For perhaps as long as 100,000 years humans have had pets. That's the date some researchers estimate for the original domestication of wolves... and the beginning of their slow genetic manipulation into the animal called the dog.
Some where and time along that long and winding road we recruited horses, cats, a variety of barnyard fowl, hogs, cows and buffaloes, camels, llamas and alpacas to our human endeavors. Much later we added to our collection of animal companions with such species as a wide variety of birds, small mammals, reptiles and even fish.
For most of this long association the role of the animal within the relationship has been as helpmate, slave or, quite often, menu item. Yet it is likely that all along there have been connections beyond the purely utilitarian. Animal companionship, inherently very different from human companionship, has probably always been an end in itself for those humans and animals that found themselves opening to each other with trust and affection.
Still, far too often and for far too long even this deeper connection has usually involved a living arrangement skewed almost entirely toward the convenience of the human. The animal had to adapt, however clumsily, to the human environment and human expectations.
The reasons for this radical disparity are many, principally ignorance and an over-riding, culture-reinforced notion that animals are supposed to live according to our whim and whimsy. And so we have a litany of customs, traditions and virtually sacrosanct ideas related to the care and keeping of our animal friends that are actually based upon nothing more than these notions, whims and ignorance.
The questions we would like to pose at this juncture in human history, at the dawn of this new millennium, are these:
- What is the true nature of our relationship with our companion animals?
- How important are companion animals to our well-being... physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual?
- If the answers to the above questions are positive, are we doing all we can to provide a happy, healthy and balanced life for the animals that may, in fact, be among the most important and valuable experiences we ever encounter in our lives?
PetStation's quest is to explore these questions, to explode silly old notions, to rattle some cages (literally), and to assist in prompting wiser, more humane, more highly evolved ways of experiencing our pets... and for taking full responsibility for their welfare. Explore the various PetStation realms to find articles and ideas related to Natural and Enlightened Pet-Keeping for your type of animal friends.
We invite you to share your thoughts, as well as your methods for natural and enlightened pet-keeping. Send your ideas, stories and photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org