Last evening HUMAN PLANET, a BBC production, premiered on Discovery Channel here in the US; and I was not disappointed.

Here’s the BBC trailer for the series. Be sure when it starts to watch it in as high of a resolution as your pipe can take.

Here’s the BBC page for the series and here’s Discovery Channel’s page. And Wikipedia has a good summary of each episode. From the BBC posting to YouTube:

Human Planet is an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, heart-stopping landmark series that marvels at mankind’s incredible relationship with nature in the world today.

Uniquely in the animal kingdom, humans have managed to adapt and thrive in every environment on Earth. Each episode takes you to the extremes of our planet: the arctic, mountains, oceans, jungles, grasslands, deserts, rivers and even the urban jungle. Here you will meet people who survive by building complex, exciting and often mutually beneficial relationships with their animal neighbours and the hostile elements of the natural world.

Human Planet crews have filmed in around 80 locations, bringing you many stories that have never been told on television before. The team has trekked with HD cameras and state of the art gear to film from the air, from the ground and underwater. The result: a "cinematic experience" created by world-class natural history and documentary camera crews and programme makers.

The real lesson to be mindful of here…well, two lessons…is first, the human animal’s adaptation to every environment on Earth from equator to arctic circle, and every habitat in between, as well as from sea level to elevations at 13,000 feet, and everything in between.

The second lesson is the vast array of nutrition the human animal has had to exploit to do it. Thankfully, a good portion of the two initial episodes I saw last night had to do with the lengths people in so many of these environments have to go to get food. And they don’t settle for easy or meager pickings, either. In one section, about eighteen guys total in three small boats with hand thrown harpoons take a 60 ft long, 100,000 pound sperm whale. Takes eight hours after they’ve harpooned him by hand, but they eventually get the job done and get him to the beach for butchering. It will feed dozens of people for months. You can see a portion of that right here.

Now, the only question I have is, don’t they have plenty of bananas in Indonesia? Fruit in general?

Alright, now get out and pass the word to all your peeps to set their DVRs appropriately. The more ignorance cured about the human animal and his generalist nature as an exploiter of food sources, the better. Using the buttons at the top of the post is always appreciate and very effective.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Matt on April 11, 2011 at 21:54

    I caught this by accident last night. I heard the 12 year-old talk about being able to sleep at home after months of guarding a grain field and thought how I’d like to slap every whiny peckerhead (is that hyphenated?) who complains about going to work for 8 hours.

    I wonder if that group of people, I don’t remember the name, would just eat the monkeys if they weren’t protected by their government, instead of harvesting grains.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 11, 2011 at 23:16

      Very likely that would be the case, Matt.

    • rob on April 12, 2011 at 04:06

      I visited the Yaxchilan ruins on the Mexico/Guatemala border once and the caretaker there hunted and ate the howler monkeys, said they were damned good eating.

      • Nahuas on April 13, 2011 at 10:33

        yeah i’ve recently started watching human planet. great programme.

  2. Anonymous on April 11, 2011 at 23:32
  3. Asclepius on April 12, 2011 at 02:32

    The whaling that you see in that series is very impressive. Especially the arctic whaling done from kayak. It shows an intimate ‘hands-on’ involvement with food.

    I’ve read that Norwegian Whalers are pissed off because they have traditionally earned a living from whaling. They used to use all of the animal – the fat for candles, the meat for food etc…

    But the veganistic quasireligious fervour of the WWF and other anti-whaling organsiations has brought us to the point where the Norwegian whalers are denied the ability to pursue their traditional living from the whales, even though they could be hunted sustainably.

    We are now in the ironic position where these (city based) charities with no historical/ancestral claim to whales are making a living from the whales (offering adopt-a-whale schemes).

    Can you imagine coming from a culture where you hunt whale and have done sustainably for hundreds of years, and then some city based ideologists turn up to say that not only can you NOT hunt your traditional prey, but that THEY will then make an income/living off the whale?

