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Information Resources on Human-Animal Relationships Past and Present

By Judith Ho

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Today our definition of animal is probably broader and certainly more biologically based. Animals are all things organic that are not plants. Although some may have reservations about this definition, most accept the idea that humans are animals, topping a Darwinian ladder that ranks everything from the smallest protozoa to the largest whale. As humans accept that people are animals, and we know more about the complexity of animals, we have a greater appreciation of how we share many of the same qualities and characteristics. Admittedly the media has changed, but today we carry on the long tradition of endowing animals with human characteristics. They are portrayed in cartoons, television and films in ways that are definitely human, endowed with human characteristics. We acknowledge in our treatment of animals that our kinship with them, is no longer so separate.


Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Date 2005
Series AWIC Resource Series No. 30
Publisher U.S Department of Agriculture
Department Animal Welfare Information Center
Location of Publication Beltsville, Maryland
Language English
Notes This government document was found at the U.S Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library:
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Animals in culture
  3. History
  4. Human-animal relationships
  5. Interactions