University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Many discussions have been sparked on the topic of whether or not agriculture was beneficial or detrimental to human life. Hypothetically, agriculture, if cultivated correctly, will never allow any part of a group to go hungry. There is no stress about moving because every resource you need is in your back yard. Realistically, agriculture does cause a lot of issues. Problems such as increased population, non cooperative weather patterns, and territorial issues are just a few. Wars were sparked from overstepped territorial boundaries.
Also, the creation of government was commenced as a result of hierarchy issues. Even though the issues on the surface can weigh down the positives, agriculture, at its core, has improved human lives and led to the development of the working/manageable lifestyles we have today. There are many issues that have sprung to the surface due to the subsistence strategy of agriculture. “Increased population densities”(Agriculture and Civilization) caused many problems with survival during empty seasons.
As the population rose, more food had to be produced. During a good season, this was no problem, but during a dry season, this caused many problems. Instead of simply working 4-6 hours to find food, a full workday would have been needed. According to the article Agriculture and Civilization, “agriculture, to be successful, demands constant attention, good soil, good weather, and plentiful water. ” As a farmer, many hours of the day was needed to make sure that the soil was rich with nutrients,
turned correctly, and supplied with enough water so that the seeds would grow. The diets of agriculturalist was not necessarily as well rounded as a hunter-gatherers, pastoralist or industrialist. The article Agriculture and Civilization also says that “agriculture, while it can be highly productive, takes advantage of only a few thousand of the edible plants available on the planet…[and] agriculture-based societ[ies] relied on fewer food choices than hunter-gather societies. ”