Monday, August 1, 2011

Scientific evidence of animal emotion

I wrote the last post, Do horses feel emotion?, last week.  Amusingly, over the weekend we went to the bookstore, and I saw on the magazine rack in the cafe a magazine entitled "Amazing Animals" — apparently a special edition of U.S. News & World Report.

One of the magazine's articles is about advances in scientific studies on animal intelligence.  As a sidebar or a related mini-story, there was this article:

Article in Amazing Animals about whether animals have emotions

According to the article, science is beginning to reconsider whether animals have emotions.  Examples are given regarding emotion-based behavior in elephants, chimps, and other animals.  No horses, but Temple Grandinicon is mentioned.  I mentioned in my last post that times have changed since we thought that animals were incapable of feeling pain, and suggested that in the future, the idea that we ever doubted they had feelings might be just as shocking as the thought of operating on them without anesthesia is to us today.

Perhaps that future is closer than I realized when I wrote that.  It'll take time before science's findings begin to impact people's everyday way of thinking, but this article gives me hope!

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