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Discuss Other Stuff Here... > Do Animals have Emotions

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message 1: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Unruh | 12 comments Dear fans of animal books,
I recently got slammed on the subject of animals and emotions and wrote about it in my blog. I'd be interested to hear what you think:

http://cathyunruh.com/blog/


message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Priester (jenniferpriester) | 207 comments Interesting blog, but I think your point would have come across better with more examples and maybe some from other people.
For me it would be impossible to believe anything different of animals, my animals and ones I know have displayed emotions too many times.
For instance, just the other day I was riding Levi and he was acting up for some reason. Something seemed to be bothering him so I got off. Upon doing so he gave me the most apologetic look any animal ever had, it was very readable and easy to see he had only been acting up because he didn't know any other way to tell me what he needed to.
Another time, my first dog came home with a bad haircut. I couldn't resist and teased him about it. Shortly after he ran to my mom and started whining to her. You could say there could have been a different reason for my dogs reaction, but this would happen more than once, on separate days, and after I teased him about something.
And when my current dog is mad about something he will leave a puddle or something else right where he knows people are sure to notice it. Otherwise he is perfectly house trained. When this happens he usually gets yelled at by someone first so he never would associate doing this with a reward of any kind. What I do, because it is usually linked to jealousy over my spending too much time with another animal, is not change anything I had been doing and ignore my dog, other than giving him food, water, and letting him outside, until the next day at which time I will begin making sure he gets enough attention from me and the problem is solved.
My first dog also, when I first brought home my current dog, completely ignored me for a couple of days. He wouldn't even perk up his ears or look at me when I came into a room he was in. If he came too close to looking at me he would look and walk away from me. I think he stopped doing this when he realized I was actually enjoying the way he was acting because this meant I could have any spot on my moms bed I wanted. Usually he would growl at anyone that wanted him to move. All I had to do was get close to him.
I also have many more examples so if you were to try to convince me animals didn't have emotions you would lose. Even if I were to start thinking this way some animal would always bring me back to the way I feel now.
Part of the way I think of it is that many animals have just as much brain power as young kids. And do kids have emotions? Of course they do so to me it is illogical to say animals don't. Another thing I think of is that if people think we are crazy, then maybe these people should consider this: People who believe animals have emotions and treat them like this often have better relationships, not just with animals, but people as well as they are more considerate of other people's feelings. The people who don't believe often aren't even open to other humans emotions so why would they believe animals are capable of it? I also believe that anyone that says otherwise has never either had or been around animals, or has probably only ever treated pets as something to own and wildlife as theirs to do anything they want to.
So, if I'm crazy I like it, and plan on staying that way.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Animals definitely have emotions. It's so very obvious that only people who know nothing of animals would think otherwise.


message 4: by Tui (new)

Tui Allen (tuibird) | 393 comments I seriously believe there are animals who are also far more intelligent than humans.

These are the marine mammals.Dolphins have a brain the same size, or slightly larger, than ours. They have been on the planet fully evolved since before humans came down from the trees and during all those tens of millions of years their brain has been free to develop. They do not need to use any of their brain for fine motor control of fingers and thumbs and toes. That must free up even more brainpower. Who do humans think we are to doubt them? They are a huge mystery to our poor limited human intelligence. But the lack is in us – not them. To them we must seem like some newly evolved kind of planetary pest, poisoning their oceans and stealing their food.
Scientific analysis of physical whale and dolphin brains only reinforce what I say above. Their brains are more advanced than ours full stop.


message 5: by Barbara, Founder and Moderator (new)

Barbara (lv2scpbk) | 1256 comments Mod
I do believe animals have emotions. There have been known cases where dogs will pine for their owners. What about the dogs who have waited years everyday for their owners when they die? The one true story comes to mind...Hachi (spelling?).

Elephants also have been found to have emotions. They may not have a perception to break free but they hurt and feel pain.

I believe whole heartily that animals have emotions, hurt like the rest of us, feel pain, and show love. If they didn't love their humans why would some of them bother to save their lives when there is a fire, or run for help, etc.


message 6: by Karen B. (new)

Karen B. (raggedy11) I believe that animals have emotions because of two incidents. The day my father died (he had been in and out of the hospital for congestive heart failure so the dog would not see that as unusual.) I walked into my dad's bedroom with his shaving kit. It could be the dog picked up on my emotions but he stood with his front paws on my father's bed and just cried. He moved to the other side of the bed and did the same thing. It was a sound I had never heard him make ... sort of a keening.

I had four cats one of whom passed away about 3 weeks ago. I had peace, she had been sick so I knew it was coming. For the next several days Ashley, would walk around the house crying. I kept trying to figure out what she wanted, I honestly thought she was looking for me at first and then it hit me that she was missing Lil. She used to curl up against Lil's belly and Lil would groom her. Eventually she got Lil's sibling Phil to start grooming her in the same way and she doesn't cry as much but I know now that she is looking for Lil and missing her.

I didn't even mention Lil's passing in this group because I didn't want to make anyone else sad. She had a way of getting next to my face and night and kissing me. I have missed her good night kisses. But I know she is in no pain and that is what matters. She will always be in my heart.


message 7: by Tui (new)

Tui Allen (tuibird) | 393 comments Karen B wrote: "I believe that animals have emotions because of two incidents. "
We have one of those cats that likes to get close to your face and kiss you. Also, the most amazing thing is how if you hold her in your arms, she will press her head against you with strong pressure. It is pure love and it is nothing to do with wanting food, it is to do with wanting to pour out as much love as we will accept. Love is an emotion and our cat is chock full of it.
Fear is another emotion and she feels that too. When we take her to the vet for her annual shot, she is terrified. We put her in a cat cage in the car with a layer of litter and she disgraces herself every single time. She yowls in terror all the way. She just hates cars and hates leaving her beloved home.


message 8: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (emtmelissa) | 32 comments I definitely think animals have emotions. Animals show emotions when they miss their owner or another animal in the family. I have seen countless animals get sad when their "sibling" pet dies or an owner dies. I think its very interesting the other way around when their owners are sad, animals can feel it. My cats come up to me and try to nuzzle my nose when I'm upset. It's pretty amazing.


message 9: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Priester (jenniferpriester) | 207 comments I'm not exactly sure of what emotion he felt when he was doing this but my first dog, Cejaye thought of himself as the family's caretaker. Whenever someone was sick he had to be with them. For me this was one of the few times I could move freely around him without getting growled at.

I also found this site with stories about Golden Retrievers when I was looking for today's Facebook post for Golden Retriever month. http://landofpuregold.com/heroes14.htm I think this site shows some of the things animals will do because of the emotions they feel, although no matter how hard you try or how good of examples you give, nonbelievers will always be just that.


message 10: by Tui (new)

Tui Allen (tuibird) | 393 comments Dolphins in captivity often die of pure depression. That's a negative emotion. They just stop breathing - dolphins are not involuntary breathers like us. They can choose to just stop if they want to. In captivity they've been torn from their beloved families and shut up in an awful jail. It would be the equivalent of shutting a child in a dark cupboard all its life.They are meant to swim 100 miles a day if they choose and dive for food into deep shadowed water.


message 11: by Margret (new)

Margret Klippet (intensifying) | 10 comments Horses have emotions like us. Thy can be annoyed on one day and get angry but I can't tell if there are happy.....


message 12: by Tui (new)

Tui Allen (tuibird) | 393 comments And horses get very skittish and nervy on windy days too.


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