ChatGPT on animal welfare, sentience, cat anatomy, declawing, speciesism and more

What is ChatGPT? ChatGPT is probably the biggest thing that has happened to the Internet, and it is going to change the way people use it, but it might take a few years. It is claimed that it will seriously erode Google’s dominant position but don’t be so sure because Google will come up with something equally good. Update next day: I have used it some more and I am less impressed ?. For example, it can’t tell me how many tigers are in the world. A straightforward question. When it does provide answers they are bland. Unless it smartens up I don’t believe it will make serious inroads into current internet usage and Google’s dominant position.

ChatGPT is basically a chat box, but it isn’t a person who chats with you but a computer running on artificial intelligence (AI). This is an incredibly smart computer with great knowledge.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

AI. Image: Pixabay.

You can ask it anything and it will provide you with succinct (about 10 lines) answers. How accurate is it? Below this introduction you will see its answers on a variety of subjects concerning animal welfare and associated topics.

That’s how good it is. It is slightly bland but very accurate. It is not 100% accurate. And the information it can call on is somewhat limited. It can’t answer this question: “How many domestic cats in the world?”

I think it pays if you know the topic. The danger here is that if you don’t know the topic you won’t know the omissions and the answers provided by ChatGPT. That’s a current weakness. Because the point of using it is that you don’t know the topic ??.

And the owners of this computer admit that it is not perfect but then again neither is any website providing information.

Perhaps the biggest weakness that I can see right now with ChatGPT is that it does not, or perhaps cannot, provide an opinion.

For example, I asked “Is dog tethering immoral?” And it provided a balanced, informed answer, but it doesn’t give me an opinion about the morality or otherwise of dog tethering.

Opinions are based upon personal experience over a long period of time. I would expect ChatGPT to eventually be able to formulate opinions.

At the moment it appears to trawl through the huge knowledge base of information given to it and summarises a topic beautifully in a very balanced and neutral way.

“As a language model trained by OpenAI, my knowledge is based solely on the text that has been input into my training data. I do not have the ability to browse the internet or access any information that has not been explicitly provided to me.” – ChatGPT

The answers are very vanilla or beige, but this can be a good thing.

Apparently 2 million people have been playing with ChatGPT. They’ve discovered that it can write scripts and essays. It can write computer code and poems. It can write marketing pitches all to a high level. It can even provide creative suggestions and give answers to hypotheticals. And of course, it is a knowledge base.

It is the work of Elon Musk. He co-founded the company OpenAI in 2015.

The computer developer who created Gmail says that Google may have only a year or two left before ‘total disruption’ of its search engine occurs. I doubt that to be honest because Google, as mentioned, will come up with something as good.

ChatGPT is like employing a bunch of human researchers to do the work for you in finding out information by gathering it together from the Internet and then summarising it. The amazing thing is that it does it instantly rather than taking hours or perhaps days.

Google killed off Yellow Pages! Some people think that ChatGPT will kill off Google. I don’t think so, but ChatGPT is an incredibly impressive computer and system.

Below is some of its work. These are its answers to a range to topics selected by me. The answers were provided in a split second. It modified the answer after I provided feedback. At the moment it is seeking feedback to improve itself.

On animal welfare

Animal welfare refers to the well-being of animals. It is concerned with their physical and mental state, and how their surroundings can impact their overall health and happiness. Animal welfare advocates believe that animals, like humans, have the right to live their lives free from unnecessary suffering and that they should be treated with compassion and respect. This includes providing them with proper care and housing, adequate food and water, and the ability to express their natural behaviors. Animal welfare is important because it ensures that animals are not subjected to unnecessary suffering and helps to promote a more humane and compassionate society.

On sentience

Sentience is the ability to perceive or experience subjectively. In other words, it is the ability to have subjective experiences and to be aware of one’s own existence. This can include the ability to feel pain, pleasure, and other sensations. Sentience is a highly debated topic in both philosophy and science, and it is not yet fully understood. Some animals, such as mammals and birds, are widely considered to be sentient, while the sentience of other animals, such as insects, is less clear. Sentience is important because it is often used as a moral criterion for determining how animals should be treated. For example, many people believe that sentient animals should not be subjected to unnecessary suffering because they are able to experience the world in a similar way to humans.

