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…

Karing about others

Mostly because I have been thinking about her lately, I feel compelled to write about someone who was very dear to me.  Many people who have met me in the last several years may not be aware of the fact that I was married to a woman for 3 years. I understand there can be lots of confusion whenever I mention it, and misunderstandings or misconceptions might occur. So I would like to take this opportunity to discuss my feelings about her.

Shortly after I came out, I attended a party for ex-Mormon gay people. Many of them had been married (to someone of the opposite sex), as I had. Most of those marriages had ended in divorce. Sometimes the divorce was very ugly, other times it was rather pleasant and they remained friends throughout the process. I assume it is because of the ugly divorce scenarios that this statement was made to me. Upon revealing that I had previously been married to a woman and that the marriage had ended in her death, a man said to me that it was good that it had end…

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…