We have no direct evidence to prove that humans who lived before 10000 BC had kept pets. But primitive people who depend on hunting and collecting life must possess domesticated wild animals, but archaeological evidence is scarce. The remains of these pets can not be distinguished from animal remains that were preserved by early human animals, or for other possible purposes, such as a ceremony. Since we do not have prehistoric evidence, we must find evidence from the past few centuries. Picture: the mummy of the Egyptian cat in Le Louvre Museum, France In many remote areas of the world, such as Amazon, New Guinea, the Arctic and other places, the number of hunting - collecting society and small-scale agricultural society in the 19th Century and 20th Century - can help us understand the social behavior of the early stone age. Can we ask if these traditional societies have had pets before the hunting - gathering society was discovered, or the habit of raising pets from the west? It turns out that many small Paleolithic societies have some pets: sometimes dogs, but most of them are domesticated wild animals, most of which were captured at young age and later raised as a member of the human family. Indigenous peoples of the Americas and the Abu in northern Japan raise small bears, Inuit breed wolves, Cochimi people in California raise raccoons, and aboriginal tribes in the Amazon feed a tape, a puffer, a long nose raccoon, and many species of monkeys, and the Muisca people in Columbia raise two species of wild felines, ocelots and margays. The Yagua people of Lu raised the sloth, the Dinka of Sultan raised hyenas and many monkeys, the aborigines of Fiji raised flying foxes and lizards, and the Penan people in Borneo raised the sun bears and gibbons. On this pet list, we can also add many birds, from Brazil to Mali to China. Many people regard birds as pets. Many birds have brightly coloured feathers, such as parrots, Parakeet and cockatoo. And other birds, such as boolean, sing. Some birds have a specific meaning, for example, the turkey (large birds that cant fly) are loved by the NewBritain (New Guinea) primitive residents, and the Samoa people like to raise dove as a pet. Today, the emergence of Western domesticated animals has reduced this species diversity, but the traditional society still maintains a wide range of animal partners, from Toraja in the mountains of Indonesia to Tiv in West Africa. Although traditional culture does preserve all kinds of animals, recent surveys of 60 such societies have found that dogs and cats are still the most common pets. This preference is obviously not in line with tradition in most cases, because dogs and cats are very late in most parts of the world. It is almost certain that, in the thousands of years before the emergence of agriculture, dogs were almost certainly domesticated by one or several hunting gatherers, and then gradually spread to most of the world. In addition to accompanying owners, dogs and cats have practical uses, so their status is not always easy to determine, because cultural and linguistic barriers often exist between western researchers and traditional societies. The survey found that some 1/3 traditional societies treat dogs as pets, and 1/3 people do not regard them as emotional support, but simply regard them as security guards or some functions. As expected, those who have cats believe that they are useful for pest control, and 2/3s similar society expects pets to find their own food. However, in other primitive societies, some people (owners) deliberately feed cats and treat them as pets. In these traditional societies, cats, dogs and other familiar livestock represent only a small proportion of the many pets raised. The survey records many kinds of domesticated mammals, including a variety of primates, foxes, bears, groundhog and ground squirrels. More than 1/4 of traditional society also raises birds, which are more diverse than mammals, including hawks, crows, parrots, and dove. Although their appearance is more interesting, most pet birds have higher intelligence levels than birds. Many birds have obviously established a lasting relationship with humans: for example, Yanomamo people in South America teach their parrot to speak. In general, birds are more clearly seen as pets than most mammals. Almost all birds get most of the food they need, and there are many toys for children. In traditional society, fish is the only animal that is almost not regarded as a pet, presumably because it appreciates the need for aquarium glass. But there is an exception: the Polynesia (Polynesians) of the Samoa islands capture and tame the eels, leave them in the holes in the ground, and call them to the ground by whistling. The relationship between primitive animals and animals based on hunting and collecting is much more complicated than that of Westerners today. In their society, animals are both basic functions and symbolic meanings. For example, caring for orphaned animals may represent