Corrected after giving feedback that sentience does not necessarily include self-awareness:

Sentience is the ability to perceive and experience sensations, including physical sensations such as pain, as well as mental sensations such as emotions. Sentience is a characteristic that is widely believed to be present in all animals, although the extent to which different species are capable of experiencing sensations may vary. Sentience is an important concept in discussions about animal welfare, as it is generally believed that sentient beings have the right to live free from unnecessary suffering and that they should be treated with compassion and respect. Some philosophers and animal welfare advocates have argued that sentience should be the key factor in determining which beings are entitled to certain moral protections, such as the right to life.

Human-to-cat relationship

The relationship between humans and cats is a long and complex one that has evolved over thousands of years. Cats were first domesticated by humans in ancient Egypt, where they were prized for their ability to control pests and protect grain stores. Since then, cats have become one of the most popular pets in the world, with millions of people keeping them in their homes for companionship and enjoyment. The relationship between humans and cats is generally a positive one, with many people viewing their cats as members of the family and taking good care of them. However, some people may not always treat their cats well, leading to issues with animal welfare. In general, it is important for humans to treat their cats with respect and provide them with proper care, food, water, and a safe and comfortable environment in order to maintain a positive relationship.

Second attempt of saying the wildcat was first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent and the Ancient Egyptians built on that start:

The relationship between humans and cats can vary depending on the individual human and cat involved. Some humans and cats may have a close bond and spend a lot of time together, while others may have a more distant relationship. Some common ways that humans and cats interact include playing, cuddling, and grooming each other. Cats may also provide humans with companionship and emotional support. In some cases, humans may take on the role of a caregiver for their cat, providing them with food, water, shelter, and veterinary care. Overall, the relationship between humans and cats is often characterized by mutual affection and care.

On cat anatomy

Cats, like all mammals, have a typical body structure that includes a head, a neck, a trunk, and limbs. The head of a cat is relatively small compared to the rest of its body, and it contains the brain, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Cats have sharp teeth that are well-suited for tearing and chewing meat. Their eyes are large and forward-facing, which helps them to see prey even in low light conditions. Cats also have excellent hearing and a keen sense of smell, which they use to hunt and navigate their environment. The trunk of a cat’s body contains its heart, lungs, and other organs, as well as its muscles, which allow it to move and jump with agility. Cats have four legs, each of which ends in five toes and sharp claws that can be extended or retracted as needed. Overall, the anatomy of a cat is well-adapted for hunting, climbing, and moving with speed and stealth.

On cat muscles

Cats, like all mammals, have a complex system of muscles that allows them to move their body and limbs. The muscles of a cat’s body are divided into two main groups: voluntary muscles, which the cat can control, and involuntary muscles, which operate automatically without conscious control. Voluntary muscles are found in the limbs and trunk of a cat’s body, and they are used for movement and posture. These muscles are arranged in pairs, with one muscle contracting to move the limb in one direction and the opposite muscle contracting to move it in the opposite direction. Cats also have a number of specialized muscles in their head and neck that allow them to move their ears, eyes, and mouth. Overall, the muscles of a cat’s body are strong and agile, allowing it to move with speed and precision.

On the moral issues of cat declawing

Declawing, or onychectomy, is a surgical procedure in which a cat’s claws are removed. While declawing may be seen as a solution to problems such as furniture scratching, it is a controversial practice and is considered inhumane by many animal welfare organizations. Declawing is a painful and invasive surgery that can cause complications such as infection, lameness, and behavioral problems. In addition, declawing removes an important part of a cat’s anatomy, which can affect its ability to climb, balance, and defend itself. For these reasons, many people believe that declawing is a cruel and unnecessary procedure that should be avoided. Some countries and regions have even passed laws banning declawing, recognizing it as a form of animal cruelty.

