Good Example Of How Living With Animals Affect To Human Beings Research Paper
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” These words ofJosh Billings perfectly describe the attitude of animals towards people. However, the proofs that animals affect to human beings not only on the emotional level are proved scientifically. In this paper, I would like to make a comprehensive investigation of a theme how companion species can influence human beings. It is well known that scientists claim that the right choice of a pet can change both physical stat and fate of its owner. It turns out that we want to have pets close to us for a definite reason. Selecting them, we determine what traits are important for us. And, even if the animal is bred at home by an accident, its presence will definitely have impact upon a person. This conclusion was reached by scientists who study the impact of animals on the image and destiny of their respective owners.
It is a well-known fact that pets can cure people who suffer from stress at work, difficult family relations and a widespread solitude in society. Sometimes animals can become a part of special medical programs, such as zoo- or pet therapy. Contact with domestic animals implicates a number of species, which main features and impacts upon a human being are widely investigated by scientists. In this paper, we shall look through all the existing ways of affection of animals to human beings of different age and physical state. This research can help to create an overall picture of people who live with indoor animals and its potential development as a medical practice.
THE MAIN FEATURES OF LIVING WITH ANIMALS
In reality, there is a constant and strong energy exchange between living organisms in the world. Our pets naturally take part in the energy metabolism. Each species of animals has its own characteristics in the process of exchange, so their effects on humans are different respectively. However, the results are always positive and very beneficial to a human being. Today, many of the scientists that study Bioenergy state that an animal can stand to one energy level with a man and can have an impact and help people on the bioenergetic level. We, people, as scientists claim, cannot even guess that this assistance is much more valuable than meat, milk and wool. Scientists have identified a beneficial effect on people when they deal with animals, as well as the possibility of using sensory properties (smell) of dogs to diagnose human diseases.
At the present time, there is a plenty of different studies about the impact of animals on people. According to Anger (396), Karen Allen, the researcher from the Buffalo University, studies benefits brought by the animals for human health. K. Allen says that dogs can help people cope with stress, although nobody can explain the mechanism by which this occurs. In addition, Sandra B. Barker and Kathryn S. Dawson from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Virginia studied the effect of living with pets on the level of anxiety of hospitalized psychiatric patients who had a wide range of diagnoses. The experiment revealed that living together with pets had brought more effective results than the traditional psychotherapy. Almost all patients showed a significant decrease in the level of anxiety due to the animals. The exceptions were people with very severe degrees of dependence.
As a matter of fact, animals often look like their owners, and people have been admitting this inexplicable relationship for a long time. A dog or a cat that lives in the house for a long time will surely acquire the traits and behaviors of their owners. For a long time scientists connected that effect with the training of an animal and its adaptation to the conditions of life. However recently, scientists have put forward a completely different point of view on the transformation that occurs with the individuality of an animal.
Moreover, the fact that a dog or a cat that lives in the family becomes eventually a part of the biofield of all the family members. Pet can begin to “read” all the positive and negative signals on a very thin, not visible to the human eye level. A dog or a cat cannot produce negative emotions and even more so to keep them in their memory. A pet with an appropriate care has no irregularities in the structure of its mental health. A gradually correction of the mental disorders of human beings (most often due to stress) can occur at the house where an animal lives. It positively affects the health of all family members (Zilcha-Mano, 559).
Equally, mental health is responsible for many of the processes in human body. But as a rule, people are often exposed to stresses at work, or because of the difficult relations in the family. The result of such stresses takes the form of the chronic diseases, and these diseases can often come from our childhood that had been isolated from nature. People, unfortunately, are unable to make complete changes in their mental state by themselves; we are too far from the nature. While animals have a complete and untainted energy structure. This is the most valuable in the interaction of humans and animals. Nowadays, the role of pets in human life is undergoing rethinking. It is already known that a pet can improve human mood, remove anxiety syndrome, improve digestion, lower blood pressure, remove the pain in the tooth, joint, and even muscle pain. All these findings are based on the research findings.
RESEARCH ACTIVITIES ON STUDIES OF PEOPLE’S LIVING WITH PETS
In the meantime, a team of scientists from the University of Missouri (the USA) on the basis of the experiments states that pets have a therapeutic effect on their owners. For example, scientists have found that the presence of animals in houses leads to a decrease in blood arterial pressure, stimulates to physical exercises, and strengthens the unique mental health (Aoki, 208). For instance, the scientists from the Missouri University have found that older people with pets began to walk on to 28% better than people without animals. Elderly pet owners walk their animals; play with them more confidently and faster than with other people. In particular, it is because people can always come up with an excuse to refuse to go anywhere, and with a pet, this trick will not work (Cherniack, 7-8).
