Defying the law of nature maybe one of the differences between human and other creatures on the Earth. Our ability to adapt to these dynamic environment not only prevented the human to go extinct but also making us stronger. Being culturally monogamous in recent times is one of the feature where human has demonstrated our ability to defy the natures. The hypothesis here is if human has changed from polygamous to monogamous in order to survive then we have a chance to be culturally vegetarian in the coming years to prevent us from going extinct.
Many scientific studies have pointed out that human are polygamous. Only in recent thousands of years human are adapting to practice monogamy whereas human have been existed for 6-7 millions years. Our closest animal relatives which are the Chimps and Bonobos (with about 98% DNA similarities) are still polygamous. Being the only animals to perform face-to-face genital sex, the sexual activities of Bonobos are almost identical to ours. Besides, the enlarged scrotum and other physical appearances suggested that we are one of the most sexually actives creatures on Earth. Eventhough majority of human has became monogamous, there are still some group of people practicing polygamy.
Polygamy has shaped who we are now. From the perspective of evolution, polygamy is a way to make a species stronger. With greater gene pool, natural selection is expanded with more choices. As the result, stronger grew stronger while the weak gene faltered away.
From Polygamy to Monogamy
There is a belief that human has peaked the evolution, being polygamy has served minimal purpose which in turn can do more harm. “In 9 percent of all mammal species, males and females will share a common territory for more than one breeding season, and in some cases bond for life. This is a problem — a scientific one — because male mammals could theoretically have more offspring by giving up on monogamy and mating with lots of females.” by Carl Zimmer from NYTimes. Turning monogamous saved us from infanticide because the male will stick to the only one female protecting her from the threat of other male. In a polygamous society, diseases spread faster with many terminal illness like AIDS spread through sexual intercourse. Looking from the bigger picture, being polygamous may wipe us out from this planet.
However, its hard to modify the nature of human physically (from polygamy to monogamy) as our DNA is evolved that way. Luckily we maybe the only one who has developed an advanced brain which is unique only to human (e.g. humor, appreciation of beauty, self-conciousness..). Brain helped us evolve where the nature cant (including turing into monogamy). We developed methods to keep us discipline for the better of our living. We created law that only allow a single official relationship, we lived in a society that rejects being polygamous and also some religion that restrict us (excluding islam and others). But, signs of polygamous nature still exists with the ever flourishing prostitution scene, spouse cheating…
More and more human are adopting the life of herbivore. Being a vegetarian, he/she can only turn to vegetable the only food source for their whole life. Similar to monogamy, vegetarianism is the a sign which our brain is trying to help us in adapting and survive in this ever changing situation. We are not borned herbivore but omnivore which consume both animal protein and vegetable. Our teeth and stomach show that we lacked carnivore or herbivore features that specialized in finding and processing only one type of food. As an omnivore, human lived as hunter gatherer in the past.
However, advancement of civilization and agriculture has shaped us. Human are continuing to dominate the Earth causing the balance of the nature. As the consequences, the environment is getting worse with other creatures are going extinct to pay for our greed and diseases intensify with newer strain deadlier than the past. In the future, we may peak our population at 12 billions or we may go extinct. With technology we might able to slow down the catastrophe, but human need to change to prevent us from facing the same fate like our predecessor the dinosaur that once roam the Earth. Vegetarianism might be the answer. Becoming a vegetarian, we are less dependent on the nature because we can survived only on one source. Besides, vegetables are less likely to contract diseases that can be harmful to human compared to animals.
The future of vegetarianism
We can certainly predict vegetarianism will be wide spread in the future. It might takes another 1000 years for the majority to adopt vegetarianism. We need law that restrict animal protein consumption and animal farming. We need a certain dogma that can discipline us to be vegetarian. The energy contained inside vegetable must be also comparable to animal protein. However, the nature of unsustable animal farming and fishing will only accelerate the process of us turning vegetarian. One day, meat consumption will be viewed as uncivilised just like eating a pet now.
Have human currently at the pinnacle of evolution? Are these adaptations alternative for the human to suit the ever changing environment? What’s the side effect if we overdo it?
I hope to see human civilization to boom and venture into other planets. Live long and prosper.