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Discussion Starter #21
I think it's interesting to think about. And I understand that some people don't like analysing or pilosophising about things and that's fine, but many people do. I personally try to find the core reasons why I do things the way I do or the way society does as much as possible. I've spent my life in search of whys.

With dogs I believe the pointing is somethings we've bred in along with a lot of other traits. The dog we have now is a far cry from the animals we originally domesticated. I remember reading about the domestification of foxes and after only three generations bred in captivity the offspring were developing very human desires be traits like larger eyes, floppy ears etc.

sometimes I think maybe the reason we reach out to dogs so much these days is because of changing families. Back 100 years or so ago, or even a bit more families were larger. They lived closer to their cousins and aunts and grandparents. People lived in these family groups that allowed for them to be loved and to love others, children etc. since we have become more divided we still look for the consistant relationships around us and I think pets fulfil that. They're always there, always engaged.

I guess dogs as pets have been kept for many years though but again the classes of people who kept lapdogs were likely also somewhat removed from their everyday family.

I think one of the main differences between dogs and horses is that with dogs we expect them to learn our language. We be ourselves with them and they adapt. With horses it's the opposite. We learn their language and ways to communicate with them and use it. It's is changing.

As far as what horses mean to us, well I don't think it's just a simple pleasure response. I think horses are evocative of history and tradition. Compared with a fast, immediate pleasure based technological society horses are the opposite. They're out of the cities in the open nature. They are slaves to seasons and weather and foods. Progress is always slow compared to the pace we live. Everything we do is planned and there is lots of learning. There is a sense of freedom, of ability to move outside of how things are now. A quiet.

Horses are very different to us now as they were in the past. Perhaps a lot of people who were interested in horses throughout history were like car enthusiasts. Horses were the fast, exciting way to move around. They showed status and gave a certain amount of power and freedom. Lots of people like that but these days there are easier ways to find it.

When I go to the horse it's like stepping out of life. They are the same as when I got into it almost 20 years ago. I like that.
Then in a sense it's still a form of pleasure... But what you're saying matches up with what Kevin had said in the video, although you summed it up quite nicely in regards to horses. We choose to be with animals because it draws us away from the constant existence that humans believe they need to fulfill. In regards to what you said earlier (in the 5th "paragraph"), since that is true then it would make sense that we simply forced them into companionship rather than discovering that we get along in some way; originally for survival, but now to simply fulfill wants or desires. In other words we've evolved to love them because we want to be with them rather than the fact that we believe we have to be with them. But you already knew that. ;)

Although I do believe that horses can still fulfill a status. I mean, it doesn't automatically equal that, like it did back then. But I believe in some area's and depending on the breed of horse, how wealthy you are, and where your horse lives it can mean something. I can't see any other reason why those girls (obviously not all girls, but I think you get the type I'm referring to) from Wellington, Florida own a horse...
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I don't know if there's a real connection between horses and humans. Humans are predators, we don't leave anything behind that a horse would benefit from. My guess on to how the first horse was broke and trained would be by some level of force. A human had to tell that horse "your going to do this or else this will happen" and the horse complied. Sure after many years of domestication and learning, horses and humans have learned to work side by side and even care for each other (as much as a horse can really "care") but I'm sure in the beginning it was a means to an end for the humans, and the horses just got caught up in human demands. I guess if I was to look at it emotionally, a human could have earned the trust of a horse using their body language and food they may have liked...but at some point that human made that horse do something it didn't want to. I think we've learned how to read and interpret and mimic horse communication over the years, but I don't think there was an initial connection other than the human demands.

They just don't need us.
I agree, but I don't think it was as violent as you make it sound, but it was probably something along those lines. It's hard to guess things like this when you don't know a lot about human body language. I mean most of us know the basics, but heck, I wouldn't have been able to foresee that pointing would be connected to dogs...
My only guess to that, is that both horses and humans respond well to pressure and release we both understand and react to it well; but even that doesn't explain much...
 

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Well, I watched the video and the only thing I came away with was I was just listening to a guy that liked to hear himself talk.

I don't think there has to be a reason for people to like animals, some do and some don't. I've had an affinity for them every since I can remember and even before I can remember according to pictures of my early childhood and it didn't matter if they belonged to us or someone else. Way before I had enough reasoning ability to think about what they could for me, etc...As a matter of fact besides my riding horses I have 3 minis that do absolutely nothing but hang around and look cute. Guess what, I love them just as much and they receive the same level of care as the riding horses that do serve a purpose.

