[pic]Animals affect everyone's life, whether you're an animal-lover, animal-hater, animal-eater or animal-saver, and their presence is important. Importance ranges from companionship to food source, and it varies by person. Pets impact our lives in a positive way, as do work animals and food animals. We may not realize how much impact animals have on our lives.
o Pets impact human lives on a face-to-face basis by being our companions, whether it's a cat or a dog or a guinea pig. Nothing is more comforting than having a dog greet you at the door, or a cat curl up in your lap or a guinea pig squeal for treats.
o Pet animals are often used for rehabilitation. Certain dogs, with special certification, are allowed to visit the residents in nursing homes and similar living arrangements. Not only does it lend variety to the day, but a dog or puppy can often bring the most introverted and grumpy person out of her shell. Rehabilitation with pets happens most on rehabilitating a social level.
o Having a pet is a great way to teach a child caretaking skills. A pet must be fed and watered daily, on some days given a bath, and trained. Having a child take charge of some or all of these tasks instills a sense of compassion along with responsibility.
o Animals have helped throughout history by working for humans. Horses and oxen have pulled plows for farming, and carriages and covered wagons for traveling. Now horses are used to win awards or just for easy rides into town for families living on acreages.
o Many farmers use animals for their livelihood. Farmers raise cattle, lamb, sheep, goats and other animals simply to make a living. Many of these animals are used for meat or for milk, and the milk and meat have several different uses.
o Biting into that hamburger with extra mayo? How about carving that rosemary chicken? Animals raised on farms are often our food sources....