Presently, statistics shows that 60% of American families keep pets at their homes. Previously, the scientists have reported that people, who kept cats at home, were 30% less likely to die from a heart attack than those who were did not have animals at home. Nobody doubts about the positive influence of pets on the physical and mental health of children; in our time, scientists and world-famous doctors had proved this fact. Indeed, living with animals has primarily a psychotherapeutic effect on sick persons. Modern science has learned not only to treat people with the help of animals, but also to carry out the possible prevention of serious diseases. For example, pet contact uses widely a various symbols of animals: images, pictures, fairy-tale characters, toys, and animal sounds to help kids with different disabilities.
It is well known that people with pets live longer and healthier than others. It is noted that the nervous system of these people was in much better condition. The World Health Organization has officially recognized the great benefit of animals. Such pets as cats, dogs, birds, fish, and rats can “connect’ to the energy field of their owner and his family, this field leads to equilibrium, but, unfortunately, the animals themselves can often fall ill because of those illnesses from which suffer their owners. The long-term observations show that healthy people usually have healthy animals; if the animal is sick, it is necessary to take into account that the main source of the pet’s disease takes its roots from its owner. Cats, for instance, knead with their paws a sore point on the human body; they can lie down on this sore point or just sit down.
NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF KEEPING ANIMALS
Unfortunately, the scientists noticed that there were some negative consequences of keeping animals in-house. That negative impact was only upon the animals that had taken place in the experiments. The representatives of the Environment Protection demanded to stop the experiments, because of a number of deaths of the animals. An inexplicable fact that while humans who participated in experiments began to recover, the animals with which they were together, had suddenly fell ill and even died. It is a widely disputable question: is it ethically correct to make pets to participate in the medical experiments of that kind? The answer is still absent because the researches are still carried out nowadays (Zilcha-Mano 541). It should be noted that animals help not only people, but also to each other, empathizing and sympathizing each other during the illness. A cat can sit next to a sick dog for a long time, and the dog is guarding the fell ill cat.
LIVING WITH ANIMALS VARIATIONS
In addition, there is a number of variations of in-house animals, which can live together with people. There are different animal species and various impacts upon human beings. We shall look through both positive viewpoints on such methods and the negative ones to fulfill the overall picture. The scientists distinguish the direct (the use of specially trained animals for the development of therapeutic programs) and indirect (interaction with the animals at home) kinds of contact of living together. The direct contact is divided on various versions, depending on what kind of a pet is used in an indoor contact.
Firstly, people who live on farms, especially the elderly people and handicapped people, have shown great results after contacting such domestic animals as horses. The ancestor of this type of “cooperation” is considered a Danish athlete (equestrian) Liz Hartel. This athlete, who had been ill with polio, was partially paralyzed. According to Havey (366), after nine years of an intensive rehabilitation training gave to Hartel the stunning results in 1952 at the Olympic Games in Helsinki. Liz Hartel won a silver medal in the dressage. The therapeutic factor of living and petting domestic horses is a complex activation and mobilization of the body both physically and psychologically. When riding, a big concentration of attention is required, the maximum possible concentration, also as the need to memorize and to plan a sequence of actions, both while driving and when caring for animals. These actions activate the mental processes of elderly people, and can help the handicapped people to reveal and open. During horseback riding, almost every muscle of a human body starts working, and it usually happens on the reflex level. Contact with horses is recommended for children with cerebral palsy, amputations, arthritis, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, loss of senses, myopathy, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. This kind of living with domestic animals does not have a big confrontation. Secondly, the reason of this lies in the fact that horses are very self-will animals and will never complete tasks without their own will. Horses are kept in the proper conditions without special bridles that can harm them. Handicapped people showed great results after the processes of feeding horses (Le Roux 661).
AFFECT OF DOGS
It is a well-known fact that living with such domestic animals as dogs is considered to be one of the most popular types of animals’ keeping because of its accessibility and social behavior of these animals. It is noted that dogs use as an auxiliary psychotherapeutic technique while playing with people who are difficult to contact (especially children), helps to develop the emotional, mental abilities, as well as the development of motor functions. Life together with domestic dogs is considered as a method of improvement of the condition of children with autism, the Down syndrome, cerebral palsy (CP), and those who suffer from the mental retardation. It is obvious that children improve their coordination and memory, while the spasticity decreases (O’Haire, 1613).
