"How did mankind decide which animals we would use as our primary food sources?"
Why, for example, do we eat cows, but not horses? Why pigs, but not raccoons? Why chickens, but not yellow-billed cotinga? Have you ever TRIED yellow-billed cotinga? For all we know, they're absolutely scrumptious.
After giving the matter some thought, because I obviously have too much spare time, I've reached an iron-clad and irrefutable conclusion:
Human beings are lazy and stupid, so we'll only eat slow, ugly animals and birds that can't fly.
Before everyone starts screaming at me, I do realize that some people eat deer (cute and quick) and duck (they fly), but you're not going to be able to get McVenison or a Jumbo Quack down at the local fast food chain any time soon. Our major staples are beef, pork, chicken, and turkey. Animals we can easily catch and that won't put up much of a fight. You don't "hunt" cows, you round 'em up and slaughter 'em. You don't go on a turkey "hunt", you go on a turkey "shoot," as in, "There he is, Rufus, plug 'im!"
Speaking of hunting, where do we get off calling that a "sport," anyway? Let's look at deer hunting. Now, I've got nothing against hunting per se, if you want to take your rifle and blow Bambi's head off, that's your business. But when your opponent's entire defensive arsenal is "run like hell," that's more or less a mismatch. Oh, it might LOOK like a sport, but it's like entering sprinter Usain Bolt in the Special Olympics -- and I'm going to end the analogy right there before it gets completely out of hand.
You want to make hunting a sport? Try hunting tigers with a Swiss Army knife or going after mountain lions with a billy club. Give the animals a fighting chance. Hell, that's a sport I'd shell out a few bucks for on pay-per-view.
Which brings us back to why we eat the slow, ugly, and flightless. We're wimps. We're not going to try to mass produce lion meat, because there's a pretty decent chance that we'll be the ones that get consumed in the process. Maybe barbecued lion ribs would be out of this world, but it's just not worth the risk. So we go after cows and pigs. They're slow, ugly, and non-threatening just like the Cincinnati Bengals.
|The Double-Double says "Moo."|
So anyway, just out of morbid curiosity and the desire to see a rifle-totin' redneck get mauled to death, here's what I'm suggesting. Let's expand our food choices. For every deer that a hunter shoots, he must also attempt to bag three other "non-traditional" sources of meat. Take out a ten-point buck, you gotta go after a tiger, a polar bear, and a pit-full of angry cobras. If we're given a wider variety of food choices, we might finally be able to answer the one question that's been puzzling mankind for centuries:
Does yellow-billed continga really taste like chicken?