Looking at this news I had one simple, clear and (to me) obvious reaction; I said, 'yes, of course they do, how the hell is this news?' And it's something that confuses the hell out of me as to how this could even have been in question. How we, as a race, can view other living organisms with such distaste that you deny them the most basic of courtesy's; the idea that they feel.
Animals feel, they feel pain and fear and certainly they have maternal feelings and loyalty and for fucks sake they just feel! Its obvious! See a picture of a mistreated dog or even worse a dog that's been trained to treat anyone other than their owner as a threat and you can see their feelings. Watch an animal that has been trained to hate by a soulless piece of crap human and tell me you don't feel incredibly sad. I do.
Living, breathing, natural creatures like you and me, like birds and bees, like dogs and cats. They all feel. Even smaller organisms like Silk Worms or larger ones like the apex predators of old; the Crocodiles and sharks, with their streamlined brain that drives them on through pure instinct...they still feel pain.
Now I'm sure this research is there to show us that the animals in question can communicate, feel complex ed emotions, can learn and grow and have far more going on than some people give them credit for...I would suggest humbly that those people are not worth convincing.Anyone that transcribes to a biblical ideal of soulless animals or comes from a stance of species based superiority is a bit crap as far as I'm concerned. But let me clarify.
I can see we are smarter, have driven ourselves through an evolutionary 100 meter race and are at this point still progressing but lets face facts. We are not perfect and for us to look down and say 'you're incapable of feeling anything other than what your genes tell you to,' is just incredibly crap. We have people, complex ed members of our society that go around raping, murdering, molesting and killing, people incapable of feeling anything for others...but the furry little bastards are the deficient ones? No.
Now I can see this is going to get too long so I will keep it simple just for me. This announcement means nothing to anyone with half a brain. It should also not be used to try and make me feel guilty every time I stick a burger in my swear hole. Nope. But that's hypocritical you shout! No.
I try to look on it this way; I eat what I can afford and I always try to eat something ethically sourced. Free range eggs. Meat with happy stickers on it. Yes, I try to be ethical in my Omnivority. For me the best thing would be to have some land and then I would keep animals, treat them with respect and love them and when the time came? I'd happily eat them.
We do need to look at the mass production of food sources and ask questions about the ethics of our species growth and the need to provide for our ever more bloated demands. We do need to ask questions about the real issues that will choke the land and bring the pain to our populations and we need to drive towards finding real answers. I don't have them, I wish I did, but I don't.
G.m crops, ozone layers being farted out of existence by cattle and livestock, Halal meat, the fight to find the land we need to provide so that we can provide. These are all questions that need answers. Can I tell you a question that doesn't even need asking in my opinion?
Do animals and birds, and the natural world around us have the ability to feel?
Yes. Eco-systems have been crushed, species wiped out and yeah, cats have been run over. All these natural things, from the individual through to the wider species or Eco-system have felt the weight of our rise to power. They feel our demands and are at the mercy of our whims. They feel. They think. They fear.
Can I ask a better question? Okay. Here goes.
How do we expect to continue as a race and avoid our own inevitable extinction level events when we can't even look around us and respect the wonders of this world?
I know there's more to the research, far more to this argument and people a thousand times smarter than yours truly will do a far better job of discussing it. This was my simple, chaotic rant on it. Soap box removed.
Goodnight you wonders of the modern age.