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Discuss The Negative And Positive Aspects Of The Development Of Agriculture. Was It, Or Was It Not The Worst Mistake In The History Of The Human Race?

1710 words - 7 pages

Discuss the negative and positive aspects of the development of agriculture. Was it, or was it not the worst mistake in the history of the human race?Agriculture is not just a way of growing food; it involves in whole spectrum of cultural changes and adaptations by early human communities. The demands and effects of practicing agriculture as a means of survival created a new kind of community life, with new opportunities and new problems for humanity.For most of our history we supported ourselves by hunting and gathering wild animals and foraging wild plants and berries. The hunters-gatherers were able to adapt to virtually all the climate zones and environmental conditions as they find them, using what is already there. They hunt game - whatever kinds they can find, adapting their life style to the conditions they face. In the tropics they gather mainly plants resources for food, medicine, etc. It is not unusual for them to use several hundred plant species. In the Arctic and sub-Arctic, they may force to rely more on hunting to survive. They move seasonally to optimize different sources of food as they become available. A very large area is necessary for this kind of life, but human use of the kind and on this scale has relatively little impact on the environment.In hunting and gathering cultures, women usually do most of the gathering, while the men specialize in hunting. Other than this kind of gender specialization, there is little specialization of roles within the group. Hunter-gatherers tend to accumulate a large and intimate knowledge of their survival, dangers, food sources and opportunities. This knowledge is largely communal; it is shared by the group. They lived in a small, continuously moving community; there is little opportunity for economic or other kinds of specialization to develop. Life is communal; culture and technical knowledge and skills are widely diffused. There are no sharp social distinctions. Some individuals may enjoy more status than other, but there are few if any class distinctions. Their nomadic way of life and methods of subsistence seems to support only a low child-to-adult ratio, the birth rate tends to remain low, although we are not fully understand why. They tend to stay in balance with human population and available resources.Since no food is grown and little is stored, the struggle that starts a new day to find wild foods and avoid starving, the agricultural revolution gradually starts about ten to twelve thousand years ago. People from different parts of the world began to domesticate plants and animals. It is because agriculture is an efficient way to get more food for less work. Planted crops yield far more per acre than roots and berries.Pastoralism - the herding of domesticated or partially domesticated animals is more in common culturally with the nomadic styles of life than with sedentary agriculture. It is necessary to move the herds continually in search of fresh pastures. The two ways of life,...

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