Like Michael Parfit, the author of a recent, very intriguing article in the Globe and Mail, I have often banged my head against the wall of charges of anthropomorphism. When we respond to the emotions of our pets, or of animals in the wild, too often we are made to feel as if we are engaging in “illicit sentimentality.”
The profusion of evidence demonstrating that animals have emotions means, now, that we can no longer dismiss and feel guilty about recognizing this fact. At the same time, animal emotions may be similar to ours but they are not identical. As Lori Marino, a prominent cetacean neruobiologist has stated, “I think it’s the difference between saying something is the same and saying something is on par.” In other words, animal emotions – and we have so much to learn about them – are equally valid as those of humans. These emotions deserve our respect and our research. I hope you can take a few minutes to read the article linked below.
Sandra Pady, Executive Director