I just finished up a project for Richard Nikoley, friend and founder of Free the Animal. Richard had commissioned me to create a banner for his site, and after hashing out the concepts, I worked on putting together a design.
Here’s the final product:
Some of the ideas the banner is intended to convey are:
- Man as a self-reliant, rugged individual — a hunter — evolutionarily designed over the eons.
- That a man’s health is dependent upon his understanding the nature of his genes and putting that knowledge to practical work in a modern age, an age that is drastically different from the gross majority of man’s biological existence on this planet.
- Human beings are a dominant, independent species, one meant to be free.
Many of these ideas weren’t spoken when Richard asked me to do this design — that is because many of them were already understood. One thing Richard talks little about these days on FtA is his philosophical stance, which centers heavily around an understanding of human beings.
Human beings are intelligent animals. Our intelligence sets us above all other species, but it also enables us to reflect introspectively about our place with regard to the planet and to each other. Such reflection inescapably leads to an understanding that man should be free, both unbound by other men and unwilling to forcibly control his fellow man*. Moral implications aside, it’s this introspection on our nature that leads us to understand how we should approach our health.
Modern man (post-agriculture) has existed for only a handful of millenia, whereas we were evolutionarily designed over some two million years (To say nothing of the millions of years of evolution that occurred prior to homo sapiens). Evolution gave us genes that function best under certain conditions. It’s reasonable to assert that those prehistoric conditions involved a certain amount of activity (i.e. hunting, gathering, play), some amount of scarcity (inability to find food leading to periodic bouts of famine) and substantially limited agricultural technology. How these inputs and constraints molded our genes is a fundamental question worth asking. Free the Animal tackles this question for the purpose of living optimally, as modern men with ancient genes.
“Free the Animal” is a motto. And Richard is expanding on what it means to free the animal his site. Be sure to check it out!
* Except in cases where force is required to defend himself or his property.