do the 45th generation of sprits go once they can’t afford the cloud rent any longer? I’m sure it must be fucking pretty crowded if every last living organism that has ever “lived” on earth (any other planets?) is still in the clouds watching over everyone? I wonder what our previous “caveman-like” ancestor sprits think of these nuts jobs arriving almost daily? Using simple math I would estimate that the clouds ratio of sprit-to-living must be in the millions to 1.

        I just seem to think its a pretty fucking powerful thing watching the giver of all life rise in the east every morning.

      • mark on September 21, 2012 at 05:16

        Don’t forget the “glazed over eyes” thing… wearing the cross on her neckless that “actually” represents solstices and equinoxes …

  8. josef on September 18, 2012 at 11:08

    Based on the current information available from existing primitive societies (i.e. Kitavans, Watusi, Eskimos), the Paleo Movement needs to be re-defined based on what existing Paleo people eat today, not what we think (hope?) they used to eat.

    This will provide numerous definitions. The Paleo Movement needs to become more democratic/flexible and allow the people to select what they like AND works for them, within the Paleo concept.

    In other words, many Paleos for many people.

    And if non-Paleo works for some, let it go.

  9. Barbara on September 18, 2012 at 12:13

    It’s a mistake to tout one way of eating over another as evidence shows that climate and geography play a much greater role in food consumption. Eating patterns have changed when ice ages waxed and waned. And they will again.

    In my humble opinion the real trouble in our time will start when people realize that whole foods and only whole foods (of whatever stripe) will do, and that manufactured “foods” are killing us.

    Can you imagine what will happen when manufactures realize the billions and billions and billions of dollars they earn yearly are in jeopardy? To say nothing of the diet industry’s billions?

    • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 14:33

      “It’s a mistake to tout one way of eating over another as evidence shows that climate and geography play a much greater role in food consumption. Eating patterns have changed when ice ages waxed and waned. And they will again.”

      [Paleo is equator to arctic, sea level to 16,000 feet and everything in between.]

      Some blogger said that, once.

      • Barbara on September 18, 2012 at 16:53

        My point exactly. Eating Paleo is really meaningless as far as we are concerned. Eating real food on the other hand is exactly what we must aim for. All I meant to focus on was the huge fight that will ensue when this knowledge seeps into the consciousness of the many-headed – to the horror of the frankenfood manufacturers.

      • neal matheson on September 18, 2012 at 23:21

        With an important caveat that extant and archaeologically defined Hunter gatherers (specifically hunter gatherers) operate within perameters.

      • mark on September 19, 2012 at 06:13

        Paleo’s point is yes – real food but with a twist. Eating 30 banana’s a day just might not be optimal. Paleo/Primal is taking it further.

  10. MaryBeth on September 18, 2012 at 12:39

    I found your blog by way of the Paleo / Primal movement and for that I’m very grateful.
    But I’ll keep reading because for a variety of reasons I really enjoy reading what you have to say, and I fully support you driving the direction of your own blog in whichever way you like.
    I do hope you will come to AHS next year though, you’re a big reason why I’m becoming a member and planning to go.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 14:39

      Hey MaryBeth.

      Amke no mistake. This will still be plenty, mostly Paleo. Had I not even said anything I doubt many people would notice. But it was important to me to make a public declaration, because that way, I have something to link whenever anyone gives overtures that because I’m popular, well known, speak at AHS, what will Dr. Eades think, or whatever, I can show I’m no longer married to anyone or anything.

      This will, hopefully, improve my blogging. Feeling free has that weird effect on animals. Contrary to popular belief, no rape, torture, murder and mayhem tonight. I think I’ll write a blog that pleases me.

