Why are animals important to human beings?
There are a number of reasons why animals are important to human beings. The main reason is that animals benefit us personally, socially and economically.
Since the time of our cavemen ancestors, there have been interactions between humans and animals. Animals can be our friends, companions, protectors, benefactors and comforters. Research studies indicate that people who own pets and have close bond with them have higher self-esteem. They are also generally happier and healthier. There are many reported cases in which pets protected their owners and family members. In the United States, a pet dog alerted its owners that their babysitter was abusive. A couple who hired a babysitter to take care of their baby noticed that their pet dog was aggressive to the babysitter. Upon investigation, they discovered that their child was abused by the babysitter.
Animals provide many other benefits to humans. Insulin, a hormone in our body which controls the amount of sugar absorbed by our blood, could not be artificially produced previously. It had to be derived from cows and pigs. Nowadays, even though animal insulin has largely been replaced by artificial human insulin, the former is still available on prescription. Trained guide dogs are available to serve as loyal companions and ‘pairs of eyes’ for the blind. In the past, hunters took along hunting dogs to track, sniff out and catch wild game. When night fell, the canines were the hunters’ companions and protectors. In rehabilitation centres, animals are used to help the sick recover. For instance, petting a pony helps to lift a sick child’s spirit.
Throughout history, animals have helped humans. We use animals to work for us. In the agricultural sector, oxen pull ploughs before seeds are planted in the soil. We use horses for transportation purposes. They pull carriages and covered wagons for us. Even though oxen and horses are rarely used for farming and travelling purposes respectively today, the horses are still being used for riding and racing. They are also used to participate in contests in order to win awards. Farmers depend on animals such as cattle, poultry, sheep, goats, among others, for their livelihood. They sell the animals’ meat, milk and eggs to earn money. In the fishing industry, although the use of modern equipment and technology have replaced the use of animals to catch fish, fishermen in some parts of the world still use animals like dolphins, otters and cormorants for the purpose.
Another indirectly way in which animals help us is that they assist in the reproduction of a variety of fruit and vegetable crops, which are an important part of our healthy diet. Without animals to help disperse seeds and pollinate plants, many of them would have become extinct.
In conclusion, animals are important to human beings because they benefit us socially, personally as well as economically. Since they are of great benefit to us, we should treat them well.