Animal Emotions

Do animals think and feel?

Thanksgiving Day Violence Extends to Black Friday

Black Friday chaos and violence have extremely weak, if any, biological explanations, and are very much uniquely human. So, when we say to someone, "Oh, you're behaving like an animal" it's actually a complement rather than an insult. We can learn much from other animals about kindness, decency, cooperation, empathy, compassion, and peace. Read More

Thanks for the great article,

Thanks for the great article, Marc. I could not agree more. This is just my personal opinion, but I think the breakdown of our natural bonds with other nature and with each other, has resulted in an existential angst that leads to some of these ridiculous Black Friday shopping behaviors and other shameful human acts. Exploitation has grown like an invasive plant throughout all spheres of our society. Some of it is likely related to aspects of capitalism, some of it to our failure to live by the knowledge science has clearly demonstrated about animal capacities, and there are probably many other things that I have failed to recognize. I share in your concerns, and as always, deeply respect your work. Thank you for being a voice of wisdom and reason.

Humans Should Behave like the animals they demean!

If we acted like animals, we'd need not go to school or university to learn the ways of the world. My pet hens NEVER required school or USDA food guidelines to feed their young. My rescued pigs never needed "health" classes to teach them not to poop where they sleep and eat, unlike the human species that is spoiling our own nest.

Humans have trespassed across all the earth, stupidly requiring extraction of fossil fuels, at the cost of changing the chemical make up of the atmosphere, to heat homes, whereas animals know enough to remain in their indigenous locations( that is until humans again trespass by stealing them for profit ).

While we copy catted animals to learn to fly, build ships, and homes, their innate and superior intuitions give me pause as to how we could possibly consider, looking at our species, to be superior...

We are truly the invasive species.


Animals , even if they could watch TV and listen to media, would NEVER allow media to hype them into a feeding frenzy or shopping craze. That is inherently human. Follow the crowd...To death.

Other aspects of our humanoid schizophrenia

This so-called 'holyday'stems from the exploitation of the native Americans by voyagers in flight from a Europe with no future for them. Following the extirpation of the buffalo and the removal of indigenous people to 'reservations,'Americans continued to move westward, killing as they went. Meanwhile, back in the South, money and property were gained through the use of slaves, treated like 'animals.' With such a history, I am saddened but no longer surprised by what has been called the 'banality of evil.'

For me, this is a day of mass forgetfulness, culturally enforced unconsciousness, a willingness to not think or analyse what brought this ritual about. Failure to remember history does bring about its repetition.

There are many of us who feel this way. Like Kristin and the others who comment, I thank you for your speaking out.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may quote other posts using [quote] tags.

More information about formatting options

Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Subscribe to Animal Emotions

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.