Animal Book Club discussion

How Animals Grieve
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How Animals Grieve

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Jennifer Molidor (jennifermolidor) | 35 comments Mod
How Animals Grieve by Barbara J. King is the Animal Book Club's featured book for June!!

Get your copy now and read along!

Have you ever witnessed an animal experiencing mourning and loss?

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I definitely have. On at least three separate occasions. The first seeing a dead Pigeon in the road, and another Pigeon (I assume it's mate) walking around it peering at it closely, clearly distressed. Heartbreaking too see. I have also seen it with a baby Robin playing dead after my sisters cat dropped it, and how four other Robins came and sat with it all night. They cried to it and called out, and did their best to get to get to it. My sister had got her cat away from the Robin, but we had assumed it was dead and so she put a plastic box over it and left it, deciding to throw it away in the morning. But in the morning when she lifted off the box it flew away, to the other Robins still waiting for it on the fence chirping like mad. Happy ending at least! The other occasion I witnessed was the death of my cat. My cat never really got along with our other two cats. She really was elderly when we got them and she turned up her nose at them, but when she became ill one night they decided to lay down next to her. One on either side. She died next to them on the floor. And it was just as if they were comforting her. I also witnessed the way my sisters cat became lethargic and sad when her kittens were rehomed. She just looked for them and looked for them, and then went outside and lay on the paving stone in the garden. I've never seen an animal look so defeated. It was just something in her eyes. So without a doubt, in my eyes, animals grieve every bit as much as we do.

Jennifer Molidor (jennifermolidor) | 35 comments Mod
I agree Claire! And their capacity for grief and empathy should be so obvious to those looking at them with open eyes, and says so much about how close human and nonhuman animals are. Have you read Love & Ordinary Creatures by Gwyn Rubio? That parrot is a good example of animal emotions. There are some really great books about animal emotions too, like When Elephants Weep: the Emotional Lives of Elephants by Jeffrey Moussaief Masson. It's sooo good!

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