Posts Tagged living harmlessly

Do animals have feelings?

cute puppy 
Normally, I would have just answered this question with a resounding “yes!” or a look that clearly states, “you’ve got to be kidding me,” but for the sake of the blog I actually looked up the stats (so to speak).

Now, I realize that it is extremely hard to even prove emotions in humans, much less souls or the like, but the scientific community is beginning to warm up to the possibility that animals, like humans have emotions. It has been conceded by most that they at leastexperience pain and fear and “possibly”, some of the more skeptical qualify, the ability to express higher emotions such as love, happiness, sadness and jealousy.

Pet lovers have no problems believing this. As Dr. Jean Swingle Greek said, “To those of us who share our lives with animals, the surprise was not in the scientific confirmation of the emotions that we take for granted, but more in the fact the scientific community has stayed in denial this long.”

The proof for the entire concept, beyond observations of animal behavior which highly suggest the presence of emotions that equal or perhaps rival ours (you can check out my sources for details, it is quite interesting), is the presence of a amygdala. This part of the brain is believed to be linked to fear and perhaps other emotions as well. Robert Defranco has an interesting bit to add to this, “It’s a larger area in dogs than it is in humans,” speaking of the amygdala, “So we could say that the dogs will experience more emotions. They live very much more in the moment than humans do.”

To keep this entry short sweet and to the point I will end on this note: our understanding of emotions (human or animal) as well as the structure and function of the brain and nervous systems deeper aspects is extremely limited. We have only begun to scratch the surface. Keep in mind these topics are quite complex. Also keep in mind that the scientific community once believed the sun circled the Earth rather than the other way around and it seemed to have been popular opinion that African Americans and even Jews where less than human (the last two had ulterior motives I’ll admit). Remember when you consider the possibility of animal emotions that as far as proof goes, we have no more proof for animal emotions than human emotions beyond the fact that we feel them and see others feel them and a lack of proof dose not by necessity prove the theory wrong so much as it dose the short comings of modern science (most especially when proof against the theory is absent or feeble). Well … I suppose for now that is all I have to say on the matter. Factoids and quotes where gained from the following sources (if you are interested in this topic I recommend you check them out for further info and to elaborate my hinted and summarized notions):

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