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Diet As Identity
Humans are hardwired for tribal mentality as a survival tactic. But in today’s world, where survival can occur—and even thrive—outside of the confines of a group, tribal influence is redirected in interesting ways. Diet as identity is one such way. By proclaiming to be vegan, gluten-free, or ketogenic, among countless other dietary preferences and restrictions, humans are self-selecting very specific tribes—tribes that say less about how adept they are at warding off a lion together and more about how they choose to present themselves to the world at large. For example, vegans who bond over animal cruelty practices are not just making a statement about how they fuel their bodies but also about their standing as just, moral citizens. Is this secularity a harmless interpretation of the vestiges of our tribal culture or is it yet another wedge that’s lodging itself between us?
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