compensation for the damage caused by hunting to their relatives. Huaorani, an Amazonian tribe living in Ecuador, often adopts little monkeys and other jungle animals. When hunting adult monkeys, they use spray guns to shoot darts, and blame animals for plants instead of darts. They extract poison from plants as if they want to keep away from killing. After killing the female monkeys, they tried to catch any young monkeys still dependent on her survival. Parents, young monkeys, other young mammals, and birds are taken home from the hunting expeditionary team, not only as taming pets, but also as members of the large family, including human and animal members, to enjoy stored fruit. The domesticated hawk hawk can share the monkey meat killed in the hunting expedition. When they die, ceremonial burial can be obtained. The funeral ceremony took place in the Paleolithic age. In Jordan 16 thousand years ago, archaeologists found the skull of a red fox in a particularly striking example. It was buried in red ochre on 1 womens bones. The ochre was a special and ritualistic pigment. What is more noteworthy is that the remains of the dead and the fox were merged later because their other bones were found near another grave. Whoever moves the womans remains will clearly know her relationship with the fox and move the most obvious remains of the animal (especially the skull) with her. It is unbelievable that the fox and the dead seem to have died at the same time. To be more exact, the fox must have been killed when the deceased died, so that it could continue to accompany her in the next life. Although we may think this is cruel, it does show a very special relationship between them. We can never know exactly the truth of this relationship, but because there is no evidence that there is a tradition of domestication of foxes there or anywhere else, we can reasonably assume that the fox is domesticated by wild animals and similar to that of other old stone age pets. In the hunting and gathering society, except for fur, there is no known red fox, so the fox may no longer be a beloved companion. Belief in animals constitutes an important part of the spiritual life of this small scale society. According to the traditions of a particular society, the role of animals and the way they are treated may be very different. For example, in the Amazon basin, the Ach e people will make the gregarious raccoon carnivores a pet and believe their wild relatives will carry the human soul to the dead. In contrast, the neighbouring Arawete people believe that the raccoons feed on human bodies, not only as pets, but also on fire around newly dug graves to drive away any near raccoons. As the first domesticated animal, the transition from a wild wolf to a dog may not be straightforward, and it may not be intentional, and no precedent can prove that wild animals can be reproduced in captivity. The prevailing theory is that dogs are domesticated and their ancestors are not very common wolves (now extinct). The difference between these wolves and their modern counterparts is that they are sufficiently tolerant of humans that they spend most of their time looking for food around human camps. The adoption of their cubs is very easy, starting from the process of gene selection, domestication, and finally even human training. At first, these primitive dogs might act as early warning devices, which could explain why dogs bark more easily than wolves, and may also help with garbage disposal. Until they can form social relations with humans, they will be able to provide help and control in the process of hunting and exploring. Although in the Paleolithic age, usefulness provided the motive of the primitive man to keep a dog, but it was not easy to let the dogs usefulness derived from the bond of emotion, and the dogs efficiency stems from their attention and desire to the pleasing people. When puppies have adapted to human life, the rest of their lives will remain focused and easier to train. Unlike other domestic animals that later appeared, the relationship between dogs and their owners was fundamentally emotional. During the period from 14000 to 4000 years ago, a large number of dog burials were unearthed, showing peoples respect for dogs. The earliest perhaps most famous example is the upper Jordan Valley, where archaeologists found the skeleton of an old man (most of the bones were well preserved, although the pelvis was badly damaged, but still determined to be sex), his hands were placed on the chest of a puppy, and the latter was probably killed and buried. About 12000 years ago, the culture of burying the old man and his dog belonged to the Natufians people, who were at the edge of the transition from hunting - collecting society to settling agricultural society. The positioning of these two skeletons strongly suggests a close and profound relationship between humans and animals, as if puppies want to accompany their masters into the afterlife. The burial of some dogs is