Do You Animals Want a Forum?

Well, the question is presented.

Do you want one, as raucously paleo as I can make it? No moderation except obvious spam? Let me know what you think in comments. And if you rarely or never comment but would participate in a forum, I’d especially like to hear from you and to get your insight as to why.

I’ll try to make the topic selections unique and intriguing.

Update: More details here.

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. Ted Hutchinson on January 18, 2012 at 02:14

    I’d certainly like a forum associated with the blog where like minded people can share comments that are associated with, but not directly linked to, the issues discussed in a particular blog.
    There are sometimes occasions when I’d like to draw attention of blog followers to another link but is totally off topic to current or even recent blog posts.
    Today for example I’d like to share a link to the video Saturated Fat and Cholesterol: Health Hazards or Vital Nutrients? where the importance of meat to sustainable agriculture is discussed.
    The trouble with lobbing links into a comments section (particularly if somewhat off topic) is they are easily lost/forgotten whereas in a forum they may be found more easily retrieved.

  2. Joshua Tenner on January 18, 2012 at 07:40

    Shoud you do a forum?


    • Joshua Tenner on January 18, 2012 at 07:40


  3. Primal Toad on January 17, 2012 at 18:18

    Yes! Go for it Richard. You get LOADS of comments so I am sure you would get LOADS of animals participating in the forum. I’d be there on a weekly basis for sure.

    Don’t get a confirmation from us. Just do it!

  4. Will on January 17, 2012 at 18:25

    As an animal who freely confesses himself made by a loving Creator (of the same faith as your father was originally, Richard, and a pastor in that church), I’d LOVE to check out your forum. I’ve learned a LOT from you – atheism aside – and I think you have a lot to offer the whole paleo community. GO FOR IT. Your edgy style invites honesty, my friend. I think it would be great!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 17, 2012 at 18:30


      I harbor a lot of respect for him, you know. Everything is contextual and historical, and history must always be evaluated in context.

    • Will on January 18, 2012 at 06:29

      Yup, Lutheran. And certainly I have a great deal of respect for history and for context! That matters immensely. Pax!

  5. Bixy on January 17, 2012 at 18:30

    It would be good, as topic would be kept in place, rather than having to try to remember which post contains the comment / topic you were interested in etc. I rarely comment but might find a forum more beneficial.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 17, 2012 at 18:34

      Now see, Bixy, exactly the input I’m looking for. Personally, I’m not much of a forum participant. Used to be.

      But we’ll see.

  6. Sean Booth on January 17, 2012 at 18:45

    I’m sick of the whiny paleo forums where people talk about getting down to only 4-5 servings of bread a day or want to do raw vegan paleo. I want one that eats those people raw and bloody. Go for it!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 17, 2012 at 18:50


      Thanks. What I’m aiming for is sort of a no holds bared sort of deal. Not as clandestine or over the top vulgar as Lyle McDonald’s “Monkey Island” (he doesn’t advertise it, so you’ll have to search around), but also not a heavily moderated deal where everyone has to respect the other’s fucking idiocy.

      I do want it to be kind of a place where you have to earn your props to be respected among the “tribe.”

      Thoughts, you and others?

    • Jake on January 17, 2012 at 23:31

      No holds barred fucking awesome paleo forum without the stupid trolls? Sure. I’d like to be part of that.

      As long as I don’t have to eat people to be respected. It’s not part of my n=1 experiment, nor is it good for my health. 😉 Now eating tons of fucking bacon to get respect? Sure. That’ll be fun. 🙂

    • YourMom on January 18, 2012 at 07:06

      Just don’t eat the brain and you’ll avoid the prion diseases.

      Easy to hunt, too.

    • Sarah on January 18, 2012 at 07:48

      I would love a forum that’s similar to his in that it would have minimal moderation/censorship, but unlike his in that, you know, he wouldn’t be on it. Ever.

    • Sean Booth on January 19, 2012 at 14:54

      Sounds good to me. I’d definitely be active. I’m kind of sick of the clowns on reddit and the forums for most other paleo sites are just a circle-jerk without any real discussion or information sharing.

