- Pets and Animals
Animals are just like us, stop the abuse.
© Copyright 2012
This is my second article on how we relate to them on a medical standpoint. Check out my other article on how we relate as well. Link is below.
Some believe that animals do not deserve the same treatment and respect as humans do. They consider animals to be inferior to us. One of their main reasons is that animals are not sentient and that since they cannot think, they do not deserve the same treatment. Another reason is animals do not have the same emotional capacity as we do, so animals are portrayed to be in their own world with no regards to what goes on around them. This is a narrow minded view; animals are more alike us than the general consensus realizes. Animals deserve to be treated properly. We are related to animals through genetics. They have emotions and feelings as well as we do. They also engage in the same activities such as making friends and are able to think and respond as we do.
Our genetic sequence matches many animals almost perfectly. The most common said thought is that we came from apes and chimps; this was a rather controversial topic until 2005 where the chimp genome was sequenced. Frans de Waal, a primate scientist in Atlanta, Georgia had these words to say "We are apes in every way, from our long arms and tailless bodies to our habits and temperament." The sequencing revealed we are 96 percent similar. Figuring out these sequences promotes the promise in figuring out where some of our important traits, such as speech, originate. An interesting fact is that the number of differences between humans and chimps is 10 times smaller than between mice and rats. That is how close we are to the gorilla family. We are in the same scientific family as gorillas yet 300 are killed every year in the southern Congo. A few other statistics are that Cats are up to a 90 percent genetic match; cows are 80 percent, and chickens have a 60 percent genetic match. What is even more astounding is that the common fruit fly shares 60 percent of the same DNA as humans.
The misconception that animals do not have emotions, and that it is only we humans attributing our traits onto animals has been around a long time, but this has also been proven wrong. There are numerous occasions on which an animal has been shown to exhibit the everyday feelings just like us. One example is the discovery of spindle neurons in many types of whales. Spindle neurons play a vital role in cognitive abilities and the regulation of emotional state as well as empathy. There is a story of a whale being rescued once from being trapped in a net and swam up to each person and winked before swimming away, indicating gratitude. A different example that animals act the same way as us humans is the research on mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are heavily used in using empathy, jobs that require a great deal of empathy would be better suited for people with developed mirror neurons. The function of these particular neurons is to understand why someone did what they did or their behavior and imagine ourselves doing it, putting the person in the other’s shoes. There have been observations in Diana monkeys and how elephants comfort each other. There have also been observations of Rhesus Monkeys not accepting food if another one of their kind suffers because of it and even mice who responded greater to painful stimuli after watching other mice in pain. Animals can feel pain as well because they experience the same physiological response such as perspiration, dilation of pupils, and increased heart rate among other signs.
The ability to think like a human is a rather weak basis for the right treatment of animals. If rights come from the ability to think, and babies and the mentally slow are unable to think, those humans do not deserve rights, right? Wrong.
Studies have shown that animals are actually quite aware of what they are doing, and employing rational thought as well as differing between right and wrong. A pit bull was once on the news for saving a woman’s life by alerting her husband that she had fallen by getting his attention and running up to her. Without the dog, the woman would of died. Oftenly, aggressive and competitive animals to live together in groups,” In the society of animals, this is observed with wolves, where the often aggressive and competitive animals to live together in groups,” In the society of animals, this is observed with wolves, where the often aggressive and competitive animals to live together in groups,” In the society of animals, this is observed with wolves, where the dominant wolves allow them to trade places with the lowest ranking wolves and being allowed to be bitten by the lower ranks. Just as we humans have a sense of justice, our close genetic friends the chimps have their own way of punishing those who do not adhere to the strict “chimp code”.
People consider animals to be inferior perhaps because they state they have no idea what they are doing because they would have no remorse killing someone but the crime of voluntary manslaughter is the same “heat of the moment killing”. People may say that they are not capable of the same emotions as us or that we have no relation to them, however there is evidence that we are related by genetic. They also possess the emotional capability as we do and are able to think and respond as we do.
A video by Animallover0077, It's not graphic. The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?" ~Jere
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Cookson, Clive. "Chimp and Human DNA Is 96% Identical." Financial Times. N.p., 31 Aug. 2005. Web. 03 Sept. 2012. <http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/43445728-1a44-11da-b279-00000e2511c8.html>.
Gray, Richard. "Animals Can Tell Right from Wrong." Telegraph.co.uk. N.p., 23 May 2009. Web. 3 Sept. 2012. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/5373379/Animals-can-tell-right-from-wrong.html>.
Lovgren, Stefan. "Chimps, Humans 96 Percent the Same, Gene Study Finds." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 31 Aug. 2005. Web. 03 Sept. 2012. <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/08/0831_050831_chimp_genes.html>.
Marsh, Jason. "Greater Good - The Science of a Meaningful Life." Do Mirror Neurons Give Us Empathy? N.p., 29 Mar. 2012. Web. 03 Sept. 2012. <http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/do_mirror_neurons_give_empathy>.