Originally Posted by Zexious
Punks--All I said was there was no empirical evidence to suggest that horses can "love" or have any other emotion. It's been proven that animals don't seem to have a notion of "self", which makes me wonder about the other emotions.
I'd say horses are "smart" and that they can "love" but, again, I was speaking research wise.
But, ultimately you can think whatever you want, and so can I. XD
EDIT--Darn it, I had an extra thing written out and it just went away.
I wanted to speak also on the complexity of "empathy". I think it is so complex that most humans don't even have the ability to express it.. or they simply choose not to. Sympathy is the acknowledgment of another's suffering. So, we would first have assume that a horse is aware of what suffering is, can recognize it in another being, and then feel some sort of sadness for that being.
Empathy not only hinges on the recognition of that suffering, but then the observer must consciously put themselves in a place to /feel/ what that other individual is going through.
Is that something that donkeys, horses, or any other animal can do? Who knows.
EDITx2--This video went viral a couple of days ago. I think it is relevant ^^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=1Evwgu369Jw
believe horses are more capable of empathy than humans. I love that video - it explains it perfectly.
When I'm upset - crying and frustrated - I go down to my barn and sit in my mare's stall. She leaves her hay and puts her head on my lap and lets me hug her face. On a usual day putting my arms around her head makes her claustrophobic and she moves away. I've tried faking it - sitting in her stall and waiting for her to come over, sometimes, when I'm not sad, she'll come and touch me and sniff me, but then leave again. But when I am sad she stays with me and allows me to cry on her, I don't know if she feels sad - but I do know that she exudes kindness when I need her too. She chooses to allow me to do something she doesn't enjoy because it comforts me, in a time I need it - but chooses not to allow me at a time I don't.
I believe horses and most animals are more
capable of empathy than most people. When I tell a human friend a problem I'm having they say "at least..." When I tell an animal friend they say "I'm so sorry".
I think anyone who spends time with horses, without asking much of them, just being, would see how self aware they are and how empathetic they can be.
We had a blind appaloosa who was pretty lame too at our rescue. We put our equally lame pony out with him. The pony knew he was blind and would whinny until the blind one found him and the hay, he would bring the blind on to the water. It was like our blind horse would say "I'm thirsty now" and our pony would walk to the water and say "MARCO!"
The pony helped
him find water and food, at no benefit to himself, in fact he lost some food because of it!