Skip to main content

Just for pretends

It's honestly something I never even thought about before we got Konan.  But I've seen him do it a couple times now.  He has an imagination.  He'll take one of his toys and pretend that it's either a playmate or prey or something.  He tosses it up in the air and barks at it.  He shies away from it as though it's posing a threat to him.  He attacks it.  It's quite entertaining to watch, and it taught me that animals do indeed have an imagination.  This is not a strictly human quality.

So, I decided to read about it.  Apparently they've done lots of studies about this.  A chimpanzee who has an imaginary pulltoy that gets stuck from time to time as she's pulling it behind her.  A gorilla who nurses her dolls and mediates pretend fights between them.  It's quite fascinating.

It leads me to ask other questions of the nature "What else do we have in common with animals?"  Do animals have a sense of humor?  Apparently gorillas do because that article mentions a gorilla pretending that she's a bird and that her caregiver is also a bird and then laughing when she finally admits it's not true.  What do animals dream about?  Apparently rats dream about the mazes they're forced to run through while they're awake.

It is quite apparent that animals are capable of empathy, just the same as humans are.  The other day, I was sitting on the ground not far from Konan and let out a dog whimper.  He looked at me with sincere concern, then gently trotted over and licked me reassuringly.  He cheered me up.  It was absolutely adorable.

In fact, it is apparent to me that sometimes animals can be more empathetic and moral than humans.  My dog feels bad for me when I'm sad, and he tries to cheer me up.  And indeed many humans do this with animals--with their own pets or with other animals that they might be interacting with.  However, many humans do not feel empathy toward animals.  For example, elephant trainers in the circus are very cruel to the elephants, whipping them and stabbing them if they do not perform as expected.  Bulls in the rodeo are prodded in the testicles to make them extra angry and wild while the cowboys try to ride them.

Having a pet (even though it's only been one week so far) has taught me much about myself and about humanity.  I think that as a species, we can learn much about how to be better by interacting more meaningfully with animals.  Observe them.  Note their behavior.  Feel empathy for them.  Understand them.

Popular posts from this blog

What's a gainer?

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest reading my previous post before reading this one.  It's sort of an introduction and gives the motivation.  Also, by way of disclosure, this post is not sexually explicit but it does touch on the topic of sexuality and how that relates to the subject at hand.

So, what is a gainer?  I'll relate, as best I can, the experiences I have gone through myself to help answer the question.  I remember when I was a young boy--perhaps around 6 or 7--I would have various fantasies.  Not sexual fantasies, just daydreaming about hypothetical situations that I thought were interesting or entertaining.  I had many different fantasies.  Sometimes I would fantasize about becoming very muscular, sometimes about becoming very fat.  
These fantasies varied in degree of magnitude and the subject of the fantasy.  Sometimes I myself would change weight--I would become muscular or fat.  Other times, I would do something to make other people fat or musc…

The scientific method vs the religious method

I find it interesting when people cite the fact that science keeps changing as a reason to disbelieve it and to believe instead in the "eternal" doctrines taught by some church or other.  Let's examine why science keeps changing.  Here's the scientific method.

Develop a hypothesis (this means "have a belief").Design an experiment to test the hypothesis.Conduct the experiment.Determine whether the hypothesis is believable based on the results of the experiment. This is why science keeps changing--because people notice flaws in it and correct them.  People once thought the solar system was geocentric, but now know that it's heliocentric.  How did this happen?  By using the scientific method.  Scientists are willing to admit that they're wrong.  They're willing to give up a bad idea when they see evidence that it makes no sense.  Contrast this with the religious method (simplified version). Have a belief.Look for evidence to support that belief.Ignor…


Like many of my posts, this one has been floating around in my mind for a couple months.  I know many people avoid the gym because it is intimidating, so I'd like to share my thoughts about this phenomenon.  First of all, obviously going to the gym isn't the only intimidating thing in life, and many of these thoughts are things that easily translate to any other of these intimidating things.

So I'd like to share some of my personal experiences with gyms.  The first time I recall ever going into a weight room to use it was my first year of college.  I had PE classes all through K-12, but I don't remember ever using the weight room--just group sports, etc.  I recall being intimidated by all the machines.  Some of them I could figure out on my own, but many of them I just stared at and couldn't possibly conceive how it was meant to be used.  Fortunately, I occasionally went with friends and one friend was very familiar with all the equipment so he could help.  So, kn…