How They Survived
The Fertile Crescent: Origins of Agriculture
-It is a fact that our species has been in the process of massively transforming the biosphere since our move into the Fertile Crescent approximately 10,000 years ago.
-The Fertile Crescent is in the region of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
-The discovery of sustainable food means lead to development of agriculture, 36 of the 56 grasses cultivated by modern humans originate from the Fertile Crescent and have been continually cultivated since the Romans.
-Once the large mammals of the region were domesticated and plants were cultivated communities began to settle, which lead to the development of complex social systems, which resulted in the emergence of new narratives that could effectively coordinate collective identities: culture.
-Before the age of fossil fuels, early farming peoples could never invest in farming more energy than that they got out of the land in return.
-The large grass seeds and thousands of years of experimentation aided our species in creating large sources of food for entire civilizations.
-It wasn’t until the development of cities, such as the Minoan city of Knossos in B.C. times that food supply became an ardent issue. Trade then became a must for cities, but the imported supply still failed to maintain their populations, early cities’ attempts at trade failed but their reliance on imported food, fuel, and fiber remained and increased.
Modern Global Trade Map
-Attempts in introducing foreign farming techniques and foreign animals into new lands due to population increase and demand caused a series of feedbacks between biological and cultural processes. For Example, when a certain breed of toads were brought to Australia to help with pestilence issues, the ecology proved beneficial for the amphibians and their population soared with no natural predators existing to control thir growth because they were an introduced species.
-In the nineteenth century the industrial cities of Europe and Northern America fed themselves by drawing on the temperate grasslands of the entire planet.
- In the 1990s widespread mechanization and industrialization of agriculture in countries has transformed the agricultural practices in Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
-Farmers in these countries now specialize in single crops that plant geneticists have bred for responsiveness to chemical fertilizers, resistance to chemical pesticides, and compatibility with mechanized harvesting.
A Monoculture Crop
- So that a nation might make money in the global market of trade monoculture displaced patchwork quilt farms, and the dependence on oil to get crops from one nation to another, and to feed the mechanized farming equipment, increased along with the popularity of the practice. (Robert Nadeau, “The Environmental Endgame”)
Genetically Treated Agriculture
-With patchwork quilt crops one crop balances out the other, the soil is richer and the pestilence is less of an issue. But with the depletion of this process monoculture crops have suffered tremendously and farmers began and still use methods such as chemical fertilization and chemical pesticides. These methods of sustainability have now raised questions concerning the health of the humans who take in these chemically sustained foodstuffs.
Patchwork Quilt Crops
-Cropland expansion has contributed to a long history of deforestation, from the dawn of agriculture to the present, accounting for a reduction in global forest area between 15 and 45 percent.
-In addition to the increase in demand of agriculture to feed a growing population, there was also an increase in demand for livestock. Animals that once roamed freely on farms were hugely outnumbered by the humans that wanted to eat them.
-So began the idea of Animal Factories, or what I like to call Fooditude, animals born into enslavement for food purposes.
-Just as with genetically altered crops, animals such as cows, chickens, and pigs are given hormone treatments in addition to other injections to make them grow faster without disease so they can be killed for consumption, all without ever even seeing the light of day.
-Not to mention the Environmental Damage from Animal Agriculture:
-Aquatic Ecosystem Damage
-GreenHouse Gas Production
-The Moral injustice of purposely breeding animals into suffering
(Information and Photos from www.opposecruelty.org)