  7. Richard on January 17, 2012 at 18:55

    This is my first ever comment; have read the site for months, and I reckon its a great idea.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 17, 2012 at 19:04

      It’t remarkable how I can toss up a blog post in a couple of minutes, ask, and learn.

      Thanks Richard.

      I guess I have not really stopped to ponder the difference between comments that go to the post, and a forum where people get to create their own topics.

      I hope to be a quick study. The fact that already, some who have never engaged in comments are suddenly doing so for this is something not to be ignored.

    • rob on January 18, 2012 at 07:12

      The think with blogs in general the comments tend to be directed at the blogger (you) while with forums the comments tend to be directed to other readers of the blog (us). At MDA for example the comments tend to run along these lines “Great post Mark, my toe nail fungus has totally cleared up since I went Primal”

      There is some cross talk about most of the comments are responses to that day’s post.

      In a forum on the other hand you get stuff like “What’s the best way to make roast beef?” and a bunch of people chime in with their method.

  8. Razwell on January 17, 2012 at 19:15

    That would be awesome, Richard, if it’s easy to do . But , the downside is that forums can be a headache for the moderator. Could be a potential huge increase in your workload . A blog , for me, is almost too much of an increase in workload. ( because I am fairly new to it and also busy otherwise) LOL !

    For me ,at least, your blog is more than good enough. I am curious what poeple will say.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 17, 2012 at 19:27

      Moderation is easy. Other than deleting obvious spam, you respond to bullshit just like I did just now on the FTA FB page. I posted about how great US Wellness Meats is and how they treated AHS and me right, and i got this comment.

      “So you get special treatment, because you generate more revenue for them through promotion like this. What does that do for me?”

      My reply:

      “Ron: Do you think I give a runny shit, you stupid fuck of a brain dead road kill?

      “Listen. What it does for you is to perhaps find your own fucking way with a good company. You don’t have to believe me—go to fucking Burger King and Have it Your Way because I assure you that I won’t care one way or the other.

      “You do for yourself, hat-wearing deadbeat in a profile pic. That’s what you do. If the info I put out helps you in that _responsibility_, than at least I can be happy about that.”

      A couple of more comments and all is OK.

      So, the above might scare some off in the forum. but the difference between that and comments on my blog, and those on the FB page is that I won’t typically be engaged, at least I think not so much, for want of time. We’ll see.

      But back to the point, this guy backed down voluntarily because I called him on bullshit with over the top hyperbole.

      See, I like to use insult and vulgarity in such an over the top way that people don’t really take it personally. But it can’t but make them think.

    • Jake on January 18, 2012 at 00:26

      If they’re scared of a little swearing or well-thought-out reasoning, perhaps they should go find somewhere else to go play.

      It bugs me that there are a bunch of self entitled wimps being raised in America. Or in the world. Pull up your pants. Stop whining. Just fucking live! Yeah, he got some free meat. And let us know about an awesome service. So what? Yeah, I like food porn. Don’t hate the player.

      On a side note, that’s why I love ‘Free the Animal’. Do I agree with everything? No. I’m a God-fearing Bible believing Christian. Which I’m sure will get me an eyebrow raised or two 😉

      But you are willing to challenge my conventions and make me think. I appreciate that. As long as this idea of a forum doesn’t become some sort of weird self-affirming cult, I’ll be there.

    • F U A H on January 19, 2012 at 08:06

      Why don’t you divulge exactly what special treatment they give you to compensate for your supposedly unbiased recommendation? Whoever criticized you did so rightly and then decided not to get into an insult match with a low IQ shithead. Then you thought that you somehow had “won”, just like any 12 year old would think. Look up “ethics” one day, dumbass.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 19, 2012 at 08:09

      I did divulge it, exactly. It’s on the Facebook page from whence those comments originate, dumbass.

      “just like I did just now on the FTA FB page”

      You could have looked instead of exposing your inability to comprehend plain words on a page.

