Do people in your area keep donkeys? The donkey has since time immemorial been labelled as the beast of burden. In my area, its not uncommon to see rural residents moving around on carts towed by donkeys. This is a carry over from traditional society when mechanization was limited. The other issue is that they don't need much maintenance since they are hardy animals. The poignant issue is that donkeys remain the most oppressed and unsung animals. Its common to see them pulling heavily laden carts full of agricultural produce or stones. I come from an agricultural zone and these hapless animals can be seen panting heavily carrying huge loads of napier grass. They are mercilessly whipped and frequently suffer injuries from the beatings. They are rarely taken to the vet. Even feeding is not adequate since they are mostly fed on grass. I supposethere are better ways of treating these benefactors. I think humans are grossly capable of crossing the barrier of brutality. The onlooker is as guilty as the perpetrator.
I used to have a classmate who hails from the rural area. Her father has a carabao that they use to till the farm. But that beast of burden is not just a beast but a part of their family. In fact, the carabao has its own quarters beside the house which has a nipa roofing and also a light bulb. However, I agree that it is cruel for people to whip the beast of burden. But that's life for them because the animal will not move unless you whip it.
I was taught to ride a race horse when I was in grade school. When you want the horse to jack start, you have to give it the whip once or twice. And I could hear the impact of the whip on the skin of the horse.
Here in the United States, donkeys are seldom used for any kind of work anymore, although they were used in years past. Since they are small, and do not require as much feed as a horse or mule, they were mainly used as a pack animal here, too. We always see the pictures of gold prospectors with their faithful donkey coming along beside them. Most of the time, that donkey was their only companion for months at a time, so the donkey was well loved by the prospector, and cared for as well as possible.
Donkeys have a much more docile disposition than either a horse or a mule, and they are very smart. They are also a protective animal, and some ranches will keep a "guard donkey"out with a flock of sheep to protect it from predators, since the donkey will attack a coyote, and even a cougar should one come close to the flock.
Most everything here is done with machinery; but when livestock are used for domestic work, it is usually a mule that would be used. Since the large mammoth jack donkey can breed with a draft horse mare, they can produce some vary large mules which are perfect for pulling carts or dragging logs, or whatever is needed.