      • MaryBeth on September 19, 2012 at 09:02

        @ Richard
        You seem like a sweetheart to me, and a little mayhem is good sometimes, works the kinks out. :-)Yes, I can definitely see the helpfulness of making this a post and being able to link to it as a response to comments, cuts down on time spent on explanations.
        I also completely agree with you about not wanting to be married to whole movement or set of people.
        What a bore the internet would be if everyone agreed on every point, viva la difference!
        One of the things I like about the “Paleo” bloggers I routinely read (you included) is that it is understood that we are meant to self-experiment and find what our bodies can handle or not, what makes us thrive, that if something is “paleo” but creates needless problems for us we can/should eliminate it, and to do what brings the most health to our own bodies and minds.
        (To be clear – I eat a all animal & plant based diet, no grains, no processed foods – I’m not making the case that Diet Coke is okay lol)

        In regards to some Paleo “purists”: I don’t appreciate the opinion that this person or that person is not really “Paleo” because they don’t eat potatoes, or some other carb, because the Damned Kitavans ate potatoes so carbs are really good for you. I bear ZERO genetic resemblance to the Kitavans and I’ve self-experimented with adding back different carbs in the form of plants (not grains) but many I can’t handle.
        This is kind of a tangent, but my point is that if certain “Paleo” bloggers can’t support people doing what brings the most health to them personally because it doesn’t fit some exact replication mode of the Paleo lifstyle…then F ’em.

  11. Marc on September 18, 2012 at 12:43


    Richard, “onward “is right, the way it has always been for this great blog of yours.


  12. Rob Beyerlein on September 18, 2012 at 12:59

    The anarchist in you is too free of a spirit for this not to be the ultimate conclusion to what had to happen with your role in the ancestral health movement. I liken it to the way that Dr. Kurt Harris had to distance himself from the stupidity and theism that has appeared.

    As much as I hate beating a dead horse, a lot of what is wrong with this movement and every other movement is that it becomes a politics of talking points. The followers lack the scientific understanding to do anything but follow the guidelines and any deviation is blasphemous because they don’t have the mental machinery to actually think within the biochemical context of what the hell is actually going on. It is completely analogous to religious dogma, I’m personally a Christian, but my faith is more about what is in the pages of a book written decades after the events actually happened. Zealots of nutrition dogma or religious dogma cannot deviate from those pages. Your self actualization about who and what you had become illustrates where a human mind can go with a little fucking intelligence and introspection.

    One of my favorite paleo blogs, Civilized Caveman, had up a post yesterday about a girl who was paleo then went to lean gains, went ape shit with IIFYM and then went back to a “normal” eating pattern. The whole thing still has my blood boiling because she blames the IF protocol, not the fact that she was eating poor quality food and had addictive type traits that makes the refeeding dangerous for someone who has the potential for self-destructive binge/purge. So she stops IF’ing, comes back to the warm confines of paleo and her spirit is saved again…exactly the kind of evangelical style bullshit you are distancing yourself from.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 15:00

      Thank you Rob B. Very nice perspective.

      I’ve seen Civilized Caveman and will pop it in my RSS because I can’t ignore your recommendation. Clearly, you know how to deal with me.

  13. EatLessMoveMoore on September 18, 2012 at 16:02

    Does this have anything to do with being expelled/banned from that group Melissa was talking about? This is all fairly confusing for those of us who don’t know the whole backstory.

    • rob on September 18, 2012 at 16:16

      I don’t think anyone cares what the Witches Of PaleoWick are talking about.

      Sheep have a tendency to bleat.

    • Dracil on September 18, 2012 at 16:53

      I don’t think it’s really related. He had a similar post back in April.

      • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 17:55


        Thanks for brining that up. I had forgotten it and now realize I should have really take that to heart.

        I won’t be making that mistake again.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 17:28


      The monkeys of the International Paleo Movement Group. In essence, a few months ago I got wind of it in FB. It’s a group, approval required. I was quickly granted access and there were all these pics of women paleo butts in underwear. Some very nice ones too. Wow, I’m thinking.

