By Joanna Swabe

ISBN-10: 0415181933

ISBN-13: 9780415181938

Joanna Swabe's well timed paintings seems to be at human-animal kin from antiquity to BSE and cloning, contending that veterinary wisdom and perform has performed a vital position in human heritage.

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Extra resources for Animals, Disease and Human Society: Human-animal Relations and the Rise of Veterinary Medicine

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In addition to this, the majority of species that were domesticated shared similar social and behavioural traits with humans. Wild dogs, sheep, cattle and horses, for example, live in groups, which have a social hierarchy similar to humans, with a defined social rank and means of expressing dominance and submission recognisable to other species. Furthermore, ungulate species have a clear disposition to follow a dominant animal around. If a human is accepted as a dominant member of the animal group, then the rest of the herd or flock is instinctively inclined to cooperate with him.

Leaving aside the issue of exactly how and why domestication took place, it is reasonable to conclude that the incorporation of other species into human social organisation through the processes of domestication and selective breeding instigated a crucial and irreversible transformation in humankind’s relationship with other creatures. By deliberately manipulating and interfering with the natural selection of other animals, humans gained a degree of control over the destiny of other species. Once tamed and segregated from their wild conspecifics, domesticated species could only reproduce within the bounds of human desire and requirements; even their food supply and organisation of territory were determined by their human keepers (Bökönyi 1969; Clutton-Brock 1987; Hemmer 1990; Ucko and Dimbleby 1969).

An ongoing relationship between parasite and host would need to be established over a period of centuries before sufficient immunities were built up. Only then would infection become as endemic to humans as it had been to the original animal carriers of the disease (McNeill 1976; Zivanovic 1982). McNeill argues that it is likely that ‘most and probably all of the distinctive infectious diseases of civilisation transferred to human populations from animal herds’ (McNeill 1976:54). The most common infectious diseases, such as measles, influenza and smallpox, which have afflicted humans throughout the ages, closely resemble diseases which affect domesticated animals.

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Animals, Disease and Human Society: Human-animal Relations and the Rise of Veterinary Medicine by Joanna Swabe


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