We love being closer to nature. It seems almost everyone loves animals, but it is not at all obvious why. Pets, for example, can cost a lot of money. They need feeding, cleaning, vaccinations, and supervision. Yet this is not a chore to millions of pet owners, it is a pleasure.
In fact, in the UK alone, almost half of the population own some sort of animal, and the dog and cat food industry has a market value of around 2.5 billion pounds.
That’s a lot of food, and a lot of hungry dogs and cats.
So even in these hard economic times, why do millions of people continue to fork out to pay for their animals?
Because humans and animals have an intimate connection that spans millions of years.
The pleasure that comes from being around animals appears to be an ancient behaviour in humans. Pet-keeping was common in hunter-gatherer societies so, it seems, the human-animal connection must be ‘built’ in to our DNA.
There are some interesting theories to explain why we love animals so much. For one, we are social animals that like to seek social relationships with others: even if that relationship is with another species.
Other theories range from women keeping pets to demonstrate they can be good, nurturing mothers to humans sticking around animals because it showed the environment was a habitable one.
We think it could be all of this and more.
After all, humans have ‘grown up’ on this planet, alongside the animal kingdom. Together we make up the living, breathing, life-force of the planet. We are biological cousins on the tree of life, and it is a beautiful extended family.
Animals humble us. They evoke wonder. They allow us to express our caring side, especially if they are dependent on our care. It is not at all surprising to read that affection for pets correlates with a concern for the natural world.
Could it be that, by caring for, and enjoying the time of a particular animal, we are each briefly expressing our appreciation for the world we live in?
That’s what we think. To really try to understand the human-animal connection, and what makes it so special, we have put together an infographic. Take a look and find out more.
If you would like to get closer to nature, contact us. We would love to hear from you. In the meantime, take a look at the animals under our care and visit our home page to find out more about what it is we do.