According to Nordgren (32), nowadays, rehabilitation is the most advanced application of living with dogs. The principle of a dog breeding with sick children is based on the fact that staying with sick children are held in the form of a game, and the effect is achieved unobtrusively. Depending on the diagnosis, the instructors pick up a special system of exercises. Children with hearing and speech problems are taught to pronounce the words in the presence of the animals, so they have a strong motivation. For children with cerebral palsy it is necessary to develop motor functions of hands and feet, and to perform certain movements. Nowadays, keeping dogs is the subject of in-depth theoretical study. Russian and foreign experts’ studies show that domestic dogs are highly effective for overcoming the problems associated with maladaptive social orphanages. Dog is a social animal, it focuses on people around it; it is sincere in love and devotion. On the basis of these qualities, the experts develop various programs involving dogs-therapists to address the symptoms of deprivation among pupils of orphanages. Together with dogs, children form positive attitudes, develop communication skills, and can remove a critical emotional stress. According to the research of the Institute of Pediatrics of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, studies with dogs improve the emotional state of young patients (Balluerka, 105), their motor skills, reduce the number of seizures; the taciturn children begin to talk more, and children with low (congenital or acquired) emotional state start to show the ability to respond actively to the world around us . In April 2004, a book "The Therapeutic Cynology" was printed in Russia.
Nowadays, keeping domestic dogs has built a reputation for improving psychological well-being in hospices and psychiatric clinics for elderly people. In 90 years, the presence of dogs in hospitals as nurses was officially permitted in the US Department of Health. Since then, many hospitals are staffed by dogs that are paid and enjoy all sorts of social privileges. The presence of animals helps patients overcome the hospital loneliness and alienation, and to prepare better for the upcoming surgery.
In reality, contact with cats is considered as a real method of prevention and treatment of various diseases for various groups of people. The medical men from England and the United States, working in specialized clinics for mentally retarded children, state that cats have a serious assistance to people with mental illness, heart disorders, brain damages and even contribute to the overall healing dependent on alcohol and drugs. People with mental disorders perceive the presence of a cat without the slightest irritation. Communication with the cat is prescribed during depressions, nervousness, mania and schizophrenia (Le Roux, 672). A cat, in fact, does not do anything unusual, it just fawns upon a sick patient, licking his or her hands and faces. Their warm and soothing purr allow people to relax. Cat purring helps to heal wounds and strengthen bones. This conclusion was drawn by researchers from the Institute of Animal Communication in North Carolina that explores the sounds of the cat family.
Another key point of animal-helpers is dolphins. Dolphins can be considered as people’s helpers too. Dolphin-assisted therapy is a kind of medical and psychological rehabilitation. According to Fiksdal (7), DAT and swimming with dolphins is recommended for rehabilitation and medical and psychological rehabilitation of the people who have suffered severe trauma (trapped in extreme conditions, survived earthquakes, hurricanes, accidents and any other severe stress). In 2005, the International Institute Of The Dolphin Therapy was founded in Ukraine. The Institute developed the first official program of the DAT, and obtained a patent for a "Method of treatment using ultrasound contact by means of emissions control of dolphins’ sonars". Sonophoresis treatment principle is based on the ultrasonic treatment of a dolphin. The physiological effect of treatment with ultrasound is characterized by significant changes in brain activity.
Moreover, the main indications for the course are the following cerebral palsy (CP); early infantile autism; Down syndrome and other genetic pathologies; minimal brain dysfunction (MBD) or Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity; functional disorders of the central nervous system (CNS);mental retardation (except deep degree), speech disorders and hearing; sensorineural hearing loss; neuroses, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);non-endogenous nature of depressive disorders (subdepressive level); memory disorders, and learning disabilities. Contraindications are the following: epilepsy; acute infectious diseases; cancer patients; standard contraindications for rehabilitation treatment in spa facilities.
