Do Animals Have Feelings?

by anewme 49 Replies latest jw friends

  • kittyeatzjdubs

    judging from the looks in our pets eyes when we scold them...i'd have to say yes.

    luv, jojo

  • Country Girl
    Country Girl

    Of course they do (my humble opine! Several studies of African elephants find that elephants cry tears, and they have actually gone after persons who have killed a member of their herd.

    I live with two African Gray parrots, and I can tell you *for sure* that when I am down they try to comfort me, and they also get depressed themselves. I can also tell you that I DO NOT know for sure if this is an empathic emotion with the birds, or just a survival technique. I *do know* as of last month, that these birds can have an interactive discussion with a human. I had never seen it with my own Grays. A man came into our living room to do a write-up contract to build a new fence. My African, Gussie, asked him "Well how are you?" He said he was fine. She responded with "Well, good!" This may have been totally coincidental. She could have just said the right thing at the right time, but I don't know. I have NEVER heard her say this before.

    She has conversations, at night, with herself in her cage. She adopts a man's voice for one part of the conversation, and then adopts a woman's voice for the other part of the conversation.

    I have also noticed that when my husband I fight, she is particularly needy.

    My cat, Bebu, has been going crazy the last two weeks. We went on vacation and our cat, Earl Gray, disappeared. Bebu HATES Earl Gray. When she sees him, she hisses. Recently, she's been staying in the house *all the time* and she is not even scared anymore of people that come over.

    Animals DEFINITELY have emotions.


  • anewme

    Back now.

    I had another chihuahua years ago, the kids' father.

    I was going nuts in the troof at that time and worked hard to get the house ready for Thursday nights and weekend field service.

    Everytime I would just finish the living room for the people to show with minutes to spare

    yep, little precious would sneak in there and take a (a number) right in the middle of the living room.

    My point for sharing this is that my feelings vs his feelings came into play.

    I went ballistic on him!! Many times.

    I regret it now.

    That dog and I had a bad relationship. I could never understand why he did this to me at such a bad time.
    He wouldnt do it any other time!!!! It drove me nuts!!!

    Come to think of it....maybe he didnt like the "you know whos"!!!!!

  • confused_101

    I think that they do. When my hubby and I first got together he had a cat that he had raised since a kitten. She is a spoiled rotten little b*tch and she hated me right off the bat. She clawed up the most expensive purse that I ever bought and she ate my shoes from England. I'm thinking that she was jealous, because she would always sleep with my man, but when I stayed over she got locked out of the room. She would just give me hateful looks (if that makes any sense). It's as if we were competing for his attention (I’m a Leo….). In the end I won (t-hee), when I got preggers with our newest addition she went to live with his mom. I feel bad for her, but glad that she can’t tear up my stuff and leave cat hair ALL over the house.

  • anewme

    Any of you ever attend a book study where they had a weird pet present?
    We were those people!
    That same dog,(we will call Precious) used to sneak in during the book study and park under the lamp table and lick front of all the bros and sisters.

    I could tell something was up when the single sisters would all be staring with mouths gaped watching his hygiene activity as my elder husband droned on and on.

    I would have to get up several times during the study to remove the pint-sized anatomy teacher from the room. (He'd howl if we confined him)

    Again, I think he must have been a JWD member on the side with a secret campaign agenda!

  • Finally-Free

    Yes, animals definitely have feelings. Large parrots, for example are very complex emotionally. When under stress or depressed they can resort to screaming or self destructive behaviour, such as feather plucking or self mutilation. Many things can trigger the behaviour. They require a LOT of personal attention. Mine is quite shy, and will sometimes hide behind me if I have a visitor. He's always out of the cage when I'm at home, and he's almost always perched somewhere on me. If I leave the room without him he's very quick to come looking for me.


  • AlmostAtheist

    I can only point to anecdotal evidence, and I have to wonder how much of it is [that word that means I see an animal do something I do and assume he's doing it for the same reason I do {anthropomorphism?}] and how much is genuine emotion. But I think they do, yes.

    Kasey (our german shepherd/whippet mix) is very emotional. When she's lonely, she'll come and look at me. Just look at me. When I finally acknowledge her, she'll slowly start to force her way into the chair I'm sitting in. There's clearly no room for her, but she'll just start climbing in. When she's in place and getting petted, she's content.

    When she wants to play, she starts acting excited. She'll come and "nose" me, then run away. She'll keep it up until I get up and throw a toy for her. After a few minutes of this, she's happy. She just wanted to play.

    From an evolutionary standpoint, it doesn't make any sense to me that we humans would have emotions, but these other "higher" animals wouldn't. Whatever purpose they served from a survival standpoint for us, they would probably have lent a similar advantage to them.

    But I'm just guessing.


  • anewme

    Finally Free, I agree about the parrots. They definitely make their feelings known!
    I had one briefly. But given my distress at the time, I was wise to return the pet.
    I love pets, but the parrots do require alot of love and at the time I did not have it to spare.

    This is weird to say, Anewme has never had her own kids, but because of the close friendships with my pets I've enjoyed, I feel as if I have had some.
    I guess that says alot how animals can be quite satisfying in how they return "feelings" to humans.

  • anewme

    Dave, the thought of your shepherd mix working its way slowly into your arm chair is too much!
    Very funny! How wonderful it is to share life with these sweet creatures!

  • startingover

    They absolutely do have feelings. Just like humans these feelings are displayed in different ways. My cockatoos all express their feelings in different ways and some are more sensative than others. I have one who will resort to biting me if he can't get what he desperately wants, and when he senses that wasn't the right thing to do and I get mad at him, he is immediately sorry and tries to make it up to me. He will come and nuzzle up to me.

    What is a continuing source of sadness for me is my knowledge of animals that are used just for food. I know they have feelings too. I can't imagine how someone can work in a slaughter house. I get sick just thinking about it.

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