    • Rip @ MIPWID on January 19, 2012 at 16:04

      Legen- and I hope you’re not orthodox Paleo, because the second half of that word is -Dary!

  9. Sarah on January 17, 2012 at 19:33

    Never commented either, but I would love to participate in a forum. Anything that brings people together to encourage the sharing of information and experiences (and recipes!) is great.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 17, 2012 at 19:47

      I’m becoming dumber by the comment. 🙂

  10. Alex Good on January 17, 2012 at 20:01

    A forum is to a comment board what a lake is to a swamp.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 17, 2012 at 20:06

      Can you expound a bit, Alex?

      I’d appreciate it.

    • Richard on January 17, 2012 at 20:13

      I’m hoping he means forums are more conducive to discussion, rather than shitfighting.

    • Alex Good on January 18, 2012 at 12:30

      You don’t need to dig through mud to find something interesting.

  11. Aloka on January 17, 2012 at 20:44

    A forum on this blog would be really cool. Getting in touch with and reaching out to enthusiastic primal folk. I really like the forum at MDA too, very responsive and helpful. A forum is a great space to bounce off ideas.

  12. Erin on January 17, 2012 at 20:49

    I find the MDA forums mostly insufferable. I feel like it’s been overrun with Paleo Hackers looking to get down to 4% body fat. So if your forum was better than that? I’d be all in.

  13. Pocketfluff on January 17, 2012 at 21:22

    Sounds like a great idea. If it goes badly you could always take it down, no harm in trying!

  14. Ben on January 17, 2012 at 21:24

    Personally, I’m against a forum. But that just means I won’t go there, so..

    See, i really, really don’t like MDA forums, and I loathe paleohacks and the paleo subreddit. And german paleo forums… Good god.
    The worst combination of paleo-reenactment, conventional paleo wisdom and lack of science. Plus the occassional well meaning troll who thinks going overboard on the meat or low carb is bad. And attacks by angry internetvegans.

    So, all in all, you probably should do a forum.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 17, 2012 at 21:31

      “So, all in all, you probably should do a forum.”

      Ben. You just cracked me up.

  15. Erik on January 17, 2012 at 23:05

    I’d first read Steve Pavlina’s post on why he shut down his forums this month, not to dissuade you, but just to make sure you’re going in with your eyes open:

    • Robert on January 18, 2012 at 07:11

      Steve pavlina is crazy. So who cares about what he does?

    • Richard Nikoley on January 18, 2012 at 07:53


      Thanks. I think the fact that Pavlina is more or less about making money online makes a material difference. Or, rather, he makes money online by telling other how to make money on line, kind of the new version of wiring a book on how to make money—by writing a book on how to write a book about making money, etc.

      All very circular and pyramid.

      I guess I’ll see.

  16. Richard Jones on January 18, 2012 at 06:02

    I looked for a forum as soon as I found your blog, Rich, and wondered why you didnt have one.

  17. Myree on January 18, 2012 at 06:36

    I was a regular poster on Atkins forums so would love one here! I like getting to know people with similar issues… it helps keep me on track!

  18. Robert on January 18, 2012 at 07:08

    No. I can’t be bothered to sign-up for yet another forum.

  19. Benjamin on January 18, 2012 at 07:35

    I can’t be arsed to sign up for another forum…

    …but for a FTA forum, I’ll make an exception.

  20. Todd on January 18, 2012 at 07:37

    What’s it hurt to try?

    I’m not really interested in it, I suppose it has its benefits though, especially for recipes, motivation, or questions that aren’t pertinent to the articles you post, but it seems that a lot of times it turns into a “my dick is bigger than yours” argument grounds. Some people like that though.

    I kinda like having everything under one roof though.

  21. John Nugent on January 18, 2012 at 07:40

    Good idea Richard. I have questions about paleo and like to know what others are doing every now, so a forum would work well.

