Know the History of How Livestock Boomed Mainstream
Livestock submits to domesticated animals reared in an agricultural setting to manufacture products such as food, fibre, or labor. The word "livestock" includes poultry or farmed fish; however the enclosure of these, especially poultry, inside the significance of "livestock" is regular.
Livestock generally are raised for survival or for revenue. Raising animals is called animal husbandry and it is a vital part of modern agriculture. It has been practiced in many cultures since the changeover to farming from hunter-gather lifestyles.
Raising animals has its origins in the shifting of cultures to settled farming communities rather than hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Animals are ‘domesticated’ when their breeding and living conditions are controlled by humans. Over time, the collective behaviour, life cycle, and physiology of livestock have changed radically. Many modern farm animals are unsuited to life in the wild. Dogs were domesticated in East Asia about 15,000 years ago, Goats and sheep were domesticated around 8000 BCE in Asia. Swine or pigs were domesticated by 7000 BCE in the Middle East and China. The earliest evidence of horse domestication dates to around 4000 BCE.
Older English sources, such as the King James Version of the Bible, refer to livestock in general as "cattle", as opposed to the word "deer", which then was used for wild animals which were not owned. The word cattle is derived from Middle English chatel, which meant all kinds of movable personal property, including of course livestock, which was differentiated from non-movable real-estate. In later English, sometimes smaller livestock was called "small cattle" in that sense of movable property on land, which was not automatically bought or sold with the land. Today, the modern meaning of "cattle", without a qualifier, usually refers to domesticated bovines. Other species of the genus Bos sometimes are called wild cattle.
The term "livestock" is vague and may be defined narrowly or broadly. On a broader view, livestock refers to any breed or population of animal kept by humans for a useful, commercial purpose. This can mean domestic aniqmals, semi-domestic animals, or captive wild animals. Semi-domesticated refers to animals which are only lightly domesticated or of disputed status. These populations may also be in the process of domestication. Some people may use the term livestock to refer just to domestic animals or even just to red meat animals.
The matter of raising livestock for people’s benefit raises the issue of the bond between humans and animals, in terms of the rank of animals and obligations of people. Animal welfare is the viewpoint that animals under human care should be treated in such a way that they do not suffer unnecessarily.
What is ‘unnecessary’ suffering may vary. Generally, though, the animal welfare perspective is based on an interpretation of scientific research on farming practices. By contrast, animal rights are the viewpoint that using animals for human benefit is, by its nature, generally exploitation, regardless of the farming practices used. Animal rights activists would generally be vegan or vegetarian, whereas it is consistent with the animal welfare perspective to eat meat, depending on production processes.
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