These species can be roughly equated with varieties of wild ox, horse and elephant which later became the domesticated species. The hunting human groups often got their animals from the same herd where the concentrated mostly on larger members of the herd.
In this process sometimes the young members of the herd were captured alive and kept in cages. This practice seemed to have germinated the idea of taming animals and from here would have originated the practice of pastoralism.
Definitive and direct evidence on the origins of pastoralism is not available. We can only be speculative and reconstruct the situation based on reasoned imagination. It seems the hunting-gathering communities had begun to focus or some species of large animals for diet fairly early and in this process wild sheep and goats were intensively hunted.
In this act younger members and female members in the reproductive category were spared so that this source of food would not dry up. The chance capture of a few younger animals and the experience gained in taming them suggested a completely new way of leading life through assured supply of animal food. This would also have given rise to an increased element of dependence in fact mutual dependence between humans and animals.
It has been suggested that three main factors in the lifestyle of hunter-gatherers would have helped domestication of animals to begin as a regular practice. These were:
i. The movement of the animal populations becoming constrained/restricted due to several environmental factors, thus increasing the possibility of their capture and confinement by human groups;
ii. Possibilities of breeding the animals under conditions of captivity, thus helping human groups maintain some optimum population for use for dietary purposes regularly;
iii. Control of the feeding of the animals in captivity to improve their breeding and stock.
The archaeological evidence for early domestication of animals is both rare and fragmentary. Mostly it is not possible to clearly distinguish between the bones of wild and domesticated animals.
The process of domestication was quite prolonged and the earliest evidence on domestication, relates to dog but that surely was not for food. By general agreement it is now believed that sheep and goats were the early species that were domesticated for dietary purposes.