Part 2: Understanding the interface between humans and animals

Chapters in This Section

In this second section, information will be presented that discusses the principles of Planetary Health with regard to relationships between humans and animals

  • Chapter 5: Human interaction with companion animals
  • Chapter 6: Human interaction with food production animals
  • Chapter 7: Human interaction with wildlife
  • Chapter 8: Loss of Biodiversity

Human and Animal Relationships

The relationship between humans and animals has a long history that has evolved over time. There is evidence that humans interacted with animals in the form of hunting and fishing approximately 400,000 years ago ( Domestication of animals is thought to have occurred between 13000 and 2500 BC. Animals have played a significant role in the evolution of human societies, cultures, and religions (Beckoff, Encyclopedia HA bond).

Animals are principal constituents in the health of the planet. Invertebrate animals contribute extensively to ecosystem health through pollination, aeration of the soil, and as a source of food for other animals to name a few. Vertebrate animals such as bats, rodents, and birds can be essential pollinators as well. While we may have interactions with such animals, we do not often have relationships with them like we do with domesticated mammals (even though I had worms as pets when I was little). Our interactions with animals are diverse and depend on the culture. “We eat them, wear them, live with them, work them, experiment on them, try to save them, spoil them, abuse them, fight them, hunt them, buy, sell, and trade them, and love, fear, or hate them.” (Urbanik, Placing Animals, Geography)

Anthrozoology is the field of research that focuses on human-animal relationships and includes studies on the interactions of humans with animals in a variety of venues worldwide. These venues include educational and research settings, animal shelters, farms and ranches, zoos, rodeos, houses of worship, and even slaughterhouses. Relationships within various contexts can be complex and challenging (Beckoff Ency HA bond).

A short Description of the Human and Animal Bond

On the loss of intermediate hosts and the spread of infections
Oh and by the way … what does loss of biodiversity have to do with Human and animal relations?
Venom related drug discoveries.


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