part of the ritual. The ancient Egyptians were famous for their breeding, killing and mummification of millions of domestic cats, but they also treated dogs almost the same way, though at a low level. About 2500 years ago, Persians living in the south of Israel created huge dog burial grounds. Archaeologists excavated the remains of more than 1200 adult dogs and puppies near Ashe clen, and believed that most of them were not pets but fierce stray dogs, many of which were apparently killed by natural causes. No written record shows the spiritual significance of these exchanges, or why Persians feel more strongly about stray dogs than their own dogs. In the millennia before the birth of Christ, there was a distinct difference in the concept of dogs: the hatian people, who lived in the eastern part of Turkey, attached special therapeutic forces to the puppies, both alive and deliberately sacrificed. As early as 1000, more than 400 dogs were found in a cemetery in China, each of which was under the human body, indicating that the dogs were killed after the death of the owner. The oldest dog tomb found in the United States is located in the Green Valley, Tennessee. Some dogs are buried alone while others are buried beside people. Such details of burial sometimes allow us to guess why dogs are buried. In one of the earliest European ruins, Skateholm, Sweden, archaeologists found 14 tombs of dogs, dating back to about 6000 years ago. In 4 cases, the dogs and people are buried together, although most of them have their own graves, usually at the edge of the masters cemetery, where the childrens graves are very concentrated, as if the status of dogs and children is considered. At least one dog was carefully buried and its grave was covered with ochre. Beside it, there are many burial items that are usually found in the human grave, including three knives made of flint and carefully decorated hammers made of red deer antlers, which are used to accompany the afterlife of the animals. ? Although dog burial has a long history in recorded history, this practice seems to have diminished as society has become more stable and agriculture has grown more prosperous. Since the end of the first millennium, there has been little record of dog burial in Europe. There is a theory that many recent European funerals reflect the special relationship between dogs and hunters, rather than the relationship between pets and loyal owners. Most dogs that have been given special funerals may not be pets. They are either the hunting partner that the owner needs in the afterlife, or the dog sacrificed for some kind of spiritual or superstitious purpose. However, several examples do illustrate the emotional connection between dogs and humans. In an ancient cemetery in Anderson, Tennessee, a dog was buried about 7000 years ago. It has suffered several injuries in its life, but it has been cured every time. The dogs age is obviously big enough and even suffering from arthritis, at least in the last few years of its life, its no longer a qualified hunting partner. This shows that the dogs owner simply takes care of it out of emotional need. Other signs suggest that in some cultures, dogs, even if they are not pets that we now consider, are at least animals with their own personalities. About 3000 years ago, the Egyptians buried some dogs in a way, which shows that they cherish more companionship than the actual use. The pictographs on the tombstones tell us that Egyptians called their dogs human beings, not just animals. As for the cat? In the new moon fertile soil about 10 thousand years ago, the cat became a domestic animal for the first time and hunted in the place where human beings live. But the earliest evidence of cats becoming family pets appeared in Egyptian art about 3500 years ago. The ancient Egyptians kept all kinds of rare animals as pets, including monkeys, cheetahs and fawn, but almost all of them were fascinated by domestic cats. In many more formal works of art, aristocratic women usually have cats, even though their husbands are more willing to stay with their dogs. But we also have evidence that pet cats almost appear in families of all social strata. Greek historian Ciro Dodd (Herodotus) said before 2500 that Egyptians were so respectful of their pet cats that the whole family shaved their eyebrows to show respect when the cat died of natural causes. There is no doubt that the ancient Egyptians also valued the ability of cats to control pests, especially when they found their ability to prevent snakes from being particularly impressive, but they also valued them as pets. Cats then spread from Egypt to the Mediterranean coast, thanks to Phoenician merchants who arrived in England before 2300. The cats hunter instinct is the most important thing, not pets. However, it is easy to imagine that every time you see a cat dozing off by the fireplace, you cant help making people feel loved. With the development of civilization and small hunting - the society has been