The goat, from Mythology to Pet Therapy

The goat, from Mythology to Pet Therapy


The first contact between man and goat and his domestication
The goat is the first animal to be domesticated by man. Archaic data in fact state that in the Middle East, precisely in the vicinity of the city of Zagros between Iraq and Iran, during the Neolithic period approximately 10,000 years ago man managed for the first time to undertake breeding goat. The first bred goat is of a single breed also called Capra aegragus also called Bezoar. From the domestication area, goat breeding spreads east and west through the migrations of the populations that have followed over time. In Europe and precisely in the Alps, it came as a result of the Danubian populations about 5000 years ago BC, while on the coasts the entry way of this species is mainly represented by migrations by sea, which occurred across the Mediterranean. Thus, following various crossings, the first breeds of goats have spread, and among the most recognized we can mention the African-Mediterranean, Asian-Middle Eastern and Alpine-European. But just to understand in which environment the man came into contact with the goat for the first time, and above all the benefits he has drawn, let us examine the historical context.

The Neolithic
The Neolithic is a period of prehistory, the last of the three that make up the stone age. Etymologically the term refers to the age of the new stone, but this age is characterized above all by the practice of agriculture, and by the breeding of cattle in particular in the fertile Crescent area where in fact the breeding is accompanied by the cultivation of the first essential fodder for feeding animals such as barley, cereals, chard, soybean, spelled. This shows how the Neolithic through cattle breeding sees the first revolution in history, the mother of all the revolutions that will follow in the future, and what makes me happiest to demonstrate the importance of goat breeding is precisely the the fact that the goat is the protagonist of the first revolution. Thus, in addition to deriving the first advantages due to the production of milk and meat, man has the opportunity to establish the first emotional relationship with the goat. In the end over the years until the end of the twentieth century almost every house had a stable to make way for a goat.

The goat in literature and mythology

The goat in the most famous Camilleri Trilogy "The Rattle" and the emotional relationship with the protagonist Giurlà.
Even in Italian literature above all, in contemporary literature the figure of the goat assumes a central role. In addition to being treated by Umberto Saba in the poem "La Capra" it is also present in a great contemporary still alive: Andrea Camilleri, who in fact in his immense production places in the first place a trilogy in which the Sicilian writer claims to have given the best of yourself. The first of the three that make up this trilogy is titled: "The Rattle" and the central theme of this book is the story of a 14-year-old Giurlà boy who during the nineteenth century, the century in which the story is set, following the events negatives involving the family, he finds himself working at a large fiefdom. Here he is entrusted with the management of two hundred goats, with whom Giurlà establishes a great emotional relationship particularly with a goat he will call Beba. The relationship is so intense that even Beba suffers from the temporary absence of Giurlà enough to not even want to eat and vice versa even the young man misses Beba. The relationship that is created between the two despite Camilleri has made caricatures is completely normal. And in fact the same relationship that is created in an educational farm between the child and the animals how many times it happens that children do not want to leave the educational farm !! This relationship also bears witness to how not only pets, but also farm animals such as goats manage to interact perfectly with humans and more with children or young people. They succeed above all in making themselves protagonists of the major works of Italian literati of the caliber such as Camilleri and Saba.
The meaning of the story it focuses above all on the possibility of social redemption through its own traditions and old professions. In this case Giurlà had the opportunity to work in a mine, but driven by passion, and by love for goats, he decided to work with them. Thus Giurlà was rewarded and in fact managed to marry the daughter of the nobleman with whom he worked, managing to get rich, simultaneously realizing his desire to live in the midst of goats and the countryside. History must serve as an example to be with animals and above all to encourage emotional relationships with them in this case with goats who, according to Camilleri, play an essential role in order to interact with young people. That's why Camilleri wanted to choose the Goat among all the animals.

The myth Amaltea the goat who raised Zeus
According to the mythology handed down to us by Ovid in the 11th book of the Metamorphoses, we know that Amaltea, probably the goat of a nymph, nursed Zeus, the king of the gods, and a faun, on Mount Ida in Crete. Zeus, in fact, still an infant, had been hidden by his mother Rhea to escape his father Cronus, who devoured all his children for fear of being ousted. When he became great and king of the gods, Zeus gave power to the horns of Amaltea, through which his owner could get everything he wanted, from here arises the horn of abundance relating to the goat Amaltea or cornu copiae, so called in honor of the goat. Ovid also tells us that at the death of Amaltea, Zeus placed it with his kids among the stars of the sky and called it Capella, hence the name of one of the most famous constellations of the Pleiades was born while he called his sons Aurige and n Aurige. Furthermore, before the deposition, Zeus took the goat skin and created an armor that was then worn in the fight against the father and this coating is known as aegis. We want to underline the relationship between Zeus and the goat Amaltea and above all how this manages to replace even the figure of the mother despite the fact that it is a mythological treatment.
The Metamorphosis they were written by Ovid between 1 AD and 8 AD and are known as the poem of transformations. In these 15 books, Ovid narrates about 250 transformations in epic hexameters, the narration proceeds continuously. The main sources from which Ovid draws inspiration are Callimaco, Catullo and Virgilio. In conclusion we can say that the Metamorphoses appear as a very enjoyable work.

