January 20, 2006

Do Animals Love Each Other?

I came across this fascinating subject while browsing through the online pages of National Geographic. I'm sure animals love each other, may be not as we humans do. Maybe in ways that might seem cruel to us - for eg: I saw March of the Penguins the other day and both the male and female Emperor penguins endure a lot to give birth to a child. But eventually, they leave the kid to fend for his/herself and the child may never see the parents again. Animals also love in ways that would be far more sensible than the obsessive and compulsive love we tend to portray at times
My husband just came in and he's an animal lover so I put the question to him and he looked like I was stupid to even bother asking him. He said, "Of course. If you have two dogs and one dog dies, the surviving one will pine for the other dog and then die soon after." I said, "Thank you for that ray of sunshine." (I cannot handle story about death of dogs, before anyone wishes to share more).

Look through the
site and decide for yourself. I say yes, most definitely.


Lindsay Lobe said...

You might be interested to know something about the magnificent Albatross. These magnificent birds can cruise our oceans at up to 140 kph and spend most of their time circumnavigating the globe, as the youngsters only return to their nesting grounds after reaching breeding maturity after 5 -7 years. Its time then to fall in love with a mate for life, but divorce at 10 years is not uncommon and can causes ugly scenes, just like ourselves. Usually its male falling for a younger bird.

The Great Sperm Whale spends much more time than us in neutering and caring activities over their long life. Many marine biologists think they are more advanced in those aspects than humans.

Gary said...

I read a great book on the emotions of animals, it's When Elephants Weep : The Emotional Lives of Animals by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson. He argues and proves in my mind, that animals indeed have feelings, very much as we do.

They're not such jerks either!

DA said...

I was thinking about some animals that eat their own offspring but I'll tell you a happy story Vee:-)

Last year when we returned from a late evening in the city, a rabbit hopped towards me in the middle of the snowcovered street. It was clearly a tame one that escaped. I ran inside, got some broccoli and could catch the animal. No one in the neighbourhoud missed the rabbit so now it is part of our family (as we could'n bear to bring it away with the risk of having it "put to sleep").

It sleeps together with the cat in the same basket and the cat cleans the rabbit as if it were her kitten. When we seperate them they get upset, they play together whenever possible (have you ever seen a rabbit jump on a cat from a chair?)

Anyway I don't know how to qualify this; love, affection or just survival mechanism. Actually I don't care as long as they seem to be happy with it.

Matt said...

I definatly believe that animals have the capacity to love, and do love each other. I think it may work out differently in the animal world because they work mostly off instincts and we work off emotions. But there is no doubt they love. :)

Vee said...

Lindsay, Gary, Dimitri & Matt: Thanks for your input. :) It's definitely a fascinating subject. I was hoping someone would stir up some controversy. (lol) I have to read that book you're talking about Gary. And Dimitri thank you very much for sparing me the gory details. :) Lindsay: how do you know so much??