Category Archives: How Animals Are Like Us

What Doesn’t Separate Us From Animals 4: Bees Have Personalities

Bees have  personalities and feelings, according to a new study. Their brains are similar to ours in several ways, including being affected by the same neurotransmitters.

The purported moral distinctions between humans and other sentient beings that are used to justify exploiting animals continue to lose credibility, while veganism’s abstention from the exploitation of insects by boycotting honey and silk is gaining moral ground. It is also getting easier to follow as substitutes for these products become more available. Healthier sweeteners like agave nectar and stevia are growing in popularity, and fabrics that look and feel like silk are not only on the market, they are cheaper than silk.

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What Doesn’t Separate Us From Animals 3: Rats Rescue Strangers

The scientific studies proving that animals are more like us than many thought keep on coming. The latest shows that a rat will go out of her way to free a caged stranger. If there is a pile of chocolate chips (which rats love) sitting nearby, a rat will rescue the caged rodent before eating the candy and then will share it with the stranger. Far from running entirely on instinct, rats demonstrate compassion and generosity even when they stand to gain nothing. Actually, this may not show that rats are just like humans — in some cases they may be more moral than some of us.

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What Doesn’t Separate Us From Animals 2: Empathy, Cooperation, and More

If humans aren’t fundamentally different than animals, isn’t it wrong to treat them the way we do — like killing billions of them each year to eat?

Yet scientists continue to disprove speculation about the differences between us and other animals. This week a group of scientists at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference discussed findings that whales and dolphins “are capable of advanced cognitive abilities (such as problem-solving, artificial ‘language’ comprehension, and complex social behavior), indicating that these cetaceans are far more intellectually and emotionally sophisticated than previously thought,” according to www.care2.com.

Speakers on a panel at the conference “presented multiple examples of cetaceans acting with empathy, cooperation, and self awareness.” On that basis they supported granting whales and dolphins “basic rights to life, liberty and well-being.”

For more information on the movement to protect whales and dolphins, read the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans.

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