International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems


In sharp contrast to prevalent public attitudes of 20 years ago, animal-human relationships are now respected as a legitimate area of scientific investigation. However, it has not yet evolved into a full-fledged discipline. A specific term for this discipline, a body of theory, and a methodology must still be developed. This methodology should use both intuitive and scientific approaches to encompass the full richness of animal-human interaction. Four main areas of investigation would be fruitful at this point: {1) the role of animals in various human

cultures and ethnic groups over the centuries; {2) the effect of association with animals on human personality development; {3) human-animal communication· and {4) the therapeutic use of animals in formal psychotherapy, institutional setting; and residential arrangements for handicapped and aged populations. An ambivalent relationship has existed between humans and animals since ancient days. Still, we may now be ready to translate into reality the myth of the Golden Age when animals and humans lived at peace with each other.