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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
August 2022
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Book description

From Ayurvedic texts to botanical medicines to genomics, ideas and expertise about veterinary healing have circulated between cultures through travel, trade, and conflict. In this broad-ranging and accessible study spanning 400 years of history, Susan D. Jones and Peter A. Koolmees present the first global history of veterinary medicine and animal healing. Drawing on inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives, this book addresses how attitudes toward animals, disease causation theories, wars, problems of food insecurity and the professionalization and spread of European veterinary education have shaped new domains for animal healing, such as preventive medicine in intensive animal agriculture and the need for veterinarians specializing in zoo animals, wildlife, and pets. It concludes by considering the politicization of animal protection, changes in the global veterinary workforce, and concerns about disease and climate change. As mediators between humans and animals, veterinarians and other animal healers have both shaped, and been shaped by, the social, cultural, and economic roles of animals over time.


‘Captivating and unique! A complete account of the history of healing animals, the fight against their diseases, and how the veterinary profession has evolved across cultures and continents shaping food systems and our relations with animals today.’

Katinka de Balogh - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

‘This book promised to fill the gap of the missing text book on the history of veterinary medicine. It does! Summaries and questions provoke students to think critically. However, this book is more than only a textbook. This is the profession I’ve dedicated most of my professional life to as students will do overtime. The story starts with the animal healers in ancient times and goes up to the regulated veterinary professional today. The authors outline a little bit of our future. A Concise History of Veterinary Medicine will be the perfect birthday present for all my veterinary friends.’

Rens van Dobbenburgh - President Federation of Veterinarians of Europe

‘An outstanding synthesis of global developments in the history of animal healing. Informed by the study of human-animal relationships, and drawing on the latest research findings, A Concise History of Veterinary Medicine is essential reading for vets and historians alike.’

Abigail Woods - University of Lincoln, President of the World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine

‘This well-researched book will interest historians and professionals concerned with livestock management and the agricultural sciences … Recommended.’

D. A. Brass Source: Choice

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