• shareshare
  • link
  • cite
  • add
Other research product . 2022

Overcoming Agricultural Anthropocentrism: Offering Alternatives to Change the Current Trajectory

Leonie E. Stewart;
Open Access
Published: 09 Jun 2022
Country: Canada

A planet once flourishing with ecological biodiversity is now experiencing catastrophic changes as it undergoes a severe exploitation of its natural resources. Such a level of exploitation is predominantly caused by various but linked human-centric or anthropocentric forces. Everything we do as humans has an effect on the planet, and many human activities have grave and at times, unforeseeable effects. At present, we overexploit the Earth’s resources constantly – with the flick of a switch we utilize fossil fuels that power electricity; with a trip in the car we emit greenhouse gases; with a purchase at the grocery store we use excessive packaging – and the extent to which the Earth’s resources are being used to meet the demand of a large and growing human population has created severe exploitation. This feeding frenzy has led to the current prognosis: an astronomical number of environmental disasters and projected global temperatures that cannot sustain plant, animal, or human life in the future. The widespread consequences of human activities such as major wildlife extinction, rising sea levels, air pollution, and irreversible global warming look to perpetuate until the Earth is uninhabitable. As one population among many at extreme risk of major die-off, it is crucial that we explore what remedial options we have left. These ecologically catastrophic changes are only characteristic of our relatively recent history as humanity’s recent answers to fundamental survival questions have trended towards overlooking environmental sustainability. I have come to understand agriculture, from its ancient form to the current industrial and mass-scale variety, as one game-changing initiation if not the origin of massive human exploitation of the Earth’s resources. Thus, both industrial and ancient agriculture will be the focus of my research. Through the exploration of recent historical and scientific research surrounding agriculture, I will provide insight into how we made our way to the current crisis, what prevents us from changing our unsustainable behaviour, and how we can look within ourselves and at the external complex system in which we live, to change the current prognosis and come home to a sustainable way of life on this planet.


Sustainability, Hunting and Gathering, Anthropocentrism, Human Survival, Agriculture, Population Crisis, Environmental Exploitation

Related Organizations