Let Me Ask You a Question – 5/18/18

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Let me ask you a question:

Do you think the meaning of life is the same for animals as it is for humans?

69 thoughts on “Let Me Ask You a Question – 5/18/18

  1. I don’t think the meaning of life is same for animals as it is for us.
    ‘Cause the only aim all the animals in this world have is to eat and survive.
    But human being, besides having the aim to eat and survive, they strive for more. Some dream to travel, some dream to make the world a better place and some spend the life seeking the meaing of life. At least they are seeking something.
    But animals? All they need are food and a favourable shelter to survive.

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    • What about KoKo the ape who learned over 2000 English words in sign language and was able to express her sadness, desire to have a baby, joy and an incredible ability to express how she viewed the world?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dia, I totally agree with you here. This is what puts us at the top of the evolutionary tree, because we have advanced, highly developed brains that can make decisions, have rational thought, wishes and desires, and all this can be communicated and understood by others. That’s not to say that the higher apes can’t make decisions and show desire, but our level of understanding will never be surpassed. The ‘talking apes’ will never show language skills greater than that of a 3-4 year old human child.

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      • “top of the evolutionary tree” depends greatly on the setting. Put us in the ocean and we are at or near the bottom. Alone in the woods and we are the same.

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      • If they think about it at all, it would have to be in some form other than words (our specialty) that we probably couldn’t translate. How would a creature even ask the question without abstract language, let alone frame an answer?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Me thinks the wording of my question is a little confusing. If life has meaning, does it have meaning for all life, including animals? thus should we be treating them better?

        Liked by 2 people

      • If we are the consciousness and conscience bearers of this living world, then, yes, all of it should have meaning. We are not separate, but part of and dependent upon the whole of life in all its forms. Even just in or own long term self interest as a species, we need to be treating it all better. I don’t know what a dog might think about the meaning of life, or whether it can conceive of its own mortality, but I can know that it feels pain and pleasure, hunger and satiation, and so on, and apparently, love. So, it behooves me to regard it as a fellow being.

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      • Yes, and did surprise with her ability and level of understanding, as did Alex the parrot. They learned to think in words as we do. The unanswered (and likely unanswerable) question is; How did they mentally represent their world, their self, and their thought before they had words? There does seem to be a kind of dividing line. If you present a monkey with a mirror, it will look behind the mirror for the monkey in the window. If a baboon or higher ape, or a dolphin or killer whale, encounters a mirror, it will figure out that it is their own reflection, recognizing itself (and generally fascinated). So, does a creature that can do that have a sense of self, of personal identity, similar to ours? Do they have in innate thought form or “word” for “me”, and if so an idea of their own mortality as well, and seek a different meaning for their life? I don’t know whether Koko or Alex ever talked about that.

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      • I don’t either. I do know Koko once told her trainer she knew what death was, was able to ask about things and people who were not present, recognized herself in a mirror and labeled other apes and humans as good ape/human versus bad ape/human. It’s pretty remarkable.

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  2. Answering this question makes me feel like a hypocrite.
    I know that my sweet Vivi wants the same exact things in life that I do. She wants to feel loved, safe, protected…she wants to be warm and to have a full belly. She feels anxiety and stress and fear.
    I can comfort her by holding her and take a scared, stressed out being and feel her heart rate slow down because she feels safe.

    She also knows when I am stressed or upset and she sticks to me like glue till I pick her up so she can comfort me.

    But then I eat meat. This is a total contradiction with my views on animals. It’s something that I have struggled with since Vivi came into my life.

    What I know is that Vivi is an animal and Vivi is a family member who I genuinely love. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No because animals totally get it the meaning of life. We are the ones that complicate everything. Animals never take more than they need from the environment. They don’t hate or get jealous. They might fight amongst themselves but always forgive and they know all that matters is life and love.

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  4. I think life does have meaning for all life…in various levels of “their” own way of thinking. Take one of my pets for example (I have many so for the sake of writing this, I will choose one) She came to me a sickly little thing. I wasn’t sure she’d survive. But survive she did and became a healthy, happy dog. She bounded through life. Every step she’d take was a happy step. Almost as if to say how delightful she was that she survived. Every thing delighted her, especially basking in the sun. When I’d bring in a rescue, she was the first to greet whatever it was…an injured bird, a kitten that lost it’s mom too early, puppies, and even a chipmunk that was brought to me my the neighbors cat. She’d put the eye on them, staring bug eye’d with one eye while practically inhaling them into her adorable nose. If it was a kitten or a puppy, she’d try and nurse them. She’d hold them into her body and protect them with all the love she could muster. When the humans were sick, she would find the human and lay with them, bring them comfort. When it was time for food, she’d let me know wherever I was in the house and she’d follow me and wait patiently for me to make her food. She understood commands and even when I didn’t talk, I always suspected she knew what I was about to do or say. She lived life to make things happy. She made all the rescues feel happy. She made me happy. She was my shadow. When she took her last breath, I was there for her. Hopefully throughout her life she knew her life had meaning. She lived big, even though she was ten pounds. Her life had meaning to me and I really believe her life had meaning to her.

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  5. No, I don’t think that there’s that level of choice for animals in general especially if they’re in captivity. I think that they have emotions and connections but their existence is mainly that of instinct and in service to the next generation, survival, not the vanity reasons people get caught up in.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m gong to ask Biasini,my horse, to tell me what the meaning of life is to him and once I know it then I will be able to let you know if it is the same as my meaning of life. But then I’d need to know what the meaning of life is…..wouldn’t I? This is starting to sound like a Monty Python sketch!!

    Liked by 1 person

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