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Apocryphal -> "Hunter Gatherer = Being Hunted by Animals Red in Tooth and Claw"

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  • macropneuma
    Apocrypha, smoothly wriiten. Without any whiff of rigorous evidence. Lynn Margulis is a renowned authority in micro-biology, not having any authority in
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 3, 2008
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      Apocrypha, smoothly wriiten.
      Without any whiff of rigorous evidence.
      Lynn Margulis is a renowned authority in micro-biology, not having any authority in
      anthropology.
      Jared Diamond is a physiologist and ecologist having worked extensively in Papua,
      especially on avifauna, with so called Hunter Gatherers, so while he's not formally an
      anthropologist, he's still renowned as a populariser of anthropological evidence. There's
      better writers than him on anthropology, and specialists in farming anthropology and
      archaeology such as Tim Denham and David R Harris. He even does over-simplify
      history in his popular books, but you can get a good introduction to history through
      anthropology from his books "Guns, Germs and Steel", "Collapse" recent in 2006 and he
      clarified "The worst mistake in the history of the human race" with a refinement and
      update in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee".
      That's it!

      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote:
      >
      > Want to romanticize hunter-gatherer times? Some anthropologists think the human
      race spent most of its time running FROM animals. Want to bring it back Jurrasic Park
      style, by cloning all the fierce beasts that used to chase us? Better buy some corporate
      stock now in aerodynamically balanced spears with longer flight paths, sharp feldspar and
      ash axes that sever vital arteries, and poison-dart blow guns to stop our natural predators
      in their tracks, otherwise, the massively multiplying animal populations will be painting
      pictures in the caves showing all the human prey dripping with blood that they have
      captured and fed to their young cubs and kids. The poet Gary Snyder likes to say that
      environmental maturity consists of imagining ourselves as dinner for some salivating
      carnivore in the wild.
      >
      > Let him, Jared Diamond, and all the rest of the golden days of hunter-gathering
      retrovists(almost always males, have you noticed?) take romance; I'll go with the
      (probably sensible female) inventors of horticulture and agriculture, bringers of blessings
      to humankind. Finally someone (a woman no doubt) had the good sense to see that
      families didn't have to expose themselves to an endlessly grim procession of invasions
      into the territory of one fierce man-child- and woman-eating beast after another. Finally
      humans (probably of the female persuasion) had the sense to grow their own food and
      wall themselves out of the animal- predator's snarling path.
      >
      > Ask a great female evolutionist like microbiologist Lynn Margulis about this rather
      than Jared Diamond. She will tell you that hunter-gathering was a drunken bout of male
      excess,
      > needlessly exposing families to hazard and vainglorious hormonal excitement. It was
      an old-boy network show, purely xx-chromosome rated. Let us thank our lucky stars that
      the women had the sense to civilize us, plant, sow, breed new varieties, and domesticate.
      They paved the way for peaceful, vegan existence. Only at the extremes of human
      imagination
      > (in Isaiah and the Garden of Eden) does the lion lie down with the lamb.
      >
      > Bob Monie
      > New Orleans, LA
      > Zone 8 (vegan country)
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • Robert Monie
      Dear Macropneuma, Hunter gatherers may have really just gathered (mostly fruits and tender greens) and not hunted much at all. (Though they were themselves
      Message 2 of 12 , Mar 4, 2008
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        Dear Macropneuma,

        Hunter gatherers may have really just gathered (mostly fruits and tender greens) and not hunted much at all. (Though they were themselves hunted by carnivores whose territory they impinged upon) The hunting part may have been of the tall-tale Paul Bunyan slaking his thirst by emptying Lake Erie variety. Big macho stuff of little significance--something to tell the women and kids when you were half drunk.

        Dr. Alan Walker of Johns Hopkins, who as an anthropologist microscopically examined more than his share of fossilized teeth and bone from the fabled hunter and gatherer period came to the conclusion that all these much-vaunted Tarzin-type heros were really frutarians. Paul Bunyan probably ate the Ur form of grapes and blackberries while he cleaned his ax and told about all the wild yak that got away.

        The romance and derring-do in the HUNTER-gatherer reconstructions comes from the basic physiological need that humans have for exercise and excitement. There's no denying the thrill of the chase--all the whooping and hollering, the brandishing of spears and arrows, the gnashing of teeth, the defeat (symbolic or real) of the prey. It's a memorable adrenalin rush and great cardiovascular exercise to be sure. Dr. A. William Menzin of the Harvard Department of Psychiatry (himself a raw food vegan) used to listen to cases of people who romanticized the old days when men were men all drenched in blood etc. etc. His advice was to take up some nice sport like archery, rowing, fencing, to get the circulation going and eat plenty of fruit and greens.Work out in the weight room, on some construction site, or in the garden or field. You will get everything the hunter-gatherers supposedly had without the blood and the gore. The rest of it (if it really existed at all) died with the
        dodo. As humans we have no physiological need for either hunting or meat. Our grandmothers were right: "eat your veggies and work hard."

        Ask evolutionist Lynn Margulis sometime about the male Darwinist struggle-for-existence illusion. Eve taught Adam to eat the fruit and stop molesting the animals. She had it right.

        Best wishes,

        And, by the way (from a previous post years ago), you are right about the berries and the veggies--you don't have to eat grain. Doctor William Menzin convinced me about that (though I stil eat some grain because I tolerate it).

