Animals have always been relevant to humans, even before they became pets. They were counted on to provide food, transportation and clothing. Even though these purposes still exist today, the role of most animals has changed. Let’s look at how this relationship has evolved.
The relationship between animals and man was mainly a hunter and prey combination. People only viewed animals for their clothing and food.
The first animal to be seen outside of these purposes was the wolf. Humans found that the young cubs would listen to humans when trained. They were used for herding, guarding and hunting. Ancient Civilizations
As humans shifted from being hunters to farmers, working dogs were valued more. This is also the time when cats started to play a role in the equation. They were used to protect the grain stores, barns and houses from mice. Pet ownership was common among the noble and ruling classes. Murals depict the wealthy with animals. Slowly, these animals became companions instead of workers.
The Middle Ages
During these years, lap dogs became popular among noble women. The male nobles spent more of their attention on the useful animals like falcons and hunting hounds.
At the time, the Christian church didn’t believe in keeping pets. They thought that they were to be used for food to feed the poor. It’s possible that this stemmed from the fear of pagan worship and the use of animals. This continued until animals started to be seen as good fortune.
Keeping pets wasn’t accepted on a larger scale in Europe until the late 1600s. It almost a hundred years later before the middle class started having pets.
Today, pets have multiple roles in society. They are companions, helpers and an indication of status. They also aid people in activities they can’t do for themselves, such as seeing-eye dogs. Whatever your purpose for having a pet, it’s important that you value the bond and relationship that has taken so many years to cultivate.