Specialised animals

After consuming all wildlife, 10,000 years ago Sapiens began domesticating the species that were best suited for this purpose.

The process of domestication changes the qualities of the animals.

Domesticated animals slowly modify their attitudes.

On the one hand it is a natural process – these animals no longer have to defend themselves or forage for food and become milder, slower and more cooperative – and on the other hand it is an artificial process – man selects and breeds those specimens best suited to his purposes, thus creating sub-species: racehorses and draft horses, hunting and defence dogs, dairy and beef cattle, laying hens and broilers.

These changes are irreversible. Domesticated species are generally unable to survive once they are released back into the wild.

However, since these animals already existed when we were born, we consider them normal, spontaneous, natural. We no longer wonder if these animals would be happier in freedom because, unlike their ancestors, they have now adapted to coexistence with humans.

In modern times, genetic selection – a selection that uses a scientific approach to choose the individuals carrying the characteristics to be reproduced – accelerated the process of change, particularly in broiler chickens, thus inventing animal husbandry: a science that deals with the origin, evolution, production, improvement and rational exploitation of domesticated animals that are useful to man.

The ideal environment for these selected animals is no longer that of their ancestors. They are specialised animals that only live well in the environment for which they were created (and these environments must provide for all their needs).

They are specialised animals in the same way as handbag dogs, yoghurt bacteria or laboratory guinea pigs.


The editorial staff of M.A.C.