Advantages of Farming Over Hunting and Gathering
According to history, early man practiced a lot of hunting and gathering as his main style of getting food. This was indeed quite efficient by then, since he had all the space, resources and even the time, at his disposal. There was little to no pressure at all. Slowly by slowly however, population increased, and with it, more pressure on the available resources, especially land. Bushes were cleared, forests brought down, for the sake of new settlements. In the process, animals and even indigenous plants, gradually disappeared, some even became extinct. This brought to the fore the debate over whether hunting and gathering was better than farming, or vice versa. Farming however, seems to have various advantages over hunting and gathering.
Farming entails breeding of plants or animals and cultivating with efforts to gain food and other products that sustain human life. Hunting and gathering involve the collection and pursuing plants and wild animals for food, in contrast to the agricultural practices that mainly depend on domesticating species. Farming is quite a hard practice but is most preferred due to its vast advantages.
Farming can avail more food compared to what hunters and gatherers can gather and thus farming guarantees a stable food supply yearly. It is possible for a farmer to have surplus which makes it even easier for them to have huge families, unlike the hunters and gatherers who do not have surplus thus can’t get food to sustain them yearly.
Hunting and gathering entail large movements in search of food, and thus there is no possibility of settling down unlike farming which allows settling down and takes occupies less space. Farming can happen anywhere, as long as there is fertilized soil and they do not have to engage in their farming daily, which allows them do other things, for instance, invest their time in other areas of expertise like craftsmanship.
Hunters and gatherers on the other and can hardly engage in other sectors as most of their time is spent traveling in the hunt for food and sustenance. The agrarian society, therefore, curbs the need for a nomadic life which in turn creates huge settlements permanently, and this boosts civilization. Through farming, a small percentage of people can feed the whole society.
Hunting and gathering is labor intensive, and the hunters do not have accurate measures of the food sources they have. Farming is also labor intensive, but not as intensive as compared to hunting and gathering. It is therefore evident that farming has huge advantages over hunting and gathering.
Farming in general, provides a more reliable form of sustenance compared to hunting and gathering. Farming entails having a piece of land, from where one operates, with known parameters such as weather, water and such. In other terms, it is quantifiable and therefore, one can be able to estimate what to expect from the venture at any one time, if everything is kept constant. In this way, one can know in advance, whether a given venture will be dependable or not. When it comes to gathering however, things are different.
Hunting and gathering entails uncertainty. One goes out to hunt, with no surety of whether he will come back with any catch. It is all in the hope that things will just turn out well. One has no control over what goes on during the hunt. This is very risky, especially if the society back home fully depends on it as the only source of food and survival. With increased population and pressure on resources, farming is bound to only become more and more advantageous than the traditional hunting and gathering.
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