Veterinarians, like physicians, are professionals that have a large impact on lots of people , whether they have pets or not. Many people don’t know much about vet work though. With just a tiny bit of research into history , you’ll find out that veterinarians, doctors, farriers, barbers and surgeons all have similar roots in human history. While this may not be immediately important to someone with a pet emergency, getting a sense of the history of veterinary medicine helps make a lot of our animal treatment procedures a bit a lot more sense.
Back in the prehistoric and pre-agricultural era, when most humans lived in small groups, they had a healer/shaman who was responsible for a multitude of different duties. Shamans interceded with the spirit world on a person or animal’s behalf, kept the knowledge of herbal healing , knew how to recite the poems that would educate others about these things, and were often also the primary actors, storytellers and historians. They worked and interceded among the province of people and the invisible world.
Points started to change when agriculture truly got going. Greater potential to feed a population led to considerable modifications in how humans interacted with the landscape. People settled down into cities and started out making empires. There were enough people in one spot that full-time doctors that specialized in humans were needed. Because a lot of healers started specializing in humans , the practice of animal healing had to be taken up by someone else. The blacksmith and horseshoer was the logical choice . Considering that blacksmiths held power over dangerous things such as iron, horses, and fire, they have been also seen as intermediaries with the invisible and have been usually attributed therapeutic powers.
In the Nineteenth Century, people started specializing even more . For centuries the village blacksmith did all of the metalwork the community required in addition to horseshoeing and livestock healing. However, when population centers got bigger , most blacksmiths simply did metalworking while others specialized in horseshoeing and pet healing. Then, with the revolutions in optics, glassmaking and precise metalwork that allowed health-related analysis to race ahead, some horseshoers began specializing in animal healing and started the drive in the direction of veterinary technology.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, veterinary advice and work were thought of vital to day-to-day life as workhorses and small farm livestock desperately needed their service . Then the internal combustion engine changed all of that. In the modern era , most veterinary practices are made up of companion animals like dogs, cats, and birds instead of cows, sheep, goats and horses. Still, considering that many people eat meat, many veterinarians choose to specialize in livestock work. Due to the ongoing contributions of veterinary science to the meatpacking industry, healthy livestock and animal research are still mainstays of these veterinarians. In addition, horses have become a huge recreational industry that employs many specialized veterinarians. Even those who don’t eat animal products whatsoever would be in trouble without veterinary efforts to keep animal borne plagues under control. For such a young field, veterinary scientific discipline has contributed quite a bit to the world today. With luck and the dedication of up to date veterinarians, it can continue to contribute even more in the future.