Human beings are animals yet, for some strange reason, we often fail to acknowledge or accept this simple fact. Humans tend to perceive ourselves as different from all other creatures and, to an extent this is true; our intelligence does separate us from other creatures. Yet, as mammals, humans do share certain characteristics with other creatures that actually make us more similar to other life forms than we might realize.
Generally, people view emotions such as love and friendship to be purely humanistic traits that can only be experienced by human beings. Yet there is ample evidence that suggests that these claims are erroneous since other species have been documented as sharing emotions similar to love and friendship—both with their own species and other, entirely different, species.
The question of whether two animals from the same species (like two gorillas) can feel compassion and love for each other is still debated. Thus, it is no surprise that many people are skeptical that animals can feel emotions toward any other creatures at all. Animal lovers and pet owners insist that they have bonded with their pets as have those who work in animal-friendly environments (see video). Yet people who have never experienced such a relationship do not understand the bonds and therefore rebuke the legitimacy of the claims. However, even scientists and researchers are starting to pay attention to the emotions that animals feel.
In 2011, a book titled “Unlikely Friendships” was published. The book recanted forty-seven stories of unlikely friendships between different animals including a dove and a monkey, a giant dog and a piglet, a cat and a cockatoo, and many more. After reading the book (and seeing the adorable photos that accompany each story) it is hard to dispute the animals feel emotions just like people do.
“Unlikely Friendships” is an excellent book for animal lovers. It is written in a style simply enough for even grade-school children to be able to read by themselves so the book is an excellent gift idea for mostly any animal lover. It is the link that proves that people and other animals are really not so different after all.
I give “Unlikely Friendships” a highly-recommended 5/5 stars.