This book follows the story of this incredibly hard-working animal. Jill Bough reveals the animal's historic significance in Ancient Egypt where they were once highly regarded and even worshipped. However, this elevated status did not endure in Ancient Greece and Rome, where donkeys were denigrated, ridiculed and abused. Since this time, donkeys have continued to be associated with the poorest and most marginalized in human societies.
Throughout the world, donkeys have been used for innumerable tasks: the main ones being as pack animals during times of peace and war, and to breed mules. Even today, donkeys are considered to be one of the best draught animals in third world countries, where they continue to make a vital contribution.
Jill Bough is a Conjoint Academic in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. She has published articles about the history of the donkey in Australian Zoologist (2006) and the Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare (2009).