Friday, October 22, 2010

Play, joy, happiness...............

When I watch the bunnies cavorting (see video - previous post) it intrigues me to consider what they might be feeling. I do know that Simon experiences the world somewhat differently than I do because he...for example....has a sense of smell that is many times more sensitive than mine. He is much much smaller, he detects light much better than I do, his field of vision is much larger than mine....and on and on.

Does this mean we don't feel similar emotions? Marc Bekoff is a scientist (Ethologist) and author that has written a number of books about animals and emotions. I ran across a video of him talking about these issues and found it to be very interesting. The video is pretty brief, 6 or 7 minutes and well worth watching......there is a quick shot of his office....and I felt quite at home because it looks much like my office (clutter as an art form).

Years of graduate school and academia have left me cognizant of the value of a scientific approach to apprehending the workings of our world. Not only that, in the world of science can be found folks that are terrific human animals and great teachers (lots of jerks and dolts too). Marc Bekoff is a good scientist and one of the terrific human animals. Give a look and listen to him talking about animals, emotion and play.

I have read several of his books and can readily recommend them for their solid research and scholarly approach to understanding more about the animal folks with whom we share this planet. He also writes a blog called Animal Emotions over at Psychology Today (referenced on this blog site) that is excellent.

6 comments:

Krissa said...

Isn't it unbelievable that there are humans who really don't believe that all the other (natural) animals feel the same emotions that we do? And (the video is now at the part where he is discussing that many humans also think that other animals don't "talk") how sad it is that most of our species don't hear other creatures when they talk - because they do talk. I think maybe way back in the history of our species, humans certainly must have been more able to understand the way other animals speak...probably was often a matter of life and death if you didn't understand. But what is really weird is that it is SO obvious (or should be) what our fellow beings are saying. I'm not special and I certainly know what almost every creature I come into contact with is telling me most of the time. All it takes is caring, respect and the interest to pay attention. Sigh. The same goes for reptiles. That saying 'reptile brain' is not accurate. ALL creatures experience the same emotions us humans do. Probably bugs do, too - but I can't prove that. :)

veganelder said...

Thank you for your comment Krissa. When you write "All it takes is caring, respect and the interest to pay attention." you clearly and succinctly specify factors that seem to be in very short supply in many human animals.

Bea Elliott said...

It really is fascinating to watch animal people communicate... With a new puppy in the house I'm observing how he interacts with two grown (and spoiled) cats. Somehow through a series of submissive gestures they've taken to the little guy with no reserve. Even allowing him to "kiss" them in the face and ears. I know they have some kind of unspoken agreement that "this" is okay... But not "that".

I like it that we are progressing into an era where we can put away silly, misinformed sayings like "fighting like cats and dogs". It truly just isn't so!

I think too that even with some terms we might not see just yet - There's reason to hope that the lion and lamb will work things out too! ;)

veganelder said...

Thanks for commenting Bea. It is amazing, isn't it, how much goes on in the world that we tend to overlook.

So I'm Thinking Of Going Vegan said...

Good video. And I've been meaning to get some of his books.

veganelder said...

Thanks for commenting SITOGV, Marc does a good job of doing the empirical lingo two-step. A wag once described psychology (with more than a bit of truth I think...and since psychology is my field I claim competence to judge) as the science of proving what everybody already knew.

Marc does a good job of proving what everybody already knows.