The virtues of social monogamy are a matter of survival according to this recent issue of PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
When children are involved their chances of survival in the jungle increases when the male sticks around, and when no kids are involved the chances of the female sticking around so that the male does indeed sire children which in turn have a greater chance of survival in the jungle when he sticks around are greater too.
The authors go on to explain that by contrast a polygamous society only acts to protect the young from infanticide when the female plays hooky too. Keep them guessing is her motto. She needs to cast doubt on the age old question: Who’s your daddy? Well, well. There we have proof that what’s good for the goose…
But what of agricultural monogamy? If a farmer cheats on his/her corn with wheat, will another farmer decapitate the wispy grain with a sickle when the parent is off tending to the baby corn?
The practice of staying loyal to a single crop year after year long after the land has been stripped of all fertility, monocrop farming, makes no sense from a sustainability standpoint. The next generation gets weaker and weaker and the family eventually degenerates, the wild oats sit on the sidelines complaining that they aren’t been sown, and the bees start to go crazy like they’re on bath salts.
Oh hang a sec! They’re on neonicotinoids. My mistake.
Well if strict monogamy isn’t working, what about serial monogamy?
It’s already socially acceptable behaviour in the human world and increasingly popular as divorce rates sky-rocket (likely due to one-sided polygamous curricular activities), so perhaps farmers could conscionably embrace a revival. When the wheat farmer gets tired of the same-old same-old, he can simply trade the old crop for another, dare I say, younger batch. There’s nothing like switching to a tall-stalked blond with silky hair for a while to invigorate the waning stamen.
The same is true for the lustrous corn farmer. She can up her vitality by mixing it up with the hardy stock of a bean crop. But this too has its failings.
The cyclical uprooting is stressful on the family unit and all those “fertility” drugs in the form of GMO, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers, although great for the corporate coffers, turn the crops into junkies.
The solution, as radical an assault it may be to the human moral sensibilities, is…bi-directional polygamy!
Yes! You read correctly. It’s time for the goose AND the gander to get it on with the whole flock.
A case of biodiversity keeps life on the farm full of excitement, it supports healthy inter-species cohabitation, and it yields bountiful baskets of Gaia’s best. Even the wild oats will actually settle down for a good polygamous romp.
So farmers and farmettes around the world unite! Polyculture is back, ready to party, and it’s actually legal!
Still unsure about whether the culinary orgy won’t degrade into an unchecked population explosion, massive territorial behaviour as all fight for limited resources, and cave-crop style clubbing for the prettiest pistils? Still worried about being condemned to an eternity of fire if you even dare partake in this heathen love fest?
Loosen that bible belt and check this video out.
It beats driving to the grocery store, jockeying for parking, rummaging for a grocery cart, and standing in line for the privilege of forking out your paycheck for plastic wrapped frankenfood, doesn’t it?