Martin Eicher sang “I Want to Be a Polar Bear in Cold Pole” in 1980. The frosty ambience that the band’s singer “Grazon” chose should be taken as a sign that the polar bear, in his opinion, has no feelings. . Accordingly, the end of the song states: “Polar bears never have to cry.”
It is known that a film of tear fluid covers the polar bear’s eyes. On the other hand, animals rarely see facial expressions that can cause tears to shrink the face in humans. But what about the feelings that make people cry: Can polar bears feel sadness, anger, or happiness, be touched?
“Yes,” says the British government. Vertebrates are aware of their feelings. That they feel joy and sorrow and that animal rights should be enshrined in the law in the country. Queen Elizabeth II announced this in her traditional government statement on Tuesday.
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Well-established suspicion of crabs and squads
“Science is still the way forward for law,” says Norbert Sacher, a behavioral biologist at the University of Munster. The emotional world of animals is a highly topical field of research with constantly new knowledge, also on representatives of other animal groups such as octopus or crabs.
In Great Britain, the legal boundary between spirit and non-emotion should no longer run between humans and animals, nor between humans and polar bears, sand lizards or cod. All these animals are vertebrates. “We know that animals and fish have physical prerequisites for emotions,” says Sachar.
A well-known example of a potentially emotional world of animals are elephants, who mourn for the deceased conspirators. Its report has been evaluated by a research team at the San Diego Zoo. According to the findings published in the expert magazine “Primates”, some cases are based on cold interest in the bodies of deceased conspirators rather than on living elephants. However, some animals repeatedly visited some of the remains. “It is possible that a young woman’s temporary glandular secretions on her mother’s corpse are related to an emotional state,” said lead researcher Shifra Goldenberg.
Vigilant expressions reflect a fundamental problem: it is true that animal gland secretions, ear conditions, heartbeats, or brain movements can be measured. An emotion as part of subjective experience, however, cannot be understood objectively. Researchers cannot conclude how the young woman feels with her dead mother. It is not possible even with two people how sad they are after losing a loved one.
A rule that pushes the boundary between distant and non-sentiment in the animal kingdom, therefore, is an approach that provides a certain protection for not violating the animal’s feelings and rights. “But there are many signs that other animals can feel,” Sachar says.