Page:Report of the cattle show at Trearne, 10th Sept. 1836.pdf/10

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See, for instance, into how many useful and pleasant sorts of food the milk of the cow can be converted. "All are aware that vegetables taken from their birthplace, and cultivated in gardens, undergo changes which render them no longer recognisable as the same plants. Many that were naturally hairy become smooth. Many of such as were creepcrs and trailed along the ground, rcar their heads and become erect. Others lose their thorns or asperities. Others, again, from the ligneous state which their stem possessed in hot elimates, where they were indigenous, pass to the herbaceous, and, among them, some which were perennials become mere annuals. Even our cultivated wheat is a vegetable brought by man into the state in which we now sce it, for in no eountry does a similar plant grow wild, unless where it has escaped from cultivated ficlds. Where do we find in nature our eabbages, lettuees, and other culinary vcgetables, in the same state in which they appear in our gardens? The same holds true in regard to many animals which domesticity has changed or considerably modified? Our domestic fowls and pigeons are unlike any wild birds. Our domestic hens, ducks, and geese, have lost the faculty of raising themselves into the higher regions of the air, and crossing extensive countries in their flight, like the wild ducks and geese from which they wore originally dcrived. The numerous races of dogs which we have produced by domesticity are no where to be found in a wild state. In nature we seek in vain for mastiffs, harriers, spaniels, greyhounds, and other races, bctween which the differenees are sometimes so great, that they would bc readily admitted as specific between wild animals, yet all these have sprung originally from a single race at first approaching very near to a wolf." Our almost countless breeds of sheep, swine, &c. are also produced by the agency of man. The story about the old cunning Patriareh, Jacob, with his peeled hazle-rods and his ring-straked, speckled and spotted cattle, that we used to read, and wonder at, is now thrown into the shade, modern cattle-rearers can change not only the colour of animals, but likewise their shape, and almost their very nature.