According to some new anthropological research, the idea of early man hunting to provide food for his family may not be all that accurate. “The key roles in nourishing the evolution of people’s ancestors may have been played by females—mothers and grandmothers.”
In addition, the idea that high-protein meat eating is what helped mankind’s brain evolve may also be incorrect. “I think the brain change associated with meat-eating is overrated,” says James O’Connell, director of the Archaeological Center at the University of Utah. Rather, various finds lead researchers to believe the high risk and low return of hunting large game only paid off once a month or so, not enough to feed a family. Hunting may have been done more to elevate social status within a tribe rather than provide the main food source for a family.
It’s an interesting criticism of conventional wisdom that early man hunted meat to provide for his family, when in reality it’s possible that neither meat nor man played nearly as important of a role as initially thought.