Tests are being devised which will allow a person to put questions to animals including, of course, companion animals, about their welfare and happiness.
It appears to be a bit of fiction that just might become fact. I am referring to Dr Doolittle who talked to the animals.
A leading animal welfare researcher, Professor Ian Duncan, has suggested that companion animal owners or farmers will be able to communicate with their animals and if that is the case, of course, the animals will communicate back.
An animal will be able to tell their owners how happy they are with their living conditions, for example.
The professor states:
“Each species has to be treated differently but the common factor is to devise tests where the animals are offered a choice. If they make the same choice repeatedly….it shows what they want from us.”
The professor plans to set out his ideas in full at a conference, shortly. He states something that cat lovers know already, that it was wrong that people thought that animals were “dumb”. People thought that animals only acted instinctively with programmed responses.
However, a lot of recent research clearly indicates that animals live a much richer life than people had formerly thought and they have memories too. The question about memory that is still unclear is whether they can remember events and recall them in images as humans can. My gut feeling is that they can and I’m sure that this will come to light in the future.
The motivation behind being able to communicate with animals and of course your cat is that it will provide the opportunity to care for your cat to a higher standard and provide an environment which suits her ideally (where feasible).
The professor also makes the interesting point that fish are mistreated. He says:
“Fish are often seen as a bit like cabbages but we found they respond to fright and can anticipate it.”
I look forward to hearing more on this subject. As far as I am concerned an acknowledgement of the intelligence and emotions of animals is long overdue and the recognition of their intelligence and emotions should eventually (I hope) oblige people to respect animals more, treat them better and lead to an overall improvement, gradually, in worldwide animal welfare.
- Source: The Times.
- Photo: by Andrey Belenko