Uniquely Human

11/05/11 - by TheCatCoach

Marc Bekoff recently wrote a blog post for Psychology Today titled What Makes Us Uniquely Human? It’s a really good read. I am a Bekoff fan. He has made a big impact on my life and is one of the main influencers for my becoming a cat behaviorist. I grew up hearing how humans are elevated above other animals because animals couldn’t reason/think or have emotions or use tools like humans do. I never bought into this thinking. Based on the relationships with the animals in my life and on my observations these commonly held beliefs didn’t make sense to me. As a child I watched a crow take a twig and stick it in a hole. Supposedly, animals didn’t use tools—tool making was an activity reserved for humans… I had heated discussions about it, but had no proof or facts, other than my own observations, to back up what I was saying. Dr. Bekoff’s research contains the facts. I was elated and felt in some ways vindicated for my own observations and beliefs when I first read Dr. Bekoff’s papers and heard him talk.

I hope that Dr. Bekoff’s research is changing people’s perceptions of animals. I hope more people read his work and look at the animals around them with new eyes and a fresh understanding. I hope that his books, articles and talks about his work result in people treating animals as thinking, feeling beings. Maybe people will think twice before euthanizing an animal with fixable problems or abusing a cat or dog… I can only hope…

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