Teacher: Ghada el Shimi
A Change Of Heart About Animals
Breakthroughs in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and more universal questions like the age of our universe, inside the lab a bigger story is revealed, one which will influence how we think forever. The researchers are finding that many of zoo animals we visit have a lot of common human traits, more than one may think. Ironically, companies that invested in these projects are fast food companies, which conduct research into the emotional, mental, and behavioral states of our fellow creatures. Research on pigs' social behavior funded by McDonald's at Purdue University, for instance, has found that pigs want to be cared for, and are easily depressed if left alone or denied playtime with each other. Germany’s government is urging pig farmers to give each pig 20 seconds of human contact everyday for nurturing purposes.
Researchers were amazed more recently, with the discovery of the extent to which New Caledonian crows, attain conceptual abilities, Jeremy Rifkin said “In controlled experiments, scientists at Oxford University reported that two birds named Betty and Abel were given a choice between using two tools, one a straight wire, the other a hooked wire, to snag a piece of meat from inside a tube.” Self-awareness is another aspect, which raises the question of whether these animals’ inferiority affects their mentality.
Philosophers and animal behaviorists’ perspectives on these issues are quarreling and confusing, they have long argued that animals lack a sense of self. Rifkin stated that “Elephants will often stand next to their dead kin for days, occasionally touching their bodies with their trunks,” proving that sense of self and mortality. Recent studies in brain chemistry have found that when rats play, their brains release large amounts of dopamine, a neurochemical associated with “pleasure and excitement in human...