Zebra vs Horses: Animal Domestication

Zebra vs Horses: Animal Domestication


Sheep… weren’t always this fluffy. We fluffy-fied them by breeding the fluffiest in each generation. This is domestication: sculpting wild animals for better human use. As we saw in Part 1, for early man, animals were powerful tools …food, clothing, transportation, tractors. Yet, though there were animals everywhere, only a handful were domesticated in the pre-modern world. What made these different? Let’s make a domestication checklist, shall we? First up: Feedable A cow is a machine that turns grass into steaks And a tiger a machine that turns steaks into… tiger. Ten pounds of grass make a pound of steak. And ten pounds of steak make a pound of tiger. … but these have the same number of calories — so you might as well just eat the cow and save yourself a lot of work. So pure carnivores: you’re not going to domesticate, just because of thermodynamics. You’re looking for herbivores that aren’t picky. They should eat something that’s everywhere that you can’t eat. Any omnivores better be happy eating whatever and better be super worth it. We are, however, putting the pig before the pen here because first we need to catch something that’s… Friendly OK, obviously catching a carnivore is a bad idea anyway because their day job is murder. But plenty of omnivores like grizzleys moonlight in murder. No safety in vegetarians either: buffalo are terrifying tanks for all the reasons mentioned before… …hippos hold the murder high-score in Africa, …giraffes look real dorky until you consider their striking range — lions mostly leave them alone. Animals it would be awesome to domesticate are, not coincidentally, super dangerous. War bears would be a hell of an advantage for your tribe, but it’s not going to happen. And if it’s big and not dangerous, it’s a nervous wreck. Try sneaking up on a gazelle? Rhymes with “LOL”. Sure, you and a team of buddies could spend the whole day marathon jogging it down to exhaustion… …but if it doesn’t break it’s own neck as you try to drag it back home, …then it’s going to casually leap out of whatever pen you built for it. Ok, next up: some animals have reproductive -ah- preferences… …that make them incompatible with captivity. Looking at you, Pandas. The time and energy humans have spent to get pandas to get on with it is comical. Hunter-Gatherers need an animal so eager to breed, it gets it wrong sometimes. … not an animal whose mating seasons they have to keep careful track of. So: Friendly, Feedable and — Fecund. It also needs to grow up fast. This gets us to the heart of domestication versus taming. Again: to domesticate a species is to change it to make it better for us. And side note here: we domesticate plants as well. We’ve bred them to be monstrous versions of their wild selves. So when hippies talk about going back to nature, they forget that these plants are just as man made as this pop-tart. Anyway, back to the animals… The pig porkification project succeeded because pig generations are shorter than human generations. A single, clever human can make porky progress in their lifetime. Compare and contrast: Elephants. Two years to make a calf, five years in between calves, nine years until female maturity, fifteen years for males? You’ve got to be kidding, Elephants. There’s no time for this. But humans can still tame elephants. You can catch an elephant, and train it not to freak out around humans. Then, put it to work. But elephant domestication would require accurate records over several human lives… …never mind that keeping one or two tamed elephants around is incredibly costly …which is why war elephants only happened on occasion in already complex societies. Tame elephants are a luxury, hence this rule of thumb: if it’s on farm, it’s domesticated, if it’s in a circus, it’s tame. Finally: families. OK: zebra vs horses. Horses are civilization game-changers — it’s remarkable to think that from thousands BC until the telegraph… …a dude on a horse was the best internet available. Horses were domesticated in Eurasia, but humans started in Africa which has Zebra … …why didn’t the first humans ride out of Africa on the backs of zebra to conquer the world? Because zebra are bastards. They live to kick and bite: dangerous in a pre-penicillin world. …and zebra also have a ducking reflex making them very frustrating to lasso. In addition to being a real pain in the ass animal, Zebra lack a family structure. Horse herds hierarchy — you can see it when they travel in a line: the male, top female, her foals, second female, her foals, and so on. Humans, by capturing and taming the lead male, become head horse. Lots of barnyard animals are barnyard animals because they have family values humans exploit — …they just grow up with the idea that this human is a funny sort of take-charge cow or whatever. No big deal. Chickens will peck, peck, peck until they’ve worked out who’s top chicken. But you know whose really top chicken? We’re top chicken. Dogs and cats: this is what makes them different. Dogs will love you and defend you and hunt with you because you’re part of the pack. Dogs live to be useful to us — which in the modern world means falling over to play dead — but they love it “Bang! …. Good girl. Good girl!” [laughing] … whereas a cat is a tiny tiger that lives in your house. Ok, back to these guys. For zebra, there’s no such thing as society. They hang out in groups because it’s a good survival strategy but they don’t really care. Catch a zebra and his family won’t follow, try to ride him and you’ll be lucky to keep your fingers. Zebra look like horses on the outside, but not on the inside. So that’s the checklist:
Friendly – Feedable – Fecund – Family Friendly It’s not a long checklist, but for Hunter-Gatherers, any animal they wanted to domesticate needed everything,… …which is why in early human history only a bakers dozen of big animals were domesticated the world over. [music] This video has been brought to you by audible.com. And if you like checklists as much as I do,… I’m going to recommend to you the book “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande. Yes! There’s an entire book about how important and life-changing checklists can be… …and what makes a good checklist and what makes a bad checklist, … with examples from the airline industry to war time, to just your regular daily life. I highly recommend it. Go to audible.com/grey for a free trial in Audible and give “The Checklist Manifesto”a listen. Audible has have over 180,000 things for you to listen to and I listen to audiobooks all the time to improve my life. Why not get started today by going to Audible.com/grey? [music]

