Do Animals Think and have Emotion?
I watch television shows and documentaries on animals and they are just fascinating. Whether it be animals in the wild or domestic animals, there is the curious though of what goes on inside the mind of an animal. When you hear dogs around the neighborhood barks without end, you wonder what they could be communicating. This led me to a though on the subject.
Concepts are still possible and are what humans and their predecessors used before sophisticated and universal language developed. Plenty of animals exhibit simple forms of communication, they can be cries, motions and change colors. Now most animals do not ,require “new brains” and most animals have an old brains. The motivation to hunt, drink and reproduce is locate in the hypothalamus. The rest of their brain is dedicated to sensory perceptions. In most mammals this is the case. For example cats do have emotions along with other mammals, as long as they have an amygdala which is primarily responsible for pain and punishing stimuli, if you stimulate that area of the brain they become very agitated and violent. Furthermore, the dopamine and serotine have a function in emotions also. Animal emotions are much more primitive because most but not all lack empathy which takes a higher level of cognitive skills, and a highly developed a pre-frontal cortex. The only real difference between most animals and humans is the ability to speak. Animals do many things like learn, have individual behaviorism, feel pain and sadness and loss. The trouble with humans is thinking of something different from them as being legitimate. Animals still think, reason and remember. They are not like insects, which function just biological programs. Rabbits, deer, squirrels and other animals eat hallucinogenic mushrooms and plants to purposely to get a chemical high. This alone is evidence they experience a form of consciousness, the self awareness of it, and the intelligence to know how to change it. Even plants experience consciousness.
Now why do humans use words? We use words because they are a good communication tool, not just with others, but for our own minds. We use language in our own minds to reference things easily. Without language, we could just use pictures and focus more on visual communication. This is how some animals communicate through visual communication.
Animals will remember if you treat them nicely, also if you treat them wrongly. There is a documentary that ravens will remember who treated them nicely and who treated them badly even 10 years after not seeing them. Elephants also exhibit quite a good memory, fondness for each other and grief when one dies. The same as apes. There are some species of dolphins take for example the bottle nose have been known for brutally maiming smaller species for fun. Not just killing them, but brutally murdering them slowly like they would aim at their organs and hit them repeatedly in groups, or cracking their bones over hours. They do not even eat them. Cats and orcas attack things they eat. Now cats do it for many reasons, practice, playing, and acceptance of their patriarchal and matriarchal figure. There was an experiment with octopuses where scientists had a lever in the aquarium and they would give them food when they activated it. after a while the cephalopod had enough of it, broke the lever and spewed paint at the scientists. This could be an emotion of frustration and anger.
There are plenty of scientific studies that suggest that animals have show both emotion and thought. For each other, the surrounding and even humans. The question lies in what point do animals reach a state of concessions where they are able to communicate like humans do.