Emotions In Mammals

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“If an animal is aware of its actions, it is aware of itself.” –Luigi Hilario Throughout history it has been debated whether or not mammals have had the ability to reason of even be aware of one ‘self’. It was believed that “only humanity had a soul”. But as Charles Darwin believed, “the mental habits, beliefs and facial expressions and even the “love of deity” have evolved” (“Inception of Darwin’s theory” Wikipedia). Mammals have grown and evolved to use these abilities of reason to better help survival and living within their community. Research has demonstrated that all mammals including canines, dolphins and bonobos, have fundamental basic emotional systems. These include a seeking system to look for food, a fear system to react to unfamiliar things that may be harmful, a play system and a care system to raise young and “form vital social attachments” (“Do Dogs have Emotions?” Purina). These functions determine how they react when signals are send to the brain. Not only is the evidence overwhelming for emotional behavior in animals, but science also dictates that an emotional core can be beneficial to animals in the wild, including humans, a trait we have lost touch with as we’ve evolved. Examples of this behavior are found in canines, dolphins, and bonobos. It is with these creatures that humans feel the deepest connection, although it is often an unspoken, almost primordial one. Unlocking these characteristics in animals will offer humanity a chance to evaluate its own emotional development. Many researchers believe that dogs are capable of experienced primary emotions (fear, anxiety, and anger) but are incapable of secondary emotions (jealousy, love and empathy). Thus, dogs have no real sense of ‘self’. But dog-owners all over the world claim otherwise. When a canine’s owner is sad or disturbed, there are many cases of dogs

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