90 thoughts on “Zebra vs Horses: Animal Domestication

  1. When people claim they're against GMOs I always gotta point out that most of our produce isnt straight from the wild. The bananas we eat arent the same exact wild bananas that humans cultivated so they are GMOs by default

  2. Maybe zebras can be tamed by training them while theyโ€™re young? Just throwing some dumb suggestions out there

  3. The domestication of hogs ??? Hogs, i do not believe to be domesticated . Thus the term a fence hog tight . pre modern that is almost impossible and even with modern technology they can get free if the electric goes off . And then try to catch them . . Through breeding and feeding (Their weakness ,both )and extreme over weight they may become more docile . I have seen domestic hogs catch and kill stuff and eat it.They had loads of grain . they have a blood thirst ,and are a bit like sharks . History records them eating hurt humans . And they are so wild if they get out they have no problem surviving in the wild . Thus the epidemic of feral pigs.

  4. Lived your Narration and your silly-ness.

    NOT ONLY, Did I STAY AWAKE… I WANTED to see the Part 2

    – Wished You had been my History Teacher.

    – JayJay the Mad ๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿง

  5. Stallions are not the leaders in pack of horses the females are, also humans did not originate in Africa, but i guess it is nice to think so…

  6. There is another distinction between domesticated animals. Wolves were the first, when we were still nomadic hunter-gatherers, everything else was domesticated after agriculture become a thing.

    Considering that, we could say our civilization is in fact a dog civilization as well, since we wouldn't be here without our dogs.

  7. Domestication = Sculpting animals for better human use = manipulation and exploitation basically ! A very egocentric human tendency.

  8. would love a video just on sheep wool, like how do they clean it, get rid of the outer layer covered in poop and dirt, etc.

  9. BETTER QUESTION, why didn't the Africans WHO LEFT Africa, not take the horse, the pig, cattle and sheep then RETURN TO AFRICA?
    It's not like they had to compete with whites or Asians because we didn't exist.

    REAL men (but not LIBERALS and women) will plan for GENERATIONS to build, Liberals and women want it all NOW
    but will destroy everything to have their way.
    If YOU, a woman, a NA Indian, blacks or the average person WON'T even try then it can't be done.