Basically, DAT is well complimentary for medical and physical contact; it may be used in in combination with other rehabilitation methods. DAT, like psychotherapy, is unrealizable without a positive emotional contact with the patient. The "pendulum effect" triggers in all these cases. Recourse to the use of dolphins is due to their unique natural features: the absence of cultural constraints (in time and geographically), the combination of high intelligence and rare physical data, and the particular relationship of a human to a dolphin: it is one of the brightest symbols of the very first beginning of things, that is, archetypical. All this puts together a strong positive purpose (the effect of "positive cultural shock"). However, there are many opponents of DAT. For instance, some of zoologists claim that dolphins are kept in pools against their will, that they are wild animals and need to be free. They are not pets, as cats or dogs. The question of DAT is quite disputable nowadays. Therefore, the experiments that involve use of dolphins are still carried out in the USA and Ukraine. These experiments show the unexampled results. And in the Soviet Union dolphins became a formidable fighting units in the protection of maritime borders. On the basis of the Sevastopol oceanarium the school of dolphins saboteurs has been created in order to detect underwater mines lost at the bottom of the sea torpedoes using echolocation, and even intercept spies, who were trying to make his way in the USSR. However, it appeared to be impossible to teach dolphins to kill spies using lethal injection or to act as a live torpedo carrying the warheads. These mammals refused to swim out for such tasks. A similar school of underwater saboteurs had existed for many decades in the United States too. However, there not only dolphins were trained in military affairs, but also sea lions.
In addition, it should be mentioned that monkeys, particularly the Capuchins, have found their place in the health sector too. They certainly cannot sniff out cancer cells, like dogs, but serve as great assistants for people with limited functionality and for handicapped people too. These animals are able to perform many everyday actions quickly and effortlessly, while for a person in a wheelchair or a person with a broken limb it would take a lot of time. Animal advocates have repeatedly tried to counteract such use of the Capuchins monkeys, considering it inhuman. However, the authorities of Kentucky State allowed such cooperation, but only in cases when the person is indeed functionally limited, and not just lazy.
OPPONENTS OF KEEPING IN-HOUSE ANIMALS
Definitely, there are opponents of keeping animals indoor; they state that use of animals can be compared to the “Stockholm syndrome”. “The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.” These words of Alice Walker serve as their main idea. Pets love their owners, but the owners want to use them in their abusive utilizations. I think that both viewpoints deserve the right of existence, though it is scientifically stated that if animals do not want to act in a concrete manner, they will try to escape and defend themselves. The majority of the animals that participate in the pet therapies look and feel very confidently and healthy.
Anger, William H., and Sybil Akins. "Pet Therapy." Journal Of Consumer Health On The Internet 18.4 (2014): 396-400.
Aoki, Jun, et al. "Evaluation Of Cerebral Activity In The Prefrontal Cortex In Mood [Affective] Disorders During Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) By Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS): A Pilot Study." International Journal Of Psychiatry In Clinical Practice 16.3 (2012): 205-213. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.
Balluerka, Nekane, et al. "Influence Of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) On The Attachment Representations Of Youth In Residential Care." Children & Youth Services Review 42.(2014): 103-109. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.
Cherniack, E. Paul, and Ariella R. Cherniack. "The Benefit Of Pets And Animal-Assisted Therapy To The Health Of Older Individuals." Current Gerontology & Geratrics Research (2014): 1-9.
Fiksdal, Britta L.; Houlihan Daniel; Barnes, Aaron C.. Dolphin-Assisted Therapy: Claims Versus Evidence. Autism Research & Treatment (2012): 1-7. Academic Search Premier. Web. 9 Feb. 2015.
Havey, Julia, et al. "The Effect Of Animal-Assisted Therapy On Pain Medication Use After Joint Replacement." Anthrozoos 27.3 (2014): 361-369
Le Roux, Marieanna, Leslie Swartz, and Estelle Swart. "The Effect Of An Animal-Assisted Reading Program On The Reading Rate, Accuracy And Comprehension Of Grade 3 Students: A Randomized Control Study." Child & Youth Care Forum 43.6 (2014): 655-673. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.
Nordgren, Lena, and Gabriella Engström. "Effects Of Dog-Assisted Intervention On Behavioural And Psychological Symptoms Of Dementia." Nursing Older People 26.3 (2014): 31-38.
O'Haire, Marguerite. "Animal-Assisted Intervention For Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Literature Review." Journal Of Autism & Developmental Disorders 43.7 (2013): 1606-1622.
Zilcha-Mano, Sigal, Mario Mikulincer, and Phillip R. Shaver. "Pet In The Therapy Room: An Attachment Perspective On Animal-Assisted Therapy." Attachment & Human Development 13.6 (2011): 541-561. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Feb. 2015.