I’m an animal lover. I don’t have any pets living with us right now — too much going on, not enough time to give them the attention they deserve. But there is something really special about having a pet. They affection and love they can show for their owner, the support they give during hard times, the fun they can bring out — it’s really special and amazing! They really are family members to the many owners out there –and they can rightfully stake claim to that!
It’s so powerful to really take in the fact that we humans live with, or near, many other animals who express their own emotions.
The joy of play, the sadness of mourning, or the hostility that underlies conflict is often expressed by animals only with each other, accompanied by complete indifference to humans. Nature isn’t about us.
But for animals who live alongside us? Sometimes, we love them and they love us back. When that happens, for me all the intellectual stuff — definitions and hypotheses about the expression of animal emotion — goes right out the window. I just bask in the sun with an animal friend at my side.