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Introduction

What comes to mind when you think about the interaction between humans and animals? Do you think of the taming of wolves that resulted in our present-day canine companions? Do you picture a horse pulling a stagecoach, or does the imagery of livestock being raised on a farm enter your head?

Humans consider themselves to be the first species to tame another living being and have benefitted from that action for thousands of years. During that time animals played a constant role in the development of human civilisation, and in a way animals also tamed humans. However, most people do not perceive that the relationship between animals and humans can be mutual. By taking a closer look at the different roles in which animals have played throughout time, you will discover that the bond shared by human and animal is complex and ever-changing.

The process of domestication is more than simply taming wild animals. Animals are held in captivity, selectively bred to alter appearances and behaviours to suit human requirements, and their food supply is controlled. This creates a co-dependency between humans and domesticated animals for survival, forever changing human civilisation.

Introduction