As domesticated humans, one of the first things we need to ask ourselves is what exactly prevents us from being free. While it might be important to study how we got here, or try to point fingers at those responsible, the most important thing is to take proactive steps to free yourself. The first step to freeing yourself is to identify the one thing that is most responsible for your domestication. It might be different for everyone, but I think there is one commonality behind everyone’s domestication. I’d like to explore that. I’d like to find the root cause for all of us, but first let’s look at some of the other stumbling blocks to rewilding.
Peer Pressure – Let’s face it, bringing fermented veggies and organ meat to the office for lunch probably won’t help much on your next performance review. Anytime you do something out of the ordinary, be prepared to face criticism. While I would love to pretend that we’re all supermen living in some Randian novel designing skyscrapers however the hell we want to, most of us do care what others think of us on some level. Peer pressure can definitely be a stumbling block to rewilding, but it isn’t a deal breaker. You can find ways to blend in while still working towards rewilding. Instead of offal and kraut, why not pack grilled chicken, veggies, and some of this awesome fermented dip? No one has to know it isn’t ordinary bean dip! Instead of telling your co-worker that you’re getting in tune with your natural self on a foraging trip, just say you enjoy hiking. You might find that your friend enjoys hiking too which might open up the conversation a little more. Before long, you might find a few like-minded rewilders you can open up to at work. There are ways we can deal with peer pressure. This is not the one thing that’s keeping us on the farm.
Health – It might be difficult to chase down small game, start a fire without matches, and build a shelter with nothing but a pocket knife. Especially if you suffer from chronic illnesses caused by a lifetime of glycation and inactivity. I get it! We all have to start somewhere, but we can improve our health to a point where spending more time in the wild is possible. Start with the seven principles of hunter-gatherer fitness if you doctor gives you the go-ahead. If you stay consistent and eat a hunter-gatherer diet when practical, you will reach your goals in no-time. Health is more of a temporary roadblock. It’s might be keeping you domesticated right now, but YOU are in the drivers seat here. Take the wheel and move towards a healthier life.
Money – Sometimes you’re just BROKE! I get that, and I’ve been there. Many of us struggle to earn a living. Rewilding doesn’t have to be some lofty goal you achieve after you get out of debt or attain some level of financial independence. No, rewilding is a means of reaching your financial goals. A big part of my rewilding philosophy revolves around the need to learn a diverse array of survival skills using both modern and primitive means. Ancient man built and repaired his own shelter. When we apply that idea to our own life, we spend time learning to hang drywall, repair plumbing, install flooring, and repair HVAC ducts. This might not be as sexy as building a primitive dwelling with hand tools, it saves you money and it is far more hunter-gatherer than calling a guy. Similarly, when we grow a small annual garden we reduce our food bill, send less money in the form of taxes to politicians that domesticate us, and learn primitive skills all at the same time. It’s stacking functions! It might not be on the same level as building a swale based silvopasture to paddock livestock through, but growing a small garden puts you a step above the family that buys everything at the store. As we are beginning to see, money is not the stumbling block we think it is. Oftentimes, rewilding leads to us having more of it!
Obligations – If your answer to the question posed in this post is obligations, you’re getting warmer! Work, school, family, bills, cooking, cleaning, all of these things can take away from our rewilding efforts. What we are looking for is root causes, not symptoms. Obligations are not always bad for us. When they take away from our path to rewilding, it is simply a symptom of an underlying disease.
Government rules and regulations – Wear your seatbelt! Don’t drive over 65! You can’t grow THAT plant, but tomatoes are perfectly fine! You cannot operate a business without a license! Hunting? Fishing? You need the state’s permission to do those basic human activities. I would say that this is the root cause. Coercive government is the thing that enslaved our ancestors after all. Civilization is the thing that brought us away from our natural state during the agricultural revolution. Large, centralized systems that dominate individuals and families would not be possible without coercive force. But is government really holding us back from rewilding, or are we just not clever enough to take our liberty back? Is this the one thing preventing us from reaching a level of Nirvana last seen in the life of Grok and his tribe? No, I say it isn’t. I say government may be the root cause of every ill on the planet, but it is not standing in your way. You can outwit them at every turn if you understand the most evil tool at their disposal. That tool is the only thing that stands in your way!
Alright already! What the heck are you getting at here?
So, now we know what isn’t holding all of humanity back. The question remains. What is one problem that we could solve and hasten humanity’s return to a wild state? What is the one way the state is still able to dominate our lives? Why are our obligations holding us back? Why does our health decline as we age? Why are we always chasing more money just to survive? Why do we give a flying rats behind what Bob from accounting thinks about the contents of our damn lunchbox? What can we do? How do we attack this problem? How do we rewild? Alright, at this point I am approaching peak reader fatigue, and I just need to get to the point already! Let’s get right down to it. There is a root cause of all our woes. It relates to some, if not all, of the problems we discussed above. It has many different causes, but these causes all result in the same outcome. That outcome is that we do not have the free time our ancestors did.
Time is the primary tool used to control us. When we transitioned from hunter-gatherer to peasant farmer, we transitioned to a lifestyle of constant toil. Industry and automation brought some relief, but most of us still spend 8-10 hours a day working for the benefit of someone else. Without idle time, most people don’t contemplate things like the Federal Reserve and fractional reserve banking. Most of us don’t have the time to start businesses and create multiple income streams. We often do not have much time for family at the end of the day, and we surely don’t have hours to spend gardening or hiking through the woods. Our masters keep us busy and distracted, least we might rediscover our wild nature.
Well we are discovering it. If you are reading this, you are part of a growing movement to free humanity from our domestication. Your first step is to reclaim your time. Here are five concrete steps we can all take towards rewilding:
- Pay off your debt. Without it you will be less dependent on a 9-5
- Automate your life
- Start creating passive income streams
- Find work you can do from home or mobile
- grow your own food