Are the humans to blame for the misery of the animals?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In both literature and the actual world this depends to a great degree upon the nature of the specific animals and the specific humans. For example, the novel Black Beauty is meant to raise awareness of mistreatment of horses, and Sewell makes a sharp contrast between good and bad horse owners. In Animal Farm, on the other hand, Orwell has the animals initially place blame on the farmer, but they actually end up worse off under a regime created by themselves.

In reality, wild and domesticated animals live under very different circumstances. In the wild, human-caused global climate change has harmed many animal species. Other species have been driven into extinction by humans, either through habitat loss, hunting, or introduction of alien species that compete with them for food. Among domesticated animals, some, such as cats and dogs thrive in partnership with humans, living far longer than their wild counterparts. Animals used for food, such as pigs, chicken, and cattle, can either be treated well, as in humanely raised and free range animals, or badly, as in factory farms. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial