Plant & Animal Domestication Essay

Submitted By neryjon_025
Words: 1281
Pages: 6

Econ 124
2/7/14
Assignment 2
Humans have been living on earth for 2.5 million years. This statement is proven through survival in maintaining human health through nutrition and overcoming diseases. Nutrition is an essential good that living beings must acquire. Food provides calories for humans to function throughout the day and meet their daily needs. Without food, society would not have grown to its current state. Nourishment can be achieved by means of two ways: food or animals. In the course of time, our civilization has expanded from the domestication of mammals. However, humans discovered that land creatures to be more desirable than marine animals. Reason is that, sea creatures were tricky to breed and preserve during the early pre historic years. So, humans relied mostly on animals for nutrition, clothing, tools, and transportation. To this day humans depend on livestock to meet their day-to-day needs. Animals have brought countless benefits to our society’s growth in numbers and knowledge. Conversely, animals also continue to bring countless diseases to our humanity from the beginning years of domestication of animals all the way through the current era. Currently there are about 700,000 beef farms and 60,000 dairy cattle farms across the United States. These farms offer our nation numerous amounts of meat and diary products to meet our societies’ needs. About 70% of children consume milk daily and many people in America consume meat products. “Americans tend to get most of their animal protein from cows.” (Diamond 88) Even Diamond advocates the fact that cattle are highly used in the United States. Nevertheless, cattle have been domesticated since 6,000 BC within the Eurasian Bantu farmers. These farmers were able to maximize the use of cattle. “Domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep provided New Stone Age humans with additional sources of protein-rich meat and in some cases milk. Animal hides and wool greatly expanded the materials from which clothes, containers, shelters, and crude boats could be crafted. Animal horns and bones could be carved or used for needles and other utensils.” (history-world.org) “Cows and horses were hitched to wagons.” (Diamond 91)
The Eurasian farmers were able to domesticate cattle for several reasons: size, character, fertility rate, and their diet. The size of cattle provided an abundance of meat, its strength to transport heavy baggage, and pull plow for agriculture. The cattle’s character is known for its mellow movements through fields and eating cud, which was their diet. These factors attracted farmers because they didn’t have to worry about finding other animals to feed these large species. These mammals in time evolved to massive beast weighing several tons. “Modern cattle can weigh anywhere between 800 and 4000 pounds, whilst their ancestor, the aurochs, was even larger, standing more than 6 feet tall at the shoulder.” (pbs.org) Even though the aurochs was larger and taller than the modern cattle. Cattle today are genetically engineered to have more lean mass to provide better amounts of quality meat. Regards to survival, the modern day cattle ancestors can absolutely survive on its own since they are herbivore species and traveled in herds. In 6,000 BC the Eurasia continent had vast fertile lands that stretched out in a horizontal axis, which benefited the aurochs’ way of living. So, human domestication wouldn’t have any effect to their well being.
Overall, animal domestication during the eras of 8,500 BC to 3,500 BC based on Diamond’s argument of “Why most big wild mammal species never domesticated?” I would agree with Diamond’s theory because that point of time humans didn’t have the technology and knowledge to overcome species possessing bad temperament unlike today. Also, at that time hunters were deciding on the factors of size, character, fertility rate, and their diet. For example, if hunters were to domesticate…