Sunday, August 21, 2011

Livestock and its importance

The most important element in establishing civilizations is livestock and the diseases it possesses. IF it wasn't for the domestication of animals and diseases it would be hard to establish such cities because of the demand of food and resistances not working when an epidemic hit. Livestock brought food and diseases in which people learned to build up immunity against.

Not only did livestock bring such things as food, the rest of its body parts could be used to create clothing. The cattle brought people together in the Fertile Crescent where there was enough food for humans and the cattle. There is also other uses from livestock such as milk from cows and the ability to travel great distances by using domesticate livestock as a form of travel such as the horse.

It is also the livestock who brought diseases such as the ones shown in page 207 where there is a chart that lists several diseases that spread to humans via livestock. This is important aspect because without it, the Spanish would have had little luck expanding their civilization in the New World. If it wasn't for the diseases, such as smallpox from cattle, they gave the natives, the Spanish would have been forced back to the Old World and never really conquered the Americas. This would alter history for into a different tangent than what it is now.

If natives would have had the supply of livestock while the Europeans had none, the natives would have easily crushed the Europeans. Take in mind that the natives also had numbers on their side and that if it wasn't for diseases, that trimmed their numbers, they would have kicked the butt of Europeans. In this tangent, one may see that the Europeans would develop the diseases of the natives and had trouble fighting back when they are infected. They may have steel and better communications but it wouldn't be any use if one can't concentrate because he or she is being inflicted by the disease.


  1. I totally agree with you because animals are a big part of our life. They consist of our food, our clothing, our milk(sometimes), and also our labor workers. What would we really do without them? They are the nutrient that we need in order to be strong and without them we really wouldn't have been so advances. Maybe we would still be writing on walls rather than paper. Animals changed our lives. It's like a chain: without animals we wouldn't have been able to produce enough food to feed a whole community, and without food we would have died. And I also believe that as humans saw how easy it was to use something else to do all the dirty work is how they thought about inventing plants to produce things like cars and the ipod. It all goes back to the animal. Imagine your life without and ipod or cellphone and it all has to do with animals, I think.

  2. Livestock is very important in the world. Like you said it established the diseases that enabled the Spanish to conquer the Americas, and it also enables the sedentary lifestyle necessary for a civilization to develop, but I believe this is a case of the chicken vs. the egg. Yes, livestock enabled the Spanish to conquer the Americas, but where did that livestock originate? In the Fertile Crescent and it later spread to Europe because of Eurasia’s East-West alignment, had it not been for that alignment the livestock wouldn’t have reached Europe, and the Spanish wouldn’t have conquered the Americas. Had it not been for Eurasia’s East-West alignment the world would look completely different, Europe wouldn’t be the “winner” because everything that allowed it to win came from other places. What allowed Europe to win was that it readily accepted the advantages of other civilizations and the fact that Europe was so divided required that each country constantly try to one up the other. But if the East-West alignment didn’t exist Europe never would have received any of those advantages.