THE UNNATURAL HISTORY OF DOGS, CATS, COWS AND HORSES.   Have you ever wondered how our favorite animals came to live with us…and why? This book is an in-depth look at domestication, from the animals’ point of view. When dogs, cats, cows, and horses left the wild to live among us, what did they get … Continue reading Intro

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THE UNNATURAL HISTORY OF DOGS, CATS, COWS AND HORSES.

 

Have you ever wondered how our favorite animals came to live with us…and why? This book is an in-depth look at domestication, from the animals’ point of view. When dogs, cats, cows, and horses left the wild to live among us, what did they get and what did they give up in return? Some of the answers will surprise you!

From a survival standpoint, domestication proved to be a very good strategy for those animals that could pull it off. Today, people and our animals make up ninety-six percent of the vertebrate animal mass on land while wild animals make up only four percent. In short, it’s good to be a dog, cat, horse or cow.

But when humans took control of animal breeding, we imposed new demands on animals apart from those of the natural world. That’s why we have Holstein cows straining to produce 50,000 pounds of milk a year, Quarter horses with lethal genetic diseases, and mutant dogs and cats scarcely able to function.

Modern breeding technology only adds to these problems. Artificial insemination, genetic modification, embryo transfer, and even the Internet all impact the quality of animals’ lives. But, as this book shows, the results don’t have to be bad. Breeding science and animal husbandry can create marvelous capabilities and possibilities to help animals live better, healthier lives.

As LEAVING THE WILD shows, it all comes down to values. Even before animals are born, our values impact them. When the values are good, the outcomes tend to be too. But when they are bad, animals suffer. This book can help us make better choices.

Join journalist Gavin Ehringer on a trip across the American West. Meet remarkable animals, plus pet owners, animal breeders, show exhibitors, scientists, veterinarians, historians, and animal activists. And discover what’s happening in the domestic animal world of today.