Animals are part of our lives
Animals have always been a part of peopleís lives. All around the world animal have helped people by providing work, food, and a basic economy.
Especially the domesticated farm animals. They provide not just food, but fiber and services that we still depend on today. Farm animal in America include cattle, horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys.
Each of these species are divided into different breeds. Throughout history, a large number of different breeds have been raised.
But today, changes in agriculture have led to just a few breeds of any one animal being raised on most farms. For example, in the US there is only one breed of dairy cattle (the Holstein) that produces almost all of our milk. White Leghorn chickens lay almost all of our eggs And 75% of all purebred piglets represent only 3 breeds of pigs.
The problem with this is that other breeds are declining, even dying out. About one hundred farm animal breeds are rare in the US today, and some may become extinct.
Some rare breeds are Milking Devon cattle, Dominique Chickens, and Guinea Hogs.
Itís sad to loose these beautiful animals, but more important we loose their unique characteristics.
For one thing, some of these animals are especially good at living in certain climates, like Buckeye Chickens can live where it is very cold. Other animals, like Guinea Hogs are very good foragers and can partially feed themselves in a pasture. Most are very good mothers and can raise their own young with little expense to the farmer.
If rare breeds become extinct, the genetics will not be available to breed into other animals. We need to keep these animals around so that we do not loose forever their wonderful traits.
As William Beebe said "...when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another Heaven and another Earth must pass before such a one can be again."