    Wasn't the Asian Elephant domesticated and has been for hundreds of years and WORKED?
    But we MUST make excuses as to why Africans didn't domesticate the African Elephant, don't want to compare
    what they didn't do with what another race DID DO.

    We don't expect the average person to do what others see as impossible, you expect the extraordinary individuals to do it.

    When you have horses WHY try to domesticate Zebras? BUT if all we had were Zebras THEY WOULD have been domesticated, bred for work and ridden OR used to pull carts. Google images… zebras pulling carts or carriages. Blacks had Zebra for how many millenia
    and how long was it after whites had access to Zebra before they were saddled or puled a cart?
    LESS than a handful of the THOUSANDS of Sub Saharan African languages were written, it they weren't willing to take the time and energy to CREATE written languages, why assume they would take the time to breed the zebras that CAN easily be ridden or put in harness?
    GOOGLE riding Zebra for sale.
    BUFFALO have been ridden and domesticated… JUST NOT by North American Indians.
    Google Buffalo rider.
    Caribou COULD be domesticated but the N American Indians didn't bother.
    Try to walk near rivers or lakes near many Canadian or American cities today and NOT have Canada Geese around.
    Why didn't the Indians domesticate the Canada goose, wild turkey or prairie chicken?

    It seems the problem isn't if you can take generations to domesticate and breed for bigger, stronger and more docile
    Zebra… the problem is those in sub Saharan Africa weren't prepared to do it.

  10. There are people who ride zebras. My farrier used to trim feet on one. There are special people out there that can in a matter of a few hours take a wild mustang and have it under saddle and working cows. Speaking of cows. There is a difference between handling dairy cows and beef cows. Dairy cows are much more docile because they are handled every day. Some beef cows may not see people for a year. They should be considered wild when handling.

  11. The problem is time: anything can be domesticated if you keep at it long enough, we just don't domesticate elephants because it would take centuries
    So….let's get on it human race, they aren't gonna domesticate themselves! The sooner we get the ball rolling, the sooner we'll have tame rhinos

  12. cats see you as the weird deaf-ish group member, they do love and care for you just a lot more subtly then a dog.

  13. Went through a drive in car feed animals zoo thing , and yeah my first experience with zebras , they are little bastards, biting and kicking each other to get to our window for food , thought we just some rough around the stripes zebras but I guess they are all this way

  14. I totally get that the animals had to be safe but donโ€™t horses buck and kick and cattle charge so why not demestocate a moose or deer even though a moose can be dangerous it would be extremely beneficial to demestocate them

  15. Ummm … Horses and zebras could have been equal about family structure until humans got ahold of the horses. Perhaps as we domesticated horses, we chose horses which were more suitable for us. This means the two species started out equally useful and is a rebuttal your argument about family structure. Perhaps horses were not domesticated due to their more family-like society but they developed their family like structures due to domestication. You can establish a correlation but not a cause and effect relationship.

  16. Fun fact.
    When a horse bites…it bites the lets go.
    When a zebra bites…it bites and REFUSES TO LET GO UNTIL ITโ€™S TORN YOUR SKIN OFF.
    Plus, Zebra backs are not made to carry weight like a horses.

  17. 2019, post the blatancy of white supremacism, anyone notice how the language of these videos is purely "everything else is here to serve us [whites]"?

  18. Humans are built to be marathon long distance & time runners. You could totally catch a gazelle by hand, it would just take like 3 hours of constant running which is completely possible for a human who's job it is to chase animals down and kill them with their tools. Animals like deer and gazelle are sprinters and don't consider ever saving any energy for a long run because human are just about the only marathon running hunter around.

  19. Another great example of domestication is the mustard seed plant which is selectively breed to create six other plants.

  20. God went to the Mongorians and asked what they were doing with the horses. The Mongorian said "we tame it and breed it so that one day I might ride on his back".

