In this unit’s text, we learned about modernization of society and how agriculture permitted nomadic hunt-and-gather groups to become stabilized and centralized in one location. The text and supporting video clips introduced both positive and negative anthropological effects of the rise of agriculture. Three positive outcomes include stabilization, improved nutrition, and food surplus. For each of these positive instances, there is an alternate and negative impact as well: habitat destruction, feast and famine cycles, and health concerns. This essay will briefly expound on each positive outcome and its counterpart, and will relate the sustainable agrarian achievements of the people of the Gamo Highlands to these effects.
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Without the rise of agriculture, numerous societies may not have been able to feed their people, and therefore may have died out before reaching modern times. The rise of agriculture not only increased the life expectancy of societies, it also increased the volume of food produced, necessitating the development of food storage.
When societies began farming, food surpluses were often developed. This caused an urgency to develop proper food storage so food could be kept until needed. These surpluses meant that societies would always hold enough food to feed everyone, so that no one would starve or be forced to skip meals. With proper food storage, food could be kept longer than it had been until this point. Again, though, for each of these positive results of agriculture there is a negative one to counterbalance it.
The first negative ramification of agriculture to be examined is habitat destruction. While societies were able to stay in one place in order to cultivate the land, as these groups grew, there was also an increase in the amount of land necessary to produce enough food to feed everyone. In order to acquire the amount of land needed for farming, other parts of the surrounding habitat were destroyed. In some cases, this meant demolishing wooded areas to use lumber to build shelter, or just clearing out the trees—and the animals and other plants that relied upon them for survival—in order to gain
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The emergence of agriculture was a major stepping stone in human history. During this birth of agriculture, also known as the Neolithic revolution, humans began inhabiting permanent settlements, grow their own crops, and domesticate both plants and animals for food (Weisdorf, 2005). Considering humans have been hunter-gatherers for the majority of their approximately 7 million years of existence, the emergence of agriculture in the Old World only occurring 10,000-5,000 years ago, marks a significant transformation in food sustenance techniques (Weisdorf, 2005). However, this turning point in history is associated with both positive and negative implications. There is much controversy over whether or not the introduction of
The supply of food had to be able to feed more people and ensure stability. The traditional method would often see poor harvest or shortages of land, the new methods the Agricultural Revolution provided ensured the stability that was needed in Europe. Dikes and drain land was developed so farmers and landlords could farm larger areas. They also experimented with new crops that would restore the soil and supply more animal food. The iron plow was another great agricultural innovation because it allowed land to be cultivated longer without having to be left unplanted. Crop rotation and a new method of animal breeding also contributed to the success of the Agricultural Revolution. However, these new methods caused peasant revolts because it challenged the traditional peasant ways of production. The increased production of food with the new and efficient production methods allowed death rates to fall and children to grow because people were more nouritoused. The increase in food production allowed Europeans to grow without the fear of
If people didn’t have farming and agricultural production they wouldn’t have all the different sorts of food products they do, nor would they be as abundant. Life would be like it was before the Industrial Revolution came about and most of us would still be growing our own food and barely scraping by in life.
Diamond explains that our worst mistake was the transition from hunter-gathers to farmers. Diamond believes that humans were better off chasing our food rather than planting it due to the consequences that followed after such a dramatic change of life. His reasoning expands further out than one might think of about this subject. He talks about the social changes that were created when agriculture began. Diamond spews empowering points that leave a reader pondering if he is correct. People are only sure of how the world is now but the possibilities are endless on what our world could have been if agriculture had not begun.
As more people shifted towards an agriculture based society, many began to produce a surplus of food. This surplus allowed people a new privilege, to allocate to a single area for an extended period of time. More and more people began to settle down in this fashion, eventually once small hunter-gatherer tribes grew into chiefdoms, and chiefdoms expanded into city-states. Populations as a result began to increase in size and expand its territory to meet the new demands of the increasing population. This expansion would not come free however, mother nature itself had to pay the price. Strayer conveys with this quote the extent to which agriculture had on the world’s population and it 's affect on the environment. “On a global level, scholars estimate
Based on the output of production, agriculture is perceived as an advance because farmers can produce more food within a smaller area than they could possibly obtain as hunter-gatherers. Harris says that this situation happened since farmers control “the rate of plant reproduction” (Harris 219), which means that immediate adverse consequences could be prevented with the intensification of production. On the other hand, hunter-gatherers, which depend on the availability of natural plants and animals; consequently, can raise their output very little. However, although farmers can produce more food than hunter-gatherers do, the numbers of crops are limited; therefore, when the crops failed, there is risk of starvation.
The first reason of why agriculture is a better way of life, is because according to document 1 farmers were less violent. Hunters and gatherers on the other hand were in constant state of tribal warfare. This resulted in 25-30% of adult males dying from homicide. Warfare was necessary to keep population density low. This was due to the fact that a certain place only had so much food to support one person. Farmers on the other hand could use a small piece of land and plant crops that could support many people. They do not have to fight over food therefore less war and violence.
Agriculture is the main reason we have civilization today, for without food surplus people would spend their days finding food and water constantly. Native Americans started like all other people in the world, doing just that, until over time they turned food production into an art. Without the elaborate specialization of crops over time, people would not have reached the point that they had before the Europeans had arrived. The allowance of food surplus led to the ability to advance culturally, scientifically, and economically.
The transition to farming was a turning point in human history since people who remained hunter/gatherers couldn’t produce food as quickly as farmers, and couldn’t produce food that could be stored for a long period of time. Instead of roaming to search different locations for food, farming allowed them to drop seeds in soil that grow next to their
Brilliant farming ideas came out of the Agricultural Revolution, but there were also negative effects. One negative effect would have to be that farmers would need larger amounts of raw goods in order to maintain their increasing outputs.
Anna Belfer Cohen and A. Nigel Gorring-Morris. 釘ecoming Farmers: the Inside Story.Current Anthropology, Vol 52, No. S4 (October, 2011): n pag. The Origin of Agriculture: New Data, New Ideas. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
A major driving force towards agriculture was the rapidly increasing population size dilemma that humans faced. Increasing population size was a critical reason why agriculture soon would replace hunting and gathering since that alone would not be able to sustain the growing population size. Thus, agriculture allowed for massive productions of food, resulting in an abundance of food. This abundance of food was stored meaning if one year the cultivation season didn’t produce sufficient nutriment due to any casual factors, the masses would still be able to survive on the food that was produced the year before. Unlike agriculture, hunting and gathering didn’t allow for this to happen since, they only hunted and gathered, as they needed in that specific moment. Additionally, another reason for the beginning of farming is politics. The distribution of food was
Agriculture is a vital part of society, and Agribusiness is of course the business behind it. While agricultural needs were different in ancient times, farming was always necessary. With agriculture came the domestication of plants and animals. This domestication allowed the human civilization to flourish. With time, new technologies and lifestyles changed the course of agriculture.