• Question: Do animals feel the same feelings as humans?? e.g love amd hate

    Asked by rymahalfaoui97 to Aggelos, Andrew, Eileen, Shane on 22 Nov 2012.
    • Photo: Andrew Jackson

      Andrew Jackson answered on 22 Nov 2012:


      hi, i think much of my answer here covers this https://hydrogenn12.imascientist.ie/2012/11/22/do-animals-have-the-same-basic-needs-as-humans-e-g-shelter-sunlight-shelter-love-and-affiction/

      but i didnt mention hate. As with love, I think hate is a very human emotion and is not easily assigned to animals. But, animals clearly can get very aggressive and bear their teeth and attack other animals of the same of different species. We could though just say this is a natural reaction and does not require that they actually hate the other individual they are attacking.

      I think like with love, humans have developed a feeling or emotion that we assign to the natural responses of wanting to have close contact with another person, or to not want to have anything to do with them at all.

    • Photo: Eileen Diskin

      Eileen Diskin answered on 22 Nov 2012:


      I’d like to think that my dog loved me as much as I loved her…but its hard to know exactly what kind of emotions animals have, since we can’t read their minds. But we can do a bit of guessing based on their behaviours. Elephants, for example, will sometimes not leave the body of a dead elephant – a group of them will grieve, sometimes for days. But does this mean that they loved the elephant? I’m not sure we can know for sure.

      One thing that can be done, is to analyse chemicals that are released when we are feeling ‘love’ or ‘hate’. We can try and compare this to animals, to see if they can make and release these same chemicals, and then make some guesses about whether or not they might be feeling the same as we do when those chemicals are released.

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