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Re: Karma & Rules

Sep 11, 1997 11:43 AM
by kymsmith

Lynn wrote:

> I agree. However, the question is whether animals actually suffer.
> They
> indeed feel pain, a tremendous amount of pain. But one of the things
> that
> those of who taught natural childbirth classes often said--there's a
> difference between pain and suffering. Suffering results from pain but
> has
> an added emotional component. So we may need to find out if, and if
> so, how
> much of an emotional component is attached to the pain that animals
> experience. (Note, this is not at all an attempt to legitimize in any
> way
> inflicting pain on animals. :-))

There are many documented examples of animals responding in what seems
like an emotional state. There is the famous documentary (on Discovery)
of the elephant matriarch, who, against instinct and the possible
welfare of her group, rescued and took in an abandoned baby elephant.
In the end, it all worked out, but there was much talk about how her
choice went against most human and scientific conceptions of animals.
In the humane society where I work, I have seen healthy animals die of
bereavement,  I have seen animals comfort other animals who are sick or
otherwise in need of comfort, I have seen animals meet and establish a
bond that required them to be placed in homes together,  I have seen
displays of sheer joy, happiness, and knew one dog,  who, when you told
him a joke, would actually laugh (it was an amazing thing - 'course one
could say he was only following human cues).  Most people who share
their lives with animals readily admit animals are chock full of
emotions.  So, do I believe that animals "suffer," that is suffer with
an emotional component attached, yes, I do - I really couldn't be more
sure of it.

Sometimes, in all honesty, I wish I didn't believe that about animals -
it makes reports of abandonment, abuse, separations, scientific
experimentation, etc. . . all the more heart-wrenching.


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