On ‘All animals are equal’

The statement “all animals are equal” is often attributed to the philosopher Peter Singer, who is known for his work on animal ethics. This statement is meant to express the idea that all animals, regardless of species, should be treated with equal consideration and respect. The idea behind this statement is that animals, like humans, are sentient beings who are capable of experiencing sensations such as pain and pleasure, and that they should not be subjected to unnecessary suffering or exploitation. Some people who believe in this idea argue that all animals have inherent value and that they should be given moral consideration, regardless of whether they are useful to humans or not. This idea is often used to support the idea of animal rights and to advocate for the humane treatment of animals.

On speciesism

Speciesism is the belief that the interests of certain species, typically humans, are more important than the interests of other species. This belief is often used to justify the exploitation and mistreatment of animals for human benefit. For example, speciesism may be used to argue that it is acceptable to use animals for food, clothing, or scientific experimentation, even if these practices cause the animals to suffer. Speciesism is similar to other forms of discrimination, such as racism or sexism, in that it involves treating certain individuals or groups as inferior or less deserving of moral consideration based on their membership in a particular group. Many animal welfare advocates argue that speciesism is unfair and that all animals should be given equal consideration and respect.

Is dog tethering immoral?

Tethering, or tying a dog to a stationary object, is a common practice that is often used to keep a dog in a particular area or to prevent it from running away. However, tethering a dog for long periods of time can be harmful to the dog’s physical and mental well-being, and some people consider it to be an immoral practice. Tethering can restrict a dog’s movement and prevent it from engaging in natural behaviors such as running, jumping, and exploring. It can also cause the dog to become anxious or aggressive and can lead to physical problems such as muscle atrophy, pressure sores, and injuries from getting tangled in the tether. For these reasons, many animal welfare organizations and advocates believe that tethering a dog for long periods of time is a form of animal cruelty and should be avoided.

Advantages and disadvantages of keeping cats indoors.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to keeping a cat indoors. One advantage of keeping a cat indoors is that it can protect the cat from a variety of dangers that it may encounter outside, such as cars, other animals, and harsh weather. Indoor cats are also less likely to be exposed to diseases and parasites that are common in outdoor environments. Additionally, keeping a cat indoors can help to prevent it from causing problems in the neighborhood, such as fighting with other animals or damaging property.

After I said that the answer only discussed the advantages and not he disadvantages Chat GPT produced this excellent response:

There are both advantages and disadvantages to keeping cats indoors. Some of the advantages of keeping cats indoors include:

  • Protection from predators and dangers: Indoor cats are safe from predators such as other animals and cars, and they are also protected from other dangers such as weather events and diseases.
  • Reduced risk of injury and illness: Indoor cats are less likely to get into fights or accidents, which can result in injuries or illnesses.
  • Lower risk of parasites: Indoor cats are less likely to be exposed to parasites such as fleas and ticks, which can cause health problems.
  • Containment of litter: Indoor cats are easier to litter train, which can help to keep the house clean and free from odors.

Some of the disadvantages of keeping cats indoors include:

  • Boredom: Indoor cats may become bored or restless if they do not have enough stimulation, which can lead to behavioral problems such as excessive meowing or scratching.
  • Lack of exercise: Indoor cats may not get enough physical exercise, which can lead to obesity and other health problems.
  • Lack of natural behaviors: Indoor cats may not be able to express their natural behaviors, such as hunting and exploring, which can lead to frustration and unhappiness.
  • Risk of injury: Indoor cats may be at risk of injury if they are not provided with appropriate toys and climbing structures, or if they are allowed to roam unsupervised in the house.

Veterinarians are not paid enough. Discuss.

Veterinarians are healthcare professionals who are responsible for providing medical care to animals. Despite the important role that they play in maintaining the health and well-being of animals, many veterinarians are not paid enough for their work. This is often due to a combination of factors, including the high cost of education and training, the high cost of living in many areas, and the low reimbursement rates for veterinary services. As a result, many veterinarians struggle to make ends meet and may have to work long hours in order to make a decent income. This can lead to burnout and job dissatisfaction, which can have negative consequences for both the veterinarians and the animals that they care for. Overall, it is important to recognize the value of veterinarians and to ensure that they are fairly compensated for their work.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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