Poster Presentation ANZOS-ASLM-ICCR 2019

Can human evolutionary ecology theory aid ‘Global Syndemic’ management – why NOT veganism, for example? (#144)

Anne-Thea McGill 1
  1. School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University , Lismore, New South Wales 2480, Australia

Veganism[1] is partly driven by genuine concern for the inhuman cruelty of domestic animals, and ‘plant based’ food is ‘assumed’ to be an answer to human health (including obesity). The sustainability-climate change - human health movements, include some authors of the ‘Global Syndemic’[2] and ‘Eat - Lancet’[3]. They have added pressure for ‘plant based’ food production. The vegan lobby appears more subtly fueled, and framed in the advertising media, by the processed grain and tuber starch/sugar ‘research and development’ (R&D), agribusiness, processor and marketeer industrialists; ‘Global Syndemic’[2] authors show evidence of corruption and profiteering from ‘plant based’ ultra-processed foodstuffs designed to appeal to the strong human drives to acquire high energy food. 

Broader and deeper, plausible and cohesive theories can be formed in the light of human evolutionary ecology data. Comparative mammalian evolutionary physiology – including human-specific nutrition-metabolism, physical adaptations, and, importantly, social behaviors – may indicate ‘why and how’ various human groups function.

Acts of brute force on own-group members for ‘self-promotion’ is a common ‘mammalian pack alpha male’ tactic. Some humans, possibly to side-step their ‘leader’s’ aggression, are able think creatively, devising protective solutions for their tribe. Autocratic leaders, ‘captains of industry’ slyly recognize technologies that feed their ‘power addiction’, with no care for natural environments or social good. Threatened scientists become technicians, devising attractive, profitable hi-tech commodities – for example ultra-processed food[4] – the staple of industrialized and vegan diets.

Civil society researchers, modulated by philosophers and artists, must perform logical science for discovery, public (physical and mental), and environmental, health; and disarm despotism[5]. Environmental research and ecological discovery indicates low-tech regenerative farming[6] provides optimal nutritional-metabolic health and should allow planetary survival. 

  1. Blythman, J., Millennial veganism Sustainable Food Trust 2019. 28 Jun  (Food and Culture Food Movement -
  2. Swinburn, B.A., et al., The Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition, and Climate Change: The Lancet Commission report. Lancet, 2019.
  3. Willett, W., et al., Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. The Lancet, 2019.
  4. Monteiro, C.A., et al., Ultra-processing. An odd 'appraisal'. Public Health Nutr, 2018. 21(3): p. 497-501.
  5. Marks, J.H., Are Corporations Nudging the Nudgers? The American Journal of Bioethics, 2019. 19(5): p. 70-72.                                                                                                 
  6. LaCanne, C.E. and J.G. Lundgren, Regenerative agriculture: merging farming and natural resource conservation profitably. PeerJ, 2018. 6: p. e4428.