  22. Curmujeon on January 18, 2012 at 08:02

    What! A forum without trolls! Unthinkable! I thought he said no holds barred! Actually a forum sounds good. Another place for the pseudo-Paleos to seek approval for their almond flour pancakes and pizza and protein shakes. How about an ex-Veg*n topic? Should attract a few vegie trolls. Maybe get your buddy Durianrider incognito and overt.

    • becky yo! on January 18, 2012 at 10:16

      OH GAWD, those fucking almond flour pancakes!

  23. Zach on January 18, 2012 at 08:27


  24. Alex on January 18, 2012 at 09:08

    Sure, go for it. If it sucks, you can always delete it.

  25. Jasen on January 18, 2012 at 09:33

    I am a boardmember on another forum and I would love to see a forum on your site. There are a number of topics I would like to get ideas and feedback on and I think a forum would be a great resource. I spend alot of time on FTA anyway so with a fourm I’ll be speding even more!

  26. Rob Beyerlein on January 18, 2012 at 09:36

    Hell yes…would make for some great discussion. I’m one who likes the more “sciency” posts that you do so i can look at research i might have missed, a forum would provide more opportunity for your blog followers to debate the research and gain more knowledge on the nutritional biochem stuff that most paleo/primal followers don’t know dick about.

  27. Pauline on January 18, 2012 at 10:33

    Forums don’t do it for me, but maybe yours will be different. I would give it a try and see it if it is what you want on your blog if it doesn’t suit, you can always choose to shut down and move on…

  28. Kim C. on January 18, 2012 at 10:40

    I’d be interested. Loving the ebook, by the way.

  29. Lauren R on January 18, 2012 at 15:25

    Give it a go…I’ll join and see where we end up!

  30. realLife on January 18, 2012 at 19:13

    Call it the UnLeased Animal Forum…
    its going to be wicked..
    gladiators on chariots fighting lions and pussycats.
    going to ups everyone game.
    too many topics seem to spoil some forums.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 18, 2012 at 19:16

      Actually, I’ve already decided on a name:

      The Animal Club.

      The logo will have have a caveman wooden club as an underline. Double Entendre.

      There are other elements I’m considering, but it must be very exclusive, free of spam, trolls, etc. May cost a few bucks. We’ll see.

    • becky yo! on January 19, 2012 at 12:33

      You could look at Something Awful’s set-up. Ads and pictures of grannies if you’re not a paid member or logged in.

  31. F U A H on January 19, 2012 at 07:57

    You’d delete obvious spam? YOU ARE SENDING OUT SPAM EMAILS YOURSELF, YOU STUPID ASSHOLE!!! Do you think that to include your dumbass apology in your spam emails makes it acceptable? Are you so fucking stupid that you think that making your spam opt-out makes it not spam? Do you think that because you’re childishly ‘rebelling against authority’ that it makes your money-grubbing book promotion spam somehow honourable? You stupid spamming asshole, don’t do it again.

    Save your spam for your sleazeball juvenile fans who want to hear your profane humor, you opportunistic hypocritical low IQ shitweasel.

    Now you’ve done it, you’ve made me break my vow not to get involved in insult matches with shitheads.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 19, 2012 at 08:03

      Hey FUAH.

      LOL. Pretty good rant, actually. Cheers, mate.

  32. Neil Fraser-Smith on January 19, 2012 at 12:20

    Great idea, go for it Richard

  33. "The Animal Club" | Free The Animal on January 19, 2012 at 15:39

    […] of all, feedback for the idea was almost unanimously positive. At the time I popped off the post with the idea, it was off the […]

  34. "The Animal Club" | Free The Animal on January 19, 2012 at 15:39

    […] of all, feedback for the idea was almost unanimously positive. At the time I popped off the post with the idea, it was off the […]

  35. Richard Nikoley on January 19, 2012 at 16:10

    Thanks for all the feedback so far. I’ve decided to go forward, but there are conditions. Here’s the latest post:

  36. BigDeerHunt on November 20, 2012 at 19:42

    Big Deer Hunt was founded by property owner, Terry Hansen and his son Jordan Hansen.

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