Until recently it was believed that humans were the only creatures on earth who were capable of feelings and emotions. Animals were thought to only react instinctively to the environment and to be incapable of thoughts and feelings. They were even seen as machines or devices. It is high time that people realize that animals can experience emotions and pain.
Emotions play an important role in the lives of animals and just as they do for humans these emotions can determine how the animals live their lives and even how a species survives. There are similarities between humans and animals, but there are also differences, and we do not always recognize an animal’s emotions, especially when these are expressed through body language. There is biological evidence demonstrating that, just as we do, animals experience basic emotions such as joy, anger, desire and fear. The existence of more complex emotions such as sadness, jealousy, injustice, grief, etc. are still widely questioned. These feelings show an expression of consciousness, the ability to remember, and the recognition of a connection between a behavior and its consequences. Despite reservations, as people appear to have a problem associating such feelings with animals other than dogs, cats and horses, the evidence is there and is building up.
Animals have be seen to react when they feel they have been treated unfairly. A scientific study on this was published in 2009 in the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Science ’ The study began by examining the feelings of ‘injustice’ and ‘jealousy’ in monkeys . One group of monkeys were rewarded for certain actions, the other group were asked to perform the same tasks but were not rewarded..The group who were not rewarded became upset and angry and even refused to continue with their tasks. This makes sense when you realise that an unfair distribution of food can lead to survival issues within the group. If you want to survive you must stand up for yourself.
A similar study was carried out with dogs. One group of dogs were given a reward when they gave a paw and the other group not . Once again the group that received nothing reacted and became hesitant about repeating the requested action. Owners should be aware of this and should realise that a dog that is jealous will be stressed and less likely to learn new behaviours or to obey orders that are given..
When you see pictures on the television of animals that balk when they are led to the slaughter, it seems pretty obvious why they are doing this. .
People who work with elephants have long been aware that these animals show behaviour that can be seen as a form of grieving when another elephant dies or is taken away.. Our dogs can also be seen to be grieving and even suffering when a pack member dies. They take no pleasure in life, they have no appetite, are refusing interaction and play, the tail is held low and there is little or no tail wagging, there may be weight loss etc… It has become apparent from a number of studies that a dog responds to grief in exactly the same way as a human being and that this can have prolonged and sometimes permanent effects. Today we can no longer ignore the facts; animals can feel, they can feel pleasure and they can suffer pain.
For an animal lover any form of ill treatment is unacceptable and this is espeicially so when animals are being slaughtered, for whatever reason! Especially when no account is taken of the pain, fear and distress of the animal!
I regret for example; ritual slaughter without anesthesia, animal testing, castration of pigs without anesthetic, throwing cats in the air in the name of art, allowing a dog to die in the name of art …
My goal is : how can I improve the quality of life of the animals?
Nowadays we still all too often expect animals to behave like robots that only react when and how we want, or rather when and how society expects them to behave!
It is time that we moved towards ” I feel therefore I am … ” instead of ” I think therefore I am .”
Animals are not machines, devices or expendable gadgets, they have emotions, just like us and they can therefore not be seen as ‘goods’.
ANYONE WHO STILL THINKS THAT AN ANIMAL IS A GADGET or A MACHINE, NEEDS TO WAKE UP AND SEE THE LIGHT !