Zootherapy is the treatment of human ailments with remedies derived from animals and their products. Despite its prevalence in traditional medical practices worldwide, research on this phenomenon has often been neglected in comparison to medicinal plant research. Interviews regarding zootherapeutic traditions were conducted with informants from Albania, Italy, Nepal and Spain. We identified 80 species used in zootherapeutic remedies, representing 4 phyla in the animal kingdom: Annelida, Arthropoda, Chordata, and Mollusca. Remedies were ranked by consensus indices. Our studies show that the selection of medicinal fauna is mediated by human subsistence patterns. Concepts of health and disease differ among our study sites in the Mediterranean and Asia, and these differences also play a substantive role in the selection and use of animal-based remedies.