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Sustainable farming and animal rights movements have protested the increased industrialization of agriculture, especially the consolidation of farms, the introduction of chemical pesticides and genetically modified crops, and the spread of confined animal feeding operations such as this one used for cattle in Yuma, Arizona, in 2002.

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service

Agriculture is one of the primary ways that humans interact with, modify, and deplete or enrich the biodiversity and resilience of their environments. Since the Neolithic revolution, the shift from primarily hunter-gatherer lifestyle in the Paleolithic to settled farming communities circa 10,000 B.C.E., agriculture has been not only a means of survival but also a complex cultural institution that converges with political and economic institutions and with ecological events. In ...

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