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Humans and animals are made up of the same stuff: 70% water, bones, ligaments, muscles and skin. We have similar cells, tissues, blood, lymph, bones, and the same vital organs. Our cells and our genes are so similar, that scientists regularly inject human brain cells into mice brains to see how those injected cells thrive and behave.
Having been in private practice of veterinary medicine for more than 2 decades, I run into a lot of animal lovers. This is a very satisfying profession. Most people are kind-hearted, love their animals, and will do anything to save even a stray animal.
Some people sleep with their animals, some share the food from the same plate. Some hunt with their animals. The degree of sharing between animals and humans is really baffling. Everybody is different, and everybody has a right to express their love in the way they think is most appropriate for their family and their animal companions. We are not going to judge anybody. We love the human-animal bond.
One thing that I believe in is that we should not humanize the animals, nor should we think of humans as animals. Yes, animals and humans are eventually all animals: as my blog says ... Domestic, Wild and Social. But it is a great idea to keep the distinction in the back of our minds. I was very sad to see some TV programs where kindhearted people got killed or mauled by their own wild animals. The program is called Fatal Animal Attraction or something like that. See, wild animals are very cute, beautiful, and furry. That does not mean that they do not have millions of years of selective breeding in them to make them furious hunters. Thatâ€™s how they survive ... by hunting prey. One never knows for sure when a "tamed" wild animal will erupt into his original personality of a hunter.
We have all seen rowdy kids! We love them and all, at the same time we worry that a rowdy kid is going to get in trouble, is going to get hurt, or just is going to tick a neighbor or a guest off! Our dogs are like our kids. If we do not train them to behave, then they cannot be blamed for social transgressions. Just like every human kid goes to school, I think every pet dog needs to go to a boarding-training school where he will stay for a couple of weeks getting to learn all basic commands. Then of course the humans can take over and continue the life long training and learning process.
Well thatâ€™s it for today talking about wild and domestic animals!
The social animal, the Homo sapiens is a different beast altogether. He is very complex, egotistical, as well as of course kind and compassionate at the same time. The problem with him is that he thinks that the whole world is here for his enjoyment, and he can do whatever suits his fancy and ephemeral needs: he can destroy the eco system, pollute the rivers and oceans and the atmosphere, and drive out other animals from their natural habitats â€¦ animals that are at this stage of the evolution a little weaker than the humans. The good part is that a vast majority of this animal species, Homo sapiens, is kind hearted and is trying to save the endangered species, heal the hurt animals, and is trying to find natural habitat for displaced animals. That's a good thing we are doing!
Dr. Anant V Joshi DVM