        Bob Monie, gatherer, not hunter
        New Orleans, LA 70119
        Zone 8
        macropneuma <macropneuma@...> wrote:
        Apocrypha, smoothly wriiten.
        Without any whiff of rigorous evidence.
        Lynn Margulis is a renowned authority in micro-biology, not having any authority in
        anthropology.
        Jared Diamond is a physiologist and ecologist having worked extensively in Papua,
        especially on avifauna, with so called Hunter Gatherers, so while he's not formally an
        anthropologist, he's still renowned as a populariser of anthropological evidence. There's
        better writers than him on anthropology, and specialists in farming anthropology and
        archaeology such as Tim Denham and David R Harris. He even does over-simplify
        history in his popular books, but you can get a good introduction to history through
        anthropology from his books "Guns, Germs and Steel", "Collapse" recent in 2006 and he
        clarified "The worst mistake in the history of the human race" with a refinement and
        update in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee".
        That's it!

        --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote:
        >
        > Want to romanticize hunter-gatherer times? Some anthropologists think the human
        race spent most of its time running FROM animals. Want to bring it back Jurrasic Park
        style, by cloning all the fierce beasts that used to chase us? Better buy some corporate
        stock now in aerodynamically balanced spears with longer flight paths, sharp feldspar and
        ash axes that sever vital arteries, and poison-dart blow guns to stop our natural predators
        in their tracks, otherwise, the massively multiplying animal populations will be painting
        pictures in the caves showing all the human prey dripping with blood that they have
        captured and fed to their young cubs and kids. The poet Gary Snyder likes to say that
        environmental maturity consists of imagining ourselves as dinner for some salivating
        carnivore in the wild.
        >
        > Let him, Jared Diamond, and all the rest of the golden days of hunter-gathering
        retrovists(almost always males, have you noticed?) take romance; I'll go with the
        (probably sensible female) inventors of horticulture and agriculture, bringers of blessings
        to humankind. Finally someone (a woman no doubt) had the good sense to see that
        families didn't have to expose themselves to an endlessly grim procession of invasions
        into the territory of one fierce man-child- and woman-eating beast after another. Finally
        humans (probably of the female persuasion) had the sense to grow their own food and
        wall themselves out of the animal- predator's snarling path.
        >
        > Ask a great female evolutionist like microbiologist Lynn Margulis about this rather
        than Jared Diamond. She will tell you that hunter-gathering was a drunken bout of male
        excess,
        > needlessly exposing families to hazard and vainglorious hormonal excitement. It was
        an old-boy network show, purely xx-chromosome rated. Let us thank our lucky stars that
        the women had the sense to civilize us, plant, sow, breed new varieties, and domesticate.
        They paved the way for peaceful, vegan existence. Only at the extremes of human
        imagination
        > (in Isaiah and the Garden of Eden) does the lion lie down with the lamb.
        >
        > Bob Monie
        > New Orleans, LA
        > Zone 8 (vegan country)
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Robert Monie
        You re on the right trail, Jeff. I believe Alan Walker said that his microscopic evidence indicated a mostly plant food diet in humans till the Ice Age. Humans
        Message 3 of 12 , Mar 4, 2008
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          You're on the right trail, Jeff. I believe Alan Walker said that his microscopic evidence indicated a mostly plant food diet in humans till the Ice Age. Humans were freezed out of their vegetation and had to make do in frosty "Freezeland" with meaty beasties till the thaw came. And the more North, the more people became convinced that they had to eat meat.

          Also much of the hunting ritual is purely for show, territorial marking, patrolling, game-playing, exercise hi-jinks, and male posturing. Read the medieval romance Sir Gawain for examples (in that one the knights and nobles show off their bright outfits and handsome horses and gear, and pile up mountains of words on how the captured prey was sliced and trussed, dressed and pressed.) Often behind all this hoopla stood the peasants in the fields, pulling up the turnips and winnowing the rye and wheat, so the feasters would really have something to eat.

          Relief came for the human race when it learned to grow its own food. Now we just need to do it sustainably.

          Jeff <shultonus@...> wrote:
          While many groups through time have romanticized hunter-gatherer
          times. (THorou, Melville, etc), I'm not sure that Diamond does this at
          all.

          Based on other Diamond works, I would take the position that rather,
          Agriculture is unsustainable, was not a "great" under taking, and all
          societies that are unsustainable eventually fail. It is more an
          explaination why agriculture suceeded despite its short comings.

          .. and then your right .... human history is a million years old, our
          species is much shorter, but even that, most of it we were chased by
          large dangerous predators, but 10,000 the equation changed. Not just
          because of agriculture, but the death of the mega-mammals. So not even
          the romanticized hunter-gather can be declared innocent.

          > Ask a great female evolutionist like microbiologist Lynn Margulis
          about this rather than Jared Diamond. She will tell you that
          hunter-gathering was a drunken bout of male excess,

          I'm not sure that the drunken bout of male excess hold true either.
          I'm not sure that it supported, but I see the hunting element of the
          equation being very much an adaption to a cold/ice age climate. Even
          now, the further north you go, the higher the animal portion of food
          in the naitive diet. The most plant heavy cultures are tropical or
          sub-tropical.

          The question is in a tropical climate why would you spend the energy
          and resources for hunting that results in less calories than spent
          (often the case in jungle hunting)??

          I think the answer to this is men's traditional role as defenders.
          Hunting would keep the muscles in shape, senses sharp and a group
          continuity that would aid a military expedition. In a gathering
          society territory is everything. You must know when to be where.
          Hunting may have been nothing more than an elaborate excuse to patroll
          the territory.

          Once a role is developed it is difficult to get rid of.....
          I think this may also be related to the power of the sexes, but I
          would need to more research on that one...

          > Bob Monie
          > New Orleans, LA
          > Zone 8 (vegan country)
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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