The earliest members of the Human race, Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus, lived as hunter-gatherer clans. At first, they just squatted someplace with lots of easy to grab food, and plenty of slow and stupid animals that they could kill. If they could have gotten away with it, that’s where they’d be right now, lounging around, stuffing themselves, and working as little as they could – not unlike the typical suburban male today, except no beer or football.
Sadly, that wasn’t going to happen.
The trouble with just hanging around an area, eating and mating, is that eventually the food runs out. The problem really comes down to procreation: fruits, berries, and nuts are not there for human consumption – they’re how various plants procreate. By contrast, humans procreate by having babies, who then go on to scarf down tons of nuts, fruits, and berries. Once you get an indolent crowd of humans in an area, procreating for all they’re worth, because, let’s face it, procreating is pretty damned fun, there are lots and lots of mouths to feed, and what they’re eating prevents new plants from springing up. Pretty much the same set of considerations applies to prey-animals: more and more humans, means less and less game.
And then there are the predators: fewer prey-animals makes humans more and more attractive, in the eyes of leopards.
At some point, our ancestors realized that the food was running out, and the neighborhood was getting kinda dangerous, what with all the leopards switching over to a diet of people. It’s not known if they had the full power of speech seen in modern humans, but it was clear they were capable of cooperation, so one of them very likely said the early Hominid version of “Let’s get the hell out of here!”
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