the big health manifesto


We, the humans of this planet, hereby affirm the following…


1. all things are interdependent.

No person, community or species exists in isolation. The health of all individuals is ultimately dependent on the health of habitat, society and culture.

2. our bodies are continuous with the natural world.

There is a deep biological and psychological connection between personal health and the welfare of larger, life-supporting systems. The health of the part ultimately depends on the vitality of the whole.

3. contact with nature is essential to health and sanity.

The time has come to integrate our bodies back into the natural world. We must expose ourselves to the sights, sounds, textures and beauty of natural habitats. Our bodies, minds and spirits crave this experience.

4. physicality is vital.

The absence of disease is not enough. Robust physicality is essential for the enjoyment of life and is an essential gift to future generations. Stronger bodies are resilient, powerful and engaged with the world.

5. ancestry is powerful.

At our core, we are wild, intelligent and robust animals. Our bodies are literally millions of years old. Native and indigenous cultures honor the old ways for good reason.

6. health comes from experiences, relationships and a sense of purpose.

Knowledge is important, but experience is vital. Our vitality stems from engagement with habitat, tribe and meaningful work.

7. nature has rights.

Mother Earth is not a resource to be exploited at will. Rather, she deserves the same respect that we reserve for all our human companions and neighbors. It is no longer acceptable to treat the Earth as an object.

8. conservation is essential.

Aldo Leopold advised us to “save the cogs and wheels.” Corridors, habitat and biodiversity are vital to our future and the 7th generation. So too are practical skills, local knowledge and endangered ideas. 

9. engagement is vital.

Isolation and avoidance do not serve us. All people, professions and organizations must take part in creating a functional future. All people have the capacity to influence the trajectory of our world. Active participation in community is essential for human health and flourishing.

10. sapience is the way forward.

Intelligence alone will not save us. Computers are useful tools, but the essential elements of our survival are wisdom, modesty and humility. The time has come to live up to our name: Homo sapiens


We are called to behave as better guests on this planet. No longer can we exploit the world to serve our selfish, short-term interests. We must become better ancestors. To become truly whole, we must go beyond the bounds of our skin and integrate ourselves with the entire world.