Cavies became middle class pets in sixteenth century

6 Aug

I am currently in the process of relocating for a new job. So if my posts become spotty or you notice I am reblogging a  lot of material over the next few weeks, that is why.

The other day I came across an interesting bit about the history of cavies in Europe. Cavies have been domesticated by humans for centuries, but as natives of South America the species was not introduced to Europeans until after the Spanish conquest of Peru. The Peruvian natives considered guinea pig a delicacy, but eating guinea pigs didn’t catch on among Europeans, some of whom said the rodent’s meat was unpalatable.

However, the wealthier Europeans quickly took to the guinea pig as fancy exotic pets. They were initially popular among the nobility, but according to this blog, archaeological evidence suggests some commoners kept guinea pigs as pets as well.

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