Shark Attacks On Goats, The Ethics Of Hunting, Human Stress Resilience & Much More! (Special Hawaii Hunting Episode)

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Lifestyle, Podcast

In today's podcast, I am joined by my friends Kyle Thiermann, Chris Ryan, and Mark Healey for witty banter, philosophizing, and intellectually stimulating conversation straight from the island of Hawaii.

We – along with several others mentioned in this podcast episode, such as Dr. Peter Attia, Kyle Kingsbury, and Hawaii hunting guide, Justin Lee – took a break from hunting, hiking, spearfishing and dressing meat to gather 'round the podcasting mics.

In this conversation, you'll hear…

-A recap of the trip…6:47

  • Chris was a last minute substitute
  • Primal surroundings: goat head in the back of the pickup
  • They were all dropped off by helicopter on various spots on the Big Island
  • Ben engaged in spearfishing; caught Hawaiian lobster, opi'i fish
  • Impossible to replicate their meals in a restaurant

-Ben is asked about consuming energy bars while facing dehydration…12:17

  • If you're in an extreme dehydration situation, you're probably starving to death, so don't throw them out
  • They could potentially be used as a water filter because they're so thick
  • Coffee and beer don't actually dehydrate you
  • Energy bars have moisture in them
  • Depends on salt content, moisture level, etc.

-How ranchers on the island of Kaho'olawe used goats to prevent sharks from attacking their herd…14:05

  • Sharks would attack as they were loaded onto ships for transport
  • Ranchers pushed a herd of goats tied to each other off a cliff
  • The cattle was transported while the sharks feasted on the goats

-Discussion about the sustainability of humans hunting their own meat in the modern world…15:30

  • Hunting is necessary in Hawai'i for sustainability of the land
  • It's not cheaper when you factor in ammo, time spent hunting, obtaining permits, etc.
  • Large amounts of money from hunting is invested into environmental sustainability
  • Eradication vs. management
  • Killing an animal is a deeply personal experience
    • Everyone who eats meat should hunt at least once
  • We are what we eat: cruelty, apathy, torture, etc.

-How our thoughts shape our health…27:00

-Our understanding of human history as it pertains to resilience toward stress…33:04

  • Research suggests we become more sensitive to stress rather than more resilient
  • Chronic stressors (business responsibilities) our ancestors didn't deal with
  • Experiencing stress without realizing it, or thinking you're relaxed
    • Practice makes automatic
  • Difference between stress and excitement
  • Alpha vs. beta brain waves
    • Alpha: what you experience in “the flow”; familiar, happy, focused
    • Beta: Higher level of excitement; less predictability
  • Parasympathetic vs. sympathetic nervous system
    • Sympathetic: fight and flight nervous system
    • Parasympathetic: rest and digestive nervous system
    • Vagus nerve feeds into the sinoatrial node of the heart
  • You want high heart rate variability (HRV)
    • Vagus nerve is operating the parasympathetic system properly
  • Meditating, chanting, cold water assist with maintaining high HRV

-How stress affects rigor mortis (in hunted game) and cramping…41:35

  • Deer reach rigor mortis in 20 minutes when corralled (stressed) and over an hour when killed in the wild
  • You cramp in stressful situations while exercising due to calcium release
  • Sour, spicy taste overrides neuronal reflex
  • Golgi tendon organ limits the contraction, but is overridden by neuronal reflex
    • Other animals don't have this, and put far more stress on their muscles
    • When mom lifts a car to save the baby, the brain, because of extreme stress, overrides the golgi tendon organ
    • Brain over brawn: why humans have the golgi tendon organ and other animals don't

-The evolving understanding of convenience vs. an appreciation of our history…49:00

  • Infant formula: no colostrum, fatty acid,
  • Breast milk is a fatty, highly addictive food; you'd be obese if you drank it all your life
  • The microbiome is a gift to the environmental movement
    • Your surroundings impact your gut health

