By Joanna Swabe
Joanna Swabe's well timed paintings seems to be at human-animal family members from antiquity to BSE and cloning, contending that veterinary wisdom and perform has performed an important function in human historical past.
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Additional info for Animals, Disease and Human Society: Human-animal Relations and the Rise of Veterinary Medicine
In this regard, I shall elaborate on the theme of dependency and disease that was introduced in the previous chapter, by further examining the devastating effects of animal disease on agricultural society. In particular, the impact of epizootics on the agricultural economy will be the focus of discussion. As a corollary to this, the final part of this chapter will be devoted to an exploration of early animal medicine and the evolution of an incipient veterinary regime. Animals in ancient societies The increased manipulation and growing importance of living animals to human society led to an increasingly high value being placed on livestock.
Whilst the appearance and behaviour of these species have changed dramatically since their incorporation into human society, they have flourished under human protection and have, in some instances, outlived their wild or ancestral counterparts. However, as Clutton-Brock points out, the benefits of living under the umbrella of human protection are somewhat dubious. Despite the massive population size and geographic distribution of domesticated animal species in contrast to their wild progenitors, these species have suffered ‘irretrievable loss of genetic diversity and evolutionary autonomy’ (Clutton-Brock 1994:27).
Similarly, sera taken from cattle immune to rinderpest can neutralise both measles and distemper. Moreover, humans suffering from measles can develop antibodies against rinderpest, and the rinderpest virus has immunising properties against canine distemper. Fiennes suggests that, due to its great virulence in cattle and the lack of apparent wildlife reservoirs for the disease, rinderpest is a relatively recent disease. Measles and rinderpest, he argues, have evolved in humans and cattle respectively as mutations of the distemper virus originally acquired from dogs, which themselves inherited the disease from their lupine ancestors (Fiennes 1978:19).
Animals, Disease and Human Society: Human-animal Relations and the Rise of Veterinary Medicine by Joanna Swabe