Both of my parents were animal lovers. So I was fortunate to grow up in house where there was always some animal/s around. And I think it is safe to say that having all those years to observe them, I know just a little bit more about animals and their behavior than the average, non-animal-owning person does.
Animals seem to possess the full range of (so-called) human emotions. I know because I’ve seen it in them: happiness, sadness, love, hate, anger–and even humor , believe it or not.
When I was still 13 we got our albino Briard, “Tiffany”. She was a very fun-loving dog. She used to tease our Siamese cat “Chi Chi”. When Tiffany couldn’t get a rise out of Chi Chi, she would deliberately poke her with her nose, and then look for a reaction! No one in my family taught her that, she just figured it out on her own. We had another dog, “Sandy”, that Tiffany was very good friends with. Whenever one got up and left the room, the other one would always follow. Tragically, Sandy slipped into a diabetic coma and died in 1988. My father carried her limp body up our stairs to the waiting car outside, and Tiffany saw what was going on. Tiffany’s ordinarily joyful expression left her, possibly for the first time ever. And she stared at the scene. She remained depressed for a little while, but she got over it. And she made new friends with the other animals we later got.
Now we have another Siamese cat, “Jasmine”. We got her in 1999, and I swear she has many nuturing qualities to her. Even though she and our other male cat “Pumpernickel” are fixed, they sleep close to one another! And each time our dog “Joy” tries to tease Pumpernickel, Jasmine intervenes–by kissing Joy! One time Joy was relieving herself, and Jasmine ran up to her, grabbed her head, kissed her and quickly ran away! Very strange.
So then, if animals have all of the emotions that we do and perhaps some of the same reasoning abilities, what is the greater implication of all of this? Should they be given the same rights as we? Or if not given the same rights immediately, should that be the ulimate goal–to “enfranchise” them just like women and other minorities were slowly enfranchized in this country.
I for one honestly don’t know the answer to these questions.
(BTW, I finally figured out how to “cut” and “paste”. Highlight what you want, press “Ctrl” and “C”. Place the cursor where you want the material. Then press “Ctrl” and “V” and Voila! it is where you want it to be. That’s how I moved this text. Neat, isn’t it? And to think, 20 yrs. ago it was the Rubiks Cube that amused us. How far we’ve come. TTFN;j )