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History makes a choice: from hunting collectors to food production

2020-06-01 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Report范文

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下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文 -- History makes a choice: from hunting collectors to food production,本文讲述一位黑脚印第安人诅咒他为之工作的人的故事-蒙大拿州的一位白人农民提出了一个问题,即为什么农民可以赢得我们的勇士?

最初,所有人都从事狩猎野生动物和收集野生植物的活动。逐渐地,一个称为粮食生产的系统应运而生,粮食生产的农民取代了许多狩猎采集部落的战士。因此,有必要了解粮食生产与征服之间的联系。

 

History makes a choice: from hunting collectors to food production

 

The story of a Blackfoot Indian who cursed the man he worked for ---- a white farmer in Montana rose a question about why farmers could win our over the warriors?

At the very beginning, all human beings were engaged in hunting wild animals and gathering wild plants. Gradually, a system termed food production came into existence, and the farmers of food production displaced many warriors of hunter-gatherer tribes. Therefore, there is a necessity to understand the connections between food production and the conquest.

Firstly, food production means more consumable calories which also equals to more people. According to scientist statistics, one acre of land can feed 10 to 100 times more farmers and herders than hunter-gatherers. Consequently, plant and animal domestication led to denser human population which revealed in four direct ways and one indirect way. The four direct way of feeding more people included providing (1) meet, (2) milk, (3) fertilizer and (4) pulling plows to farmers and herders. Additionally, an indirect way was reflected in endowing people a sedentary life which was crucial to both shorten the birth interval and store food to feed non-food-producing specialists including (1) kings, (2) bureaucrats and (3) soldiers who played a significant role in wars of conquest.

Secondly, the importance of livestock and crops in keeping people warm and providing valuable materials cannot be ignored at the same time.

Finally, big domestic mammals became main means of transport for human beings and made it possible to carry heavy goods in large quantities, as well as people themselves. Moreover, mammals were also regarded as important implements of war, horse in particular.

It can be concluded that the role of food production in wars of conquest is similar to the role of germs which caused epidemics and resulted in unimaginative large population was killed. By domesticating animals and plants and eating the resulting livestock and crops, food production led to the consequences of more food and much denser populations which are the fundament of a stable and thriving society.

The research could be finished here for there is a clear understanding in the relationship between food production and wars of conquest. However, thinking, as the human instinct, cannot be satisfied by this conclusion. Here comes another four questions about food production: (1) why food production did evolve, (2) why it evolved in some places but not others, (3) why at different times at different places, and (4) why not instead at some earlier or later date. (P106)

To answer questions above, it is necessary to take a proper insight into food production in three aspects: (1) it is an unconscious choice without the awaremess of its consequences; (2) there is no sharp divide between hunter-gatherer and food production, which means that “sedentary hunter-gatherer” and “mobile food producer” could coexist; (3) hunter-gatherers still could manage their land.

On this basis, the questions can be answered as following:

Why food production did evolve? It evolved as a result of the accumulation of time and effort which were decided separately and influenced by other elements, such as the highest cost-to-reward ratios and the relative values which had impact on the tribe.

Why it evolved in some places but not others? For the places which adopted the food production, hunter-gatherer lifestyle there was less productive and less competitive. Nonetheless, for the places piecemeal adopted food production, hunter-gatherer lifestyle there had a stable and productive resource of food.

Why food production evolved at different times at different places? When did a tribe adopt the system of food production depends on how easy wild animals and plants were available to them. A lack of food resources from wild may shorten the time for them to adopt food production, while an affluence of wild animals and plants may lengthen the process.

Why food production appeared more early or lately? As a matter of fact, the process of transition had taken a longer time than what we imagine. In the duration of transition, the lifestyles of hunter-gatherer and food production existed tighter and competed with each other.

Then what made food production lifestyle finally outweigh the hunter-gatherer lifestyle? There are five main reasons: (1) lack of availability of wild foods, (2) more productive plant domestication, (3) development of technologies which applied to collecting, processing and storing wild foods, (4) interaction between an increasing population and an abundant food production, and (5) the geographic boundaries between hunter-gatherer and food production.

