how smart are sheep?

Topics: Human, Primate, Emotion Pages: 2 (683 words) Published: October 14, 2013
Summary: “How Smart Are Sheep?”
How Smart Are Sheep by Barbara Drake is about the intelligence of sheep and the studies that have been conducted to prove that sheep can feel different emotions and recognize dogs and humans as their enemies. Evolution has re-wired the sheep brain to know to hate and stay away from humans and dogs. Brain activity research in sheep has shown that sheep see dogs and humans as more alike than comparing the human and the dog to themselves. Drake explains that “Of course, fro ma distance, if a human being gets down on all fours, there is little uncertainty and the sheep’s brain may start sending ‘possible other sheep’ signals until the sheep gets close enough to realize its mistake” (247). Research has also found that sheep have emotions. They have been known to feel and display moods of fear and happiness. For example: when sheep see an approaching human they will start to feel fearful or if an approaching human is carrying a bag of grains for them to eat then they will start to feel happy because they know that they are about to eat. Drake believes that people who believe that animals do not have feelings or emotions are just trying to find an excuse not to feel bad about the horrible things that we do to animals to be able to harvest their bodies for food. “If a creature has no feelings, it can feel no pain,” Drake explains is the common cliché phrase that humans use to make themselves feel better about the harmful things we do to animals as a society (248). The feeling of happiness sheep feel when a human is bringing them food is not because of the human, but it is that the human is bringing them. Bummer lambs, which cannot be brought up by their mothers, are bottle-fed and are most commonly known to display happy emotions when their bottles are being brought to them. The bummer lambs start to become hostile and resentful when it’s human starts to wean it from its bottle. Drake has “seen weaned bummers use a resentful kind of body...
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