It is possible to speak of useful animals and harmful animals when we think of them from a strictly human point of view, since in nature the notions of utility or harm do not apply: they all fulfill a certain function, often irreplaceable, within their specific ecosystem. .
- Useful animals. They are those that can be used by man, either by incorporating them into human work (such as beasts of burden) or by benefiting from their natural activities and behaviors (such as the cultivation of bees to obtain honey). For example: bees, chickens, cats.
- Harmful animals. They are those that represent a threat to the quality of human life, it may be because they transmit diseases, devour food before it can be harvested or parasitize man (like numerous insects ). When it comes to large numbers of animals of this type, it can be spoken of a pest. For example: mosquitoes, ticks, clothes moths.
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Examples of useful animals
- Bees. These insects produce in colony numerous substances of benefit to man, both in the elaboration of other products and in their direct consumption: honey, wax, royal jelly. For that reason they are cultivated in the beekeeping industry. In addition, bees play the vital role of flower pollination together with other insects.
- Horses. These animals have accompanied man from a very early age, serving as a means of transport to move merchandise, people, pull carts, run in races, wage war and many other aspects. In return it has received a privileged place in our imagination and our culture, often as a sacred symbol.
- Cows. Among the most useful and beneficial animals for man are bovines: cows and bulls. They are not only used to obtain milk (and with it a whole range of dairy products) and meat and leather, but also to pull plows and thus initiate planting. The livestock industry deals with their breeding, crossing and use.
- Butterflies. Beyond that the beauty of their colors has often fascinated man and their metamorphosis from caterpillar to winged has turned them into symbols of change and growth in our culture, butterflies fulfill the vital role of flower pollination, spreading the plant genetic material that will later fertilize trees and generate fruits, on which man can feed.
- Dogs. This domesticated species , a cousin of wild wolves, is one of the oldest cases of coexistence between humans and animals. This symbiosis provided the dog with food, shelter and affection, in exchange for security and companionship. Even today dogs fulfill this role as guardians and faithful companions of man.
- Sheep. Like cattle, sheep (sheep, goats, etc.) are ruminants domesticated by man and systematically raised and grazed, to take advantage of both their fur, from which wool is obtained for numerous textile applications, such as milk. and the meat that they feed man. Sheep grazing dates back to ancient times and is typical of European regions, from where it moved to the American continent during colonization.
- Mice, hamsters and guinea pigs. Unlike rats, which are an urban pest, mice, hamsters and guinea pigs are rodents widely bred in captivity to serve as pets (especially at an early age), or for scientific experimentation. White laboratory mice are the most common for testing drugs, developing treatments and vaccines, etc.
- Gallinas. Another of the animals most raised by man in all latitudes, they offer man various forms of food, such as eggs, an integral part of practically all human diets, and chicken meat, also one of the most consumed worldwide. .
- Camels. In the desert regions the camel, as well as in the Andean regions the llama or alpaca, are animals of the camelid family that have been more or less domesticated by man and are used mainly as beasts of burden. This does not mean that their meats cannot be eaten, but the greatest benefit is derived from their physical resistance in the transport of people and merchandise.
- Cats. A recently domesticated animal species, compared to the dog and other species , so its predatory instincts are still very much in force. This explains their incorporation into European households in the Middle Ages as a hunter of mice and other harmful vermin, in exchange for food, affection and care. Today they are one of the most popular pets.