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Who cares if dogs aren’t exceptional? At least they’re better than humans

I’d rather have a 'dumb' dog, or a mean cat, or a livestream of a cow or goat escaping from a city slaughterhouse, than deal with a lousy person who actively fills my life with more stupidity.

MEREDITH CLARK: ‘Fans of man’s best friend erupted in fury over a study published recently in the journal “Learning & Behavior” that said that dogs aren’t “exceptional” when it comes to intelligence and cognition… But anyone who has ever spent time with a dog — or a cat or a bird or a miniature pig — knows that intelligence isn’t why animals inspire compassion and love in humans. It’s their big, limpid eyes, their derpy tongues, and the obvious joy they take in chasing a toy around for hours at a time… Furthermore, while it’s interesting that the authors of the paper were able to show clearly that dogs don’t necessarily possess skills that similar animals lack, that should inspire more love for creatures of all kinds, regardless of their intelligence…

You can’t keep a Holstein in an apartment in Brooklyn, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have complex relationships with their babies and members of their herd. Researchers have found that dairy cows and their calves experience depression and anxiety when they are separated. Pigs — not just the pot-bellied little ones — can find food using a mirror and can be trained to do puzzles. Chickens can count and moderate their behavior based on expected future outcomes, according to various studies of their behavior. Turkeys seemingly have long-term memories and recognize the risk to themselves when they see other members of their group slaughtered.

And yet, corporate farming operations torture thousands of animals on a daily basis, pumping chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows full of antibiotics and hormones while starving them of space and light. And the vast majority of Americans don’t have a problem eating any of the above even as they attribute more complex intelligence and emotions to their pets. But even animals that scientists don’t fully understand deserve our respect… One doesn’t have to be a stereotypical vegan PETA donor to believe that treating animals well (and eating fewer of them) should be an ethical imperative… Research like this… is a great opportunity to reframe how we think and talk about the organisms with which we share the planet at a time when that’s vitally important. I’d rather have a “dumb” dog, or a mean cat, or a livestream of a cow or goat escaping from a city slaughterhouse, than deal with a lousy person who actively fills my life with more stupidity’. SOURCE…

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