In the beginning of things men were animals and animals men. ~ Algonquin saying

"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons." ~ The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Saturday, November 5, 2011

"Empathy" on What’s All This, Then?

On What’s All This, Then?, a nice post about rats. Yes, rats. I actullay like rats; as pets, they are very friendly and intelligent. I'm not saying I want rats running around my place, but I wouldn't mind the "domesticated" variety as a pet. My cats might have other ideas though. And the whole notion of "domesticated" animals as pets raises other questions and issues. Anyway... a very good post. Not surprising to me, as Iggy says, we often don't give animals enough credit or respect:

I thought this was rather fascinating. Animals are so much more substantial than your average person gives them credit for.

As you will see below, even the much-derided rat seems to have a high level of development.


  1. Iggy posts some interesting stuff and this one took me back to when I studied psychology.

    I'll be honest, I don't like rats; they make me shudder. Despite that, it should make us at least consider that there's no 'black and white' distinction between us and other animals.

    Empathy and sentience are increasingly appearing to be a grey-scale whereby primates, elephants, crows and aquatic mammals have the ability to plan ahead and display social behaviour.

    Our relationship with dogs and cats has been as important as using tools, in my opinion.

    I can't help but think that in the future humanity will look back and be amazed at how poorly we have treated non-human life.

  2. Thanks for commenting Kandinsky.

    I agree especially, with your last sentence.