Saturday, June 11, 2011

Otter Behavior

Lars posts an interesting view of the social nature of otters.

1 comment:

  1. Lars, it's always great to see evidence of animals' capabilities. It seems that we humans have started with the assumption that they cannot play, feel pain, suffer boredom, empathize with conspecifics, or plan future behavior (some animal behaviorists have argued that they are "stuck in time", unable to use information learned yesterday to plan for tomorrow -- But anyone who pays casual attention to their pet knows better than that).

    We often argue that anthropomorphism can lead us to inaccurate assessments, but I personally think the real reason we underestimate animals is for our own gain. It justifies things like cramming chickens into cages so small that they cannot spread their wings, docking tails without anesthesia, raising pigs in stalls too small for them to turn around, and injecting chimpanzees with HIV and housing them in small isolation chambers for many years. Our lives and the state of the world in general would indeed be very different if we could acknowledge that animals, too, have social needs and the capacity for suffering.

    So there's my little rant for the day, from a sweet little video to the atrocities of humanity. Bet you never thought your post would inspire that!