For ages, humans have been fascinated by animals: the awesome beauty of the wild kind, the reliability of the farm ones and not to forget the faithfulness of those who rest at our feet or on our lap.

At this time of year, in our region, one event speaks to this fascination. Brome Fair is nothing if not the celebration of the close connection between humans and the animal kingdom. A phenomenon that attracts thousands – of all ages – each year to the ever popular Fairgounds. Brome Fair is a huge event that offers a range of attractions: horse races, concerts, Ferris wheel, tractors, etc. It is a meeting place for families, friends and for all generations.

Some friends travel from far away to be able to meet there every year. At its root, Brome Fair is the celebration of our farm animals and of the valiant farmers’ families who have sustained our rural way of life for centuries. There are now more city folks who come to Brome Fair. This again speaks of the fascination, not necessarily a rational understanding, that we hold towards animals, even when they are not part of our environment.

Humans and animals go back a long way. To this day, humans often depend on animals for survival, be it physical, economic or emotional.

This is a great time to reflect and celebrate our coexistence with the animal world. It is said that animals are a bridge between us and the rest of nature. Perhaps that’s why they exert such a fascination.

Their capacity to feel pain and certain emotions without being able to express it is at the base of why humans have to take care of them. As was so well summarized by animal behaviorists and animal lovers through the years: animals help connect us back to who we are, and perhaps to the question of why we’re here.

Animals are part of our lives. They actually improve it.