Livestock throughout history

Even though it is no longer made prevalent in the majority of societies eyes today, livestock has always played an essential role in agriculture. Certain species' roles in agriculture may have changed overtime, but are still depended on by humans on a day to day basis for labor a food. Today people do not think about where the food in the grocery store come from; however, looking back at artwork made by different cultures throughout the world shows us just how relevant domesticated animals were to them.

Horses are an excellent example of one livestock type who's role has changed overtime. In the past horses were utilized for their power and therefore used for the maintenance of fields, primarily plowing. Today horses are mostly used for recreational purposes due to agricultural advancements, but they are still used for field work in some areas of the world that are less developed. Horses are also used for meat, mostly in the eastern hemisphere, reason being for that the majority opinion of people in the US see killing horses as inhumane.
Cattle has helped humans throughout history in labor, providing meat, and milk production. Much like horses, cattle is able to pull a plow through a field and pack around any supplies that the owner needed. They are still used today in similar situations in underdeveloped countries, especially for carrying water across miles of dry land to those who do not have access to a well nearby. Cattle's importance is made evident in many different mediums of art, and goes way back in history just like this model that was made in 3500 BC.
Chickens not only provide eggs for us, but also meat. There are over 19 billion chickens found all around the world today and their numbers continue to increase everyday. They are an easily renewable resource, as they lay an egg on a daily basis. In the past chickens were a well liked source of food because they are easy to keep, sell, and transport. This painting is a good example of showing us that chickens have always been popular throughout the world as a common food source and were commonly sold in the markets. The majority of chickens and their eggs in well developed countries like the US and Russia are mass produced to provide for their populations, while other countries like Africa and South America keep small flocks to provide for their families, much like our ancestors did before technological advancement.
Pigs are not as widespread as other livestock around the world, as they tend to be slightly more labor intensive to keep,but they have always provided us with bounties of meat throughout history. In the past pigs were hunted and later domesticated and exported to other parts of the world to become a livestock animal. It was easy for people to domesticate these wild boards due to their omnivorous diet and they were later killed for their meat and hides. Wild boars are still caught and breed today in lesser developed countries as a source of food that has already adapted to their harsher environments, unlike what today's domesticated pigs are used, making it difficult for such countries to import these animals from others.
goats are not quite as wide spread as the rest of the livestock mentioned in this gallery, but they are highly revered in certain countries of the world. They were first domesticated in mountainous areas for their milk, coats, and meat. They were liked for their hardiness and ease of transport. Goats were mostly kept on an individual family basis, but they were also kept in herds to provide for an entire village. Since such times we have found other uses for the species such as eating away vegetation in areas where it was not desired and now possibly using their dung as a fuel resource in the future. Goat milk and meat are mostly desired in the western regions of the world, but can be found in the majority of places. This sculpture is a good example of showing us just how important of a role this animal played in humans lives. This is made evident mainly by that fact they the artist has positioned the goat next to a god of the Greek culture.
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