      I blogged about it and their membership went from like 2000 something to over 3, now about 3500. Turns out that was some contest and what I saw later in many instances was just purity dogma, you know the drill. So I never looked much. Shot a blog link now and then, not to overdo it (I did get them hundreds of members…). For some reason when I posted yesterday’s post I went ahead and forwarded it to the group. I shit you not. It was not one minute and the monkeys started screeching, just like I had walked into the jungle and the alert was being sounded.

      In less than three minutes from time of posting I had over 20 responses. I started jabbing back. Within 5 minutes I was banned. I can’t even view the public page at this point so I’m blocked as well.

      End of story. In all, 27 comments, 100% negative and not a single person had really read the post or watched the video, which I believe is about 40 minutes.

      Thats Paleo nobody needs. Is this the root of what I’m doing now. No, but it is quite possibly the last straw.

      • dr. gabriella kadar on September 19, 2012 at 13:43

        Sounds like the 30 Bananas a day crowd.

  14. reaLife on September 18, 2012 at 18:25

    aah that means your not getting back on the unicycle juggling firecrackers beside the pool at night?

    what happened to freetheanimalfarm?

    • Richard Nikoley on September 18, 2012 at 19:41


      I cooked liver, onions and potatoes, all with a new and easier method tonight requiring far less juggling.

      I have pics, maybe tomorrow. To do a really good liver & onions life my mom does is a ton of work and basically destroys the whole kitchen and dirties every dish. I have a better way.

  15. marie on September 18, 2012 at 18:55

    Richard, as far as I can see, you’re being naturally wise and true to yourself, as usual. A rare thing. Does not belong in any movement. Onward.

  16. Liz on September 18, 2012 at 21:14

    I haven’t read your blog all the way through, but the frustration you feel is present. I think not having a label will actually feel better. Looking forward to the new and open direction you’re taking.

  17. Vendo on September 18, 2012 at 21:42


  18. Mark on September 19, 2012 at 17:33

    I’m glad you put it straight. Keep on trucking.

  19. Christo on September 19, 2012 at 07:23


    I like beans

    • JofJLTNCB6 on September 19, 2012 at 12:00

      Sounds to me like someone needs to be kicked off of Paleo Island.

      • Richard Nikoley on September 19, 2012 at 12:04

        One of the 3-4 four posts I have in draft is about going for the monkeys, first. They steal all the fermented fruit.

  20. JofJLTNCB6 on September 19, 2012 at 11:59


  21. Galina L. on September 19, 2012 at 12:01

    It is what you need – to set yourself free. Declaration of independence if better that the declaration of a war any day! In a personal life first thing may prevent the second one. I think if you stop to consider yourself a part of a movement, you will be able to stop over-reacting on who said what in the movement and it will set you free to think and blog about something what doesn’t include relationships with other bloggers. I guess you got that blog on a first place for other reasons that finding more ways of torturing himself. Good luck!

  22. tim on September 19, 2012 at 12:11

    what an idiot

  23. Richard Nikoley on September 19, 2012 at 12:13

    “what an idiot”

    Quoted without even correcting grammar.

    • EatLessMoveMoore on September 19, 2012 at 14:21

      Who’s an idiot?

  24. […] Posts RSS ← My Declaration of Independence From The Paleo Movement […]

  25. Mike on September 20, 2012 at 15:49

    I don’t understand the timing. Releasing a video series espousing paleo and then making this announcement.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 20, 2012 at 17:30

      It’s called independence. I’m not abandoning Paleo. I’m just not going to be beholden to the movement or anyone else.

      • Joseph on September 22, 2012 at 12:19

        “Remember that you don’t own me, and I don’t owe you anything (not even if you invoke the sacred word Paleo). Please enjoy all the free content (or not, if you don’t like it).”

  26. Saving Private Paleo | Free The Animal on September 27, 2012 at 09:47

    […] began as my Declaration of Independence from the Paleo Movement last week and culminated in yesterday's rant shall now continue onward, towards the positive and […]

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