Better off as Hunter Gatherers?

Being a subsistence farmer, in some conditions, is worse than being a hunter-gatherer. Being a member of a modern, developed state is almost certainly better.
 
Very probably not, despite overall quality of life going down in the early agricultural period, many hunter gatherer societies had high death rates compared to modern humans in well-off places. It does raise the question of how the development of agriculture could be prevented from occurring up until the equivalent of the present day.
 
No, we wouldn’t be. but I do find the idea of agriculture never developing to be a very fascinating one, and something I’d like to see explored somehow. Could make an interesting book or something.

But I’ll take today over a hunter-gatherer alternate world anyway, flaws and all. Case in point: in a hunter-gatherer world, I am not able to watch Futurama in my underwear at night. In our agricultural world? I can. And that alone proves to me we got the better deal.
 
No, not really. Yours survivial totally depended if you was able to find food. If not you was screwed. And there was extrmely high mortality level and basically no one couldn't live old age. Thirty years old was considered as old. Yours only security is only just yours own tribe, nothing else. And if you got sick or injured you probably just would die quickly and painfully. Yes, there would be lesser pollution and violence but it hardly is worth of dying young from reasons where you probably wouldn't die on modern society.
 
No, not really. Yours survivial totally depended if you was able to find food. If not you was screwed. And there was extrmely high mortality level and basically no one couldn't live old age. Thirty years old was considered as old. Yours only security is only just yours own tribe, nothing else. And if you got sick or injured you probably just would die quickly and painfully. Yes, there would be lesser pollution and violence but it hardly is worth of dying young from reasons where you probably wouldn't die on modern society.
The doc says that life expectancy was 70. Does anyone have a source on that? It also points out, as was mentioned in another comment, that child mortality was high.
 
The doc says that life expectancy was 70. Does anyone have a source on that? It also points out, as was mentioned in another comment, that child mortality was high.
That doesn't seem right at all when archaeology and written accounts note the very small proportion of people over 50 in those societies. Most people died as infants or in their 20s (men from accidents and conflict, women from childbirth).
 
The doc says that life expectancy was 70. Does anyone have a source on that? It also points out, as was mentioned in another comment, that child mortality was high.

IMO that not make any sense. There is not even any evidence about living to 70. Hunger-gatherer societies have not any knowledge about medical things and many would die on accidents and diseases. Women would die often from birthing. These societies were really harsh places to live. And you would be going to get lot of paradises from food since there is not knowledge about proper handing of food, speacility mat.
 
Sometimes I think we would be happier as hunter-gatherers, even if our life expectancy was low and child mortality was high. Work load was seemingly low compared to subsistence farming and more time was spent telling stories or other activities. Tribal structures were more egalitarian and less tyrannical, judging from existing tribal societies like the San and the Hadza. But then again, there are examples where the land couldn't support the amount of people living there and people languished under those conditions such as the late Jomon.

While modern society thanks to agriculture is undeniably more prosperous and has a far higher quality of life, to the point where it is useless to revert back to hunter-gathering for virtually all of humanity, it took untold amounts of human suffering to get to where we are today. Perhaps that is the reason why we shouldn't take our cushy and pampered lives for granted. Others weren't able to live those lives.
 
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Champa Rice

Banned
Or a society that developed horticulture to such a degree, the average apple is the size of a melon. :p
There is actually a fruit in the tropics that is such size and the tree gives some 40 mln cal per acre (potatoes give 17m)

It's jackfruit and it's yield is collosal
main-qimg-027d54b559427f1531960232678497b7-lq.jpeg


But horticulture is really just a form of agriculture except with perennial plants.
 
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There is actually a fruit in the tropics that is such size and the tree gives some 40 mln cal per acre (potatoes give 17m)

It's jackfruit and it's yield is collosal
View attachment 712160

But horticulture is really just a form of agriculture except with perennial plants.

It's still less labour-intensive than traditional agriculture, though.

In Against the Grain, less taxing variants of agriculture that can be paired with hunting and gathering are mentioned, too:

Agriculture can exist without sedentism. Shifting fields (‘swiddening’) or planting crops and leaving them until harvest are common ancient practices and have persisted until today. This is sometimes derogatorily called ‘slash and burn’, although at low enough population densities, it is less environmentally detrimental than fixed field agriculture. You can think of a continuum of altering the landscape to increase food production, from using fire to clear undergrowth (which is even older than Homo sapiens) to intensive agriculture. Many people have also practiced combinations of farming, herding, and foraging.

The earliest evidence of agriculture dates from about 9000 BC, with the major early crops (wheat, barley, lentils, peas, chickpeas, vetch, and flax) and the early livestock (sheep, goats, and cattle) domesticated between 8000 BC and 6000 BC The first farming was probably ‘flood retreat agriculture’. When the flood waters retreated, seeds were thrown by the handful (‘broadcast’) across the new soil. This involves a minimum amount of drudgery and is easy to include with the hunting and gathering of the towns in the Mesopotamian wetlands.

I read the book, but I'm copy-pasting this from a review since I can't be arsed to find and type out the whole thing right now. :winkytongue:
 
I think the amount of evidence of HGs having better nutrition and less work than farmers is less than people and thing and far more controversial.
The argument that "farmers won out because they were numerically more" is not universally applicable given it's unable to explain why Steppe pastoralism on the other hand survived for so long when logically the same kind of process should have happened.
Also the idea that hunter-gathers couldn't have gender roles or unequal distribution of wealth is over-stated, I think we have evidence of more contemporary HG societies that did, obviously we can all pretend they were "tainted" by influence by other societies...
 
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Champa Rice

Banned
I think the amount of evidence of HGs having better nutrition and less work than farmers is less than people and thing and far more controversial.
The argument that "farmers won out because they were numerically more" is not universally applicable given it's unable to explain why Steppe pastoralism on the other hand survived for so long when logically the same kind of process should have happened.
Also the idea that hunter-gathers couldn't have gender roles or unequal distribution of wealth is over-stated, I think we have evidence of more contemporary HG societies that did, obviously we can all pretend they were "tainted" by influence by other societies...
For a long time steppe nomads had military advantage over sedentary peoples due to having a large number of horse riders trained in archery

This was not the case with hunter gatherers who do not have the mobility advantage.
 
For a long time steppe nomads had military advantage over sedentary peoples due to having a large number of horse riders trained in archery

This was not the case with hunter gatherers who do not have the mobility advantage.
If HGs were better fed, had more free time and moved around more themselves then they should have also had some kind of military advantage, plus the numerical disparity between farmers and HGs was like 1:10 at most and likely less at the start.
 
IMO that not make any sense. There is not even any evidence about living to 70. Hunger-gatherer societies have not any knowledge about medical things and many would die on accidents and diseases. Women would die often from birthing. These societies were really harsh places to live. And you would be going to get lot of paradises from food since there is not knowledge about proper handing of food, speacility mat.
It wouldn't be a pleasant society, but to assume that hunter-gatherers had no knowledge of medicine or food preparation is nonsense. Trial and error, and the knowledge of the Old Men/Women of the tribe would pass things down from one generation to the next.

You get this phenomenon today in places like Papua New Guinea.
 
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