posted on Feb, 24 2017 @ 09:34 AM
I've been content to lurk for years, but this is a topic that frustrates me to no end. I tried to log into an old account I had 8 or 9 years ago, but
couldn't remember the password or the email (are old accounts erased?). So here I am, dragged back into ATS not by all the ridiculous politics of the
last year, but by the dismissive and cold nature of ethologists (those who study animal behavior).
Multiple studies have been conducted over the last 15 years that prove without a doubt that dogs do share many of the of the emotions that humans also
experience. I'm responding on my tiny, no frills phone, otherwise I would go into more depth, and share more links, but consider the implications of
the study from the link below:
The link will (hopefully! Did it work?) take you to study demonstrating that dogs actually recognize and interpret emotional cues from humans and
other dogs, and that it's not just a learned behavior.
And on the flip side of this, we humans love to ascribe enormous complexity to our own very simple behaviors. What is guilt? It is fear of being
caught doing something that is considered wrong by our social group. For humans, guilt is also fear. It is a more complex emotion in us than it is
in canines, just as it is a more complex emotion in adults than it is in toddlers. However, toddlers are capable of experiencing a rudementary form
of guilt, and I believe dogs also experience guilt in the same way, as dogs have the emotional complexity of a human toddler.
Dogs are also the only non primate that we know of that understand that when a human points with a finger, they are directing attention to an object
the finger is pointing at. This is very complex and surprising behavior once only considered a hallmark of the great apes.
It's wrong to think that all of our interpretations of animal emotion is simply anthropomorphism. We are wired to recognize emotion. When we as
humans consistently recognize and interpret emotion from other animals, time and time again in the same way, across almost all races and cultures,
there is probably more to it than anthropomorphism. It is our own instinct to interpret emotion that I believe will eventually prove that our
interpretations of animal emotion are just that; actual interpretations. Remember, it's not emotion that sets us apart from other animals, it is our
highly evolved logic that does.