OF IMPORTANT EVENTS
Humans have been interacting with nonhumans in many different contexts for a very long time. Animal protection sentiments appear not only very early in our recorded history but were obviously part of our prehistory as well. The list that follows is confined to three dozen major dates—there are histories in the suggested readings that provide much more detail.
35,000–15,000 years ago Humans begin drawing pictures of other animals on rocks and cave walls (a well-known example is the Lascaux caves in France). Since the depicted animals are not always those that were hunted, the drawings suggest to some an honoring of the connection with, perhaps even identification between, humans and the depicted animals.
15,000 years ago Humans begin making the transition from a hunting-gathering lifestyle to pastoral and agricultural ways of life. Transition to domestication of animals and plants changed the relationship to animals, to land, and to each other.
12,000–10,000 B.C.E. Practice of burying or other forms of ritual disposing of dead dogs and some other animals can be found around the world.
7,000 B.C.E. Some cultures in Asia have domesticated donkeys, sheep, pigs, and goats. By 4,000–5,000 years ago the humans of southwestern Asia had domesticated virtually all of the livestock and crop plants that are central to Old World cultures.