Amaltea with Zeus and a faun (Lorenzo Bernini - Rome, Galleria Borghese)
Amaltea with Zeus now adult (Pierre Julie - Paris, Louvre Museum)

The goat as an animal. The importance of the relationship between man and animals in Marinetti's philosophy
There are several philosophers who in history have considered the importance and value of animals in society, and in the relationship with man, and who consider respect for them necessary. But some intellectuals and philosophers of the caliber of Marinetti wanted to focus particularly on the emotional relationship between man and animals. He argues about the school tradition: that once the deep barriers between man and the animal have been removed, the consequences which it considers dangerous can be derived from their common nature and origin. Marinetti also translating Schopenhauer's Parerga und Paralipomena highlights: “that the total dedication to the present, proper to animals, is the main cause of the pleasure that pets give us, they are the present personified and make us sensitive every hour's value , of peace, and of tranquility ”. Still Marinetti maintains: "that animals are full of morality, affection and gratitude they too enjoy, suffer, and express to man with the most suggestive means the feelings they feel". A scholar of Schopenhauer's philosophy Giovanni Vattimo, argues: in an era in which humanity is seen
increasingly threatened in the same elementary possibilities of survival (hunger, atomic death, pollution), our radical brotherhood with animals presents itself in a more immediate and evident light. What has been said does not at all want to raise animals above their being, or their instinctive life, but only wants to sensitize humans to respect them. In this regard, Schopenhauer concludes the discourse on animals by claiming that: men will recognize that there is a mutual relationship and obligation between all creatures and
they will effortlessly extend to all living beings those senses of charity and justice which they now do
we consider them due only to men. In conclusion, one can easily deduce how the two philosophers invite us to permanently maintain such an emotional interaction, and a friendly relationship with animals.
Piero Marinetti born in Point Cavese on August 21, 1821, an Italian philosopher, he distinguished himself for being one of the university professors, as well as the only Italian university philosopher, who refused to swear an oath to fascism. He is interested in post-Kantian philosophy.
In the writings "The psyche of the animals" and "Piety towards the animals", Martinetti argues that animals, as well as human beings, possess intellect and conscience, therefore ethics must not be limited to the regulation of human relationships, but must extend to seek the well-being and happiness also for all those sentient forms of life (that is, those with a nervous system) which, like man, are capable of experiencing joy and pain. In the report on the psyche of animals Martinetti, among other things, addresses the problem of the moral scandal caused by the indifference of the great Western positive religions in the face of the unheard-of suffering of animals caused by men: animals have a form of intelligence and reason, they are beings similar to us, we can read in their eyes the profound unity that binds us to them.

Pet Therapy

The intuition of the therapeutic value of animals goes back as far as 12000 years ago when man, following the domestication of animals, established a relationship of intense affectivity with them. We must reach the eighteenth century before recognizing the beneficial effect exerted by the presence of animals on the patient's mood and health condition. It was then a French doctor at the end of World War II to use animals, as a pet to help reduce the psychological damage caused to many people by the war. This medical therapy is recognized under the name of Pet Therapy, a neologism invented by an Anglo-Saxon psychiatrist Boris Levinson in 1953. In fact following a casual discovery: a child with autistic traits, being treated by him, proved to be more spontaneous and more available to the interaction, after having had a contact he himself wanted, with the dog (cocker).
In 1961, therapy with animals was officially born as a therapeutic intervention technique: the animal became a co-therapist in the healing process, playing the role of emotional mediator and catalyst of socio-relational processes.
The function of the goat in Pet Therapy, and the interaction with the disabled.
The goat, as already known, manages to establish an excellent emotional relationship with man, so much so as to feel its temporary lack, so it is used in Pet Therapy for therapeutic purposes, especially in children with deficit and hyperactivity disorder, but also with children with cognitive problems. and psychosocial. In addition to guaranteeing the replacement of missing or deficient affections, it is particularly suitable for fostering inter-personal contacts by offering ideas for conversation, hilarity, and play, the opportunity, to interact with others through it. Still the goat in Pet Therapy. It can perform the function of shock absorber in particular conditions of stress, and conflict and can represent a valuable aid for patients with problems of social behavior and communication, especially if children or the elderly, but also for those suffering from some forms of disability and mental retardation and for psychiatric patients. Obviously Pet Therapy involves not only the goat but all farm animals, and initially spreads with the use of the dog.

