Much like the cats and dogs with whom we share our lives, all animals are unique and intelligent creatures brimming with personality and emotion. Helping to drive that point home, the Mother Nature Network, an environmental news website, has released an online slideshow featuring nine of the world's smartest animals.
Spotlighting two species of farmed animal, the presentation puts cows and pigs right up there with bonobos and dolphins. Writer Katherine Butler says that pigs "may be the smartest domestic animals in the world" because they excel in cognition studies, quickly learning everything from playing video games with joysticks to using mirror reflections to find hidden food.
Crediting them for their complex social interactions and emotions, the presentation delves into the inner lives of cows, who, we learn, develop friendships with others and hold grudges against those who have wronged them. Like us, they feel fear and sometimes even worry about the future.
Unfortunately, on modern farms, pigs and cattle are routinely castrated without painkillers and cows are often painfully dehorned and branded with hot irons. Crammed into barren cages and crates, these sensitive and intelligent animals are often denied everything that is important and natural to them.
But it doesn't have to be this way. Please visit ChooseVeg.com to find out just how easily we can help animals every time we sit down to eat.
Pigs and Cows Rule the Roost
by - November 15, 2011