The final conclusion can drawn to there were two kinds of fates for hunter-gatherers: being displaced by food production tribes or adopting the system of food production themselves. Therefore, though the transition from hunter-gatherer to food production is struggling, or even brutal, it is the choice of history.

There is an ancient Chinese proverb goes that “Well fed, well bred”, while Maslow also indicated in his hierarchy of needs that food is the most basic need for human beings. In other words, food is the paramount necessity of the people, and it is the foundation of all human activities. Even in modern society, from a single person to the whole country all have to strive to obtain food for survival.

At the very beginning of the human civilization, hunter-gatherer was the main approach to acquiring food from nature, and to be specific, males were responsible for hunting animals and females shouldered the responsibility of gathering fruits or edible wild seeds. In reality, taken the productivity conditions at that time into consideration, the hunter-gatherer system was effective and reasonable, for it fully utilized the advantages of both men and women. Hence the cooperation between men and women promoted social development.

Nevertheless, the hunter-gatherer systems had its drawbacks even analyze it from the perspective of our ancestors. To begin with, the process of hunting was filled with uncertainty and dangers. By uncertainty I mean two kinds of situations: (1) it is not certain whether they could snare the prey or not, and (2) it is dangerous if they were injured while hunting. Meanwhile, gathering also faced to a serious problems that a decrease of the availability of wild plants due to a long-time demanding without any compensation. All of these elements may cause a shortage in food and a loss of life. If looking insight the hunter-gatherer from a modern angle, it remained more disadvantages for it spent people’s the most time for the most effort but resulted in a greatest uncertainty. The characters of hunter-gatherer restricted all labor forces to low-returned activities, and without liberating the workforce, the means of production and other specialists of the society cannot be well developed.

These shortcomings did not make the system of hunter-gatherer step down from the stage of history until a seed was secretly planted in Fertile Crescent about 10,000 years ago. This seed inspired the human beings to create a new age of food production, which brings both prosperity and disasters to the whole world.

The society of food production was characterized by material wealth and denser populations. People started to realize that wild animals and plants can be domesticated and then they can take the resulting livestock and crops as daily food. By domesticating animals, they could avoid the injury and starvation cause by uncertain hunting; by growing crops, they could mitigate the risk of exhausting wild plants.

What more important is that food production played a significant role in liberating the workforce. Taking farming as an example, after several months of busy seasons, farmers could free from working in the rest of year. Under this circumstance, they were provided with sufficient time and opportunities to improve the tools of production. Together with those domesticated animal, like horses and cows, plows and other instruments of production came into being. Therefore, food production is the prerequisite for the development of steel.

However, not all the impacts brought by food production are positive, or it can be interpreted into not all the advantages of food production at that time are still advantages in the modern word. The domestication of animals opened a gate for germs to get into the human beings’ society and caused countless death in the history. The explosion of population generated an increasingly crowded world and continuously challenged the bottom line of the carrying capability of environment. The demand of land and other productive property was the culprit of cruel wars; precisely because of wars and conquests, guns were invented. Though food production is not an invention of human beings, it becomes to a double-edged sword like many other invention eventually.

According to scientists, the food of the hunter-gatherer society was more diverse than that of the food production society. However, no one could imagine that fewer varieties of food could feed a larger population. And it is like no matter voluntary or forced, when a tribe abandoned their lifestyle of hunter-gatherer and tended to the system of food production, it can hardly imagine that a more flourishing society could lead to numerous potential problems.

No one could foresee the consequences of adopting the system of food production; no one could predict the appearance of guns, germs and steel consequent on food production; also no one could forecast whether the food production would be instead or not. Both the lifestyle of hunter-gatherer and the system of food production were creations of the development of history and were suitable to the situations of society at that time. Of course socialists, historians, or even I, could make judgments on what happened in the past. Still, I firmly believe that: the conclusions are drawn by the later generations; however the choices were made by history itself.

 

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