by James Moore
In its most basic definition, the true hunter-gatherer is the one who hunts the creatures in the forest in order to live, and also forages for the ‘vegetarian’ side of things instead of actually growing crops themselves. And even though the term ‘hunter-gatherer’ is always thought of as a historical human who only lived that lifestyle because agriculture and science hadn’t yet been established, 2013 has proven that many people out there would like to go back to that world just to get a break from this one.
When this subject is brought up, the History Channel programs come to mind regarding our ancestors. They were the ones with spears in hand; or, if living by an ocean, the ones standing in a makeshift craft with their harpoon at the ready in order to bring home the essential needs of everyday life. But the hunter-gatherers of today still very much want to live in the woods and be a part of nature – instead of choosing the din of the city or the pollution that is now taking over suburbia.
Television sets and DVD players – not to mention cell phones – are not required when living this lifestyle, which makes life a whole lot easier. The heart of a hunter-gatherer is still in each one of us, in a way. After all, camping, hunting, fishing – these are all outdoor sports that are hugely popular.
Yes, there are pristine campers that can be used, and guns and ammo that are state of the art now – but many still love to make a campfire and spend their time walking through nature and enjoying what little remains of that quiet, serene world.
It was only about fifty years ago that the last of the hunter-gatherers disappeared. With the aid of agriculture and technology, they were domesticated, in a way. They domesticated their hunting companions as well, while also using the help of science to grow maize, wheat, etc.. Farmers are also disappearing year after year, but there are still those few who work hard to bring in the food that, by the way, the entire country needs in order to live healthy lives. Health and nutrition would be a joke without farmers and hunters to provide the ‘natural’ foods for the rest of us.
When it comes to the past and the cultures that this country was built on, the hunter-gatherer comes across as being one of – if not the most – successful species that ever walked the earth. After all, speed and a good aim were not the only skills necessary to work and feed off the land. You are talking about people who had to be extremely intelligent, good planners, and they definitely had to have the creativity in order to build, eat, and survive.
Even though we have evolved as a species, this evolution has brought with it some negatives (far beyond cell phones). The need to hurry; the need to be financially stable – there is a list of things that brought about stress, tension, heart attacks and more.
It is a shame that the true hunter-gatherers did not leave behind text messages so that one and all could see, understand, and replicate how they lived off the land and avoided the stress that occurs 24/7 in our day and age.
But as we become more and more domesticated, more and more hunter-gatherers will head back to the mountainous terrain…just to live the good life that can still be found in the Great Outdoors.