Baquets, salons and stables animal companions in the Revolution
What about the animal companion at the end of the eighteenth century ? Using a collection ofmore than two hundred letters sent by urban owners to professors at the Veterinary School in Alfort, this article aims to show that more than just a vogue for scientific knowledge or a change in sensibilities at the end of the Old Regime, the Revolution made the animal into a political question. If veterinarians were present in the salons of the Parisian elites in the mid-1780s, this appearance owes more to the practice of animal magnetism than to a craze for animals as pets. The issue of animal care has more to do with the concept of utility than with a veritable mutation in sensibilities. Centering on the concept and value of utility, beginning in 1789 and more still after the Year II, the revolutionary dynamic seemed to introduce a new discourse on companion animals.