Domestic animals

   No one knows who first discovered that some wild animals could be tamed and raised. We do know that the discovery came about back in the days when most tools and weapons were still being made of stone. At about the same time that animals were first tamed, plants were tamed, too. The taming of animals and plants was important for several reasons. One big reason was that people no longer had to spend most of their time hunting for food.
   Thinking of a big city like New York helps us see how important it was to find out that animals and plants could be raised for food. Imagine all the millions of people in New York starting out in the morning to shoot deer or rabbits and to gather roots and berries!
   But not all our domesticated animals were tamed to furnish food. We do not eat dogs and cats. They do not furnish milk for us to use. Probably they were first tamed to be companions. Later, dogs helped with the hunt and learned to guard property. In time some were trained to pull sleds or carts, and much later to act as eyes for blind people. Cats came to be liked for their help in killing rats and mice.
   Camels, donkeys, and llamas were tamed to be beasts of burden. Perhaps horses were, too. But they may have been raised first for food.
   Although sheep were first raised for their meat, people soon found that their wool makes good cloth. People also found that the skins of cattle and goats and pigs make good leather.
Of course, people tamed animals that lived round about them. It is no wonder, then, that different animals were tamed in different parts of the world. The llama and the alpaca of South America help man in the same ways as do the reindeer in the Far North and the yak in Tibet.