  4. Lisa Wainer on April 12, 2011 at 03:18

    It is an awesome show. It has finished over herein the UK, but one of the best nature series for a long time. Just wait till you see three tribesmen steal a kill from a pride of lions. Amazing stuff – enjoy!

    • Richard Nikoley on April 12, 2011 at 06:49

      Lisa, I actually blogged about that steal from the lions a while back, and it has a great comment thread. Didn’t know it was from that series until I saw it in the trailer.

  5. Matt on April 12, 2011 at 03:24

    I saw most of these aired recently on the BBC, an absolutely amazing series.
    Highly recommended.

  6. Christina on April 12, 2011 at 07:28

    This trailer was awesome. I am def going to check it out.

  7. Mikie!! on April 12, 2011 at 07:42

    In order to eat, these guys get into rickety boats with spears and harpoons, and literally HURL THEMSELVES at a whale. And then said Whale swamps a boat, and these guys muscle the beast for HOURS.

    Good Lord. I’ll never complain again about the Whole Foods meat counter being a little crowded again!!

    Anyone around here ever eat Whale? I’ve heard it is not exactly tasty to North American palates.

  8. Heather on April 12, 2011 at 11:08

    This series looks fascinating!

    Two things that struck me while watching the trailer, and acted like affirmations for a primal lifestyle: 1) Every single human in the clip is constantly moving. Running, walking, swimmming, climbing, killing something. If they stopped moving, they would likely be killed by another animal/human or die from the elements. 2) One of the titles was “Struggling to survive.” Zero struggle = no survival? Meaning, as humans, if we never have to work for ANYTHING (food, shelter, etc.,) EVER, just how long can we expect to hang around? I don’t think I saw any unfit people in the clip, either.

    Just random thoughts 🙂 Looking forward to the debate!

  9. Bob Connors on April 12, 2011 at 11:28

    This series looks like your typical Paleo propaganda piece. I just visited the documentary website and read through the list of countries and communities they filmed in, and not one mention was made of the notoriously healthy vegan society in the DurianArse Islands. Why is that? What is their agenda here?

    • Primal Dave on April 12, 2011 at 18:57

      Why do you assume they have an agenda? Maybe they stayed on the paleo topic because that’s simply where their focus is.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 12, 2011 at 20:13

        He gotcha primal Dave. Go check the handle of the guy I’m debating. 🙂

  10. Marcus on April 12, 2011 at 12:23

    Richard, thank you so much for turning me on to this. I caught it on your twitter last night and spent the next couple of hours watching the YouTube clips and searching for episodes online. I was truly enthraled, and yes, it really does back up how we are all living our lives.

  11. Jo on April 12, 2011 at 17:49

    What a crazy show! ( In a good way. 😉 ) Very interesting. thanks for the heads up!

  12. Primal Dave on April 12, 2011 at 18:52

    This looks like a really cool show!

    I just discovered your blog today as well as this show. You have a lots of great content, Richard. Looking forward to digging around here. I feel like it’s Christmas lol. Kudos – Also got a good laugh on your other thread about your upcoming debate… should be interesting to say the least. 😀

    – Dave

  13. […] Human Planet – Free The Animal – This show looks amazing […]

  14. Hendra on April 12, 2011 at 20:14

    Richard, great series! I’ll try to catch it when I get my hands on ’em.

    I’m from Indonesia, too. What’s your point with the bananas?

    • Richard Nikoley on April 12, 2011 at 20:17


      It’s a reference to the guy from the 30 bananas a day raw vegan crowd I’m debating live Thursday night.

      • Hendra on April 12, 2011 at 20:24

        Haha. Sorry it’s morning now my brain’s still not workin’. DurianRider should just move to Indonesia and see for himself, not even our zoo chimps eat that many bananas 🙂

        Kill it at the Real Health Debate, brother.

