A Marriage of Purpose
21"h x 25"l x 7"w
We know that most any animal that humans share space with is going to end up being experimented with. What sort of deal can be made in terms of man’s interests? But what has been a source of intrigue to me is the use of animals as laborers, animals as tools, the bending of the animal’s mind and body to the purposes of doing man’s work.
I would dearly love to go back through time to the beginning of animal husbandry, and witness the progression of our interspecies relationships, and how communities reacted to those truly revolutionary moments that
permanently altered the course of history. There was no getting to where we are now without the amazing contributions of our non-human fellow Earthilings.
But camels are not the sort of animal I would have expected humans to befriend. It takes a ladder to get on one, and they are well known for their haughty arrogance as well as for their talent at expectorating great and hideous loogies when only slightly miffed. And in the case of the dromedary, they are pretty pointy to make for a good ride.
But the thing is, a camel can go for many days without water. Camels don’t need much in the way of forage, and a camel is serious business in the realm of freighting: two camels can carry what a modern pickup-truck can carry.
So, it was inevitable that we humans would find a way to utilize these remarkable creatures. I think we owe the camel a toast to their contribution to the pioneering spirit of man. Most of the inhabited earth has been peopled by nomads, and camels, despite their vile spitting and their generally condescending attitude, have done a yeoman’s job of helping us expand our range.
And, I expect if I knew a camel personally, I would find that they are not so very antisocial as we’re led to
Photos by Melisa Kroening
believe. Perhaps if I could spit like a camel, and walk 25 miles in a day, carrying 500, or a thousand pounds, I’d be right there with them, looking down my muzzle at the sadly common creatures around me.