Did you know that your version of Internet Explorer is out of date?
To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend downloading one of the browsers below.

Internet Explorer 10, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.

Studies Show Animals Feel Pain, Sometimes Cry

Like us on Facebook:
The current article you are reading does not reflect the views of the current editors and contributors of the new Ecorazzi

An argument against animal protection that feels as old as time is, “Animals don’t feel pain.” Time and time again, stories make the news that prove the contrary. Animals are heroes, survivors, and lovers. They feel joy, they feel pain, they feel sadness. Studies prove this over and over. Some animals even cry.

Recently there were news reports of an elephant calf who was trampled and rejected by his mother at the Shendiaoshan Wild Animal Nature Reserve in eastern China. Reports say the calf cried inconsolably for hours.

“Some mammals may cry due to loss of contact comfort,” animal behaviorist Marc Bekoff explained to Discovery News. “It could be a hard-wired response to not feeling touch.” He also said that elephant calves – and human babies – tend to cry out of stress rather than sorrow, but stress is still an emotion. Animals who cry have to be of a social nature, possess eye anatomy similar to humans, and have brain structure suitable to processing emotions.

Let’s take dogs into consideration. Dogs are very social creatures, but they don’t weep tears from their eyes. They will, however, cry out in pain via yelps, whimpers, and howls. Many caregivers of dogs have said that their companion dogs have comforted them when they were upset and weeping, proving that dogs empathize and recognize sorrow and stress in others. Dogs also feel separation anxiety, similar to what elephant calves experience. Other animals that have shown signs of empathy include chickens, rats, and mice.

While it seems that elephant calves cry like human babies do, more scientific studies are called for to learn more. Stories like that of the elephant calf in China inspire people to delve further into animal behavior. Certainly research will find even more connections between us and our fellow Earthlings.

“Not so long ago, people thought that we were the only animals that could laugh, but now we know that rats and dogs and chimpanzees do as well,” said writer and naturalist, Virginia Morell. “Laughter, in fact, may be a universal emotion in all mammals. If so, why not sorrow?”

For more reading on the subject, check out Morell’s book, “Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures.” Beckoff also has a book coming out in November titled, “Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed.”

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Like us on Facebook:

Beyoncé and Jay-Z sell out veganism for ticket giveaway

Veganism deserves better than constantly being considered something to be bribed, dared or loosely entered into.

Month one of “the year of the vegan”

News outlets are abuzz with the promise of new vegan products, celebs, and services and how that is somehow a fresh affirmation that our world is one turn closer to being fully free from animal use.

What About: “No-Kill” Eggs?

The reason for these advancements is not a sense of justice – because that can only mean going vegan – but is primarily driven by economics.

Vegandale Brewery offers the ultimate vegan night out

This brewpub helps veganism shed its stay-home-and-eat-tofu stereotype.

Don’t blame vegans for the shame you feel about using animals

The shame Carly Lewis claims veganism casts over her is more likely the ghosts of moral uncertainty, spectres that are more likely fish than cows, wondering how morality can possibly be used as ammunition in favour of murder.