-Whether or not bottled water is cleaner and safer than tap water…56:20

-Why Hawai'i is so freaking amazing…1:03:50

  • Hawai'i had cattle ranchers before California
  • Beach as well as mountain culture
  • Cultural holocaust: Christian missionaries
  • Hawaiian language stayed alive in the cattle ranchers:
    • It was more functional
    • Perhaps reflective of the number of colors, sights, and scents in Hawai'i
    • Akin to why podcasts are popular: you can break down concepts you can't on CNN

-How Mark Healy narrowly escaped death while surfing in Fiji…1:09:45

  • Grew up on North Shore of Oahu; got noticed by important surfer dudes
  • Ended up going to Fiji for his first professional trip at age 14; had visualized Fiji for years
  • Was in one of the most iconic surfing photos in history

-Is Nature really the violent, nasty, brutish force we're led to believe it is…1:24:30

  • Hobbes: Everything eats life
  • Things that appear to be important are not in evolutionary terms
    • Human chin – where two bones come together
  • An arrow is a much better way to die than dying in nature
  • We speak of death as though it's not going to happen
    • Non-Western cultures celebrate death
    • Perhaps explains animosity surrounding hunting

-Differing perspectives on how we relate our life experiences to others…1:31:45

  • Narrative: knowing which dots to connect, and what to leave out
  • Being present and in the moment vs. on auto-pilot
  • Writing the story before it happens
  • Specificity is key. Too much information is overwhelming, prevents people from taking action (for example, charity donations)

-The role of fire and water in the history of human evolution…1:39:20

  • Source of food, amusement, protection, comfort
  • Movement of fire is reflected in the nature of human consciousness
  • They can alter landscapes, be very destructive
  • Large swaths of the Amazon have been cleared by fire
  • Podcasts around a fire never work well
  • Water is the greatest source of “awe” that we know of

-Perceived scarcity vs. real scarcity…1:43:05

  • People with nothing live as though they have everything. People with everything live as though there's not enough
  • Perspective, born of experience, helps to understand the disparity between real and perceived scarcity
  • We spend money to isolate ourselves from others as soon as we get it
  • Inconvenience puts you in touch with other people (hitch-hiking, taking the bus)

-Mark describes his business, Healy Water Ops…1:49:40

  • Many of the clients are very wealthy and successful in business and life
  • They know a red herring when they see or hear it
  • They enjoy having Mark run the show, tell them what to do; it allows them to relax for a bit

-Running a business, unschooling, and why we need to restore boredom in our culture…2:00:30

  • Treat your business like a big dog; assert dominance
  • We don't have boredom anymore with social media, smartphones, etc.
  • Silence often precedes a maturation in a relationship
  • Learn how to hunt without a guide; self-taught
  • Allow kids to work out conflict on their own
  • Preventive medicine

-And much more.

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources From this Episode:

-Book: The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton

-Book: Mind to Matter by Dr. Dawson Church

Kion Energy Bars

Kion Coffee

-Podcast: 32 Ways to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve, Fine-Tune Your Nervous System & Self-Hack Your Hormones

-Article: The History of Hawaiian Cowboys

About the Hawaiian Language

-Book: Ni'ihau: The Last Hawaiian Island

Episode Sponsors:

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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for this podcast episode? Leave your comments below and I'll reply!

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2 thoughts on “Shark Attacks On Goats, The Ethics Of Hunting, Human Stress Resilience & Much More! (Special Hawaii Hunting Episode)

  1. will says:

    WOW, I can’t even believe I listened to that? I stopped listening a couple years ago for awhile just because your elitist comments drove me away. But I came back because your a smart dude and you get great guests. But WOW bring girls along for sex after the hunt and some kind of reference to pigs the holocaust and the precisions of factories? Does your wife ever say, “Ben don’t put this on your podcast?” Ill keep listening nobody’s perfect (I’m including myself) we all need forgiveness and room to learn and grow.

  2. Crystal says:

    Holy crap – that’s the hottest picture in existence! Thank you Ben!!! (Sorry Jessa!!!!)

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