Zoobiquity

The event I attended was called Zoobiquity, it was hosted by Diane Ackerman and involved her interviewing the two authors of the novel “Zoobiquity”. The novel is about medicine and veterinary healthcare in animals, and how it parallels many situations and diseases found in humans. Ackerman interviews the two authors on their experiences, one of the authors being a cardiologist asked to work with animals, realized that there is a stunning similarity between human healthcare and veterinary healthcare. The interview brought up starting similarities between ailments, not only physical, but psychological and behavioral as well that are found within the animal kingdom and humans. One example that was really startling to me was that animals can be self harming. Until the presentation I had thought that inflicting self harm (cutting, etc.) were strictly human phenomena, yet it appears that the behavior occurs in dogs and other animals as well when the animals become stressed out or depressed.

This all begs the question then: why do humans only specialize in human medicine, and beyond that, specific sub-sects of human medicine (cardiology, neurology, pathology, etc.) when most veterinarians have to be all of the specializations found in human medicine, but for hundreds of thousands of species? The main reason, or what I garnered from the presentation, was that humans are simply too prideful and see themselves as too advanced to be considered a “species” among other animals. This is likely why humans have their own healthcare, branching away from veterinarians and animals, and why most Medical Doctors are more esteemed and seen in a higher light than veterinarians. This has shown to be extremely detrimental to human healthcare in fact, as many diseases in animals have been discovered before they reached humans, or that were later discovered in humans, despite being commonly known phenomena in animals (west nile, SIDS, and others have either been discovered and diagnosed in animals far before humans, or have shown to be closely linked to human disease counterparts). In short, we need to get over ourselves, for our sake.

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