This past month, I came across two articles that highlighted
new discoveries in animals who are regularly exploited for food. A piece in The Atlantic spotlighted the work of ecologist
Meredith Root-Bernstein, who documented
pigs using tools for the very first time; National Geographic featured research which shows cows
experience happiness by forming close friendships with specific members of
their herd – they can even recognize their best friends from photographs.
The more humans study non-human animals, the more we come to the realization that they are much more like us than not. And I’m not just talking about orcas or elephants or chimpanzees – animals we’ve historically considered “intelligent” – I’m talking about chickens, who were the first birds ever documented to use referential communication. Or fish, like Coral trout, who communicate and work with eels to find food in the sea.
But it’s not just how close animals…
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