  15. Neely Quinn on April 18, 2011 at 07:01

    Thank you for posting my email about Paleo Plan! If anyone is interested in having someone plan out your menu every week and give you grocery lists to go along with it, you can try Paleo Plan out for free for one week by using our sample downloads at Also check out the blog at for helpful Paleo information written by yours truly, the nutritionist for the site.

    And thanks for the link to that show, “Human Planet”, Richard! I’m excited to watch it – it looks amazing!

    • Richard Nikoley on April 18, 2011 at 07:25

      Episode three of Human Planet, which I watched last night, was all about the Inuit, the real ones living way up there and so far as I could tell, there wasn’t a whiff of vegetables or fruit in sight. Be sure you catch how they collect mussels under tons of ice when the tide recedes.

      • Diana on April 27, 2011 at 09:17

        Hi Richard,
        I saw that same episode Saturday morning, and this one line in particular stood out to me. It was near the beginning, when they were following the whale hunters I think (not an exact quote)
        “…since there is no need for fruits and vegetables in the human diet, they have been able to survive for centuries…”
        Hearing that made me smile.

  16. gerald on April 19, 2011 at 06:38

    Well I must watch the debate when I have the chance. From myu personal studies I think if you’re going to eat meat and animal foods, eat high quality grass fed and also eat the innards. Then you’ll do 1000x better. I have to be honest about this. It might also give factors good for the teeth and gums (melvin page, weston price, Ramiel Nagel) although I think they make an error. I think we can produce these from substrates in greens and fruit, we don’t have to take life. Jury is still out regarding my tooth recovery, will take some time, but sensitivity is almost all gone (except in one deep place) on high fruit, lots of greens.

    I think one error/assumption you make, which is a stumbling block, could be the idea that “more is necessarily better”. Enough is what’s best, I think. More can lead to imbalances, but even if it doesn’t lead to that, it can also be high in other things- antinutrients, etc. So I think what is important- for lets say bones and skeleton and in terms of minerals, is a positive inflow. This is my hunch, but I compare it to banking and business. You can make $100k a year and be spending 105 and you are going into debt. Or you could be making 20k and be spending only 15? Which is better? I like to be debt free. This is why btw calcium recommendations vary so much around the world by official governments and by private doctors.

    Definitely, protein is a case where more is not necessarily better- at least after it reaches a certain point that most people try so hard to exceed. Can anyone dispute this? Why is harley not wasting away? Why am I not? I also think protein needs to be detoxed, it is acid forming, taking minerals- so meat eaters consume more minerals (and all other types of nutrients) but also maybe have to use more to sustain themselves. At this point I can’t prove this, because I don’t know for sure, and even if I did- space concerns. But it’s the hypothesis that many advance. But I do think that quality meat and eating all parts of it will produce decent health. But I am thriving on the 80/10/10 type diet and feel good, and am thinking more clearly- and plus I have no drive conflicts regarding ethics or any other factor. well few drive conflicts- e.g. convenience and price sometimes, but in an agrarian and wise society this would not at all be the case- how easy it is to grow. Definitely no conflicts regarding the taste of sweet delicious jackfruit, mangoes, papayas, apple-bananas, grapes, figs, dates, mangosteen, peaches, watermelon, etc etc etc. I remember the taste of fruits vividly years after eating them. When I strayed from the diet, I really believed I wasn’t drinking enough water. Also I think I wasn’t motivated enough from serious health problems. I lacked assertion among family and friends to be so extreme and my straying depended a lot on local access, and hence on climate. Doug Graham says succeeding on the diet is like being in a relationship- you have to be willing to committ to it. But I think water is so much more important than people every realize and just that changes everything that I’ve ever experienced, 100x!!! Water is an angel! (since I have so much detox to do that I never accomplished). My vision improved!!!! I digress. Peace

    • Richard Nikoley on April 19, 2011 at 07:41


      did you perhaps intend to post this in the comment thread about the debate rather than the post about the Human Planet series?

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