Image by Yusuf Kidwai
As I sit here typing, I muse about our sleeping patterns. Harnessing fire, electricity and even the elements; we sure are an assertive bunch. The entire body of impositions and assertions produced by the collective process of human brain development has the bonus and handicap of being good for the species. Agriculture is one of those developments. Agriculture is our white elephant in the room.
In order to understand our current position within the world we must first be aware of what it is that seems to have put us here. The development of agriculture may very well be one of the most underrated events in human history. Sure some of us may have some knowledge of it, but in our day to day lives we don’t acknowledge it, despite its influence on all our lives.
Not only can we theorize on the origins of our civilization based around the practice of agriculture but our daily naturalized behaviour includes using the benefits of this paradigm. We should not only recognize that our current state of existence is contingent on agriculture, but that agriculture is itself precariously predicated on a certain state of environmental conditions.
Since the move to greater urbanization around the world the number of people who can actually account and provide for themselves all of their food have dwindled. Even the majority of farmers only grow a few kinds of crops and this should be viewed cautiously. Increased specialization, caused in part by industrialization, means that our ability to feed ourselves is not only sourced out to others but that the knowledge of how to do so is spread over more people. What happens if they die or the government stops working? My own apocalyptic tendencies force me to fear the ramifications of not having the knowledge to sustain myself. It may seem like a very teenage thing to say, but I don’t think that mankind has ever been at the point that it is right now. Uncertainty is going to be the character of the future. We may be at the point where humanity triumphs over itself and continues on its path of manifest destiny and we may also be at a place where our species needs a little bit of a reality check. We naturalize our existence as if it could never be another way, completely ignoring the possibly billions of years that all of us did not exist.
In a nutshell our food is not guaranteed, it is not a right, and we should always have the knowledge of how to get it ourselves. To me, it doesn’t seem like we even slightly recognize these ideas for the majority of the time, let alone let it affect our lives. If you think while you read than you have made the first step. At the very least, keep on learning. You may never know what it will take to get food into your belly someday.