replaced by the citys elite and the submissive rural population, pet breeding has entered a new stage. In the pervasive equalitarian society of the Paleolithic age, animals could be used as companions, and in the highly differentiated societies of Egypt, Greece and the Rome Empire, until twentieth Century, the poorest had no chance of finding pets for themselves. This is not to say that they do not like dogs and cats, but that these animals have to feed themselves. The existing evidence usually shows that pets played a role in the elite life of the upper class from the classical period (fifth Century BC and fourth Century BC) to the end of the nineteenth Century. Since the less affluent people inevitably leave less traces of life, we can only guess how they interact with their animals. There is no doubt that they have less time and less resources to put in. It was not until nineteenth Century that with the rise of the middle class, the behaviour of people keeping pets became widespread. The shift from hunting, collecting and nomadic to settling in agriculture and animal husbandry seems to bring profound changes to the way people treat animals. Of course, the Judaism, Christianity, and Islam on the fertile crescent earth emphasized the right to dominate the animals: God bless human beings and say to them, to be rich, fill the earth and conquer it. You shall manage the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and all the living things on the ground. In general, Christianity is skeptical about any emotional expression of animals (especially pets): in thirteenth Century, the Franciscans was accepted by the authorities for their love for dogs, cats and birds. The abuse of cats is regarded as a potential agent of Satan, evidently derived from the heretic worship of cat gods and goddesses in rural Europe. Although dogs are generally considered unclean, Islam has a more positive view of cats. The earliest cat sanctuary was established in Cairo in 1280. Buddhism has always emphasized respect for non-human animals and embedded them in the concept of reincarnation. In the early Middle Ages (AD five to tenth Century), attitudes towards domestic animals were mostly utilitarian, at least in Western Europe. By tenth Century, Welshs law was valued at 4 pence for the mother, but only to assess her ability to catch mice and reproductive ability, not because she was preparing to snoring on someones leg. An untrained dog only sells 4 pence, but the price will double after training, which means that its value depends on the task it can accomplish. From eleventh Century to fourteenth Century, there was little change in the attitude of animals, and pet breeding was limited to those who could afford it, and could ignore the churchs opposition. The fashionable ladies continue to keep their pet dogs. Any devotion and admiration to working dogs may only reflect that they are easier to train. Farmers often give names to other animals, such as sheep, but this is not necessarily due to certain special feelings. Cats may be treated in special ways because of their ability in agriculture, not family pets. The monks pay special attention to the fur of the cat because it is cheaper than the fox skin, which does not violate their oath of keeping poverty. In Fourteenth Century, the East Anglo people could buy 1000 cats with only 4 pence. In the sixteenth Century, the trend of raising pets in rich families continued to develop, especially women, giving animal partners greater significance, and the word pet first appeared in English. John Caius (JohnCaius) divided the species into two categories in the 1576 OfEnglisheDogges: curs and noble, which included hunting dogs (men) and hine dogs (women). There is no doubt that Caiuss description of the latter is the pet pronoun in modern sense. It was not until seventeenth Century that pet breeding began to spread. Before that, the houses in the town were like the countryside, with animals everywhere, including pigs and poultry, and dogs and cats, which made the difference between partners and cohabitation. However, in some peoples mind, you may still remember the strong opposition to the feelings of animals: in 1590, even at the end of the day, Catherine Stubbs (KatherineStubbes) was playing her favorite puppy because she and her husband thought the bitch (puppy) went to our bed, which would make it up. The emperor was very angry. Of course, the close relationship between some people and animals does not end the act of cruelty to animals. It was widely accepted that cats were burned alive in seventeenth Century. In 1817, the city of Ypres, Belgium, celebrates the cat Festival and throws the bag full of cats off the top of the church tower (now the bag is replaced by a plush toy). In the countryside, the attitude of the dog may be far from emotional: in 1698, a farmer in Dorset County, after beating his old dog, extracted 11 pounds of butter and even recorded his satisfaction. In eighteenth Century, when pets began to expand