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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.
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