Emotion In Animals

1203 Words 5 Pages
In order to show emotion surely you must feel and have emotions, must you not? For instance, if you were to show empathy towards another human it would be declared that you can feel emotion as a consequence of having emotions, would it not? So why is this not that the case regarding animals’ emotions? As Flintoff states, animals show empathy, joy, fear, grief; the list is endless ‘they have a very rich ensemble of emotions’; why is this ignored by many? Out of convenience? Or perhaps because we are too close minded much like we were when we thought that ‘Africans or women had no soul’ or when we thought ‘babies [...] did not feel pain.’ ‘Even in humans it’s difficult to measure emotion’ but why have we ruled this out entirely for animals; …show more content…
Manning, writing for the Daily Mail on behalf of ‘a game warden [...] in South Africa’ describes how he witnessed a herd of elephants helping ‘such a disfigured elephant’ to drink water. She follows up this account with ‘[for] an animal to show [...] empathy towards another,’ suggesting she may believe animals do indeed have emotions. Could it be that this particular herd of elephants are neglecting their biological imperative and putting themselves in danger because they feel emotion because they could not allow one of their own to die painfully and slowly? Manning further illuminates this point saying ‘to follow it [...] with altruistic behaviour is nothing short of astonishing.’ The adjective ‘astonishing’ combined with another adjective ‘such’ stresses the significance of the elephants disfiguration indicating she finds it extremely surprising these animals are risking their lives to help another. Although it is notwithstanding that ‘astonishing’ may hint towards Manning’s scepticism. In another account of animals empathising, Esther Woolfson expresses how her corvids ‘seemed to empathise’ explaining that whilst in a state of sorrow, she experienced what ‘[seemed] to [her] as’ her magpie committing ‘an act of unexpected tenderness.’ Although it could be that the Woolfsoon thought this because this is what she wanted to see, a key argument in both texts. My argument is that in order for these animals to emphasise they …show more content…
Whilst there is little evidence, it 's extraordinarily difficult to obtain. Flintoff includes theses put forward by ‘Bekoff [a] professor of biology at the University of Colorado.’ Bekoff discusses how ‘even in humans it is difficult to measure emotion’ including ‘access is limited because we can’t [...] get into the head [...] of another being.’ Bekoff makes valid points, it is exceedingly difficult to define emotion, let alone measure it in humans who can express in ways we fathom. So how do we approach animals and their emotions? A dictionary definition articulates that emotion is an ‘instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.’ What 's to say this can’t be applied to animals? As there is little evidence, it is down to each individual to compose their own

Related Documents

Related Topics