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For every species both of beasts and of birds, both of creeping things and of sea animals, is tamed and has been tamed by the human species;
Nonetheless, there is something important that is thought todistinguish humans from non-humans that is not reducible to theobservation of behavior best explained by possessing a certaincapacity, namely our “personhood.” The notion of personhood identifiesa category of morally considerable beings that is thought to becoextensive with humanity. Historically, Kant is the most noteddefender of personhood as the quality that makes a being valuable andthus morally considerable. In the Groundwork, Kant writes:
In my time spent working with animals, they’ve told me again and again that they have mastered unconditional love. Unconditional love means loving everyone and everything around you, including yourself. Many people have mastered unconditional sacrifice or unconditional giving, but don’t yet love themselves that way. Animals, on the other hand, never feel badly about themselves. They don’t wish they were smarter, thinner, richer, faster. They accept themselves for who they are with the skills and challenges that they have. Animals are constantly modeling this for us, but so many of us forget to notice.
Animals Are Not Things - Temple Grandin
Yes, Animals Think And Feel. Here's How We Know
Your book suggests that animals have thought processes, emotions, and social connections that are as important to them as they are to us. Why is it important to know this?Life is very vivid to animals. In many cases they know who they are. They know who their friends are and who their rivals are. They have ambitions for higher status. They compete. Their lives follow the arc of a career, like ours do. We both try to stay alive, get food and shelter, and raise some young for the next generation. Animals are no different from us in that regard and I think that their presence here on Earth is tremendously enriching.Noelle, a three-and-a-half-month-old tiger cub with saucer-size paws, strains at her pink-and-purple leash. She seems to know what's coming as animal trainer Kelsey Johnson pulls out a warmed bottle of specially made formula. The cub suckles it greedily, and three visitors to, a Florida sanctuary and zoo, are called up one by one to get their pictures taken as they stroke the thick fur on her back, their faces alight with amazement.But there is serious disagreement about what exactly a sanctuary is and how the animals in its care should be treated. Greene's close encounter with Noelle—born and bred at Dade City's Wild Things—is an example of what animal welfare activists believe is a real problem with some wildlife sanctuaries: They undermine the very mission they were meant to serve.