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The Lounge: Chat. Relax. Unwind. > Do other animals have emotions? What about experiments using animals?

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message 1: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments Studies claim that elephants, dogs, dolphins and others have emotions. What do you think? And how do you feel about animal experiments that may lead to cures for human diseases? Are they justified or inhumane?


message 2: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 214 comments I think there's a lot of neuroscience to back up the idea that emotions are rooted in very primitive parts of the brain - i.e. those parts that evolved early on. The cortex where rational thought takes place is a relatively late development.

If you accept that, and if you also accept that many animals show great intelligence then the obvious conclusion is that those animals must also have emotions, which arose first.

And I suspect anyone who has had pets can tell you that they can definitely feel excitement, joy, anxiety, and sadness.


message 3: by Nik (last edited May 07, 2018 04:02AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 16028 comments Scout wrote: "Studies claim that elephants, dogs, dolphins and others have emotions. What do you think? And how do you feel about animal experiments that may lead to cures for human diseases? Are they justified ..."

Sure, they have emotions. Beyond scientific proof, I recognize emotion when I see it -:)
Many of us eat animals, however there are movements to stop doing so. Don't know, I believe we were borne carnivores and I believe my hungry fellow-carnivore tiger won't desist from eating me, if I happen to give it such a brilliant opportunity.
As of experiments - I think there should be some ethical code. The human research when done along the ethical guidelines is not illegitimate as far as I know.
As of animals - they can't give their voluntary and informed consent, but it shouldn't be aimed to make animals suffer. It should take into account their pain, which they definitely feel and maybe even - emotions.


message 4: by Denise (last edited May 07, 2018 03:05AM) (new)

Denise Baer Yes, other animals have emotions, and I'm against animal experimentation. If science wants to experiment, then experiment on people.


message 5: by Holly (new)

Holly (goldikova) They definitely have emotions.

As for the meat thing.....modern commercial meat production and slaughter methods are horrific and inhumane. But I'm not going to give up meat, I don't buy commercial meat, I buy direct from the producer.

The beef I buy from a farmer who turns his steers out on grass pasture so they can live a natural life, unlike the cattle raised in feed lots. As a result, the meat doesn't have thick layers of fat and the muscle is much more developed. Two years ago at the county fair I watched a girl feeding her 4-H project feeder pig......the pig was enjoying a Slurpee and eating it from a spoon. I talked to her a little bit about her pig and he was just like a pet to her. He had a lot of attention and care during his life. I bought that pig at the 4-H auction, and for months afterward enjoyed some of the best pork I've ever had.

Also, if we stop eating meat, what will happen to those food animal species? Will cattle go extinct? I can't really envision happy herds of cattle wandering free in the US and I don't think we need to eliminate any species for their own good.

Animals raised for meat consumption, eggs, dairy or fiber production should have the best life possible and then we can accept the omnivorous circle of life with a lot less guilt.


message 6: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Holly, I agree with you 100%. I love my meat as much, if not more, than anybody else, but am against cruelty to animals. The worst industry in terms of cruel treatment of animals raised for food is probably the poultry industry, where there are true horror stories happening every day. As for medical experiments on animals, using rats is about the most I can live with. To experiment on primates, animals with fairly high intelligence and clear emotions, is abhorrent to me.


message 7: by Ian (last edited May 07, 2018 03:30PM) (new)

Ian Miller | 11759 comments They have emotions, and they can also reason, albeit somewhat more limited than we can. However, having said that, I am still going to eat meat. Carnivores are an essential part of nature, and nature only works properly when the various life forms are in equilibrium. We had disturbed that, and eventually a new equilibrium will set up.

As for the poultry industry, the horror battery farming is now illegal in NZ. I suppose it is difficult to argue that killing animals is humane, but it has to be done if we are going to eat meat, and I guess the answer is to do it with as least cruelty as possible.


message 8: by Rita (last edited May 07, 2018 04:09PM) (new)

Rita Chapman | 153 comments Yes, I believe they have emotions. ( Have you read my book Winston - a Horse's Tale?)

I don't approve of experiments on animals either, especially the keeping of primates in such small cages. I'm also against live exports - I believe they should be processed on our shores and shipped frozen. Winston - A Horse's Tale by Rita Lee Chapman


message 9: by Judith (new)

Judith Rand | 16 comments Nik wrote: "Scout wrote: "Studies claim that elephants, dogs, dolphins and others have emotions. What do you think? And how do you feel about animal experiments that may lead to cures for human diseases? Are t..."

I doubt much of the progress in medicine and cures for diseases and prolonged life could have happened without using mice for medical experimentation. Should have some regulation and supervision for conditions but otherwise I want to personally thank the mice kingdom for keeping me alive at the age of 85.


message 10: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments Has anyone read Watership Down? It has been with me for 40 years or so. I know it's a trade-off, this experimentation thing. I know humans have benefited but I also feel bad about it. As the dominant species, humans are pretty self-centered and cruel.


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