|Image copyright Zoe Weil.|
For my blog post today, I’m sharing a recent post I wrote for Care2.com, an online community for people passionate about creating a better world. Here’s an excerpt from “The Depth of Animal Emotions”:
“On January 14, we adopted a new dog. He was found tied to a tree a week earlier and brought to the veterinary clinic where my husband works. There he waited for his family to retrieve him. No one came, which meant, at week’s end, he needed a new home. About a year old, dirty, thin and matted, Henry Hershel (as we’re calling him) joined our crew of two dogs and a cat. He wasted no time in endearing himself to us and seemed very happy to join our family.
A week after we adopted him, we went out for a couple of hours, leaving all the dogs at home, and my husband set up his computer to videotape our living room in our absence. …Nothing would indicate that Henry Hershel had been at all upset by our absence. But then we watched the video. Henry Hershel cried plaintively when we were gone, settling down for a while only to howl after 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes, and so on.
…It’s amazing to me that there are people who believe that animals don’t feel. Henry Hershel shows every sign of feeling as deeply, if not more deeply, than humans. Whether what he was feeling during our absence was sorrow, fear, loneliness, yearning, anxiety, longing, worry, loss, or some combination of these or other emotions, I cannot be sure, but he is certainly feeling something. His utter delight upon our return offers a glimpse into his other, more positive feelings. Like us, his spectrum of emotions is wide.”
Filed under: animal intelligence and emotion, MOGO (Most Good) | Tagged: animal emotions, animal rescue, animal welfare, compassion, dogs, empathy, golden rule, Most Good Least Harm, responsibility, suffering | Comments Off