Animals in the history of human and veterinary medicine

Woods, Abigail (2018) Animals in the history of human and veterinary medicine. In: The Routledge Companion to Animal-Human History. Routledge. ISBN 9780429468933

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Animals in the history of human and veterinary medicine
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Medicine is, by definition, a human-led endeavour. While animals have always suffered from disease, they only became participants in human and veterinary medicine when humans began to pay attention to their health and attempt to learn about and intervene in it. Historical analysis shows that this occurred particularly when human interests were threatened by the state of animal health, and when humans perceived benefits to arise from understanding and manipulating it. As objects of medicine, animals were refashioned into tools and targets of disease investigation, regulation and management. Their bodies, minds and lived experiences were profoundly affected by these transformations. However, animals were not only shaped by human/veterinary medicine; they also shaped it. Through their selection and use as raw material for experiments, they moulded the development of medical science. As a result of the investigations performed upon them and in their ability to spread diseases to humans, they altered the state of human health, while as victims of disease they influenced animal health practices, policies and the people concerned with them. The histories of animals and human/veterinary medicine are therefore deeply intertwined. The purpose of this chapter is to review what is known about their shared histories, to reflect on authors’ approaches to the subject, and to identify some promising lines of recent and future enquiry.

Keywords:history, animals, humans, medicine, veterinary
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V380 History of Science
Divisions:College of Arts
ID Code:41499
Deposited On:17 Jul 2020 09:25

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