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Domestication of Animals

  • By: Christine M. Rodrigue
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

For most of human existence, people lived as seasonally mobile gatherers, hunters, and fishers. A profound change in the human relationship with nature occurred when people established control over the reproduction and evolution of owned populations of other species, which became domesticated plants and animals. The early integration of agriculture and animal husbandry has been called the “Neolithic Revolution” because of its epochal transformation of the nature-society relationship. The domestication of animals is a major part of this transformation, and geographers have investigated it from their discipline's earliest formalization, in the 19th century. Early geographers who wrote about the domestication of animals included Alexander von Humboldt, Friedrich Ratzel, and Eduard Hahn and, in the 20th century, Carl Sauer, Erich Isaac, Frederick and Elizabeth Simoons, ...

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