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This is why zooarchaeologists believe our meat-eating human ancestors living more than a million years ago were scavengers, not hunters. One theory for why so many butchered animal bones enter the archaeological record around 1. These cats may have hunted larger prey, leaving even more leftovers for early humans to scavenge. Active scavenging would preserve more fresh meat, but carries some serious risks. A reconstruction of a pre-historic cave man, at the Chicago Field Museum, eating meat. The modern human brain is far larger than that of other primates and three times the size of the one possessed by our distant ancestor Australopithecus , the predecessor of Homo.

10 Tribes That Never Evolved

But those big brains come at a cost in that they require tons of energy to operate. Compare that to cats and dogs, whose brains require only three to four percent of total energy.

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Meat, Zaraska says, played a critical role in boosting energy intake to feed the evolution of those big, hungry brains. When ancient hominins subsisted exclusively on fruits, plants and seeds, they expended a lot more energy on digestion. Millions of years ago, the human gut was longer and slower, requiring more effort to derive limited calories from forage foods. With all of that energy being spent on digestion, the human brain remained relatively small, similar to other primates today. When humans began adding meat to their diet, there was less of a need for a long digestive tract equipped for processing lots of plant matter.

Slowly, over hundreds of thousands of years, the human gut shrunk. This freed up energy to be spent on the brain, which grew explosively in size. When humans began cooking meat, it became even easier to digest quickly and efficiently, and capture those calories to feed our growing brains.

The earliest clear evidence of humans cooking food dates back roughly , years ago, although it could have begun sooner. We crave meat today, in part, because our brains evolved on the African savanna and are still wired to seek out energy-dense sources of protein.

But we also crave meat because of its cultural significance. Industrialized Western nations average more than pounds of meat per person per year, while the poorest African nations average less than 22 pounds per person. As networks supersede hierarchies each of us is empowered in new ways. Many people are taking broadcasting into their own hands. Positive TV , Collective Evolution , Wake Up World , Upworthy and many other alternative media channels divert people from conventional content presenting compelling alternative visions for the future.

In isolation, each of these start-ups may be niche, but they are emerging everywhere. Signs abound that the information we need to adapt to a changing world is being shared. The transfer of sovereignty from hierarchical institutions to networks of citizens can lead to more democratic and ultimately better decision-making. Surveys consistently demonstrate that citizens want to see nature protected. Networks of citizens can do better.

We can crowdsource investment to create mega-wildlife corridors, launch a massive global campaign to secure a global treaty to halt the sixth mass extinction and use this mobilised political force to break up harmful corporations and establish new economies that are steady-state and value the natural world.


Wired Wilderness (豆瓣)

How many people need to agree that the Amazon rainforest should be protected for it to be so? Or that we allow fish stocks to recover? Or that we slow the economy, work less , rebuild community and be more involved in our food production? These no longer sound like radical demands, they are obvious next steps to take at the end of a sustained era of industrial expansion.

We now have the means, motive and opportunity to radically reorganise society to enable citizens to thrive within an abundant biosphere. Our generation is blessed with the opportunity to step out of fear, competition and greed and into a new era of harmony with the natural world and our peers.

Success depends on the cumulative activity of our connected brains. So what do you think?

Wired and wild: is the Information Age ecological?

Rewilding skirmish in the fashionable heart of trendy Somerset could set the tone for a new kind of English countryside. Without the input or permission of existing industrial institutions a new world is emerging. How could this possibly have happened? By Team Ecohustler. By Matt Mellen.