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Old 11-11-2009, 03:55 PM
 
4,628 posts, read 9,272,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercury Cougar View Post
Elephants do as well.
Add to that birds, even the lowly scrub-jay. And octopi, border collies, all primates, sheep, pigs....these have all been proven to possess some form of self-recognition and self-awareness. Not always specifically the mirror-test, but they display an awareness of self and others - are are able to communicate that awareness in warnings of predators or alerting to individual friends - human or animal.

This subject is fascinating to me. I'm certainly not a scholar, so am not looking for an argument here...

Many years ago when I started learning about this, it became a reason that I couldn't condone eating animals. "IMO" it did not seem logical that we would eat those creatures whose level of intellect and emotion were far superior to what is generally believed. I'd rather err on the side of safety, so to speak. Again, JMHO.
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked Felina View Post
so am not looking for an argument here...

No argument, merely a civilised discussion. (Civilised discussions are fun and informative. I'm with you on the argument front - not fun and rarely informative.)

Actually, this topic quickly becomes all rather "zen" which is kind of fun - i.e. if an animals recognises others, who is to say it doesn't have a sense of self? Wouldn't self-recognition be necessary in order to recognise others - how can recognition take place without a foundation, and surely that foundation has to be the "self" for what else would guide the "compass" as it were?

And bite your tongue, Wicked One! "Lowly scrub-jay"? Jays are very intelligent birds. Heck, even pigeons can count to five - or is it seven? I forget.

Regardless, have you read any of Mr. Masson's books? I think "The Pig That Sang At The Moon" covers a lot of this ground. His new one - the title I believe is "The Face on Your Plate" - got very good reviews, but I've yet to read it.

See? All very civil.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:47 PM
 
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I know, I know...somehow the mere mention of vegetarianism brings out the nasty in some people on this board. So I thought I'd cut to the chase...I wasn't referring to anyone in this thread or who regularly posts in the Pet Forum. But yikes...what you don't know ~

Happy to meet a fellow-poster who is conscious of the zen of it all. **Must remember to spread sparkly love everywhere.** I've not read any of Masson's books. But I will.

Hmmmmm, I must've mistyped when I wrote "lowly" scrub jay! Yup, that was it.... I read an article on this awhile back. I believe that they, the lofty scrub jays, have shown understanding of planning for the future (which I can barely grasp) and either understand the concept of deceit or recognize when they are being deceived. And crows or pigeons exhibit logical thinking.

Cool, isn't it?
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Ocean Shores, WA
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Of course animals have self recognition.

When your dog licks his butt, who's butt do you suppose he thinks it is?
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked Felina View Post
what you don't know ~

........ will leave me in blissful ignorance?

But how to define self-recognition? That's where it can get tricky.

Is it
a) an animal looks in a mirror or sees a mirror image and thinks "Ye gads, I'm a handsome devil"
or
b) a animal smells some sort of "marker" and thinks "I wuz here"?

Now, I'll contend that with reference to (a) birds do not have this ability - even birds that are able to learn phonics (parrots) and can solve spacial relation problems. Give a parrot a mirror and watch him/her be thoroughly befuddled &/or (as is more the case) just go on the offensive and attack the intruder.

Any animal that marks territory is able to tell its own markings from others. Does that qualify?

But if you put it back in a natural context - what need, in the wild, does ANY animal have to be able to recognise a mirror image of itself? The only natural opportunity that I can think of to do this would be in still water - and no animal is going to stand at the edge of a watering hole admiring its profile unless it wants to be eaten, so the narcissists would be long gone.

Perhaps animals did not evolve to naturally recognise mirror images - and mirror images are our guideline for self-recognition. Perhaps it's only a skill that is learned if specifically taught......?
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Ohio
2,178 posts, read 8,075,734 times
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I don't know if they recognize themselves in the mirror. I've had cats and dogs that go bezerk when seeing themselves in a mirror which always made me think they didn't know it was them.
But when I shave in frt of the bathroom mirror and my dog stands up and puts her paws on the counter and sees me in the mirror she knows it is me and she doesn't get goofy acting like she thinks there is a strange dog beside me. So maybe she knows it is her.
Interesting.
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:47 AM
 
Location: where the moss is taking over the villages
2,178 posts, read 4,845,311 times
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One day, in Torrance CA, my children, partner & I took a walk after an early dinner at a restaurant on Hawthorne Blvd... Maybe it was TGIF. There was a medical park next door with a delightful garden that had a stream meandering through the vast grounds. There are resident ducks. We were walking along & were delighted to spy a cute male mallard, who was admiring himself in the low panes of glass on a fancy building.

As he strolled along on the path, he would go up to the reflective glass & give himself kisses! He was quite enamored with the duck that seemed to be walking along with him, totally unaware of us as we passed, going opposite directions.

With a mirror, I don't think many animals, especially birds, have much sense of "self"...

Not sure about dogs... When our dog was a puppy he would get very confused by mirrors until it seemed he simply decided to ignore them. He never pays attention to them anymore. He acts like he refuses to be fooled. He won't dignify a mirror with a response.

Isn't jealosy a sense of "self" ???
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
1,280 posts, read 6,147,456 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wicked Felina View Post
Add to that birds, even the lowly scrub-jay. And octopi, border collies, all primates, sheep, pigs....these have all been proven to possess some form of self-recognition and self-awareness. Not always specifically the mirror-test, but they display an awareness of self and others - are are able to communicate that awareness in warnings of predators or alerting to individual friends - human or animal.

This subject is fascinating to me. I'm certainly not a scholar, so am not looking for an argument here...

Many years ago when I started learning about this, it became a reason that I couldn't condone eating animals. "IMO" it did not seem logical that we would eat those creatures whose level of intellect and emotion were far superior to what is generally believed. I'd rather err on the side of safety, so to speak. Again, JMHO.
I'm with you all the way. I just had to ask...sheep? Really? I haven't worked a ton with sheep, but I never would have guessed they'd be on the list.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:24 AM
 
1,688 posts, read 6,910,804 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kansas sky View Post
I'm with you all the way. I just had to ask...sheep? Really? I haven't worked a ton with sheep, but I never would have guessed they'd be on the list.
I don't have a ton of experience with sheep either (although I used to spend a lot of time getting them off our property) - but sheep are odd creatures.

You watch them sometimes and you'd bet the farm it would be a toss up as to which would come out higher on an IQ test - the sheep or the broom handle you've got in your hands.

But if you've ever watched a wily old ewe take one look at a sheepdog, decide the dog didn't have a clue what it was doing (correct evaluation on the part of the ewe), and put her head down and charge it so she could get to exactly where she wanted to go... well, they don't come away looking too shabby.

Sort of reminds me of a different species..........
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahkate_m View Post
With a mirror, I don't think many animals, especially birds, have much sense of "self"...
He acts like he refuses to be fooled. He won't dignify a mirror with a response.
My puppers acts the same way. He's much too dignified...BTW, I don't recall him ever licking his butt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kansas sky View Post
I'm with you all the way. I just had to ask...sheep? Really?
Truly. There are different qualifiers for different species. I'm going to have to dig up the book I was thinking of. I know I saved an article about Border Collies. Sheep, like dogs, can recognize each other and humans (individually, I mean).

Robhu - what kind of dog do you have?

........ will leave me in blissful ignorance?
Alas, yes. It must be so...
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