Sometimes things just ARE with no rhyme or reason.
 

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As a matter of fact besides my riding horses I have 3 minis that do absolutely nothing but hang around and look cute. Guess what, I love them just as much and they receive the same level of care as the riding horses that do serve a purpose.

Sometimes things just ARE with no rhyme or reason.
LOL, I have an old mare, and a mini donkey that just hang around looking pretty, that's all they do. *SIGH* Gibbs hangs around as well, but just makes my life better by being here.

I agree that some things just 'are' that about sums it up.
 
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SamanthaB - You should read the book, "Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat" by Hal Herzog.

At one point, he mentions that an animal lover's brain scan showed a specific area of heightened activity when viewing pictures of animals.

It literally made me cry. I've always been horse crazy - even before I'd been around them. I used to think something was seriously wrong with me. Nope - just using the brain I was born with.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
SamanthaB - You should read the book, "Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat" by Hal Herzog.

At one point, he mentions that an animal lover's brain scan showed a specific area of heightened activity when viewing pictures of animals.

It literally made me cry. I've always been horse crazy - even before I'd been around them. I used to think something was seriously wrong with me. Nope - just using the brain I was born with.
I'll take up your suggestion...

By the way, do you happen to be a fellow pig owner?
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Well, I watched the video and the only thing I came away with was I was just listening to a guy that liked to hear himself talk.

I don't think there has to be a reason for people to like animals, some do and some don't. I've had an affinity for them every since I can remember and even before I can remember according to pictures of my early childhood and it didn't matter if they belonged to us or someone else. Way before I had enough reasoning ability to think about what they could for me, etc...As a matter of fact besides my riding horses I have 3 minis that do absolutely nothing but hang around and look cute. Guess what, I love them just as much and they receive the same level of care as the riding horses that do serve a purpose.

Sometimes things just ARE with no rhyme or reason.
"A guy who liked to hear himself talk" I wouldn't put it that way, when he's simply explaining the history of how we treated and viewed our pets... And if you were listening carefully he talked about how we receive the same type of pleasure from simply gazing or petting another animal, as we do when we play with them or in our case ride them... So, yes those mini's can serve a purpose just not a major one.
I'm inclined to believe that pretty much everything has a reason, that's why this video interest me. You could be right, but for me (as well as others) that's not enough...
 

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But you love them because they serve a purpose, right?
You wouldn't keep a horse if you couldn't ride or drive them, the only exemption to this seems to be the retired horses whom we tend to keep out of respect for serving its career.

A human wouldn't buy a horse unless it benefited them in some way, people don't tend to keep horses around if they can't be ridden or driven. Even those who rescue horses because they "love" them, seem to do it for the sub-conscious desire that they will receive praise for something like that (although it's just a theory).
Not true at all. I would say that at least 1/3 (if not more) of the horses at the barn where I board are never, ever ridden or used as anything other than pets. Every day on my drive to and from work, I see even more horses out there that are not old but are being kept as pasture pets. Horses are a particularly therapeutic animal in my opinion and that seems to be enough motivation for many.

And, I do believe that love and compassion are involved whenever an animal is rescued, it's a bit jaded to believe otherwise, no matter what the outcome may be.
 

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I'm trying to remember the name of the documentary I saw about inter-species relationships... but in it there was a captive monkey (or ape?) who had a pet cat. Having pets isn't just a human trait.

Another thing they mentioned is that dogs are everybody's best friend - they bond with other species more than any other animal.
 

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I think we need to understand human to human relationships before we can understand our relationships with other species. Family aside, we have friends that actually do things for us and make our lives easier but we also have others that we get no tangible benefit from other than enjoying each others company. They work when it makes a pleasant experience for both. Which comes first, feeling good about making someone else feel good or feeling good ourselves? I referred to two of the barn cats as "my friends". Why not? We are always glad to see each other and we all get something out of it. The same with horses. Horses may have been domesticated to make our lives easier but primitive man may also have become "social" out of necessity rather than a need for social contact. Once a species becomes social the need remains regardless if there is a physical need for it.
 
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