for their own interests, the choice of species was much larger than it is now. Most animal partners are not domesticated species, but domesticated wild animal specimens, an unconscious reflection of the habit of hunter gatherers in remote and unknown areas. Pet turtles, monkeys, otters and squirrels are easy to buy, but in London in eighteenth Century, the most popular may be caged songbirds (Canary and chicken), and speaking crow, magpie and parrot. The poet William Cobb (WilliamCowper) kept three pet rabbits. He named them Puss, Tiney and Bess. His loyalty extended to the snuff bottle, engraved with three pet names. However, these rabbits are obviously not very loyal to him, because Puss escapes regularly and needs to be forced to take back. He later had three pet dogs: Mungo, Marquis and Beau, which brought him a lot of fun. At that time, dogs may still be rare as pets, but some owners obviously have a great interest in their working dogs. By the early eighteenth Century, a farmers favorite hound might have lived indoors. By the end of the nineteenth Century, cats had become popular pets, and even British Queen Victoria could not avoid them. At the same time, in an article published after the death of Mark Twin (Mark Twain) on the other side of the Atlantic in 1910, when a man likes a cat, I am his friend and partner, thats all. Throughout history, pet farming has gone through two distinct stages. Even in prehistoric times, human cognition of animals is far more complex than predators perception of prey. Animals are always an important source of protein, but in some cases (perhaps the complex consciousness that has evolved in the primitive human brain), animals have other meanings. Humans have chosen some animals to share their living space, and even combine them closely with their families. The widespread existence of mammal breastfeeding, the shocking modern emotions, may highlight the very different ties between humans and todays pets. However, this may be a direct nutritional requirement, perhaps the only way to raise mammals before weaning. However, this approach suggests that hunting - gatherers have a strong, close instinct, which extend their closest love to young animals, even to deplete the basic resources. When the hunter gatherer group was divided into rulers and subjects by society, the first stage was phased out. In the second stage, keeping pets becomes the privilege of rich and powerful. A common thread runs through both of them, namely, there are differences between men and women in their basic attitudes towards animals. In a small society, women and children are most concerned about the captured wild animals. In the middle ages, although the aristocrats value the utility of the hounds and eagles to highlight their prestige, their ladies expressed their affection for the specially bred puppies. Although in many recorded history, people (almost all men) do not approve of pets, but pets continue to exist in daily life, mainly by women, but may not be maintained entirely by wealthy people. Occasionally, society tries to suppress this phenomenon: in medieval Germany, thousands of women were accused of witchcraft because of their love for cats. Even in the late seventeenth Century, during the Salem witch trial, those convicted included two dogs possessed by the devil. By the eighteenth Century, peoples attitudes have begun to change, which paved the way for the third stage of the general domestication of animals and pets (generally accepted in the West). Source: NetEase science editor: Guo Hao _NT5629 However, this approach suggests that hunting - gatherers have a strong, close instinct, which extend their closest love to young animals, even to deplete the basic resources. When the hunter gatherer group was divided into rulers and subjects by society, the first stage was phased out. In the second stage, keeping pets becomes the privilege of rich and powerful. A common thread runs through both of them, namely, there are differences between men and women in their basic attitudes towards animals. In a small society, women and children are most concerned about the captured wild animals. In the middle ages, although the aristocrats value the utility of the hounds and eagles to highlight their prestige, their ladies expressed their affection for the specially bred puppies. Although in many recorded history, people (almost all men) do not approve of pets, but pets continue to exist in daily life, mainly by women, but may not be maintained entirely by wealthy people. Occasionally, society tries to suppress this phenomenon: in medieval Germany, thousands of women were accused of witchcraft because of their love for cats. Even in the late seventeenth Century, during the Salem witch trial, those convicted included two dogs possessed by the devil. By the eighteenth Century, peoples attitudes have begun to change, which paved the way for the third stage of the general domestication of animals and pets (generally accepted in the West).