An elephant

Human Attitudes to Animals

Enviromental Education For JTET/CTET

Humans have a complex relationship with animals. They use them for a variety of purposes. There are working animals, companion animals, animals used for scientific research, and animals used for food and byproducts.

The relationship with animals extends back to the earliest humans. History tells that early human beings obtained their food basically from animals and then from plants. Over time, they developed effective tools to catch and process the animals into different items.

As human beings developed skill they started domesticating animals by raising herbivores they could use for labour, milk and meet.

Early farmers kept the animals in herds and bred them, providing farmers with a continuous supply of animals. Later, when humans realized they could use animals for greater purposes they started rearing bigger herbivores and employed them in agriculture and transport. In the mean time some animals like dogs, cats, and some birds became parts of human’s daily lives as pets.

Over time the farming practices evolved to mechanization and machines took the places of animals in agriculture.

Applications of poisonous pesticides misbalanced agricultural ecosystems and many animals like sparrows, pigeons, crows, frogs, peacocks, etc. started reducing in their number due to poisoning.

In spite of developments, men continued their practice of hunting wild animals and clearing forests, their habitats. Thus the number of wild animals continued falling and many wild species of animals and birds became extinct.

The replacement of farm animals by tools and machines, applications of agrochemicals, destruction of habitats, hunting and killing of animals for various purposes- all led to a crisis in biodiversity which further added to the problems of environment already severe due to industrialization and urbanization.

Today, we need to become sensitive towards our attitudes to animals. Watching documentaries and visiting zoos is not enough in this respect. Conscious efforts for the preservation and conservation, and prevention of poaching can build substantial relation between man and animals.

key words; herbivores, farm animals, poaching

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