Zoobiquity

The presentation Zoobiquity made me realize something that I feel I might have, or at least should have, known but never really acknowledged: humans and animals suffer from the same illnesses. Dr. Natterson even brought up the question of how different humans are from animals. The joke “What kind of veterinarian can only treat one species?” “Physicians” made me think about her question. How different are we? While I don’t know the answer to this question, I think I learned a lot about how blurred the line is between “human” and “animal.” Animals suffer from depression, substance abuse, STDs, eating disorders, cancer, and even self harm. If information like this is more well known, if more people know that this is something that occurs in nature,  it would surely lessen the stigma that people face for suffering from disorders like these.

In addition, the divide between physicians and veterinarians is saddening to me, especially after Dr. Natterson talked about the many times the collaboration between them brought out incredible discoveries and solutions. One story that stood out to me was the one about the vet that knew the CDC was wrong about the disease they declared was responsible for the recent human illnesses. She knew that the disease they described did not affect birds, but the birds at her zoo had been getting sick or even dying. The CDC waved her off when she tried to tell them this. It turned out that the illness was actually the debut of the West Nile virus in America, and the fact that the CDC waved her off because she was a veterinarian is unfortunate and disheartening. If we could resolve this, there would be the potential for boundless developments and discoveries for both human and animals.

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