Weird Nature

What Animals Looked Like Before Humans Started Breeding Them For Food

Around 11,000 years ago when humans first began trading nomadic lifestyles for permanent communities, they also began to domesticate animals. Species like sheep, cattle, and goats were among the first to be tamed based on their usefulness to human survival. This was only the beginning of the millennia of selective breeding, changing what were once wild animals into the domestic creatures commonly recognized today.

What animals looked like before humans bred them for food is shockingly different to how many species look today. From cattle that look like they're on steroids to turkeys that have doubled in weight, many of them have received a size upgrade to feed humans more efficiently. For better or worse, cross-breeding has become driven primarily by trends in human diets, multimillion-dollar corporate takeover of farming, and a growing global population.

Of course, sometimes genetic mutations in cross-breeding animals not only led to useful scientific discovery but also produced some weird, cross-bred animals. Photography in particular illuminates how selective breeding in the farming industry (and even of some animals we no longer breed for meat) has forever changed both the way humans eat and how domestic animals look.