Hello, my name is Stuart and welcome to my blog.
I am a third year Archaeology student at the University of York and this is a blog on the stories of the plants and animals we take for granted, their stories, past and present.
‘Of the home’ is the meaning of the Latin word domesticus, the origin for the word domestication. The blog will attempt to offer up-to-date information and the ideas surrounding the domestication process of our plant and animal companions, the key word being process, meaning it is on changes past and present. It will offer overviews of current research as well highlighting the significance of new findings and discussing showing current issues surrounding food production.
There are typically kinds of posts:
- Ones on my current dissertation work
- Overviews of ideas and theories – stories of plants and animals and modern issues of concern
- Short posts on things that I have read that just need to be posted, like the story of Douglas the camel who fought in the American Civil War, things like that can’t be ignored.
These plants and animals have changed what they eat, where they live, how they live, they have in most cases forgotten their progenitor and have become the oversized pets of a generation who are always wanting more. But then again we have done exactly the same. Re-read the last sentence but in reference to humans, it mostly works.
This is to say that domestication works both ways. We have become almost just as reliant on this select group of plants and animals, as this group has become reliant on us. There is a symbiotic relationship. The domesticated, in an evolutionary sense, are typically the most successful animals and plants on the planet, though they are killed in the millions every year.
These animals are in many cases treated horribly, the domesticated plants as well are the victim of genetic bottlenecks and pesticides, when they’re not grown at the expense of other plants or destroying the fertility of the soil.
This blog will also explore current issues such as the crop monocultures, the dominance of the reigning superpower Monsanto and subjects such as vegetarianism, ethical concerns and so on.