In a means to illustrate the different perceptions of culture, the author draws an analogy from the domesticated and undomesticated animals. Culture is the common explanation people give for the differences between societies. For instance, when two societies differ regarding material possessions, societies, historians, and anthropologists have the propensity to attribute the variances on cultural differences. According to the Anna Karenina principle, there are several qualities animals ought to satisfy to make them domesticable. As such, it is imperative to comprehend the aspects the author strived to communicate regarding civilization and culture.
Drawing from the Anna Karenina theory, there are six distinct features of domesticable animals, i.e., not carnivorous, must proliferate, comfortable living in captivity, nasty disposition, tend to panic in danger, and used to herding. Following these characteristics, the number of domesticated in quite small at around 14. Human beings can take advantage of the accessible resources. As such, if given a chance, they could breed the available animals irrespective of region. The author tries to explain why their more domesticated animals in Eurasia than Sub-Saharan Africa. It is not about the cultural variances or beliefs; instead, the difference emanates from the material differences. In other words, Eurasia was home to many animals, most of which are not available in Africa. Therefore, the fact that people from one region domesticated more animals than others does not revolve around cultural differences but the availability of the animals.
The writer purports that availability of large, domesticable animals can be ascribed to the geographical “luck of the draw” and not individual human capabilities. On the other hand, the lack of these large domesticable animals in Africa led to limited agricultural practices. As such, the author wants the reader to comprehend the fact that the variances in possessions across the globe were stimulated by the absence of some resources. Regarding civilization, some countries prospered more than others due to the accessibility of resources. Therefore, civilization and culture did not develop along the same lines.
The article is structured into three main sections. The first part dwells on the qualifications of domesticated animals, the second addressing why some animals and practices thrive in specific regions more than others, and the final part shows why civilization and culture development varied in the areas. As elucidated above, there are six key features utilized from the ancient days to identify a domesticable animal. The main reason agriculture thrives in Eurasia is due to the favorable climate. Evidently, agriculture is contingent on climate and tends to diffuse faster in areas that lie within the same latitude, since they have a similar environment. As such, farmers adopt identical techniques making the diffusion process much quicker. The author manages to merge all these three aspects to convey the central notion that material differences are to be accredited for the different practices across the globe.
Drawing from the six features of domesticable animals, all civilizations and cultures domesticated the same animals depending on whether they were available. The different domestication practices also led to the diverse agricultural activities. In the millennia that followed, countries continued to vary regarding the farming methods and types of crops among others. Evidently, some regions benefitted from a favorable climate that attracted a wide range of animal and plant species. In the process, they thrived in both practices, i.e., domestication and agriculture.