Do Animals Have Emotions

Good Essays
31 July 2013
Do Animals Really Have Emotions? Animal emotion is a difficult and controversial subject. Scientific research is confirming what humans intuitively know: that animals have feelings and able to experience diverse types of emotions. Skeptics believe there are no possible ways animals can have emotions. They refuse the idea animals experience happiness or any other type of emotions as anthropomorphism; which occurs when humans project their own characteristics or behaviors to animals. Josh Clark offers an example of this phenomenon: the story of Hachiko, a dog that lived in Japan. Every day, this dog and his owner went to the train station. The dog was there every afternoon waiting for his owner to come back, but when his
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Eleonor was bitten by a snake, this prevent he from walking from walking and moving at the same pace of the rest of the herd. When she fell, another matriarch elephant; from a different family tried to lift her several times, this elephant looked distraught, anxious, and worried about Eleonor. Unfortunately, when her attempts to save Eleonor failed, she left and Eleonor died as a consequence of the venomous bite. The following day, Eleonor’s family as well as other elephants from different families, visited the place where she died. Her family surprisingly continued to visit her carcass often (Bhalla). Journalist Roger Highfield, points out the investigations from a group of researchers from Oxford University, who have been recording the movements of elephants in Kenya with the help from a radio tracking system placed throughout the area. Researchers conclude that elephants demonstrate a special interest in the dead of their own specie, and that elephants are capable of grieving and showing emotions such as compassion.
Recent discoveries have demonstrated that mammals have the same structure of the nervous system and neurochemical composition that are important for feelings. As Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado Marc Bekoff explains, “Neuroscience shows that humans are not the sole occupants of the emotional arena. Dogs and many other animals can
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