Food Security: Rethinking The Agricultural Revolution

The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1565) Brussels (GattoCeliaco /CC BY-SA 4.0)

Food Security: Rethinking The Agricultural Revolution

The Agricultural, or Neolithic (New-Stone Age) Revolution, marks the birth of modern civilization. Traditional wisdom says that is when we started to become us. That is when we began to grow crops, build cities, develop trade routes, practice specialized crafts and skills, and start the process of becoming the fully evolved species that we have become. That is when we began to move away from being primitive, perhaps even brutish, hunter gatherers who lived on a subsistence diet, constantly on the brink of starvation. That is when we began to conquer and subdue our environment. It was the beginning of a time of great progress and enlightenment. Or was it?

Detail of a miniature of a man ploughing with oxen. Image taken from Bestiary. Written in Latin and French. (Public Domain)

Which Came First Building Or Agriculture?

Is it time to re-examine what we have all been taught for so long that it is now fully ingrained in our thinking to the point where we scarcely question it anymore? Dare we re-examine such a basic, underlying “fact” of anthropological history? And, to take the idea one step further, did the Agricultural Revolution represent a step forward in our evolution, or was it instead a detriment — a dead end path that, so far at least, has kept us from our real goal of becoming fully evolved, spiritual beings?

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