Man’s relation with animals is very old. They can be traced back to the beginning of civilization. Basically man is also an animal, but a rational and wise animal. Man is the best creation and measure of all things. However, his kinship with animals is well established. Darwin believed that man has evolved from monkeys. Thus, they are our ancestors.
The friendship between man and animals is more reliable and lasting. The pet animals respond better to our care, love and friendship. Man’s friendship with man may not last long, but it is of permanent nature with the domesticated and pet animals. Animals, birds and such other creatures are never ungrateful. Once friends, they are always friends. They will never turn hostile or enemies came what may. They are constant, loyal and faithful till the last. They do not know betrayal, deceit or foul play. That is why they have been so useful to mankind. Many of the animals are our real and true friends. They live in perfect harmony and friendship with us.
Cats, dogs, horses, cows, elephants, hens, ducks, monkeys etc., are our friends. Cats are kept as pets, for they kill rats and other rodents. They are also very good to play with. In western countries cats are very popular as pets. They make a good constant company. Dogs are kept as pets for protection and safety. They are matchless in faithfulness and loyalty. They help in hunting, in rearing sheep and in protecting properties. They also help in detecting and tracking thieves and criminals. For the police, they are very useful in this respect. Dogs are intelligent and have a very sensitive nose. Their sense of smelling is very sharp. The dog is man’s one of the oldest friends. They are trained for many other purposes as well. They are very good guides and can help wonderfully the blind. They draw sledges in snow-bound areas. They can also save travelers lost in snow-storms or buried in snow and ice. St. Bernard’s dogs are very famous for such rescuing services.
Horses are domesticated, for they are well-known for their speed, strength, agility, faithfulness and an unerring road sense. They are dependable friends both in war and peace. The name of the horse Chetek of Maharani Pratap is a famous name in history. They can also perform many pranks, tricks and feats. It is really delightful to see a horse dance or perform tricky jumps. Similarly, elephants have been great and reliable friends of mankind from times immemorial. An elephant is very intelligent, brave, faithful and hardworking animal. It can be used in fights, to carry loads, for rides and hunting. Being an intelligent animal, it never forgets both the acts of kindness and acts of wrongdoing.
Donkeys, camels, yaks, bullocks are the beasts of burden. They serve us in a way that none can do. Similarly, the cow is kept as a pet for its milk, dung and hide. In western countries cow-meat is also eaten with relish. But in India cow is worshipped by the Hindu as mother, and held in much respect. She is a symbol of holiness, care, affection and innocence.
Monkeys are also our friends. They are made pets to perform tricks. They are also used in the discovery of medicines. Whenever a new medicine is discovered, it is first tried on them. Birds like parrots, bulbuls, manias etc., are kept as pets for their sweet songs. Kites, crows and vultures are also our friends. They are scavenging birds and keep our surroundings neat and clean. Really, these animals and birds are great and reliable friends of ours. Without them life would have lost half of its charm and usefulness. We should always be kind to them.