“We are human animals, related to all other life as descendants of the firstborn cell. We share with these kin a common history, written in our genes. We share a common present, filled with uncertainty. And we share a common future, as yet untold. We humans are but one of thirty million species weaving the thin layer of life enveloping the world. The stability of communities of living things depends upon this diversity. Linked in that web, we are interconnected — using, cleansing, sharing and replenishing the fundamental elements of life.” Excerpt from The Declaration of Interdependence, David Suzuki Foundation (1992, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).
Human and non human animals alike need love, care, space and freedom. When engaging in inter-species friendship, our capacity to feel empathy, to communicate and share wisdom, is enhanced as we acknowledge our specific nature and recognize our commonalities as sentient and intelligent beings.
Health benefits of friendship with animals have been established by research. Cardio-vascular health, stress management and surprisingly, allergies and asthma have said to be reduced. Spending quality time with animal friends and caring for them makes a person happier. Animal friends can ease loneliness, promote social interaction, encourage exercise and playfulness. They provide unconditional love and affection. Caring for an animal may even help us live longer. Animal therapy uses the naturally emerging connection between animals and humans. A loving joyful bond fosters the restoration of health in both animals and humans.