Cover image for Companion animals and us : exploring the relationships between people and pets
Companion animals and us : exploring the relationships between people and pets
Podberscek, Anthony L. (Anthony Louis), 1963-
Publication Information:
New York : Cambridge University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xi, 335 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Based on papers from a conference held at Downing College, Cambridge in 1996 as well as invited ones.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SF411.5 .C648 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Over the past thirty years there has been a tremendous growth in interest in the multidisciplinary field of human-companion animal interactions and relationships. The increased interest in human-pet relationships is not surprising considering that pets are kept in at least half of the households in Western societies. What is so special about the relationships people have with their pets? Are we very different from our ancestors in the way we feel about animals? What does pet keeping tell us about ourselves and our relationships with people? Can pets be good for our health? Does having pets help promote empathy for other humans? Companion Animals and Us brings together some of the newest research from a wide variety of disciplines including anthropology, history, psychology, sociology, and human and veterinary medicine to explore these and many other questions. This book will provide fascinating reading for anyone interested in understanding more about the human-pet relationships.

Table of Contents

Anthony L. Podberscek and Elizabeth S. Paul and James A. SerpellPhilippe EriksonLiliane BodsonSophia MenacheErick L. LaurentNorine DresserJames A. SerpellErika Friedmann and Sue A. Thomas and Timothy J. EddyAnthony L. Podberscek and Samuel D. GoslingElizabeth S. PaulRachael M. Harker and Glyn M. Collis and June McnicholasSheila Bonas and June Mcnicholas and Glyn M. CollisMarie-Jose Enders-SlegersDennis C. TurnerArnold ArlukeJoanna SwabePiers Beirne
List of contributorsp. x
1 Introductionp. 1
Part I History and culture
2 The social significance of pet-keeping among Amazonian Indiansp. 7
3 Motivations for pet-keeping in Ancient Greece and Rome: a preliminary surveyp. 27
4 Hunting and attachment to dogs in the Pre-Modern Periodp. 42
5 Children, 'insects' and play in Japanp. 61
6 The horse bar mitzvah: a celebratory exploration of the human-animal bondp. 90
7 Creatures of the unconscious: companion animals as mediatorsp. 108
Part II The nature of the relationship
8 Companion animals and human health: physical and cardiovascular influencesp. 125
9 Personality research on pets and their owners: conceptual issues and reviewp. 143
10 Love of pets and love of peoplep. 168
Part III Pets, families and interactions
11 The influence of current relationships upon pet animal acquisitionp. 189
12 Pets in the network of family relationships: an empirical studyp. 209
13 The meaning of companion animals: qualitative analysis of the life histories of elderly cat and dog ownersp. 237
14 Human-cat interactions: relationships with, and breed differences between, non-pedigree, Persian and Siamese catsp. 257
Part IV Welfare and ethics
15 Secondary victimization in companion animal abuse: the owner's perspectivep. 275
16 Veterinary dilemmas: ambiguity and ambivalence in human-animal interactionp. 292
17 Rethinking bestiality: towards a concept of interspecies sexual assaultp. 313
Indexp. 332