How Pet Therapy is applied
First of all, it is the doctor who determines when to intervene with Pet Therapy, and it is also up to the doctor to determine which animal to use based on the patient's pathology. Pet Therapy must be applied by specialized personnel who can be a psychologist, neurologist, doctor, educator, assistant or even a veterinarian. When applying the same therapy, respect for animals must be guaranteed. Finally, the essential foundations for being able to apply Pet Therapy wisely are the following: passion and love for animals and respect for the needs of the animals involved in Pet Therapy, specific skills for this type of work, personal attitudes, and belief in believing in efficacy of this therapy.

Pet Therapy with goats

Educational farm

The value of the goat on the educational farm
An educational farm is a farm where "active" educational activities are carried out, especially for children and young people. The proposed activities of the farm are held by specialized personnel and the goal of the educational farm is to spread knowledge about the activities carried out on the farm, involving guests (children, teenagers and even adults) in the creation of a typical product, or in other agricultural activities , such as the collection of fruit and vegetables. Thus the educational farm acts as a bridge between the countryside and the city, with the main purpose of educating the one who is preparing to come into contact with the animals. Legislative Decree 228 of 18 May 2001, "Orientation and modernization of the agricultural sector", indicates recreational and educational activities that aim at a better knowledge of the territory among the multifunctional activities of the agricultural entrepreneur.

Creation of educational farms
The educational farms began to spread around the 1920s, teaching the life of the countryside to those who live in the city; they spread mainly in the Scandinavian countries, in particular in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. In Italy the educational farm began to develop around the seventies. To give ideas and inspiration to the phenomenon was a youth movement born in 1914 in the United States. This movement (which still exists) is called Club4H. The four 'h' of the name indicate the English words head, health, hearth and hand (head-head, health-health, heart-heart and hand-hands). Club4H promotes the harmonious development of the modern individual, according to a teaching model that is summarized in the slogan "learn to do by doing". But let's move on to see what a didactic farm really is and above all to evaluate the importance of the goat in it.

The purpose of the educational farm
With the guidance of qualified operators, adults and children learn about the rural environment, plants, animals and products of the earth. They engage in typical agricultural activities and ancient crafts. Italy currently has over 2000 educational farms with over 50% raising goats, and recently projects with educational purposes such as Education to the Friendly Campaign "," Bio Spring ", Open-Door Educational Farms and Friendly Campaign have also been born.
The goat in the educational farm takes on an important role: it allows you to get to know yourself and your body, taking care of your needs involves mutual gratification that cementes the relationship between person and animal. The goat, in addition to ensuring direct human contact with it, and therefore allowing a detailed knowledge of the physiological structures of the animal, in order to understand its own characteristics, also guarantees a great relationship of affection. The goat, in fact, being a very curious and easily affable ruminant, establishes a great emotional relationship with man and especially with children, even more so if they manage to win over his trust, so much as to suffer their lack thereafter. This relationship of affection is of crucial importance in people with disabilities and particularly in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, in cases of children with autism, or Down syndrome, and in many other psychosocial disorders. Obviously, the educational farm not only hosts children with disabilities, but also children who want to be in contact with animals, and many educational farms also collaborate through projects with schools in order to bring children from the cities in contact with farm animals. In addition to the relationship that is created with the goat, it is also necessary to evaluate how one can work with the goat's products. In this case, one can undertake the processing of milk for cheeses and ricotta in order to learn new pleasant and important arts. Besides, who of the children does not eat milk or dairy products?

Farm education aims, for specific purposes related to the educational program that takes place, on the quality of the training offer and the peculiarities of the company. A day on the farm is certainly not enough to learn how a farm or a breeding works, or how the life of farm animals is, for this reason more and more lasting relationships are established between school and farm with multiple visits in different seasons.

Educational purposes
The general educational purposes of farm visits:
- educating young people to a healthy diet and conscious consumption through understanding the relationships between production techniques, production quality, protection of health and the environment;
- to increase the attention for low environmental impact agriculture and the protection of the environment itself by promoting environmentally friendly and sustainable behavior;
- enhance the city-countryside relationship, bringing the consumer closer to the cultural, historical, environmental and productive values ​​of the rural world;
- promote knowledge of local history and traditions related to seasonal cycles;
- educate on the use of the senses as quality assessment tools;
- make known the typical local products;
- understand the importance of biodiversity;
- enhance the role of the breeder.

curated by Angelo Saglimbeni

Video: Dogs In Therapy (October 2021).