- Education and Science»
- Sociology & Anthropology
The Value of Garbage
Yeah, we know
You can always tell when people
have visited a site; garbage.
No matter where they go, from
pristine beach, to high mountain,
to primeval forest, just look for
No garbage, no human habitation.
It's not just the fat slob from Boomtown tossing his beer cans around, even
indigenous tribes who live 'at one' with naturet, make garbage.
Broken this, burnt that, unwanted this, used that. Over there, abandoned
shelters, over here, assorted junk, left about the place as is/where is.
We can come into any 'empty' plot, dig a few feet, and if people had ever
occupied that plot, lived, we'll find evidence.
We'll find garbage.
In Ancient Days
Our early ancestors made a lot of garbage. They'd kill something, hack it up,
toss entrails over there, the head across there, maybe the feet on the other
They'd make a big mess, skinning, chopping, and tossing on wanted bits
all about the place.
Other animals would enjoy the garbage.
Take rats, they are scavengers. They don't plant, they don't kill, but they eat. So here they have a 'feeding tree'. Humans.
Humans make so much garbage the rats eat until they can barely walk.
This is good for those animals which eat rats.
Animals like wolves.
Dinner is Served
Wolves began to follow humans because humans produced a lot of garbage, garbage attracted rats, and rats are to wolves what cookies are to kids.
So here are a bunch of humans, slopping up the place, rats creeping in and grabbing a piece of discarded gazelle belly. Wolves coming up right behind, grabbing the rats.
Wolves, teaching their pups how to hunt and kill, using a massive population
of rats as examples.
A pack of wolves, standing over there, watching the humans butcher an
unlucky gazelle, watching humans roast it, and waiting for them to finish
their dinner and leave.
A little sense
It was probably a female wolf who figured out how to befriend humans. How to be nice so that instead of having to wait for the humans to leave, and the rats to
arrive, having some human toss her a nice gazelle belly or some roasted bit uneaten bit of uneaten something.
Her pups would feast on the orts, and begin to appreciate that it was easier
to stand around playing, waiting for din din to be served, then going out with
Daddy, running up and down, maybe breaking a paw or getting killed by a lion or tiger or bear just to eat a meal.
Domestication of Humans
Over time, the humans and wolves
sort of had an alliance.
The young wolf pups, who grew up
in proximity sort of had a partnership
After all, look at it this way; the Pups
had grown up with humans.
They understood them.
Young wolves knew how to play them.
They knew humans were easily scared so instead of acting tough
would act pitiful.
They knew humans couldn't eat certain parts of the animal they
had killed so would give it to them.
As time passed wolves evolved to be a little less threatening. As
humans liked the smaller puffy ones better than the vicious ones,
smaller puffy ones were selected.
The more puffy, the more playful, the more pitiful, the more humans liked them.
Sure, there were a lot of wolves who were not going to give up their traditional
lifestyles of hunt and kill, but there were many who could have been actuaries
in wolf land.
"if I go and try to kill that whatsit,
other animals might be trying to
kill that whatsit and might:
(a) kill me
(b) hurt me
(c) get the whatsit and leave me hungry."
And they thought,
"If I hang with these slobs I will; (a) get to eat the crap they leave behind,
(b) get to eat the rats who come to eat the crap they leave behind,
(c) and maybe get a belly rub."
So, they broke from the traditionalists and stopped being wolves and became...dogs.
Now You See The Value
It was due to garbage than man first domesticated wolves and wolves became
It wasn't that humans saw a bunch of wolves and thought;
"Hmmm... let us domesticate these animals to be our pets and they'll
help us chase down supper..."
It was he wolves, thinking;
"Hmm, why should I bust a sweat having to kill and gut prey, when
I can 'give paw' and get my dinner served."
That is the value of garbage.