    God went to the Inca and asked what they were doing with the lama's and alpaca's. The Inca said "we tame it so that one day it will carry my stuff up the mountain".

    God went to the Spanish and asked what they were doing with the mules. The Spanish said "we tame it so that one day we can ride it through these hills.

    God went to the Indians and asked them what they were doing with the elephants. The Indians said "we tame them so that one day we can ride it and crush our enemies.

    God went to the Germans and asked them what they were doing with the swines. The Germans said "we tame them so that we will have a source of meat and fat in the winter.

    God went to the French and asked then what they were doing with the seals. The French said we tame them so that one day we can ride them underwater.

  21. This was an okay video but you are dead wrong about cats. They are quite social creatures around humans and they don't just let you feed them, they often try to feed YOU. It's a way of say "thank you" for them, and also making sure you survive too. But they don't realize we don't eat rats, mice and birds ๐Ÿ˜… They care about you if you treat them right. The sad thing is, so many cats are unhappy with their humans because many of them are assholes who laugh at their cats and annoy them on purpose. Cats are solitary animals, if they wanna be alone, leave them be and come back later! You gotta bond with the cat first.
    Second of all, many wild horse herds actually have a lead MARE, not the stallion. The stallion in each herd protects them and makes the foals whenever the mares are in heat, if the mare wants to breed of course. Mares are very moody LOL, if they're not impressed by a stallion they will refuse to let him get even near her hind. Anyways, yeah, horses have lead mares who keeps the herd going to places with food, water, and shelter. She decides all that. Kind of like elephants, their herds are always made of females, one of which being the leader, that are family, who raise their young together. The bulls are kicked out to live alone and only meet others to breed/fight, and the females stay and make the herd bigger and stronger and eventually raises her own calf. I don't know exactly what happens to colts in wild horse herds, if they leave on their own after smelling a mare in heat in the distance or if they're kicked out by the stallion, but I do know that at least the herds have a lead mare and a stallion that protects and breeds with the mares, and they raise the foals to adulthood.
    Zebras however probaly have a lead stallion that takes his herd of mares through the migration. He has the breeding rights to those mares, and he kicks his male offspring (literally) out once they get old enough. The colt then usually joins a group of other young stallions without a herd at all. They train a bit before taking over another stallion's herd of mares. That's at least what the documentary told me, though it's an old series and might be outdated nowadays. I don't remember if it said anything about what happens to fillies in zebra herds btw. I can assume they stay in the herd and once there's a new lead stallion she gets to breed too since she can't breed with her own father.

    Also, both wild horses and zebras can be assholes to humans. However wild horses might not be scared of humans (their first instincts if scared is always to flee, never fight back, so if they're not terribly afraid of you, you'll know it) and can bite or kick to say "I don't like you!" or "don't come any closer!" They can be slightly anxious though around humans even if they wouldn't flee. So be careful, if it isn't afraid enough to run but is anxious/aggressive, it can hurt you if you come too close for comfort. Usually they move away pretty quickly after biting or kicking you out of fear but an aggressive one can probaly hold their ground.

  22. Ummmm but cows come from Aurochs and pigs come from boars. So this is kind of dumb. Also we created horses. So how can u say we canโ€™t gmo a war bear? Have u ever seen a aurochs? They were as big as elephants with horns!

  23. Meanwhile, few Germans who colonised Africa were able to domesticate zebras in the brief time they were there. Thousands of years wasn't enough for local populations to achieve this simple feat.

    Also. Horses and dogs weren't always like this. Earlier Asians domesticated them to be this loyal and friendly. Wild horses were just as vicious as zebras today. And ancient wolves weren't as family friendly as today's dogs. It just boils down to cognitive abilities of the local population, which you will not hear from cgpgrey or anyone as uncomfortable as him on the race issue.

  24. Apes are off limits to me for domestication or anything, they are too similar to us. Having a pet orangutan is just as bad as owning a person in my opinion.

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